Fingerstyle slope shoulder?


I'm interested in getting down to just one acoustic, one electric, and one amp, and a Kevin Kopp K-35 seems to fit the bill for a short scale slope shoulder dreadnought. I am wondering, though, about the top wood.

I play fingerstyle almost 80% of the time. Every time I've played an Adirondack top, they sound amazing with a pick; however, even if they are short scale, they still do not respond as sweetly the 80% of the time that I'm playing fingerstyle. On the contrary, I've played short scale slope shoulder dreadnoughts with Sitka tops, and they seemed to be better suited to fingerstyle playing.

My question is:
- Do you think a standard Kevin Kopp K-35 with an Adirondack top is a good choice for almost exclusively playing fingerstyle?
- If not, should I look into a short scale slope shoulder dreadnought with another wood you think is better for fingerstyle, i.e. Sitka?

Thanks in advance for your help.


I cannot image a Kopp that would not sound great no matter how you played it. Amazing guitars. And this is coming from a fingerpicker who plays round shoulder guitars with old growth red spruce tops.


Silver Supporting Member
I have an Adirondack/Mahogany Collins CJ that is my workhorse. I like it for just about everything, but it's taken awhile to sweeten up, helped along nicely by a ToneRite. Adirondack is stiffer and typically gives you a guitar with more headroom, but it takes a fair bit longer to open up and short scale guitar with lower tension and might not activate the top as well as a longer scale instrument everything else being equal. I love Adirondack for rhythm work and aggressive flatpicking since it just never seems to fart out, and for my fingerstyle needs it sounds great. Sitka is certainly nothing "less" than Adirondack, and works beautifully on fingerstyle guitars. I've heard folks say that German is in between the two but I have no experience with it myself.

I haven't played Kopp instruments, but imagine if you called the builder you could get his take on woods.
I used to own a Smeck reissue. It has a wide (1 13/16") nut and a deeper body. Works great for fingerstyle. It has a deep, sonorous tone. My 2001 Smeck had a sitka top but I believe it may use Adirondack now.
Fuller's Vintage Guitar in Houston usually stocks the Stage Deluxe.



All I do is fingerpick with nails and for that I prefer Sitka. I tried other species and ended up selling them. I use the blade of a thumb pick if I need to flat pick. I'm guessing the blade is about 1mm thick.


The Fool
Gold Supporting Member
My Collings CJMhA was sublime, and my 0001A is almost as good, but is significantly more comfortable. I love being able to play with bare fingers & great delicacy or a full set of 'picks and pulling out some serious sounds. IMO, the luthier has more effect on the sound & responsiveness of a guitar than the species of spruce used for the top.

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