Since the 1970's I have setup, serviced, and repaired thousands of guitars noting which design features function well and which did not. Observing the durability of materials over the long term has determined which ones are selected for manufacturing Ochoteco guitars. Feedback from players, as well as my own performing experience, has dictated the design basis of my guitar lineup.
There are three factors that make a superior instrument:
Please click on the thumbnails to learn more about each of these aspects.
425mm lower bout width.
Top grade Engelmann/Sitka/Cedar soundboard
High figure Tasmanian Blackwood back and sides
Brazilian mahogany neck
King ebony bridge
Six and twelve string models have 648mm scale
Seven string models have 670mm scale
Studio Steel “The comfort and balance of a small body with the power of a dreadnaught, the ultimate all-rounder” 16 years of development yielded this design. Outperforms much larger instruments in both volume and balance up to the very last fret which is fully accessible thanks to the heel-less neck and deep cutaway. Also available without cutaway.
400mm lower bout width
Top grade Cedar or Engelmann spruce soundboard
High figure Tasmanian Blackwood or Indian Rosewood back and sides.
Brazilian mahogany neck
King ebony bridge
Six and Twelve string models have 648mm scale
The Best Materials
Only the best woods, adhesives, finishes, hardware, and strings are used in Ochoteco Guitars.
We source our woods from all parts of the planet from suppliers who know how to extract the best cuts from the log. Their work requires great skill and knowledge, as only a small percentage of a log will yield the quality plates used in Ochoteco Guitars. Once received, we store and dry them in our workshop until they are ready to be transformed into guitars.
Acoustic efficiency and ergonomic design is paramount to us. A guitar is essentially a delicate box which should resonate easily and amplify the energy given by the plucked string. It must also be strong enough to withstand string tension and the different environments it gets exposed to without warping and loosing its ideal geometry.
Guitars must be comfortable and easy to play in both seated and standing positions.Their action must be adjustable to accommodate all types of playing techniques.
Aesthetics are a matter of taste and I like to let the beauty of the woods speak for themselves, hence the use of transparent pickguards on all our models. I personally prefer understated elegance and clean lines.
Guitars should be assembled with the least possible tension. Joins must be accurate so as to require minimal adhesive. Precision is especially critical in the neck to body join as this angle determines the instruments' setup adjustability and playability.
Wood is a fickle and non-homogenous medium which requires sensitivity to the idiosyncrasies of each piece in order to realize its full potential. Take two soundboards from the same part of a log and you will most likely find that both will resonate differently. We vary the bracing profiles and soundboard graduation individually in order to “milk” the best out of each piece. Such variation is impracticable in guitar factory assembly lines and only an experienced luthier will have the time and know-how to “tweak” each soundboard to extract its full potential.
Our service department offers the following services to all makes of electric and acoustic fretted instruments:
We are warranty repairers for:
The Duende 6&7 guitars are serious crossover instruments. Classical, jazz and electric players will feel equally at home on this guitar. Being the nylon string cousin to the Studio Steel, this guitar is ergonomically superior to the traditional classical guitar. Comfortably radiused fingerboard, narrower nut spacing, slim neck and low action geometry facilitates playing for long periods or performing demanding music with minimum fatigue to the musician.
400mm lower bout width
Top grade Cedar, Sitka or Engelmann spruce soundboard
High figure Tasmanian Blackwood, Indian or Brazilian Rosewood back and sides.
Brazilian mahogany neck
King ebony bridge Rosewood or ebony fretboard
Six string model has 648mm scale
Seven string model has 670mm scale
Ochoteco Guitars feature:
- The finest available solid woods and hardware
- Hand polished high gloss body finish
- Super slick hard Tung Oil neck finish
- B-Band, Fishman or Highlander pickup systems, ask for pricing
- A setup to your specific needs before shipping
Please click on images for details on each model.
Gabriel Ochoteco has been playing, repairing, and customizing guitars since his late teens. He has been building them for nearly thirty years:
“I take pride in that each one of my guitars has its own unique voice and character.
I believe that my instruments offer exceptional quality of sound and playability. Please see the testimonials section for what my customers think. I hope you have the opportunity to play one soon. When you do, let me know what you think.”
Affords the player access to the highest frets without having to release the thumb. This mechanically compressed join also transmits vibrational energy more efficiently.
Our extended cutaway merges with the centerline of the neck giving clearance for the ball of your fretting hand. This allows you to comfortably reach the very last fret without having to release the thumb.
The neck join is glued on much like many famous electric guitars are. There are also hidden tensile steel bolts that compress the join for improved vibrational energy transfer as well as immense strength. I have been using this method for over 17 years and have yet to see one of these joins fail.
The neck shape allows for comfortable chord work as well as fast runs from the nut down to the end of the fingerboard.
A large clear Mylar pickguard protects the soundboard from pick and tap damage. It is nearly invisible and does not dampen or impede soundboard movement and resonance as other commonly used designs do.
The oval guard spans over both sides of the sound hole and rosette and does not hide or detract from the beauty of the woods. Mylar is extremely tough and can be re-polished when it starts to mark.
Pin less reinforced bridge
These bridges are lighter and provide better soundboard support than conventional pin bridges. The deep string channel ensures good string angle to saddle regardless of setup height. The strings anchor at the very rear of the bridge therefore making the most of the available string tension and torque. The two stainless steel bolts create a compression join which improves energy transfer to the soundboard.
