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Tag Archive for: Hand-built guitars

Dream Guitars is proud to bring you some exciting news from Tippin Guitars including a brand new model and incoming DG inventory!!

Bill Tippin’s New Forte Model

First off, Bill Tippin introduced his newest creation, the Tippin Forte, at the recent Healdsburg Guitar Festival in California. This is a new model from him and is one of his most creative projects to date.

The Forte, based on his Crescendo model, was inspired by Tippin’s own personal guitar preferences. He found a way to boost the richness of the Crescendo — he increased the width of lower bout while maintaining the balance — and it’s slightly wider (3/16th”) at its widest.

Our own Paul Heumiller and Al Petteway had the privilege of playing the new Forte while out in Healdsburg. “The new Forte model from Bill Tippin has everything I love about the Crescendo, balance, clarity, power and Bill’s trademark full trebles, but it adds a bit more fullness to the bass for the player that enjoys a bit more thump in the chest. Outstanding!” – Paul H.

The Original Tippin Crescendo Model

The Crescendo, which is considered to be the cornerstone of Tippin’s entire line of guitars, is large yet versatile. Imagine a 14-fret OMT with the rich tone normally found in an 00012-fret size. The Crescendo manages to combine the feel of a 14-fret OMT while preserving the rich tone of a 12-fret body model, replete with incredible tone, balance and projection.

Dream Guitars has a pre-owned 2005 Crescendo in stock featuring Brazilian Rosewood and Carpathian Spruce – contact us if you’re interested in acquiring!

And, by the way, our own Paul Heumiller is anxiously awaiting to take delivery of his personal, custom Crescendo. Paul’s model is made from Brazilian/Moon spruce with a cutaway, MOP sparkle trim. What makes this custom job so unique is that it includes a short-scale, Fan Fret design, which will perform well in Drop-D, DADGAD and standard tunings.

The Tippin Al Petteway Signature Model

Also, Bill has embarked on a new build of the Tippin Al Petteway Signature, also based on the Crescendo model. Check out this video demonstration of the Petteway Signature on our YouTube channel. This instrument is representative of Bill at the top of his game, and when you listen to our studio recording you’ll understand what we mean. Interested in purchasing the incoming Tippin Al Petteway Signature model? Contact us today to learn more about your reservation options.

We do also have a pre-owned Al Petteway Signature in stock as well if you would rather not wait for the incoming guitar. This 2008 Crescendo Al Petteway Signature was actually originally purchased by Al Petteway himself and was the first Signature model ever made! This beauty features brick red Brazilian Rosewood, Moon Harvested European Spruce, an armrest bevel, beveled cutaway, and new heel design. Click here to learn more.

This is exciting stuff, folks. We all know that Grit Laskin is one of the finest luthiers around and is widely considered as a master of inlay work. Today, Dream Guitars announces that he is working on a custom guitar that we have made available for reservation with delivery expected in December.

Our own Paul Heumiller worked with Grit to develop the basic inlay ideas and Laskin took off running. As you can see in these pictures, the design is amazing, intricate and just short of groundbreaking.

Here is some of what Grit himself had to say about this piece:

One of the most beloved and influential guitarists was the legend who passed away just last year, Doc Watson. I began thinking about Doc, and about the natural world and the title from Shakespeare popped into my head: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ which takes place in a forest. The more I read about Doc, the more his life inspired me: His musical beginnings, the events in his life that shaped him and the fact that what gave him the musical bug was the shape-note hymns sung by his mother. My brain locked onto that seminal influence and also latched onto the literal meaning of the word shape — this old-style singing shaped his life, yes, but the notes themselves also provided physical shapes in which I could place scenes and elements from his life. Bingo.

“I’m putting a large portrait of Doc picking a guitar on the headstock in the same realistic I used for John Lennon on the ‘Imagine’ guitar. Flowing down the fret board are the seven basic shapes of shape notes (do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti) large enough to place within elements such as Doc’s earliest musical instruments, his early solo album, ‘Southbound,’ which  first brought him to prominence. In fact, the working title of the piece is ‘Southbound.’

Talk about creative thinking.

If you’re jazzed about this guitar and Laskin’s work no one would blame you if you missed our announcement, so here it is again: This guitar is available and you can reserve it now by contacting the Dream Guitars shop near Asheville, NC, right away. If you miss this opportunity, or want to see more of Grit Laskin’s work, check out the gallery on his homepage.

A while back, guitar great Al Petteway sat in front of the camera at our showroom in Weaverville, North Carolina, just outside of Asheville, and gave us all a lesson on how to play his own composition, “Tennessee Mountain Rag,” which is included on the “Dream Guitars, Volume 1, The Golden Age of Luthiers” CD and tablature book.

For the lesson, Al plays a Tippin Al Petteway Signature Model with Brazilian Rosewood and Moon Spruce, built by one of the great luthiers in the United States, Bill Tippin of Tippin Guitars.

“In this style of music, everything is out there to be had,” Al explains when discussing his writing method for this song, which taps into many other tunes and progressions in the genre, and the way he puts it all together to make it his own. This is songwriting, folks.

Al also details his chords as well as a cool “chicken picking” technique that he uses for a neat walk-down. He also details optional rhythm choices, which he points out are reminiscent of the style of Chet Atkins. He also shows you a neat lick he learned from listening to Atkins.

You can watch the video here on our Dream Guitars YouTube channel. The “Dream Guitars, Vol. 1” CD and complete book of tablature is available in our online store. All of this and more is available in the online shopping cart.

You should also visit his website at www.alandamy.com to learn more about Al Petteway, his wife, Amy.

The pleasure of owning your very own Dream guitar — Tippin, Traugott, Martin, Laskin, McConnell or any other instrument from our collection or from one of your lucky finds — can only be ensured with proper care and maintenance… and that starts with the right case. Get into one today!

Dream Guitars has a solid collection of outstanding guitar cases from trusted brands including Main Stage, Hoffee and others.

How about a little primer on exactly which guitar cases we have to offer, shall we?

