Pin It

I'm not much of a gear head myself, but when Sungha Jung showed us his extensive collection of acoustic guitars, I saw some surprises.

Sungha Jung has a fantastic collection of premium guitars. Sungha Jung gave us a tour of his guitar room where he demonstrates his guitars, and these are the models that he shows in his vlog.

What Is Sungha Jung's Guitar?

Sungha Jung mainly uses a Lakewood M-54, however Lakewood removed the M-54 guitar from their premium lineup in 2005. The M-54 boasts a top made from AAA Englemann Spruce, and the back and sides are made from Brazilian Rosewood. Sungha Jung's model also has a pick guard and a Sunrise pickup system which he uses to amplify his instrument during concerts.

The current Sungha Jung signature model from Lakewood Guitars is the Sungha Jung Signature from the Natural Series. This is a Grand Concert model with a top made from AAA European Spruce and the bottom and sides crafted from Indian Rosewood AAA.  

Sungha Jung playing the signature model
The Sungha Jung signature model from Lakewood Guitars is a Grand Concert body shape with an ebony fingerboard.

The Sungha Jung signature model is easily distinguished from the other guitars with Sungha Jung's signature at the 12th fret, elegantly inlayed with mother of pearl.

Sungha Jung’s Lakewood Guitar Collection

Lakewood has been producing high quality guitars made to order in their customshop near Frankfurt/Main since 1986. Sungha Jung has been associated with Lakewood since he released his third studio album, when they produced a custom guitar for him when he was in need of a smaller guitar body.

Let's explore the other guitars from Lakewood Guitars that Sungha Jung regularly plays in his music videos and concerts.

Lakewood A-48CP

Sungha Jung has a custom made Lakewood A-48 which he received around 2010. The A-48CP was part of the Lakewood Premium range from 2005 until 2006, where the CP guitars were replaced by the premium range. 

 The A-48 has an A body shape, which stands for "Auditorium"; this is the second smallest guitar body shape offered by Lakewood, smaller than the "C" (Concert) body shape but larger than the M or D shape. Sungha Jung prefers to play on guitars with a smaller body shape; this shows in his preference for the Lakewood A and C series.

The top of the A-48 is made from AAA Engleman spruce, which contrasts beautifully with its back and sides made of Macassar Ebony, a dense tropical hardwood from Indonesia with a black-brownish colour which contributes to the resonant bass sound or the guitar. The Cedro neck, abalone purfing on the soundboard and gold tuner buttons give a premium appearance to this instrument.

Lakewood M-31 CP Baritone

Lakewood has two beautifully crafted acoustic baritone guitars in their lineup, the J-32 and the M-31. Sungha Jung plays the M-31 baritone, which has the grand concert body shape. The other baritone guitar from Lakewood, the J-32, has a slightly larger guitar body, called the "jumbo" body shape, and lacks a cutaway.

Fitted with special phosphor bronze D'addario baritone strings (.016 - .070) which have a thicker gauge than light or medium strings, the Lakewood Baritone guitar is typically tuned a perfect fourth below standard tuning: B E A D F♯ B.

The Lakewood M-31 Baritone guitar is constructed with AAA European spruce top, and the bottom and sides with Indian Rosewood AA sourced from India and Pakistan.

Lakewood Classical

Sungha Jung plays a crossover guitar which he calls a classical guitar.  In his rendition of "Siesta," Sungha takes full advantage of the guitar's European Spruce top and Indian rosewood.

Unfortunately, this guitar model is not listed on the Lakewood site, as Lakewood crossover models which use nylon strings typically have a slotted headstock with a flat top.

Lakewood 12 Strings

Sungha Jung's 12 string guitar, which he uses to play fingerstyle arrangements, is the M-32-12 CP. This Grand Concert model is constructed with a top made from AAA European spruce, with the back and sides crafted from Indian Rosewood AAA. Sungha Jung claims that this guitar sounds like playing 2 guitars at the same time.

