Though he shook up the industry in 1993 with the Fly—the most unique solidbody design the electric world had seen in years—for more than 30 years now his primary passion has been advancing the art and science of archtop luthiery.
Around 1994, chemistry professor and longtime guitarist Jean-Pierre Laplante, frustrated by the dearth of decent left-handed instruments available on the market and tired of playing converted right-handed models, decided to
Archtop fanatic Tom Ribbecke’s unflappable dedication and patience over the last 30 years led to what is arguably this generation’s biggest advance in archtop design—the Halfling. But he’s also changed the lives of the troubled teens he hires and mentors in his workshop. Just ask Oprah—she says his story belongs on prime-time TV.
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