Without wanting to make too bad a judgment on a different guitar, against the Reid Vaultback, a normal price industry guitar would seems as it were the handicraft of a ten-year old child. Extraordinary, unique, far away from any mainstream and artistically valuable. The Vaultback Halo of DAR is a masterpiece of contemporary lutherie – without ifs and buts. Its unbelievable value as a musical instrument competes with its artistic quality. I am honoured to have been allowed to play a guitar that differs so much from anything known and which leaves such an impression. Considering how rare these creations are, how innovative, refined and special, I want to predict that they will also play a prominent role in the future.

Grand Gtrs Magazine

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The Combolin is Finished! (SOLD)

The Combolin is Finished! (SOLD)

It has been an awful lot of work, but I am very pleased to show you the completed project, and Robbie is delighted with the results. To view two more images please click the links below this first image. For many more images of this instrument, look for them in my VaultBack, Construction and Details galleries, in my galleries' page. If you're new to this project you can read-up on its progress by clicking back on the last eight postings here.

For anyone interested in having one of these instruments made, the starting price shall be £10,999.00.

Everything is entirely made by hand. No CNC machines, no laser cutters, no routers, no thickness sanders. Just traditional skills, top quality hand tools and lots of patience! For those of you asking "Why?" Well, the structural refinements I employ in these instruments are quite simply not feasible in a production based outfit, and most of these processes quite simply would not be practical in a machine based outfit. Imagine setting up a jig for a router that has to fit tantelons to an individual curve for each one of them on a vaulted back, for just one example - that's 86 per side on average! When you use machines you also disregard the constant touch and feel understanding of the materials being used. Simply handling the parts constantly as you construct them by hand helps massively to hear, and feel the end result. As they say: the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Tonally I am very proud of my achievements with this instrument. The guitars' bass is fat and rounded, and the mandolins' trebles are sweet and crisp. And the mids sit perfectly balanced in-between. Quite simply, the mandolin sounds like a quality mandolin, and the guitar sounds like a quality guitar - something I have never found in any double necked instrument! So, what you get here is the absolute best for your money. For testimonials I'm sure Robbie would be happy to oblige, so please get in touch, thank you very much for following this project,


Written: Sunday February 24th, 3:46pm 2013