Are you interested in learning about the types of guitars that Sungha Jung plays? Sungha Jung gave us a tour of his home where he shows us his guitars, and the vlog is fascinating.
Sungha Jung’s main guitar is a Lakewood M-54. It’s a guitar made with the top made from Englemann Spruce, and the back and sides made from Brazilian Rosewood. His guitar contains a signature at the 12th fret and a Sunrise Novel pickup. However, this isn’t the only guitar he possesses with this construction.
Sungha Jung’s Lakewood Guitar Collection
Lakewood Guitars is a German company known for producing high-quality acoustic guitars. Sungha Jung has been associated with Lakewood since he released his third studio album.
The A48CD is part of Lakewood's Edition Series. This guitar features a Grand Concert body shape, which is designed to produce a well-balanced sound that's suitable for a wide variety of musical genres. The top of the A48CD is made from AAA European spruce, renowned for its clear tonal qualities and ability to produce a bright, crisp sound. This is beautifully contrasted by its back and sides made of cocobolo, a dense tropical hardwood known for its rich appearance and resonant tonal characteristics. Cocobolo contributes to a deep bass and pronounced treble, giving the guitar a well-rounded and distinct voice.
In terms of construction, Lakewood places emphasis on sustainability and responsible wood sourcing. The A48CD also benefits from Lakewood's commitment to innovative craftsmanship, including an impeccable finish, meticulous bracing patterns for optimal sound projection, and a neck construction designed for playability. The combination of European spruce and cocobolo, along with Lakewood's construction techniques, ensures that the A48CD is not only aesthetically pleasing but also a high-performance instrument.
Lakewood Guitars is renowned for its array of beautifully crafted acoustic guitars, and among its specialized models is the baritone guitar. Baritone guitars are distinctive for their longer scale length and lower tuning, typically B to B, filling the sonic space between a standard guitar and a bass guitar.
Lakewood's Baritone models have been designed to maximize the rich, deep sounds characteristic of the baritone range. They feature a larger body shape to accommodate the increased scale length and to enhance the resonance and depth of the lower frequencies. The choice of woods plays a pivotal role in crafting its unique voice. While specific models may vary in the wood selection, many Lakewood Baritone guitars are constructed with European spruce tops, which offer clarity and a broad dynamic range. The back and sides of the guitar can be made of materials like Indian rosewood, known for its rich harmonic content and profound bass response, making it particularly suitable for baritone constructions.
Beyond the materials, Lakewood's meticulous craftsmanship ensures that their Baritone guitars are structurally sound, given the additional tension exerted by the lower-tuned, thicker strings. Features such as an adjustable dual-action truss rod provide stability to the neck, allowing the guitar to maintain its setup and playability over time. Lakewood's dedication to quality materials and construction techniques ensures that their Baritone guitars not only produce a deep and resonant sound but are also durable and playable instruments.
The Lakewood M-32 CCP is designed with the body shape of a medium-sized Grand Concert, which is typical of many steel-string acoustics, offering a balanced tonal output and comfortable playability. However, it integrates features commonly found on classical guitars, such as a wider fingerboard and a flat neck profile. This fusion allows players to enjoy the familiarity of a steel-string guitar's body while benefiting from the playability features of a classical instrument, making it ideal for fingerstyle techniques and complex arrangements. Sungha Jung, an acclaimed South Korean fingerstyle guitarist, showcases the capabilities of the M-32 CCP with precision and flair. In his rendition of "Siesta," Sungha takes full advantage of the guitar's unique characteristics, blending intricate fingerstyle patterns and harmonics to produce a mesmerizing performance. The M-32 CCP, under Sungha's expert touch, demonstrates how versatile and expressive a crossover guitar can be when played by a master of the craft.
Lakewood 12 Strings
The Lakewood M-31-12 Grand Concert Model is constructed with a top made from AAA European spruce, which is revered for its ability to deliver a clear, articulate sound with a broad dynamic range. This top wood is perfectly complemented by the guitar's back and sides, crafted from AA-grade Indian rosewood, a tonewood belonging to the Style 31 classification in Lakewood's lineup. Indian rosewood is celebrated for its rich harmonic content, encompassing deep basses, clear mids, and bright highs. Together, the combination of European spruce and Indian rosewood in the 12-string configuration ensures a shimmering tonal quality, a characteristic sound of 12-string guitars, but with an added richness and depth. This specific pairing of woods in the M-31-12 model ensures that each of the doubled strings sings with clarity, while the guitar, as a whole, offers a lush, chorus-like resonance typical of 12-string instruments but with the distinctive warmth and balance of its chosen tonewoods.
Sungha Jung’s Spruce Top Guitar Collection
Sungha Jung also possesses guitars with a spruce top and rosewood back (he is very fond of this guitar construction) which are not made from Lakewood Guitars.
Lowden Guitars, founded by George Lowden in 1974, has garnered a reputation for producing some of the world's finest acoustic guitars, known for their unique craftsmanship and tonal clarity. Sungha Jung has one of their standout models in their lineup: the Lowden F50c.
