Luthier Profile: Frederich Holtier

Frederich Holtier's musical life began at an early age in his native Romania. He studied the cello and went on to attend the Conservatory to study music theory. Frederich later taught music and cello in the Romanian public school system. These formative years gave him a superior sense of instrumental tone that is amply demonstrated with the distinctive, sensual voices of his guitars.

Inspired by his Father, a talented engineer who built toys, furniture, and, his own tape-recorder, Frederich became an Industrial Designer to satisfy his curiosity about how things work. He is credited with many innovations in his 20 year career designing machinery.

Turning these considerable talents to building classical and flamenco guitars was the perfect synthesis of Frederich's musical and engineering experience. As Frederich proudly says, "The distinctive voice of my guitars, their sound, comes from experience. I feel the wood in my hands and I build each component of my guitars to work in perfect harmony with the others."

The distinguishing features of Frederich's guitars are their voices and their combination of volume and projection. He carefully analyzed Smallman's revolutionary carbon-fiber lattice bracing technique and Dammann's Nomex double top (both of these luthiers have been credited with the most significant improvements in the modern classical guitar since Torres, in the 1850's) and adapted elements of each, in his endeavor to enhance his traditional guitar sound.

Frederich's analysis led him to design his version of a "double-top". The "double-top" works in conjunction with other back and side structural improvements to produce a guitar with more volume, more sustain and more distinct note separation. Frederich's "double-top" design makes the top 30% lighter and the back and sides are significantly stiffer than can be achieved using kerfling.

With the top functioning as a "torsion-box", increased response and sustain, particularly in the trebles, are a players dream. Characteristically, Frederich is very humble when discussing his guitars. From his use of solid linings to his use of oil varnish used on violins for over 300 years, he builds his instruments to be the best of their kind. When asked why he goes to such measures in his guitar building, he smiles and says" Guitar building is my Life and I want to build by guitars to the best of my ability. I enjoy putting alot of time, thought and energy into my guitars because that is the only way to achieve the excellence that I demand from my guitars and the excellence that those who play my guitars demand."

To view some of Frederich's guitars, please click here.

To read a review of one of Frederich's guitars, please click here.

To hear sound samples of Frederich's guitars, please click (1), (2) or (3).

Frederich may be reached at Frederich Holtier Guitars, 8036 Lewis Road, Olmsted Falls, OH 44138 U.S.A. Tel: (440) 235-3391 URL: E-mail: