Operating under his full name "D.W. Stevens," Denny Stevens was a talented Colorado-based luthier who built instruments designed to produce excellent sound when new and as they continue to age become louder and more open for many years to come. Unfortunately, health issues cut Denny's career short, and he passed away at the age of 66. Because of that, only 198 DW Stevens instruments were ever built, and only 33 of those were archtop guitars.
Denny built this D.W. Stevens guitar in 1995, and he called it a "70 Pro." It is essentially a 17" archtop with a carved Spruce top, Maple back and sides, cutaway, and a floating Bartolini pickup attached to the pickguard. Typical of comparable independent-luthier-made guitars, it was built with quality components throughout. Its brass tailpiece and ebony bridge are both high-quality parts that are perfectly installed. It has a three-piece Maple neck with heartwood running through the middle. Its Ebony fingerboard has gorgeous pearl block inlays. Its bone nut measures 1-11/16", and the string spacing is 2-1/16" at the saddle. Combined with a shallower, more modern C-shape neck carve, the narrower taper allows for a guitar that is approachable and easy to play—especially if you want to play articulate jazz voicings up the neck.
This 1995 D.W. Stevens 70 Pro produces a dark, expressive "jazz-box" sound that can be both powerful and cutting and soft and subtle. As you'd expect from a high-quality 17" archtop, it produces rich, responsive acoustic tone that translates beautifully into its amplified sound. With volume and tone controls mounted on the pickguard, you're able to dial in the appropriate sound for every setting.
This 1995 D.W. Stevens 70 Pro 17" Arhctop is in clean cosmetic condition with no history of repairs or issues. It shows some expected playwear, and there are a few minor bumps and bruises on the top (see photos). It has been played, but its medium-jumbo frets show minimal wear. It is currently setup with half-wounds, which bridge the gap between flat wounds and more-common round-wound strings. It is setup with smooth, low action. Original hardshell case included.