McIlroy Guitars use only solid timbers throughout the construction of their instruments. By that we mean 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.
All our soundboards come from split logs. This gives them extra strength and helps us produce a more balanced tone. We also use the same split Sitka spruce for bracing on the inside of the guitar. We double up the around the sound-hole with a similar piece of top wood, this gives the impression that the soundboard is thicker than usual soundboards. We do this to strengthen the area around the sound-hole and it helps prevent splitting.
One of the biggest features of a McIlroy guitar is the craftsmanship and attention to detail inside and out. We are renowned for our quality and attention to detail.
Dermot and the craftsmen around him are driven by the desire to produce the world's finest musical instruments. From the hand carved bracing and necks to the hand linished finish (inside and out) we really do take a hands on approach.
You really only get a sense of this workmanship when you see, hold and play one but many people will say they can even tell by listening to one of our instruments.
A McIlroy guitar may start its life in the forests of Alaska, South America, East India or even Hawaii but it's only when the wood and other parts arrive at the factory in Antrim, that the real magic begins.
The workshop is divided into four sections, with an office and entrance area, then the machine shop with its array of sanders, saws, spindle moulders and pin routers, which then leads to the assembly area where you will finds many of the parts at different levels of construction, and then the finishing area where the guitars are meticulously hand sprayed and finished.
The wood is first kilned and then left to season for moths or years depending on the wood. Once construction starts, it takes approximately three months to complete. Each craftsman works on a complete batch of instruments, doing their part, then passing it on to the next craftsman. There could be 3-4 batches of instruments passing through the factory at any one time.
The guitars seldom hang around and it's not very often that we even have instruments to show visitors. Within a day or two of being finished, they are packed off to our dealers around the world.
While design and quality of construction of the instrument is all important, the quality of the woods and other parts is also an important factor in the making of our guitars. We believe that good craftsmen can make any piece of wood sound good but when good is just not good enough, the quality of the wood lifts the quality of the sound of the instrument.
We use a wide variety of woods, each one given a number to identify it as the top or back & side woods. You will find a more details explanation on our brochure