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Jim's Guitar Reviews

From time to time, I have been privileged to photograph, play and evaluate instruments by some of the world's finest luthiers. Several of them, including Michael Bashkin, Stephen Holst and John Slobod of Circa Guitars, have graciously allowed me to create web pages of photographs, descriptions and specifications for each of these breathtaking instruments. In addition, I have provided extensive player reviews of the instruments I own: the 2007 Circa OM, the 2009 Bashkin 00, and the 2010 Circa 00 guitars; and the 2013 Northfield F5, the 2013 Holst custom F4 and the 2009 Heiden Heritage F5 mandolins.

I have found the ability of these master craftsmen to transform pieces of wood into instruments of surpassing beauty and functionality, combined with their ability to tailor the sound of each instrument precisely to meet a client's specifications, to be a rare skill that borders on the magical.

Follow the links below to see some examples of what many aficionados consider to be the current "Golden Age of Lutherie." The builder logos link to their websites.




Bashkin Guitars

Bashkin 00

Circa Guitars
OM cutaway
7/8 dread
000 cutaway
2010 00 cutaway
Holst logo
Holst F4 2013 Custom F4 mandolin
2013 Northfield F5 'Big Mon' mandolin
2009 Heiden Heritage Model F5 mandolin