Acoustic Guitar Resources:
The Instrument

General Information

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 registered participants."

The 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 World Headquarters
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 upside-down, etc.).

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 secrets online.

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 guitars.

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 instruments.

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, and photos.
Info on woods and guitar types (dreadnought, SJ, 000, etc.) is available in the RMMGA FAQ???

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.

Independent Luthiers

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, Custom Guitars, 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 luthiers are:

For a list of classical guitar builders, visit the Notable American Lutiers??? page.

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
Steven Andersen Stringed Instruments
Based in Seattle, Washington, Andersen builds high-end archtop guitars and mandolins.
Benedetto Guitars
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 ordering info.
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 Dana).
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 September.
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 Instruments
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 Shop
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 music-related activities.
Hoffman Guitars
Hoffman Guitars is a Minneapolis, Minnesota guitar shop that has been specializing in guitar repair and handcrafted acoustic guitars since 1971.
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 guitarmaking apprenticeship."
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.
Del Langejans Guitars
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.
Matlin 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 singer/songwriters, including 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 Tommy Jones.
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 guitar playing.
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 each month.
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 exceptional craftsmanship.
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 catalog.

Guitar Manufacturers

Carvin Guitars
Dobro guitars
Epiphone Guitars
Fender World
Gibson Guitars
Gibson is also now the distributor for Dobro guitars.
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 mandolins.
Oscar Schmidt International
Yamaha Guitars

Repairs and Adjustments

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.

Matlin Guitars, Mendocino, CA
Custom acoustic and electric guitars, and fine repair work on fretted instruments of all kinds.

Ask 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 hard-to-find parts.

Storing and Transporting Acoustic Guitars

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 your airport.

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 warrior.

Saving Your Neck
A collection of suggestions about airline travel with a guitar as posted to the Usenet newsgroup.

Here is a collection of some 1996 posts from RMMGA and the 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:

American 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 performs.

SKB Cases
Cases for all kinds of musical equipment.

Pegasus Cases
Heavy-duty cases for acoustic and classical guitars, mandolins, and bagpipes.

Instrument Insurance

Newsgroup discussion of insurance
Some archived postings from RMMGA and 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.

Stolen Guitars

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 are free.
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 /