Handmade Guitars by Bob Gramann

It's about the sound!

It's about the sound. My goal in building is a rich, full sound that it is loud enough for performances without amplification. Each guitar is a responsive instrument that feels good to play. At this level of instrument, there is no "best."  It comes down what you, as an individual, want in an individual guitar.  While it will be obvious that my instruments are members of the same family, there are differences among them in the sound and feel.  Each was individually hand-made.  Each neck was hand-carved without a template.  Play several and pick the one that sings to you.

I've been playing guitar for over 50 years but I didn't build one until 1992.  What began as an experiment has become an obsession. I love working with wood, selecting, cutting, bending, and shaping it into a guitar. While it is well known that exotic, tropical wood can make a fine instrument, there are many domestic woods that can equal or exceed the performance of those rare rain-forest woods.

There has been a buzz among luthiers that Osage Orange (and its South American relative Fustic) is a sound-alike replacement for Brazilian Rosewood.   I have now built several guitars with this wood and make the claim that it sounds better.  These guitars have a  well-balanced and rich tone and a separation between the notes in a chord that makes them beautifully musical. 

Sycamore is another of my favorite local woods.  I have also built successful instruments with Black Locust and Black Walnut.  While I still build an occasional instrument with back and sides of tropical wood, I prefer the great woods that grow on this continent.  (As long as I can legally obtain it, I will probably continue to use Macassar Ebony for fingerboards. I haven't found anything else that's as stable and long-wearing).

Select "The Instruments" above to explore the guitars that I currently have in inventory.  Unless otherwise stated, the instruments come in a hardshell case. Cutaways, fancy trim, and exotic woods cost more.

The November 2015 issue of Vintage Guitar Magazine includes one of my guitars on page 95.
Guitarmaker Magazine (Spring 2013), a publication of the Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans, included an article (Domestic Woods Make Fine Guitars)about one of my guitars.  Read it here.  (full discosure: my wife, Mary Lou, wrote this article.)
Tom Russ, who owns one of my guitars, wrote a book about playing and comparing guitars Four Guitars (More or Less).  It's a good read for someone who enjoys fine guitars.  
When Chris Wehling was at the Free Lance-Star, he filmed this
video interview about my guitarmaking.

Bob Gramann
122 Laurel Avenue
Fredericksburg, VA 22408

(540) 898-0611

visits since 7/1/10