As an acoustic guitar maker and player with forty eight years of experience, my aim is to build the sort of instruments that serious players would find difficult to better as far as tone and playability are concerned.

I usually custom build acoustic instruments to a customer's specific requirements using the finest quality tone woods and fittings available.

Every so often I build an instrument for experimental purposes or simply because I can't resist the urge to use a particularly nice piece of wood. These customer-less instruments are eventually offered for sale - see "Available Now"

My acoustic guitar designs are named after clouds starting with the smallest the 'Cirrus' (a parlour sized guitar) to the 'Nimbus' (a large-bodied jumbo). The 'Stratus' 14/12 was developed in collaboration with Steve Tilston. Alongside these I make a wide selection of stringed folk instruments such as Mandolin, Mandola, Mando-Cello, Cittern and Dulcimer. Prices for commissioned instruments will vary according to choice of woods, decoration etc but every instrument I make is always given the same amount of care and attention to detail as if I was making it for myself.

When deciding on how your own instrument should be built, the choice of tonewoods and body shapes and sizes can appear very complex. I am always willing to advise and guide you through to a choice that will compliment your own style of playing and musical tastes. For the back and sides the choice is Rosewood, Mahogany, Maple, Lacewood or Walnut and for the soundboard European Spruce, Sitka or Cedar. The neck is usually made from the same wood as selected for the back and sides except where Rosewood is used for the back and sides and then Mahogany is usually chosen. Fret boards and bridges are invariably made from either Ebony or Rosewood.

If there is anything within this information which has interested you enough to want to find out more, or better still you wish to try an instrument, then please contact me or visit me in my workshop. I live in a part of Cornwall that is dramatically beautiful at any time of the year.

Click here if you want to e-mail me.

Martin Cole

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Carolan's Welcome played on a Cirrus

The Workshop