American Lutherie Authors
| A — C | D — G | H — L | M — Q| R - S - T | U — Z |

Fiddle maker Ralph Rabin's story is told. One point not mentioned there is the fact that he was a member of the Mad City Maulers, the winning team in the 1988 guitar smashing contest.

this info updated 1989


Guy Rabut

Guy Rabut’s first instrument, made when he was fifteen, was a fretless “guitar” whose body was a hollow section of an apple tree, with a 1/4˝ scrap-lumber soundboard. He’s come a long way, and is now a highly regarded violin maker with a shop in Manhattan. He’s a repeat GAL Convention lecturer and author. And he has been a Guild member for an incredible forty-two consecutive years.

www.rabutviolins.com/

this info updated 2015


Fabio Ragghianti

Twenty-four-year Guild member Fabio Ragghianti commutes occasionally from Tuscany to visit our convention or teach lutherie. He builds primarily classical and steel string guitars.

www.fabioragghianti.com/

this info updated 2013


Five-year GAL member Dave Raley is an engineer in his day job specializing in aircraft landing systems. Check his web page for his thoughts on the global implications of the GPS system and a nice cornbread recipe.

www.daveraley.com/

this info updated 2004


Dale Randall

Twenty-four-year GAL member Dale Randall is a retired Michigan Conservation Officer (fish fuzz, possum police, duck dick...) who has been married to Marge for forty-eight years. He tries not to let luthing interfere with a few bluegrass festivals and three months in Florida each winter.

this info updated 2008


In the late ’70s, David Rauscher played classical and country guitar outside New York City. He wrote articles for Pickin’ magazine and was later their marketing director. Sloane’s book led him to H.L. Wild. He bought some wood and built a couple of guitars. Planning to continue, he bought a bunch of rosewood and spruce at Michael Gurian’s. But getting and spending laid waste his powers. Now he is seventy and retired. He still plays, and still has all that wood and all those clamps. So here he goes again, with a goal to make one good enough that he can sell his Ramírez (but never the Joseph F. Wallo).

this info updated 2014


Philippe Refig began his career in the ballet in Paris in 1951 and eventually spent eighteen years with the English National Ballet. He learned classical and flamenco guitar playing in the '50s and studied instrument making at the London College of Furniture (now London Guildhall) in the '90s. He now makes guitars full time, both classical and flamenco.

guitarsrefig.com/Site_2/Home.html

this info updated 2005


Amateur playwright and man of leisure Steve Regimbal lifts weights twice a week with Ted Beringer's son, Barry. He owns five Beringer instruments, and helped Ted present some of his instruments at the McIntosh Art Gallery in Billings, Montana.

this info updated 2003


Three-year GAL member RIvke Lela Reid plays Eastern European Jewish music Ä which brought her to the tsimbl. She built and plays a solidbody sunrise starburst electric tsimbl, and introduced it at Klez Kamp 2005 with fuzz and wah-wah.

this info updated 2007


Bart Reiter

A former rocker and guitarmaker and a would-be standup comedian, Bart Reiter is currently sold out for the rest of his career.

this info updated 2008


Jose "Pepito" Reyes

After a successful career in the banking industry, José “Pepito” Reyes began building guitars and cuatros in 1986. Three years later he was infected with a passion for the Puerto Rican tiple, and since that time he has dedicated himself (with huge success) to the rescue and promotion of this lovely little instrument. He builds tiples in the mountains of central Puerto Rico.

this info updated 2006


Randy Reynolds

Ten-year Guild member Randy Reynolds makes classical and flamenco guitars on the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. During the past six years he has developed and specializes in double-top classicals. His secret ambition is to be just like Harry Fleishman when Harry grows up.

www.reynoldsguitars.com/

this info updated 2006


Thirteen-year member W.E. Rhinehart builds and plays resophonic guitars, as well as fabricating resophonic guitar cones. Mr. Rhinehart passed away in 1997 but his shop is still running.

this info updated 1999


Tom Ribbecke

Longtime GAL member Tom Ribbecke was born in Brooklyn, but has been making guitars in the San Francisco Bay area since 1974. He’s an innovator, a teacher, a mentor, a lecturer, and a captian of industry.

www.ribbecke.com/

this info updated 2011


Jim Rickard

Jim Rickard designs strings and string making machines at D'Addario Company.

Jim passed away

this info updated 1989


Twenty-two-year Guild member Kevin Rielly built a banjo in 1964, a kit dulcimer in 1969, and a guitar in 1973. He plays guitar, banjo, octave mandolin, anglo concertina, and tin whistle. He has an MS in accounting from SUNY Albany and was the CFO at SUNY Adirondack where he has worked for thirty-two years.

this info updated 2014


David Riggs

Despite being a bona fide weirdo and lifelong member of the arts community, David Riggs has never once seen a UFO. He was recently reminded that he was formerly employed by the Government as an identifier of flying objects. Life is unfair.

this info updated 2004


David Rivinus

David Rivinus made his first violins in the early 1970s under the tutelage of Indianapolis maker Thomas Smith. Shortly thereafter he was accepted to a full apprenticeship at the Hollywood shop of restoration icon Hans Weisshaar. In 1979 he opened a shop with violin maker Thomas Metzler in Glendale CA, and moved several years later to Vermont where he devoted himself to new instrument making and acoustic research. His work on acoustics and ergonomics continues, but he has moved west once more, to the outskirts of Portland, Oregon.

