Acoustic Guitar Resources:
Info on woods and guitar types (dreadnought, SJ, 000, etc.) is available
in the RMMGA FAQ???
- Guitarmaker/ASIA: Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
- ASIA is the leading professional association for luthiers in North America; Guitarmaker
is their publication. This site offers membership information about ASIA; subscription and
tables of contents for Guitarmaker (including information and order forms for
back issues), links to member sites (suppliers and luthiers), and information about the
annual ASIA Symposium.
- MIMF: Musical Instrument Makers Forum
- "The MIMForum is the only web-based interactive forum for the discussion
of musical instrument design, construction, and repair; welcoming
builders of all instruments at any skill level from expert to wannabee.
Anyone can participate in the discussion forum; only registered users
can access archived discussions and participant-contributed files and
plans in the MIMForum library. The MIMForum hosts commercial ads for
luthiers and parts and tool suppliers, and free classified ads to
- The rec.music.makers.builders Usenet Newsgroup
- A newsgroup whose membership includes many guitar builders, mostly of electrics,
but several acoustic builders also contribute to discussion there.
- The Sacramento Valley Luthier's Guild
- The Sacramento Valley Luthier's Guild
"is a non-profit organization dedicated to the sharing of resources
related to luthiery. The purpose of the guild is to provide networking
and promotion for local luthiers... Members of the guild span the
gamut from hobbyists to professionals..." Their web site archives
their newsletter, has photos of members' instruments, and provides
collections of links and other info of interest to luthiers.
- Famous Guitar Maker Internet
- This site features an extensive regional list of electric and acoustic
luthiers, lists of schools and study programs for luthiery, and supplies
various other information of interest to guitar builders.
It also hosts a wide variety of other topical lists of
'net resources of interest to guitarists.
- Leeds Guitarmakers Workshop
- The Leeds Guitarmaker's School is a world-class academy of
fretted string instrument technology in Leeds, Massachusetts, USA. Inaugurated
in 1995, Leeds offers "hands-on basic and advanced courses, workshops,
tutorials and seminars in steel-string, classic, archtop, and electric
guitarmaking and fretted technology."
This web site describes the school and its staff, provides a course catalog,
and provides some guitarmaking
tips and links to other web sites of interest.
- Guitar Builders FAQ, and in PDF
- This document, by Bill Wyza of Wyza guitars, is directed toward the
amateur intending to build an electric guitar, but includes information
(e.g., lists of books and parts dealers) that may be of interest to
those building, repairing or modifying acoustic guitars.
- William R. Cumpiano, Guitarmakers
- Besides being a guitar builer, luthier Willaim Cumpiano is also a
serious and devoted teacher of luthiery. He
has received a number of teaching and documentation grants, listed at
his web site. His site offers articles
on luthiery and guitar care, and descriptions of the various hands-on guitarmaking
workshops he offers.
- Guitar Builders and Repairers
- A briefly annotated alphabetical listing of guitar
builders and repairers.
- The Playing Lefty FAQ
- Stéphane Boucher's summary of some of the arguments appearing in
various newsgroup discussions of the advantages and disadvantages of
the various options available to left-handed guitarists (playing left handed
guitars, playing right handed guitars, playing right handed guitars
- Stewart-MacDonald's Guitar Shop Supply
- Stewart-MacDonald is one of the best-known suppliers of tools, parts,
and print and video instruction for building and reparing electric and
acoustic guitars and other stringed instruments. Long-time Guitar Player Magazine columnist Dan Erlewine is on the staff and offers
free tips in the free catalog that you can order from this web site.
Although the catalog is not available online, you can order online,
and the site is worth revisiting as they archive tips and trade
- Luthiers Mercantile International
- A California-based "supplier of fine woods and tools for stringed instrument
makers." Their web site provides contact info, and a sample page from
their price list/newsletter on its own web page (with the rest of the list
available as an RTF file readable by many word processors), along with
a form allowing you to subscribe. They
also offer a 250 page handbook/catalog; it is expensive
(over $20), but nicely
printed and loaded with many repair and building tips. They have extensive wood
supplies, listed on the site. They also host information for their
neighbor, The American
School of Lutherie.
- Allen Guitars Luthier Supplies
- Colfax, California luthier Randy Allen offers "premium grade tonewoods
at reasonable prices." This part of his site describes his wood stock,
including prices. He also offers a
fret slotting service
for slotting customer-provided boards or boards purchased from Allen Guitars.
- Alaska Specialty woods
- Brent Alan runs Alaska Specialty Woods, supplying tonewoods
(specifically Sitka Spruce and both red and yellow cedar) from Alaska.
His site includes descriptions of the woods, a bit of history of
his business, and a description of the process of locating and
preparing tonewoods, illustrated with pictures from his warehouse
and Alaskan forests. Prices and ordering instructions are also
at the site.
