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We cracked the pre-war code!

Compare the details we meticulously matched to recreate these priceless pre-war acoustic guitars.


A-PREWAR

The original 1930s 28-style Dreadnoughts and OMs are considered by many to be some of the greatest acoustic guitars ever made. But because they are so rare and highly sought after, they've become nearly impossible for players and builders to experience in person.

1930s 28-style Dreadnoughts and OMs

We didn't want these incredible guitars to only live behind glass. We set out with an ambitious project—to make exact replica kits of these guitars that anyone could build. We spent months examining the best, all original examples we could find to make the world's first and only authentic StewMac Pre-war Kits. From the position of the bracing to the thickness of the binding, no detail was too small.

But don't just take our word for it, let's compare them side-by-side to the originals.

Hand-selected premium woods

5A Madagascar Rosewood

Since Brazilian Rosewood, which was used on the back and sides of the originals, is no longer commercially available, we hand-selected the highest grade 5A Madagascar Rosewood (Dalbergia baronii) on the market. This Rosewood looks and sounds just like the original.

Ebony Fingerboards

We then selected only the blackest Ebony fingerboards to show off the real abalone snowflake inlays, just like you see on the 1930s originals.

Adirondack Red Spruce Soundboards

We went back to the source to find the Adirondack Red Spruce for the soundboards, just like they did in Nazareth. Then we took care to find the lightest and stiffest tops to recreate the powerful sound and strong voice that these guitars are so treasured for. For the correct look and sound, we remade the through-saddle bridge to the same shape and contours of the originals. It's a commitment to accuracy you can see and feel. Shop StewMac Pre-war Guitar Kits.

Era-correct appointments

Zipper Backstrip

We knew the little details had to be right too. We matched the zipper backstrip, herringbone purfling, and ivoriod appointments exactly. When we could not find the right part, we reproduced it, taking the time to track down the right materials, dimensions, color, all the minute particulars that make it look and feel just right. While this may seem fanatical, we took the same care in finding the right appointments as you will in building your guitar.

Detail Closeups

Each neck is precisely machined and ready for your finishing touches. Our world-class instructions will show you how to dial-in the cheeks and the volute are just as they were in the 1930s. This gives the neck the same feel and playability of these revered models. Shop StewMac Pre-war Guitar Kits.

Forward-shifted bracing

Bracing Closeup

We studied how the forward-shifted bracing fundamentally focused and directed the sound of these powerful guitars, and reproduced the exact location of every brace for you with a full-scale plan and blueprint. It's like a roadmap to understanding why these amazing guitars simply sound so good.
Shop StewMac Pre-war Guitar Kits.

No details too small

X-brace Cheesecloth Cap

Even the cheesecloth cap on the x-brace is there, just like the originals.

All the tone is there too
But it's not just the looks, these guitars sound like the real deal. These kits have the same bones as the originals—you're building the vintage tone right into every glue joint. From the first strum you'll understand what all the hype is about.

The Adirondack Red Spruce stays clear across the sonic spectrum and never gets muddy, with rich highs that won't get shrill. The Madagascar Rosewood back and sides have the same warm bass response and complex overtones that holds up to delicate fingerpicking or hard strumming.

Every piece of wood has a story to tell
When surveying these priceless guitars, we found some with elegant interlocking grain lines, and some that were wild and dynamic. For this reason we photographed each of these kits individually—choose the wood that speaks to you.

We're here to help every step of the way.
When you start your building journey, we're with you from start to finish. From opening the box to stringing up for the first time, our team of techs and luthiers are ready to answer any questions. Give us a call—we love the craft too.

Take the journey, build yours today.