A Few Words From Players and Fans

I was showing the pictures of [my guitar] “Grand Complications” around the NAMM show to the expected ooohs and aaahs, which were embellished by the fact that I explained it sounded even better than it looked. While talking with Bill Collings (President, Collings Guitars, Texas), I pulled the pictures out expecting him to say “Very Nice”, and move on to the next topic. Instead, the pictures stopped him dead in his tracks and in front of his entire booth stated that he had chills and goosebumps all over his body from seeing the pictures, at which point he rolled up his sleeves to prove that he did indeed have goosebumps all over his arms.

– Henry Lowenstein, CEO of The Newport Guitar Show, Florida,

It’s stunning! I absolutely love it! It’s tremendous—everything I’d hoped it would be, and more on top. I love the inlay!

– Bill Kaman (Kaman Industries—Ovation Guitars)

I can’t even tell you how incredible this gift is. The artistry and craftsmanship is beyond words. I had my wife with me as we opened the box. I made sure we went slowly and first opened the envelope. I had an immediate visceral reaction when I saw the sketch, as did my wife…who quickly jumped to, “just open the case!”

I opened the case and we both had an immediate emotional reaction. My wife said “he’s an artist”. Sounds so basic but she said it in a way that was striking. I think I just stood there with my jaw hanging open. The storytelling really showed how much thought and love you put into this. My wife and I just could not imagine how you did this…although I bought your book on inlay years ago.

My wife said…she can’t ever imagine having anything so personal, beautiful, and functional. We have a fire-list, meaning we’ve had to be evacuated before when fires were headed toward our home and we have just a few items we’d scramble to take. This is now one of those very few items we consider important and irreplaceable for our family.

– Darrius Thompson, California

We think you are one of the most talented artist of our time!

– Andy Oatman, Bishline Banjos, Oklahoma

It is everything I hoped it would be, and more. It has transformed my playing already. I can do things with it I couldn’t do before… and I just love the sound. People can definitely tell the difference. I have had many compliments on how much better I am performing. (hahaha—if only they knew it was the guitar!). Seriously though, thank you for creating such an amazing instrument. The tone, responsiveness, feel and beauty make it a treasure.

– Geo, Vancouver

I have started this letter several times over the last few months only to realize that there is no way for inked words on a page to parallel the striking beauty and sound of my new Laskin Guitar. During the first few days we had it home, I played it constantly… I guess during every waking hour. I want to thank you again for this wonderful gift. The guitar is not only the most beautiful I have ever seen, but the level of craftsmanship and skill is unmatched in any art form.

– Jeff Abolofia, Seattle.

Anybody who has seen his work or read his book knows he is one of the most talented inlay artists of our time. The aesthetics, style and precision of his craft are just off the charts…very high level work with real style.

– Paul Reed Smith, PRS Guitars

Grit, the guitar is the cat’s whiskers! I’m amazed by the power you’ve managed to coax out of it. I’ve just been noodling in dropped-D and it’s delivering a very rich bottom end. The neck is gorgeous and I’m getting that wonderfull smell every time I open the case (which is about every 5 minutes when I’m not playing). Thanks again for putting together my dream guitar and for the amazing artwork.

– Thibaut Lefort

The more I played that new guitar of yours, the more I realized that it is possibly the best sounding flattop I’ve ever played. Seriously. Thanks so much!!!

– David Wren, The Twelfth Fret Guitarists Pro-Shop, Toronto

Grit, I wanted you to know that I am just thrilled with the guitar. It has “duelled” against martins, a Collings and various others, and was a clear winner. It is just terrific. Very responsive, loud, full of character, absolutely beautiful when fingerpicked, and doesn’t break up when flat-picked hard. You may recall that my wish was to have a guitar that could ” do it all” — I now do. I am just so impressed and pleased, and once again amazed at your talent. Thank you so much – it was easily worth the wait.

– Mike Pedersen, London, Eng

I could not have imagined a more exquisite instrument. The inlay is perfect in every respect. I could not be more pleased. The guitar is likewise beyond what I had hoped for in tonality and comfort. It is simply a joy to listen to an play. Thank you for your advice on body size and wood choice. Please accept my humble thanks for a creation that has surpassed my highest expectations.

