My Instruments

 Why buy from me?

  • I have over 35 years experience building instruments for professionals, institutions and amateurs alike – recent customers include Schola Cantorum Basiliensis & the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

  • My extensive experience as a player as well as a luthier ensures that my instruments are set up right the first time, and are easy and rewarding to play.

  • Short waiting times: an instrument, once ordered can be ready in as little as 3 months, and I occasionally have some available for immediate sale.

  • Flexible payment options: customers can pay in instalments to spread the cost, and I offer a 15% discount for current Conservatoire or University students.

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The Process

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I regard each new instrument as a project, a collaboration between the customer and myself in which all the details – including any historical model which may be used – are subject to careful consideration. The first and most fundamental is the required number of courses and string length – what will the instrument be used for? Other considerations follow from this – the shape/model, materials and general appearance, level of decoration and so forth.

I always use the best available materials because the main cost of a lute is labour – it seems pointless to expend that amount of work on indifferent materials. Waiting time for a new instrument can be as little as a few months, and often I also make instruments for exhibition which are therefore available for immediate sale.

Once these details are settled, and any new drawings completed (and in the case of a new design a new mould made), construction can begin. Instruments are completely hand-made – there is no automation, no shortcuts, only the use of a few powered tools here and there where necessary.

During the process I take documentary photos to send to the customer so they can see how their order is progressing, and once the instrument is complete, the customer will normally come and collect the instrument (delivery by courier is also available at the customer’s expense). Instruments are supplied in a made-to-measure Kingham case, the price of which is included in the instrument. These cases are not the cheapest, but they are, in my opinion, the best protection for your new lute.

What I make

6 courses From the 15th century to the end of the 16th century From £3750
7-9 courses From the 1560s through to the 1620s From £4000
10 courses From c.1600, Renaissance & “transitional” tunings From £4500
11 courses French music to c.1700, also German to c.1750 From £4750
12 courses 17th-century lute popular in the Low Countries & Britain From £8000
13 courses From c.1720, the last flowering of the lute From £7500
Theorbo Instruments from the late 16th century for continuo playing From £8000

Please note that prices quoted are for the instrument only.


Other services

Repairs

I carry out repairs on my own instruments either free of charge or at a substantial discount. I am usually willing to undertake repair work on other instruments, subject to inspection, when I will provide advice and an estimate of the likely cost. Such estimates may not accurately reflect the final cost if unforeseen problems arise once work has started.

Teaching

I have considerable experience of teaching at all levels. Whether you are a complete beginner, an experienced player, or simply someone whose playing could do with a boost and some new inspiration, I have something to offer! I also teach via Skype.


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