Now it is February 2012. I am still working my day job making instrumentation and experiments for Harvard University, to develop a green biofuel, a liquid fuel that will not contribute to global warming. Shortly, I do hope to jettison from the world system and be a luthier with all of my soul and all of my time. Until then, I am currently working on guitar #8, a smaller folk guitar in the style that I've converged upon, my neo-Appalachian style spoon-guitar.

Selva Guitars POC from John T Ehlers on Vimeo.


This is guitar number 7 before it was strung up... this is a classical guitar (nylon strings). It is deeper and longer than guitar number 5 (below).

This is guitar number 5... the first one where i bent the wood with hot steam pipe. The sound is deep and resonant, and the sustain is amazing because the whole body is made from one single piece of wood, no neck joint, so it's like a tight bow with very little damping.

A patent is pending on the new bridge design, which is amazing in its simplicity, but allows radically new small guitar designs that have full-size guitar sound.

The simple mechanism is a lever that transfers the longitudinal motion generated from the strings vibrations, over the saddle, into lateral motion perpendicular to the guitar's soundboard. It also modulates the impedance of the vibration energy, changing it into a more useable force/distance ratio, and places it in a more beneficial location on the soundboard. This placement allows the whole guitar to be made much shorter, because the large area below the saddle is not needed anymore. On the guitar pictured, the soundhole has been moved up to the top of the soundboard, and some frets float over it.

The principal of Selva Guitars is Sage Radachowsky. His brother Jeremy Radachowsky is the sustainable tropical hardwoods consultant. Jeremy is a conservation biologist based in Guatemala. The company is named after Jeremy's daughter Selva. Selva means "forest" in Spanish.




A happy person trying it out at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival.