My latest project ‘The Luthier’ is a hugely exciting enterprise, involving the young and gifted third generation Central American luthier Luis Pilarte, who makes beautiful solid wood acoustic guitars in a range of exotic woods. Luis can make any form of acoustic and electro-acoustic guitar including classical and steel string, but he can also make folk instruments such as mandolins and ukuleles. The regional woods we use include rosewood (red), mahogany, granadillo (cafe, black and red), cocobolo (black rosewood), cedar, laurel macho and laurel hembra, coyote (black) and we also use imported woods like spruce, ebony and maple. Traditionally, granadillo produces the finest tone/sound with rosewood a close second, although all of the woods listed above produce a beautiful tone. Although some people may not be familiar with tropical hardwoods such as granadillo, laurel, coyote etc, these are being used more and more by fine craftspeople around the world as traditional woods like Brazilian rosewood become rarer and rarer.

Without doubt, Luis’ guitars are unique in the world of handmade guitars, combining a beautiful sound with a unique look – his skills in wood selection are combined with a rich, fully polished finish, ensuring that his guitars look more like a work of art than a musical instrument, although of course they sound as good as they look. Each guitar is truly unique – they are individually numbered using inlayed decoration, and the details of each guitar are logged, ensuring that they become highly collectable in the future. We also only make a maximum of 50 to 75 guitars per year, ensuring that they remain rare and and highly sought after.

In addition to the guitars, we also supply a world class selection of woods for luthiers in the UK and Europe. This includes a bespoke service whereby luthiers can order wood which is cut to their specifications, aswell as order from stock which can be delivered quickly within the UK and Europe. The woods include traditional luthier favourites like rosewood, mahogany and cocobola, aswell as less well known woods such as granadillo and various types of laurel. All of the wood we supply is grade A to AAA and personally hand selected by myself and Luis Pilarte.

At present, the price range for the guitars is very reasonable at £200 to £750, depending on the exact technical and decorative specifications and the type of wood. Our budget solid wood cedar guitars (classical) retail at £200 to £300 (front, sides and rear in cedar), and are perfect for beginners who want to start with a quality handmade guitar which improves with age. A guitar in the price range of £250 to £500 would be in mahogany, rosewood, cocobola or granadillo (rear and sides), with a AAA cedar front or spruce if preferred. Guitars £500 to £750+ would include specially commissioned guitars or an electro-acoustic terminal. If you would like an electro-acoustic terminal fitted, this costs an additional £100.

As mentioned above, we also offer a bespoke commission service, whereby you can choose the exact woods and decorative parts of the guitar (we charge an additional £50 for this service). To purchase our guitars or luthier woods there are various options – you can purchase online, visit our gallery in SouthEast Kent, visit the beach hut gallery in Whitstable, or visit us at guitar fairs in the UK.

 

 

If you have any enquiries please use our standard UK contact details :

The Luthier
Ben White
Owl Cottage
Eastbridge Road
Burmarsh
Kent
TN29 0HY

(0044) 01303 870861 (UK)
ben@clayboutique.co.uk; ngowhitelodge@hotmail.com