About the Builder:
Chris Larkin, guitar builder from Ireland about himself:
I work alone hand building a variety of instruments beside the beach on the beautiful west coast of Ireland. I am in my third decade of guitar making and it is still the best job in the world. And, so far, I get paid to do it. Nothing could be better!
Working alone gives me total control over the process. I do everything from buying in the wood to packing the instruments for shipping and nothing leaves the workshop that I cannot be proud of.
Each day I look forward to going to work and learn something more about my craft. The more I learn the more I know I have to learn. And there is no Holy Grail in guitarmaking, there are too many variables in hand making an instrument to be sure of anything. The traditional 'rules' are there to be tested.
At this stage, working with wood has become largely intuitive for me. And I am a wood junkie!
The wood junkie on the left is cuddling enough yellow cedar to make at least 40 flat top guitars when he cuts it up. This yellow cedar board is perfectly quartersawn with 80 grain lines per inch (31 per cm). Yellow cedar makes great archtops (jazzers and mandolins) and is also very good for steelstrings. In my opinion more people should try it.
The man on the right is taking instruction from Melody (the guitar building dog and real brains behind the business) on the best way to carve the top plate for an ASAS Semi. (yes Harvey, it is yours!)
I produce a limited number of master grade instruments each year almost all of which are exported (thanks to contacts made by exhibiting at the Frankfurt Musikmesse since 1985).
Naturally I use the finest available materials. My designs are original, practical and, I think, beautiful. My instruments are individual for individuals.
My wife Syra is a professional painter (there she is on the left working on a portrait of Robbie Overson which was used for his album cover) and after years of makeshift workshops and studio space we finally designed and built our ideal workplace attached to our house in 1997. Syra has most of the upstairs with great natural light and wonderful views over the bays and mountains while I have the ground floor and an upstairs sprayroom. All of my areas are humidity controlled (47% RH) which gives me great confidence in dealing with the wood and the assurance that the possibilities of future climatic damage to instruments is limited to extreme conditions (which instruments should never be exposed to anyway!).
More information: http://www.chrislarkinguitars.com
About the Guitar:
The first ASAD guitars (Reacters at the time) were built around 1983. The idea was to make a stylish, versatile, compact, solid bodied, fixed neck guitar that could handle any gig. Over the years nothing much has changed from that original brief but the instruments have evolved and many options have come about usually because of customer requests.
This is an older example from 1986 of the craftsmanship of this excellent Irish guitar builder.