www.rivinus-instruments.com/

this info updated 2000


Sam Rizzetta

Sam Rizzetta is a six-year Guild member.

samrizzetta.com/

this info updated 1987


Art Robb

Art Robb is a luthier in Wiltshire, England though he was born in New York. He specializes in lutes but also makes guitars and other instruments. He does many fretted instrument repairs for local musicians. Arthur taught musical instrument making classes from 1980 to 2000 in three cities in southern England. In the last few years he has done restoration work on 18th century English guitars.

www.art-robb.co.uk/

this info updated 2009


Larry Roberts

The last we heard, amateur luthier and musician Larry Roberts was driving big trucks around the Pacific Northwest to pay the bills. He assures us that his woods and tools are still there, beckoning, and he'll be back to lutherie soon.

this info updated 1994


Mark Roberts

Seven-year Guild member Mark Roberts brings to lutherie a background in all disciplines of fine art, industrial product design, and furniture design to uniquely crafted his approach to design and craft of fine instruments. While building a multitude of different instruments, he maintains a keen focus on evolving the instruments. Mark's background in industrial product design has afforded him the opportunity to develop a number of innovative tools and jigs for the luthier’s shop. Mark also organizes the monthly Portland Luthier Lunches and exhibits at the annual NW Handmade Musical Instrument Show.

www.roberts-guitars.com

this info updated 2013


Larry Robinson

Larry Robinson started his inlay career at Alembic back in the stone age and has gone on to become a leading practicioner of the art and the author of a well received book on the subject.

www.robinsoninlays.com/

this info updated 2008


Nicholas Von Robison

Twenty-two year member Nicholas Von Robison is a convention workshop presenter, former staffer, frequent contributor, and special projects guy for the GAL. We generally send anything pertaining to wood that crosses our desks to him for comment and review. After a 10 year hiatus, he's building again, slow but sure after being out of the hands-on, new world of lutherie for so long.

this info updated 1999

Nick passed away in 2000, read his memoriam.


Jim Roden

Professional forester Jim Roden uses his spare time to build dulcimers, garden, tend his orchard, and pick out tunes on his instruments in the quiet of his front room.

this info updated 1994


David Rodgers

David Rodgers make Rodgers tuners, the precision tuning machines known to luthiers and musicians around the world. David left his position as chief design engineer for a large company in the mid-1970s in response to a growing demand for the improved machine head design he’d developed in his home workshop. Recently David has found time to restore his functional steam-driven locomotives and 200´ track that circles his back yard.

this info updated 2012


17 year Guild member Jason Rodgers, a middle school band and choir teacher by day, builds electric guitars and pickups in the evenings and weekends out of his small garage shop. He enjoys using locally sourced woods, preferably reclaimed or recycled, and simple finishes. Jason readily admits that he is part of the era of internet-educated guitar makers, and owes much gratitude to his friends at the Musical Instrument Makers Forum www.mimf.com.

www.facebook.com/jayemarguitars/

this info updated 2016


Bob Rodgers

Rob Rodgers make Rodgers tuners, the precision tuning machines known to luthiers and musicians around the world. After completing his own engineering qualifications, Rob teamed up with his dad. Rob with his wife Sue, now living near Halifax, Nova Scotia continue to streamline the business using 21st-century equipment, but still find time to appreciate the beautiful Canadian landscape. During the summer months they enjoy cycling and kayaking and continue a lifelong interest in the martial arts throughout the year.

this info updated 2012


Isabel Roeder is a professional photographer.

zaza.smugmug.com/

this info updated 2012


First-time author John Roeder has been playing zither in cafes and restaurants for ten years, and building zithers for seven years. He considers himself a good musician, but strictly an amateur luthier.

this info updated 1997


Amateur guitarmaker Steven Rolig has been a Guild member eighteen of the last twenty years.

this info updated 1993


Jose Romanillos

Twenty-year GAL member José Romanillos is a well-known maker of classic guitars and author of a biography of Antonio Torres.

this info updated 1992


Todd Rose

17-year GAL member Todd Rose has been married for the same number of years and is the lucky father of two amazing daughters. In his central NY county (and the U.S. as a whole), one in five children don't have enough to eat. Finding this heartbreaking and intolerable, Todd and his wife, Suzy, have recently turned their homestead into a not-for-profit initiative called Morningsong Community Service Farm, to produce fresh food for donation to local food pantries and meal programs, while also serving as a resource for people seeking to learn about homestead farming and related subjects. Since he turned his attention to this project, Todd's adventures in lutherie have become a part-time pursuit. He still plays and repairs guitars and ukes and such, and still has unbuilt instruments on the drawing board, but how many of these he will get around to building remains unknown. He's okay with that.

www.toddroseguitars.com

this info updated 2016


Peter Rosenbladt

Peter Rosenbladt grew up in Germany and came to the U.S. in 1968 to study computer engineering at UC Berkeley. He stayed, and worked his entire professional career in Silicon Valley. Building musical instruments sounded like a wonderful challenge because of the combination of physics, engineering, craftsmanship and art. He has been at it since 2003 and has been amazed by the world-class level of American lutherie.

this info updated 2015


Bruce Ross and his partner Richard Hoover operate Santa Cruz Guitar Company.

www.santacruzguitar.com/

this info updated 1987


Tom Rossing

Tom Rossing is a professor of physics at Nothern Illinois University. He is a textbook author, research physicist, and lecturer.

