At Crimson Guitars we have three separate, though complimentary, businesses that our Master Luthier, Ben Crowe, has built up over the past 12 years as a company.
The custom guitar building studio
The core will always be in the studio where a team of highly skilled luthiers and their apprentices build entirely hand made custom guitars in the truest sense of the word. All guitars, basses and extended range instruments are designed from the ground up with the eventual owner and there are only two rules – the finished instrument must be both perfectly playable and aesthetically pleasing… the rest is up to you from custom inlays and hardware to non-standard materials and neck dimensions it is all possible.
The team also have extensive experience repairing even the most unloved and beaten up guitars and often take on the most challenging repairs and restorations, plus a few standard fixes and set-ups along the way of course.
The luthiers are also currently working on a range of soon to be announced production guitars and UK made kit guitars to be built after we expand our workshop space to 4000 square feet.
The luthiers tool-making workshops
A dedicated team of tool-makers and apprentices form the backbone of this part of the company and between them they produce, almost entirely by hand, everything from leveling and crowning files to nut slotting saws and notched straight edges. The same care and attention that goes into a £3000 boutique guitar comes to bear on our tools and they are designed from the ground up with the luthier in mind. Our tool makers utilise everything from CNC and milling machines, engineers lathes to good old brute strength and the end results are small, perfectly formed works of functional art.
Guitar building training and tuition both online and in person
As well as releasing dozens of free videos on our YouTube channel a month we have a private members guild where you can view exclusive video tutorials from Ben from whole custom guitar builds in extensive detail to lectures on design and custom guitar maing in general. The public forums are part of the luthiers guild and even free members have access to the valuable friends and information contained there.
One lucky student a week can rent, for up to 5 or 6 days, a workbench in the custom guitar building studio for one on one guitar building or repair tutorials live and in person. Come and build an entire guitar or bring some beaters in for a few days of repair tutorials. Check out the Crimson Guilds homepage for more information.
Ben Crowe – Master Luthier
Ben started building guitars in a garage in Chichester while studying the building of early stringed musical instruments at the prestigious West Dean College. After finding the early music scene a little too conservative for his taste Ben started to concentrate on building truly custom instruments and, in 2005 Crimson Guitars was founded in a small workshop just outside Dorchester on the UK’s beautiful south coast.
After building instruments with such luminaries of the guitar world as Robert Fripp, Charlie Jones and Jakko Jakszyk among others and a few workshop moves Ben started filming video tutorials and also making luthiers tools. These two new aspects brought Crimson to a much wider audience and Ben’s videos now rack up over 200k views each month and our hand made luthiers tools are helping to create guitars all around the world.
Having reached Crimson Guitars 10th anniversary Ben is now head of a talented team of luthiers, tool-makers and administrators and big things are planned from a range of CNC made kit guitars built entirely in their Dorset workshop to full production guitar models based on the Robert Fripp signature guitar among others, watch this space!