The F50c, part of Lowden's esteemed 50 Series, is built with the utmost attention to detail and the best tonewoods available. Its top is crafted from Adirondack spruce, a choice wood for many premium guitars due to its high stiffness-to-weight ratio. This quality allows it to produce a very dynamic response, from soft fingerpicking to aggressive strumming, while retaining clarity and projection. Adirondack spruce is also known for its ability to age beautifully, with the guitar's tone becoming richer and more resonant as the years pass.
The F50c's back and sides are made of Brazilian rosewood, one of the most sought-after tonewoods in the guitar world. Brazilian rosewood is celebrated for its deep basses, sparkling highs, and an overall rich harmonic complexity. It's not only tonally superior but is visually striking as well, often exhibiting beautiful grain patterns and colors. Together, the combination of Adirondack spruce and Brazilian rosewood in the Lowden F50c creates a guitar that is both aurally and visually stunning. This instrument is a testament to Lowden's commitment to quality and their ability to blend traditional craftsmanship with innovative design elements.
Goodall Traditional Orchestral Model
The Goodall Traditional Orchestra Model (TOM) is a testament to the impeccable craftsmanship and attention to detail for which the Goodall brand is known. The TOM features a top made of Bear Claw Sitka Spruce, a unique variation of Sitka spruce distinguished by its visually striking patterns that resemble the marks of a bear's claws. This wood is not just chosen for its aesthetics; Bear Claw Sitka Spruce is known for its tonal qualities, offering a balanced sound with good projection, clarity, and a broad dynamic range. Complementing this is the guitar's back and sides made from Indian Rosewood, a popular tonewood that contributes deep basses and sparkling highs, resulting in a well-rounded and rich tonal palette. The combination of Bear Claw Sitka Spruce and Indian Rosewood in the Goodall TOM ensures that players get an instrument that is both visually captivating and sonically impressive, suitable for a diverse range of musical styles and applications.
Lars Rasmussen Model C
Sungha Jung uses the Lars Rasmussen Model C Guitar guitar in Satoshi Gogo. The Model C crafted by Lars Rasmussen features a solid Swiss Alpine Spruce top, offering a bright, clear, and dynamic tonal response. Alpine Spruce is often favored for its quick response and its ability to articulate even the most subtle nuances in play.
Meanwhile, Madagascar rosewood is a sought-after tonewood for the back and sides of premium guitars due to its tonal properties, which often mirror the highly coveted Brazilian rosewood. It provides deep lows, rich mids, and sparkling highs, contributing to a balanced and resonant sound.
Martin OM-28 GE (Golden Era)
The Martin OM-28 GE, part of the esteemed Golden Era series from Martin Guitars, is a testament to the company's legacy of producing timeless acoustic instruments that pay homage to the iconic models of the past. This particular model is constructed with a solid Adirondack spruce top, a revered wood known for its vibrant and dynamic tonal qualities. Adirondack spruce provides a clear and bright sound with ample volume and sustain, ideal for fingerstyle playing and intricate picking. Complementing this exquisite top is the guitar's back made of Brazilian rosewood, one of the most sought-after tonewoods. Brazilian rosewood is renowned for its rich harmonic complexity, delivering deep basses, clear mids, and sparkling highs, and its presence in the OM-28 GE ensures a well-rounded, resonant tone that can only get better with age.
In the world of luthiery, there are builders who draw inspiration from established guitar models, incorporating their designs and adding their unique touch. Jim Merrill, the craftsman behind Merrill Guitars, is one such luthier. His OM-28 model closely mirrors the characteristics and design sensibilities of the Martin guitars, particularly the OM-28 variations. While retaining the essence of the Martin design, Merrill brings his craftsmanship, ensuring that each guitar he builds is of impeccable quality, resonant sound, and unparalleled playability. For those who cherish the classic designs of Martin but are also looking to explore the nuances that individual luthiers can bring to the table, Jim Merrill's instruments offer a compelling alternative.
Kathy Wingert Model E
Kathy Wingert is a celebrated luthier known for her impeccable craftsmanship, attention to detail, and the ability to craft guitars that resonate both tonally and aesthetically. Her guitars are sought after by discerning players and collectors alike who appreciate the blend of artistry and sonic excellence she brings to each instrument.
The Kathy Wingert Model E stands as a testament to her expertise in guitar-making. The Model E is often characterized by its elegant curves, boasting a slightly larger body size that's conducive to a full, rich sound with deep basses and clear trebles. The precise choice of tonewoods can vary based on custom orders or Kathy's selection, but each Model E is a product of meticulous craftsmanship and detailed handwork. This attention to construction and materials ensures that the guitar not only looks beautiful but also produces a sound that's balanced, articulate, and responsive to the player's nuances. Whether used for fingerstyle playing, strumming, or solo performances, the Kathy Wingert Model E has gained recognition for its ability to deliver on all fronts, making it a cherished instrument in the hands of many guitar aficionados.
Non acoustic guitars
Sungha Jung plays some specialty guitars which are not part of his acoustic guitar collection. Some of them include electric guitars or specialty guitars.
