[PLEASE NOTE: Information listed here was accurate as of March 16, 2005. Please call the business to verify information.]
Sure, you can change a broken string mid-set and on the fly — but more complicated repairs are best left to the professionals. Around these parts, stringed instruments tend to rule the land. And the professionals (artisans, really) that repair, build and care for these instruments are known as luthiers. Lucky for you, Western North Carolina is chock full of them. Be it a violin, guitar or a bouzouki, the following list of luthiers will surely have a name of someone who can care for your instrument or build you one from scratch — even if it’s a cardboard dulcimer.
• Acoustic Corner, 105-F Montreat Road, Black Mountain (669-5162) — It’s a troika of talent at Acoustic Corner: Tom Fellenbaum builds dulcimers, mandolins and guitars; John Logue repairs all fretted string instruments; and Stephanie Wilds specializes in violin set-up.
• The Amp Shop, 841 Haywood Road, Asheville, (258-0207) — John Schuske specializes in electronics and is an authorized technician for Fender, Gibson, Yamaha and Peavey guitars. Visit his Web site at theampshop.net.
• Bishop Violin Shop, 44 Cane Creek Lane, Fairview (628-1688) — Danny Bishop specializes in sales and repair of violins and other stringed instruments. He’s also one of only two authorized dealers for Collings guitars in the state.
• J.S. Bogdanovich, Asheville (299-1097; www.jsbguitars.com) — For over a decade, Bogdanovich has been building classical guitars and steel string guitars.
• Noel Booth, 83 Old Fiddle Road, Waynesville (456-4435) — While Booth’s address might suggest otherwise, he specializes in making distinctive old-time banjos.
•Lawrence K. Brown, Asheville (254-5828; www.lkbrownviolins.com) — An instrument maker since 1978, Brown crafts violins, violas and cellos, but also makes Renaissance, Baroque and Medieval lutes, as well as Romantic and Renaissance guitars.
• Buscarino Guitars, 2348 Wide Horizon Drive, Franklin (349-9867; www.buscarino.com) — As their name indicates, Buscarino is an option for those who sling an ax.
•John Cooley, Weaverville (658-8904) — Cooley definitely has a specialty: He builds what he calls “Sustainable Mountain Dulcimers” — out of wood and recycled cardboard. Best of all, he wants you to help. For $75, he’ll host a workshop where the client works side-by-side with Cooley in building the instrument.
• Jack Dillen, Asheville (669-0494) — Repairs all stringed instruments including electric. He also does bow rehairing.
• The Electric Guitar Shop, 994 Charlotte Highway (U.S. 74), Fairview (628-1966) — Guitar set up and repairs.
• Gernandt Stringed Instruments, 240 North Panther Branch Road, Bryson City (488-1144; www.gernandt.com) — Is Celtic music your thing? Bob Gernandt is known for his work with mountain dulcimers, Irish bouzoukis and citterns. • Randy Hughes, Fairview (628-9777) — Guitars are his specialty, and Hughes is an authorized technician for Martin, Fender, Gibson, Taylor, Washburn and Ovation. He also works on other stringed instruments (except violins), including electrics and pickups.
• Mark Langner, Asheville (252-3633) — Langner’s area of expertise is in making archtop guitars.
• Musician’s Workshop, 319 Merrimon Ave. (252-1249; www.musiciansworkshop.com) — Josh Haddix is the in-house luthier and he’ll take on any stringed instrument — electric ones too.
• Rhodes Violins, 461 Sugar Hollow Road, Fairview (628-0678; www.rhodesviolins.com) — David Rhodes specializes in violin restoration. He also has an extensive background in lute playing and lute-playing technology.
• Sivalia Violins, 2 Wall St. (258-8544) — Daniel Sivalia specializes in the repair, restoration and making of violins, cellos and other stringed instruments in the violin family. Known for his fast turnaround.
• Somervell Guitars, 2443 Green Cove Road, Brasstown (837-3524; www.somervellguitars.com) — Another luthier occupying a unique niche, Douglas Somervell crafts handmade guitars in the Spanish style, including classical and flamenco guitars.
— Brian Sarzynski