This McPherson MG 4.5 East Indian Rosewood / California Redwood Acoustic-Electric is equal parts work of art and a stunning instrument! The folks at McPherson Guitars in Sparta, Wisconsin are not messing around. When it came time for Matt McPherson to design a guitar, he practically reinvented the wheel by combining choice elements from acoustic guitars and archtop guitars, providing an incredible experience truly unlike playing any other guitar.
Let's start with the impeccable wood selection. This guitar was made with a high-grade California Redwood Top and teamed with Indian Rosewood back and sides. Redwood is a great tonewood that falls somewhere between Cedar and Spruce, tone-wise. It does well whether strummed hard or lightly fingered picked. The Indian Rosewood back and sides give us a rich, thick low end with bell-like highs and a slightly scooped mid-range. The guitar is 4.5" thick which certainly gives it a beefy, full-bodied sound.
The neck is made from Mahogany and is topped with an Ebony Fingerboard. Speaking of the neck... did you know it's cantilevered? This design element comes from the Archtop world and helps keep the top vibrating with maximum force. A fingerboard that has been glued to the top of the guitar acts as a clamp and hinders resonance. A cantilevered neck reduces the connectivity between the fingerboard and the body so each is free to resonate more.
The soundhole has been moved over to the bass-side of the body. This strategic design element not only sets McPherson apart, visually but tone-wise. The player is treated to a sound far more like what the audience is experiencing, which is supremely cool. Moving the soundhole over also lessens the impact of the structural weakness that is a soundhole. The top is stiffer, projects better, and allows for unparalleled dynamic abilities.
Finally, the bracing on the inside of the body is like nothing from any other manufacturer. None of the internal braces interlock, they are all either a Bridge or a Tunnel when they intersect. This, yet again, allows for maximum projection, volume, and dynamics.
All of these design elements were perfectly in a row and aligned with one another which yields the potential for the loudest, most responsive, acoustic guitar that we have ever experienced. McPherson's craftsmanship is literally second to none. There may be other guitars out there built on the same level but we have yet to play any of them!