Please join us today as we welcome Matt Artinger to the Guest Luthier Series. Matt 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, naive 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.
Obviously, Matt's designs aren't limited to acoustic guitars. The $9,000 Artinger Nub Chopper pictured below 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."
Artinger Nub Chopper: Note the Real Bullet "Binding"
The sweet electric tones from this axe 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."
If you haven't done so already, do yourself a favor and check out Matt's photo gallery to see some of the amazing intruments he's built. They are truly beautiful and innovative.
Matt will be on hand today, October 22, from 10 AM to 4 PM Eastern time to answer questions. One lucky participant in this chat will win a Seymour Duncan Beanie to keep your head warm as Winter approaches (here in the Northern Hemisphere). No country restrictions on this giveaway.
So ladies and gentlemen, please join me in giving a warm welcome to Matt Artinger!