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As a guitar maker, nothing is more rewarding than receiving compliments from a seasoned musician. Receiving good reviews from talented musicians already mean a lot to us, but earning trust from such an acclaimed personality is another. We were very honoured that Rick Smith, one of Singapore’s most prized jazz musicians, commissioned Maestro to custom build him an acoustic guitar.


Rick’s guitar is a custom-built Victoria-CO, a 000 shaped guitar with a solid Adirondack Spruce top and solid Cocobolo back and sides. Known for its rich basses and trebles, Cocobolo is a highly figured wood that we foresee as a successor of the famed Brazilian Rosewood. To ensure that Rick’s guitar will stand out among other instruments, Hozen personally selected the soundboard, back and sides to ensure that the wood is aesthetically outstanding and rich in tap tones.


Aside from the Soundport, Beveled Armrest, and Ultra-Brace, another key feature of Rick’s guitar is the 52mm-width nut, a first in our acoustic range. By carefully shaping the neck profile, making the lower part a bit thinner than usual, we were able to provide Rick the perfect feel that he wants. Given that it is our first time incorporating such an innovation, we perfected the technique by making three sample necks and selecting the best one for Rick’s guitar.


When Rick saw his new guitar, he was astonished by the craftsmanship. When he played it, he was surprised that the tone, sustain and playability is was more than what he expected. To summarise what Rick thought of his new guitar, he simply said, “You outdid yourselves again”.


Rick Smith is an accomplished jazz guitarist with over thirty years of professional experience. he performed with many well-known international artists such as Ernie Watts, Wess Andersen, Marcus Printup, Bob James, Richie Cole, Eric Marinenthal, and Teramasu Hino on stage and on recording in the United States, Asia, and Southeast Asia. To know more about him and his music, visit