- Guitar Builder's FAQ
- "An in-depth discussion of how to build your own guitar." Though
dealing with construction of electric guitars, it contains info of
use to acoustic builders as well, particular in the appendices listing
reference material and sources for woods and parts.
- Guitar Acoustics
- This section of a larger site on musical acoustics provides basic
discussion of some of the physics underlying the operation of acoustic
- Samo Sali's Page: Acoustical Properties of the Classical Guitar
- Sali is a mechanical engineer working at the University of Ljubljana
in Slovenia, and has specialized in woodcutting processes and acoustical
properties of wood. His web site describes the results of some of
his research on how aspects of woodcutting procedures affect the
acoustical properties of the cut wood, and on bracing details,
in the hopes that luthiers will find it valuable. His research is
briefly presented in simple text and clear drawings and graphs.
- The Guitar ReRanch
- The Guitar ReRanch "offers the finest in guitar refinishing supplies,"
and is thus a commercial outfit. But their web site offers a variety
of instructional material on refinishing instruments, from
introductory "Refinishing 101" to detailed information for specific
- Ukeleles by Kawika
- This is the site for a Hawaian ukelele builder, but he provides
info that may also be of use to guitar builders, such as spreadsheets
for calculating fret spacings and neck stiffness, and information
on physical properties of woods.
- The WWW Guitar Advisor
- Billed as "A resource for novice and aspiring novice guitarists,"
this site by Meredith Tanner offers advice on choosing and caring
for a beginner instrument, as well as a small collection of links
to acoustic guitar resources.
- Woods of the World Online
- A membership service (membership is free) providing detailed information on nearly 1000
wood species and products, including such information as wood origin, physical properties,
Tim Maggio's excellent Guitar List describing
types of guitars, listing guitar companies, and resources for building
your own guitar. Tim posts updates to RMMGA; this copy
was last updated in December 2000.
You will also find another copy at Kirk Reiser's web site.
Below you'll find a list of luthiers that have web sites or some other
Internet presence. Another valuable resource is
Tim Maggio's Guitar List, described above.
It lists and describes the work of many luthiers and
manufacturers who do not have a 'net presence, and also
provides information about luthiery organizations and sources of
build-it-yourself guitar kits. Finally, Daniel Nestlerode's
Guitar and Mandolin Links page has
a quick-and-simple list of luthier links organized by region and state.
Acoustic Guitar magazine has produced a book,
with "more than 200 exquisite color plates of
handmade instruments, as well as up-to-date biographies of the
designers and builders."
Two sites that list basic contact
info for electric and acoustic guitar manufacturers and independent
For a list of classical guitar builders, visit the
- Allen Guitars
- Randy Allen has been building instruments since 1982; currently he
builds not only acoustic guitars but also mandolins and resophonic
guitars, and he also offers a fret-slotting service to
other luthiers. Besides the usual instrument information and pricing,
his site also hosts "The Soundboard," an online newsletter about
luthiery. Allen works in Colfax, California.
- American Acoustech
Andersen Stringed Instruments
- Based in Seattle, Washington, Andersen builds high-end archtop
guitars and mandolins.
- Robert Benedetto has been building handcrafted archtop guitars since 1968; he also manufactures jazz pickups
for archtops. Benedetto works out of Stoudsburg, PA, USA. He
also offers a video series on archtop guitar construction.
- Beneteau Guitars
- Blanchard Guitars
- Based in Mammoth Lakes, California, Mark Blanchard has been doing
serious woodworking since the early 80s, eventually moving to guitar
repair and restoration and then to custom luthiery. His one-man shop
offers a variety of standard models based on traditional body shapes,
as well as extensive customizing. His site offers photos and descriptions
of his standard offerings and custom options, and a price list and
- Dana Bourgeois Guitars old
site and new site
- Based in Lewiston, Maine, Dana Bourgeois Guitars strives to produce
"The New American Classic"---guitars that combine innovation with
respect for the vintage tradition. They produce a wide variety of models,
including a Ricky Skaggs Signature Model
Dreadnought, a 12 fret Slope D Martin Simpson Model, and a variety of
vintage (OM, JOM, etc.) and modern shapes, all with a variety of custom options.
Their site provides a price list with extensive descriptions,
a dealer list (including overseas dealers), and articles on aspects of
luthiery (and a reprint of a Fingerstyle Guitar article on
- Breedlove Guitars
- An Oregon-based company founded by Steve Henderson, Breedlove guitars
are known for their unconventional appearance and construction. Henderson
founded the company in 1991 after working at Taylor Guitars; today he is
joined by a team of luthiers that hand-build each instrument. Ed Gerhard
is perhaps the most visible endorser of Breedlove guitars. Breedlove
also manufactures a travel guitar, the Green Mountain.
- Brook Guitars
- David Bucher/Golden Wood Stringed Musical Instruments
- Luthier David Bucher operates this shop in Gualala, California, which
produces not only acoustic guitars but also dulcimers, mandolins, travel
guitars, lutes, citterns, and viols. Bucher also scallops fingerboards on
existing guitars, or will create new necks with scalloped fingerboards.