Lakewood Guitars removed the M-32-12 CP from the Deluxe series in 2012, although the model can be ordered from their custom shop.  The current 12-string Grand Concert Model from Lakewood Guitars is the M-31-12. This guitar from the Natural Series boasts the same clear, articulate sound as the M-32-12 CP but lacks the cutaway that Sungha Jung enjoys in his signature model.

Furthermore, Lakewood Guitars recommends that you loosen the tension of the strings when using the adjustable truss rod on their 12 string guitar models.

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 F50c

Sungha Jung has the Lowden F50c made by Lowden Guitars from Northern Ireland, which he plays in his sketch for his song Dreaming.

The F50c is the F body shape, which stands for "Flatpicking" and is a medium shape between the small body (S) and original (O). The Lowden F50c guitar is easily recongizeable, with a characteristic white saddle on the bridge which is split into two sections.

George Lowden playing one of his guitars
Lowden guitar. Image by Matthias Tietz.

The top of the Lowden F50c is crafted from Master Grade Adirondack spruce, a choice tone wood due to its high stiffness-to-weight ratio. This quality allows it to produce a loud, clear sound when played fingerstyle. 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 Master Grade Brazilian rosewood, graded several times to ensure only the best quality pieces are used in its construction. Brazilian rosewood is visually appealing, exhibiting beautiful dark grain patterns interlaced with pale stripes.

Goodall Traditional Orchestral Model

Billed as a "flatpicker's delight" and sporting a pick guard, Sungha Jung plays his Goodall Traditional Orchestral Model (TROM) not with a flat pick, but fingerstyle. The Traditional Orchestral Model 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.

The Traditional Orchestral Model's back and sides are made from Indian Rosewood, a premium tone wood that creates deep basses and sparkling highs, resulting in a well-rounded and rich tonal palette.

Lars Rasmussen Model C

Sungha Jung uses the Lars Rasmussen Model C guitar, which is the same model guitar played by Japanese fingerstyle guitarist Satoshi Gogo. The Model C features a solid Swiss Alpine Spruce top, which Lars Rasmussen personally selects himself from his suppliers to offer a bright, clear, and dynamic tonal response.

The Lars Rasmussen Model C Guitar

Jung appreciates this guitar's ability to articulate even the most subtle nuances in play. By the way, you can also learn how to play fingerstyle guitar fluently in the style of Sungha Jung with the course Play Fingerstyle Guitar Now!

Meanwhile, Sungha Jung opted for the Brazilian Rosewood sides and back, which is highly coveted and significantly more expensive than the Indian Rosewood which is offered in the base model. This guitar boasts deep lows, rich mids, and sparkling highs, contributing to a balanced and resonant sound.

Martin OM-28 GE (Golden Era) 

Another guitar well-suited to flatpicking but that Sungha Jung plays fingerstyle, the Martin OM-28 GE is part of the Golden Era series from Martin Guitars. Sporting a vintage look which harks back to the iconic models of the past, this compact model is constructed with a solid Adirondack spruce top.

Complementing this exquisite top is the guitar's back and sides made of East Indian rosewood. Although Sungha Jung claims that his guitar's is crafted with Brazilian rosewood, I couldn't find any information in the specifications to support this claim.

Merrill OM-28

Sungha Jung notes that his OM-28 model closely resembles his Martin guitar, commenting that it might as well be a twin of the OM-28. Indeed, this guitar is a replica of the vintage Martin OM guitar model, handcrafted by Jim Merrill with identical internal bracing and premium design features such as a spruce top.

However, in contrast to the Martin, the Merrill OM-28 has sides and back constructed from Brazilian rosewood, which also makes this model more expensive than the Martin. Sungha Jung appreciates the bold and robust sound of this guitar. The instrument does have both a vintage look and sound, resembling a much older guitar.

Kathy Wingert Model E

Since the precise choice of tone woods varies based on Kathy Wingert's selection, none of the Model E guitars shown on her website possess precisely the same wood combination. The Kathy Wingert Model E guitar that Sungha Jung has in his guitar room is easily recongnizeable by the triple-ringed pattern around the sound hole, as well as the aesthetically pleasing cutaway body shape.