The design also negates the need for bridge plates and pin clearance under the centre of the soundboard. This allows us to install more efficient bracing patterns.Restringing is a breeze and there are no pins to pop out, wear out, or be lost.
The finish slows the absorption and release of humidity as well as highlighting the beauty of the wonderful woods used in these instruments. Many hours are spent carefully leveling and polishing the coating to a mirror finish. We find it well worth the effort, and are happy to advise you in how to maintain it over the years and decades to come.
Before the soundboards are mated to the body, we fine sand all internal surfaces and components, and carefully remove all dust. We then apply several coats of a high quality sealant. Once this has set, we install the soundboard and glue on the label. Besides equalizing humidity absorption and improving sound reflection, the finished interior is easier to maintain dust free.
Our necks are hand rubbed with tung oil, a hard and smooth coating which does not get sticky if your hand perspires.
Double acting truss rod
These stainless steel and brass truss rods are embedded in acid-free silicon to keep them from rattling. Being double acting means they can both counter-act string tension or create a concave neck profile. The second feature corrects reverse bows, which common truss rods cannot .
Adjustment is through the sound hole using a 1/8” Allen wrench.
Ultra responsive bracing
Bracing and soundboard graduation are the most influential factors to a guitars sound production. Our unique soundboard bracing is hand graduated and tone tapped for fast response, good resonance and maximum volume.
If braced too heavily, a guitar will be dull and lack volume and projection. On the other extreme, a too lightly braced soundboard will bulge and deform with time making it eventually unplayable.
Knowing how to walk that fine line comes only with experience. We voice and flex each soundboard individually until it comes alive. All bracing is then ultra fine sanded and sealed before assembly to the body.
Our guitars are available directly from Ochoteco Guitars to customers anywhere in the world. Please contact us for information on any of the instruments in our inventory, or to place custom orders.
123 Lillian Avenue
Tel. 07 3216 7476 Intl. 61 7 3216 7476 email@example.com
Please click here for a catalog of our current inventory.
“This guitar speaks to me”
Eric Bibb, International spirit blues troubadour, London
“My big beautiful blonde! Tasmanian Blackwood back and sides with an Engleman Spruce top, gives this exquisitely finished guitar a balance, subtlety, power and clarity of tone that I find excruciatingly delightful.”
Ben Edom, Professional fingerstyle guitarist, Scotland
“My Ochoteco guitars have improved my playing, and my enjoyment of playing at what I feel are very reasonable prices for hand made works of art.”
Michael W. Mahoney, B.D.Sc.(Qld.), Australia
We build custom and left handed guitars based on any of our four body designs.
Please contact us and we will prescribe body type, neck and wood choices to suit your tonal needs and playing characteristics.
Click on the thumbnails to view images.
Over the last thirty years I have developed methods of construction and design focusing first and foremost on superior sound and playability.
Most manufacturers rehash old designs and aim for marketability and ease of production. Our instruments are based on progressive ideology incorporating features proven successful in our prototypes and past models.
Click on the thumbnails to see some of the unique features of Ochoteco Guitars.
"Traditional” flamenco guitar in German spruce and Alaskan cedar. This guitar has the Ochoteco heel-less neck for improved neck access. The sound board has traditional Torres fan bracing.
1989 Brazilian rosewood bodied Concert Steel prototype. This was the last Ochoteco guitar to sport a heel. The Sitka spruce soundboard used Smallman style balsa and carbon fiber lattice bracing.
Custom 7 string electric in Tasmanian flamed Blackwood, and a combination of flamed, Birdseye and rock maple back and neck. The fingerboard is of African Bois-de-Rose, the electronics are EMG, the heads are Gotoh and the floating trem bridge is Ibanez.
1994 Custom 10 string in basswood and walnut. The neck is Birdseye maple and has a Maccassar ebony fingerboard. It features an active pickup for the first 6 strings, a P-Bass pickups for the 4 bass strings and a 29” scale. All strings also had separate piezo pickups fed through 2 EQ pre-amps.
Working in the final assembly area
Gabriel and Dan are working at the final assembly benches. This is where the frets are installed, leveled, crowned and polished. The pickguards, bridges, nuts and hardware are also installed in this area. The guitars are then strung and setup for the first time. After a settling in period of at least four weeks they are rechecked, re-leveled, and re-adjusted if necessary.
Guitars move and settle in after manufacture as the woods conform to the new stresses they are subjected to as structural parts of a musical instrument. Remember that these were once the trunks of trees supporting the branches and supplying water and nutrients from the roots to the leaves.
Designing a neck in CAD
Kosta is seen here entering all plans and drawings of Gabriel's designs into a CAD program. This allows us to create extremely accurate templates and jigs resulting in shorter construction time, more precise assembly of all components and ultimately, consistently better guitars.
An Ochoteco ready for fingerboard
Here you see the double acting truss rod embedded in silicon in its neck channel. The materials used are likely to be corrosion free 40 years down the track, if not longer.
The fingerboard in the background will be glued on with an extremely strong water free adhesive to insure the neck doesn't warp in the setting process.
The fingerboard is then radiused, fine sanded, and fretted up using premium quality fret wire.
Jamming during a break
Hard work must be balanced by hard play. Here we see Gabriel jamming on a Mexican Guitarron.
“Good music and the finest espresso coffee are essential in my workshop. I'm happy when the people that work for me are happy, so I try to provide a positive and fun environment for all of us to enjoy. Ultimately our state of mind is reflected in our work.”