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Testimonials

"I've performed with many fine acoustic guitars on stage.   Playing Chris's hand crafted guitar, on the spot moved me to write a song.
That says it all."

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"I had known Chris for many years before he launched his career as a self-proclaimed, I quote, “amateur” luthier…

As a professional linguist, I insist that “amateur” here means that he was not planning to make a living out of it because when it comes to the quality of his instruments, we are a far cry from anything remotely amateurish.

 

My first Garland guitar was a dream come true for two reasons :

the first, having a guitar custom built and taking part in the process is wonderful. I enjoyed picking up the tonewoods, defining my preferences for the nut width, the number of frets etc. In a nutshell, by ordering a custom built instrument, you spare yourselves hours visiting brick and mortar shops for the elders among us and browsing the internet and checking specs for the others…

 

The second was simply the result… My first Garland guitar has become my go-to guitar and it is in “competition” with a few boutique or even very vintage American acoustics….

 

Chris, who builds most of his tools and jigs, is a passionate, dedicated and talented luthier. I did challenge him with preposterous inlay requests but he has always risen to the challenge !

 

To get the same quality with a famous name on the headplate, you would need to mortgage your house and sell a kidney !

I could go on raving about this first guitar of mine but let us say that this 2016 instrument was followed by a very challenging parlour-size one in 2017 and then by a 2021 steel-string gypsy jazz ukulele… I am currently waiting for my new U-bass.

With this, I rest my (guitar) case. "

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"... embodies your values of care, consideration and measured good taste.  I am proud to be part of your project my friend."

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"When I saw Chris's first completed guitar (the Totnes) I was very impressed. So I asked him if he could make me a guitar based on a super jumbo model. We were friends and neighbours so it was very easy to discuss the shape, size and materials. I would regularly go to his house and see the guitar coming to into shape and it was fascinating to watch Chris at work. The care he took, the level of detail and the patience he had was amazing. He was already a master luthier!

The finished guitar is beautiful but more important is the sound! It's deep, full and resonant, just as I hoped it would be. I have had my ‘Pommier-001' for nine years and the sound just gets better. It really is a one off!"

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"... good build, happy customer!"

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"My first Garland was a modernized replica of a Levin entry-level parlour guitar from the 1930s. The idea was to have an instrument that looks like a VW but is a Porsche. And it succeeded. Having played in band configurations of 7-8, my fellow musicians have asked on several occasions if my guitar is amplified.

 

Thereafter, Chris built three instruments after my design ideas - odd instruments which you cannot buy off the shelf. It is such a treat to get pictures during the build, to see how your idea gradually gets real in concrete terms.

 

Once in the house, the instruments are a decoration when I don’t play on them.

 

Chris is not only meticulous and passionate about his work. He is also a good listener and is excellent at explaining all aspects (physics, history, woods and more) around crafting a stringed instrument."

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"Your guitar sounds so good..."

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It was a lot of fun working with Chris on the design of the guitar and seeing my ideas come to fruition in his capable hands. And it's a great guitar to play, as well!

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" Watching my very own guitar being built, (I suppose it was the equivalent of time-lapse photography) was a thrill and a privilege.  Chris kept me up to date during every step of the way, with photographs and emails of an extraordinary, precisely crafted guitar;  which he made specifically for me to play bottleneck slide, with a slightly narrower fretboard so I could play chords and tunes simultaneously - reaching for those tricky notes with a bit of a stretch.  I'm very much an amateur guitarist, so I wanted a guitar which would practically play itself  . . . which I suppose it does (or maybe I've just improved?)   
 
I wanted a compact sized guitar with a cutaway, so I could get up to the higher frets with the bottle-neck, and it works beautifully.
The sound manages to be both deeply round and sharply cutting, both at the same time.  Having been brought up with jumbo sized folk guitars, or classical guitars with soft nylon strings - it was an opportunity for me to play around with making brand-new sounds.
I love the inlays and the polishing.  Done with love and attention down to the smallest detail, they are gorgeous.  He even created my own personalised name on the headstock; and now,  6 or 7 years later - I still get a rather smug kick from that when I go to pick it up.
(And, speaking of picking up. . . the pick-up still works as well as it did when it was new).  
If I play anywhere new, there will always be someone who asks where I got it.
A very special sound and my own special guitar."

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