- M. Campellone Guitars
- Campellone builds archtop guitars and works out of Providence, Rhode
Island, USA. He worked for a number of years as a jazz guitarist,
having studied at Berklee College of music, but began building instruments
in the 70s. His site describes his guitars and also includes an
interview from Just Jazz Guitar magazine.
- Alan Carruth, Luthier
- Based in Dedham, Massachusetts, Al Carruth hand-crafts a variety of models of
classical and flat-top acoustic guitars, as well as violins, violas, harps,
dulcimers, and hammered dulcimers. His site offers descriptions, prices, and
options for all of his standard models. Al also teaches luthiery; his site
describes his classes and includes photos of some his students' work. His
site offers other educational material, including items on acoustics and
tools for luthiery.
- Jim Chelsvig Guitars
- Jim Chelsvig builds 6- and 12-string acoustic guitars in the tradition of
noted Yugoslavian-American luthier Bozo Podunavac. His shop is just
outside of Chicago, Illinois.
A photo gallery displays options for tone woods, inlays, and other options,
and visitors can get price quotes via email by filling out an easy-to-use web form.
Visitors will find pages about Jim's views on luthiery, as well as an informative
illustrated review of Podunavac's career.
This lovely site also features an illustrated glossary of acoustic guitar
terminology and a "soundboard" where visitors can post questions and comments
about Chelsvig guitars or luthiery more generally. A small collection of
acoustic guitar links rounds out the site.
- Cloutier Music Repository/Cloutier Guitars
- This is the site for guitarist/songwriter/luthier Steve Cloutier
in Faribault, Minnesota, including pages for Tree Frog Instruments
(solidbody electric mandolins), Cloutier Guitars (custom acoustic
guitars, mandolins, and basses), and the Tree Frog
Music Festival of Music, Arts & Crafts held in Faribault in
- Chrysalis Guitars
- "Home of the inflatable guitar."
- Collings Guitars
- Based in Austin, Texas, the Collings guitar company makes
hand-made instruments in the tradition of older Martin flattops.
Bill Collings began making guitars in 1973; now he is helped by
a team of assistants.
- William R. Cumpiano, Guitarmakers
- Cumpiano Guitars builds custom steel-string and classic guitars, as well as
Latin-American and other specialty instruments. Each instrument is different,
tailored to the desires and requirements of the player who commisioned it; about
two dozen instruments are built each year.
The Cumpiano site has galleries providing photos and descriptions of sample
instruments, information on how to order an instrument, and biographical
information about Cumpiano's career, which extends back to the early 70s,
when he apprenticed with Michael Gurian and Michael Millard. Cumpiano
has received a number of teaching and documentation grants, and luthier
education is an important aspect of his work. His site offers articles
on luthiery and guitar care, and descriptions of the various hands-on guitarmaking
workshops he offers.
- Dillon Guitars
- Matt Dillon handcrafts acoustic guitars in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.
His web site is a bit under construction at the moment (May 97),
but check in soon for updates.
- Dunwell Guitars
- "Alan Dunwell is a Nederland, Colorado area luthier who has been
building guitars for over 20 years on a part time basis and has been
building professionally for the last five. Alan runs his one man shop
out of his home in the Rocky Mountains near Nederland. The present
emphasis is on acoustic flat top guitars for finger style and flat
picking. Current models are 000, OM, Deep-Body OM, and Dreadnoughts
but custom design and alternative woods are always an option. Alan is
a member of the Guild of American Luthiers and the Association of
Stringed Instrument Artisans." His web site provides basic information
about his instruments and philosophy, and email and phone contact info.
- Eichelbaum Guitars
- David Eichelbaum crafts his custom acoustic guitars in Santa Barbara, CA;
he also offers first class, professional repairs and restorations on all
stringed instruments. He offers three standard models--Sierra Orchestra,
Sierra Jumbo, Grand Concert--but is also delighted to work with his
customers to design their personalized "dream guitar." His craftsmanship
reflects the high levels of the luthiers whose work have most influenced
his building process--Kevin Ryan and Jim Olson--but his designs are
uniquely "Eichelbaum." His site presents photos of his standard models
with descriptions and dimensions, pricing and options lists, and
discussion of his repair and restoration work. Among his many
satisfied clients is Burlington Vermont player and teacher
extraordinaire Paul Asbell.
- Everett Guitars
- "Built by hand; untouched by compromise" is the evocative logo
of Kent Everett's shop based in Atlanta, Georgia. Kent has been
building guitars since 1977, and offers four different body shapes
(models) in five different aesthetic combinations (series). His web site
offers drawings, photos, descriptions, prices, and a brief bio. A few
dealers carry his guitars; a list of authorized dealers is on the site.
