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

Realwood Headstock

Real-wood Vault-Back ***** Feature Guitarist Magazine 2009 

The UK is not short of acoustic guitar makers – often solo luthiers making very few high quality instruments each year. Battersea-based David Antony Reid is one such maker.

Reid made his first guitar back in 1998, after which he gave up his day job to study engineering before the lure of luthiery took him to Anniesland College in Glasgow and London’s Guildhall – formerly the London School Of Furniture and the starting point for so many British makers.

Among Reid’s more traditional instruments is this Vault Back design, the fourth he’s made to date, with its multi-pieced curved back that’s inspired by lute and early guitar designs from the early 16th and 17th century. Using paduk and flamed maple for this unusual back construction, the top is ‘bear-claw’ Sitka spruce with a Brazilian mahogany neck. The guitar also features a soundhole, or ‘monitor’, on the upper bout on the ribs – “the first time I’ve tried that,” says Reid, “the clarity this produces is quite surprising!

“I was trying to produce a different tone from the default Martin guitar style – a cross between a lute, a steel and a classical guitar. The curved back eliminates some standing waves that you get with a flat back design. I’ve been experimenting for some time now and I’ve developed my own bracing too – I’m just really happy with the results.” He’s not the only one. Ivor Mairants in London’s West End has been raving about his work – the store has very limited stock - and starting in 2009 Reid will be handling their repairs too.

Our pictured Vault Back costs £4,995 (they start at £4,600) and if you’re in London we strongly suggest you head to Ivor Mairants and check out one of our finest makers. Like us, you won’t be disappointed.