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Hello there, AGies!


I'm new to the community, but have been playing guitar way longer than my abilities suggest.. going on 45 years.. but just acquired a dream guitar from my "youth"... a mint Gurian S2M from 1976..


Anyone else out there own one.. or other model.. I'm trying to get some details on orignal recommendations for string gauge or setup info. on this elusive instrument... can't seem to find out a lot about them.. or the builder, Michael Gurian.. though I understand he is considered to be one of the early boutique builders and mentor to a number of renowned modern luthiers.. Froggy Bottom, Cumpiano, and others. Maybe trade some sound clips?

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Just sold it yesterday. Sorry. Would have much preferred to sell it to someone on this site. Thanks for your interest...
Hi Regan,

I have only heard of Gurian's, so no sound clip to share about that. Why not share your clips with all of us. There are a couple up on my page here and then many more at my website.

I have Gurian JM from 1978, and I've always used .012s on it. Martin Marquis Phosphor Bronze, specifically. Anything heavier will hurt the neck, and anything lighter has no body to the sound at all.......hope this helps!
David .. and others

Now that I've lived with my mint '76 S2M for around a year.. I still find its tone intoxicating and its responsiveness remarkable.. very fast attack ( my luthier calls it "tight", I think) But here's the thing... that narrow nut and tiny neck just feel constricted around the first three frets... I have wide hands and fingers so I feel squeezed.. can't seem to make it go away.. though the condition doesn't hurt my attraction to these guitars.. just frustrates it. So my question is.. how available are the wider 1 3/4" nuts? Ideally, I suppose I'd like to find an S3R with a cutaway.. anyone interested in a trade+? or comments.

Thanks, gang, in advance for your responses.. It's really remarkable how this thread has grown over the year. Very cool.
Hi Regan,

I've only seen one Gurian with a 1-3/4" nut, along with a small handful with 1-11/16" nuts and one that had a 1-7/8" nut. They aren't common. Matt Umanov sold a S2M with a wide fingerboard last year; that's the last one I've seen available anywhere. They command a premium when you can find them, so if you see one, don't let sticker shock slow you down.

As for wanting a S3R with a cutaway, Gurian called that model the CR or CRH, depending on how much herringbone he added. He also built a model SM (cutaway size 3 with mahogany) and a HCMP (cutaway size 3 with maple). None of those show up often, and I don't recall ever seeing one with a wider nut.

If you don't want to wait forever to get the guitar of your dreams, you might want to contact Michael Millard of Froggy Bottom Guitars for a custom build. He was Gurian's foreman (twice), typically builds guitars with 1-3/4" nuts, and achieves a very comparable tone from his guitars. He's a great guy, loves custom orders, and nobody builds a finer instrument.

Meanwhile, if you want to sell your S2M, contact me off board,
Just as a follow - up. I have a friend who has wanted a Gurian since I got mine in 1978. So I made a deal with him. He bought me a gorgeous 2008 Rickenbacker 330 that looked like it had never been played, and I traded him the Gurian for it. So it's still in the family, so to speak. We are both happy campers.
I have a Gurian S3R Wide Neck (nut is 1 7/8" OD) #D1861 that I purchased at the Guitar Studio in San Francisco in June 1981. When I bought this guitar, I was Hell Bent on getting a Martin Dreadnaught in the up to $700 price range and had never heard of Gurian Guitars. While I wasn't looking for a "wide" necked guitar (I actually prefer a narrower neck) much less an Auditorium/Classical body styled guitar (like I said, I was Dreadnaught focused), this S3R Gurian was the best sounding guitar in the store, great tone woods and great sound projection, great bass and highs --- I haggled a little, put $250 down and came back several days later and ponied up the $500 balance. This has been an outstanding instrument, but is little played these days. I primarily play finger style on acoustic cutout style steel string guitars (Vietnamese "hand made" Ayers and Baden auditorium style guitars) and never could play barre chords as well as desired on the Gurian with medium minus sized hands. The S3R, however, is still what I consider to be the finest guitar in my fleet of Ayers, Baden, Taylor, Gibson, Martin, Fender, Emerald, and even a Zager (which is closet in sound projection). I have an interest in McPherson's, but don't know where I could try one and what organ I would have to sell to afford one.
Choice of organ is up to you. ;>)
Forget Brazilian, but the guys that make the guitars at McPherson swear by Madagascar Rosewood with a Red Cedar top. Impeccably built instruments...
Since I sent the previous message to the Gurian threads, my S3R wide neck has been out of the case and has been getting played daily. Oddly, I now find the "wide" neck actually easier to play than my other guitars and it always had the best sound of any I own. I have always cherished my Gurian and thanks to the forum my interest in it has been happily renewed.
My own experience has been that having a number of guitars available allows one to put an instrument in its case and play others for a while. Then when one gets the desire to go back to a specific instrument, the sense (for me) is that I re-discovering an instrument, and its particular qualities become more evident and appreciated.
Al, I agree with your statement. I have other guitars that get "squirreled" away for a while and when I take them out and play them, I remember what prompted the purchase in the first place and what a nice guitars they are --- particularly when I think I need to pare down my collection
to make room for something new. On occasion I part with an old one, but it is rare.

I own to 2 Gurians with a 1-7/8 fretboard, a S2M and a JR and also Gurians wih a narrow neck. Before I got the wide-neck instruments, I discussed with a local luthier who offered me a new neck for less than 700 USD. This should be no problem, due to the neck fastening method.


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