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Nashguitars prides itself on being the "largest independent builder of aged guitars and basses in the world.” While that is true, what they really are is a small family dedicating their lives to a labor of love.
Nashguitars are heritage pieces, comfortable and customized from decades of wear, yet technically pristine because each Nashguitar is actually brand new. Enthusiasm drives production and obsession drives quality, painstakingly constructing, setting up, testing, and aging by hand to an acute representation of the perfect vintage model: well-worn and well-loved. It just so happens, Bill Nash found, that’s the way we all like it.
What is Nashguitars?
Nashguitars is a family run business with a dedicated group of employees, all passionate about guitars. I started the company in 2003 in our basement, building custom guitars for private clients. We are now shipping over a hundred guitars and basses each month to our dealers throughout the world.
Who is Nashguitars?
Currently we have nine people working at Nashguitars including myself. We all get along and have a great time at work! There are no bosses and most things run democratically. In addition to myself, my son Britton, and my wife Michelle, we have several long-term employees.
Rob, who has been with us from the beginning, has done everything from cutting down boxes to painting and setups, and has been an integral part of both troubleshooting and R&D, is now a full-time airline pilot but still puts in a couple hours a week be it here in the shop, or from the road.
David has been with us for over twelve years, and in addition to doing fret dressings and assembly he is the head of our paint shop.
Matt is our billing and shipping manager, and does fret dressings and assembly.
Robby is our indispensable jack of all trades. He’ll happily take on any project and approach it with meticulous care. Additionally he installs the nut on every guitar and bass we build.
Zach does all of our sanding and steel wooling as well as some wiring.
Paden, our newest employee does assembly, neck cleaning, wiring, and many other tasks that help keep the shop moving.
How did you get started building guitars?
Growing up in a musical family in Los Angeles, I started playing guitar at the age of seven. Back then Ernie Ball had a store on Ventura Blvd, which was where I had my first lesson. Later I took lessons and eventually worked at Kaye’s Music Scene in Reseda CA, which is still there. This is where I started learning setups and minor repairs. Norman’s Rare guitars was within walking distance from my house and this is where the love of vintage guitars started. The “partscaster” thing was going on (Mighty Mite, DiMarzio, Schecter were all making necks, bodies etc) and I built many guitars for myself learning by trial and error, virtually all aspects of building electric guitars. At that time, if you selected good wood, hardware and pickups, it seemed one could make a better guitar than anything bought off the rack. I enjoyed playing clubs, recording and musical instrument work for the next several years. By the mid eighties, I had moved into to the “real world” of business, the gear and building bug never left me.
After many years in the business world, I was about to implode and my wife encouraged me to do something I love - even if we would have to have to live on far less money. Tinkering in the basement led to the first few guitars, which were “new.” These sold well, and additionally I took on custom work including refinishing, full builds, and whatever I could. At some point after a guitar got damaged in final paint, I decided I would not re-finish it but age it to look like an old guitar. This guitar sold in less than 30 minutes. This was a market indicator that there may be a real desire for aged guitars so I adjusted my focus to what we do now.
What components, designs, techniques etc. make Nashguitars unique?
We get very detailed when it comes to the fret dressing, set-ups, nut cutting and other fine details. Painstaking care is taken throughout the build process. The use of thin coats of 100% nitrocellulose lacquer keep the wood light and vibrant. We feel our aging is tasteful and realistic. A guitar should feel like you have owned it forever.
Making our own components helps. On the components we cannot make, being able to have things MFGd to your exact spec is important. For example our CTS pots are made to our own spec and specific tolerances, our Lollar pickups are wound specifically for us. Our goal is to only ship a guitar we would be proud to own ourselves.
How long does it take to make a Nashguitar start to finish?
10-12 weeks is an average build time. There are many factors that can affect the time frame, including special order parts, custom paints, etc.
What is Nashguitars’ mission?
We want to make guitars that people feel an instant connection with. Like an old pair of boots or your favorite jeans.
Where does Nashguitars go from here?
We look forward to continuing to make guitars that players enjoy. We also have some new models, colors and specs to introduce into the market in the future.
Like your favorite rock star, Nashguitars look best with more than a little wear and tear. For a guitar that is built to stand the test of time and looks like it already has, call, or stop in today to connect with our selection of hand-aged guitars and basses from Bill Nash and family. Your instant old favorite is here and waiting.
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