The Kenny Hill Signature Classical 650-Spruce guitar has become the instrument of choice for scores of concert artists, recording artists, competitors, professors, fine players and collectors around the world. This is not a surprise as the dynamic range and rich tonal color palette of this guitar is superb, not to mention its playablity which is second to none.
This Signature Classical guitar is constructed using the most up-to-date designs, methods and materials. It features a double top consisting of an ultra-light Nomex core sandwiched between two very thin layers of red cedar and Alpine spruce. The top incorporates both woods. Whichever wood shows on the outside gives the guitar its dominant character in terms of sound, while the inner wood flavors that character. This guitar has the spruce facing out. The top is lattice braced to promote quick, powerful response.
Sides are constructed of Indian rosewood laminated with a cypress lining and includes sound ports. The back is Indian rosewood.
The Spanish cedar neck and headstock are joined with a wonderfully executed V joint. The thickness and shape of the neck, and the relief of the elevated ebony fingerboard, as well as the string setup have been optimized to make this guitar a dream to play. The neck is installed with a two-way adjustable truss rod to allow a quick relief adjustment to suit the player’s requirements. The elevated fingerboard configuration of this Hill Signature guitar serves two purposes: (1) it changes the way the strings pull on the top, promoting efficient vibrational transfer; and (2) it gives the player easier access to the upper register above the 12th fret.
This instrument is French polished to perfection. Comes with Sloane tuning machines installed. The design, materials, and construction culminate into a solid, very balanced and powerful, extremely easy playing guitar. As Kenny says, “These are the best guitars I know how to make.”
|Series||Kenny Hill Signature|
|Model||Signature Classical 650 SP/IR|
|Size/Type||Full size concert|
|Top Wood||Alpine spruce/red cedar doubletop (spruce showing)|
|Back & Sides||Indian rosewood, sides laminated with cypress feature sound ports|
|Neck/Fingerboard||Spanish cedar neck, elevated ebony fingerboard, V joint|
|Truss Rod||Two-way adjustable, 4mm (9/64")|
|Scale Length||650mm (25.6")|
|Number of Frets||12 to body, 19 total|
|Fret Marker Inlays||7 (side dot)|
|Nut Width||51mm (2")|
|String Spacing at Saddle||57mm (2.24")|
|Body Width||14.6" lower bout|
|Body Depth||3" upper bout, 3.75" lower bout|
|Tuning Machines||Sloane golden tuning machines with black handles|
|Strings||D’Addario EJ46 Pro-Arté hard tension|
Coming from a Yamaha GC42S, a very good guitar in its own right, this Kenny Hill Signature is a clear and large step up in both sound and craftsmanship/build quality. I simply love how it looks, plays, and sounds! This is the first double top guitar I’ve owned, having tried a few over the years, but never happy with their large and boomy sound. This Hill manages to strike the perfect balance between the qualities of a solid top and those of a double top, without really making any compromises. It has the clarity and tonal palette of a traditional solid top, with the superior volume, speed of response, sustain, and sweetness of a double top. It’s just phenomenal really. The craftsmanship and built quality is also second to none, and wonderfully engineered and done. From the clean but classy and modern design, to the dual sound ports, the elevated fingerboard (I can’t imagine now playing a guitar without one, such are the advantage in left hand playability and right hand attack), and the V joint neck, this guitar is a real beauty in both form and function. The playability is simply superb, with the default action just right and the neck shape ideal for effortless playing. I can’t recommend this guitar highly enough, which is why I bought one myself ;)
This review would be incomplete without mentioning how patient, helpful, knowledgeable, and responsive Chuck and his staff at All Strings Nylon have been throughout the entire process. From taking the time to answer all my questions (and I had many!) via email and lengthy phone conversations, to ensuring the guitar left the shop in perfect condition, to following up through the shipping process and after I got the guitar, Chuck has been truly outstanding in every way. Buying an expensive instrument online can be a daunting process, but Chuck made the process quite easy and enjoyable throughout, with his wit, knowledge, and sense of humor - a truly unique individual. So as much as I recommend the guitar itself, I would actually recommend Chuck and All Strings Nylon even more to anyone considering purchasing a classical guitar online. He’s truly one of a kind, and that’s no small thing! (Posted on 1/28/2018)
I am by no means an accomplished player, and to be truthfully honest, I can in no way do this guitar justice. However, I've been around guitars and music most of my life and when I recently upgraded from an Alhambra Professional to this Kenny Hill Signature, there was a tsunami of gorgeous sound that hit my eardrums which was totally unexpected.
As Chuck had informed me when I was researching this guitar, "These two guitars are worlds apart in character". He wasn't exaggerating! The Hill is not only of a very different musical character from the Alhambra, but I find the sound is literally "at my ears", thanks, I believe, to the sound ports that the Hill sports. I'm not a concert player, so the sound I hear is important; I really don't care what the audience hears -- since there isn't one (Posted on 4/27/2016)