Guitar Connoisseur Stories: The Ivanov Snow Parlor

“Dontcho Ivanov Luthier, what have you done? Either through sorcery or some bent peculiarity of physics, we simply can’t put down this Snow Parlor once we’ve started playing! …This Flamed Maple and Italian Spruce beaux is addictively responsive and a frighteningly fun player.” (Paul Heumiller, Dream Guitars)

Reviews like this serve as a happy confirmation of Montreal-based luthier Dontcho Ivanov’s decision to begin building the instruments he had always loved to play. A native of Bulgaria, he began studying classical guitar at the age of 14 and has since devoted his life to music. Eventually, his previous experience as a woodworker, along with his musical passion, naturally led him to the world of lutherie. Studying with Hugues Lefort and Mario Beauregard at the Guitar Bruand School in Montreal was formative for Dontcho’s creative development. After graduating, he was chosen to represent the school at the Healdsburg Guitar Festival in California with his Snow Parlor model.

Based on a Martin 0-18 model (itself based on the European Romantic Guitar), The Ivanov Snow Parlor is made entirely of European maple and spruce. With this model, Dontcho gives a nod not only to Martin but to the proud history of European luthiers, who have used these woods for centuries. All-blond, this guitar features even a maple fingerboard and bridge.

He ensures high standards from the start with a careful selection of wood. Working with top quality straight-grained Swiss alpine spruce and fiddle-backed European flamed maple pushes his craftsmanship to the same high level. In turn, he seeks to create an instrument whose exceptional sonority and responsiveness push guitarists to play at the zenith of their capabilities as well.

It’s a perfect guitar for acoustic blues and ragtime fingerstyle. Its remarkable balance and sustain give open tunings an orchestral sound.

Since Healdsburg, Dontcho has gone on to exhibit his instruments at the Ottawa Guitar Show, the Santa Barbara Acoustic Instrument Celebration, the Holy Grail Guitar Show in Berlin and Vancouver International Guitar Festival and most recently in Quebec City, at the Quebec International Guitar Show. This year, he will exhibit his work at the Osaka Sound Messe 2018 in Japan.

Dontcho reputation does not rest solely on his Snow Parlor, however.

Inspired by his 20-year stint as the rhythm guitarist of his Balkan gypsy band, Dontcho has gone on to create a gypsy jazz model. Available at Dream Guitars, this Manouche Blanche uses the same high-quality blond wood as his Snow Parlor.

His OM Cutaway model is conceived as a guitar for fingerstyle players. It features a master grade Adirondack spruce soundboard and an exceptional set of Madagascar rosewood back and sides.


Don’t forget to visit the official site at:

You can discover more of Dontcho’s work at

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