Kent also offers luthiery classes, described on the site.
Among the many
Everett owners are Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls, Shawn Mullins, David
Wilcox, and Don Conoscenti.
- Evergreen Mountain
- Jerry Nolte is the luthier who builds Evergreen Mountain Instruments,
providing custom instruments at a very reasonable cost. EMI is in Jasper
Cove, Oregon, USA.
- James Goodall Guitars
- James Goodall builds flattop acoustic guitars in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
He offers three models, Standard (a curvier dreadnaught style), Grand Concert,
and Jumbo. His site features high quality images of sample instruments,
including detail photos illustrating wood choices for the top, back, and
peghead. A useful page provides descriptions of the
properties of various tonewoods used for tops. The site also provides
biographical information about Goodall.
Goodall guitars are available from selected dealers; a dealer list is
provided at the site.
- Graden Guitar
- Based in this shop in Lebanon Church in Northwestern Virginia, Darrel
Hamm "builds custom flat-top acoustic guitars that have a great pre-war
sound." Prices start at $800.
- Granata Guitars
- Peter Granata is a luthier who builds guitars in Oak Ridge, NJ.
Singer/songwriter Cliff Eberhardt, a very talented player
who has played guitar on tour with Richie Havens, has recently begun
touring with (and raving about) a Granata guitar. Singer/songwriter
Cheryl Wheeler owns at least two Granatas that share the stage
with her Olson SJ at performances.
- Stephen Grimes: The Art of the Archtop
- Stephen Grimes has been building archtop guitars and double sound hole slack
key guitars since 1974, first in Port Townsend, Washington, and since
1982 in Kula, Hawaii. His slack key guitars
are the result of a collaboration with master slack key player
Keola Beamer. He has also collaborated with Ned Steinberger to
produce an experimental "stress-free" guitar.
- Heiden Stringed Instruments
- Michael Heiden has been making custom acoustic guitars and mandolins in the Vancouver,
British Columbia area since the early 70s. Renowned multi-instrumentalist
Mark O'Connor is among his many clients. After making many designs over the years,
he has refined his line down to four models: Jumbo, Junior, OM, and Dreadnought, each
available in a variety of woods. His site features photos and basic info
(including dimensions) about
each model; visitors can email Heiden for further details.
- Henderson Guitar
- Working in Lander, Wyoming, near the
Wind River Mountains, Alec Henderson makes truly distinctive acoustic steel string guitars.
He describes his current
model as "a balance of innovation and tradition intended to inspire the
player by uniting sound and vision." His site includes a page describing
his instruments, with text and photos explaining his design choices.
Henderson guitars can be purchased direct, and at a few select shops listed
at the site.
- Hill Guitar Company
- Luthier Kenny Hill divides his time between building custom classical
guitars in his shop in Felton, California, performing, teaching guitar building,
directing a guitar shop in Mexico, and writing for several national guitar
magazines. His web site offers an online catalog of his standard models,
a dealer list, and information about his classes, recordings, and other
- Hoffman Guitars
- Hoffman Guitars is a Minneapolis, Minnesota guitar shop that has
been specializing in guitar repair and handcrafted acoustic guitars
- Anthony J. Huvard, Luthier
- Huvard has been hand crafting electric, acoustic, classical and flamenco guitars and lutes in rural New Kent County, VA, since 1964. His
web site is also the "home of the Internet's first interactive online
- Ithaca Stringed Instruments
- Eric Aceto and Dan Hoffman hand craft a variety of fine acoustic instruments designed
specifically for amplification in live and studio settings; they are available
from Ithaca Guitar Works in Ithaca, New York
and by order. Available models
include the Oneida acoustic-electric guitar (used by Martin Simpson
and David Torn),
mandolects (amplified mandolins) and violects (amplified violins, violas, and cellos).
- Jammin' Johns
- "Music to your rear..."
- Sergei de Jonge Guitars
- A luthier for 24 years, de Jonge builds professional concert calibre
classical and steel string acoustics. Based in Oshawa, Ontario, de Jonge
also offers two-month luthiery courses.
- Ukuleles by Kawika
- A ukulele maker since 1985, David "Kawika" Hurd builds not only
ukes, but more recently also acoustic guitars, in Hilo, Hawaii.
- Kersenbrock Guitars
- Keith Kersenbrock and Walter Pickett build acoustic guitars in
Lindsborg, Kansas. Their site provides contact information only.
- A Michigan-based luthier and guitar repairman, Del Langejans has
been building quality hand crafted guitars for 25 years. Among the
artists playing his steel string and classical instruments are Phil Keaggy, Thom Bresh, John
Michael Talbot, Bob Hartman, Jerry Reed, and Wes King.
- Larrivee Guitars Online
- Information and prices about the internationally distributed guitars
produced by this Vancouver-based custom shop, including photos and
a list of international distributors.
