Josh B. Humphrey, Luthier


Josh Humphrey

Musician & Luthier

I had my guitar there last night, and it sounded like a million bucks- for the rest of the night after my set people were coming up and asking me about the guitar. The more I play it, the better it sounds. Thanks for building it, for putting so much of yourself into it. It's a keeper, for sure. – Joe Green
Just wanted to let you know, I have connected really well with the flat back Oud you made me. You did a remarkable job, and there have been no problems. Thanks again for going the extra mile, having this instrument with the custom features has changed my life. No kidding! – Chris Henke




Approach

I design and build guitars in a variety of styles. Above all, I am motivated by the need to make instruments capable of creating incredible music. From completely original designs to historical copies, my work is inspired by the work of great luthiers before me. The Northwest model, my standard model, is a popular starting point for many. I have been lucky enough to spend time with several guitar builders of the highest caliber, and a background in fine arts and metal working also informs my process.

Materials

I use lumber from a variety of sources, thoroughly dried and acclimated to my shop for many years before being crafted into an instrument. I have a comprehensive selection including standard and unusual tonewoods: apple, cherry, red cedar, port orford cedar, yellow cedar, ebony, imbuia, madrone, african, honduran and cuban mahogany, maple, myrtle, redwood, east indian, brazilian and madagascar rosewood, italian, korean, german and sitka spruces, black and claro walnut, and yew, to name a few. If you are curious, just ask what else I might have available!

Process

My approach to crafting musical tone is simple and direct. I hand tune each soundboard using a combination of methods I've observed over the years. I have refined my skills and processes over the years, and have been inspired by some great mentors and friends along the way. In crafting my signature sound, I strive for the utmost clarity, balance, and dynamic expression with each instrument I produce.

I like to be sure that every piece of wood that goes into an instrument is structurally sound and, above all, rings with musical tone. After choosing the right tonewood, all wooden parts (plates, sides, linings, blocks, neck, fingerboard, binding, purfling, marquetry etc.) are meticulously hand-crafted in my shop.

I feel lucky to be doing this work, and I approach it with dedication and gratitude. When someone commissions a custom instrument, they deserve a piece of handmade art. Strenuous observations and critical attention are needed in the design and construction to ensure a total inherent contribution to the musicality of the product, both in form and function.

Member; Guild of American Luthiers.


Instruments


Guitar

I primarily build guitars for those interested in fingerstyle, celtic, or Hindustani music, and they feature my signature clear, ringing tone quality.

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Bouzouki/Mandolin

I build both flat-top and archtop instruments- please ask if you are curious about the tonal differences.

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Oud

I focus on short-scale, Turkish-style ouds with an emphasis on balanced tone.

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Hybrid

I specialize in hybrid instruments that are truly one-of-a-kind. Most combine several instruments or musical ideas to be played on one instrument.

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Contact & Information


Contact

JBH Guitars
Josh Humphrey
209 S Anderson St.
Ellensburg, WA 98926

jbhwoodworking@yahoo.com

(541) 954-2621

Ordering

Current wait time on orders is roughly 6-8 months. I am accepting orders for the models you see on this site, as well as custom and hybrid instruments. You can get an idea about what I might build based on the work pictured, but I am always willing to pursue additional avenues, so don't hesitate to ask!

Base price for guitar and oud is $4000, for bouzouki $3500. Once you decide to order, I accept a $500 deposit, with the balance due upon completion. All prices include a custom case. Flight cases are available by request for an additional charge, and required for international shipping.