I build the very finest quality acoustic guitars (flat-tops, archtops and resonators) plus some ‘state-of-the-art’ electric guitars. I also repair, customise and set-up all types of guitars and other fretted string instruments.
My Guitars are handmade from solid tonewoods, carefully selected to make each guitar sound and look stunning. By using the best quality materials and construction methods, I can build guitars with exceptional clarity of both tone and sound that will enhance anyone’s playing as well as being things of beauty to be admired.
My passion as a guitar maker comes from a life-long obsession with making things. From a young age I have always tried to manipulate objects and materials in order to create something entirely different. I find that working with wood is a way for me to connect with nature. The simple act of shaping wood to make something functional or beautiful brings me endless satisfaction.
I have been fortunate enough to sell my first few guitars to some very talented, wonderful musicians and seeing them perform their music on my instruments was an invigorating experience. Since that moment I have known that I am on an endless journey to continue to produce finest-quality musical instruments, always striving for perfection and uniqueness with every instrument.
Rob Aylward studied Musical Instrument Technology for four years at the London College of Furniture (now Guildhall University) under the tuition of Herbert Schartz and the widely acclaimed classical guitar maker Michael Gee.
He started R J Aylward guitars in 1990 and has steadily built a reputation for high quality handcrafted instruments built to his clients specifications. In 1997 Guitarist magazine reviewed an OM sized guitar saying “ A feast for the eyes and the ears”, ” A call to rob could be the end of the search for the perfect and perfectly affordalble guitar.
Rob has been most noted for his work with the Selmer style guitars and can count Hank Marvin, Robin and Kevin Nolan, John Wheatcroft, Andy Mackenzie and Gary Potter and amongst the well-known musicians he has built instruments for.
Over the past thirty five years I have made over 400 classical guitars, most of these being smaller bodied Spruce top instruments. Each guitar is individually hand made and uniquely named. I make every part myself with the exception of the strings, machine heads and fret wire.
For the first ten or so years of being in business I combined making with restoring and repairing which gave me the opportunity to examine some of the finest instruments in the world. These included guitars by Vicente Arias, Domingo Esteso, Arcangel Fernandez, Ignacio Fleta, Herman Hauser 1st, Santos Hernandez, Manuel Ramirez, Jose Romanillos and David Rubio.
Since moving to North Devon in 1991 I have concentrated solely on the development of the smaller Spruce top guitar in the Torres and Hauser tradition.
Starting with Mandolins, I’ve been making musical instruments since 2008. With a family tradition of carpentry, probably the woodworking gene in my my blood caught up with me. So I swopped a career in IT for Professional Lutherie. Instead of simply collecting a salary, I began to indulge in a passion for creativity using natural materials. And a background in IT certainly helped me to advance.Combining Traditional Methods, Materials & Modern Technology is my Forte. For example, using a computer to draw & print fretboard slot positions. 100% mathematically accurate, I also use a computer to calculate & plot nut slot string positions. By eye is a difficult & error prone task especially in the case of multi string instruments, such as a 12-string guitar.Acoustic Instruments are my Speciality. I’ve built many Mandolins, Ukes & several Guitars. And experimented with many brands of pickups & electro-dynamic contact microphones, aiming to achieve the best possible natural sound quality from my own instruments. Countless hours of work, impossible without the passion for what I do!
Atkin Guitars was founded in Canterbury, England, in 1995. Since then, we’ve grown steadily from a one-man operation building a handful of one-of-a-kind instruments each year to become one of the UK’s leading acoustic guitar makers. Still in Canterbury, now a two-man operation, we build around 80 guitars a year, each one still handmade and still completely individual. You could say we’ve come a long way!
The story of Atkin Guitars is one of constant dedication to building the best possible instrument. What do we mean by “best”? While other high-end guitar makers seem obsessed with turning out “perfect” guitars – exhibition pieces so immaculate they no longer feel man-made – we’re interested in other, more important qualities. Our aim is always to create an instrument with more feel, more personality, more spark. We want our guitars to bring the player something exciting and unexpected, something that will inspire them to make great music.
All of our guitars are built by hand here in our workshop. We stick to tried-and-tested traditional construction methods, but we’re not afraid to embrace new technology where we feel it can do a better job, just as long as there’s zero compromise in terms of tone. So, for example, frets are fitted and finished by hand but we use precision computer-controlled routing to cut the fret slots. All our guitars feature nitrocellulose lacquer because we believe it’s still the best sounding, best looking finish a guitar can have.
My name is Mark Bailey and I run my own guitar making workshop – Bailey Guitars. I have devoted my life to building guitars and I’ve taught over 400 people how to do it.
I have had many requests from all over the world from folk who are unable to get here in person so it is with great pride and thanks to a great team I am now able to provide this information online and hopefully help out a lot more people – I have seen the lights go on in many people’s eyes as they discover just how do-able it is.
I always say that most guitars are made in factories and they are not populated by genius luthiers (ask me how I know). They are just normal people who turn up at nine and go home at five. Most of the jobs are quite easy and I believe anyone can do it with the right tools and a little guidance.
Some of my students have gone on make many more guitars at home and some have even started their own guitar making business. I’m not saying it is going to be easy, nothing worthwhile ever is, but my aim is to show you what I think is the easiest, quickest and cheapest way to go about building your own electric guitar at home.
Bare Knuckle Pickups is a privately owned business based in the South West of England, UK, specialising in hand-wound electric guitar pickups. Traditional skills and uncompromising values form the basis of a hard-working and forward-thinking company always ready to come out fighting and stand up for what it believes.
We are totally committed to producing the best sounding pickups possible supported by exceptional customer service so that you can get on with playing the guitar, knowing you’ve got the ultimate pickup for the job. After all, that’s why we’re here in the first place and why we warranty our pickups not just for a few years but for life!
Every pickup we make at Bare Knuckle is wound and made entirely by hand, in-house, by a dedicated team of pickup winders headed by Bare Knuckle founder and MD Tim Mills. Everyone at Bare Knuckle is fanatical about music and plays guitar either on amateur or professional levels.
For over forty years Ben Maddock has given both recitals in and taught classical guitar. After initially studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, he then went on to study under Phil Read in New Zealand, Antonio Lasada in Australia and also Alirio Diaz.After moving to Wales in 1996, he made his first guitar at very little expense from local sycamore and western red cedar with much help and advice from the New Zealand Luthier Rod Capper.
The general consensus from many players was that this instrument had a beautiful tone, good sustain and a strong bass. This, coupled with a general insistence to make more, led to much experimentation with different timbers and strutting design, resulting in instruments with exceptional sustain, balance and warmth.
Luthier Nick Benjamin produces small numbers of high quality handmade steel string acoustic guitars.
All the guitars are made in his small one person workshop and sold direct to provide an individual
and personal instrument designed with simple beauty in mind and tone and playability foremost.
Nick Benjamin’s guitars have been used professionally by many musicians including;
Eric Roche, Newton Faulkner, Ray Davies, Mike Dawes, Ryan Keen, Kaki King, Thomas Leeb,
Clive Carroll, Richard Durrant, Nick Pynn, Phillippe Barnes, Stuart Ryan, Tab Hunter and Alex Kabasser.