Since 1995, luthiers Jeff Huss and Mark Dalton have produced intriguing custom acoustic guitars—by hand, one a time—demonstrating that meticulous attention to detail delivers inspiring results. From their small shop in Staunton, Va., the Huss & Dalton Guitar Co. builds ~250 guitars each year, prioritizing quality and integrity of the build over quantity of the product. Built from the finest tonewoods available, Huss & Dalton guitars are steeped in tradition and capable of pushing your music to a new level.
With the TOM-R, Huss & Dalton brings the traditional Orchestra Model design into the 21st century. Borrowing from the best prewar OMs, the TOM-R combines age-old construction techniques with Huss & Dalton's boutique attention to detail. It is a full 25.5" scale instrument with a powerful sound, and it's constructed from the finest materials available.
This 2020 Huss & Dalton TOM-R Custom (#4542) features a "thermo-cured" (aka torriefied) Adirondack Spruce top and Cocobolo back and sides. Every brand has their own approach to torrefied/baked/aged tops, but the results are consistent: a more responsive, stable and played-in sounding instrument, right out of the box. On this one, the Cocobolo has a similar influence on the tone as Brazilian rosewood. Complex—yet focused—overtones, and crystal clear sound that never gets mushy. This TOM-R is louder than a lot of OMs.
From there, the remaining specs are high-end and tasteful: 1-3/4" bone nut, 2-1/4" saddle spacing, Waverly open-back tuners, Adirondack braces, one-piece mahogany neck, ebony bridge, ebony fingerboard, cross-cut Ivoroid binding, herringbone purfling, short-pattern diamond and square fingerboard inlay, and zipper backstrip.
This 2020 Huss & Dalton TOM-R Custom shows some minor signs of play and use, but it's pretty clean all around. The previous owner installed a strap button on the heel, and the setup is nice and low. Like a lot of OMs, this guitar would be an excellent fingerpicker, but it articulates nicely and packs a punch when you dig in with a pick. It includes its original tweed TKL case.