Tony Ennis Classical Guitar 2021: The X-15
This beautiful instrument is made in Walhalla, South Carolina, by luthier Tony Ennis.
Tony's guitars are incredibly unique. His guitars have a sound that is shockingly beautiful and powerful, partly thanks to an innovative interior bracing system developed by Tony that gives the guitar significantly more volume and sustain than nearly any other classical guitar we've ever played. Tony calls this the "Ennis Unibody Framing". This bracing system is shown in photos above. One very striking feature of his guitars is that the tone stays just as rich and full at even the lowest of volumes. Amazingly, it seems every new guitar that Tony builds is the best one yet. It's almost unimaginable how these guitars continually improve.
A guitar built by Tony Ennis is the kind of guitar that, if a famous guitarist were to discover Tony, would be worth $12,000 or more.
Top: Western Red Cedar
Body: Tasmanian Blackwood
Frets: Gold EVO
Neck: Spanish Cedar
Body & Fretboard Binding: Cocobolo & Rosewood
Headstock Veneer: Tasmanian Blackwood
Rosette: Maple Burl with Mother of Black Pearl Dots
Saddle & Nut: Bone
Tuning Machines: Rubner Superior
Finish: French Polish
Scale Length: 650mm
Nut Width: 52mm
Upper Bout Width: 10 3/4"
Lower Bout Width: 14 5/8"
Depth at Heel: 3 7/8"
Depth at Bottom: 4.0"
Overall Length: 39 3/4"
Action at 12th Fret: 6th String 3.5mm / 1st String 2.75mm
Made in USA
Two testimonials from owners of Tony's Guitars:
"This is a rare gem!
Your descriptions of Tony's guitars are spot on. I have to tell you that I was a little skeptical... I liked the concepts introduced on his instruments, but I hadn't had the opportunity to experience most of them firsthand. I love the sound port, it's an amazing addition for the aging musician. The raised neck is more comfortable than I remembered. It feels higher than the last one I played. And the unibody truly does an amazing job of projecting sound and dynamics at a wide range of volumes.
The redwood surprised me the most. I read about it, and had heard recordings but I'm blown away by how crisp it sounds! I am truly sorry that someone had to give this guitar up. But I'm honored to own it.
Thanks again Geoff, purchasing from you has been a pleasure. I could easily spend years exploring these two guitars but when I'm in the market for a new instrument you'll be my first stop.
"I wanted to drop you and Tony a line with my thoughts about my Ennis guitar. I have had it about 7 months now. I’m using LaBella or D’Addario nylon strings with polished bases and I have the action set low for ease of playing. My first guitar instructor told me that there were exactly 5 things to look for when buying a guitar- 1 the sound, 2 the sound, 3 the sound, 4 the sound and 5 the playability. So here is the short version of my thoughts. It is a marvelous sounding guitar, and the playability is great. I love it. It hits a home run on all 5.
The tone is wonderful. Clear and crisp. The volume and sustain are amazing. If there is a guitar anywhere that sounds any better than this, I don’t want to know about it. And the dynamic range is such a pleasure. I have so many more volume options with this guitar. It almost makes the skill of playing rest stroke unnecessary. I can change the loudness of the notes so easily on this guitar with the force of the finger strike, that I need fewer rest strokes to make the melody come through clearly. The power and volume also allow me to set the action lower without buzzing because the string just doesn’t have to be moved as far to get nice volume. It makes the instrument very easy to play. Not having to strike the string as hard pays all kinds of dividends for both the left the right hand. This guitar improved my playing as soon as I picked it up. Bravo Mr Ennis. This is a truly wonderful instrument. And, oh and by the way, I now have some guitars for sale. LOL.
I do have a couple of wishes. I wish a FP finish was a little more robust- but I guess that is just the nature of FP. I don’t handle a guitar with kid gloves like I know a lot of players do. And I think the FP finish on my Ennis guitar must have been pretty green when I got it. It seemed to be very soft at first. So I have the usual blemishes and such. I have read that FP doesn’t reach its maximum level of hardness for several months after the final coats. The good news is that a Spruce top doesn’t show blemishes very much.
The raised fretboard would not normally be a choice I would make. Though it makes playing above the 12th fret easier, I’m rarely up there, and as always, there is a tradeoff. When you sit with the guitar, the raised fretboard pushes the headstock of the guitar farther out. The result is that you must reach a little farther to play the lower positions. When I first started playing the guitar, I thought that was going to be a big negative. But the guitar is so much easier to play because of the power and dynamic range, it compensates some for having to make the extra reach. I am not finding the guitar at all hard to play. I’ll have to say, I have wondered, since the neck is removable, if a non-elevated neck could be fitted to this guitar body without changing the sound. That would be a hoot. One guitar with two different interchangeable necks for the guitarist that just must have it all!
In summary, I can’t imagine not having one of Mr Ennis’s guitars at hand. The only way I would part with the one I have is if I were getting a different Ennis. You have a very happy customer and if you ever need a reference or a testimonial, let me know.