– Edson Hirohata, Indonesia

Just a quick line to thank you for a wonderful guitar. It’s a steel-sting you made for my pal Carey, in 1976. He and I worked together , the year he ordered it, but I didn’t get to see the guitar as I returned to school. many years later I saw the guitar for sale in a music shop and bought it immediately. Some good energy was happening that day. Anyhow, I’ve been playing it ever since and although it has a bit of cosmetic wear (don’t we all) it just keeps sounding better and better. I’m sure you’ve heard lots of compliments before, but this guitar has helped me through the years like nothing else.

– Rob Stark, Canada

You’re a genius. Absolutely amazing. You’re brilliant. The workmanship–the whole thing. I’m unbelievably satisfied.

– Craig Snyder, New York

Just so beautiful on every level. I’m happy that I waited the years to get this treasure.

– Jennifer Berezan, California

Thank you, thank you, thank you! It looks, sound, plays great. Sound is just fantastic. It’s a magnificent piece.

– Benjamin Heuston, USA

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! It is wonderful, beautiful, and everything I could have wanted. And getting rave reviews from all who hear and play it. I couldn’t be happier. I have blisters on my fingers…

– Kathryn Macdonald, Hamilton, ON

I’ve had the pleasure and good fortune to have known Grit Laskin since 1976 when I ordered my first of three of his fine guitars. These guitars have been used constantly by me in my professional production work, my own recordings and on many jingles/records for other producers. No one gets to play them but me and they rarely leave my studio. They are simply the finest guitars I’ve ever played. Every engineer who hears them just leans over the console and smiles, as do I. they are not for sale at any price.

– David Norris-Elye, Toronto

The guitar is spectacular, the art work on the peghead and on the fingerboard certainly paint the story beautifully and uniquely as only you can do. Equally with the art work is the sound, it sounds unbelievable, exactly what I was looking for, a nylon string guitar for the steel-string player – perfection!! Thanks once more.

– Michael Katz

This really is a wonderful instrument; the voice is everything I could want and more, is so full and vibrant and has so much power, it’s almost unbelievable.

– John Knox

Thanks for building me the finest guitar I have ever seen, heard or played.

– Bobby Fowkes

Thank you! Inspiring craftsmanship; it’s beautiful; it’s fun; it’s mine and I’m proud to own it.

– Bill Collings (Collings Guitars, Texas)

You are truly an artist. An instrument that inspires so much musical beauty goes far beyond the realm of craft.

– Bill Whiteacre

You put things into my guitar that money cannot buy.

– Marie Lyons

It’s the guitar of my dreams – but my dream life has never been this good! The thing almost plays itself. I sometimes wonder why it lets me hang around it.

– James Keelaghan

The lines are flawless… I owe you a great deal of thanks for producing such a fine instrument.

– Steve Fulnecky

Thank you for building such a superb instrument. It’s an inspiration.

– David Lindsay

Thanks for a great Flamenco guitar. I performed with it 15 minutes after I got it. Excellent work!

– Ottmar Liebert

What I got exceeded my expectations. Not only is it a great guitar to play in all different styles – it’s great for lead work, for rhythm, and the armrest will add years to my playing. Last, but by no means least, it’s a gorgeous work of art that I use every day.

– Ken Whiteley

It is a beautiful and impressive instrument. I’m working hard to bring my playing to a level worthy of it.

– Greg Fyffe

I feel your steel-string is the finest example of acoustic perfection and workmanship the world has to offer.

– Scott Moulton

I’m delighted. The changes in sound that you said would happen have happened and it boggles the mind that the guitar will come to sound even better. I feel privileged to own one of your instruments.

– Richard Grice

Aided only by his naked eye and steady hand, Grit tackles projects that would be a challenge even with computer-driven machinery. He has set a demanding standard for luthiery and single-handedly elevated inlay from mere decorative embellishment to conceptual art.

– Larry Sifel (Pearlworks, MD)

I bought one of your guitars in 1980 and it just keeps getting better!

– John McDale

Thank you for building such a magnificent guitar for me! The workmanship is pure art; the action and sound simply incredible!

– Larry Larrison

Wanted you to know how impressive we think your inlay work is. Gorgeous!

– Bob and Cindy Benedetto (Benedetto Guitars, New York)

…on Grit Laskin’s design for a right arm rest, the ‘Laskin Rest,’ Grit’s got it just about right. It is my hope that this option will become the NON cutting-edge in acoustic guitar-making. Hats off to Grit Laskin!