this info updated 1988


Merv Rowley

Merv Rowley is a retired engineer whose career was spent in industry, research, and education. For the past twenty years he has been sole proprietor of Roselle Dulcimers, building mountain dulcimers, hammered dulcimers, and the occasional banjo or German Alpine zither. He has authored several articles on innovations in dulcimer design and construction and remains active as a custom builder, teacher and volunteer performer.

www.mountaindulcimer-1-3-5.com/

this info updated 1999


Rick Rubin

Twenty-four-year GAL member Rick Rubin has been involved in instrument repair since 1976. Newly retired, Rick is going to give-in to his urge to inflict more guitars, Irish bouzoukis, and octave mandolins on the world, while using up the stash of wood he’s sat on all these years, before he keels over at his bench. He’s also a member of an Irish trad band called Floating Crowbar, where he plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, and a little whistle and flute.

this info updated 2013


Robert Ruck

Former beach bum and hot-rod-motorcycle machinist Robert Ruck was inspired in his youth by the sound of flamenco and followed that interest into a long and successful lutherie career. He has been a member of the GAL most of the time since 1976.

this info updated 2014


Charles Rufino

Charles Rufino has been immersed in the art of the violin maker since 1974, studying at the Newark School of Violin Making in England and working under “Nigo” Nigogosian of New York and Carl Becker of Chicago before opening his own shop in 1984. He is a full member of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers and the International Society of Violin and Bow Makers. Like Bach, he enjoys playing the viola in several community orchestras so that he can be “in the middle of the harmony.”

www.rufinoviolins.com/

this info updated 2015


Paul Ruppa is a musician and historian with degrees in Scandinavian Studies and Music History. During the last thirty-six years, he has lectured and published on America’s mandolin history and his research has often been cited in books, newspapers, and websites. A member of the 113-year-old Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra since 1981, Paul directed the MMO on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” and produced the group’s CDs, Mandolins in the Moonlight and Unplugged Since 1900. At age eight, Paul made a guitar with a broomstick, a Nestle’s Quick box, rubber bands, and nails. And his grandfather saw Teddy Roosevelt shot.

this info updated 2014


Nine-year member Dennis Russell is a retired Navy aviation mechanic. He built his first instrument in 1994 and has now built several mandolins and three guitars. He plays flat-pick guitar, mandolin, and old-time fiddle, as well as growing tomatoes and roses.

this info updated 2004


Six-year Guild member Mike Sacek build and plays many kins of basses.

this info updated 1989


Leslie Sahl is an fourteen-year GAL member. He attended Guild conventions in 1990 and 1992.

this info updated 1997


Taku Sakashta

Like Ichiro Suzuki, five-year GAL member Taku Sakashta has moved to the United States and brought a Japanese sensibility for fine craft. Born in Kobe, Japan, he has taught guitar building in a Japanese technical school, and has built custom guitars for artists around the Pacific Rim.

this info updated 2001

Taku passed away in 2010, read his memoriam.


Carl Samuels

Who put the bop in the bop shu-bop shu-bop? Carl Samuels, that’s who! He taught guitar making to John Roberts, founder of the Roberto-Venn school, thereby becoming a granddaddy of the American lutherie boom.

this info updated 2014


Michael Sanden

Twenty-six year GAL member Michael Sandén and his wife Kari have recently settled on the west coast of Sweden in Gothenburg. They make Sandén acoustic guitars and teach guitar building.

www.sandenguitars.com/

this info updated 2010


David Santo

David Santo, former builder and partner in Gurian Guitars, was a consultant for Earthwood, Dan Armstrong, and many others. He is the inventor of innovative designs such as the 44-fret Ionic Guitar. He now lives in New York state with his family and continues to be an inventor, contractor, and luthier.

this info updated 1999


Twenty-one year GAL member John Saucier splits his time between Chicago and Savannah. He wishes he had more time to play and pursue guitar construction but, for now, he wrote an article for American Lutherie instead.

www.acchordingtojohn.com

this info updated 2013


Nine-year member Peter Schaefer plays banjo and resophonic guitar in a bluegrass trio. After four years of training as a goldsmith, he went work in the data center of the Hilti Co. in Liechtenstein, and has been there for twenty-five years.

this info updated 1997


A twenty-seven-year Guild member and former pro trombone and tuba player, Gerhart Schmeltenkopf repairs harpsichords and clavichords.

this info updated 1992


Paul Schmidt

Paul Schmidt is probably best known to luthiers as the author of Aquired of the Angels: The Lives and Works of Master Guitar Makers John D’Angelico and James L. D’Aquisto. He is a past AL author, convention speaker, and convention concertizer, and also holds advanced degrees in music and divinity.

www.artofmusicinstruments.com/

this info updated 2015


Dave Schneider makes steel string guitars, electric guitars, and lutes, as well as doing a full range of repair work.

this info updated 1987


Long-time GAL member David W. Schneider has been building instruments of his own design as a hobby on and off for fifty-plus years.

this info updated 2014


Richard Schneider

Classic guitar innovator Richard Schneider has been a Guild member for thirteen out of the last fourteen years.

this info updated 1992

Richard passed away in 1997, read his memoriam.


