So....I called Bruce up and identified myself. I had caught him at a
good time as he was not too busy but did have a customer in his shop
dropping off a D'Angelico guitar for some repair work. Bruce said hang
on a minute..I'll have him play the WRX and give you his opinion.
Well OK..so he put this guy on the phone and I hear Bruce handing him
the guitar. The customer says hi and I hear him picking on a guitar. He
said with what I detected as a slight southern drawl that he really has
no affiliation with Bruce but that the WRX was very
impressive...sounding and playing like a dream. Nice review from a
Bruce came back on the phone and we talked for maybe 25 minutes or so
before he had to get back to his customer. He told me how much he
personally had enjoyed this WRX and how it compared to another of his
guitars built for the express purpose of having an instrument to show
to prospective buyers at his shop as well as festivals. That
Brazilian/European spruce guitar was much more typically appointed..so
on paper anyway should have been the superior sounding instrument. But
apparently he preferred playing this less blinged out, players WRX
..the exceptional acoustic properties of the Pernambuco being one of
the primary reasons for that..
In the course of the rest of a fairly rambling conversation I began to
get the sense that Bruce Sexauer was quite a remarkable person and his
guitars were very much an extension of his personality and overall
philosophy of life. He talked a bit about his 40+ year career as a
guitar builder and how he felt that his guitars were exceptional from
the start...he just "knew" how to pull great sounding guitars out of
various pieces of wood.
He then said something that really intrigued me. I'm para-phrasing
here, but he said something along the lines of...when he looks at woods
that he has selected for a build, he can see and hear the completed
instrument before raising a hand or tool to the materials. It's a sense
of purpose and clarity in his work that he's always had... A few days
later when I thought more about that statement I was reminded of a well
known sculptor who described his experience of looking at the piece of
stone he was about to chisel away at, and clearly envisioning the
finished sculpture within.....
The phone conversation ended, I thanked him for his time, and told him
I would stay in touch about the WRX. I then proceeded to find out as
much as I could about him, his guitars and Pernambuco...
The first thing I did was email the owner of the Sexauer WRX that was
built as a companion to the WRX I was considering. That guitar and it's
owner were featured on Bruce's website so it was fairly easy to find
him and contact him via his website. He responded to my email asking
about his experience with his WRX the next day with a glowing review.
It included the manner in which the Sexauer WRX had quickly supplanted
the very high end vintage and luthier built instruments in his
collection and that the WRX had "..blown away everything and everybody
I encounter."..and "...was like a "race car with soul"...and finally,
if I was considering the Pernambuco WRX, "...I should grab it without
Well that was certainly a good start..let's see if I can find out who
else might be a Sexauer guitar owner. As it turns out Bruce maintains a
list of his guitars owners on his website..or at least as many of them
he can keep track of or track down. I found this list in what turned
out to be a typically Seaxauerian manner by clicking the logo on his
website's home page that sits above a link that says: "Have you clicked
So here was a master list of all the guitars he was aware of, their
respective date of creation, relevant comments and owners name if
known..I couldn't help noticing the name "Joe Satriani" twice...Joe's
apparently one of a number of Sexauer 2 timers (including an earlier
Pernambuco model), as is Eric Schoenberg. A perusal of the testimonials
on the website included an unsolicited note from Nashville "A team"
session ace Bryan Sutton praising his Seaxuer "O" style guitar. I'm
familiar with all those guitarists and though stylistically they are
quite a bit apart, there is no getting past the fact that they are at
the very, very top of the players ladder..and if they bought and paid
for their Sexauers when they could all probably afford and/or get for
tremendous discount/free anything they wanted said alot...
While I was clicking around Bruce's website I also happened upon a page
he calls his musings page. He lists a number of "guitar appropriate"
articles here and I read every one of them with his thoughts on
"Duende", "Philosophy of Lutherie" and "Attitude" particularly
I then turned my attention to a search of Bruce's postings on a few of
the well known acoustic guitar forums. The accumulated effect was to
portray an extremely well respected, massively knowledgeable, strongly
opinionated, very funny, and occasionally iconoclastic guy who has and
continues to consistently build some of the finest acoustic guitars out
At this point I'm coming to the realization that I really like how this
guy thinks, and consequently approaches everything he does... and that
one of his guitars is starting to speak pretty loudly in my direction...
So..it looks like it's time to confront the last obstacle in this
More to come....!!! (to page 5)