Premier Guitar features affiliate links to help support our content. We may earn a commission on any affiliated purchases.

Gallery: 2016 Santa Barbara Acoustic Instrument Celebration

Showcasing hundreds of drool-worthy, handcrafted instruments, a new U.S. guitar show makes its successful debut.


German Guitars

Don’t adjust your monitor! This DB-6 archtop by Greg German features a carved spruce top, carved maple back and sides, offset f-holes, a multi-scale fanned-fret neck, a wood pickup cover, and an elaborate carved scroll. German has a background in professional medical animation and 3D software design, and he brings these skills to his lutherie. “Computer animation allows me to experiment with different instrument designs before they are built,” he says. “It’s also helpful in communicating my ideas to clients.”

The inaugural Santa Barbara Acoustic Instrument Celebration was held September 29 to October 2 in sunny coastal California. The event brought hundreds of top luthiers and players who displayed their craftsmanship, gave seminars, and held intimate concerts. The Earl Warren Showgrounds served as a fitting venue, as in decades past it hosted concerts from such acts as Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, the Beach Boys, the Doors, Cream, the Grateful Dead, and Janis Joplin.

The show pulled widely from Canada and Europe, with heavy representation from the U.S. West Coast. Also on sale were top-grade woods, inlay materials, and custom bindings. Luthiers were open with their time, and many fans enjoyed hearing builders talk shop. Among the visitors was Santa Barbara resident and guitar pickup guru, Seymour Duncan, who could be seen checking out all the beautiful instruments on display.