- H. G. Leach Guitars
- Harvey Leach builds acoustic flattop and archtop guitars, acoustic basses,
and electric guitars in Cedar Ridge, California. His site provides
photos and prices for the wide variety of models he offers, with designs
spanning the spectrum from traditional to modern. Included are photos
of different woods as well as details of his lovely custom inlay work.
Roy Clark, Thom Bresh, and Dean Parks are among the better-known owners
of Leach guitars.
- Lowden Guitars
- Irish luthier George Lowden built the first Lowden guitars in 1973. As
demand for his quality instruments grew, other craftsment joined him
in Ireland, and eventually Lowden contracted with a Japanese manufacturer
to increase production. In 1985, manufacturing moved back entirely to
Ireland, and Lowden guitars are now built in Newtonards, Ireland. George
himself no longer builds at the factory (he designs and builds independent
of the company), but remains involved in the training of craftsmen and
the design of Lowden instruments. The Lowden web site provides further
details about company history, a product gallery with photos and
descriptions of the various models offered, and a page listing many
popular artists who play Lowdens.
- Dave Maize Acoustic Bass Guitars
- Based in Talent, Oregon, Dave Maize hand crafts high quality acoustic
steel-string guitars and acoustic bass guitars, and also provides guitar- and
bass-building supplies. His guitars and supplies are developed using
environmentally responsible materials and methods.
- Manzer Guitars
- Linda Manzer is a Canadian luthier who studied under Larivee and whose
best-known clients are Bruce Cockburn and Pat Metheney.
Guitars, Mendocino, CA
- Custom acoustic and electric guitars, and fine repair work on fretted
instruments of all kinds.
- Mauel Hand Crafted Guitars
- Hank Mauel handcrafts acoustic guitars in his shop in Auburn,
California. He currently builds Parlor, OM, Grand OM, 000-12,
and Dreadnought style instruments, and offers a wide variety of
options, particularly in regard to wood choices. His web site
gives full specifications for the available models and includes
close-up photos of instrument details such as rosettes and purfling
and prices for the basic models and all options.
He encourages close interaction with his customers, including
customer selection of the actual wood to be used for the instrument.
- McAlister Guitars
- Roy McAlister builds guitars in Watsonville, CA, on the coast
in the Monterey Bay. He believes that "a
luthier and player together bridge the gap between mother nature and
music." Singer/songwriters David Crosby and Chuck Brodsky are
among his recent customers.
His site offers photos of the basic models he constructs, a selection
of owner comments, a price list for
optional features and special wood choices, and email links for inquiries
about prices for complete instruments and other questions. He also
hosts a page of photos from the 1998 San Francisco Acoustic Guitar Festival.
- McCollum Guitars
- Lance McCollum, a member of the Sacramento Valley Luthiers Guild
working in Colfax, California, builds custom instruments in four body styles:
000, Mini-Jumbo, Grand Auditorium, and Dreadnought. His site offers photos and a form
for requesting additional information about his instruments.
- Mermer Guitars
- Richard Mermer, Jr., hand-crafts acoustic guitars in Sebastian,
Florida. He began learning his craft at the Roberto-Venn School of
Luthiery in Phoenix, Arizona in the early 80s, and has been repairing,
restoring, designing and building guitars ever since. He builds custom
instruments whose designs are dictated by his clients, spanning the
range from traditional to modern. His site includes a brief bio
and photos and prices for his standard models.
- Nashville Guitar Company
- Luthier Marty Lanham runs a shop in Nashville making a limited number of custom instruments
and doing museum-quality restoration of vintage instruments; Marty also builds
banjos. His instruments are available by order, and also through a few select
shops, including Gryphon Stringed Instruments (CA),
Carmel Music (CA), and Gruhn Guitars (TN),
where Marty has worked as a repairman.
- Nickerson Guitars
- Brad Nickerson builds "one of a kind" archtop and flattop acoustic
guitars and carved-top electrics in his Northampton, MA shop.
In addition he also offers
six affordable basic guitar models.
His work is
inspired by that of luthiers Carlo Greco and Jimmy D'Aquisto. He "enjoys creating new and different
instruments to suit individual players needs." His site provides photos of the basic
models, a price list, and a brief bio with some owners' comments. Brad
also teaches archtop luthiery at the Leeds Guitarmakers' School in Northampton.
- James A. Olson Guitars
- Jim Olson builds guitars in a beautiful, spacious two-story shop he constructed next to
his home in Circle Pines, Minnesota. He has been building guitars since the late 1970s,
and is one of the most influential of todays modern luthiers. He has built guitars for Phil Keaggy, James
Taylor, David Wilcox, Leo Kottke, Russ Barenberg, Sting, Patty Larkin, and many other
discriminating players. His site is maintained by the webmaster of the AG site,
and contains numerous instrument photos, pricing and ordering information, reviews
from the press and from owners, interviews, a selection of luthiery links, and
an extensive and growing collection of shop photos displaying Jim's ever-growing
collection of custom-designed tools and jigs.