First off are the magical Main Stage cases, which are comparable to Calton Cases, another popular brand. In fact, Main Stage was founded by two former employees of Calton and these guys remain true to the quality and care that helped make Calton a big name. Now they’re doing it on their own and the Main Stage brand has earned an excellent reputation for superbly made, professional grade hard-shell fiberglass touring cases for stringed instruments. Each case is handmade for your exact instrument, featuring custom fit, color and finish.

We order all of our Main Stage cases with Thinsulate thermal padding and granite finish. Custom Order prices may vary.

Another of our most popular cases is from Hoffee…. you won’t be disappointed.

“We are very proud to offer Hoffee Carbon Fiber cases,” our own Paul Heumiller is proud to tell you. “They are light, super strong and worthy of holding your Dream Guitar.”

Hoffee cases are priced right and the strong, lightweight, carbon fiber cases are custom Made in the USA. Hoffee is proud of its state-of-the-art mission, from the materials to the process itself.  The carbon fiber shells are stronger and lighter than other wooden, ABS (plastic) or fiberglass cases.

Dream Guitars offers custom sizing and an array of colors, allowing 4-6 weeks for delivery. Check out our store — where we also have cases from Cedar Creek, Colorado and Ameritage for sale — and contact us for details. If you’re in the area, stop by the shop in Weaverville, NC, just outside of Asheville, and explore.

Our own Paul Heumiller recently sat down in front of the cameras to talk about one of Dream Guitars’ favorite builders, Jordan McConnell of McConnell Guitars (and the Grammy-award winning band, The Duhks) for a video interview.  You see, Paul is not only has a savvy eye when it comes to great luthiers and their instruments, but also sees things from the mindset of a player. In fact, he’s a proud owner of a McConnell and shares his feelings about that fine, custom made instrument with the viewer. Paul makes clear the guitar’s ability to bring out the music and sound he feels inside, a rare trait for any custom instrument.

McConnell builds rich-sounding and versatile instruments in both steel string and classical models at his shop in Winnipeg, Canada, on the fringes of the Canadian Prairies. McConnell became enamored with the construction of guitars at a young age and has studied with famed Spanish luthier, Jose Romanillos, gaining a valuable education in the work, the craftsmanship.

Among his customers: Tim Sparks, an award-winning fingerpicking player, jazz greats Larry Roy and Harley Card, Seth Avett of the Avett Brothers and Irish player John Doyle.

So, Paul sat down in our Weaverville, NC, studio, to talk about this fine luthier, who works with his father on the construction of the guitars. As a builder, Jordan McConnell has become a hot name and his work is in demand. While we do not have currently any in stock, Dream Guitars is accepting orders for his custom builds. Paul will personally work with you to ensure you get what your music deserves. Contact us to discuss the possibilities.

Considering a McConnell now? You may also want to check out this video of Jordan McConnell at the Dream Guitars headquarters a few years ago, offering an exclusive performance. We also have several other video samples of various McConnell guitars on our YouTube channel as well as the Listening Studio on our home page.

Special thanks to Dan Crapsi and Ginny Temple, who visited our shop and filmed this interview for their blog, thegoodguitar.com.

With an average wait time of two years, players and collectors don’t often get the chance to get into William “Grit” Laskin’s building schedule… until now.

Dream Guitars has opened the door to Grit’s shop and will now make a single slot in Laskin’s busy production schedule available to one discerning and lucky collector . This is a chance to own a custom-made Laskin, replete with his world-renowned, superb and unique inlay design.

Oh, and by the way, the turnaround for this deal is just six months. That means you’ll be playing your custom Grit Laskin guitar this December. Nice.

Plus if you act quickly, you can completely customize this guitar including your model choice and inlay design!

Grit is widely recognized as one of the top inlay artists in the world. Add to it the opportunity to have the back and sides your guitar made with approved Brazilian Rosewood not only enhances the look and quality of the guitar but it vastly improves the resale value, assuming you would ever want to part with one of these babies.


Click Here to View some of Grit’s Works

The Base Model price includes Sitka spruce wood for his soundboards and East India Rosewood for the back and sides. The guitar also comes standard with a Hoffee Carbon Fibre custom case, Abalone-ringed rosette and the famous Laskin armrest bevel.

Base price is $15,400 retail. Brazilian Rosewood upgrade, starts at $3,000. Inlay art priced upon request.

Contact Us Today to Reserve!

 

 

 

 

Take a Tour of Grit Laskin’s Workshop

 

 

 

 

View Laskin Guitars Previously Sold at Dream Guitars

 



One prime difference between Dream Guitars and other guitar sellers is that we regularly work one-on-one with the best luthiers on the planet – commissioning extraordinary, exclusive guitars with the very finest appointments. Our Dream Series builds are legendary, featuring superlative tone woods and design, and crafted for superb playability and utmost player satisfaction.

Quite often, these highly desirable treasures never even make it to our website, as they are quickly acquired by our walk-in clientele before they can be photographed and recorded. With that in mind, we are starting our new Incoming Guitars blog to keep you abreast of incoming instruments that are truly amongst the finest ever made. Please bookmark this page, or check back regularly for updates.

To see additional new arrivals, please see our Sneak Peek blog by clicking here.

MICHIHIRO MATSUDA GUITARS

Matsuda Guitars Model M1 Cutaway

Arriving soon: Model M1 by Michihiro Matsuda. This refined beauty is built with a stunning set of Brazilian Rosewood, hand selected by Dream Guitar’s own Paul Heumiller. The top is an exceptionally fine piece of Italian Spruce. Other specs include  a 1 3/4″ nut 2 1/4″ string spacing. Please call for more details.

Matsuda M1 Cutaway - example, not actual incoming guitar

 

MICHAEL KELLER GUITARS

Keller Dream Series Rose Model SJ

One of our favorite builders – and one of the nicest guys in the guitar biz – is longtime luthier Michael Keller. We have had many spectacular Keller instruments at Dream Guitars over the years, and they are always impressive. We are so knocked out with Michael’s work, that we commissioned him to build the latest addition to our exclusive Dream Series. Starting with a flawless set of Brazilian Rosewood and an Adirondack top, this guitar is sure to be as wonderfully voiced as it is gorgeous! Please call for further information, and to reserve the Keller Dream Series Rose Model SJ for yourself.

