Latest News '18

~ (January) Looking back at the news from 2017, much is the same in that I am busy in the shop and the office. I am currently getting ready for the Artisan Guitar show, with a couple on the bench, (an SJ and all-koa OM.) Also busy working on best customers in the world guitars. When I have a few minutes I have been giving some effort to making the website more "mobile-ready." I am expecting to do a complete rebuild of the site, to make it more "responsive and updating the content, pictures the whole deal. We'll see how that goes as there it lots of work in the shop to

Latest News '17

We are excited to be heading to Pennsylvania
for the Artisan Guitar Show April 13-15, 2018.

Artisan Guitar Show Logo

We went back Northeast Guitar Expo in the spring and then at it's new venue in the Fall.

Northeast Guitar Expo Poster Logo

~ (January) John has been busy in the shop getting guitars built for customers and dealers. Late last year, John began a new model, an 0-12 that is now in finish. There has also been a effort to update the website. Although the main form of the website still remains the same, there has been some updates to the navigation and some additional content. He has added pages for the 0-12, 00-12 and the Archtop A16. Also John Check out the design page, as there a little more information about current features.

Latest News '16

For anybody who checks in on the site, you can see we have not done much in the way of updates (to the site.) Behind the scenes some work was done over the summer to add in the Slope Dred model that we have been exhibiting and building for customers. Many photos have been processed and some of the content has been updated. In the meantime, John had been working on a new model, the A16. The A16 was introduced at the Woodstock Invitation show. More to come on the A16. With the new model, the website needs further updating, and we have postponed the release of that for a bit longer.

We will be exhibiting at the Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase in October. Hope to see you there.

The Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase

Latest News '15

We exhibited at the Memphis Acoustic Guitar Festival. It was fun to see old friends and meet some new ones.

The Memphis Acoustic Guitar Festival

Many customers have asked John to build models from his previous O series, including the 00-12 and the OM model. While his GP and FS model have primarily replaced these models, John has decided to reintroduce them as part of his CS (Custom Series) line yet incorporating some of the newer refinements. While these guitars were not officailly retired, they have been on the back-burner so-to-speak while we concentrated on the GP and FS models. Look for some photos of the O series models later in the year.

John is currently working on commisions. Most of these guitars are for repeat customers he is currently building a 6th and 7th guitar this year for one of his customers.

Latest News '14

We heard that the Healdsburg Guitar Festival was postponed, then utlimatley canceled. This was disappointing as we always enjoyed going to that show. Thanks to the Chris, Natalie and the rest of the LMI crew for having us at last six shows.

John continued to develop his new line of guitars, and mostly just quietly worked on commision work. He did however build up a special Bearsville GP to bring to to the Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase in October.

The Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase

Latest News '13

We went back to the Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase in October. Thanks to all who stopped by.

The Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase

We are back from the Healdsburg Guitar Festival. This was John's sixth time exhibiting at the show. Thanks to LMI and everyone that came by. We hope to come back in 2015

The Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase

In 2013, John will be introducing a whole new line of guitars. Based on the work he has been doing over the past couple of years, he has decided to concentrate on just 4 models based on the 00, OM, SJ and JS. He has been busy in the shop finishing up the details for the new designs. Most of the fixturing has been completed although the Jumbo model is still being refined. The new models will now include John's new headstock, with the SSP (Striaght String Pull.)A fully Also a more active back with a radial back bracing pattern.

Latest News '12

John has received word that he has been accepted to particpate in The Healdsburg Guitar Festival taking place August 9th thru 11th, 2013. Look for John's new designs at the show.

Healdsburg Guitar Festival

It was great to be exhibiting at Woodstock show. John introduced his "prelim" SJ at the show. This guitar has the design features that will become standard on all his guitars in 2013. More details of the design will be coming soon.

The Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase

We exhibited at the Farmington Valley Guitar Show earlier this year. Lot's of electric stuff there, but us acoustic guys stuck together

The Farmington Valley Guitar Show

John has now added the Small Jumbo SJ to his line. The development of this guitar has been more than three years in the making although the first prototype was not made until last year. There are many inovations that have come about from the development that are (or will be) part of all of John's future guitars. We have developed a new titinium truss rod along with the stealth truss rod cover system. These will be standard on all models. In addition there are some things under the hood that with the use of carbon fiber in the neck and in the head and tail blocks. The neck joint has been slightly modified to be stronger yet lighter.

With the addition of the SJ, We have retired the Auditorium Series (AS) model. Although this was great guitar, John found he needed to focus his energy for a guitar of this size on the SJ. Although retired, John continues to keep the "door open" on "one-offs" so an AS might be able to be ordered through the Custom Series. Speaking of "one-off's" don't be surprised if you see John's take on Nick Lucas L-00 coming out later this year.

John has not changed his pricing in over 3 years yet he has continued to add features his guitars. John has restructured his pricing. He is now including a custom Ameritage case where cases used to be an add-on. In addition a side purfling, bound headstock and bound fretboards are standard. Inside the guitar, carbon fiber is now used in strategic places for extra strength and reduced mass. Also a custom titanium truss rod along with the steath truss rod tuner cover are also included Although there is a slight increase on his base price the extra features within the guitars and the inclusion of the case really keep the price close to his previous pricing.

