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Perlman Guitars


SOUNDBOARDS: Engelmann spruce from Alaska is my primary top wood. For certain voicings I'll sometimes use Sitka spruce or Western red cedar. All of these are carefully selected from the highest "master" grade; this is true of all materials used in a Perlman guitar.

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BACKS AND SIDES: Indian rosewood and Honduras mahogany are the main woods used. Brazilian rosewood is available; it is increasingly rare and expensive but it remains unequalled in tone and beauty.. Generally, the rosewoods lean towards a brilliant, incisive tone while the mahoganies give a warmer, rounder sound, though other factors in the guitar's construction temper and shape these qualities. These are good initial guidelines.
I have experimented with other back and side materials for many years, with excellent results. Among these are bubinga, also known as African rosewood (actually not a rosewood), an attractive wood that acoustically and aesthetically deserves a place among the rosewoods. Another is African blackwood, a rare wood that is beautifully figured with tremendous acoustic properties. And figured English sycamore, a blonde wood, light in weight, that produces a very quick response and excellent tone, almost a "flamenco" steel string. There are others as well.

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NECKS: Mostly Honduras mahogany. There are certain instances where I may use Eastern hard maple.

FRETBOARD: Black Gabon ebony.

COMPONENTS: I use wood bindings exclusively. Wood bindings are superior, acoustically and aesthetically, to other materials. Frets are the highest grade German nickel-silver. Tuners are German Schallers; other tuners are available.

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INLAY: Possibilities are limitless here. Everything from elegantly simple colored wood banding to the most elaborate mother of pearl, abalone and other materials is available.

ORDERING: After establishing your requirements and preferences through discussion and my hearing you play, in person or through a recording, we will finalize the design and delivery date of your guitar. A deposit of $500.00 will be required before I commence building; the balance at completion, before delivery.

I have always given clients the option of returning the guitar if they are truly not pleased with it. I am glad to say that no one has ever availed themselves of this option. In the event of return, the client will be responsible for shipping and any damage that occurred while the guitar was in their possession.

My guitars are warranted against all defects for one year. The environment in which they are built is stringently humidity and temperature controlled. They have toured the world in extreme climates without problems. This is an area where many years of experience have shown how to build a guitar which is lightly built, responsive, yet durable.

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Alan Perlman
Tel: 415-242-4457 • Email:

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