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An Interview with Michael Sanden.

Q: You came to Red Dog Music on your UK Masterdesign tour last year, what was your impression of the store?

A: Red Dog Music was our first stop to promote the new Tanglewood Masterdesign series. These guitars are my babies so naturally, I was nervous of how people would like them. On entering the store, there was a very professional feeling about it: the staff looked after us well and they were eager to learn about the guitars. We had a wonderfully attentive crowd so we were delighted with the response – I still have the Red Dog Music business card on my pin-board to remind me of what a good music store it is.


Q: You are Scandinavia’s #1 luthier and your handmade instruments command premium prices, what made you decide to work with Tanglewood on Masterdesign instruments?

A: I was exhibiting my own Sandén Guitars at a show and Tanglewood approached me about making their Masterdesign models because my unique bridge design caught their interest. I wanted to design a guitar that was different, used all solid wood and wasn’t just another beefed up version of a jumbo, covered in mother of pearl. If you look closely, you’ll see that there is not one single detail that is exactly the same as on my own guitars. Every element is a little different – the bridge design, the headstock design – they are only similar in my approach.

Q : Why the zero fret ?

A: I’ve used a zero fret on all 400-ish guitars that I’ve built, bar maybe 5. When I started building guitars, the teacher I had was also very into this concept. At first, I thought the zero fret was only for cheap guitars because in the 50s, a lot of cheap guitars had zero frets. However, the zero fret is good for three reasons: STRING HEIGHT (you can play the same guitar for 25 years, change the zero fret and you have exactly the same string height as before), BALANCE (on the zero fret, you always have metal hitting the strings meaning you get a much better balance between open chords and bar chords) and ACTION & INTONATION (because there is a rounded edge on the nut, the string needs to have a sharp edge exit to get the right intonation.)

Q: Red Dog Music proudly supplies Masterdesign guitars to some very discerning players on the local music scene and beyond. In your opinion, will the guitars age well, and improve over the years?

A: Like any top flight instrument, Tanglewood Masterdesign is designed with soundboards and materials of the very best quality, chosen for their ability to age gracefully and with increasing tonality. Building a residual and evolving character to all our guitars is a feature we are most proud of and it definitely sets us apart from other models. We pride ourselves on our classic, contemporary, understated cosmetic. If you like the look of the Masterdesign, we can assure you’ll love the sound and over the years, it will only improve.

About The Author

Red Dog Music

Dawsons Music is delighted to announce that the Red Dog Music brand is now part of the Dawsons family. This is an exciting opportunity to bring both communities together and create a stronger, wider network of people passionate about music gear. We both share a common heritage to support musicians throughout the UK and Dawsons want to support Red Dog Music customers in their continued musical journey.

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