Greg Smallman is an Australian elite classical guitar luthier known worldwide for his innovative guitar designs. Although his guitars are in outward appearance similar to a traditional Spanish classical guitar, there are numerous innovative differences. Among them is the use of a high, arched and carved back for the guitar, which is considerably thicker and heavier than a conventional guitar. The back is made of Madagascar rosewood, while the top is always made of Western Redcedar. The extreme thinness of the top combined with Smallman’s unique system of bracing gives the guitar its high levels of volume and resonance. The top of Smallman guitars is braced using a “lattice” framework composed of balsa wood and carbon fibre. By contrast, most traditional classical guitars use struts made of cedar or spruce arranged in a “fan” shape.
In 1999 the Greg Smallman label changed to Greg Smallman & Sons Damon & Kym. Based for many years in Glen Innes, New South Wales, in 2002 the Smallmans briefly relocated to the Mornington Peninsula outside Melbourne. The Greg Smallman and Sons workshop is now located near Esperance, Western Australia. They are reclusive individuals being very difficult to contact, they do not advertise in printed media and did not have a website till 2012.
Greg Smallman is admired for the open way in which he shares his ideas. He does not hide them from fellow luthiers, nor has he patented them.A large number of luthiers worldwide have incorporated Smallman’s design innovations into their own guitar designs.