From a Premier Guitar Gallery:

On the left above is 17" Skylark (#9) and 17" Pannonica (#8) is on the right.

From thread on the Montreal Guitar Show (

07-04-2010 at 11:13 PM.
member: Hammertone
That was really a lot of fun.

Quote: Originally Posted by 57special the orange Hopkins was 15 1/2", i believe. Real nice. Mirabella was there.

Beautiful guitars indeed.

I was really impressed by some archtop guitars that I played for awhile:
- Erich Solomon's "Phidelity" archtop sounded great.
- Ken Parker's archtop sounded great - I got him to raise the action and then I beat on it for awhile
- Michael McCarthy's myrtlewood archtop sounded great

Anyone sell anything?
Hammertone is affiliated with Hofner Canada

07-09-2010 at 10:50 AM.
member: derekd

Quote: Originally Posted by michmcca Hammertone et al: Thank you for your interest in my work. I just updated my website with information about the two guitars I exhibited in Montreal. You can find them in the For Sale section. If you have any questions, you can send me an email via the Contact page. Thanks again, Michael McCarthy

I was very impressed with the Myrtlewood archtop Michael. Played like a dream.

07-09-2010 at 07:38 PM.
member: Dingwall

Quote: Originally Posted by derekd I was very impressed with the Myrtlewood archtop Michael. Played like a dream.

I didn't get much time in the acoustic room other than a quick run through. The inside carve on your top really caught my eye. Beautiful work and concept.

17" Skylark (#9)


From "the jazz guitar forum" thread on the Montreal Guitar Show (

07-04-2010, 06:35 PM
member: "spiral"
Thanks for the great pics so far! Any pics or info about McCarthy guitars, specifically the Skylark is appreciated.

07-04-2010, 07:26 PM
member: "msr13"

Derek played his Myrtlewood archtop, 17" and thought it was fantastic. BTW, I am sitting here with Derek right now, which is why I am "talking" for him. He's not sure which of the two at the table was a skylark, if indeed either was.

I also got a really nice McCarthy pick as part of the show swag.

On another note, we spent a full three days at the show, and I can't express how generous, kind, and engaging everyone was from the new builders all the way up to Mr. Ribbecke. They didn't care if you were a kid with no playing chops or money, or the most renowned player with all the money in the world.
Best regards,

17" Skylark (#9)


July 12, 2010 11:50:17 PM PDT

Always happy to sing your praises! The Skylark is a terrific instrument - and I've got loads of archtop guitars to compare it to, old and new. It really holds its own. Interestingly I found similarities in balance and response with a wonderfully sweet L-5 P made in 1948.

February 21, 2010 9:57 AM PST

Happy to testify in French that the Skylark is a fantastic guitar! Do let anyone interested in hearing soundbites from a happy McCarthy guitar owner contact me via email. I'll be happy to encourage them to order a guitar from you.

Elie Kleiman ( elie DOT kleiman AT_SIGN gmail DOT com )

November 29, 2009 7:44:24 AM PST

I am honored to be an official Michael McCarthy fan! If you have any enquiries from aspiring buyers, I'll be happy to speak to them!

Pure acoustic arch tops (with or w/o floating pickup), carved tops with mounted pickups, plywood with mounted pickups, I really like all three categories but nothing beats the pleasure of the guitar's vibrations against your body that only well built hand carved tops produce... Your guitar really holds its own compared to some of my favorite instruments, some with very prestigious builders' names on them. I am surrounded by top quality instruments.
The beauty and mystery is that no single guitar has it all, each having its personality and of course limits. Of course some have more of 'it' than others... Yours sits amongst my acoustic favorites.  I love my Duet (Ribbecke/Manzer), my 58 D'Angelico Excel cutaway, my 71 D'Aquisto Excel, 1950 Epiphone Emperor Regent, 57 Super 400 CN, 1949 L12 P, and several older non cut ladies made by D'Angelico, Gibson and Epiphone...
My 88 Benedetto Cremona is 100% sweet and balanced but gives best results when played electric. I also have a 1960 Johnny Smith Award, that is really incredible both acoustically and electric - the Skylark is in the same league. I don't know if it can be as loud as the Duet, the 58 Excel or the 50 Emperor but I would not be surprised if it were if stringed with the 13's - 56 brass strings as put on my pure acoustics. The Thomastiks are optimal for your Skylark it seems to me, because they produce that mellow and sweet tone that is great both plugged and unplugged, while not compromising too much on volume. Surely D'Aquisto Brassmasters or J-17 D'Addario would produce more acoustic response - although through the pickup they would sound awful.
I am very happy after almost another full day of playing.
I heard about Ken Parker but never played one of his guitars. I checked a couple of sound clips that are posted on his website.. very beautiful acoustic tone.
Let's keep in touch - and keep up the good work!


November 28, 2009 11:16:02 AM PST


After spending most of my Saturday playing my Skylark, all I can say is KUDOS TO YOU FOR A FANTASTIC JOB. You did build a great guitar. The acoustic response is rich and warm and well balanced. The playability is superb. I like those Thomastik strings. I also use the Benson Thomastik 14's in flatw ound on my Borys BG 120 (it's a 17") - I like those strings but I don't think the Skylark needs 14's. I am perfectly happy with this set up so far. The Lindy Fralin pickup comes pretty close to a DeArmond 1100. However, I like the acoustic sound so much that I spent most of the time playing and practicing acoustic. I have posted some pictures of the guitar on Facebook, with links to your website. I hope you will have enquiries and perhaps new customers. Never hesitate to use me as a reference. I will be happy to sing your praises.
I have been trying to play Skylark in chord soloing... I'm afraid that Jeffrey did a much better job on the video that you posted on your website... I've got some work to do....
Take care


#004 18” Skylark