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Thread: Any Good Luthiers in the San Francisco Bay Area?

  1. #1

    Any Good Luthiers in the San Francisco Bay Area?

    Its been awhile since I've had my Tacoma D55 serviced. Do any of you know a good luthier who respects Guild guitars in the area? I'm in the east bay, but I'm willing to go anywhere, including San Francisco.

  2. #2
    Senior Member jcwu's Avatar
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    On the Peninsula, there's always Gryphon.

    In South bay, I would suggest Keith Holland. He made my JV52 come back to life. Here's a link to my Yelp review: http://www.yelp.com/biz/keith-hollan...ages_or_emails

    I think there are some places of good repute in SF, but I don't have personal experience with them, but I'm sure others will chime in.
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    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcwu View Post
    In South bay, I would suggest Keith Holland. He made my JV52 come back to life. Here's a link to my Yelp review: http://www.yelp.com/biz/keith-hollan...ages_or_emails
    Jason,I didn't know you'd had work done by Keith! OR did I forget?
    I remember raving about his fret job on my D25, just after I joined here.
    It was just like brand new again, and ever since then I save it for those special times when I just gotta have that brand-new feel again.
    Sefton: If it's fretwork you're looking for, here's a second vote for Keith. Make sure you talk to him personally. Call ahead to make sure he'll be there when you can get there.
    I lived with a flawed job done by another guy's apprentice for years, not realizing it was flawed work and not my aging fingers causing some of the mute-outs on the treble E, higher up the neck around the 7th-9th frets.
    When it came back from Keith, suddenly all the old tricks worked up there again.
    Last edited by adorshki; 05-30-2015 at 12:57 AM.
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

  4. #4
    +1 on Keith Holland. I just had some work done on two guitars there and picked them both up last week. Really happy with it. Fantastic service there. It's a 45 minute drive for me from the East Bay (Fremont area) but totally worth it. I'll continue to bring my guitars there from now on.

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    Senior Member davismanLV's Avatar
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    It's funny reading Yelp reviews on Keith Holland. They're either 5 star STELLAR reviews, or scathing rants!! Mostly stellar, though.
    Tom in Vegas

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    There is one particular guy from 2008 who left a scathing review not just on Yelp but on pretty much every forum imaginable. Keith has has team did a really admirable job trying to address the guy's complaints, offering to fix it, etc., but the guy just kept going on a smear campaign for quite some time. There are some people you can just never make happy, unfortunately.

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    Senior Member jcwu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davismanLV View Post
    It's funny reading Yelp reviews on Keith Holland. They're either 5 star STELLAR reviews, or scathing rants!! Mostly stellar, though.
    When I was first researching luthiers, I came across Keith Holland and his 1-star reviews. It turns out there was an Ibanez user who brought his guitar into the store, wasn't happy about the work done, and became belligerent and had to be asked to leave. Ended up posting and spewing all over the net slamming KH - then had to go back and retract/edit quite a bit of what was said. That's just one person, though - and granted, not everyone will like Keith's work (if you read my review, I was initially not impressed/worried, until he gave me a "lesson" on my too-hard strumming), and then there are off-days, you know?

    Gosh, re-reading what I wrote, I sound like I'm making excuses for Keith. I promise I'm not. I'm not so star-stricken as to not see problems when there is one. Really! :)

    And adorshki, I probably hadn't mentioned having work done by KH before, or if I did, it might've just been in passing.
    T100 Mod Adventures!

    Old tunes written and recorded in good ol' college days.

    '95 DV52
    '94 JV52
    '93 F4CE
    '77 CE100D
    '58 T-100
    '57 T-100

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    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davismanLV View Post
    It's funny reading Yelp reviews on Keith Holland. They're either 5 star STELLAR reviews, or scathing rants!! Mostly stellar, though.
    Only 2 or 3 rants IIRC.
    When you see that kind of ratio you know you're probably seeing rants from people that nobody could satisfy.
    And yeah occasionally you're gonna have "teething pains" with a new employee.
    Especially thinking the guy who ranted about the counter guy ducking out on him.
    Probably wanted to get away from abusive language or even halitosis.

    The important thing is that Keith responds to complaints personally if asked.
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

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