Custom & Specialist UK Builders

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A list of UK-based builders who can build your custom guitar, and/or who are building some great guitars under their own brand name.
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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 9848
    edited August 2013

    In no particular order, other than alphabetical, UK-based small / custom electric guitar builders and luthiers.

    What would be absolutely, hugely, incredibly GREAT, would be to get your review, photos and/or playing clips of any guitars that you have from any of these UK-based guitar builders.  Just reply to the thread.

    And, if you know of others that aren't on list, reply to the thread and I'll update the master list.

     

    Bailey Guitars - where Mark Bailey makes dreams come true ...

    Blackmachine

    Case Guitars

    Coley Guitars

    Crimson Guitars

    Dalmedo

    Diaz Guitars - one day, one day.

    Ethos Guitars

    Eve Guitars

    Feline Guitars  Oh yes!

    Flame Guitars

    Ged Green

    GMR basses

    Gordon Smith

    Goulding Guitars

    Gus

    Guyton Guitars

    HJ Williams

    Jaden Rose

    James Blake

    JJ Guitars - still going strong

    JXG Guitars - we've seen some of these on the forum over the years ..

    Legra

    Lindsay Wilson

    Longfellow - aluminium

    MacPherson Guitars

    Martyn Booth - the Martyn Booth

    McIntyre

    MPL

    Nocturne - Jem builds what he loves, and we loves what he builds.

    Organic

    Ormsby Guitars

    Overwater Basses

    Patrick Eggle - not really *small", but had to be on the list!

    Pete Woodman

    Philip Porter

    PR Guitars - no "S"

    Probett Guitars

    Rees Guitars

    Rob Williams

    Sabre Guitars - A rapidly developing reputation.

    Serpentine Guitars

    Simnett Guitars - well known to some of us.

    Solwayer Guitars

    Status Graphite

    Stormshadow Guitarworks

    Vanquish Guitars

    Wez Venables - Wez does guitars, not websites ;)

     

     

    Paul doesn't make electrics, but he's a top bloke and he does make just about any other musical instrument with strings on that you can imagine, so an honorary entry on the list to;

    Paul Hathway

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  • blueskunkblueskunk Frets: 2163
    Brian Eastwood http://www.brianeastwoodguitars.co.uk/
    PS thanks for the link2thisplace T
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  • spacecadetspacecadet Frets: 659
    A buddy of mine has a Williams. Utterly incredible and would 10 times the price if it had PRS on the headstock.
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  • BucketBucket Frets: 5235
    edited August 2013
    Drew_FX will know Scatterbrain Concepts, as do I because one of the chap's guitars is for sale on Denmark Street.

    - "Health and family are the top two most important things. Followed by outrageous guitar solos." - thomasross20
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  • JookyChapJookyChap Frets: 4155
    I only noticed these the other day - Roberts Guitars in Bristol. All handmade, £725, think I might have to go and try one of these..

    Roberts Sentry (Hi White)
    Head stock: Solid walnut on Maple
    Machine heads: Quality Roberts fine tune Machine heads
    Neck: Maple with bone nut
    Fingerboard: Solid ebony with custom inlay
    Custom body: Maple
    Pickups: Custom wound Z1 power pro
    Electrics:2 vol 2 tone 3 way, 3 way selector switch
    Parts: Highest quality Korean parts available

    22 FRETS NICKEL SILVER
    *SET NECK
    *HAND CUT BODY, HAND FINISHED
    *HAND INLAID ABALONE CUSTOM MARKERS
    *SCALE LENGTH 650MM
    *NUT WIDTH 44MM
    *D RADIUS DEPTH 19MM 1st FRET
    *FITTED CASE


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  • SporkySporky Frets: 8694
    JookyChap said:
    I only noticed these the other day - Roberts Guitars in Bristol. All handmade
    I'd be interested to see their definition of "handmade".
    Citation needed.
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  • JookyChapJookyChap Frets: 4155
    Hmm.. Looking at the web site it actually says 'All Handmade, All Designed in the UK'..

    *sigh* I am such an ingenue

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  • SporkySporky Frets: 8694
    edited August 2013
    They may well be perfectly decent (I did giggle at the line about "Parts: Highest quality Korean parts available") - I just think the term "handmade" is little more than marketing spiel for a lot of people.

    No power tools used at any point? Bullhonky. The frets certainly won't have been hand-made. Most of the hardware will have been pumped out of CNC machines. And given the price and the stacks of half-finished ones in the gallery, I'm confident that they're as hand made as an iPhone.
    Citation needed.
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  • Lexie1Lexie1 Frets: 133
    Here is some of Andy Guyton's work for your perusal chaps,

    First off is "Pyro" Gibson Scale Length, 2 BKP Crawlers (Tapped) and onboard Preamp.
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    Seen with "China Belle". Fender Scale Length, Maple Board, Ultimately powered by 2 BKP Mississippi Queens.

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    And the 1st one I had. Synth Ready. Solid Rosewood Neck and Board

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  • SporkySporky Frets: 8694
    Nice - I particularly like the green one.
    Citation needed.
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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 9848
    Lexie1 said:
    Here is some of Andy Guyton's work for your perusal chaps,

    Some beautiful looking work there.

