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Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding your instrument, repairs, any instruments we have for sale, ordering an instrument, or any instrument you wish to sell.

1000 North Rand Road No. 224
Wauconda, IL, 60084
United States


I began making guitars in 1966 in Dayton Ohio, where I worked out of my house. From 1968-1970 I lived in Mexico City, returning during the summers to build instruments at the Dayton location. 

During this time I was studying Anthropology and playing flamenco guitar professionally in various troupes in Mexico and around the U.S. In 1972 I moved to Chicago and worked briefly out of the back of a music store before moving to my present location in 1973. 

At that point I gave up any pretensions of being a professional guitarist and dedicated myself full time to lutherie.


My 800 Greenwood Street shop has undergone several renovations and changes over the years, the most recent being the 1995 massive renovation I did of the outside and inside of the building. 

As a result, my building is now climate controlled throughout the entire 4,000 square feet, and it has now acquired a nicer facade, with more interior showroom space than was previously available. 

Consequently, we are better able to serve those who prefer to visit the shop to select an instrument from our extensive inventory, which is housed in glass fronted rosewood cabinets. Being able to play many instruments side by side is very helpful in making a final selection, and we have full repair/restoration facilities on the premises for minor action adjustments to major restorations of valuable collector instruments.

2005 Richard Howell No. 385

2005 Richard Howell (Australia) No. 385, 650 mm scale, 51 mm nut, strings spaced 42 mm on centers between 1st and 6th, action at the 12th fret is 3.6 mm on the bass side and 2.5mm on the treble side.  Cedar top, Indian rosewood sides and back, original french polish around entire instrument, with some minor playing wear on the top having been recently touched up in the Bruné workshop.  Tuning machines are Schaller gold Hauser style.  This instrument is Howell’s Fleta style model, and while not a slavish copy of Fleta’s model, the influence is none the less very apparent, so the sound is naturally rather similar to the later Fleta guitars with cedar tops.  Easier to play than most original Fletas, this guitar is less nasal and perhaps a bit more balanced toward the center of the tonal range than Fleta guitars, having a nice sweet treble and rounder more open bass, almost Hauser like in the bass.  The 1st string is particularly well calibrated, with no sustain issues as you ascend the chromatic scale.  No cracks or previous repairs other than the mentioned touch up of nail wear on the top.  This instrument has a lot of sound for the value.  $5,500