Hello, my name is John Datlen. I design and build custom guitars in the beautiful Napa Valley. My focus is on building the best guitars I can, with a modern, clean aesthetic and a full, rich, well-balanced tone. Common characteristics include a clear, articulate sound, with excellent balance and responsiveness to the attack of the pick or finger. The guitars I build are a flexible platform for a variety of genres.
My woodworking career began in 1989 at a custom cabinet shop and mill/lumberyard where I worked extensively on the restoration of Victorian homes. I specialized in custom windows and doors, curved moldings, custom cabinets, and replicating all the intricate details required for truly historic restoration work. I have also worked on high-end modern commercial projects featuring exotic veneers for conference rooms and offices in the financial district of downtown San Francisco. As I progressed through my career, I was always searching for some new inspiration for my woodworking. I began designing and building furniture as well as creating intricate segmented bowls and vessels on my lathe.
I was inspired to begin building guitars in 2011 after a visit to a prominent local luthier’s shop, Sexauer Guitars in Petaluma, CA. Seeing the attention-to-detail involved in the guitar-building process immediately tapped into the passion I had for woodworking. After the first couple of years, guitar-building became more than just a hobby. It is a true art form and a therapeutic expression of my passion for wood, detailed craftsmanship, and appreciation for music. I bring my extensive knowledge in woodworking and creativity to all the instruments I make. My goal is to create an heirloom quality instrument that will only sound better in your hand as it ages.
Located: American Canyon, California USA
Professionally Selling For: 9 Years
Dealers: Mighty Fine Guitars , The Golden Era Guitar , The Luthier's Collection , Fine Luthiers
Shows: Santa Barbara Acoustic Instrument Celebration , LaConner Guitar Festival , Sebastopol Guitar Festival ,
Artists: Jason Newsted
Instrument Types: Steel String Acoustic , Ukulele , Classical Acoustic