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Jim's Guitar Reviews

From time to time, I have been privileged to photograph, play and evaluate instruments by some of the world's finest luthiers. Several of them have graciously allowed me to create web pages of photographs, descriptions and specifications for each of these breathtaking instruments. In addition, some of the instruments listed here I know intimately, and for those I have provided my extensive player's review, using consistent, well-defined terms and metrics to facilitate evaluation and comparisons between them.

I have found the ability of these master craftsmen to transform pieces of wood into instruments of surpassing beauty and functionality, combined with their ability to tailor the sound of each instrument precisely to meet a client's specifications, to be a rare skill that borders on the magical.

Follow the links below to see some examples of what many aficionados consider to be the current "Golden Age of Lutherie." The builder logos link to their websites.




Bashkin Guitars

Bashkin 00

Circa Guitars
OM cutaway
7/8 dread
000 cutaway
2010 00 cutaway
2017 Buendia Jumbo 12-fret cutaway #25
in German spruce/Brazilian rosewood
2017 Robbins R.1 #1701
in Engelmann spruce/East Indian rosewood
Holst logo
Holst F4 2013 Custom F4 mandolin #12201212
2013 Northfield F5 'Big Mon' mandolin #130215
2009 Heiden Heritage Model F5 mandolin #107
Poe Strings
Poe F5 2008 Poe Deluxe F5 mandolin #26
Sobell 1985 Sobell cittern (no ser.#)