Jonas Guitars Boulder, Co.

Build A Guitar

Classical Electric Guitar that ROCKS!!

by on Nov.26, 2011, under Build A Guitar, Custom Electric Guitars


This guitar was designed by a student and built by Jonas and the student, Robert.  It is a hollow body, but the neck is all the way through.   It is constructed from mostly mahogany and maple.  You see it here being demonstrated with the analog out and MIDI out functions.

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Build a Custom Made Electric Guitar

by on Jul.18, 2011, under Custom Electric Guitars

The Jonas Modle DR-1 was designed by Darren Roebuck and is composed of Colorado grown Maple wood and Colorado grown Walnut.  It has a Hard Maple neck, and Gaboon Ebony fretboard.  Besides the fretboard, it’s made out of local instrument wood.

These self locking tuners from Planet Way.  The pickups are Seymore Duncan P-Rails Hot.

Made for a guitar player who wants it all, this beautiful guitar along with the Seymore Duncan P-Rails pickups deliver 3 distinct tonal voices.  This guitar can sound like a Sratocaster or a Les Paul.   These pickups are designed to provide a punch that is more aggressive then the standard Stratocaster alone.

Complete with a Satin finish, the DR-1 is a custom electric guitar that any guitar player could be proud of.

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by on Jun.09, 2009, under Guitar Building Private Classes


Classical,  Steel-String, 12 String or Electric Guitars

We offer:

  • Use of my shop and tools, we go through the building process from design to finish
  • We cover the safe use of hand , and power tools
  • We can use local, exotic or recycled woodsGuitar Building Lessons
  • This also includes bending the sides mother of pearl cutting and inlay
  • Different options in the use of finishes
  • I build a guitar with you , as you follow the steps and work on yours
  • In the end you walk  away with a beautiful  instrument
  • We take lots of pictures or video from your progress
  • The PRICE  for the complete course is $ 1600 for a guitar that you build your self

This price does not include the case and the tuners or  exotic woods used for back and sides, there will be a price adjustment.

The requirement is half down payment , we can work out a payment plan that will work for both of us

What it takes from you:

  • Some basic woodworking skills would be helpful but I will go over the basic uses of the tools required with you keeping safety in mind
  • Average commitment  of 24 lessons at the shop for about 4 hours ea.
  • And don’t forget to bring your  enthusiasm !

Still curious  and have questions ? Stop by at the shop for a chat  and come  play a few nice guitars!

Call me 303 543 0146 or my cell is 720 999-1223

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How to Pick a Custom Guitar Maker

by on Mar.09, 2009, under Custom Guitar Articles

Guitar ApprenticeThe U.S. handmade-guitar industry has exploded over the past 30 years. Here’s how to find a craftsman to build your ideal custom instrument.
July 2004

As far out as it may seem, a generation ago it was virtually impossible to lay your hands on an acoustic guitar hand-made in the U.S. But now, while other artisan industries have been automated out of existence (or exported to countries with cheaper labor), American guitar making flourishes.

Peace, love and lutherie

The group responsible for the custom-made industry, which includes more than 3,000 luthiers in North America who make about 150,000 guitars a year, can be described in one word: Hippies.

Until the 1960s, most acoustic guitars in the U.S. were made in factories owned by Martin, Gibson and a handful of other companies, explains Tim Olson, the founding editor of The Guild of American Luthiers’ American Lutherie.

Then hippies came along, who, Olson says, weren’t concerned with making a lot of money. Instead, they saw making guitars as a way of life. “They didn’t come at it from an angle of ambition. It was more of a free-spirited curiosity,” he says.

Lucky for the fledgling handmade guitar industry, Gibson and Martin made some of their worst guitars in the 1970s (both have had major comebacks since then). That, combined with the folk music revival, increased demand for good acoustic guitars, and allowed the handmade guitar industry to put down roots.

And the industry continues to grow robustly thanks to one trait from its hippie past — cooperation — a trait that remains the driving force behind the industry’s culture. Leaf through a copy of the industry Bible, Acoustic Guitar magazine, and you’ll find ads for workshops taught by the top luthiers. Guitar makers swap techniques, which shores up the entire industry, creating more demand and more opportunities for more luthiers.

Cooperation extends to big manufactures as well, says Rick Davis, a guitar builder who is the head of the Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans. The manufacturers have recently started hiring custom builders to help design new models, he says.

Custom Made GuitarThe case for custom

Custom-made guitars fall into two general categories: Those made as art for art’s sake (check out for examples from luthier/artisan Fred Carlson), and those made to suit an individual musician. Davis says guitar players often choose to commission a handmade instrument as “a matter of feel. A customer might say, ‘gosh I love the way Martins sound, but I hate their neck. I love way Taylors play, but I don’t like the sound very much. So I want a Martin with a Taylor neck. A custom maker can do that.'”

A custom maker also cherry picks from a woodpile to select only the best pieces. And, Davis says, a custom maker can take advantage of the wood’s individual qualities. Factory-made guitar tops (the most crucial piece of wood for a guitar’s tone) all have the same thickness, Davis says. But “every one of my tops is probably a little different, because I’m shaving off a couple of thousandths at a time, looking for that absolute moment when it just lights up and says, I’m there.”

A custom maker can also add inlays that you choose or design.

The cost of a custom-made guitar starts at around $2,000 — though the average price falls between $3,000 and $5,000 — and runs up to $50,000.

