CHARIS SJ S/N 441 Build Thread
European Swiss Spruce top with Ziricote back and sides

Bill offered us an exotic piece of highly figured Ziricote in the month of December. Needless to say,  we acquired it withtout hesitation to create a visually captivating piece that will surely delight any wood lover. Our favourite swiss spruce top was chosen as usual to pair with the Ziricote back and sides.


European swiss spruce was chosen for the top as they have been prized by luthiers for its quick response and great headroom. This light weight top projects harmonic complexity and offers unparallelled fullness at the lower end of the dynamic range, allowing for rich bell-like tones across a wide tonal spectrum. Aesthetically, It enjoys the added advantage of a gorgeous colour and uniformity in grain over adirondack red spruce tops, another Holy Grail of topwoods for steel-string guitars.


Zircote is one of the most visually appealing woods on the planet. It has wonderful colors that intertwine vivid black ink lines with grays, golds, browns, olives and rust colors. Tonally, they sound similar to rosewood and projects a clean, resonant and reverb-like tone. Ziricote typically also offeres more clarity than the more familiar east indian rosewood.

A visually stunning ziricote back hand-braced by Bill.

Swiss spruce top with triple ring rosette.

The insides of a Charis soundbox with Bill’s insignia and serial number #441 etched into the neck joint.

Swiss spruce top with koa / pearl abalone / koa triple ring abalone rosette.

Visually stunning ziricote back and sides in varying hues.

5-piece neck, ebony headstock and ebony fingerboard with doves in flight fingerboard inlays.


Ebony headstock outlined in pearl abalone purfling with a koa Charis logo outlined in pearl.

Matching ziricote backplate with a “ducktail” neck joint outlined in pearl abalone. Besides being aesthetically elegant, this carefully carved raised edge adds to strength and mass without trespassing into the playing section of the neck joint.

Near complete Charis guitar body prior to fixing on the neck.

This ziricote build is paired with a florentine cutaway.

A final coat of polyeurethane prior to buffing.

A final coat of polyeurethane to the guitar back and sides prior to buffing

Another masterpiece by Bill - Charis SJ in Italian Spruce and Ziricote.

The ziricote back visually "pops" after being buffed to shine.

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