Arnold E. Schnitzer

Arnold Schnitzer was a young and successful working musician in the New York City area. When he found himself with the grown-up responsibilities of a wife and child, he decided to settle down and get a real job. Amusingly, that real job was hand-making string basses. He has been a GAL member for fifteen years, on and off.

www.aesbass.com/

this info updated 2015


John Schofield

John Schofield has made 160 mandolins and two major audiokinetic sculptures (a la George Rhoads). He has made a lot of tools like a pantograph and fret saw and f-hole machine along with wood stoves and farm tools. He has 164 acres of land with a cabin and a lake and a pond, on a famous trout stream, and two caves... and someday he’d like to make a few more instruments. He has a backhoe and a sawmill and can stay busy every day. Plays the fiddle and the banjo in a decent bluegrass band and has even tried performing with his wife. He hunts deer but does not always find them, and fishes badly too. He works in sewage but that made his kids mad when he'd say that... they prefer the term environmental engineer. (Penn State 1968-75)

www.rockbridgemusic.com/

this info updated 2008


Paul Schuback

When not building violins and cellos, Paul Schuback has amused himself by serving in Portland civic politics, riding his BMW motorcycle, and restoring old cars. His latest love is a 1956 British Land Rover with a factory-original fire engine conversion that he and his son picked up in Ireland.

www.schubackviolin.com/

this info updated 2001


Welcome new member and new author Ryan Schultz!

this info updated 2009


Sheldon Schwartz

Welcome new member and first-time author Sheldon Schwartz!

www.schwartzguitars.com/

this info updated 1993


Stephen Sedgwick

Nine-year GAL member Stephen Sedgwick started guitar making in 1994. He works alone to build harp guitars and other such things in the renovated office on what use to be a pig farm, which has now been taken over by artists. Ferraris, Porsches, and other speedy exotics race on a track next door. Simply smashing!

www.stephensedgwick.co.uk/

this info updated 2013


Andres Sender is a lute maker and a painter of portraits and still lifes.

this info updated 1994


Jon Sevy

Twenty-five year Guild member Jon Sevy builds acoustic and electric guitars in Easton, Pennsylvania. He is a former college math professor who currently supports his lutherie habit with a day job as an embedded software engineer.

edge.cs.drexel.edu/GICL/people/sevy/luthierie/guitarmaking_guide/building_flattop.html

this info updated 2010


Bruce Sexauer

Bruce Sexauer has been building guitars since before the First Book (Hats off to Irving Sloane!). Forty-five years later Bruce is working in the shop he designed and built in his backyard, where he specializes in cutting-edge traditional steel string guitars and the occasional violin. He just can’t stop himself.

www.mojoluthier.com/

this info updated 2013


Ron Sharp

Ron Sharp was raised in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, where he still runs the woods harvesting downed red spruce for his guitar tops. He learned the lutherie craft from Wayne Henderson.

this info updated 2011


Tim Shaw

Longtime GAL member Tim Shaw designed and marketed the Sunrise pickup in the 1970s, built artist instruments and prototypes for Gibson in the ’80s, and is now Director of Project Management/Guitar Design for Fender. He lectured at GAL Conventions in 1977, 1979, 1986, and 2006.

this info updated 2013


Federico Sheppard

Federico Sheppard was born in Mexico, and he began building guitars in 1979. He now splits his time between workshops in Green Bay, Wisconsin and Carrion de los Condes, Spain, where he is artist in residence. Dr. Sheppard is also a practicing chiropractor with a special interest in orthopedics as it applies to musicians. He has been a GAL member for a total of twenty-two years.

www.parachodelnorte.com/

this info updated 2015


Gerald Sheppard

Gerald Sheppard began building guitars exclusively in 1993. Unlike manufactured instruments, his guitars are handmade and he uses no plastic on his instruments (with the exception of the pickguard). All parts are made from natural materials of the highest quality. Gerald learned his craft through research, hands-on experience, association with instrument guilds, and input from artists and customers. His guitars have been used by professional artists in studio and on stage. Tone related design features include lower bout concentricity and tuned chambers.

Aesthetic features include the use of color. Focus is on simple refined elegance. Gerald builds about fifteen instruments per year, about half of these are made directly for clients in Europe and Asia. He offers both standard and custom body styles and prefers the personal approach of custom work for individuals.

Owning and playing fine guitars since he was a boy, Gerald understands how to match the design components of an instrument to the needs of a guitarist and sees this as one of the most important skills of an instrument builder. He focuses his work toward the needs of fingerstyle playing and works closely with clients to create instruments that meet their specific needs. You can hear clips from Gerald’s recently released CD, and see his work at his website.

www.sheppardguitars.com/

this info updated 2008


Robert Sherman began playing guitar at age ten. While enrolled at Berklee College he held a job at Fishman and studied lutherie under Eric Miller, which in turn led to jobs in cabinetmaking and at Zeta Music Systems building guitars. Since 1992 he has been building and repairing acoustic and electric stringed instruments in the San Francisco Bay area.

this info updated 2012


Chuck Shifflett

Nineteen-year Guild member Chuck Shifflett studied lutherie for two years with Michael Dunn in Vancouver B.C. Now in High River, Alberta, he lives with his very patient wife and two great teen aged kids. He makes a living these days mostly repairing and doing some building.

www.melmusic.com/cshifflett/index.html

this info updated 2008


Tom Shinness

Besides being a professional musician and amateur luthier (accent on the love), Tom Shinness is also a proponent of whole foods, exercise, and positive mentality as a means of achieving greater musical creativity and as a way to build greater endurance to tackle the challenges of life on the road.

