Who We Are
We are a guitar and pickup making company, specialising in building authentically aged electric guitars and a whole range of replacement handmade pickups. Our guitars are made using the highest quality components and hardware available, our own handmade pickups and genuine nitrocellulose lacquer to create a look, feel and tone that harkens back to a golden era of guitar building.
What we do
We build authentically aged electric guitars based on classic models from the '50s and '60s. We also make a full range of standard and vintage replica pickups.
Built in Britain using the highest quality components and fitted with the best hardware available, handmade pickups and genuine nitrocellulose lacquer, we carry a selection of stock guitars and basses but are also happy to discuss custom aged builds.These instruments can be purchased on this website or from the workshop where they can be viewed by appointment only.
Necks are shaped to the customers preference of back profile and radius and fitted with high quality Dunlop or Jescar fretwire and clay dot markers (on rosewood fingerboards) before finishing in a paper thin vintage tint nitrocellulose lacquer which is aged to suit the model or customers requirements.
We use Gotoh, Kluson or Callaham hardware which is aged to match the chosen wear level for the body and neck. Scratchplates are Bakelite, standard plastic or Celluloid and also aged to taste. We use my handmade pickups exclusively which are built to offer superior tone using the best parts available – they come with period correct cloth hook-up wire and the covers are also aged to taste.
Eternal Ageing Process:
We specialise in creating the worn look and feel of instruments that have been used, loved and in some cases abused to mimic the look of a lifetime of gigs and heavy use. The ONLY way to achieve a realistic result is by using the correct materials and methods, so we only paint using nitrocellulose paints and lacquers. We also use cellulose based grain-fillers and sealers. There are NO two-pack products used in our finish process. There is a huge difference between an old guitar that displays a dulled patina, a few knocks and dents with evidence of lacquer checking and one that has been around the globe and gigged to death. We can recreate either and all stages in between, but whatever level of wear you choose, our guitars remain completely playable and fault free.
Frets and fingerboard:
Many of our stock builds use a vintage correct 7.25” radius for an authentic feel, however we’re not masochists, and will happily use 9.5”, 12” or even compound radius occasionally if it suits the build, and all of the above are options on a custom build.
Similarly, we’ll occasionally use vintage era correct fretwork sizes, but in our experience a larger or higher fretwire is preferable for easier playability so we’ll often install medium or jumbo frets as standard. Again, any size can be specified for a custom build.
Our personal belief, taste and preference usually dictates a thicker than average neck profile. However, we do mix this up and many of our stock guitars now have a slimmer more ‘C’ shaped profile than our earlier models, and anything is possible on a custom order.
We predominantly use lightweight ash, alder and occasionally mahogany for our stock builds, and they are usually two piece as standard as this tends to be the easiest way to achieve reasonable weight, but lightweight one-piece bodies are available at a premium.
On custom builds anything can be requested and we also offer tonal chambering/weight relief on certain model types.
Steel bridge plate with three brass or steel saddles as standard on T-Type guitars and still block, bent saddle six-pivot vibrato bridge on S-Type guitars. We favour Gotoh and Callahan vintage replica units.
Non-locking Nickel finish split-post tuners made by Kluson and Gotoh are our preferred choice on standard builds, for their light weight and tonal properties. We’re happy to discuss other hardware options on Custom Builds.
Handwound ‘Eternal Guitars’ pickups, CRL or Switchraft switches, Orange Drop Capacitors and CTS brass collar pots.
Our top nuts are all hand-cut bone as standard as it is still the best material for tone and longevity. However, we are happy to discuss the use other materials (with the exception of cheap plastic or brass and aluminium) on custom builds.
Who am i?
I’ve been playing and modifying guitars since I bought my first cheap electric guitar back in the late ‘80s. I was fortunate to secure first a job in Denmark Street, London and eventually an apprenticeship as a Luthier under Graham Noden in his murky basement workshop.
After five years of dusty work I was recommended for a job on Guitar Magazine where I wrote a Guitar Doctor column and contributed regular product and music reviews.
A long stint at the Guitar Institute in West London followed before itchy feet and the need for a change of scenery led me to buy into a retail music shop in south London, where I also ran my own busy repair workshop.
Eventually I sold up and relocated to the frankly, much nicer south coast and began writing once again on a freelance basis for the re-titled Guitar & Bass Magazine while doing repairs in a small home-based workshop. Over the years I’ve repaired and set-up guitars for thousands of players both high profile artists and beginners alike – they all receive the same standard of service and the benefit of almost 30 years experience in the guitar industry. I had always been a fan of vintage and ‘Relic’ guitars and had built a few one-off instruments for customers which were very popular, so in 2010 with the help of a good friend I began ‘Eternal Guitars’ with the aim of providing a top quality instrument that looked the part, sounded great and that was put together by a professional luthier (that’s me, by the way) and set-up to play to perfection.
In the Summer of 2019 it became apparent that due to time constraints I could no longer offer a repair service so began to concentrate solely on building guitars and pickups from the workshop in Chichester, West Sussex.