Monday, June 20, 2011

Luthier Nick Benjamin : Benjamin Guitars

About Nick Benjamin and Benjamin Guitars from

Nick made his first guitar in 1990, aged seventeen, on a table in his bedroom.

Nick was driven by his fascination with the instrument he had recently started playing and by his lifelong passion for design and making, first sparked by his grandfather, an aeronautical designer, and his uncle, a maker of classic sports cars. Nick proceeded to study 'Engineering Design and Appropriate Technology' at the University of Warwick, UK, whilst making further guitars in the holidays. After completing the degree, he decided that becoming an engineer wasn't where his heart lay and he sought out his first proper instruction in the art of luthierie.

This is what Nick has to say about his journey as a Guitar maker, I discovered someone locally gave guitar making lessons and made my first contact with Jeff Chapman. Jeff, based in Brighton, grew up in the same small town as I and has been making guitars for nearly forty years. Over the period of a year and a half I spent weekends in Jeff's workshop and built my first steel string guitar (the first ones had been classical and electric instruments), learning many techniques that I still use today. Towards the end of my time learning with Jeff I also started to gain tuition from Stephen Hill, a Classical and Flamenco maker at that stage based here in Lewes. Stephen ran and still runs a very successful workshop making in the great Spanish tradition. I have learnt a huge amount from both of these people, not just about woodwork, and would like to extend my thanks here.

I first set up in my own workshop in 1998 after gradually going more and more full time renting space at Stephen Hill's workshop. Since then I have been making and repairing guitars for many people in the southeast of England and beyond and have been lucky enough to make guitars for people such as; Eric Roche, Newton Faulkner, Clive Carroll, Kaki King, Richard Durrant, Nick Pynn and many others. In my earlier days I had the pleasure of working on a guitar that belonged to Jimi Hendrix as well as doing repair work for Arthur Brown (The god of hell fire!), Paul Carrack, Eddie Myer (Turin Brakes), Doug Scarrat (Saxon), Bob Johnson (Steeleye Span) etc. The guitar making side of my work has now taken over all my time and I currently produce about twelve guitars a year and pass on most repair work (apart from pickup fitting) to other guitar making friends.

Nick Benjamin produces small numbers of handmade steel string acoustic guitars. Most are made to order but he also makes a few ready made guitars each year. All the guitars from BenjaminGutars are made in a small one person workshop and sold direct to the customer. Nick believes, this arrangement is necessary to provide the customer with an individual and personal instrument designed with simple beauty in mind and tone and playability foremost. Nick also carries out pickup fitting for all acoustic guitars when time allows, specializing mainly in LR Baggs and K&K systems. A new range of solid electric guitars is also currently under development in Nick's shop. Nick Benjamin's guitars have been used professionally by many players including; Eric Roche, Newton Faulkner, Kaki King, Stuart Ryan, Thomas Leeb, Clive Carroll, Richard Durrant, Nick Pynn, Alex Kabasser, Mike Dawes and Ryan Keen.

Nick offers following models...
Jumbo (J) & Midi-Jumbo (MJ) | Jumbo Orchestra Model (JOM) | Orchestra Model (OM) | Treble-0 (12 fret) | Double-0 (14 fret) | Terz (& other high tuned guitars) | Baritone Models | Nylon-String Models | New & Future Models

Additional Links from Benjamin Guitars

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