My name is Ben Wilborn, and I build fine acoustic instruments in Reno, Nevada. I specialize in steel-string acoustic guitars, though I also build the occasional archtop, mandolin, or ukulele. I tend to make very lightly built, simply appointed guitars with an emphasis on extremely refined details and a powerful, balanced sound.
My focus as a builder is on my own unique designs, which I have created as a response to my desires as a musician and my knowledge as a craftsman. These guitars are sleek and modern and employ all of my hard-won techniques and secrets for voicing and responsiveness, but they are not strange. In your hands, they feel timeless and alive, and in your ears, they create all those sounds that you always imagined a guitar should produce: warmth, harmonic sophistication, intensity, and articulation. As a guitarist myself, I put particular emphasis on the way they feel and perform. These guitars are built by a player, for players. I’m afraid that is rarer in the hand-built guitar universe than it should be.
I use only the finest grades of wood, hardware, and finishing materials. Unlike a factory or production-minded luthier, I personally select, plane to thickness, cut, assemble and finish every part on every one of my guitars. This means that I personally perform every aspect of an instrument’s construction, and respond to any variables in the process and materials. The result is a truly custom instrument – one which has been thoughtfully and dynamically built to maximize every aspect of its character, from tailblock to headstock.
Located: Reno, Nevada
Professionally Selling: Since 2009
Dealers: Dream Guitars , The North American Guitar
Studied With: David S Daily
Shows: Healdsburg Guitar Festival , Woodstock Invitational , Vancouver International Guitar Festival , Artisan Guitar Show , NAMM , La Conner Guitar Festival , Santa Barbara Acoustic Instrument Celebration , California Bluegrass Association Festival , B.I.G. Bowersox International Guitarapalooza ,
Artists: Gillian Welch
Instrument Types: Steel String Acoustic , Archtop Guitar , Mandolin