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McPherson Guitars – Perfect 3-Part Harmony Between Craftsman, Instrument, & Artist

Some of the finest guitars in the world - McPherson Guitars

Music creates feelings. It can relax, energize, bring joy or melancholy in a moment. Knowing music, understanding it, having it as part of who you are is a gift. Matt McPherson has taken his love of music, curiosity and an engineering mind over the last years to create what many consider the finest guitars in the world. On a recent visit to McPherson Guitars in La Crosse, Wisconsin we experienced why.


We were not sure what to expect when we got to the facility where McPherson’s are built. For the most part, the outside is unassuming. A building in an office park and warehouse district. When you walk in you are greeted and seated in an area with examples of the guitars and the construction elements in a display case. There are autographed pictures from the biggest names in music who choose a McPherson. The sitting area has a small sound board and speakers. “We have some pretty good acoustics in this room and have done some recording here. Funny I know but it works,” explained Larry Klenc, president of McPherson Guitars and a longtime friend with the founder.


Klenc described the construction elements of the dissected guitars in the case. “These are how others are made compared to ours.” As he talked and showed us the inside of an acoustic guitar things began to become really apparent. There are no short cuts here. McPherson has dozens of patents and processes that are unique to their instrument design. The parts are meticulously and strategically crafted and put into place.


The company produces a limited number of wooden guitars each year. There are the special orders as well with custom art and materials.  Each wooden guitar takes months to build and is unique in wood type, color and detail. They also have an amazing line of carbon guitars that are as well thought out in design and sound and tough as nails.


We walked into a storage area where they house some of the world’s rarest wood in a climate-controlled environment. Absolutely beautiful. “Some of this material is very rare. Brought up from the bottom of the ocean and deep, distant forest and dark jungles,” Klenc explained.


The creation stations, cleanliness of the facility, focus of the craftsmen and women in the shop made it clear this place is special. Our culture today, in so many areas pushes for faster, cheaper, high volume output. It’s about the bottom dollar not the product they can produce. Not here. Clearly not here.


There are some people in this world, exception thinkers, musicians, builders, creators, that amaze us. They can envision the elements of a 100-story building before a shovel of dirt is moved. They can hear a rhythm, a tune, words to a song in their minds and transcriber it before a physical note is played. Matt McPherson and the team at McPherson guitars walk among those creatives. They build some of the finest musical instruments in the world. They love music, they love their jobs and they love that the products from their shop are heirlooms from their hearts to the hearts of others.

McPherson Guitars Are A Perfect 3-part harmony between craftsman, instrument, and artist

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TJ Greaney
CLM Editor