Keller Dream Series - Brazilian Rosewood set

Keller Dream Series - Brazilian Rosewood back

Keller Dream Series - Brazilian sides

“This is the kind of guitar that makes your heart stop. It is so beautiful and so wonderfully crafted that it is mesmerizing. I simply cannot walk by it without holding it and playing it. Boaz spent countless hours tirelessly creating this museum quality piece, he even cut the Abalone from the shells. The details are too many to mention so be sure to carefully study the photos. The tone is majestic and warm, delightful in every way. This will be a prize in any serious collection.” – Paul Heumiller

Dream Guitars is thrilled to offer this stunning museum quality Baroque style guitar by Israeli luthier extraordinaire, Elkayam Boaz. The amount of detailed workmanship in this instrument is mind-boggling — from the multi-piece back to the eleborate rosette, soundboard inlays, wooden bridge extensions, friction pegs with ivory seats, ivory strings stops, and back of neck inlays. This is a true work of art.

This very guitar was the subject of a wonderful article in Acoustic Guitar Magazine by luthier Rick Turner in November 1997. The Boaz Baroque Guitar’s voice is detailed and articulate, intimate and sweet, and of course, perfect for period music.

 

    Measurements 

  • Body Size: Medium
  • Scale: 650 mm (25.6 in.)
  • Nut Width: 53.2 mm (2.1 in)
  • String Spacing: 55 mm (2.15 in)
  • Body Length: 17 3/4 in.
  • Upper Bout: 9 5/8 in.
  • Lower Bout: 12 3/8 in.
  • Body Depth @Neck Heel: 3 in.
  • Body Depth @Tail Block: 3 1/8 in.
  • Frets to body: 12
    Woods & Trim 

  • Back/Sides: Brazilian Rosewood, Maple
  • Top Wood: German Spruce
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Neck Wood: Mahogany
  • Bridge: Ebony
  • Rosette: Abalone & Wood
  • Binding: Rosewood
  • Fingerboard Bindings: None
  • Headplate: Ebony
  • Headstock Bindings: None
  • Headstock Inlay: Custom
  • Top Trim: Abalone
  • Back Strip: Custom
  • Fret Markers: Custom
  • Tuners: Friction Pegs
  • Tuner Finish: Ebony

 

 

*Paul’s Pick is a new feature on the Dream Guitars website that highlights exceptional vintage and handbuilt guitars that deserve more attention — guitars with exceptional tone, playability, appearance and provenance. For more information on the featured guitar, or any instrument we offer, please call Paul or Steven at (828) 658 – 9795.

“This guitar represents one of the interesting stories in the guitar world. How instruments come to be is as exciting as the music they make. The story of Dave of England is a great one in the guitar world. You can definitely sense the commitment to Tony Zemaitis’ work in this Queen of Hearts guitar designed by artist and author Paul Schmidt and built by Kevin Parsons and Dave Brewis. Very lightweight and energetic, this one is a joy to play and to behold.” – Paul Heumiller

Dave of England "Queen of Hearts"

The guitars of the late great Tony Zemaitis are the stuff of legend! And with good reason too — they were played by some of the biggest names in the history of Rock and Roll. George Harrison, Keith Richards, Ron Wood, Eric Clapton amongst them — Rock royalty does not get bigger than that! Sadly, Tony Z passed on in 2002, but before he did, a gentleman named David Brewis contacted him with hopes of commissioning a guitar. Tony explained that he was now retired, and he would no longer be building, but he graciously offered Brewis one of his official jigs in which to build a guitar. Within weeks Brewis was given 10 jigs and patterns, and permission to build guitars with them utilizing the talents of luthier Kevin Parsons. In so doing, Brewis was dubbed “Dave of England” and “Keeper of the Jigs and Keeper of the Patterns”!

Dream Guitars is fortunate to have one of these fine and rare guitars to offer. This is a Queen of Hearts guitar designed by artist and author Paul Schmidt and built by Dave of England guitars. With it’s distinct styling and imaginative lines, this guitar could easily have been built by the hands of the master himself. But it is more than an interesting piece, it is also an extremely toneful one. The neck is on the slender side, and the guitar itself is lightweight. It has a fine fast attack, superb for Townshend-esque strumming — but played softly, it has a sweet remarkable tone that is very responsive to dynamics. In all, it is a wonderful guitar with a distinct look and a truly special voice.

    Measurements 

  • Body Size: Jumbo
  • Scale: 25 in. (635 mm)
  • Nut Width: 1 5/8 in. (41.4 mm)
  • String Spacing: 2 1/8 in. (54.1 mm)
  • Body Length: 20 3/8 in.
  • Upper Bout: 12 1/4 in.
  • Lower Bout: 16 3/4 in.
  • Serial #: One of Five
  • Body Depth @Neck Heel: 3 3/4 in.
  • Body Depth @Tail Block: 4 3/8 in.
  • Frets to body: 14

    Woods & Trim 

  • Back/Sides: European Sycamore Maple
  • Top Wood: Sitka Spruce
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Neck Wood: Mahogany
  • Bridge: Ebony Smiley Face
  • Rosette: Abalone Heart Shaped Rosette
  • Binding: Maple
  • Fingerboard Bindings: Ebony with Paua Perflings
  • Headplate: Rosewood
  • Headstock Bindings: None
  • Headstock Inlay: Metal ‘Queen of Hearts’ Plaque by Danny O’Brien, Metal ‘Art of Music’ Truss Cover
  • Top Trim: Wood Lines
  • Back Strip: None
  • Fret Markers: Paua Hearts at 12th Fret
  • Tuners: Grover Imperials
  • Tuner Finish: Chrome

For more information on this superb guitar, or any of the fine guitars listed on this site, please call Paul or Steven at (828) 658-9795.

 

 

 

Frequent visitors to the Dream Guitars website have no doubt noticed our recent fine classical guitar demos, all compliments of one extremely talented guitarist, David Stevenson. David is both a skilled performer and an immensely gifted composer. On May, Arise Stevenson and percussionist River Guerguerian collaborate on a engaging set of music that showcases  instrumental mastery, as well as great emotional depth.

