Designs and The Zorzi Guitar

One of my favorite sources for guitar making history is the book, ” ACOUSTIC GUITARS: THE ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIA”. In this book, I found the modal Style B Archtop Acoustic Guitar.

This double point Venetian body shape was designed by an Italian-born violin maker named Joseph Zorzi (1878-1977) who supervised archtop production for “Kay Kraft Instruments” between 1927 and 1934.

This design caught my eye and although it is an Archtop, I could see it had potential for the shape of a Flattop design. Aside from the archtop, another change from the Zorzi design would be to modify the upper bout to accommodate a cutaway to allow access to the higher frets. I also smoothed out the outline creating a more “teardrop” look to the lower bout. With the extended size of the lower bout, I decided to decrease the overall size to a small jumbo. This also placed the bridge more in the center of the lower bout.

Although the Zorzi archtop was a major influence for the design of this build, the shape of my Wife's floppy hat also helped to confirm I was on the right track with the outline. It is interesting where inspiration can come from.

As it turned out, all the changes worked out well and with the smaller size and 24.9” scale length, the instrument is comfortable to play but has a crisp, full tone.