Explore the uncharted
The Unicorn sums up my career in so many ways. The special wood materials I’ve learned to love so much, my trademark constructional features, the tonal fine-tuning, the aesthetic and ergonomic balance – it’s all there – entwined with tradition, reinventing the roots. A guitar that at first glance may appear conventional, yet when experienced, turns out to be quite exceptional.
Juha Ruokangas – Master Guitar Maker
MAKING THE UNICORN
After fifteen years as a professional luthier, I went back to my first love of electric guitars, challenged myself and started from the beginning to create the single-cut electric I had always wanted.
The Unicorn tops are all made from arctic birch because of its unparalleled tone, and appearance that is unlike any other guitars. Figured arctic birch is not readily available, so I need to hunt it down the hard way – I trek in the forests, hand-pick the trees I want, and the logs are cut exclusively for me. It’s a lot of work – but I’m stubborn enough to walk the extra mile.
We all belong to a continuum. We draw from the past – but luckily we can renew ourselves, too. Establishing the use of Spanish cedar in electric guitars is one example of my personal renewal processes. By doing so, I wish I have not only generated a new tradition, but also succeeded in contributing a little to the ongoing evolution of electric guitar.
Quality of tonewood means everything to me, because it essentially dictates whether or not a guitar has the potential to become a great musical instrument. Thermal ageing is not a magic trick – it doesn’t change bad wood into good. But it is the best method to make sure my hand selected tonewood is all game to begin the transformation into a great guitar.
Piece of art
Simply awesome. Thank you very much for this new piece of art!
Ruokangas guitars are instruments for grown-ups!
It’s all there
The Unicorn leaves nothing to the imagination or to be desired – it’s all there!
The Unicorn growls
The Unicorn growls and has assertiveness – but nevertheless doesn’t lack elegance.
Thanks for building me this fantastic guitar. My Unicorn is simply one of the best instruments I’ve ever played!
I love my Ruokangas Unicorn. Simply put, Ruokangas Guitars are Playable Art!
Setting the bar
Ruokangas sets the bar as a standard by which all of the boutique guitar companies should be measured against…
These guitars are for men who walk their own paths.
Strength and body
In addition to the warmth and clarity, the Unicorn has excellent mids, adding strength and body to the sound.
Now I know
Now I know what they mean by the phrases like piano-like-low-end and three-dimensional character…
I strive to make my guitars as limitless as possible regarding the sound. An electric guitar is an acoustic instrument – and an exceptionally good electric guitar must have superb acoustic properties in order to deliver the richest, liveliest and most characteristic possible sound when amplified.
JOY TO PLAY
BUILT FOR LIFE
Our purpose is to create the ideal tools for your art of making music. To achieve this goal, each of our guitars is individually handmade to the highest standard by one of us, the Ruokangas team, using the finest materials in the world. No serial production methods or automated processes are involved in the making.
We use a lot of time to do the fretwork – more than most would consider sensible. It takes forever just to do the dome shaped fret ends like we do them. But then again, that’s what our job is about. The best playability can only be achieved when every detail is thought out and executed to its full potential.
It takes years for a luthier to master the art of making a flawless nut to a guitar. It starts from selecting the right material, and in Finland, the number one choice is moose shin bone. It keeps the tuning best, breaks strings the least, outlasts synthetic materials or metals, and gives unique clarity to the open notes.
A great guitar finish feels right, looks right and protects the wood right. A great guitar finish must be thin and hard to not dampen the sound of the guitar. Instead of blindly repeating what was done before me, I’ve trusted my own intuition and experience, done my own research and found the best finishes for my own guitars.
We make heavy duty tools for serious players. It doesn’t make a difference if it’s the most stripped down model or top of the line eye-candy – every Ruokangas guitar is top notch, right out of the box.
RUOKANGAS SETS THE BAR
In the world of boutique guitars, Ruokangas sets the bar as a standard by which all boutique guitar companies should be measured against for making an outstanding product. I am a very proud owner of these instruments.
– Jay Jay French | Twisted Sister Homepage
I have consciously decided not to take part in the ongoing industrial race for cheaper labour and bigger profits. Our ambition is simply to live our lives making guitars, cherishing the tradition of handcraft. Why? Because we love it. It’s a good life.
– Juha Ruokangas