The first guitar I ever got to know personally was my father’s 1948 Martin D28, with the huge baseball bat neck and the tone to go with it. It makes sense that a budding teenage player and repairman would eventually have to learn to modify and upgrade his newer (cheaper) instruments to approach that benchmark of build quality, tone, and playability. After paying a local music store $20 to replace an output jack on a cheap imported electric for which I had paid $25, I promised myself I would figure out the theory and methods at work behind the instrument, and teach myself to fish, so to speak.
I have been a student of the guitar ever since, both as a musician and a builder/repairman, and I want to put my experience, judgement, and expertise at your service. I have been lucky enough to live, play, and work in a wide range of cities, climates, countries, and economies, and have come to learn first-hand all of the many variables that affect stringed instruments and their owners. Chicago is a good place to gain an understanding of the impact of rapid seasonal humidity changes on tonewoods, while the Bay Area is a good place to experiment with various electronic components. And West Africa is a great place to figure out what works in a pinch!
By the same token, immersing myself in a wide range of hobbyist and professional musical scenes has given me a deep appreciation of the needs and preferences of players across a wide range of modern playing styles. Whether executing the most demanding, touch sensitive metal guitar setup, probing the subtleties of nylon-string and flamenco saddle and nut fabrication, or pondering the endless variations on a theme that is the often-dreaded active electric bass, I have come to see each and every repair job not merely as a problem that needs solving, but as an opportunity to more closely approximate the player’s own personal desires in instrument form.
Sometimes a close adherence to manufacturer’s specifications is recommended; sometimes a full-blown custom or “Frankenstein” approach is best. It all depends on you. I have a wide selection of vintage and original parts in stock, and can find any part you need for your restoration or refurbishment project. But I am also prepared to rout, modify, upgrade, and hot-rod your axe into next week, if that’s what you need. There are some procedures I typically advise against, like adding a cutaway to a 1950s Gibson arch-top or installing a Kahler on your vintage Les Paul, but in most cases I can offer both traditional and unorthodox methods of achieving your dream.
Necks straightened, bridges adjusted, saddles intonated, tremolos calibrated, controls cleaned, switches replaced, fingerboards sanded, frets refretted, cracks glued, bridgeplates replaced, nuts cut and shaped, tonewoods humidified, braces reglued, circuits analyzed and upgraded, binding replaced, pickups installed, pickguards made from scratch, you name it, no job too big or too small.