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blews 01-20-2021 09:03 AM

Hidden Gem in my Backyard - Blake Dyson - Luthier
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You truly never know what you will find in your own backyard......figuratively speaking.....

Since 2005, I have literally bought and sold over 70 acoustic guitars.....I know, this is crazy.....but there are others out here who are just as bad....I guess it is the never ending search for the perfect instrument and perfect tone...I've had dreads, jumbos, all kinds of "0"s, parlors, slope shoulders, etc...Most of that buying and selling was between 2005 and 2015 and I've slowed down a bit since then and settled in on a few key instruments that I love....

I realized last fall that I didn't have a 000 - 14 fretter with a wide nut and short scale in my herd....I truly love this style guitar and so I went on the hunt....And I love rosewood back and sides and that was probably the wood choice I would be looking for....

I've owned 3 Martin Claptons, including a Madi, and for some reason I sold them all....The 000-28EC is a great instrument and seems to keep rising cost wise every year with the demand for them. A ton have been made, but the demand in the marketplace is there for sure....

I always liked the 000-28EC and decided I would try to find another from the first year of production which was 1996. I even posted a WTB ad out here and had a few people email me. I found a '96 model at a National dealer and contacted them with the usual questions and was getting ready to pull the trigger when it was sold in the shop....Oh well as they say....there will be another....

I started looking at other builders and other "non Claptons" that would fit the 14 fret - 000 - rosewood B/S - wide nut - short scale box and inquired of a few at other National dealers, Reverb, etc....

I have sold a lot on Craigslist over the years, but have never really bought much out there....From time to time I will look as you never know what you might find. After I lost out on the Clapton, I was on Craigslist one day and saw a pretty guitar that was advertised as "luthier built".....It appeared to be a 000 - 14 fret - short scale - and it was....also had a 1-3/4" nut.....Brazilian back and sides and a pretty white Adirondack top.....The guitar checked all the boxes so I inquired.....

My first question to the seller was....."Who built the guitar?" which he replied....."I did".....

OK - so I live in Raleigh, NC and the seller lives in Hillsborough, NC which is about 40 minutes from me...I used to date a girl in Hillsborough years ago and it's an awesome town just west of Durham, NC. I always enjoyed spending time over there, especially downtown....great restaurants and local fare....the only "luthier" I knew in Hillsborough was the Pre War Guitar Company....The Seller's name was Blake Dyson...

I did a little googling and found one mention of Blake on AGF back from 2007 where it showed that he worked at Huss & Dalton finishing guitars.....Blake also mentioned in our emails that he was a trained luthier and had gone to luthier school. I routed the Craigslist ad to a few guitar buddies and one of them decided to tag along with me to go view Blake's guitar.....I didn't know what to expect and really wasn't expecting much....

Upon arrival, Blake Dyson greeted us at his workshop just off his house where he builds guitars...We exchanged hellos and on his bench was the case with the "luthier built" guitar....The shop had plenty of equipment in it and a rack of to be built bodies and as soon as we entered I could tell that Blake was no rookie....I opened the case and the guitar was stunning.....absolutely stunning....My buddy gasped as well as we pulled the guitar out...

Now, I am a guy who can pick up a guitar and hit a few chords and run up and down the neck and check intonation and will know in 2 minutes whether the guitar is for me....I was a little nervous having never been in this situation....I played it for ten seconds and handed it to my buddy to play talking the entire time.....Once I got it back and sat down for several minutes and played fingerstyle I fell in love with it.....

The tone was amazing.....the bass and mids were awesome....clear and concise and very balanced across the entire guitar....She was a cannon and was very responsive.....It was truly one of the nicest guitars I have ever played...ever....

I've owned Petros, Froggy, Lowden, higher end Martins and higher end Santa Cruz models than what I currently have and this guitar stacks up against all of them.....She is incredible......

