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Duane Waterman



Southwest Professional

Professional Model

In contrast to the traditional model, the Professional model displays state-of-art construction features and bracing designs, incorporating the changes that have evolved in guitar construction over the last 30 years, or so.

The most obvious new design features added to this model are the elevated fingerboard, side soundport, Brazilian rosewood used for sides and back, and the addition of a small 20th fret on the high string, making the high C note available.  The less obvious construction features are that the sides and back are laminated, and the top is thin supported by a lattice bracing system.

The resulting Professional model lives up to its name - the voice is strong, very balanced string to string and range to range, and every note is clear, especially within chords and fast passages. This concert voice coupled with the easy playability of these guitars makes them very useful instruments for growing and mature musicians.


With an elevated fingerboard the fingerboard end (frets 12 thru 20) is raised above the level of the top about a ¼ of an inch, or so, to offer easier access and comfort when reaching for those higher notes.  Most current concert instruments made around the world now have an elevated fingerboard.

The side soundport (a smaller, additional soundhole in the side) is an aid to the performer.  These professional, concert models are designed to project more sound forward - to the audience - meaning that the player actually hears a diminished voice compared to those listening in front.  This side soundport increases the volume heard by the performer, making the tone and volume closer to what is heard by the audience.

All Professional models are made with Brazilian rosewood bodies.  This wood is recognized as the premium wood for guitar sides and backs - currently very rare and expensive.  There are several other rosewoods available and successfully used by concert guitar makers but all must agree - Brazilian rosewood is king.  This wood is very hard, very colorful, and incredibly resonant - it is desired equally for its sound potential as for its beauty.

Elevated Fingerboard & Soundport Brazilian Rosewood Back
Elevated Fingerboard & Soundport
20th Fret
20th Fret Brazilian Rosewood Back

While the sides and back of more traditionally designed guitars are thin and moderately braced, on the Professional model the sides are laminated to a second thin piece of wood to make the sides very stiff and impervious to cracking, even under impact.  The back plate is made up of four (4) separate thin pieces of wood layered and glued together under pressure. This makes the back very stiff and strong, more of a reflective plate than a vibrating, resonant plate.  By stiffening these body parts, more of the string energy is utilized in vibrating the thin and acoustically braced top. Thus, more sound projected forward from the guitar top.  These models are slightly heavier than those traditionally built guitars for this reason.

The top bracing system has evolved steadily over the 12+ years of developing this model. Generally, the tops are thinner now with a lattice grid of many, smaller braces to support it, structurally and acoustically.  There are many variations of lattice bracing throughout the guitar making community, a couple different ones are used in our shop. Contrary to some other builders, though, we use only wood bracing to support the top - no carbon graphite. This bracing system lightly reinforces the top more equally over the whole surface - this may be an aid to the evenness - the balance - of the tone of this concert model.

Lattice Bracing
Lattice Bracing
Head & Tuners
Lattice Bracing
Carbon Flight Case Optional Arm Rest
Carbon Flight Case Optional Arm Rest Head & Tuners

The necks are made of either Spanish cedar or Honduras mahogany with aged ebony fingerboards.  High quality German made Rubner tuning machines are used on all Sonora Guitars models.  Each top is finished in either a thin, satin lacquer or French polished shellac with the sides, back and neck protected with several coats of hard oil that provides a very natural look and feel.


Each guitar is delivered with a lifetime warranty to the original owner and a new hardshell case.


Choose: 650mm scale length, or 640mm scale length

Choose: Engelmann Spruce top, or Western Red Cedar top

Optional feature: a fitted ebony arm rest (pictured above) - $120 additional cost

Optional feature: Carbon fiber flight case and cover - $400 additional cost