May, Arise by David Stevenson with River Guerguerian

The songs have a transcendent uplifting quality that sound contemporary and immediate, while simultaneously conjuring images or the ancient and arcane; no mean feat indeed! Guerguerian’s skillful performance, featuring a wealth of global percussion, supports and enhances the material wonderfully.

For guitarists, David Stevenson’s playing is an inspiration. Technically brilliant, the sound of his custom Abe Wechter guitar propels May, Arise with skillful execution from the very first track to the CD’s extremely satisfying conclusion. We highly recommend this very fine CD! For more information about David, and to purchase May, Arise please click here.

Check out the following clips:

1) Eastern Anthem

2) 11/8

3) Bulldozing for Zen

4) Resolution

Dream Guitars is extremely pleased to have a player of David’s high caliber to demonstrate our nylon string instruments. Look for more information about David, including video lessons and performance video in weeks to come!

Recently Doug Young dropped by Dream Guitars and taught this great 3 part guitar lesson on arranging Amazing Grace for fingerstyle guitar. To follow along with the tablature, please click here.

From Doug’s website:

Doug Young is a fingerstyle instrumental guitarist based in the San Francisco South Bay area. An active perfomer in the local acoustic guitar scene, Doug hosts a monthly guitar showcase that has featured performers like Dorian Michael, Thomas Leeb, Steve Baughman, Teja Gerken, and many more. So far, Doug has released one CD, Laurel Mill, featuring his solo guitar playing, compositions and arrangements. Mel Bay has published his best-selling instructional book: “Understanding DADGAD: For Fingerstyle Guitar.” He is a Contributing Editor for Acoustic Guitar Magazine, and has also been published in Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine. In his role at Acoustic Guitar, Doug has written numerous instructional articles, gear reviews, and interviewed many of today’s top guitarists including Tommy Emmanuel, Sergio Assad, Andy McKee, Laurence Juber and Pierre Bensusan.

To learn more about Doug, his gig schedule, and his array of reviews and quality products, click here.

 

 

 

Last week’s our new Paul’s Pick* segment showcased a stellar vintage Martin 000-45 from 1930. We figured that since we’re already discussing  incredible old Martins, we’d be remiss if we failed to mentioned another exceptional classic that is currently in our shop; this gorgeous 1931 OM-28.

This is one of the all time great vintage Martins, a vintage, prewar 1931 Martin OM-28. 1 of 166 made that year and just 487 pre-war OM-28s ever made. Born over 80 years ago, this guitar has an incredible story. It was purchased by crew members of the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga for their superior just before the bombing at Pearl Harbor. The Saratoga was moved just days before the bombing and this beautiful Martin survived to delight the seamen throughout their tour of duty.

This wonderful vintage OM-28 has stunning Brazilian back and sides, an Adirondack top, and the purest sweet old Martin sound you’re going to find. Abolutely one of the best sounding guitars to ever grace our walls. This fine early example comes in a period correct case, and has superbly well dressed and crowned bar frets, that feel more like modern frets than the old-timers.

This vintage Martin OM-28 guitar is largely original, but like all these old timers has had some work done as described in the condition statement here. What you can’t see is the amazing voice, so put on your headphones and be sure to listen to this treasure. Playing this fine pre-war vintage 1931 Martin OM-28 is such a pleasure, it is far more than a collectible. This is a guitar that will work its way into your heart and never leave!

To hear audio of this guitar please click here!

“I’ve had the pleasure to play many fine prewar Martins, but this is the best OM-28 I’ve played to date for two reasons. First, the tone is etheral, so sweet, strong and resonant. It weighs nothing and just vibrates in your arms. Second is it’s playability. A superb setup was done with painstaking fret dressing. I guarantee you have never played bar frets that feel this good. Each fret was perfectly crowned and the ends rounded, so your finger slide over them as if they were modern frets. This is the vintage prewar Martin OM-28 we all dream of, now it can be reality. This is the time to buy vintage gems as they are devalued, but we all know they won’t stay that way…” – Paul Heumiller

Here’s a video of the the great Mary Flower playing this fine old Martin!

 

*Paul’s Pick is a new feature on the Dream Guitars website that highlights exceptional vintage and handbuilt guitars that deserve more attention — guitars with exceptional tone, playability, appearance and provenance. For more information on the featured guitar, or any instrument we offer, please call Paul or Steven at (828) 658 – 9795.

1930 Martin 000-45

 

 

 

This is a treasure. A well preserved 1930 Martin 000-45, quite simply one of the most collectible Martin Guitars ever made. Martin only made 21 of these in 1930 and only 341 in total. This pre war sweetheart embodies that Holy Grail tone all guitarist long for and all builders hold in esteem. Every note is alive and complete. This one plays like a new guitar and appears to be all original but for a pro refinish and proper replacement bridge. We are honored to offer this rare and special 1930 Martin OOO-45.

Please click here to hear this amazing guitar!

“We all feel very lucky to get to know this guitar if even for a short while. Just a moments play and you realize exactly why Martin Guitars from this era are held in such high regard. Big round bass, clear, present mids and bold and singing trebles make this as complete a guitar as a player could ever hope for. Collector’s will also be delighted by this vintage pre-war Martin 000-45, it is after all a Holy Grail of guitars.” – Paul Heumiller

    Measurements 

  • Body Size: Small
  • Scale: 25 2/5 in. (645.2 mm)
  • Nut Width: 1 7/8 in. (47.6 mm)
  • String Spacing: 2 3/8 in. (60.3 mm)
  • Body Length: 20 1/2 in.
  • Upper Bout: 11 in.
  • Lower Bout: 15 in.
  • Serial #: 41539
  • Body Depth @Neck Heel: 3 1/4 in.
  • Body Depth @Tail Block: 4 1/4 in.
  • Frets to body: 12
    Extras 

  • Cutaway: None
  • Pickguard: None
  • Case: OHSC
  • Pickup: None
  • Condition: Excellent, professional refinish, 2 perfectly repaired top cracks, no cleats. Newer belly Bridge. Everything inside is original, includes original case.