    Is he still building?  I've not noticed any updates to the website in ages - not that I'm a frequent visitor to the site.  He's not a million miles away from me either ...

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  • Lexie1Lexie1 Frets: 133
    Yes, he's still working, I am not a Facebook person, but I believe that he uses that far more than the website these days? His more recent work has been seen recently on tour.

    image
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  • chillidoggychillidoggy Frets: 8965

    Sims Custom near Ashford, Kent,

     

    http://simscustom.com/html/home.htm

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  • musicegbdfmusicegbdf Frets: 305
    edited August 2013
    Good to see so many builders still around.
    I know when I was chatting with Martyn Booth he was telling me we are a very limited market. Most people ( and would suggest that "most" of us on this forum do not fit into this group) when spending a fair amount of cash will go for one of the big names. For this reason it is hard to make any kind of living out of it.

    Knowing the poor resale of custom built guitars , I would expect those of us who own one (I have a MB Special) buy them as "keepers"
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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 9848

    How about we do some reviews of "our" small/custom build guitars?

    Between us, I think we've got guitars from a fair few of the builders listed, and it's only going to help raise awareness of their products if we review them here?

    I'm thinking lots of pics ... as objective as we can be ... explain why you went with that option rather than a "name" brand on the headstock ... anything you don't like about it ... etc?

    I'm also thinking that we'd highlight the reviews via our Twitter feed, all helping to raise awareness of the site too.

    Who's up for some reviewing of their guitar/s?

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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 1484
    Dr Robert/Robbie Gladwell if you can convince him to make one of his custom guitars. Busy man that he is. He made a superb custom bass for our bass player about 25 years ago that was fantastic and hung balanced on the strap too! Nice chap to boot.



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  • Lexie1Lexie1 Frets: 133
    I will do a bit about the pair of Guytons tomorrow.
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  • juansolojuansolo Frets: 1435
    TTony said:

    How about we do some reviews of "our" small/custom build guitars?

    Between us, I think we've got guitars from a fair few of the builders listed, and it's only going to help raise awareness of their products if we review them here?

    I'm thinking lots of pics ... as objective as we can be ... explain why you went with that option rather than a "name" brand on the headstock ... anything you don't like about it ... etc?

    I'm also thinking that we'd highlight the reviews via our Twitter feed, all helping to raise awareness of the site too.

    Who's up for some reviewing of their guitar/s?

    Could give it a go. Happy to do one for the WezV Stratele and could still do one for the Feline Lion as it now lives just up the road with a mate.
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  • ParkerParker Frets: 569
    Lexie1;2718" said:
    Here is some of Andy Guyton's work for your perusal chaps,<</div>
    And that's without his stunning Brian May RS's!
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  • Lexie1Lexie1 Frets: 133

    I first meet Andy Guyton back in 2003 when we moved to Norfolk. I had an ES1275 that was in need of some wiring attention and I was recommended to him by Cooke's of Norwich. It turned out that we only lived about 4 miles from his workshop and a mile from where he was living at the time.

    He is one of those guys that you instantly warm to, very self effacing and a thoroughly decent sort.

    Whilst showing him the problem with the wiring, he showed me a few things that he had in for attention and then produced the superb Solid Rosewood Necked Beauty that he had recently completed for himself. Think Double Cut LP Junior ish, loaded with 3 Seymour Duncan P90s, A Roland Synth Pickup, a Hipshot Trem and some of the most beautifully done switching that I have ever seen. Eventually, that became my first Guyton.

    I had become very impressed with all that Andy was doing and thoughts began to turn towards having a guitar built. Andy took tremendous time and care designing the guitar that we had spoken about so much during the previous months, taking great care that all the quirks I had thrown at him where catered for and then some. I wanted a Mahogany Bodied, Maple Capped Guitar that was specifically designed more towards the player who would mainly be seated when playing, I wanted as much of an improvement on upper fret access as was possible, given that we were mainly thinking Single Cutaway. The Guitar had to balance perfectly not only when on your leg, but also when strapped on. The biggest point being that I wanted the neck of my R04 replicated. Yes it was big, but it was also the nicest neck I had ever met.


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    Andy drew up a few ideas which we then looked at closely and ended up scrapping them in favour of something that came about by a chance comment I made about a Musicman Access Sport that was in the workshop. So the body ended up looking like that, but lightly more offset so that it would balance better when on your knee. The only thing that I had very definite ideas about was Pickups, Andy was using either Seymour Duncan or Wizard Pickups on just about everything he did so my providing Bare Knuckles Crawlers was something new to him, he is now a Stockist.

    So, Two Humbuckers, Coil Tapped by a Push Push Tone Pot and we were in business. The one thing we had both agreed upon at the outset was that this would be a Wrap Over Bridge. Andy had played my R04 on many an occasion and was really taken with the incredible amount of resonance that the Wrapover produced, so a Tonepros Wrapover would be the bridge of choice.

    Everything was covered in minute detail, he did scratch his head a bit when I said that I wanted something similar to Martin's Snow Flake Inlays, but on hindsight, not only did it work, but I believe that it inspired another customer to have the same style on his build.