- Po-Man Guitars
- Luthiers Ken Podriznik and John Mosconi work in Sharon Center, Ohio, building
"world class custom built guitars that are affordable
by the average enthusiast." Each of his instruments is built by hand to the customer's specs.
His web site offers contact info and a gallery of photos of representative Po-Man guitars.
Po-Man Guitars also offers repairs and refinishing.
- Robertson Guitars
- Jeff Robertson builds guitars in New Berlin, a small town in upstate New York.
He has been building guitars since 1994, but despite being relatively new to
luthiery has already made a name for himself as an exceptional craftsman
(The Vintage News describes him as "one of the rising stars of
American Lutherie"). His web site describes his background and building
philosophy, provides photos, prices, and details for his standard models
and options, and displays numerous photos of tools and jigs from his shop.
He sells his instruments direct to players, but also through a small number
of dealers across the US listed on the web site.
- Kevin Ryan Guitars
- Kevin Ryan's shop is in Westminster, California. Kevin started woodworking
as a carpenter, quickly moving on to cabinet making and then crafting fine
custom furniture. This led to a career in aerospace, crafting wood and steel
models for wind-tunnel testing. A guitar player himself, he began building guitars
in 1988, having "caught the fever" after seeing Phil Keaggy perform on
a custom-made Olson SJ. He developed personal and professional relationships
with luthier Jim Olson and Ken Hoover (Santa Cruz Guitar Co.); they have strongly
influenced his philosophy of bracing and design. Ryan guitars are in high
demand, and are played by a large number of well-known guitarists and
Laurence Juber, Muriel Anderson, Pat Donohue, Al Petteway, Muriel Anderson,
Bob Bennett, Jackson Browne, and Janis Ian. His site includes numerous photos
and details of his standard models, pricing, an interview
with Kevin, and a list of Ryan players.
- Running Dog Guitars
- Luthier Rick Davis individually hand-crafts Running Dog guitars in Richmond, VT.
He offers four body styles (no dreadnaughts!), each available in a variety of woods
and with various options. His site provides photos and dimensions for each model,
and recommended wood choices for each; prices are included. Rick is committed
to "identifying and using alternatives to the (often) irresponsibly
harvested tonewoods traditionally found on guitars." He favors North American
woods such as walnut, cherry, and sycamore, though he will happily build
using more traditional woods as well.
- Kirk Sand Guitars
- Kirk Sand is best known for his custom acoustic-electric classical
guitars; his design was the basis for the Chet Atkins SST made by
Gibson, and his instruments are played by Atkins, Doyle Dykes, and
- Santa Cruz Guitars, Santa Cruz, California
- Scipio Guitars
- Run by Flip Van Domburg (formerly of the Mandolin Brothers in
Staten Island, NY), Scipio Guitars offers custom instruments and
repairs (including vintage repairs) from their New York City shop.
- Eric Schoenberg Guitars
- Located "just off the dock (land side!) on San Francisco Bay,"
Shoenberg's shop offers his custom guitars as well as other new,
used, and vintage acoustic guitars, specializing in finger-style guitars.
His site describes his custom guitars (including his innovative 12-fret
models), and also includes a number of articles on acoustic guitars and
- Stefan Sobell Musical Instruments
- Based in Northumberland in the North of England, Sobell builds flat-top
and arch-top guitars,
guitar-bouzoukis, mandolins, and citterns. Each instrument is hand crafted,
and Sobell builds about 3 per month, carefully crafting each to its
owners' specifications. A unique aspect of Sobell construction is the
tapered, carved top on his flat-tops, thick near the soundhole, but thinner
toward the sides. Perhaps the best-known player of Sobell instruments
is Martin Simpson, who has also acted as his US sales representative.
His web site provides some history and construction details, photos
and specs of his various models, and player comments. Potential
customers can contact Sobell by email for prices and other information.
- Ervin Somogyi: Guitars & Artwork
- Charles S. Tauber, Maker
of Guitars and Lutes
- Charles hand-crafts concert-quality classical and steel string
acoustic guitars and lutes in Ontario, Canada.
He is also the author of frequent, informative posts to RMMGA, including
the "Basic Guitar Set-Up 101" article he has archived at his web site.
He also repairs fine instruments.
- Teigen Guitars
- Ross Teigen builds acoustic and electric guitars near Naples, Florida, at the edge of the
Everglades. He has been building guitars since 1979. He offers two
standard models with strikingly original body shapes---one flattop acoustic and one thinline electric---and
he also builds many custom instruments, including archtop and harp guitars. His site offers pictures
and descriptionsof both the standard models and example custom models; prices
are given for the standard models only.
- Tippin Guitars Co.
- Massachusetts-based luthier Bill Tippin builds acoustic guitars and
basses in original designs, as well more traditional 00, 000,
Dreadnought and Jumbo styles in the tradition of makers like Martin
and Collings. Their growing web site provides photos and descriptions
of a few of their models, and phone and email contact info.
