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

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DL Noble Guitars

Duane Noble brought one of the most fun instruments displayed at the show—a tenor ukulele built in the style of early American harp guitars. “I originally built this model as a joke,” he says, “but it became a very playable instrument.” The harp ukulele features Brazilian rosewood back and sides and a Western red cedar top.
dlnobleguitars.com

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.