Custom Guitar Spotlight
Artinger Nub Chopper Guitar

Matt Artinger is at the forefront of young, American, no-compromise guitar builders. His company, Artinger Custom Guitars, has been conjuring up some of the most innovative guitar designs; while at the same time, associating with one of the oldest and most traditional guitar companies ever. Growing up in Pennsylvania, in the shadow of the C.F. Martin Company, Matt started tearing guitars apart at age 12 and building new ones from scratch at 15. In 1997, at 18, he hung out his shingle. According to Matt, "there weren't that many young guitar makers at the time who were making high-end guitars." Matt describes himself during his first years as "young, naïve and full of energy."

In addition to building his own guitars, at age 20, Matt became a Martin warranty repairman and through this work, struck up a relationship with Tim Teel, Martin's Director of Instrument Design. Because Matt's guitars are so unique and innovative, Teel asked Matt to submit a new design, which eventually became the OMC Artinger 1, which has been in Martin's lineup since 2006. Since that time, Matt has been involved in new Martin designs and one-offs for NAMM shows. In fact, at Winter NAMM 2009, make sure to check out the one-off Artinger Grand Jumbo Baritone at the Martin booth. GroundWire has learned that this guitar features D-TAR Multi-Source electronics.

Obviously, Matt's designs aren't limited to acoustic guitars. The Artinger Nub Chopper is an electric guitar with major attitude. As those of us who watch American Chopper on TLC know, Nub is the amazingly talented painter for Orange County Choppers. Watching the show, Matt always loved Nub's incredible air brush work. They discussed some basics about a guitar collaboration and then, as Matt puts it, "Nub ran with the concept."

The highly chambered body and set neck are crafted from Honduras mahogany. The 25"scale neck sports an ebony fingerboard with 22 frets and fiber optic dot markers, powered by a hidden watch battery. The fingerboard and headstock are bound in brushed aluminum. The guitar employs a Gotoh tune-o-matic roller bridge and Gotoh 510 Delta tuners.

The sweet electric tones come courtesy of a pair of Seymour Duncan SP90-1 Vintage soapbars. Says Matt, "I try to keep as close to the core elements of the guitar as possible and concentrate on the liveliness of the neck and body. I really enjoy P-90s with mahogany. By combining them together the right way, you get a lot of touch sensitivity."

Want an Artinger Nub Chopper axe for yourself? Sure you do. But all-star quality doesn't come cheap. Be ready to shell out $9,000. And e-mail Matt at matt@artingerguitar.com.