 

    Woods & Trim 

  • Back/Sides: Brazilian Rosewood
  • Top Wood: Adirondack Red Spruce
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Neck Wood: Mahogany, 1 Piece
  • Bridge: Ebony Belly
  • Rosette: 45 Style Abalone
  • Binding: Ivoroid
  • Fingerboard Bindings: Ivoroid
  • Headplate: Brazilian Rosewood
  • Headstock Bindings: Ivoroid
  • Headstock Inlay: Torch
  • Top Trim: Abalone
  • Back Strip: Marquetry
  • Fret Markers: 45 snowflake
  • Tuners: original
  • Tuner Finish: nickel with ivory buttons

 

This guitar is now sold.

Paul’s Pick is a new feature on the Dream Guitars website that highlights exceptional vintage and handbuilt guitars that deserve more attention — guitars with exceptional tone, playability, appearance and provenance. For more information on the featured guitar, or any instrument we offer, please call Paul or Steven at (828) 658 – 9795.

One of our favorite builders is the brilliant Jordan McConnell from Winnipeg, Canada. His guitars are impeccably crafted, and they offer stunning design and rich, articulate tones. Recently, Jordan informed us that he has developed a new model with the following dimensions.

Length: 19.5″
Lower bout: 15″
Upper bout: 11.25″
Standard scale length 25.25″

In Jordan’s words, “I like this shape for it’s versatility. It can be voiced to put the focus more in the midrange and trebles to create a very intimate and clear sounding guitar, but it doesn’t lack power and can still pack a pretty serious punch in the low end if that is desired. It’s a very comfortable size to play and can be more manageable than a jumbo sized body in a stage setting if someone is gigging a lot.”

If you would like to receive more information on this stunning guitar, or on any of Jordan’s other guitars, please give us a call. We’ll be happy to talk to you about these very special creations!

 

To see more photos, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve James is a well known name among devotees of contemporary acoustic folk and blues; this notoriety based on numerous critically acclaimed recordings, a tireless international tour schedule and a sheaf of published work including articles, instruction books and videos. His instrumental versatility (on guitar, slide guitar, mandolin, guitar-banjo) also makes him a favorite at music camps and workshop programs.

Recently Steve stopped by Dream Guitars and played some of our great vintage and custom-made guitars.

Everyone knows that Al Petteway is an extremely fine guitarist, but what you may not know is that he is also an excellent guitar teacher. In this video Al instructs how to play  his  original tune “Tennessee Mountain Rag”. If you live in the greater Asheville area or just visiting, Al is available for one-on-one lessons that are sure to inspire. Give us a call anytime — we’ll be happy to schedule a lesson or two for you!

The talented Mary Flower stopped by Dream Guitars recently and spent the afternoon playing some of the fine guitars we have in stock. Mary plays a great combination of roots music, including ragtime, acoustic blues and folk. If you like these videos, be sure to check out Mary’s website for upcoming gigs, and information on her albums and instructional DVDs.

"NPS Photo, Courtesy of Carl Sandburg Home NHS."

Recently I was invited to view the guitars of Carl Sandburg at the Carl Sandburg Home — a National Historic Site located in Flat Rock, North Carolina.  In addition to being a famous writer and Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Carl Sandburg was an accomplished folksinger that helped preserve many of America’s great folksongs through his book The American Songbag.

 

"NPS Photo, Courtesy of Carl Sandburg Home NHS."

My guide for my tour of the Sandburg archives was Miriam Farris, a Museum Technician at the Carl Sandburg Home. Miriam took me to a large building that is completely air-conditioned and secure. This building houses Sandburg’s guitars and also his paintings, books, gun collections and other artifacts.

"NPS Photo, Courtesy of Carl Sandburg Home NHS."

One by one Miriam brought out the guitars that were owned by Carl Sandburg and used regularly in performances for his own enjoyment. One thing that was readily apparent as I viewed the guitars was that these were not fancy ornate instruments that collected dust. Rather, these were very simple guitars that were used daily and enjoyed by Carl Sandburg and his family. I can imagine him finding these instruments as he traveled across the country and bringing them back home with a smile on his face.

There are indeed some unique pieces in this collection including a Lyon and Healy Washburn Bell-Shaped guitar, model 5270, that was quite interesting. In addition, there is a pear-shaped English Lute that was very beautiful.

The home and the entire farm is extremely beautiful. I highly recommend that visitors to the Asheville area visit the Sandburg home and enjoy all that it has to offer. Tell them Dream Guitars sent you!

"NPS Photo, Courtesy of Carl Sandburg Home NHS."

"NPS Photo, Courtesy of Carl Sandburg Home NHS."

"NPS Photo, Courtesy of Carl Sandburg Home NHS."

"NPS Photo, Courtesy of Carl Sandburg Home NHS."

Dream Guitars was recently honored when classical guitarist extraordinaire, Charles Mokotoff, visited  our showroom and auditioned our wonderful collection of new and vintage classical guitars. We were immediately seized by Charle’s command of the instrument, as he treated us to  an impromptu overview of his current repertoire.

Because we are a premier acoustic guitar shop, we are fortunate to have an eclectic, deeply talented family of clients and friends. We are very proud to count Charles among them. I highly encourage you to check out his music soon.

From Charle’s website:

CHARLES MOKOTOFF holds both Bachelors and Masters degrees in guitar performance from Syracuse University and Ithaca College, respectively. He has served on the faculties of numerous colleges and universities in the New York and New England area as a lecturer in classical guitar and lute.

Prior to settling in the Washington, DC area in 1991, Mr. Mokotoff made his home in New England where he was widely recognized as an active guitarist and Renaissance lute player during the 1980s. During that period his career culminated with two Far East tours and a well-received New York City debut at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in 1987, featuring the Premier of Autumn Elegy by William Coble, written and dedicated to him.

Mr. Mokotoff has been hearing impaired for a good deal of his life and was featured inHearing Loss Magazine in January 2010.


 

You may purchase his CD “Autumn Elegy” from iTunes by clicking HERE, or from CD Baby by clicking HERE. Or enjoy his music live at one of the the upcoming recitals.

 

 

Dake Traphagen is one of our favorite builders here at Dream Guitars. Whether it’s one of Dake’s legendary classical models, or one of his newer steel string designs, the results are always impressive, toneful, and satisfying. Recently Dake built  this gorgeous harp guitar and the it is simply extraordinary in every way.

