Of the modern, small shop luthiers, Dana Bourgeois is a really special guy, in my opinion. If you're sick about tone, he is a master...one of those guys who can take a piece of top wood, tap it with his index finger and hold it to his ear, and just know what kind of guitar it'll make. And then proceed to make one of it, extracting every bit of its potential, while wrapping it in unbelievably tasteful appointments.
There's a little story to this one, as usual. I'm told that Dana dined with the son of a master Japanese luthier, who was renowned for his classical guitars. The father had just passed, and the son apparently mentioned that he had some lovely Pao rosewood back and side sets, that Dana scooped up. While Pao is a rosewood, it is very unique tonally, and is popular in classical guitars I guess. He had a couple sets that were big enough for dreadnaughts and OMs, but was left with several pieces were smaller in dimension. Happily, these later appeared in some select 0- and 00-sized instruments from Dana's Maine shop. And I love these small-bodied instruments, for the bulk of my playing hardly needs big, live-sound-busting volume. And the little sweethearts just fit with your human form.
One of the first of these Pao rosewood small-body instruments I heard had a sitka top, and I just fell in completely for it. When Brian Wolfe, of Acoustic Music in Guilford, CT, who is an artist himself, prescribed this one, I was pretty sure I was going to fall for it too....and fall I did. Here the redwood brings this lovely warmth to the tone, with just enough snap, too. I had been looking for a cedar-topped instrument, and this one way exceeded what I was looking for, tonally. It is a remarkable finger-style guitar.
The appointments are pure class; the rich redwood top is complimented with mosaic binding, with a complimentary backstripe. The headstock has a redwood veneer, and the tuners have these really beautiful zircote buttons. Nice.