Guitars

2022/23 Models update

After nearly a decade of working with models developed as a student or on the fly as they were needed, with my moulds battered and warped and my demo models looking a little long in the tooth, I have begun the daunting task of overhauling the range of guitars I offer.

The aim is to standardise my designs, incorporating and setting all the little changes that sneak in over the years as I have improved as both a maker and a designer, and to make the range much more cohesive. This involves making new plans, templates, moulds and instruments, and I anticipate it will take the best part of a year to complete.

As a result all of the instruments listed below will be changing somewhat – the nylon and steel string models are getting a little larger, with the addition of a baritone model and a fanned-fret option. A new mid-size shape is in development, intended as a 640mm 12th fret without a cutaway, the session is undergoing it’s fourth iteration.

I do believe that the new models represent a very genuine improvement, so if you are interested in ordering a bespoke example please do get in touch and I will be happy to talk you through the guitars on offer going forwards.

Nylon String

The Potter nylon string is my signature guitar and personal favourite. Designed from the ground up towards the end of my masters degree the intention was to create an instrument for fingerstyle folk and blues players that would combine the tone and clarity of a high quality classical guitar with the playing characteristics, projection and bass response of a large steel-strung guitar.

Unlike most guitars the cutaway was built into the design from the first draft, using an enlarged lower bout to compensate acoustically. The resulting large lower soundboard is managed by a bracing system informed by tried and tested classical guitar fan bracing patterns but incorporating elements of twenty-first century jumbo and dreadnaught X-bracing. The unique D bridge was designed to complement this system.

The resulting sound is a well-balanced and warm with strong low notes, clear, bright trebles and good projection.

The design features a narrower neck than a typical classical guitar, with a slight radius to the fretboard and the instrument is intended to take high tension strings for a much lower playing action. In practise it feels more like a very easy to play steel strung guitar than a regular classical, and responds well to most playing styles.

Scale length 646mm, 14th fret body join as standard

Featured instrument right; thinline, left-handed and with short scale (630mm, 13th fret body join), English walnut back and sides, figured European spruce soundboard, holly trim and mahogany neck. Other guitars in gallery below; regular, English walnut and European spruce with holly trim and regular, American walnut and red cedar with three piece walnut and hornbeam neck and bubinga trim.

The side mounted soundports on all three instruments shown are optional.

Prices from £4000


Steel String

I never really intended the nylon string design to make a steel string guitar. In the years since I made the original it became a consistent request from guitarists when they tried out a Potter nylon. ‘Wow, this is a great guitar; would you make a steel strung version?’ Eventually I gave in and went back to the drawing board some years after drafting the nylon. I have tried to keep most of the features of the concert that guitarists responded so well to, only changing what was necessary to allow for the change in strings. I went through a few bracing layout/bridge design combinations before I got something that was doing what I wanted it to, but eventually honed in on a system that provides excellent volume and articulation without taking the sound too far away from the rich, complex tones of the original.

Featured instrument made in Californian walnut with custom inlay work.

Prices as nylon string version


Session

The Potter Session was designed to get the maximum possible volume and projection from the smallest possible full sized guitar. The idea was to build an instrument that it would be easy to carry out and about to a session or jam  that people would definitely hear you playing.

Essentially a parlour sized instrument with the punch of a jumbo, it is a guitar that never fails to surprise.

A compact 628mm scale and a 12th fret join steel strung guitar, with a comfortably proportioned chord playing neck and a powerful and distinctive tone complete a very player-friendly package.

Featured Instrument made with walnut back and sides, maple neck and Laburnum fretboard all grown in the New Forest national park. Second instrument made with Queensland silky oak back and sides.

Prices from £3000


Piccolo

Based on instruments made by several American manufacturers in the early 20th century the piccolo is a very genuine guitar, albeit a small one! It is designed to take normal light gauge guitar strings and is tuned to a pitch four or five steps above a full size guitar.

Although it is a similar size as a larger tenor ukulele the piccolo is built for steel strings,  with modern X bracing and an adjustable truss rod it generates a good amount of volume and a surprisingly rich, full tone. A 40mm nut makes for a perfectly playable neck even in so small an instrument. It’s the first guitar that visitors to the workshop tend to pick up, and the reaction of ‘it sounds just like a normal guitar’ never ceases to raise a chuckle.

Great fun to pick up and play, excellent for travelling – a guitar that will put a smile on your face!

I don’t make many of these, they tend to be custom orders, so there isn’t really a standard configuration. Here is a walnut and red cedar example, along with an all recycled mahogany and rosewood guitar made as a ‘little brother’ for an all-mahogany martin owned by one of my favourite customers. Both examples have an optional traditional pyramid bridge.

Available with fitted hard case.

Prices from £1800


Other Guitars

I can also make guitars to a wide range of traditional and historic designs, with the European romantic period and the American guitars of the late 19th century being particular favourites, if you want anything specific or unusual feel free to get in touch!