Other Guitars

Waterstone Luther add Bigsby/Towner


After rescuing this guitar from a pawn shop in Galesburg, IL a couple of years ago, I finally got around to adding the Bigsby it so desperately needed. Here's a before pic:


And another. Thanks to Christian at Towner, whose down tension bar added the missing piece of the puzzle. I always thought the body of this guitar had an awful lot of blank real estate from the tailpiece to the strap button. Now it looks complete to me.

About the guitar: I contacted Waterstone after I bought it, asking for info on the model. It has no markings anywhere. There's no label inside the body, no stickers or stampings on the back of the headstock, nothing. I was told that this model is called a "Luther", and that they only made around 30 of them. So I guess that makes it kinda rare (but not valuable!). It was probably made in China or Indonesia. The color looks like a natural finish in the photos, but it's actually painted gold all over. I'm not sure why Waterstone chose to build it with a non-cutaway body. The styling is kind of a weird mash-up of an ES-125 and an ES-295. It sounds good and has great action, and the neck has a fat 50's feel to it. I thought the fretboard was rosewood, but it almost looks like walnut(?). It came with a nice fitted case as well. It's a fun guitar and I enjoy playing it.


Sweet! Tell us more about her.


Ha! We were posting at the same time. Nice.


OOO! Digging THAT! I love that it has no cutaway.


i believe you're the first person i've ever seen with a Waterstone. i figured they must be OK because Jonsi from Sigur Ros played one of their Les Pauloids in their live-around-Iceland film, but i've never seen one in the wild.


Very interesting project. Never heard of Waterstones. Rollingstones, yes!


This is the first Waterstone I’d ever seen. After I bought it, I searched for more info on the company and their instruments. What I’ve learned is that they made a variety of guitars in various styles and body shapes, but it seems they started getting away from 6 string prodution and concentrated on bass guitars. Most notably they’ve made a number of really sweet basses for Cheap Trick bassist Tom Petterson. They have a store on Reverb.com but all I’ve seen there are used guitars. Some good prices, though.


Thanks for sharing, I likewise have never seen or even heard of a Waterstone before. Very nice looking guitar, and I have to agree-it was just begging for that Bigsby-completes the guitar.


i like that even better in the aqua color, but then, teal and turquoise are my jam.


That aqua number is gorgeous too; looks like it's crying out for a Bigsby-completes as well...JMO.


That was supposed to read " Bigsby as well-JMO." Seems my Android is now engaging in thought completion as well as spell correct-I did NOT write the word completes.


Thanks for sharing, I likewise have never seen or even heard of a Waterstone before. Very nice looking guitar, and I have to agree-it was just begging for that Bigsby-completes the guitar.

– Synchroslim

Or at least maybe a pin-up decal.


Or at least maybe a pin-up decal.

– nielDa

I believe you might have something there!


I never heard of Waterstone guitars before but just googled them. I don’t know anything about their quality, but they make some nice looking guitars.


I have the same model/color. I got it off ebay for a very modest price. I liked the idea of having a hollow body without a huge investment. I'm garage player that will never gig. Once I adjusted the neck and gave it new strings, this guitar played super easy. I figured I would replace pickups with TVJones, but when i plugged it in, it really sounded good. Too good to mess with.

I decided against a Bigsby....until I saw your photo. It really does fill that space and complete the guitar. I may try a sticker as someone previously suggested, but I'm seriously leaning toward Bigsby now.

I'm also considering a refinish. A buddy suggested purple and after some googling....that is actually a good color on this style guitar.

Very funny that you also contacted Waterstone for info. I did the same thing, except he didn't tell me that the run was limited to 30. Thanks for sharing that piece of the puzzle. I have 12 Waterstone's because I really liked the first one I stumbled on to, and seem to find great deals on them. Got a few prototypes and one-offs that are just plain cool.

Someone asked about quality. My Lord Kitchener bass and matching guitar are on par with many $1000(ish) Fenders and Gibsons. If you see a Lord Kitchener Waterstone, please buy it so I won't be tempted.

A few of the other models are targeted to entry level, but still compare favorably with MIM Fenders or budget Gibsons. Their 8 and 12 string bass models have a great reputation and have been endorsed by a Cheap Trick guy (Tom?). More than four strings on a bass scare me, so this is based on what I have read.

I'd be happy to share photos or info if you are considering a Waterstone. I might have the model you are looking at. :)

The founder of Waterstone is a neurosurgeon that loves guitars and basses. I seem to remember he had a connection, or was at least a super fan of Mark Sandman from Morphine. He was at Vanderbilt in Nashville when I discovered the brand. He had a funky cool little shop. I believe he is now in the NE U.S. and no longer has the shop in Nashville. They are great about answering questions and sell some great gear in their shop on the site that is known for people selling guitars to each other.

Wow, didn't mean to type that much. Rock on everyone.

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