What is a custom guitar

What is a custom built instrument?

Have you ever found the ideal guitar for you, but the fingerboard was too wide? Or too narrow? How about a guitar that felt perfect and played wonderfully, but just didn’t sound right? Do you have an idea of something a little bit different, but don’t know where to find it? That is the point at which you might consider having an instrument built specially for you.

In many cases, the process will be hardly any different to ordering a standard instrument, but the end result will be unique to you, and can even have your name inside. For more unusual requests, there might be lengthy discussions involved.

In principle, there are hardly any restrictions, if you can dream it, we can probably make it, but it is important to remember that the point of this is to make a musical instrument, not a piece of modern art or a collection of unmatched components. I don’t like to offer a list of options, as this removes the discussion between us; I regard it as a gourmet meal where every part is complementary rather than a buffet lunch of random choices.

Looking at the gallery of custom instrument should give you an idea of what can be done.

Discussing the design

If you have a serious idea, from a simple variation of an existing design to a whole new concept of a stringed instrument, send me the thoughts that you have (email is best) and I will suggest the best way forward.

We can both offer suggestions and ask as many questions as we need to. Usually it is a very simple process, but sometimes the discussion can go on for a long time. If the project is a non-starter I will say so, but the process can be as interesting for me as it is for the customer.

Placing an order

Once the specification and price are agreed, I will take a deposit of around 25% and give you an estimated completion date. Some details can be discussed while the instrument is being made, which is often a good way of proceeding. Final payment is made before delivery, and the instrument can be collected or delivered anywhere in the world.

Prices

Prices for a custom instrument can range from a small extra cost for a different neck (about £150) or different materials (£100- £3,000) and special inlays (£100 upwards). For something very unusual, a general idea of price would be given at an early stage, and adjusted as necessary during discussions.