Stephen Rees

Handmade Classical Guitars

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About me

As a teenager I enjoyed working with wood, making anything from bowls to bows to boats, and first became involved with guitars when a friend asked me to repair and refinish his guitar. This prompted my foray into guitar making and I made my first guitar in 1970 from pictures I saw in a magazine; I really had no idea what I was doing, but I still have that guitar and it turned out okay all things considered!

 

It never occurred to me that guitar making could be a way to earn a living so, without much further thought, I continued with my academic studies and eventually became a professional photographer, spending 30 years specialising in advertising still-life from my London studio and collecting several prestigious awards along the way.

 

As my interest in guitar making was rekindled I set up a workbench in my studio and worked on my guitars between photographic assignments. From 2000 to 2003 I studied part time at the renowned Musical Instrument Technology department of London Guildhall University, formerly the London College of Furniture. However, the real turning point for me was in 2002 when I attended a two week masterclass held by José Romanillos in Sigüenza, Spain, and my eyes & ears were truly opened to the subtleties of the Spanish guitar. I continued my trips to Sigüenza during the following summers and in 2005 José and his son Liam asked if I would assist them with the teaching of the ensuing annual guitar making courses; a position I was honoured to accept.

 

I now spend my time making fine classical guitars to the very best of my ability from my workshop in the beautiful Cotswold countryside on the Oxfordshire/Gloucestershire borders.

About my guitars

About ordering

I like to build spruce topped, fan braced guitars in the traditional way as I still feel that this style of instrument produces the most captivating quality of sound, to my ears at least.

I make my instruments entirely by hand following the traditional Spanish style and using the best materials available to me, much of which has been air-drying for 30-40 years.

I strive to build a light, responsive guitar with good playability, with the emphasis on clarity, 'colour', and a well rounded sound, rather than aiming for sheer volume at the expense of sonority.

 

Please see the Construction section for further information.

Most of my instruments are built on commission with some inevitable waiting time, although occasionally I may have an instrument available for sale.

I do not ask for any payment in order to be added to my waiting list, however I would ask for an initial deposit, normally 10%, due when I start work on your guitar, with the final balance payable prior to delivery.

If, however, you are unhappy with the instrument when it is delivered you may return it within 14 days in unmarked, as new condition for a full refund minus the initial deposit, and delivery & insurance costs.

 

If you are considering ordering a guitar, please contact me and I will be very pleased to discuss your requirements and available options.

 

My guitars are also occasionally available from Kent Guitar Classics in the United Kingdom, and from AURA in Japan.

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