Latest News '11

Looking back at 2011 we had a really busy year. The introduction of the SJ, exhibiting at the three guitar shows and John managed to fit in the time to get to the bi-annual ASIA symposium. When it is reduced to one sentance it doesn't sound like a lot, but there was a lot of development and work that went into all that.

The Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase
Montreal Guitar Show

We have added a bunch of music clips from Chris Ruble and Keith Knight over on the Music Clips Page.

John has started the work on a new model similar to what some call an SJ. It will have a 16" lower bout similar to his AS model, but will have some more sweeping, rounder curves. Early designs and wood choices will be primarily geared toward fingerstyle playing but we are open to other options. The first protoype of this guitar will be going to a customer of John's and it's progress can be followed on this build thread on the Acoustic Guitar Forum

News '10

John has received word that he has been accepted to particpate in The Healdsburg Guitar Festival taking place August 12 thru 14, 2011. He is currently working on a some new designs that he hopes to bring to the show.

Healdsburg Guitar Festival

For people who know John's guitars, perhaps one of the most visible recent changes is the new logo. For a number of years John has been troubled by a couple things with the old logo. It served us well but with the change of the decade we decided to make the switch-over. No longer a font-styled theme the logo is based on John's signature although it was cleaned up quite a bit. The signature logo appeared on a few guitars in the previous decade including all the 12-string guitars but it is now on all the new guitars.

In addition to working on some orders and show guitars, John has been busy in the shop working behind the scenes with some new ideas and development.

We went back to Woodstock Man. It was a another great show, Thanks to Baker Rorick for putting it on.

The Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase

John went back up to Montreal this year. The guitar show was great and the Jazz Festival was going on right outside too. This show is a good time.

Montreal Guitar Show

News '09

The Woodstock Invitationals Luthiers Showcase was a great show. What a blast, We are heading back in 2010.

Woodstock Invitational Show Logo

John returned to the Montreal Guitar show this summer and the Healdsburg Guitar Festival. In addition back in June, John went to the ASIA guitar maker symposium. It has been a busy year for John and he is still busy in the shop with some orders. John has also been working on some new ideas in the shop that will be making their way onto guitars starting in 2010. One simple change is that John will be using his signature logo on all of his guitars not only his 12 strings. (More to come on that later.) John is also busy with some other things that will only be seen inside the guitar. In addition, John has joined in on the Sonic Sitka Project and hopefully will be bringing the Sonic Sitka guitar to Montreal in 2010. (more details on that soon!)

Montreal Guitar Show

News '08

Probably the most obvious news to anybody who has been to this site before is that the site has a new look and some new content. The whole 'engine' to the site has been rebuilt and hopefully is a little more stable. In addition the site was moved to a new web hosting company and hopefully the e-mail server will be a little better.


John returned to Montreal Guitar Show this summer '08. The show is a good time and Montreal is a blast. We hope to be able to go back in 2009.

We have spent quite a bit of this year doing some shop improvements that will hopefully make thing go a little more smoothy. Mostly the improvements to the shop were to help with dust collection and general layout. It took a lot of time to get some new tools and areas built in the shop, but it should be a better work area, which indirectly should help make a better guitar. In addition John has been really doing some experimentation and design work in the shop. He has been looking into the details of some older guitars and using the "good" stuff from them in his newly introduced Vintage Series guitars.


Miscellaneous News (past)


John has been working on some more subtle refinement in design and the build process. Here are some examples of the new standard features that are now included on an Osthoff guitar. For example, John is now tilting his saddle back toward the pins to give a better downward pressure on the saddle slot and as a side benefit it also addresses some intonation issues when making action adjustments.

Some players have asked John to give them access to the trussrod from the headstock, so that they can gain access to it with the strings up to tension. In the past, John accommodated this with a "custom" build, but decided to make it a standard feature this year. While trussrod adjustments should be left to the "professionals" this does allow for better and easier access for adjustments.

With the addition of the trussrod access at the headstock, John wanted a little more "meat" in that area. He did that by adding a diamond volute to the back of the headstock. The diamond volute and rear headstock veneer are now standard features on John's guitars. While the diamond volute has been around for many years, the idea of adding the veneer with the diamond is not that common. James Olson does something similar on his guitars. John spoke with Jim before implementing this design. "James encouraged me to go with these features and although he does not take credit for this idea, he may be the first to add a purfling around the diamond volute. I have not use the purfling scheme yet, but with Jim's blessing may offer it as an option. Thanks Jim for your help and inspiration."

John returned to The Healdsburg Guitar Festival in the summer of 2007. Keith Knight demonstrated John's Guitars in a "mini-concert" at the show. Keith brought along his Osthoff Long scale 27" AS to the show and used it in some of his performances. John hopes to be able to return for the '09 show.

SoundSeats with the Osthoff logo are now available, see The Merchandise Page for ordering information.