“Over its 14 years, Guitarist has looked at many hand-built guitars but this has to be the best we’ve ever covered.”
Simon Bradley, Guitarist Magazine.
From his workshop in Powys, Mid Wales, Rob Williams builds custom electric guitars and basses for discerning players in the UK, Europe and Worldwide. A well-respected luthier and repair technician, he also provides the full range of repair and maintenance services, from setups and refrets to complex and painstaking repairs.
Rob Williams Guitars – History
Rightly recognised as one of the leading electric guitar and bass makers in the UK, Rob Williams is also one of the few worldwide who still builds each instrument by hand. One man, one workshop and no automated CNC technology.
“I’ve got nothing against CNC machines,” he says. “They’re very accurate in what they do and they can help you build a lot of guitars more quickly, if that’s what you want to do. But for me, there’s no substitute for doing everything by hand. The attention to detail involved, and the way you, as a human, adjust what you do to each individual piece of wood – these are things that I believe the player can really feel in the finished guitar.”
Of course, the hand-made approach only yields the best result when the builder in question has the necessary experience and ability.
Rob Williams has been building guitars and basses since 1984. His career began with John Diggins at Jaydee Custom Guitars in Birmingham. From there he went to the USA, teaming up with renowned luthier Hideo Kamimoto as a warranty repair technician for most of the major US brands, including Gibson, Fender and Ovation.
Returning to the UK in 1990, Rob set up the very busy guitar repair shop at Musical Exchanges in Birmingham until 1992, when he was taken on by Patrick Eggle guitars as a technician, rapidly rising through the ranks to become Technical Director. By 1995, he had gained sufficient experience and expertise to set up his own workshop, building custom instruments first under the Woodworm Music Products brand and then as Rob Williams Guitars.
Rob Williams Guitars – Today
Over the past two decades, Rob has steadily refined his designs, incorporating everything he has learnt from the countless guitars he has repaired and built over the years. His unique Set Neck and Carved Top models illustrate this beautifully, combining the very best elements from the classic bolt-on and set-neck designs of the past.
Today, Rob Williams continues to offer his services as a repairer and guitar maker, building every guitar from scratch, by hand, using only the best material. His Standard, Custom, Set Neck and Carved Top models are really just the starting point – with every guitar essentially custom-made by hand, Rob works closely with each player to deliver whatever tone, feel, finish or features they require.