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The following features come as standard on all folk guitars:
Choice of OM (14 frets), 000 (12 frets) or Parlour body shape
Choice of 'standard' or 'deep' body depth.
Choice of timber
645mm (OM and 000) or 620mm (Parlour) scale length
Double action truss rod and key
Pinz brass bridge pins, or pinless bridge.
Hiscox hard case
Grand tune schaller tuners
French polished finish
Limited lifetime warranty to original owner.
Choosing timber is all about what looks great, combined with the effect it will have on the sound of the guitar. I offer comprehensive advice on suitable timbers for your instrument. The following choice of woods are available. However stock is always growing so there may be other timbers available upon request.
The soundboard is responsible for actively producing most of the sound that you hear when you strum your guitar, rather like a loudspeaker cone or a drum skin. Various softwoods are available:
Western red cedar
Back and sides
The wood used for the back and sides of your guitar add a different sonic colouration known as 'overtones'. Many people have a strong ideas of the sound they want for their instrument, and this can be more closely achieved through careful wood selection.
English-grown American walnut
Other options available
Only the finest-quality quartersawn timber is used for the neck of your instrument to ensure maximum stability. Denser timbers such as maple help to reflect sound vibrations back into the body of the instrument. Whereas softer woods such as cedar are lighter.
Wenge (centre splice for three- and five-piece necks)
Other options available
Colour and contrast are the main points to consider for the binding of your guitar. Rosewood or even darker ebony can be used to draw a border and lead the eye around the curves of the body. They work especially well with lighter woods such as maple or cherry. Maple on the other hand can elegantly stand out with walnut or rosewood oftening exhibit interesting figure patterns. There are also many other options beyond the typical tonewoods too, such as snakewood, bloodwood and purpleheart.
The headstock veneer reinforces the neck join in all my guitars. Thin veneers can be used well as using ebony or roswood as a single plate of wood in order to create the effect of purfling lines, or to make use of especially beautiful burr veneers such as madrona or elm.
Personalise your instrument with unique features ranging from side soundport monitoring to bespoke inlays.
Opt for a more modern 'solid' headstock with back-fitting tuners. Adds space for additional inlays or attractive wood.
Personalise your instrument with custom inlays.
Improve the strength and visual beauty of the neck with multiple pieces of wood.
Ebony or rosewood custom handmade tailpiece to match the fingerboard.
Acoustic monitor improves tone and delivers the sound directly to the player.
Different scale lengths for each string for tighter bass end and sweeter tone.
Folk guitar (000, OM or Parlour) - £5,500
Please use the enquiry form to select your preferences to express your interest in commissioning a new instrument. For extra inspiration check out the featured guitars page. Don't forget, guitars in stock are sometimes available. Feel free to call or email to discuss your preferences in more detail.
Where are you based?
I spend most of my week building guitars at my workshop in Bristol, UK.
I'm thinking about buying an Alex Bishop guitar, but I'd like to try one first. Is this possible?
It depends - my output is very small (about 6 guitars per year) and if I have been building on commission then it is possible that those instruments are in the hands of the players who bought them. However, occasionally I build guitars alongside other projects that are destined for shops, and sometimes these instruments are in the workshop for some time, so it's worth asking and popping down to the workshop.
How long does it take you to build a guitar?
Once I start it's about 6-9 months before the instrument is completed. A lot of that time is waiting for glues and lacquers or polish to dry. It's very approximately 150 hours worth of work in all.
Do you make left-handed guitars?
Yes, all my guitar models are available left handed at no extra cost.
How do I order?
You can order a guitar from me via email, over the telephone, or in person by making an appointment to come to the workshop in Bristol. Some instruments may be available through a dealer, and where applicable this will be indicated on the For Sale page.
Do I need to pay a deposit? When do I pay the balance?
For commissions, normally a conversation takes place regarding what the customer would like, followed by a quote for the work if necessary. If that quote is accepted a 20% down payment is required for work to begin. 50% of the cost of the instrument is payable once the instrument is completed 'in the white' (i.e. before polishing or lacquering) and the remaining balance is payable upon completion, before the instrument is collected or delivered.
How can I pay for my guitar?
I accept Visa, MasterCard, Amex, PayPal (with added 5% surcharge), BACS transfer, cheque or cash.
When does work on the guitar begin?
It depends - at my busiest times there has been a 1 year waiting list, and occasionally there is no waiting time, and work begins as soon as the deposit has been accepted.
What is covered by the warranty on a new guitar?
Every guitar sold is covered by a limited lifetime warranty to the original owner, which includes 'bronze' level set up work, and any possible (though unlikely) manufacturing defects. Installation of pickups at a later date is free of charge, not including the cost of the pickup. Multiple bridges for gypsy jazz guitars can be provided.
The warranty does not include damage caused by humidity or temperature where the instrument has been incorrectly stored, including damage to the french polished finish. Your guitar should be stored in an atmosphere of 40-60% relative humidity, inside the Hiscox case provided. Dry environments (below 40%) should be especially avoided.
If your guitar has been french polished with shellac, please be aware that this finish is especially fragile. This kind of finish is the thinnest kind of finish and gives the guitar it's optimum tone, however it is susceptible to damage caused by humidity and temperature. It is advised that the surface is regularly kept free from residual dirt and sweat with a lint free cloth, especially where physical contact between skin and the shellac finish is made.