Spec-wise, the body is a basic ‘000’ steel string size for extra width for the basses. The playing neck is 51mm at the nut with a 650mm scale. The tuners are ‘peghed’s’ which work beautifully. The body depth is 4 1/8 lower bout and 3 5/8 upper bout. The top is Englemen spruce with Bubinga back and sides, finished with an oil varnish. The basic tuning of the sub basses is a diatonic scale with the 7th being a ‘d’ and the 11th being a ‘g’.

Though this particular instrument is spoken for, Dake is accepting custom builds for this model and his entire line of stellar designs. Please contact us if you would like to learn how one of these beautiful guitars can be yours.

 

 

Kathy

Kathy Wingert is an artist that has complete control of her medium. I met her for the first time at the most recent guitar festival in Ft. Lauderdale, at the Hard Rock. Her displays are hugely popular at guitar shows — the lines of her instruments are so elegant, the voices of her guitars are so original, the inlay work is beautiful and so…non derivative.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for Kathy’s skills. She is an exceptional luthier, and consistently builds instruments with supreme voices.

First a little biography please. How long have you been a builder? With whom, if anyone, did you study or do repairs? Please tell me about your “ah-ha” moment when you realized luthiery was to be your chosen path.

A tiny little seed got planted during a trip to a guitar shop, the World of Strings.  One of the employees showed me a billet of Indian rosewood and proudly proclaimed that he was going to learn to build a guitar.  I was very curious about where and how that got done, and he said he would be learning from his boss, Jon Peterson.

My ah-ha came during a moment of soul searching, which I happened to be doing in the library.  I was ready for a new chapter and a new direction, the kids had gotten old enough for me to start thinking that way, and I was wide open to new ideas.  As luck would have it there was a book on guitar making in my library.  (I wish I could say which book it was, I haven’t seen it since.)

Though I knew instantly and deeply that I could be good at guitar making, I also knew it would take a little time to find my path.  I was on the cusp of the internet, and back in those days, kids, you had to leave your house to get information.  I read my way through five libraries and had collected quite a few books, including books about sharpening chisels and the amazing number of ways a router could be used, but I hadn’t found in print the book that made it all make sense.  I really don’t know how long the discovery process went on, but one morning I woke up and I understood how to build a guitar, not from a plan, but from a design of my own.

The next hurdle was finding materials.  A kind employee of a woodworking store told me about a guitar making class at a community college, and after I had been in the class for two months, the instructor told me that Jon Peterson at the World of Strings was looking for someone.  I took in some necks I had carved and an electric drop top that I had completed and got hired in 1995.

Has being a woman, in a field largely dominated by men, been advantageous or disadvantageous in anyway?

It was annoying as heck in the busy repair shop.  If I went to the counter they’d just ask for the “repair guy.”  I think being a woman kept my client list a little leaner than some builders with whom I feel I am well matched, but time has sorted a lot of that out.  I do know that I have had more than my share of wonderful customers with whom I have enjoyed every part of the journey.

On your website, you mention that you are in love with your job, and how deeply you enjoy the creative aspects of being a builder. Can you tell me more about that emotional connection, and how it relates to building guitars for clients, who may have different preferences than your own?

The answer to that probably relates pretty closely to the issue of being a woman in a male dominated business.  I think many times the people I work with are just open to letting me do what I do.  I can tell you for sure guys have let me build some pretty frilly guitars for them while pretending it was my idea!

Look, I’m very invested in what I do, and I am emotionally connected, but I’m also 100 percent pro.  There is almost always a middle ground, and I can catch the vision even if a client’s tastes are different from mine.

Working with your daughter Jimmi must certainly add to the love and meaningfulness of designing and constructing your instruments. How does that collaboration work?  How much free reign do you allow her to incorporate her own ideas?

Jimmi just continues to get better and better busier and busier, so I’m loving what’s going out the door to other builders, and I stare meaningfully in her direction hoping she will have time for me again one day!

Jimmi works with me much the same way as she works with any builder.  A lot of the time she works directly with the client and then construction issues are sorted out with the builder.  When we’re working on one of mine we have the advantage of passing materials back and forth, but she works it out really well by mail too.

When someone calls you to commission a guitar, how does the communication process work? How do you discover what type of guitar to build for a client that has difficulty articulating how they’d like the

instrument to be voiced?

Sometimes it’s a matter of discovering how much a potential buyer might know about the subject of tone and wood differences.  If it’s an experienced collector I ask a few questions about what they like and/or don’t like about guitars that they’ve owned.  I always look for that little area of common experience and we work from there.  If it’s a less experienced guitarist or guitar buyer, I look for the same thing, but perhaps instead of talking about whether they like the punch of sitka or the twinkle of koa, I might ask a lot of questions about voices of singers or instruments in an orchestra.  The point, for me, is to find out whether they are looking for a guitar like mine.  Occasionally I have suggested other builders when I’ve felt there would be a better match up.

Speaking of voicing, please take me through the process of voicing a guitar with a contemporary sound, and how that differs from voicing a guitar that is more traditional.

I don’t know if I’m qualified to answer that one.  My work has been toward a sound that I wanted to hear, and I have learned through hard lessons what takes me away from that.  I have all the same anecdotal information about what makes a prewar Martin sound like they do, but I have never pursued that sound.

You have mentioned using a signal generator and Chladni patterns in voicing your guitars? Could you describe what Chladni patterns are and how you use them to help in the process?

When you play a harmonic on a string, you have divided it in segments, but the reason it physically works is because at the mathematical division of the octave or fifth or whatever, there is a nodal point on the string that allows it to vibrate freely around a still point when the conditions are right (meaning when the string is struck and your finger is on that node).  At those naturally occurring places, there is no displacement. When a guitar top is excited with vibrations, there are also nodal points and in those areas of little to no displacement, the glitter piles up.

The arrangement of the glitter patterns at a given frequency range indicates the efficiency of the top, or more instructively, the non-appearance of a pattern at a target frequency means I have work to do.

