Gryphon has always stocked a few left-handed versions of popular guitar models, and recently we expanded the selection so left-handed players can choose new guitars priced from about $500 (the Taylor GS minis and Blueridge BR-40 & BR-43) to the new Martin D-28L, which costs $2399.
As fate would have it, a slight expansion in new left-handed models happens to coincide with the arrival of several excellent and super-clean used lefty guitars, and even a vintage original left-handed Gibson mandolin from almost a century ago. These used models span quite a price range, from only $875 for a used 12 year-old Martin D-16L to over $50,000 for an ultra-rare 000-45 12-fret Martin from the 1930s.
What all of these made-to-be-left-handed guitars have in common is that the left-handed stringing and pickguards are not the only things about them that are "reversed." Of course the saddle needs to be at a different angle so the intonation is right for left-handed stringing, but lots of right-handed guitars get converted from righty to lefty by changing the nut and the saddle. But a guitar made to be left-handed from the beginning of its life has an important difference you can't see unless you put a mirror in the soundhole, and this change can make a big difference in how the guitar sounds.
The top bracing on steel-stringed guitars is not symmetrical, instead it's designed to "tighten" the treble side of the guitar's top, while leaving the bass side more flexible. This gives the treble strings a brighter sound, and the bass strings, well, more bass. So if you take a righty guitar and convert the nut and saddle so a left-handed player can use it, you wind up with a guitar that has a top bracing pattern with those properties reversed as well (the bass side of the top is more stiff, while the treble side is more flexible, instead of the other way around). This doesn't mean you wind up with a guitar that sounds bad, and for years some guitar manufacturers, such as Guild, did not reverse the top bracing on their left-handed guitars. But for smaller guitars than a Dreadnought, such as 00 or 000 sizes, tightening up the bass side of the top can rob them of the warm bass response most players are looking for.
Martin always reversed the top bracing of guitars they made as left-handed, and still does so, and today all manufacturers follow suit. And by the way, are you old enough to remember when you paid a surcharge, usually about 10%, to get a left-handed model? That was still true until just over 20 years ago. The change came when Martin hired a marketing guru, Norm Fitton, who was left-handed, and one of the first things Norm did was get rid of the upcharge for a new left-handed Martin. "You don't pay extra for an expensive refrigerator with a door that opens to the left instead of to the right," he reasoned, "so a left-handed guitar player shouldn't be expected to pay extra for a Martin guitar, either." Taylor wasted no time ditching its surcharge for left-handed guitar models in response, and within a few years the upcharge for lefty models, even when they have a cutaway, was history.
See all of our Left handed guitars and other Left Handed Musical Instruments here.