www.tomshinness.com/

this info updated 2006


Nasser Shirazi

Long-time GAL member Nasser Shirazi was born in 1939 in Tehran, Iran, and came to the United States in 1960. He soon earned a degree in civil engineering, and retired in 2004 as Assistant City Manager for Pittsburg, California. Mr. Shirazi has published two books on classical Persian instruments: Setar Construction (2001) and Building the Kamanche (2007).

nas04@msn.com

this info updated 2014


Marc Silber

Canoe guide, folkie, guitar repairman, museum maven, GAL lecturer. Those are just a few of the many facets of Marc Silber.

www.marcsilbermusic.com/

this info updated 2013


John Silzel

John Silzel holds four patents and leads two lives. By day he is a professor at Biola University, having earned a PhD by analyzing the air on remote Pacific islands. By night (once his kids are in bed) he builds electric violins and develops MIDI software. Once an honest classical violinist with his own tuxedo, Dr. Silzel now plays rock and jazz with electric guitarists and other unsavory types. His mother is dismayed.

silzel.com/

this info updated 2011


Twenty-eight-year member Gene Simpson repairs, restores, and builds acoustic guitars. When he's not in the guitar shop he restores MG sports cars.

www.allanokeguitars.com/

this info updated 1999


Jon Simpson began playing guitar at age twelve and took up woodworking in his early twenties. Those two paths crossed in 2006 when he sketched his first body pattern, made the first mold, and was officially bitten by the lutherie bug. He keeps his chops up on the weekends while working a day job as an animator (in Iowa, even; who knew?), and aspires to build guitars full-time within the next few years.

this info updated 2011


Edgar B. Singleton

Edgar B. Singleton is a retired physics professor who has been making instruments, mostly of the violin family, as an avocation since 1982. He has been a member of the Catgut Acoustical Society and is an admirer of Carleen Hutchins and the CAS “school” of violin making and analysis.

this info updated 2010


Daniel Sinier and Francoise de Ridder

Daniel Sinier and Françoise de Ridder opened their Paris workshop in 1971 and have restored about two thousand antique plucked string instruments for public and private collections. They have lectured, written articles, and published two books about guitars made in France between 1650 and 1950.

www.sinier-de-ridder.com/

this info updated 2015


Roger Alan Skipper

Roger Alan Skipper is a native of the mountains of western Maryland, where he builds custom acoustic instruments, writes novels, picks the banjo, and hunts wild ginseng.

this info updated 2009


Lawrence Smart

Lawrence Smart is a twenty-nine-year Guild member, a maker of guitars and mandolin-family instruments, and a past convention lecturer.

smart-instruments.com/

this info updated 2013


David Smith

Twenty-three-year Guild member David Smith’s first lutherie experience was in 1976 after graduating with a degree in music. A kind local lute maker guided him in the making of an 8-course lute, which he then performed on. A forty-year interruption came in the form of a degree in electrical engineering, advanced work in computer science, having a family, and starting a company. Numerous false starts on guitar making have led to an intensive year of benefitting from the kindness of luthiers and the GAL.

this info updated 2014


Ed Smith

Five-year GAL member Ed Smith, 73, is a retired Canadian immigration officer who has been playing guitar for over fifty years. The self-proclaimed amateur makes one guitar a year as a winter project; this year’s effort is #7. His ultimate goal is to build a guitar that equals the sound and playability of two fine old Martins that he owns. That may never happen, but each guitar that he has built has been an improvement on the last one. He thanks all American Lutherie authors for their generosity, as well as those who have contributed to his knowledge through Youtube.

this info updated 2016


George A. Smith

Eighteen-year GAL member George A. Smith lives and works in his 1886 home in Portland, Oregon, where he concentrates on classical guitars with support from his cat Heathcliff who contributes an occasional hair to the French polish finish, greatly enhancing the treble response.

www.georgesmithluthier.com/

this info updated 2006


Neil Smith

Gold-certified Fender tech Neil Smith grew up playing and tinkering with guitars. After seventeen years on the road backing such greats as Bo Diddley, Little Anthony, and the Chiffons, he went to college and earned degrees in social work. But he returned to his first loves: guitar repair and building. He has built guitars for first-call guitarists in shows like Cirque Du Soliel, Blue Man Group, and Jersey Boys.

www.vegasguitars.com/

this info updated 2010


photo not available

Steve Smith is president and chief scientist of Smith and Co. The company manufactures specialty epoxies and polyurethanes for applications in the marine and construction industries. He is also doing research and development of specialty materials under contract to several companies in other industries.

this info updated 2015


Seven-year member William Snavely has been making solid-bodied instruments for more than thirty years, for no discernible reason. He’s been a university professor, a bass player, a pastry chef, and a clothing designer Ä in a word, a misfit. Currently, he is building a house with his son and hoping to contribute to the musical careers of four of his children.

this info updated 2004


Trevel Sofge

Welcome twenty-year Guild member Trevel Sofge as a first time author!

this info updated 1990


Ervin Somogyi

Ervin Somogyi is a respected guitar maker and lutherie teacher. He’s been everywhere and done everything. He has lost everything and come back for more. He has numerous credits as a GAL author and convention presenter, and is the author of The Responsive Guitar.

www.esomogyi.com/

this info updated 2014


Gary Southwell

Hailing from Robin Hood country, Gary Southwell makes a mixture of modern and historical guitars, with a particular interest in the early 19th century. When not working or at home enjoying his young family, he can be found touring the country roads on his motorcycle.