Chladni patterns are not a recipe for a great guitar, they are an indication of what you just did.  Hopefully, if you stumble on a great recipe, you can do it again.

I am not an expert on Chladni patterns or any other science approach to lutherie, so my use of glitter testing is merely a way to double check that I’m on the right track.  The range of frequency at which I get certain patterns are what I’m interested in, and the rest I do the old fashioned way.

The first Kathy Wingert guitar that I had the pleasure of playing had back and sides of blackwood. It immediately became my favorite tone wood, even passing Brazilian Rosewood as my tone wood of choice. Please tell me about working with blackwood, how you view its tonal characteristics, and when you would recommend it over Brazilian.

I love AB, but I’ve come to hear it very differently from Brazilian, and for a long time I wouldn’t have said that.  What I like and what I hear in the heavy woods, AB and cocobolo is a weightiness and sustain in the mids.  If you try to hold me to a blindfold A/B test, I’ll be happy to tell you that I learned a long time ago it’s darned hard to do!  I believe that 90% of tonewood choice has to do with the feedback the player gets and has very very little effect on the listener 15 feet away, at least not if there is any other noise in the room.

How important are trade shows and guitar festivals for bringing in new clients and expanding the growth of your business?

I think the trade shows and festivals are enormously important for custom lutherie as a whole.  I know I personally benefit from doing them, though many times it is long after the show.  I always see or hear something the kicks my fanny.  I also believe it’s really important for the community as a whole to show up, present well, and let people know that we are accountable to a larger community.  As a community, professional luthiers have built a lot of trust.  We have buyers who write checks for a deposit on something they aren’t going to see for years.  That’s huge.

You seem very environmentally aware. How can the traditions of luthiery evolve to embrace a new “greener” philosophy?

I might be wrong, but I think small builders working on a few instruments are remarkably green.  We waste as little as possible and most of us don’t do a lot clothes or shoe shopping for this career.  Many of us commute only a few steps from the house to the shop.

I am going to guess that the nastiest thing we do is over use abrasives.  I love working with planes and drawknives, but I have power tools and it just goes faster.  If I were to grab for that knife, the dust collector could stay quiet.

As for the protection of exotic hardwoods, it’s important to care, and it’s important to stop asking for woods that are in trouble from places that are over harvested.  The highest and best use of precious exotic woods is in fine instruments, and some of the controls that are in place should go a long way toward stopping the indiscriminate use of fine woods on not so fine factory instruments, or as flooring or lawn furniture.  It’s also important to understand that the trees won’t be protected if they have no commercial value, so it is important as a community that we fight for the woods that we need.  For those who are somewhat new to the subject, please re-read that last line!

Please tell me about your fascination with Harp Guitars?

That was a case of a customer wanting something I didn’t really want to do.  In fact, I refused for more than a year.  But the customer was a friend and he has patience, so he wore me down.  After I built one and had a minute or two to try to play one, I was interested in building more, if only for my own use.   I haven’t been able to hang on to one long enough to learn much, and what I do work out on one is easily forgotten, but harp guitars aren’t meant to make guitar playing harder, they are meant to make it easier once you get a toe hold.  The jumping off place is a lot more difficult on harp guitar, and I’m still there.

Some of your larger harp guitars have sycamore back and sides. Why sycamore? Tonally, what does this wood offer?

Some of my harp guitars are sycamore because I had it!  Harp guitar sets are hard to come by and I thought it would look cool.  It was very successful for harp guitar because it didn’t add a lot of clutter to the bass.  The bass was clear and strong, but not ringy.  The first thing you have to learn is to find the sub basses on a harp guitar, the second thing you have to do is shut them up.  I haven’t built a standard six out of sycamore, so my experience with it is limited to the outcome of those two harp guitars.

When I play your guitars, I am always impressed with the strength of the treble frequencies all the way up the neck, and how well balanced they are with the lows and mids. What is the secret to building an acoustic guitar that has such strong treble fundamentals?

Thank you!  Again, I can only tell you that my recipe has been added to over time.  I tease that it used to take me 120 hours to build a guitar and now I’m pretty sure it takes me twice that long.  There are all the added steps that I have acquired over the years.

I think one of the big secrets in guitar building, and one that gets talked about very little has to do with how well the neck tunes to the body.  I’m really lucky that my steel string headstock seems to be about the right size and weight.  I have nodal points that fall pretty much where I need them to be, and that little extra adds to consistency up the neck – or so my violin making mentor taught me.

In the next 5-10 years, what do you envision for Wingert Guitars? Will there be a continuing evolution in your designs? Will you branch off in new directions?

I have been working on something old rather than something new.  I love classical guitar and I have started taking time to pursue that.  I’ve built some passable classicals and have sold them at fair prices for their abilities, but I am ready to take commissions on classical guitars now for the right buyers.  By the time this goes to print, I will probably have had time to prototype the last couple of things I want to iron out.

I’ve learned over the last couple of years that I really enjoy teaching, but my personal evolution isn’t complete yet.  So much of what I do is intuitive or ingrained, it is hard for me to break it down for someone else, so in the next few years, I would like to get better at that kind of communication.  I think it might be so appealing because it is at a completely different pace from the daily madness of wearing all the hats.   To explain the steps to someone else simply requires taking a deep breath, and that’s kinda nice.

Finally Kathy, do you have any additional thoughts that you’d like to share with our readers, i.e., thoughts about guitars, information about you, thoughts about creativity, life lessons… anything?

Well, all of your readers need a Wingert guitar because they know lots of songs, will entice your creative muse to show up,  and will even improve your singing voice in just 14 days!

My great thanks to Kathy for her participation in this interview. Dream Guitars is proud to carry her uniquely voiced one of a kind creations.

 

Steven Dembroski

 

 

 

 

 

Walker Twins

Walker Twins

I warn you, if you haven’t seen these guitars already, you may want to sit down. These two Scott Walker Custom Twins are the very same instruments that were the hit of the recent NAMM Show in Anneheim, CA. Crowds gathered around to see the intricate sculpting, deep quilting and exceptional details that only Scott Walker could imagine.

 

Mr. Walker is an exceptional builder. His instruments are rich with unique appointments and custom features that set them far ahead of the pack.

