Pete Swanson - Guitar Builder

The Guitar

A Dagmar Custom Guitar is utterly unique. The world has not yet seen a guitar built like this. In a brilliant fusion of form and function, luthier Pete Swanson has focused all of his passion for woodworking, design and music to create a guitar with exceptional tonal characteristics, amazing ergonomics and massive aesthetic appeal.

Like the perfect design of the Roman arch, a Dagmar Custom Guitar uses a series of individual keystones, or segments, that eliminate the need for forms and steam bending. Precise mechanical machining and hand sculpting make each guitar a one-of-a-kind work of art. And even though they are a totally new innovation, they evoke a serious vintage vibe with magnetic appeal. Plus, with the curviest archtop on the planet, it feels great to play. The sides of the guitar are rounded. There are no 90-degree angles anywhere the guitar meets your body. It feels comfortable whether you’re playing it upside down or backwards.

Dagmar Guitars

The Nitty Gritty

A carbon-fiber lining added to the sides lends it even more strength. It allows Pete to thin the wood down, reducing the weight of the guitar without compromising its structural integrity.

The tailpiece is attached to the sides only and does not touch the top plate at all.

Unlike traditional guitars, the neck and tail blocks of a Dagmar are concealed within the curve of the sides. Because the top and back sound plates aren’t glued to the neck and tail blocks, the guitar avoids the usual dead spots where vibration is typically damped. Instead, Pete rabbits a glue surface right into the guitar’s rim. The sound plates press into these recesses, and the whole guitar, once glued together, becomes stiffer, stronger and much more stable.

The compound curves add strength in the lateral direction, which allows the rim to take the brunt of the lateral string tension. The sound plate is not stressed as much as a traditional guitar allowing for lighter bracing and acoustic sensitivity.

The guitar is finished with a hand-applied, environmentally friendly, water-based varnish. The finish is left thin for maximum acoustic gain and is painstakingly wet-sanded and hand-buffed to a gorgeous mirror-like shine.