Artinger Custom Guitars

Custom archtops, hollowbodies, and solidbodies

Matt Artinger has been a professional luthier for 13 years, but he’s been crafting guitars much longer than that. His love for luthiery was sparked back in the ’80s from his obsession with MTV—when they actually played music videos. “I remember making more than my share of cardboard air guitars and rocking in front of the TV to just about any and every hair-metal band I could find,” laughs Artinger. The self-described tinkerer didn’t pick up a real-deal guitar until his early teens, but from the onset he was more fascinated with how it was built than how it played.

“Soon after learning to play, I began buying old, junker Kays and Harmonys with my chore money,” remembers Artinger. “For years, I tore apart and rebuilt those guitars. I ended up building my first guitar from scratch when I was 16. It was a Martin from a dreadnought kit.”

But Artinger didn’t approach guitar building as a hobby or something to fiddle with—he knew this was going to be his life. To improve his woodworking abilities, Artinger took a job helping a local master cabinetmaker, and then at age 19, he founded Artinger Custom Guitars. The shop has had some up and down moments over the years, but Artinger is still glad he made the decision to be a luthier.

“As a 19-year-old entrepreneur stepping into this business, I’d have never believed that at age 33, I’d have built more than 500 instruments and still be going this strong,” says Artinger. “I have no idea what may be around the corner for me or Artinger Custom Guitars, but I’m ready and willing to build it.”

Art Deco Archtop

The Art Deco Archtop has a carved German spruce top, a carved figured bubinga back, bubinga sides, and a Brazilian rosewood neck matched with a 25"-scale ebony fretboard. This particular model features a one-off, custom headstock with a floating Artinger logo. Other custom appointments include its hand-carved ebony bridge and tailpiece.

Quilted Sapele Hollowbody
Featuring a one-piece sapele top and back with matched sapele sides, the Quilted Sapele Hollowbody has a 25"-scale ebony fretboard with abalone and ivory inlays, a carved ebony tailpiece and bridge, and Seymour Duncan P-90s with custom sapele covers. The mahogany neck is reinforced with carbon fiber. Unless a customer requests otherwise, Artinger uses carbon fiber in all his necks because he feels it increases strength and stability without adding significant weight.

10th Anniversary Florentine Hollowbody

Although tin is the traditional gift for a 10th wedding anniversary, the 10th Anniversary Florentine Hollowbody could provide a beautiful exception to the rule. This model features a relief-carved chevron quilted maple top, a relief-carved mahogany back and sides, a dual carbon-fiber reinforced mahogany neck, and a 25"-scale ebony fretboard. To really set the guitar off, Artinger applied flamed koa binding and tiger-eye finish, Ken Parker-inspired soundholes, 10th-anniversary inlays, and a Brazilian rosewood headstock and pickguard. This particular instrument features Seymour Duncan ’59 pickups.

This beauty boasts a carved flame-maple top, mahogany back and sides, and a striking oxblood finish. The Kyngsland model also comes with a dual carbon-fiber reinforced mahogany neck, a 25.5"-scale ebony fretboard with custom parallelogram inlays, a Bigsby tremolo tailpiece, Throback Electronics PAFs, and NOS vintage pots, caps, and wiring.

Pricing and Availability
A fan of unique instruments, Matt Artinger says if a customer can imagine a guitar, he’ll try to build it. His base prices start at $3600 for a chambered solidbody and up to $5500 for hollowbody models. “I’ve made some life-long friends through these guitars,” says Artinger. “I couldn’t even imagine building guitars on spec at this point.” Currently, Artinger Custom Guitars is a one-man shop, and the wait time on an order is 9-12 months.

Equipped with noise reduction and noise gate modes, the Integrated Gate has a signal monitoring function that constantly monitors the input signal.

Read MoreShow less

Luthier Maegen Wells recalls the moment she fell in love with the archtop and how it changed her world.

The archtop guitar is one of the greatest loves of my life, and over time it’s become clear that our tale is perhaps an unlikely one. I showed up late to the archtop party, and it took a while to realize our pairing was atypical. I had no idea that I had fallen head-over-heels in love with everything about what’s commonly perceived as a “jazz guitar.” No clue whatsoever. And, to be honest, I kind of miss those days. But one can only hear the question, “Why do you want to build jazz guitars if you don’t play jazz?” so many times before starting to wonder what the hell everyone’s talking about.

Read MoreShow less

A modern take on Fullerton shapes and a blend of Fender and Gibson attributes strikes a sweet middle ground.

A stylish alternative to classic Fender profiles that delivers sonic versatility. Great playability.

Split-coil sounds are a little on the thin side. Be sure to place it on the stand carefully!


Fender Player Plus Meteora HH


After many decades of sticking with flagship body shapes, Fender spent the last several years getting more playful via their Parallel Universe collection. The Meteora, however, is one of the more significant departures from those vintage profiles. The offset, more-angular profile was created by Fender designer Josh Hurst and first saw light of day as part of the Parallel Universe Collection in 2018. Since then, it has headed in both upscale and affordable directions within the Fender lineup—reaching the heights of master-built Custom Shop quality in the hands of Ron Thorn, and now in this much more egalitarian guise as the Player Plus Meteora HH.

Read MoreShow less