- Thompson Guitars
- A site run by an enthusiastic customer with photos and basic information
about Thompson guitars, made in Vernon, British Columbia.
- Wechter Guitars
- Wechter guitars is committed to providing guitar players "with uncompromised
tone, quality, response and innovation at prices working musicians
can afford." Luthier Abe Wechter works in Paw Paw, Michigan, and over
his 20+ year career has
built guitars for John McLaughlin, Al DiMeola, Steve Howe, B. B. King, John
Denver, Earl Klugh, and Jonas Hellborg. He has also worked for Gibson Guitars.
With partner John Jalkanen, he handcrafts his inovative Pathmaker double-cutaway acoustic
guitars as well as more traditional steel and nylon string guitars. The
Wechter web site outlines Abe's career, describes the various models,
and includes a dealer list. As of January 2000, prices were being updated
and were unavailable on the site.
- Ray Whitaker
- Ray's site features photos of guitars he has built, and will soon
host a "Luthier of the Month" profile of a different "lesser known" luthier
- Kathy Wingert Guitars
- Working in Rancho Palo Verde, California, Kathy Wingert builds hand-crafted
instruments one at a time, focusing on achieving "playability,
clarity, focus, sustain, tone, and beauty." Her site includes a description
of her building process where she notes, "building individual
instruments means taking the extra time to make the most of
each instrument, bringing out its own voice. Building this way
takes a tremendous amount of time but the results are worth it."
Additional pages describe her four basic models (Model E Grand Concert,
Model OO, Parlor Guitar, and Classical Guitar) including
dimensions for each model and dozens of photos displaying her
- J. R. Zeidler
- J. R. Zeidler constructs archtop and flattop acoustic guitars and
mandolins in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His site includes photos and
descriptions of his models, and order information for his full color
- Carvin Guitars
- Dobro guitars
- Epiphone Guitars
- Fender World
- Gibson Guitars
- Gibson is also now the distributor for
- Guild Guitars
- Ibanez Guitars
- La Si Do (Seagull, Godin, Simon and Patrick)
- Based in Canada, this company is largest volume producer of
guitars in North America. Among the brands they manufacture
are Godin, A&L, Seagull, and Simon and Patrick. They make classical and
steel string acoustics, and acoustic-electrics.
- C. F. Martin & Co.
- Well, we probably don't have to explain who Martin Guitar is!
Their site offers product specs, images, retail pricing, instrument
care advice, various information about the company and its
history, and archived press releases. Devoted Martin fans have
also created an impressive Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum,
with a wide variety of web-based discussion forums on topics ranging from
technical info on Martin guitars, technique and players, guitar playing basics,
and buying and selling of used Martin guitars.
- National Guitars
- Ovation Guitars
- This site is hosted by
Kaman Music, who also host
a site for Trace (makers of acoustic guitar amps).
- Russtone XXI
- Russtone is the largest manufacturer of guitars in Russia. Their
site is in Russian.
- Takamine Guitars
- Taylor Guitars
- Rex's Taylor Guitars Page
- Despite the fact that this an unofficial site hosted,
not by Taylor, but by Taylor fan Rex Maximillian, it's a great site: graphically
appealing, with lots of info about the history of Taylor, descriptions
and specs for various Taylor models, discussion of wood types, etc..
It seems to go in and out of service, however.
- Including Washburn Guitars, SoundTech Sound Reinforcement, and
Oscar Schmidt acoustic and classical guitars, autoharps, banjos, and
- Oscar Schmidt International
- Yamaha Guitars
- Colin's Guitar Works
- Located in Nashville, Tennessee since 1989, Colin's specializes "in the
repair and restoration of acoustic and electric guitars, as well as many other
stringed instruments. These include the bass, mandolin, banjo and many
others." They also provide tech services, such as rack wiring and pedal
board construction. Their site lists repair rates, offers subscriptions
to their bimonthly newsletter The Luthier Letter, and other
repair and luthery information.
Guitars, Mendocino, CA
- Custom acoustic and electric guitars, and fine repair work on fretted
instruments of all kinds.
the Guitar Maker
- Weekly column by Abe Wechter, hosted by Guitar Net, providing tips
on guitar maintenance and building, and answering readers' questions.
- Truss Rod Adjustment
- A very nice RMMGA post by David Means describing truss rod
adjustment, and further recommendations and references suggested
by Steve Comeau. (By the way, the truss rod is that funny screw-like thing either at
the peghead or in the body at the base of the neck of your guitar!)
- Basic Guitar Set-up 101
- Luthier Charles Tauber's guide to setting up your acoustic guitar,
as posted to RMMGA. A guitar setup involves adjusting the neck
relief (see "Truss Rod Adjustment," above), adjusting string height
at the saddle and nut, and adjusting intonation. You can also read
some of the discussion of setup techniques
that followed Charles's early versions of his post. Charles keeps
the "Setup 101" documents archived at the Charles S. Tauber web site,
where you might find a more recently revised version.
