The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Custom Shop

Thread Tools
Old 12-22-2017, 10:56 AM
macnylonguitar macnylonguitar is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 6
Default Steel string builders....fingerstyle

Steel string builders....

Just wondering what's hot out there in the steel string FS world...

Been a while, playing nylon all these years... over 30 plus years...

Had a 1999 Taylor 912c, like Chris Proctor's, 1 7/8" nut....nice Taylor.. Larrivee LO-9...

Played a David Webber, 2002 or so I think... one nice guitar, great 1 7/8" nut, C shape, low profile neck, so resonant...

not into Taylor's anymore...

Played a Bryan Galloup recently, was nice...nice finger style shape, great tone and volume... no Martins...

Fanned frets are cool.... getting fanned frets on a Kevin Fast electric build...

thx, John K
Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2017, 04:29 AM
Mark Hatcher's Avatar
Mark Hatcher Mark Hatcher is offline
AGF Sponsor
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Peterborough, New Hampshire
Posts: 2,603

Welcome to the forum John! There are a number of popular things going on in the steel string world: fan fret, as you mentioned, also a number of other features aimed more at player comfort and to enhance the player’s experience. For comfort things like arm and rib bevels are becoming very popular. I’d say sound ports are common now and are about enhancing the musicians experience.

Artists are starting to break away from the traditional Rosewoods and Mahogany mindset and are experimenting more with non traditional woods. The wood lockers of most luthiers are now being upgraded with a large variety of
domestic and sustainable wood selections. But, you asked “what’s hot”. Judging by the past couple years, what’s on my bench, and what’s on my build schedule, I’d say high grade domestics, particularly the various Walnuts, and exceptional Maple sets.

Mark Hatcher

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
Seneca the Younger
Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2017, 06:42 AM
Marcus Wong's Avatar
Marcus Wong Marcus Wong is offline
The Golden Era Guitar
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,320

Hey John! As you are just starting out on this journey of steel stringed guitars, try to head down to a nearby dealer to just play as many guitars as you can and try to figure out what you like to hear. Budget should also be a consideration as the base price of different luthier built instruments differ greatly
The Golden Era Guitar

Michaud Made J-R Sitka/MBW
Matsuda M1 Italian/Moena
Datlen 0-12 Engelmann/Ziricote
Pellerin GA Sitka/Maple
Pellerin GA Cedar/EIR

YouTube Channel:
Michaud Made J-R Demo

Michaud OM-R - LS/The Tree (2015)
Michaud OM-R - Moon/BRW (2017)

Shut Up and Dance (arr. by Marcus Wong)
Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2017, 09:01 AM
Larry Pattis's Avatar
Larry Pattis Larry Pattis is offline
Guitarist - Humanist
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 11,655


The steel-string community, much like the classical community, has a wide range of small-shop/one-person-shop options for the intrepid musician...ranging from the nearly-unknowns to the super-stars of our world.

There is of course a whole history behind the steel-string community, and an ongoing evolution of builders...knowledge of all of this cannot be communicated in a single reply, nor even a single thread, but hopefully there will be sufficient information presented here for you to get started...and you'll be able to absorb more (your interest level permitting) along the way.

Also, bear in mind that the AGF is not the entire world of builders, and the names you see here might not be universally-known. Vice-versa, there will be great builders out there who are rarely (if ever) mentioned here.

Prices can range from under $4K for the newest and/or upcoming builder to well over $30K for the most established/most collectible builders.

There are a wide range of options and qualities to consider across the various price-points, and there are builders whose work might be considered to be a bargain if compared tonally/artistry-wise to some of the top-end builders.

The names are too numerous to mention, and as Marcus' aptly named business presents, we are indeed in a golden era of handcrafted steel-string guitars.

Along with going to stores (where frankly, your exposure to handcrafted guitars will be limited), there are multiple regional/national/international guitar-shows designed to present the handcrafted guitars for the playing-public, scattered across the country (and calendar). Guitars are generally for-sale at these shows, and also many relationships and/or custom orders also originate at these events.

The upcoming NAMM show in the LA area (thought of as an event for retailers, but plenty of non-retailers end up with passes...Anaheim?) will certainly have a display with some of these builders (and perhaps some "off-campus" events, with a chance to hear/play in a quieter environment than the actual NAMM event)...but it will be a less-focused event (of course) compared to the specialized shows.

The past couple of years has had a show in Santa Barbara in the fall, I don't know if that will be happening in the future. Last spring there was a show in Winters, CA, and we know that there is a show in Woodstock, NY every fall. One other is in LaConner, WA, which I assume will be happening again in the spring.

Best of luck,

Larry Pattis on Pandora and Spotify
American Guitar Masters

Steel-string guitars by Tom Rein
Classical guitars by Anders Sterner

100 Greatest Acoustic Guitarists

Last edited by Larry Pattis; 12-23-2017 at 09:10 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2017, 10:07 AM
iim7V7IM7's Avatar
iim7V7IM7 iim7V7IM7 is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: An Exit Off the Turnpike in New Jersey
Posts: 3,139

Per Larry’s recommendation:
  • Artisan Guitar Show in April - Pennsylvania
  • La Conner Guitar Show in May - Washington State
  • Vancouver International Guitar Festival in in August - British Columbia
  • Woodstock International Luthiers Showcase in October - New York
Acoustic Flat Tops by: Mark Blanchard, Laurent Brondel, John Buscarino, Kent Chasson, Howard Klepper and Bruce Sexauer
Reply With Quote

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Custom Shop

Thread Tools

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:24 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=