Meet your maker

But there’s more to buying a custom guitar than just price. It is a major commitment of time. Craftsmen often have a backlog of months or years. The more in-demand their skills, the longer you’ll have to wait. Small shops and few, if any, employees mean productivity is often limited to 12 to 20 instruments a year.

Your first step as a potential buyer should be to learn about guitar making yourself. Find out what goes into building a guitar so can better communicate your needs, and understand the luthier’s questions. Also be ready to describe your playing style — do you prefer flat picking, open tunings, what string gauge do you prefer?

Next, attend a guitar show where you have the best opportunity to look, listen to and play a variety of custom guitars. Take the opportunity to meet and speak with the builders. Some upcoming events include:

  • The Newport Guitar Festival, August 6-8 in Newport, R.I. (
  • The Guild of American Luthiers’ annual convention and exhibition, July 7-11 in Tacoma, Washington (
  • Healdsburg, Calif., guitar festival, August, 2005 (

You can also browse the Web to find luthiers near you. You’ll find lists of guitar makers on both the Guild of American Luthiers and the Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans Web sites.

Look for craftsmen who specialize in the type of guitar you want. Then ask for references. Talk to the musicians who play the instruments to make sure they’re satisfied with the workmanship.

Confirm the price and methods of payment. Most custom guitar makers typically expect half up front and the rest on delivery.

And finally, find out what happens if you’re not satisfied. With most makers you’re stuck, but some may offer a limited money-back guarantee.

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High quality acoustic guitars generally feature solid wood construction

by on Mar.06, 2009, under Custom Guitar Articles

Shiny GuitarThe acoustic guitar is a popular stringed instrument which originated in Spain.  It has a flat, waisted body, a round sound hole, and a fretted fingerboard, or “neck,” along which run six strings.  The strings are fastened to tuning screws at the top of the fingerboard, and to a bridge which is glued to the instrument’s sound board or “belly” at the other end.  The strings on acoustic guitars are usually made of steel.  On classical guitars, the top three strings are usually made of nylon or natural gut, while the lower three strings are metal.  The strings are tuned to E, A, D, G, B, and E (starting with the second E below middle C and ending with the E above middle C).Acoustic guitars are the instrument of choice for many country and folk music guitarists.  High quality acoustic guitars generally feature solid wood construction, with spruce or cedar tops and rosewood or mahogany sides and backs.  Medium quality guitars may combine solid wood tops with laminated sides and backs, while entry level instruments are often made from laminated woods.  Guitar necks and fingerboards are typically constructed from stiff woods such as mahogany, ebony, and rosewood.  Guitars are designed for either right-handed or left-handed players.  With a right-handed guitar, the player’s right-hand fingers pluck or strum the strings while the left-hand fingers are positioned at the appropriate frets
to produce the desired pitches.
How Acoustic Guitars Work

How does an acoustic guitar produce sound?  Quite simply, when a guitar player hits a guitar string, the string absorbs energy and begins to vibrate.  However, this alone is not enough to create sound waves that can be heard.  In order to be heard, the energy must come into contact with a mass of lower density.  The guitar’s hollow body enables this to happen.  In a nutshell, the body of the guitar acts as a soundbox.  The energy from the vibrating strings travels through the saddle and bridge over which the strings pass, and eventually to the soundbox.  The soundbox amplifies the vibration of the strings, so that the sound can be heard.  The guitar’s volume and projection are a result of the soundbox.
How is the soundbox assembled?  The front of the guitar is called the “soundboard,” while the sides of the guitar are called the “ribs.”  There are small strips of wood that allow the front, sides, and back to be glued together, and these are called “linings.”  Once the pieces are glued together, the joints are hidden by “edging.”  The inside of both the soundboard and the back of the guitar will have something called “strutting” or “bracing.”  Basically, these are strips of wood that are laid across the surface in a pattern.  The struts serve to strengthen the wood and prevent it from warping, but they also allow the soundbox to vibrate and produce the best possible tone.

Tone, simply put, is what the guitar sounds like.  Even high-quality guitars will differ in tone.  The design of the soundbox will affect the sound characteristics of a guitar; as a result, many guitar makers, known as “luthiers,” will change the design of each guitar slightly to produce varied tonal qualities.  The goal of every luthier is to ensure that their guitars have even tonal gradations, with no areas where the tone or volume changes abruptly, and no areas where there is over-accentuated harmony.  Different designs mean that some types of guitars are better suited to particular styles of music.  For example, Martin flat-top guitars are popular with fingerstyle guitarists because of their clarity and defined bass pattern, while Gibson flat-tops are frequently used by country musicians because of the rhythmic sounds they produce when chords are strummed.

Guitar Shape and Size

Most acoustic guitars share the same basic shape.  The body looks like a figure-eight made up of an upper bout, a thin waist, and a lower bout.  However, the dimensions of these three parts of the guitar will determine what it sounds like.  Guitars with smaller upper bouts have enhanced treble frequencies, while guitars with larger upper bouts have enhanced bass frequencies.  Acoustic guitar sizes vary as well.  Flat-top, steel-string acoustic guitars come in standard, jumbo, and dreadnought sizes.  Today, there are a wide variety of steel-string and nylon-string guitars available on the market.

Browse this website,, to learn more about acoustic guitars and the people and companies that make them.

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