Arthur Robb

Here in North Wiltshire, I find my work divided into three roughly equal parts:
Lute making, Restorations and Repairs.


lutes lutes

Late Renaissance lutes are my speciality and I have made a lot of them. The latest is an eight course lute in G, very similar to the seven course above. I used no CITES protected wood and the lute can be shipped anywhere in the world without the need for a CITIES permit.

Click on the photos for a larger version. This is the case for most of the photos on the website.

I also make other lutes, guitars and various instruments. All my instruments are custom made and I am particularly pleased to collaborate with players who have special requirements, such as tone, string length, decoration, amplification, playing technique or RSI.


restoration restoration restoration restoration

I have restored many 19th century instruments. Guitars by Louis Panormo have become a speciality and I've worked on thirty-two of them. Five English guittars (a type of cittern popular in England in the 18th century) have been through the workshop, the earliest dated 1758.


repair repair repair repair

I repair instruments for local musicians. Many classical, steel string and electric guitars pass through the workshop. I enjoy meeting the local musicians and and often hear my repairs being played. Of course, I also repair lutes.


LUTE AMPLIFICATION: I have recently devised a method to enable a lute to be successfully and sympathetically amplified. This amplified lute (using a high quality lavalier microphone) is now with its owner, Lynda Sayce. Recently, I have made two more amplified lutes.

CONSERVATION: I have always been aware that musical instrument makers use materials from rare and endangered species. I avoid these and have sought out local and ecological supplies wherever possible. My solutions to some of these problems are discussed on the website.

Sourcing quality wood for fingerboards has always been a problem, but now FSC approved African blackwood is available.

MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MAKING FOR NOVICES: I taught musical instrument making in adult education and university for 20 years, and I retain a strong interest in helping novice luthiers. I sell plans for guitars, lutes and other instruments. I can supply hide glue and gut for lute frets. I am always available for questions about musical instrument making. Part of this website is devoted to novice lute makers.

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