Honduran Mahogany

Honduran Mahogany

With Scott’s recent set of twins, he has taken his craft to yet another level creating instruments that are timeless and at the same time revolutionary.

 

Shared features include gorgeous, solid Brazilian Rosewood necks. The color is so dark and chocolaty you might just be tempted to sink your teeth into them — but don’t do that! These necks have been shaped to perfection, and are appropriate for guitarists playing any genre. The feel of natural Brazilian Rosewood against the palm of your hand is natural, and so comfortable, you’ll find yourself playing things you never knew possible.

The bodies are made of gorgeous flamed Honduran Mahogany, and capped with exquisite quilted maple so deep you could swim in it. The slightly tinted very natural color brings out the nuance and detail of the maples figure, and lends an earthy sophisticated look to the guitars.

Scott Walker is one of a very small handful of builders that we represent at Dream Guitars. We know our clients only want superior instruments, so we are extremely selective in who we choose to represent. Scott Walker’s inspiring creations, go way beyond what conventional electric guitars offer.

Call us to find out more about these exceptional instruments, and learn how they can be yours today. We prefer to sell these 2 as a set, but we are very happy to discuss individual purchases with you as well.

Don’t miss this chance to own a part of the Scott Walker Legacy!

Even more waiting to be added to the DG website.

A few weeks ago, Paul received a call from a gentleman he’d never spoken to before. Like many conversations with Paul, this one ranged from guitars and motorcycles, fast cars, and the finer things in life.

John's Classical Guitar Shrine

John's Classical Guitar Shrine

The callers name was John, and within a few minutes he and Paul discovered that they had many things in common. What transpired from that first call lead up to a monumental event of Paul dropping everything, and driving North in the largest empty white van he could find. The next day, Paul returned to Dream Guitars in Western North Carolina, but this time the van wasn’t empty. If fact it was packed floor to ceiling with over a half a million dollars worth of the finest nylon string Classical Guitars we’ve ever laid eyes on.

Cases upon cases.

Cases upon cases.

Paul explains:

“One of the true joys of this business is the chance to touch, feel and play music on bits of history. Guitars are treasures and they tell a story. I was honored to get a call from John asking us to represent his prized collection of some of the very finest Classical and Flamenco guitars ever made. I dropped everything and drove 4 states away very excited to see the fruits of his years of collecting guitars. We spent a wonderful Sunday open case by case, each more impressive than the next, Monch, Pena’ Fernandez, vintage Contreras, Ramirez and Kohno, modern gems such as Blackshear, Redgate and Humphrey. There is even an unplayed 1994 Schneider Kasha guitar complete with a video of Richard Schneider discussing his design. Flamenco guitars by Ramirez, Conde Hermanos, even a rare Valda Sobrino Domingo Estesos, and a Ruck Flamenco cutaway. Just astonishing instruments!”

A small percentage of the collection.

A small percentage of the collection.

It may takes Dream Guitars a few months to get all these stunning instruments on to our website, but if you are a lover of Classical and Flamenco guitar, we invite you to make a trip to our shop now. Flights into Asheville put you just 30 minutes from us. We humbly offer you the chance to play the very finest collection of instruments perhaps in the whole of the U.S. Come enjoy them with us. You will be amazed.

The following builders are included in this collection, with multiple guitars from several of the builders:

Brand Model Product Year
Andres Caruncho Classical 2001
Bella J. Gemza Concert 1973
Bellucci Concert
Bernabe Concierto 2002
Blackshear Concert 1999
Blackshear Flamenco 2007
Bogdanovich Guitars Concert 2005
Conde Hermanos Concert 1986
Conde Hermanos Domingo Esteso Reedicion 2004
Conde Hermanos Flamenco 1962
Contreras Double Top 1985
Contreras 1969
DeVoe Flamenco 1988
Edgar Monch Concert 1972
Francisco Barba Flamenco 1968
Gioachino Giussani Concert 2008
Greg Smallman Reproduction Lattice Braced 2002
Hermanos Yague Concert 1987
Humphrey Millennium 1993
Ian Kneipp Concert 1998
Jeff Sigurdson Flamenco
Jeronimo Pena Fernandez Concert 1974
Jeronimo Pena Fernandez Flameco 1995
Jose Oribe Concert 1972
Jose Ruiz Pedregosa Concert 2004
Kohno 15 1977
Kohno 20 1976
Kohno 30 1980
Kohno 5 1970
Kohno Professional J 1993
Kohno Professional R 1989
Kohno Special 1993
Kohno Special 1996
Kono 3 1964
Manuel Rodriguez Concert 1982
Manuel Rodriguez e Hyos La Magnifica 2010
Manuel Rodriguez e Hyos La Maja 2010
Manuel Rodriguez e Hyos La Mereuilla
Miguel de Cordova Flamenco
Moreira Anniversary #1 2005
Moreira Hauser 2004
Moreira Santos 2003
R.L. Mattingly Concert 1968
Ramirez 1a La de Camara 1991
Ramirez Flamenco 1959
Redgate Lattice Braced 2006
Ricardo Sanchis Solista 1996
Richard Schneider Kasha 1994
Rubio Concert 1967
Ruck Flamenco Cutaway 1996
V. Da y Sobrinos De Domingo Estesto Flamenco 1950
Velazquez ‘Shop Guitar’ Concert 1961

ARTINGER CUSTOM GUITARS

ARTINGER CUSTOM GUITARS

The first time I spoke with Matt Artinger, I was blown away by his enthusiasm for designing and building exceptional guitars. Matt has an aura of “creative genius” all around him, and that energy is transferred in every single instrument he builds. Every Artinger Guitar is a great guitar — mediocrity is not in Matt’s vocabulary. That is why we are so thrilled to be representing Artinger Custom Guitars at Dream Guitars.
Incoming Artinger Trio!

Incoming Artinger Trio!

In the coming months Matt will be building a series of elegant, extraordinary guitars to be offered in our new Dream Guitars Electric Guitar Showroom. I encourage you to visit our shop, and give these great instruments a thorough. Your definition of what an electric guitar can be, will be forever altered!

Here are the first 3, due in soon! Call Paul Heumiller today to reserve yours!