Sunday, June 24, 2012

Linda Manzer Guitars

I have read stories about the beautiful guitars made by Linda Manzer, and thought it high time to learn a little more about her and her instruments.



Linda  - Jean - Jimmy









Manzer is a Canadian master luthier who studied under Jean LarrivĂ©e from 1974 to 1978. She also studied with Jimmy D’Aquisto and learned the art of building archtop guitars.

Metheny with Pikasso
She has built many custom guitars for years, but the instruments she built for jazz musician Pat Metheny won her the most public attention. This would include the Pikasso. This guitar is an odd instrument and has 42 strings and four necks. She also worked on the 30 Guitar "Metheny-Manzer Signature 6" project - a special limited edition celebrating 30 years of working and designing over 25 instruments for Pat Metheny.

She also builds a 52 string model that she calls The Medusa.

In addition to those guitars, Metheny also has several baritone guitars which she designed. He plays these instruments exclusively on his album One Quiet Night. This work also features his Manzer Pikasso.

Paul Simon with his Manzer
Other fortunate artists that own a genuine Manzer guitar include Julian Lage, Tony McManus, Carlos Santana, Hennrick Andersen, Stephen Fearing, Gary Larson, Milton Nascimento, Liona Boyd, Heather Bishop, Bruce Cockburn, Paul Simon, Roy Patterson, Marie-Lynn Hammond, Susan Crowe, and Gordon Lightfoot.

Linda currently only builds 12 to 18 instruments per year in her Toronto, Ontario workshop and has a wait list of several years.

Her instruments are not for the faint of heart or the short of cash as her flattop models start at $18,000 and for her archtops guitars are priced $25,000 and up.

The Pikasso













Her custom instruments such as the 42 string Pikasso and the 52 string Medusa guitar are priced individually. Consider that her instruments are works of art and a wonderful investment that is bound not just to last, but to increase in value.

Looking at her catalogue, which includes “standard” models, I have to say there is nothing Standard about these guitars.

Each guitar is handmade by the builder and uses the best quality woods and materials. Each is a one-of-a-kind work. The tops are carefully tuned to ascertain the guitar has a terrific sound. Linda carefully chooses the wood to perfect the guitars sound.

Details, including peg head veneer and inlay, abalone neck inlays, binding, kerfing, bracing and abalone sound hole rosettes which are carefully formed and placed by the hands of Manzer. Flat tops are made of European Spruce, back and sides are Indian Rosewood and the bridges and finger boards are constructed of Ebony.

All of her archtop guitars are hand carved and made of a combination of Curly Maple and European Spruce.


All of Linda’s guitars are constructed in a climate-controlled environment to ensure that each instrument will easily withstand seasonal changes in temperature and humidity.

For electrifying Flat tops, Linda’s choice is a Fishman under-the-saddle piezo pickup. She also is fond of AMT microphones, placed in the guitar. She uses Kent Armstrong pickups on her archtop models

She states, "I've been making guitars for over 30 years. I love what I do. The most important thing to me is that the player is inspired by the guitar and plays it."

If you have the money, contact her at her website for a custom built instrument.












5 comments:

Young Vic said...

All of Fender’s guitar designs have endured, and they are prized by both players and collectors.

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