Philipp Neumann

Every single one of Philipp’s guitars is the product of a long, intensive process. He uses all his knowledge and experience to produce high quality instruments. Therefore, he never builds more than two guitars at the same time, so that he can concentrate on every detail. Since the sound of the instrument depends greatly on the type of material that are used, he uses only the best quality tone woods and no prefabricated parts at all. A guitar is not finished until it completely satisfies his demands for a clear and open sound with full, round basses, velvety facials, clear, brilliant trebles, modulated timbre, a singing, sustained tone and responsiveness. Only when all these criteria are met he is satisfied with the guitar. The results are melodious, unique pieces and professional instruments for guitarists. His work is based on the Spanish Granada tradition of guitar making using time-tested techniques. The methods incorporate an analysis of historic guitars and modern insights into acoustic processes and the wishes of today’s musicians. Whilst he is very traditional, he is also open to experiments. He tries to combine traditional instrument building skills with modern methods in order to develop the sound of the guitar for the future.

Paul Sheridan

Robert Ruck

Hans van Velzen

Stephen Hill

Transparent Stephen Hill high res

I have been producing fine guitars since 1985, following a short apprenticeship as a cabinet maker. I ‘discovered’ Flamenco music and studied guitar with Paco Pena, Juan Serrano, El Carbonaro and others in Spain, after building my first flamenco guitar in 1988. During this time I spent many hours in the workshops of Manuel Reyes (Cordoba), Antonio Marin Montero (Granada) and other legends of the guitar making world. Following closely in the Spanish tradition, I have learnt my vocation through hard work and isolation, travel and contemplation, developing my sound and style to what it is today.

From 1998, I began to spend more and more time in Spain while running a thriving workshop in Lewes, England. Until, in 2004, I moved my workbench to my current location in La Herradura by the coast in Granada province, Andalucia, the spiritual home of Andres Segovia. La Herradura is home of the Andres Segovia International Guitar Competition.

I now work here in a large and spacious workshop, making orders to my clients’ specifications. My output is around 12 master grade 1a guitars per year, and around 6 Hill 2a models.  I also teach the art of guitar making for 2 months of the year to students from all over the world being the director of the European Institute of guitar making based in La Herradura, Granada.

I also do high quality restoration work and have worked on some of the finest guitars in the world including Antonio de Torres, Hauser, Fleta, Manuel Reyes, Ramirez, Fabricatore and countless others. This has also given me the opportunity to examine and appraise these historic guitars, adding to my experience and knowledge.

I believe a great guitar comes from a fusion of elements: dedication, focus, inspiration and an affinity with the player. To this end I like to dialogue with my clients to create the guitar that lies in both our hearts and minds.

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Kenny Hill

photo_kenny_hillKenny Hill is one of the most accomplished, experienced and versatile classical guitar makers in the world today. He is recognized as a fine maker, player, teacher and innovator. He has worked as an individual luthier, in small workshops as well as in large factory settings, to bring fine guitars to thousands of players of all levels around the world.

Kenny Hill began building guitars in the mid 1970’s, first in Santa Barbara, CA, then later in the Santa Cruz area. In 1978 he was awarded one of the first California Arts Council grants to an individual artist for his work as a guitar builder and guitarist. During that time he was instructor of guitar on the faculty at University of California, Santa Cruz, where he taught for 3 years.

In 1995 he was invited to Paracho, Mexico as a writer for Acoustic Guitar magazine to cover a master class given by Jose Romanillos for the guitar makers of Paracho. Getting to know both the master Romanillos and the fine guitar makers of Paracho he began to think about what could be done if they had access to better materials, more information, and marketing to the US market. In 1996 he set up a workshop employing some of the fine craftsmen of Paracho, bringing in higher quality materials from the outside and developing a market for these guitars for the next 5 years.

In 2006 he joined in a new partnership in China to set up a workshop and factory from the ground up with the commitment to make lower cost, high quality instruments for players who couldn’t afford his domestic instruments. That business to date has grown to a factory employing over 200 people and producing over 50,000 guitars per year. This is the factory and workshop that produces New World Guitars to Kenny’s design specifications and instruction.

As President of Hill Guitar Company,Inc., Kenny continues to develop the Hill Guitar line in Santa Cruz building fine classical guitars for the world market. This is the location where luthiers are making the entire range of Signature, and Performance model guitars. Kenny states, “The guitars are wonderful, and the impact they have on the guitar world make the effort worthwhile. We have seen Hill Guitars growing in influence and esteem worldwide over the past decade, with the best still to come.”

Kenny Hill has written many articles for various guitar publications, including Acoustic Guitar, Soundboard, and American Lutherie. He is an active member of the GFA, GAL, ASIA and NAMM, and has participated in each association’s expositions.

 

 

Geert van Opstal

José Romanillos type

Jose Louis

Romanillos’ guitars are famous for their great richness of sound. They have a broad spectrum, from deep basses to very clear trebles with beautiful “registers” in between.

In 2004 I learned the skills from José, his son Liam, and Gerhard Oldiges taught me the skills to make this type of guitar. I have made the Romanillos type in my workshop ever since.

Sound

My first concern for the guitars I build is the tone quality and richness of the spectrum. The sound must inspire you to explore your musical boundaries for many years to come. Of course my guitars also have good volume and playability. You can listen to them on the video page.

Bracing

There is an ongoing discussion about the sounboard of guitars. For my guitars, I have always opted for solid tops, simply because I love the sound of it. Having previously built harpsichords, I have found that symmetry is not a necessary principle for producing great sound. An asymmetric bracing improves the eveness of the tones along the fingerboard. You can hear the result in my guitars.

Names

All my guitars are named after women in my family. It is a nice way to honour them and to personalise the instruments.

Gitaar Nathalie Geert van Opstal

afbeelding Gitaar Saar

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Bert Kwakkel

Biografie

Bert Kwakkel at workBert Kwakkel’s leven kende in 1954 een tamelijk ongewone start. Hij werd de 50.000ste inwoner van Deventer. Dat betekende een groot feest in de stad. Bert kwam de eerste dag van zijn leven op televisie.

De gitaar speelde een belangrijke rol in de Kwakkel-familie. Omdat Bert’s vier broers het gitaarspelen veel sneller onder de knie kregen, besloot hij in 1971 zijn eerste gitaar te bouwen. Al snel bleek dat hij hier talent voor had. Acht jaar later zegde hij zijn baan als tekenaar bij het Kadaster op en werd voltijds gitaarbouwer.

Bert Kwakkel ontwikkelde zijn eigen stijl van bouwen, lakken en niet te vergeten van geluid. Zijn onophoudende drang om zijn instrumenten te verbeteren, resulteerde in een uniek zangbalkjes-systeem. Deze bouwwijze biedt de gitarist een uiterst comfortabele gitaar met een krachtige en uitgebalanceerde toon.

Bert Kwakkel Concertgitaren

Ruim 40 jaar ervaring en toewijding

Bert Kwakkel is een van de meest toonaangevende klassiek gitaarbouwers van dit moment.
Hij bouwt met volledige toewijding om zo perfecte instrumenten te creëren. Gitaristen uit de hele wereld prijzen hem om zijn uitzonderlijke vakmanschap.
In 2005 introduceerde hij het gitaartype Merula Special met hals én toets van palissander.