Born in Scotland, Joe Gallacher moved to Australia in 1989 and has been building guitars, mandolins and Irish bouzoukis ever since.
The guitars Joe Gallacher builds are definitely influenced by some really nice old guitars he has played over the years, but he also has a few of his own designs which he is pretty happy with. Joe tends to go for less than more in ornamentation, and enjoys the look of wood on the bindings. He tends not to use plastic in the bindings, nut, saddle or glue.
From Joe – “Although guitar design and construction methods are constantly being improved it is still down to the hands, the chisels, the feel and the quality of the timber. This is where the art of the guitar maker comes in to his own and one should hear and feel the difference in a handmade guitar.”
Australia has a wealth of fantastic looking and sounding timbers which Joe has been enjoying using over many years – Australian Blackwood in particular (acacia melanoxylon) – a very close relative to Koa (acacia koa). He also uses mahogany and rosewood, mainly for backs and sides. European, Adirondack and sitka spruce are mostly for tops along with occasional mahogany, blackwood and cedar. These are the combinations of timbers that tend to work for him, giving the volume, balance and lovely colour of tone that Mr Gallacher thinks about when he hears a good guitar.
Dreadnought by Joe Gallacher from Albury NSW
Built 2001 finished in October and designated # 21
Large soundhole and extended fingerboard (after the Tony Rice/ Clarence white modified Martin D28)
Back and sides – Otway Ranges (Vic) Blackwood
Headstock overlay – Otway Ranges Blackwood
Tuning Machines – Gotoh Made in Japan
Top – Alaskan Sitka Spruce
Scratch guard – “Tortex” USA hand made
Bridge – Myrtle
Saddle and nut – Hard bone
All bindings on body and sound hole hand are made Maple, Blackwood & Jarrah
Neck – Mahogany
Fingerboard – Black African ebony
Frets: Gibson Jumbo low profile
Fingerboard dots – Abalone
This is a lovely hand made, full size dreadnaught built by Joe Gallacher in Albury Victoria in 2001. It is in excellent condition, showing no player wear except some very light pick marks on the guard. No dings, dents, scratches or marks anywhere. The top, back, sides & neck are unmarked, there is no sign of fret wear, truss rod is fine tuners are strong.
This particular Gallacher has led a sheltered life. It has been used sparingly, mainly in a home environment. Which is a bit of a shame, because this guitar deserves to be heard. It is a lovely sounding instrument – clean, clear highs, well defined midrange, and plenty of punch down low. Comfortably playable in all positions.
Definitely worth consideration if you are looking for a straight up, fine sounding, handmade instrument featuring high quality materials and superb attention to detail, without paying the usual “handmade” price.
Comes in its form fitting Hiscox hard case in good condition.
ABC radio interview with Joe talking about the timbers and techniques –http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2010/12/20/3097440.htm