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Hi

In my long search for the perfect acoustic I've come to realise that I'm going to find it difficult to get exactly what I want from one of the major brands (Martin, Taylor, Gibson etc.). Just wondering if you could point me in the direction of some reputed UK-based Luthiers that take on custom builds? I've been looking at Brook and they seem like a nice option and also sensibly priced.

Cheers
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 18510
    Check out Nick Benjamin.
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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 913
    Fylde to a point, Moon, Chris Eccleshall, Johnny Kincade
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • CarpeDiemCarpeDiem Frets: 112
    Turnstone or Alex Bishop
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 9005
    Colin Fulton makes wonderful flat tops. Google "Fulton Guitars".
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 6259
    Atkin guitars. Forester guitars of this parish. In fact, lots of really good makers out there.

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • KDSKDS Frets: 38
    Brook
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  • interstellarinterstellar Frets: 484
    james millman in bideford
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  • CHRISB50CHRISB50 Frets: 1895

    I can't help about the shape I'm in, I can't sing I ain't pretty and my legs are thin

    But don't ask me what I think of you, I might not give the answer that you want me to

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  • LewyLewy Frets: 690
    It depends what you want. Most luthiers, even if they'll build you whatever you ask for, have a bit of a niche that they naturally have more of a passion for. So for a smaller bodied guitar, I'd go to Dave King. For a dreadnought, Alister Atkin. If I was after a less American sound it might be someone else (although I have no interest in that sort of guitar so wouldn't have a go-to name for that).
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  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 1649
    Lewy said:
    It depends what you want. Most luthiers, even if they'll build you whatever you ask for, have a bit of a niche that they naturally have more of a passion for. 
    That's bang on. 

    To the OP, I'd ask what your budget is and what kind of guitar you are after for size, neck shape and tonal character.  I believe the type of music you play should have an input into the type of guitar you are after.  

    If possible I'd recommend making a trip to TAMCO as it's an absolute great place to try a number of different single luthier built guitars in different sizes, tonalities and wood configurations.  

    IMO, it's important to find what suits your needs and not the needs of someone else/the most fashionable or popular in the particular niche
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  • kswilson89kswilson89 Frets: 75
    Lewy said:
    It depends what you want. Most luthiers, even if they'll build you whatever you ask for, have a bit of a niche that they naturally have more of a passion for. 
    That's bang on. 

    To the OP, I'd ask what your budget is and what kind of guitar you are after for size, neck shape and tonal character.  I believe the type of music you play should have an input into the type of guitar you are after.  

    If possible I'd recommend making a trip to TAMCO as it's an absolute great place to try a number of different single luthier built guitars in different sizes, tonalities and wood configurations.  

    IMO, it's important to find what suits your needs and not the needs of someone else/the most fashionable or popular in the particular niche
    Thanks for your replies everyone. Ideallynim not looking to spend too much more than £3000, hence why Brook seems quite appealing. I'm looking for a small bodied, American voiced guitar, preferably 12 fret but this isn't imperative. I thought the Brook OM may fit the bill. Alternatively, Dave King and Alister Atkin seem like good options.
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  • LewyLewy Frets: 690

    Thanks for your replies everyone. Ideallynim not looking to spend too much more than £3000, hence why Brook seems quite appealing. I'm looking for a small bodied, American voiced guitar, preferably 12 fret but this isn't imperative. I thought the Brook OM may fit the bill. Alternatively, Dave King and Alister Atkin seem like good options.
    Dave King would definitely be my destination with that brief.
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  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 1649
     Thanks for your replies everyone. Ideallynim not looking to spend too much more than £3000, hence why Brook seems quite appealing. I'm looking for a small bodied, American voiced guitar, preferably 12 fret but this isn't imperative. I thought the Brook OM may fit the bill. Alternatively, Dave King and Alister Atkin seem like good options.
    I like Brook guitars a lot but I wouldn't really describe them as being traditional American in voice, but they have a new OM model which may be more traditional in character. 

    Of the UK based luthiers I am aware of who make acoustics in the traditional Martin aesthetic (I presume that is your preference?) in addition to the ones already named they include Kelday and Bown.  They are both above the £3k price mark, but I have seen the latter appear S/H in your price range. 

    In the Czech republic Rozawood make Martin style guitars and are highly respected and you would be able to get a guitar with your budget. 
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  • dean111musicdean111music Frets: 105
    edited April 27
    Nick Benjamin and Richard Osbourne. Both amazing instruments!

    http://www.osborneguitars.co.uk

    You can even do a guitar building course and come away with a fine guitar! One day that will be good to do
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  • TheBigDipperTheBigDipper Frets: 937
    I own a lovely Brook Taw, which sounds great to my ears (Bubinga with a Spruce top) and plays well. It's similar in body size, but it's not an OM - I didn't want one, in either sound or feel. Atkin make some really nice OM clones.

