What is a McIlroy Guitar?

What is a McIlroy Guitar?

A handmade, prodigious guitar with exceptional tone.

Why is it prodigious?

In 2000 Dermot McIlroy started his own workshop having worked as a luthier for the Lowden guitar company for many years. Since then McIlroy guitars have become much sought after for their atmospheric and ardent sound and loved by musicians all over the world. We are extremely proud to have the opportunity to work closely with Mcilroy guitars, and always eagerly await each and every hand crafted instrument we manage to get hold of. Much in demand and skillfully handcrafted, every Mcilroy shimmers with character and offers the player a delightful Celtic edge to the instruments performance.

Why is the tone exceptional?

Every soundboard bracing is made from split logs to provide extra strength and they are individually scalloped to produce the maximum sound potential. The customised bracing, the pattern is unique to McIlroy, gives the instruments a vibrant top without loss of stability. These guitars have a distinctive warm and airy character to their sound. In addition, McIlroy Guitars use only solid timbers throughout the construction of their instruments. No plywoods or laminated woods are used for the top, back or sides of our instruments, just the highest quality timbers from around the world.

What is Project Music’s favourite model?

This is not an easy question but first we need to explain that McIlroy divide their instruments into ranges, referring to the overall specifications as either Standard, Premium or Master Ranges and McIlroy series refers to the shape. The AS series for example, is a small jumbo similar in size to a classical guitar. Model refers to the wood combinations of each instrument The first number after the Series letter(s) refers to the back and sides of the guitar and the second number refers to the top (eg. A36 = rosewood Back and sides and Italian spruce top).

Our favourite is probably the completely amazing AS25. This version is a simply wonderful guitar with a magical mellow tone, thanks to the Walnut and Cedar combination, and has an extensive list of sumptuous premium quality specifications. Although a little less in volume than any of the other models, its size belies the volume which this guitar can produce. Many of our customers find this guitar a much more manageable size, especially classical players and those more used to the OM size of guitar. The lightest of touches sets of a crescendo of full and highly expressive tone that offers direct and harmonic content in perfect equal measure. Fingerstyle players and flat pickers will be amazed at just how dynamic and articulate this AS25 is and this version boasts a convenient and stylish cutaway option to allow for comfortable access to those hard to reach places. Absolutely, every millimetre of this guitars construction shows off a meticulous attention to detail and the finest choice of woods. A stunning guitar.

Why are they noteworthy?

As one of Europe’s top guitar builders Dermot McIlroys’ guitars are in massive demand and its rare we ever have more than one in stock at a time. Dermot started with 21 years of experience (10 of those were at the esteemed guitar company Lowden) and he opened McIlroy Musical Instruments in March 2000 with his wife Colleen. He had already made prototypes prior to opening his factory and was able and ready to open with approved, experienced and tested designs.

Project Music order as many as we can, but unfortunately for us due to demand and the traditional painstaking meticulous craftsmanship that Dermot lavishes on every build, supply is very limited. These are exceptional instruments at an unbelievably affordable price for their quality.

To acknowledge their 10th birthday, McIlroy made 10 Special Anniversary Edition guitars. Most were A76 models but there was also an A70, A75, A76c and AS76. They all have Jacaranda (Amazon Rosewood) back and sides, Koa bindings and specially designed custom inlays just for the anniversary models. Each one had some unique feature, from headstock back-plates to different binding combinations. The company continues to introduce models and there are currently over 4800 different model options. We are very much looking forward to seeing what 20th Anniversary models may come out from this fantastic company in March this year.

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