www.southwellguitars.co.uk/

this info updated 2009


Byron Spain

Byron Spain built his first mandolin in 1962, a left-handed F-5, when he could not find one in Seattle. Having a master’s degree in mechanical engineering with post-graduate studies in vibration and sound, he spent thirty-four years at Boeing. Along the way he built stringed instruments of all types as both a hobby and therapy. Upon retiring, he converted his busy hobby into a small business.

www.theleftyluthier.com/

this info updated 2013


Michael Spalt

Michael Spalt tried painting, photography, and screen writing in an attempt to escape his passion for building guitars. Ultimately he gave in and decided to luth full time, and in 1997 he started Spalt Instruments in Los Angeles. Now settled in Vienna, Austria, he looks forward to trying some new avenues and maybe some more traditional instruments as well.

www.spaltinstruments.com/

this info updated 2011


Robert J. (Bob) Spear

Robert J. (Bob) Spear has been in violin work since 1971. He retired from commercial work in the ’90s to focus on research and building. Bob is a strong supporter of the New Violin Family and has nearly completed his second octet. He lives near scenic Ithaca, New York, with his wife, Deena, and two embarrassingly friendly dogs, Poka and Tupplett.

www.singingwoodsviolin.com/
www.newviolinfamily.org/

this info updated 2012


An avid woodworker since his childhood, Steve Spodaryk began building instruments professionally in 2002. He has been fortunate enough to work with, learn from, and collaborate with many talented builders and players. His interests range from traditional Romantic-era parlor guitars to modern fingerstyle guitars and engineered materials. He has racked up ten years of GAL membership and is also a cofounder of the New England Luthiers group.

 

this info updated 2012


Ken Sribnick

Twenty-two-year member Ken Sribnick made his first synthesizer in 1968 and began repairing guitars in a Greenwich Village apartment. After meeting his luthier wife, Gayle, at the 1986 GAL convention, he worked at Tom Anderson's Guitar Works in California. Now in Dallas, Ken designs acoustics avocationally and pursues a forty-five-year quest to play Bach, Blind Blake, and Blarney Stone on guitar.

this info updated 1998


Phillip Stafford is a life-long furniture builder. He’s a new GAL member, a thirty year member of the Craftsman’s Guild of Mississippi, and a member of the Tennessee Artist Craftsman’s Association. He purchased his first ukulele three years ago and became addicted to the “jumping flea.” About to purchase an expensive koa uke, he decided he could build one instead, and started Moonshine Ukuleles. Phillip owns Advantek Machinery, a distributor of high tech CNC machinery. His favorite pastimes are sailing, building and playing ukuleles, and drinking homemade wine, not necessarily in that order.

this info updated 2012


Al Stancel

Past author Al Stancel has had his own lutherie shop since retiring from a career as an acoustics and recording expert for Ampex and RCA in 1975. He adds that he is the “first person in history to walk with one above-knee prosthesis and no right leg with two Canadian canes (not yet walked on water.)”

this info updated 1991

Al passed away in 1999, read his memoriam.


Rodney Stedall

Twelve-year GAL member Rodney Stedall emigrated from South Africa, where he coordinated the Guild of South African Luthiers, to New Zealand, a place where the majority of greenhouse gases come from cows and sheep belching! He’s a full-time optometrist and builds guitars in his spare time.

www.rodneystedallguitars.com/

this info updated 2014


Ned Steinberger

Ned Steinberger is a creator of innovative musical instruments and is most notable for his design of guitars and basses without a traditional headstock. He also has a line of electric classical instruments through his company called NS Design.

www.nedsteinberger.com/

this info updated 2008


Robert Steinegger

Robert Steinegger has been a GAL member for at least thirty-six years. He developed an interest in guitars while in high school, and while attending school in Utah, he met Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers. In 1981, Phil commissioned him to build the “Ike Everly Model” guitar, which he produced until 2001.

www.steinyguitars.com/

this info updated 2013


John Christian Steinert has been making guitars and related parts since 2001. Prior to that, he had worked as a materials supply consultant in Oregon and in Saudi Arabia, as an engineer in Louisiana and Taiwan, and as an R&D supervisor in New Jersey with AT&T and Bell Labs. He has degrees in biology, chemistry, and mechanical engineering from the University of Miami and Oregon State University.

www.hanalei-moon.com/

this info updated 2009


Erik Stenn

Marine microbial ecologist Erik Stenn cultures microaglae for a shrimp farm in his day job. At night he becomes husband, father, luthier, and player of banjos and guitars. He is building guitars and hopes to make violins in the future. Erik's dream is to build perfect instruments for his children as they explore music.

this info updated 2001


Sebastian Stenzel

Sebastian Stenzel made his first guitar at age fourteen. After excursions into Chinese Medicine and carpentry, he served his apprenticeship with a local guitar maker. In 1996 he established his own workshop, and in 1998 he was awarded the Masterprize of the Bavarian Government for his outstanding performance on the Master of Crafts Examination. In addition to making classical and flamenco guitars he teaches Theory of Guitar Making at the famous Mozarteum University in Salzburg since 2002.

www.stenzel-guitars.de/

this info update 2008


Nathan Stinnette

Nathan Stinnette has given up lutherie and is currently studying Geography at James Madison University. Years of living on a guitar maker's salary took a heavy toll, but fortunately, women still find him irresistable.