    The finished guitar was without a doubt the most resonant that I had ever met. This of course translated into something pretty special when plugged in, The sum of the parts worked really well and the BKP Crawlers were everything that I had hoped for and then some. The Coil Tap engaged on Both Pickups and the selector in the centre position gave an “almost” Piezo Acoustic sound which had to be heard to be believed.

    Interestingly, as mine was being built, another commission came in that was very similar, so it proved interesting to hear the differences between to two guitars once completed. The second one had a much smaller neck than mine, was powered by Wizard Pickups and in addition to Coil Taps also had a Phase reversal switch. They were both similar, but most would agree that “Pyro” as mine became known, had a far throatier sound and for various reasons, but mainly we believed the Wrapover, had considerably more sustain.


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  • Lexie1Lexie1 Frets: 133

    As you will have seen from the photos I put up, Pyro gained a Sister, known as China Belle. Same Body and Top, but with a Fender Scale Maple Neck and Board.

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    This one featured Andy's own Trem

    design and was powered by BKP Mississippi Queens. This was an out and out Rocker whereas Pyro was a slightly more polite Blues Rocker. Both guitars were everything that I could have wanted and saw quite a lot of action when I was still gigging. They are both now owned by a collector on the South Coast and still get out and about to various gigs I gather.


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    I should mention I suppose that it had never been my intention to part with them, but due to a financial crisis of monumental proportions befalling my step daughter, they, along with all of my gear, had to go to raise money to bail her out. The only way to look at this situation is that I can at least say that I “used” to have some truly beautiful guitars etc.

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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 9848
    Thanks for sharing lexie1.
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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 9848

    Time for another "my custom guitar" review I think.

    Who's got something from Martyn Booth?

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  • ElwoodElwood Frets: 257
    edited August 2013
    Jaden Rose Series 2
    #10 from the first run

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    Spec:
    African sapele body - 1 piece
    Canadian rock maple neck with sapele headstock laminate
    Jaden Rose ceramic pickups with Dimarzio coil split
    Black wax finish

    It has a wide thin neck with 17" radius with 24 frets - almost reuleaux trianges with a rounded top. The body is a slab top andthinner than a strat. It differs from an Ibanez RG because of the radius applied to all the edges.

    The ceramic pickups are hot and suited to hard rock, metal and shread. I have found that it requires a bit of EQ tweaking to get the best out of them. They work well to drive an amp, and crunch tone with an SD jazz turns into a heavy rock two on these pickups without any changes to the settings.

    The action was low and fast. Jaden not only makes excellent guitar but also sets them p brilliantly. The only issues with the fit and finish are some of the edges around the pearl inlays are slightly rough.

    I have not had it long enough (& don't gig) so can't comment on reliability but give the quality of the instrument and simplicity I expect it last longer than the duracell bunny.

    Over all a massive thumbs up. Excellent especially when you take into account it is available from £899 and made in the UK. Various specs are available, as is a Jaden/Hiscox hardcase, and all are option extras.

    All in all 8.5/10 - a workhorse guitar that really impresses.
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  • KebabkidKebabkid Frets: 788
    edited August 2013
    Alan Knight (Gillingham) makes great looking, sounding and playing relics which are reasonably priced. He has a MySpace page and these are a good alternative to an MJT build.

    Charlie Chandler of CCGX (Hampton Wick) will build you a great Strat or Tele from top notch parts.

    Simon at SVL and Matt Schofield's tech, repairer makes lovely guitars and someone from MR had one of his gorgeous Olympic white Strats..

    Nothing really innovative or original here but great luthiers.

    Sadly, we don't have the great Sid Poole with us anymore and he made some great originals and LP clones.
     www.cairoeast.co.uk - Madness Tribute band (Bass Player) and guitarist elsewhere
    Feedback - http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/57885/
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  • FelineGuitarsFelineGuitars Frets: 3513
    edited August 2013
    Costas - you haven't played any of my LP style Lion models lately (you'll be pleasantly surprised

    Sid Poole was a friend and I miss him (and his sarcasm /Sid James laugh) and his work was exemplary to say the least.
    I have worked hard to carry on the mantle of his workmanship with the Lion models we make

    Here is one of mine nestling up to just about the most famous LP of all - Peter Green's/Gary Moore's one

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    Many guitars have a re-sale value. Some you'll never want to sell.
    Stockist of Earvana nuts, ASL and BKP pickups. Sperzel, Tonepros, Gotoh and Graphtech too!
    Expert guitar repairs and upgrades - fretwork our speciality! www.felineguitars.com

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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 9848
    edited August 2013

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    J - just post the link to the pic without the [url] and [img] tags.

    I had to edit for myself, just so that I could drool over another (2) of your creations.  Every time I see one .... *sigh*.
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  • KebabkidKebabkid Frets: 788
    edited August 2013
    Hi Jonathan, Longtime no speak. You're making some great stuff and I'll swing by for a catchup and to see these beasts! Take care and great pic, Cos
     www.cairoeast.co.uk - Madness Tribute band (Bass Player) and guitarist elsewhere
    Feedback - http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/57885/
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