The guitar has Brazilian rosewood back and sides and an Adi top...All bracing is red spruce...ebony fretboard....the bridge is Braz and the tapering of the pegs following the saddle is killer....the binding is cocobolo and ivorid and looks amazing....bone nut and bone saddle....The rosette is simple, yet gorgeous.....

This will sound silly but one of the nicest things I love about this guitar is that she has no endpin.....and no strap button......she is "au natural".....I am a sit down fingerstyle player and don't need and don't want any of the above....

After about 30-40 minutes I committed to buy the guitar.....Blake agreed to swap out the existing butter-bean tuners he had on her for some Waverlys with ebony knobs that I thought would look just killer on her....It took a week for those tuners to arrive and I went back this past weekend to pick the guitar up....and yes, the new tuning machines look killer....

She is just an absolutely amazing sounding guitar and I couldn't be happier..... I am so impressed with this guitar that Blake and I are speaking about another with different wood combos.....

This is a plug for Blake Dyson and his guitar builds.....His work is fantastic and he is a heck of a nice gracious and so easy to work with.....

The pictures below tell the rest of the story.......

And you never know what you will find in your own backyard...

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Robin, Wales 01-20-2021 09:13 AM

That is a beautiful looking guitar! And I bet it sounds lush. Congratulations :D

fitness1 01-20-2021 09:27 AM

Great story - a quick look around the net only shows a Reverb presence (a couple of sold or ended listings) so I'm assuming he doesn't have a website or Facebook page.

And don't feel bad about those 70 guitars you had pass through your hands - it's a great way to learn what you like and don't like!

I just happen to know someone who had about 3 times that number during his learning period.:roll::roll:

hairpuller 01-20-2021 09:45 AM

That is one stunning guitar!

Lucky you!

UncleJesse 01-20-2021 09:47 AM

I remember this guy showing his guitars on reddit. I talked with him then and thought his guitars looked impressive. Congrats!

On a side note, that appears to be a T H I C C saddle :)

UncleJesse 01-20-2021 09:51 AM


Originally Posted by fitness1 (Post 6609545)
And don't feel bad about those 70 guitars you had pass through your hands - it's a great way to learn what you like and don't like!

I just happen to know someone who had about 3 times that number during his learning period.:roll::roll:

I'm gonna save this post and show it to my wife. Maybe then she'll stop teasing me about how she can't keep track of what is coming and going ;)

BradHall 01-20-2021 10:07 AM

Beautiful guitar. I especially like the purfiling line continuing around the heel cap.
Nice touch. Congratulations.

Skarsaune 01-20-2021 10:33 AM

Mr. Dyson is on AGF - step up and take a bow! Nice guitar, nice story.

I have family in Hillsborough and hope to visit Blake when things are more normal-ish.

Dyson Guitars 01-20-2021 01:44 PM

Thanks so much Jim. Those are mighty kind words and I truly appreciate it.

It was a pleasure meeting you and Jeff and I look forward to spending more time talking about guitars in the future.


jimmy bookout 01-20-2021 02:00 PM


Originally Posted by BalekSydon (Post 6609795)
Thanks so much Jim. Those are mighty kind words and I truly appreciate it.

It was a pleasure meeting you and Jeff and I look forward to spending more time talking about guitars in the future.


Do you have a website?


Dyson Guitars 01-20-2021 04:34 PM

Hello Jimmy,
I do not have a website. I have an email I use for guitars, not sure if it is cool to post my email or not. Iím a recent (today) sponsor of the AGF so I will be posting build threads going forward!
Feel free to PM any questions.


SpruceTop 01-20-2021 04:37 PM

That Guitar Looks Beautiful & Like It Means Business--Enjoy Your Dyson!

Gee Man 01-20-2021 06:10 PM

Very nice, love the dark BRW.

Mr. Jelly 01-20-2021 06:41 PM

Great story and Blake is here with us. The guitar does look great. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Blakes guitars.

Dwight 01-20-2021 07:07 PM

It sure looks good! Enjoy!

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