James R Baker Studios

James R Baker Studios

kimberly_greg -197.jpg

The construction of archtop guitars has been a logical progression for me.

In 1960 I signed up for guitar lessons with an elderly man who taught in my neighborhood. He was from Spain, played a Selmer, and recommended my first guitar, a Silvertone archtop. I always remember him grumbling with an unlit cigar in his teeth to forget that rock stuff, learn to play tremolo with feeling and always treat your archtop with love and care. I paid attention to the rock stuff, tried my best to play with feeling, and fell in love with the archtop.

Along the way I have become a master woodworker, skilled machinist, showing artist, fair guitarist, and spent many years at some major design firms. All during those years, I made guitars. I started in 1971 in college, when I made and sold a Strat copy and a Martin copy. I seriously began to design a new archtop in 1990. Many evenings were spent conversing with players to try to determine what they needed. The technical aspects of stringed instruments were studied extensively. I spent years first designing the visual aspects. Then the history of stringed instruments were studied extensively. I wanted to not only design the visual aspects but also understand what I wanted to accomplish. I defined some goals.

To design a guitar that controlled feedback, projected powerfully. Great amplified for all styles. I patented my structures and have made individual high performance guitars since then.