Miscellaneous Rumbles

Thank God for Luthier’s


I've been thinking about this recently. I'm handy with string changes, changing tuners, tightening plug sockets and a few other things, but when it comes to intonating and tweaking these gorgeous wooden boxes that we all love so much, I just want to say THANKS to all of the Guys and Gals who dedicate their lives to making sure everything is just right. I am very fortunate to have two such people in my Life. One was an Employee of Fender around the time they began the Custom Shop. His name is Joel Grant and He has his own shop in Fountain Valley for the past twenty odd years. The other is CB Hill of Huntington Beach. He builds custom Guitars, and is especially known for his Jazz boxes. Both of these Guys have made a huge difference in my playing and in my life. I just want to say thanks to ALL of you guys, you know who you are


When I was a teen, we had a guy here near town, Clifford Biltz, that did work for Chuck Berry and Roy Clark and a host of other famous people. When he decided to retire, he came to live near me thinking he could hide from the people that wanted his services. By the time I took my BST to him for some work, he was in his late 70's. He was a terrific older gentleman and he had a photo book full of photos of guitars he had worked on, and a ton of stories. His claim was that he was trying to hide from it all and retire but he clearly had a passion for his work. Fender guitars found out where he had retired to and began sending all of their production models to him for setup prior to hitting the stores, so he told me. If you were to come there for some work you would make sure to set some time aside to sit and listen to his stories and look in his book.

I was watching Hee Haw at one time and saw Roy Clark playing one of his well made mandolins with his name on the headstock. Clifford was a very cool guy.


I know that there are many talented lay guys who can set up and troubleshoot the geometry on most any guitar they own. I would not be one of them. I can do the simple intonation, and maybe action adjustments, but I want someone who does it daily and has perfected the art to the point of a great player every time. That's why I take mine in rather than shade tree them. Oh, and that guy would be Chris Davis in Hawaii Kai here on Oahu. The best.

Register Sign in to join the conversation