this info updated 2008


Henry Stocek

When Henry Stocek decided to refurbish his vintage D-28 he didn't realize that a suitable replacement pickguard would cost $10,000 and four years of his life. Of course, he also got a new company as part of the deal. He's becoming famous as the celluloid guy. His wife wishes he were becoming famous for almost anything else.

this info updated 2000


Jim Stratton

Jim Stratton got his undergraduate degree from Eastern Illinois University where he specialized in industrial automation. He went on to Purdue, where he got his MS in Mechanical Engineering Technology. Not having suffered enough, he is now pursuing a PhD.

this info updated 2013


Henry Strobel

Henry Strobel is a retired engineer who operates a violin shop in Aumsville, OR. A six-year Guild member, Henry has been building, repairing, researching, and writing about violins since he finished his first instrument in 1969.

this info updated 1994


Peggy Stuart

Peggy Stuart, GAL member since 1978, built her first guitar in 1973. Now retired from her day job in higher education, she remains a supporter of the GAL, and dabbles in lutherie when not traveling in her RV painting landscapes.

this info updated 2008


Craig Sullivan

After attending Massachusetts College of Art, Craig Sullivan spent most of his working career in advertising. He was bitten by the instrument-building bug back in the late ’60s, when the only book on the subject was Irving Sloane’s Classic Guitar Construction. After building several classical and steel string guitars, he put it all aside to help raise his children, tend to his career, and build two additions to his home. He returned to his love of building acoustic instruments and has been doing so for the past twenty years. He is a long-time member of New England Luthiers.

stetsonguitars.com/

this info updated 2015


John H. Sullivan

John H. Sullivan is a former high-climbing logger, a custom wood turner, and a guitarmaker who has recently moved into violinmaking.

this info updated 1993

John passed away in 2007, read his memoriam.


Deb Suran

Deb Suran is a past GAL author and the webmaster of MIMF.com.

www.mimf.com

this info updated 2010


Although he is no longer building guitars, Boston area luthier John Svizzero built and repaired them for over twenty years. He specialized in archtop acoustic guitars and guitar parts. He is an active member of New England Luthiers.

www.newenglandluthiers.org/svizz/landingPage.html

this info updated 2009


Mark Swanson

Fifteen-year GAL member Mark Swanson makes his living as a luthier, repairman, and performer, in no particular order. He builds several kinds of guitars and mandolins. Mark has been playing professionally since 1976 and building instruments since the ’80s.

www.markswansonmusic.com/

this info updated 2015


 

Twenty-year GAL member Paul Szmanda’s lifelong passion is playing and being inspired by fine stringed instruments. He greatly appreciates the people who create them and the materials they work with. To support his guitar habit, he finds time to do dentistry.

this info updated 2014


Andrea Tacchi

Thirteen-year GAL member Andrea Tacchi was born into a Florentine family with a rich artisan heritage as jewelry makers and wood carvers. He has met and learned from master luthiers including Romanillos, Mattingly, Bouchet, Friederich, Fleta, and Kohno. He has been a professional guitar maker since 1977.

this info updated 2012


After four decades of repairing stringed instruments, and driving bus for King County Metro for three of those decades, nineteen-plus-year Guild member Mike Tagawa still hasn't decided which is more fun, interesting, or dangerous.

this info updated 2006


Todd Taggart

Todd Taggart, has been a Guild member forever, and sees to it that good woods, tools, and lutherie information are always available to the likes of you and me. He knows how to throw a good party, too, as evidenced by the '96 and '97 Healdsburg shows.

www.alliedlutherie.com/

this info updated 2008


Bruce Tai

Although he has never made any varnish or violins, Bruce Tai has published about the chemical analysis of Cremonese varnishes, summarizing others’ findings. He’s a chemistry PhD who will soon become a chemistry professor at National Taiwan University and hopes to start varnish experiments there. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School studying Alzheimer’s disease. A native of Taiwan, his given name is Hwan-Ching; he took Bruce as a nickname while spending a childhood year in the USA.

this info updated 2011


Fan Tao

Eight-year GAL member Fan Tao directs R&D at D’Addario. He conducts violin acoustics research, is an accomplished string player, and holds electrical engineering degrees from Caltech and Princeton. Mr. Tao is a trustee of the Catgut Acoustical Society and a director of the Violin Society of America, and is also co-director of the VSA-Oberlin Acoustics Workshop.

this info updated 2014


Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor failed at his first attempt to make a guitar, but hey, he was only nine. At sixteen he succeeded in completing his first guitar, and started Taylor Guitars at the age of nineteen. Most of you know the story of Taylor. What you might be interested to know is that Bob, like most of you, has made many hundreds of guitars with his hands and a scant supply of tools. Whether you make one guitar a month, one a day, or three hundred a day, Bob knows what you’re going through. Bob believes in using tools and techniques to make the guitar building process successful, and is always happy to talk about those methods.

www.taylorguitars.com/

this info updated 2009


Don Teeter

Twenty-one-year Guild member Don Teeter is a past author and lecturer.

this info updated 1990


John Thayer

Six-year GAL member John Thayer's lutherie adventure began with building electric guitars at the age of sixteen. He attended the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery and stayed on as an assistant. Next, John worked under Ervin Somogyi who instructed him in soundboard voicing and French polish. Since 2004 he has run his own business building and repairing instruments.