Sungha Jung tells us that his Model E guitar is impeccably crafted from German Spruce and Brazilian Rosewood. We notice the elegant pale backstrip along the back of the guitar body, crafted from Koa wood, which is an expert touch of detailed handwork that Kathy Wingert brings to each instrument from her workshop in California.

Non Acoustic Guitars In Sungha Jung's Guitar Room

Sungha Jung plays some specialty guitars which are not part of his acoustic guitar collection. Some of them include electric guitars or specialty guitars.

Fender Stratocaster

Although recognized for his fingerstyle acoustic performances, Sungha Jung has ventured into electric guitar territory on numerous occasions, such as during his rendition of "Canon Rock," a modern, rock-infused take on Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D.

Fender Stratocaster
Fender Stratocaster. Photo by interestedbystandr/Flickr

With a distinctive contoured double-cutaway body shape, the Stratocaster, which you can simply refer to as the "Strat" which Sungha Jung wields is in a two-tone sunburst finish. His model is the American Series, which is also know as the Fender Standard, and ressembles the models produced between 2004 and 2008.

Gibson Les Paul Traditional

Back in 2013, Gibson Singapore arranged to have a Gibson Les Paul Traditional sent to Sungha Jung. This was likely as part of their "Year of the Les Paul" celebration, when Gibson USA revamped the popular Les Paul Traditional in their factory in Nashville.

The Gibson Les Paul traditional
The Gibson Les Paul traditional is an iconic hollow body guitar.

Playing Highway Star by Deep Purple, Sungha Jung shows off his 2013 Gibson Les Paul Traditional with the Honey Burst finish, which is made from a solid mahogany body and thicker, rounder profile neck reminiscent of the classic design of the original Les Paul, introduced in the late 1950s.

PRS Custom 24

Showing his characteristic versatility, Sungha Jung shows us his skill on the electric guitar with an incredible rendition of John Mayer's "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room," on his PRS Custom 24. Sporting a 24-fret neck and an aesthetically pleasing faded blue finish, Sungha Jung articulates John Mayer's licks with fantastic precision.

The PRS Custom 24
PRS Custom 24. Photo by Rodrigo/Wikimedia commons

Introduced in 1985, the iconic Custom 24 from PRS Guitars boasts a double-cutaway body shape, with the top carved from maple with quilted maple veneer and the back crafted from mahogany.  The Paul Reed Smith (PRS) 24 is equipped with a patented tremolo system and a pair of humbucker pickups, but the PRS Custom 24 gives you the ability to switch the double-coiled pickups into two single coils if you so desire.

Gibson 335

Back in 2015, Sungha Jung headed to Seoul, Korea to obtain a new electric guitar: the ES-335. His ES-335 Figured is crafted with Adriondack spruce bracing inside its hollowed body and possesses an iconic sunset burst finish. Sungha Jung picked up his ES-335 at the "Gibson Korea" store, which I believe was this store located in Lotte World, a large amusement park and shopping mall complex.

The Gibson ES-335 Sunburst
The ES-335 Figured is easily distinguished by its iconic double-cutaway shape, twin humbucking pickups, and unmistakable f-holes.

Sungha Jung obtained his Gibson at the behest of Samick, a company which was the original distributor of Gibson Guitars in Korea. It is clear that Sungha Jung became very fond of his Gibson ES-335, charmed with the practicality of its innovative semi-hollow design carved from a solid maple block. 

PRS HollowBody II

Returning to Canon Rock this time in 2022, Sungha Jung shows off his ten year guitar progress on his PRS HollowBody II, crafted by Paul Reed Smith Guitars. Manufactured in Stevensville, Maryland, this American-made instrument exemplifies the intersection of traditional craftsmanship and modern design.

The Red PRS Hollowbody II

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. 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.

Sungha Jung's guitar collection is a testament to not only the quality of the instruments available to him but also his preference for premium guitars that transmit his intricate playing directly to the listener. If you want to develop the skill to play fingerstyle guitar like a virtuoso, the best way is to start with an online course such as Play Fingerstyle Guitar Now!