Furch Guitars - From Garage to Grandeur

Daniel Odle

History

Furch Guitars’ creator and founder, Frantisek Furch, spent his daytime hours as a metalworker in the socialist Czechoslovakia during the 1970s.  His free time, however, was spent as an aspiring musician.  No matter the depth of his passion, the country’s restrictions at the time regarding the importing of products, such as high quality instruments, and similar restrictions on the ability to even manufacture such products inside the country, left Frantisek without a path to pursue his avocation.  In 1981, Furch decided the authorities would take a back seat to not only his drive to compose, but the demand for quality instruments to begin making their way into the hands of local Czech musicians.

Through the 1980s, Frantisek’s one-man, garage-based venture produced nearly 100 instruments, from composite roundback guitars to mandolins.  Before reaching the end of the decade, Furch had made a name for himself and while witnessing the collapse of communism in his country, his instruments survived the movement and moved their way to being the preferred choice of many of the country’s top performers.  In 1990, Furch made it official and moved his lonely operation out of his residence and into a commercial space. 

With Frantisek and a single employee, the early 90’s production was minimal and sales were conducted inside Czechoslovakia.  In just two years time, Furch outgrew the 20 square meter workshop and moved production into  much larger mill complex.  After some unconventional additions to the lineup and seeing player preferences steer away from the steadfast roundback design, Furch used their new space to cater to the change in demand and in 1993 performed their first major restructuring.  Solid wood guitars were introduced in three basic body shapes – dreadnought, small jumbo and super jumbo.  A few years and a few specialty models later, Furch was once again faced with the need to expand.  Interest was growing in Furch’s products outside the country and in the company had grown to over 25 employees.  In 1999, Furch Guitars announced the opening of their first brand-name store and once again revamped their lineup with the introduction of the millennium series of guitars, bring a much needed modernization to their design.  Along side a “Vintage Series” line of guitars, which pushed to maintain their traditional design, both models ran strong from 2000 until recently. 

In 2003, Furch expanded their rented mill space and purchased their entire building.  The expansion would be one of their biggest progresssions to date, allowing for the addition of new departments and a plethora of production assets.  With a new Research and Development team, the company devised new design techniques and technical solutions resulting in the introduction of a both a new bracing pattern and top plate design.  Along with these advancements came Frantisek’s son, Petr Furch, who joined company management and brought with him his knowledge of CNC technology.  Petr has since taken over the R&D Division and has overseen a number of advancements for their new product line, including an innovative composite neck design, a unique UV finish application technology and a new lightweight bracing pattern. 

In 2018, Furch Guitars performed their most recent optimization to their inventory and replaced their Millennium instruments with seven new color model lines – Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet – representing the different levels of technological development within the company.  To even further their long list of variety, Furch delivered to the public the new Rainbow Series, a custom guitar building system, sporting as many as 160 different features to choose from for players to “create a truly unique instrument.”

 

From the Furch Guitars website:  “With more than 60 employees, Furch Guitars is today headed by Petr Furch who continues to lead the company on a path of designing and producing top-class instruments. The company produces some 8,000 top-quality instruments annually which sells on five continents with an extended three-year warranty. As a technology leader in the manufacture of premium-quality guitars and basses, Furch Guitars is committed to the continuous introduction of new designs and construction features, the use of state-of-the-art robotic technologies, and the implementation of the outcome of proprietary research and development with a view to further improving the acoustic qualities of its instruments. The high quality of Furch guitars is best evidenced by references from topnotch musicians, such as Al di Meola, Suzanne Vega, Per Gessle, Glen Hansard, Calum Graham, Zdenek Bina, Frantisek Cerny, and David Koller.”

For an outfit as determined as Heartbreaker Guitars here in Las Vegas, Nevada, it’s a quick task ranking Furch among the top contenders for Best in Show. 

Features

One of the biggest talking points of the Furch lineup is hidden inside the neck.  The Furch CNR System.  Short for Composite Neck Reinforcement, this revolutionary component gives maximum stability to the guitars, in turn giving their instruments incredible intonation.  This CNR system is adjustable, and due to its incredible rigidity, it needs no reinforcements, thus lessening unnecessary added weight to the guitar.  You’ll find the Furch CNR System neck joint design is every Furch guitar with the serial number 68,294 or higher. 

Another product of the R&D team is the variety of finishes you’ll find on the different models and areas of Furch guitars.  While the primary purpose of a guitar’s finish is to enhance it’s appearance, the finish is also known to have a considerable effect on not just the guitar’s resistance to the elements, but also the tonal qualities of the instrument as well.  Some guitars are offered with an Open-Pore Finish which is the topic of quite the discussion among players and critics.  While some believe this is a fancy way of describing a way for a company to save money by applying less protection, the quick response is that the thin layer of lacquer is far more effective than an oil conditioner and allows your choice of tone woods to exercise their natural ability much more freely without their pores filled.  For a close to natural look with some added protection, this may be your choice of finish.  Other options include a Full-Pore High-Gloss Finish which, for Furch, uses a UV coating formula and because of the meticulous buffing process offers up to a 95% light reflection factor.  The final two finishes, the Full-Pore Vintage Hand-Brushed and Full-Pore Smooth-Slide Satin Finish both feature the same UV coating as the higher gloss finish, but are hand buffed to achieve a more vintage, aged look. 

Another point of pride for Furch Guitars is their unique voicing process.  Each soundboard, each individual guitar, is individually tuned using a special voicing process allows the tonewoods to function at their highest ability.  The result is the consistent review of fantastic overtones, incredible harmonics and rich, dynamic sound across the tonal spectrum.

 

In Stock

We ordered a long list from Furch and have waited for some time to get our first look at many of these guitars.  We recently got several shipments and to say we’re impressed would be quite the understatement.  Let us show you some of what we’ve got in stock!

First up is the Yellow Series GC-CR Master's Choice

This versatile guitar is pleasant to look at, but sounds even more impressive.  Mike does a great job demoing this guitar in the video above, showing off its Cedar top, Indian Rosewood back and sides, ebony fingerboard, Venetian cutaway and Mahogany neck.  Take a listen to the clarity and sustain during the demo and you'll be quick to agree this guitar is high caliber. 

Next on the list is a special guitar.  This is the limited edition Furch GC Green Series USA Anniversary guitar.  With only 10 having been produced, we are fortunate to have 3 of them in stock!  Each display a beautiful sunburst Sitka Spruce top, highly figured Mahogany back and sides, Venetian cutaway, Mahogany neck and more.  Is there more?  Indeed there is.  This may be one of our best guitar demos to date, as Mike Romano from the Heartbreaker lounge decided to turn his talent to 10 in this absolutely fantastic cover.  Do yourself a favor and take a listen at how well this guitar can sing when a competent player is behind the wheel.

If that doesn't add Furch to your list, we're not sure what will!  One more?  Well, okay - only because you asked.  This next one holds a special place in our heart.  This is the Furch Red Deluxe SR with Master Grade Sitka Spruce over a fantastic Master Grade Indian Rosewood.  This incredible creation has an amazing list appointments.  Center stage you'll find an eye-catching annular rosette complimented by Koa binding and an elegant abalone purfling around the entire guitar.  The Rosewood fingerboard houses inlaid Roman numerals, but the real show stopper we've saved for last.  Look at these double bevels.  

 

 

They're simply striking.  This guitar is loaded with features and the only thing that can stand up to its incredible appearance is its flawless performance.  Not just this model, but nearly every Furch guitar in our inventory has a voice that's been finely tuned to its components. 

Heartbreaker Guitars in Las Vegas, NV is a proud dealer of Furch Guitars.