    I've liked every Atkin and Brook I've ever played, BTW. Saving up for a Brook Tavy right now...  
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  • LewyLewy Frets: 690
    Can you specify neck profile with Brook? I’ve read quite a few people saying “I like them but don’t get on with the thin necks” and it always makes me wonder whether you can or can’t opt for a chunkier one....
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  • TheBigDipperTheBigDipper Frets: 937
    Lewy said:
    Can you specify neck profile with Brook? I’ve read quite a few people saying “I like them but don’t get on with the thin necks” and it always makes me wonder whether you can or can’t opt for a chunkier one....
    I don't know. I bought mine at Project Music after playing several, so it wasn't built for me. Although I did make a workshop visit a few months later, so they could tweak the guitar slightly once it settled down. Lovely people working in a lovely setting. Definitely a workshop and not a factory.

    I'm sure they'll build whatever you ask for unless it's a stupid idea or totally against their ethos (whatever their ethos is). 
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  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 1649
    Lewy said:
    Can you specify neck profile with Brook? I’ve read quite a few people saying “I like them but don’t get on with the thin necks” and it always makes me wonder whether you can or can’t opt for a chunkier one...
    Andy & Simon the main two guys at Brook are gents and would definitely go for chunkier necks if custom ordered. 
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  • meltedbuzzboxmeltedbuzzbox Frets: 7660
    Lewy said:
    It depends what you want. Most luthiers, even if they'll build you whatever you ask for, have a bit of a niche that they naturally have more of a passion for. 
    That's bang on. 

    To the OP, I'd ask what your budget is and what kind of guitar you are after for size, neck shape and tonal character.  I believe the type of music you play should have an input into the type of guitar you are after.  

    If possible I'd recommend making a trip to TAMCO as it's an absolute great place to try a number of different single luthier built guitars in different sizes, tonalities and wood configurations.  

    IMO, it's important to find what suits your needs and not the needs of someone else/the most fashionable or popular in the particular niche
    Thanks for your replies everyone. Ideallynim not looking to spend too much more than £3000, hence why Brook seems quite appealing. I'm looking for a small bodied, American voiced guitar, preferably 12 fret but this isn't imperative. I thought the Brook OM may fit the bill. Alternatively, Dave King and Alister Atkin seem like good options.
    Have you been to codas acoustic shop or express music in Coventry?
    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
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  • kswilson89kswilson89 Frets: 75
    Lewy said:
    It depends what you want. Most luthiers, even if they'll build you whatever you ask for, have a bit of a niche that they naturally have more of a passion for. 
    That's bang on. 

    To the OP, I'd ask what your budget is and what kind of guitar you are after for size, neck shape and tonal character.  I believe the type of music you play should have an input into the type of guitar you are after.  

    If possible I'd recommend making a trip to TAMCO as it's an absolute great place to try a number of different single luthier built guitars in different sizes, tonalities and wood configurations.  

    IMO, it's important to find what suits your needs and not the needs of someone else/the most fashionable or popular in the particular niche
    Thanks for your replies everyone. Ideallynim not looking to spend too much more than £3000, hence why Brook seems quite appealing. I'm looking for a small bodied, American voiced guitar, preferably 12 fret but this isn't imperative. I thought the Brook OM may fit the bill. Alternatively, Dave King and Alister Atkin seem like good options.
    Have you been to codas acoustic shop or express music in Coventry?
    Haven't made the trip yet no, coda is in Stevenage right?
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 6259
    yup, stevenage old town, which is a few miles from stevenage town centre.

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • kswilson89kswilson89 Frets: 75
    VimFuego said:
    yup, stevenage old town, which is a few miles from stevenage town centre.
    Bit of a mission from Liverpool but may well be worth the trip, thanks.
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  • CHRISB50CHRISB50 Frets: 1895
    VimFuego said:
    yup, stevenage old town, which is a few miles from stevenage town centre.
    Bit of a mission from Liverpool but may well be worth the trip, thanks.
    It really is a fantastic shop. You won’t regret it. 

    I can't help about the shape I'm in, I can't sing I ain't pretty and my legs are thin

    But don't ask me what I think of you, I might not give the answer that you want me to

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  • stevehsteveh Frets: 79
    For my ears, best "American" voice (assuming you're not talking about West Coast modern style) in the UK is Ralph Bown. Others have mentioned him. Try Googling Clive Carroll...

    Yes, Ralph costs a bit (rightly) but he has a ton of return work and customers often move their older guitars on while/after Ralph builds them a new one. Best thing to do is give Ralph a buzz and ask. No harm done and the reward may be a guitar from a world-class luthier.  
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  • fishfingersfishfingers Frets: 22
    steveh said:
    For my ears, best "American" voice (assuming you're not talking about West Coast modern style) in the UK is Ralph Bown. Others have mentioned him. Try Googling Clive Carroll...

    Yes, Ralph costs a bit (rightly) but he has a ton of return work and customers often move their older guitars on while/after Ralph builds them a new one. Best thing to do is give Ralph a buzz and ask. No harm done and the reward may be a guitar from a world-class luthier.  
    If you're interested in Ralph's guitars and want to see a couple of examples  (12 fret 00,OM) send me a pm.
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  • dwheeldodwheeldo Frets: 57
    Nick Benjamin and Richard Osbourne. Both amazing instruments!

    http://www.osborneguitars.co.uk

    You can even do a guitar building course and come away with a fine guitar! One day that will be good to do
    Wis'd. Richard Osborne did a bit of work on my acoustic a few years ago and I had the chance to play a couple of his guitars - phenomenal quality.
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