Sungha Jung, widely recognized for his fingerstyle acoustic performances, has ventured into electric guitar territory on numerous occasions, showcasing his versatility as a guitarist. In his rendition of "Canon Rock," a modern, rock-infused take on Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D, Sungha wields the Stratocaster to deliver both the melodic intricacies and the power chords that the arrangement demands. The Strat's tonal range, from crisp highs to full-bodied mids, allows Sungha to capture the essence of the rock genre while infusing it with his signature touch.
The Fender Stratocaster, often simply referred to as the "Strat," is one of the most iconic electric guitars in the world. Since its introduction in 1954, the Stratocaster has been embraced by countless musicians across genres, from rock to blues to pop. Designed by Leo Fender, Bill Carson, George Fullerton, and Freddie Tavares, its contoured body, three-pickup configuration, and innovative tremolo bridge made it stand out both in terms of playability and tonal versatility. Its distinctive double-cutaway shape and sleek design have made it a favorite among guitarists for decades.
Gibson Les Paul Traditional
The Gibson Les Paul Traditional stands as a homage to the golden era of electric guitars, encapsulating the classic design and tonal features that made the Les Paul one of the most iconic guitars in history. Introduced in the late 1950s, the Les Paul has been the instrument of choice for countless legends in rock, blues, jazz, and beyond. The Traditional model, as its name suggests, is a throwback to the specifications and features that endeared the original Les Pauls to so many artists and enthusiasts.
One of the defining features of the Les Paul Traditional is its solid mahogany body with a carved maple top. This combination gives the guitar its characteristic warm, rich, and resonant tone, with the maple top adding clarity and sustain. The set mahogany neck, typically featuring a thicker, rounder profile reminiscent of the 1950s Les Pauls, provides a substantial feel that many purists prefer. The rosewood fingerboard, adorned with classic trapezoid inlays, further contributes to the guitar's aesthetic and tonal charm.
PRS Custom 24
The PRS Custom 24, introduced in 1985, is the flagship model of Paul Reed Smith's illustrious line of electric guitars. Renowned for its perfect blend of modern innovation and classic design elements, the Custom 24 has found favor among a plethora of professional musicians spanning a range of genres. The guitar boasts a double-cutaway body shape, often made from mahogany with a carved, figured maple top that not only adds to the instrument's aesthetic beauty but also to its tonal character. The 24-fret neck, a defining feature, allows for a full two-octave range on each string. Equipped with PRS's patented tremolo system and a pair of versatile humbucking pickups, the Custom 24 is known for its ability to produce a wide spectrum of sounds, from sparkling cleans to aggressive overdrives.
Sungha Jung, primarily recognized for his acoustic fingerstyle mastery, has shown incredible versatility in his musical journey, occasionally delving into the realm of electric guitars. In his rendition of John Mayer's "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room," Sungha chose the PRS Custom 24, a testament to the guitar's capability to capture the soulful, bluesy essence of the song. The guitar's tonal clarity and sustain, paired with its dynamic response, allowed Sungha to articulate Mayer's emotive licks with precision. The PRS Custom 24's ability to deliver warm, creamy tones in the verses, while still providing bite for the song's more intense moments, showcased both the guitar's versatility and Sungha Jung's prowess in adapting to different musical landscapes. By selecting the Custom 24 for this piece, Sungha emphasized the guitar's aptitude for nuanced, expressive play, making it a fitting choice for a song imbued with so much emotion
The Gibson ES-335, introduced in 1958, seamlessly blends the warmth of a hollow body with the practicality of a solid guitar. Revered for its innovative semi-hollow design, which features a solid maple block running through its center to combat feedback, the ES-335 offers the tonal richness and resonance of a full-bodied archtop while retaining the sustain and reduced susceptibility to feedback commonly associated with solid-body guitars. With its iconic double-cutaway shape, twin humbucking pickups, and unmistakable f-holes, the ES-335 has graced countless records and stages, finding favor among jazz, blues, rock, and pop musicians alike. Its versatility and timeless design have cemented its status as a cornerstone in the world of electric guitars.
PRS HollowBody II
The PRS HollowBody II, crafted by Paul Reed Smith Guitars, stands as a testament to the company's commitment to innovation, craftsmanship, and tonal excellence. Manufactured in Stevensville, Maryland, this American-made instrument exemplifies the intersection of traditional craftsmanship and modern design.
At its core, the HollowBody II is a semi-hollow electric guitar, defined by its artistically carved, figured maple top and back with mahogany sides. This combination of woods not only renders a visually stunning instrument but also contributes to a unique tonal palette. The figured maple introduces brightness and clarity, while the mahogany adds warmth and depth. The result is a guitar that offers the resonance and airiness of a hollow body but with the sustain and stability more typical of solid body guitars.
What Kind of Guitar Does Sungha Jung Use?
I hope you enjoyed this tour of Sungha Jung's guitar collection. It's clear the winner is Lakewood Guitars. Lakewood guitars are known for their impeccable craftsmanship, tonal balance, and responsiveness, which makes them ideal for intricate fingerstyle playing. Sungha's choice of such guitars showcases not just the quality of the instrument but also his preference for guitars that can translate his intricate playing nuances directly to the listener.