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Gallery: 2016 Santa Barbara Acoustic Instrument Celebration

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


D’Ambrosio Guitars

Known for his amazing archtops, Otto D’Ambrosio strives to push the boundaries of traditional design while maintaining complete respect for tradition. This large-body, fully acoustic D’Ambrosio features a flame-maple fretboard and a quartet of gracefully sculpted soundholes.

Guitar #1711 is a two-minute YouTube video featuring Julian Lage playing his custom D’Ambrosio while accompanied by beautifully edited footage of Otto building the instrument. If you enjoy lutherie, you’ll want to view this trailer for the 23-minute film that documents the eight-month process of crafting Lage’s guitar.

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.