– Richard Norris, M.D. (Director, National Arts Medicine Centre, Bethesda, MD)

This is the Luciano Pavoratti of guitars. The sound is angelic – like nothing we have heard. A joy to see and a symphony for the senses.

– Mandolin Brothers Ltd, Staten Island, NY

It’s always a pleasure to hold your work. It’s wonderful seeing flawless craftsmanship, visual balance, and tasteful design.

– Richard Hamilton

Breathtaking! Unique! Imaginative! Exquisite!

– Guitar Gallerie, Washington

I felt I was in the presence of a ‘Grand Master’ who loves his work as a guitarmaker and a creator of art.

– Ron Gray

…the extraordinary Grit Laskin [is] a talented guitar builder and creator of some of the most incredible inlay ever to grace a fingerboard.

– Elderly Instruments, Lansing, MI

#1 quality guitar! Best! Amazingly perfect balanced guitar.

– Hiroki Niibori (Niibori Guitar Academies, Niibori Guitar Orchestras, Tokyo)

You are the best of the best.

– Ken Donnell

He makes wonderful guitars – my highest compliments.

– Beppe Gambetta

Your craftsmanship and mastery are a great pleasure and source of tremendous enjoyment.

– Mark Kalish

William Laskin guitars defy comparison in the same way a Rolls Royce does.

– Jim Krueger

The first 6-string, obtained in 1983, continues to dazzle me with its purity of tone, reassuring accuracy, and sheer beauty.

– Curly Boy Stubbs (Paul Mills)

The outstanding quality of William Laskin’s workmanship, the refinement of the inlays, the overall aesthetics of the instrument are remarkable.

– Carmelle Begin (curator, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Ottawa, ON)

Oo-la-la, what a guitar!

– Sally Rogers

Thank you for making such a wonderful instrument.

– Rik Emmett

It has been a privilege to have been able to play a small part in what I feel has resulted in the finest Canadian-made Flamenco guitars, if not one of the finest in the world. William Laskin succeeded where all other Canadian guitarmakers failed. He is a rare talent.

– David Phillips (Director, Flamenco Guitar School, Toronto)

This is the finest instrument I have played in all my travels.

– Paco Pena

He is one of the few guitarmakers in the world who is capable of making equally excellent steel-string guitars and classical guitars. And Grit is solely responsible for a ‘quantum leap’ in the artistic application of inlay to guitars.

– Roger Sadowsky (Sadowsky Guitars, New York, NY)

…as tasteful and superb sounding as the best classical guitar we have ever heard. A truly superlative instrument in every respect.

– Mandolin Brothers Ltd.

The tone is clear, clean, and punchy. The sound is extremely even throughout the entire tonal register. This is the rare instrument that when caressed will sing sweetly, but when played hard will roar without flinching. The search for the perfect 6-string starts to feel like the search for the Holy grail. Don’t know if I’ve found it, but this is the closest that I expect to come.

– Tom Chapin

One of the most astonishing inlay artists in North America.

– Larry Robinson (Author, The Art of Inlay, San Francisco, CA, 1994)

At the heart of his activity is his most important contribution of all: his beautiful and supremely musical guitars.

– Susan Warner Keene

You’re definitely a Master.

– Mark Campellone (Campellone Guitars)

During his career, Laskin has produced over 550 guitars of astonishing visual quality and superb musicality. His instruments are played in concert halls and recording studios around the world. For 27 years, Laskin has contributed to the centuries-old tradition of guitarmaking not only by preserving time-honoured techniques but by adding to them with innovative solutions to acoustic and ergonomic challenges. In addition, Laskin endows his instruments with a powerful visual presence. His imagery, rendered masterfully in engraved inlay, reflects highly personal narrative, embued with wit and drama.

– 1997 Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in Craft, selection committee

Astounding. Beyond expectations.

– Rich Pote

There are no other guitars like yours that I’ve been able to find anywhere on the planet, at any price. I am constantly amazed at the rich tone and voice each one of your guitars have. You’re an artist.

– Teddy Stephenson

…And by the way, it’s pretty hard to supersede a Laskin guitar.

– Bob Taylor (Taylor Guitar Company, CA)