this info updated 2008


Tom Thiel

Twenty-two-year GAL member Tom Thiel built instruments and other wooden things in the 1970s when he jumped ship from academia. He was side-tracked by making high-end loudspeakers in the ’80s and ’90s. Now he splits his time between lutherie and supplying reclaimed, unusual, and otherwise crazy tonewood to high-end luthiers.

www.northwindtimber.com

this info updated 2014


Parry Thomas is a dendrologist with the World Resources Institute. At present he is living and conducting research in Costa Rica with his entomologist wife Ann.

this info updated 1988


Thirteen-year Guild member T.J. Thompson enjoys contributing to AL, but usually doesn't because his customers think he is building or restoring guitars, and he wouldn't want them to see his name in print, and so find out that he had been doing other things.

this info updated 1997


Thirty-year GAL member David Thormahlen received his master’s degree in geology in 1984. Since then he’s made his living building Celtic harps. In his spare time he enjoys making and playing guitars and mandolins.

www.thorharp.com/

this info updated 2014


Judy Threet

Judy Threet started out as a philosopy prof. How does a philosophy prof become a luthier?

www.threetguitars.com/

this info updated 1998


Mark Tierney

Mark Tierney is a ten-year Guild member.

this info updated 1992


Clive Titmuss

Clive Titmuss went to the University of Calgary as a musicology student and later studied the lute and related subjects in California, England, and finally in Switzerland. He co-established Early Music Studio in Surrey, B.C. in 1987. Since then he has presented the lute and guitar music of the 16th through 19th centuries in performance on instruments he has made.

earlymusicstudio.com/about/clive-titmuss/

this info updated 2000


Otis Tomas

Otis Tomas has been making instruments at his home on Cape Breton Island for over 30 years. Though specializing in violins, over the years his production has included custom made flat top and arch top guitars, mandolins, harps, and other instruments.

www.fiddletree.com/

this info updated 1990


Harry Tomita was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and learned to play his $10 Martin ukulele in the mid-1940s. After a stint in Korea he graduated from UC Berkeley with a BSEE. Now retired, he has decided to resume his interest in playing. The cost of instruments drove him to build his own ukulele and that has been his hobby ever since.

this info updated 2012


Janet Toon

Violinmaker and 2 year member Janet Toon makes her debut as an author.

this info updated 1990


Aquiles Torres

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Aquiles Torres originally wanted to be a painter. Then a school choir gave him the opportunity to visit other countries and learning about their cultures and music. He then worked as a graphic designer before a course in instrument construction brought him to lutherie, the perfect blending of art, music, and craft.

This info updated 2008


Ben Tortorici

Six-year GAL member Ben Tortorici retired in 2000 after a thirty-five year career as an aerospace engineer. He began making classical guitars in the late 1970s and counts Bob Mattingly and Tom Blackshear as mentors.

tortorici-guitars.com/

this info updated 2006


Dake Traphagen

Dake Traphagen has been a nut farmer, an early-instrument nut and, for his entire adult life, a hard-working lutherie nut. The Pacific Northwest is lucky to have him in residence.

www.traphagenguitars.com/

this info updated 2008


Jeff Traugott

Jeff Traugott and his wife Cori Houston work together at his guitar building and repair shop. Then they go out and play soccer together. They welcome visitors. Call ahead.

www.traugottguitars.com/

this info updated 1997


Scot Tremblay

Scot Tremblay has specialized in building and concertizing on guitars of the Romanic period since the 1980s.

scottremblayguitars.com/

this info updated 2010


Peter True

After a career in architecture and design education, eight-year GAL member Peter True trained in guitar making at Merton College (south London, not Oxford). He taught for a while at Merton, and now offers his own courses, mainly for ukulele building. He has attended two Romanillos summer guitar making sessions.

petertrueguitars.blogspot.com/2011/11/guitar-making-skills.html

this info updated 2011


Benz Tschannen

Swiss-born musician/teacher-turned-luthier Benz Tschannen was a Guild member in the '80s, but got sidetracked starting a family, building a house, and a few other things. He joined up again in 2002, built a new shop in 2003, and is now building concert classical guitars full time.

www.tschannenguitars.com/

this info updated 2008


Jan Tulacek is a luthier focusing his interest on 19th-century guitars. He makes copies or replicas of early Romantic guitars, repairs them, and plays them. He is a graduate of the Music Academy in Prague and still performs as a member of the Prague Guitar Quartet.

tulacek.cz/

this info updated 2010


Eleven-year GAL member Michael Turko builds all manner of guitars and bowed instruments on a quiet mesa in San Diego.

this info updated 2006


Harold Turner

Twenty-one-year member Harold Turner traces instrument building in his family back five generations to his Quaker forebears who moved to North Carolina from Maryland. A luthier since 1970, he teaches and demonstrates lutherie at the Hagood Mill Historical Site and Folk Life Center in Pickens County, South Carolina.

this info updated 2008


Rick Turner

Former GAL columnist Rick Turner's pioneering work with the Grateful Dead and Alembic qualify him as a Founding Father of American Electric Lutherie. Make that a founding uncle. He's a bit young to be a brother of Les Paul or Leo Fender. He continues his quest with Renaissance and Turner guitars which feature his innovative concepts in the amplification of acoustic instruments, and is starting a new buisiness with Seymour Duncan Pickups to be called Duncan-Turner Acoustic Research.

www.rickturnerguitars.com/

this info updated 2002

 

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