- Kirk Reiser's "Instruments Area"
- Kirk has archived some articles on construction, repair, and adjustment
at this site, including Voicing the Guitar by luthier Dana Bourgeois (reprinted from the Guild of American Luthiers), and a series of articles by Sean Barry on pearl inlay technique.
- Guitar Repair -- Gringo's Online Guide
- Purports to be "the first online guide to guitar repair and setup,"
though many of the guitar repair and setup info sites listed here at AG
predate it by at least a year. But don't let the hype distract you;
there is some good info here, including lists of problems and fixes
according to symptoms such as "string buzz" or "strings keep breaking."
Although under construction, it is already useful and promises
to be more so (summer '97).
- A&M Wood Supply
- "A & M Wood Specialty is a wholesaler and retailer offering one
of the broadest inventories in North America of wood and wood-related
products." They supply wood to luthiers, and their web site let you
view images of wood species and includes a pricelist.
- American Guitar Center---Guitar and Amp Parts
- Based in Wilmington, Vermont, this company provides replacement parts
and kits for both electric and acoustic guitars, and amplifiers.
They welcome orders from around the globe. Their site includes
a full catalog in HTML, and a form for submitting requests for
Storage and Humidity
Acoustic guitars are happiest in 40 - 60% relative humidity. One of the
best on-line sources of information about humidity measurement and control---believe
it or not---is the Cigar Smoker's FAQ. Of particular interest is its information on calibrating the
popular Radio Shack digital hygrometer.
Mailing and Flying With Acoustic Guitars
In early 2003, the American Federation of Musicians negotiated with
the US Transportation Safety Administration for the right of musicians
to carry on musical instruments on airline flights. Musicians may
now carry on an instrument in addition to any regular
carry-on baggage. Documentation of this is available here:
AFM wins right to carry on instruments. You may
want to bring a copy of the letter reproduced on this site with
you when you travel to clarify procedures with TSA officials at
The June 1996 issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine contains
an article on flying with an acoustic guitar written by contemporary
singer/songwriter Kristina Olsen.
- Safe Air Travel With Your Guitar
- An extensive article by guitarist Pat Kirtley including
his "12 Steps to a Successful Carry-On." A must-read for anyone
who flies with a cherished instrument.
- Christine Lavin's Guitar Case Suggestions
- Christine Lavin's tips for traveling with your guitar, including
unsolicited endorsements/descriptions of Calton hardshell cases and
Blue Heron gig bags. Some great advice and tips from a longtime road
- Saving Your Neck
- A collection of suggestions about airline travel with a guitar
as posted to the alt.music.filk Usenet newsgroup.
- Here is a collection of some 1996 posts from
RMMGA and the folkmusic.org listserv on
flying with guitars.
- Here are collections of RMMGA posts since 1996 on
flying with guitars, divided for obvious reasons into pre and post
11 Sep 2001:
Federation of Musicians (musicians union) Airline links
- Links to the musical instrument policies of many airlines.
- How To Pack
Your Instrument For Shipping
- An online guide to shipping stringed instruments of all types, prepared
by Gruhn Guitars of Nashville.
- This site provides a description and ordering information for the
ClimateCase, a case cover that protects your instrument (in its
own case) from heat and humidity exposure. A price list for the many
models is provided, along with a technical summary on how the ClimateCase
- SKB Cases
- Cases for all kinds of musical equipment.
- Pegasus Cases
- Heavy-duty cases for acoustic and classical guitars, mandolins, and bagpipes.
- Newsgroup discussion of insurance
- Some archived postings from RMMGA and rec.audio.pro regarding
insuring instruments and equipment.
- Clarion Associates Musical Instrument Insurance
- "Insuring the famous and the not-so-famous for over 50 years." Clarion
specializes in insuring instruments for professional musicians; they
also provide homeowners, automobile, and life insurance. The site
briefly describes their coverage, includes an informative FAQ and
claim forms, and provides contact info via a toll-free number, email,
and surface mail. Clarion is located at Huntington Station, New York.
These sites maintain databases of stolen instruments. If an instrument
is stolen from you, you can easily add it to either database.
If you are buying a used guitar, please check to see if it is
listed in the database. Often rewards are offered for information
leading to the original owner reclaiming the instrument.
Dealers in particular should check
consignments or trade-ins to see if they are stolen. Both services
- Stolen Instrument List
- Text listings, sorted by instrument type (stringed, wind, etc.), and
then by country.
- "The Hot List"---Stolen Instruments Database
- This site uses HTML forms to allow quick searches and entries.
- Stolen Instrument Database
- This site hosts another stolen instrument database, but since it
crashes Netscape on Unix I can't tell you what's there....
Tom Loredo /