Tag Archive for: Wildwood Guitars

Saul Koll Guitars


I came across this thread on the gear page: new Kolls day. A player had acquired at least two new guitars from Saul Koll. And he might have another one or two from this luthier. Stunning guitars.

Destroy All Guitars carry his instruments and they have a brief bio on Saul:

There are guitar makers and there are GUITAR MAKERS. Among the finest luthiers working today, Saul Koll constructs Innovative, bold new designs that are evocative, reminiscent, and familiar. These are the modern comfort food for the vintage guitar aficionado. These are original designs, hand crafted by Saul Koll in his Portland, Oregon workshop using old school equipment, methods and techniques. Saul’s clients range from the most demanding and challenging of guitarists including David Torn, Elliot Sharp, Lee Renaldo, Matte Henderson, to some of the today’s most popular musicians like Modest Mouse, Dandy Warhols, Sleater Kinney, and Kingsley. The majority of Saul’s work has been custom ordered and made to spec – until now. Saul is very excited to work in concert with Cliff and Destroy All Guitars to present new works that represent the muse and creative vision of the hardcore working luthier.

Saul Koll got his start as a professional luthier in the 80’s at the legendary World of Strings in Long Beach California. Under the strict tutelage of violin maker Jon Peterson, he immersed himself in all aspects of instrument restoration. Saul’s passion for the craft did not begin there however, as he began building instruments about the same time he began playing guitar, when he was 12. A constant maker of things, Saul eventually found his place at college studying and making sculpture, ultimately earning a Bachelors degree in Fine Art. Saul worked with TVJONES as technician and writer for The Gretsch company for several years. All the while, he has toured extensively and has made numerous records and CDs with pop/punk acts The Charms, Scott Deluxe Drake, and 8 Foot Tender.

His work has been featured in Guitar Player, Vintage Guitar, Acoustic Guitar magazine, and numerous articles and local pages such as The Oregonian and Two Louies. As author and lecturer, he is active in the Guild of American luthiers. Saul has made over 250 fine instruments for a diverse range of players including Ron Eschete, Isaac Brock, Jim Mesi, Lee Ranaldo, Eric Wilson, and Grammy winner David Torn. Quality, innovation and tradition in the art of lutherie since 1985. Skilled in wood, metal, electronics, plastics, and fine finishes. Builder of “the impossible.” Looking forward to crafting your favorite guitar. Saul makes his home in North Portland with his long time partner Denise, their two daughters, two cats, and one big sloppy Labrador retriever, Olive.

Saul does have a web page but there isn’t much to see there. He is more active on his Facebook page.

Here is a recent video interview with Saul.

Don Grosh NOS Vintage T


From Deluxe Guitar Exchange:

When you ask anyone who has played a Grosh guitar about Don Grosh and his guitars words like passion, tone, quality, and outstanding are often used.

This Wildwood Guitars interview with Don Grosh provides a good perspective on his approach to building Grosh Guitars:

Don got his start at Valley Arts Guitar (now owned and operated by Gibson Guitar Corp).

Valley Arts was founded in the mid-1970s and took its name from their original location in the San Fernando Valley.

They built guitars for players like Lee Ritenour, Steve Lukather, Tommy Tedesco and Larry Carlton. I found an old photo of a Larry Carlton Valley Arts guitar on the Strat-Talk forum. Certainly a nice looking instrument.


Don Grosh was the shop foreman with Valley Arts until 1993 when he started Don Grosh Custom Guitars.

From Wildwood Guitars page on Don Grosh’s bio:

The vision was clear””to build hand-crafted custom guitars with the best tone, looks and playability available, and to build them from the from the ground up, from original design and concept to full production of the necks and bodies.

The NOS Vintage T pictured at the top of this post is a classic take on the Fender Telecaster. The instrument features master-grade, tone-tapped woods, a nitro-lacquer finish and Grosh pickups. The base price for the guitar is $2,899 USD although with a few options, the instrument can easily reach $3,500 or more.

Here is another shot of a NOS Vintage T. I love the fretwork on this guitar.