What is the price range?
NoName Guitars are all custom-built, and reasonably priced between $2,000-$5,000 based on the wood and custom features. Considering the level of quality and craftsmanship, you will not find a better value for either a custom or a high-end factory guitar. I invite you to make the comparison for yourself.
How long does it take you to build a guitar?
All said and done, it takes about 80 hours to complete a guitar depending on specific features, however, those 80 hours are spread out over 7-8 weeks due to the required drying time of glue and lacquer.
How many guitars can you produce per year?
It depends on the year. Comfortably, I can build about a dozen.
How long have you been building guitars?
How did you start building guitars?
I’ve been a woodworker and a musician since 1964. Perhaps convergence was inevitable, but ultimately, I started building specific guitars because I wanted to play them. Now I build guitars because it’s a compulsion.
Where do you find your wood?
Wood sourcing is a highly classified trade secret. But seriously, it can be a tricky subject. Mostly, I use wood from my hoard, and the hoards of my cabinet-making network of friends. Sometimes I source standard materials from responsible commercial suppliers depending on the specific needs of a project. If my selection of traditional, domestic, and exotic wood doesn’t include what you’re looking for, I probably know where to find it (as long as it doesn’t involve cutting down an endangered tree or violating a free-trade agreement).
What is your favorite guitar?
I always say my favorite guitar is the last one I finished, but my personal guitar is a Cocobolo OM Jumbo. Everyone is different, and I believe your guitar should be different too. Part of the custom guitar journey is discovering which preferences and tastes best suit your personal playing style, and musical goals. Or you could always buy a dreadnaught.
What is your favorite wood to work with?
My least favorite wood to work with is Cocobolo (Mexican Rosewood) because it’s extremely oily and toxic if inhaled. Unfortunately for my sinuses, Cocobolo makes a killer acoustic guitar. The most well-behaved woods are usually domestics (walnut, maple, cherry, sycamore, etc.), and they also produce fantastic sounds. Ultimately, the wood must be chosen based on what kind of sound you want.
Which tone wood produces the best sound?
This is completely subjective, and depends on many factors including body shape, size, age, etc. I personally favor the rich, warm overtones of walnut guitars; but for example, my daughter prefers the traditional rosewood sound (she describes it as a growl). Learn to appreciate a variety of sounds.
Where are you located?
In the middle of the Rocky Mountains….Conifer, CO.
Do you build other instruments besides guitars?
Lately I’ve built an alarming number of acoustic bass guitars, but my focus is acoustic steel-string guitars. That being said, I’ve done a number of unusual projects within this genre, and I usually enjoy a good challenge. If you have a specific project you are interested in pursuing, drop me a line and we can discuss it.
What kind of wood is that?
Just ask. Wood selection is a very deliberate process.
Why choose a custom guitar instead of a factory-built guitar?
Well aside from the obvious flexibility to customize features, custom guitars are all unique. Wood is naturally imperfect, and custom guitar makers are well-positioned to take advantage of those imperfections for the benefit of the sound and aesthetics. Factory guitars are built to ensure consistency between the first and last instrument produced, which means the final product is always an average.
Do you also repair instruments?
Repairs are not my focus, but if it can be fixed, I will be happy to give you an estimate or a reference.