Tim Stafford signature guitar from CA

Tim Stafford on stage with Blue Highway at Summergrass 2006, performing with his CA guitar - photo by EK WalkerWe’ve commented in the past about the ongoing outrage that Blue Highway guitarist – and highly influential flatpicking stylist – Tim Stafford has never received IBMA’s Guitar Player Of The Year Award.

Well, there is one organization who recognizes Tim’s stature in the acoustic guitar world. CA Guitars (Composite Acoustics) of Lafayette, LA is set to introduce a Tim Stafford signature guitar model at the Summer NAMM show in Nashville next month.

Tim has been using a CA guitar on the road with Blue Highway for a number of years, and in the studio as well. The guitars are made from a carbon fiber composite material and Tim has praised his for its constancy with regard to temperature and humidity extremes – common concerns for road musicians.

“I have the second prototype here, and it has a new bracing pattern, an enlarged soundhole and beautiful rosette design by Bobby Starnes. My name is inlaid at the 12th fret tastefully in the same blue shell that cosmetically offsets the black carbon fiber well. They aren’t finished with it–still some modifications to be done, including a soundport. The thing sounds wonderful–every new guitar I hear from CA gets better acoustically, and they were already great recording guitars. They also play like a dream right out of the factory.”

The soundport Tim mentioned is an opening in the upper bout of the guitar’s side, which he says makes the guitar project more forcefully forward – generating more volume. The Stafford model will also come with a custom Fishman Aura pickup system installed, which uses onboard software (tweaked for this guitar’s properties) in what Fishman describes as a new breakthrough in acoustic image modeling to accurately replicate the way different classic microphones would capture the tone and response.

CA was hesitant to comment much on the Tim Stafford model, saying that it is still a work in progress, but they are very excited about their association with Tim, and looking forward to debuting the guitar at Summer NAMM in June.

We’ll have more details as the actual launch draws near.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.