Custom-Made Guitars From NH's Chris Stambaugh

These guitars sound as good as they look

Courtesy of Chris Stambaugh

Chris Stambaugh of Alton Bay never had any formal training as a luthier, handcrafting guitars, basses and other stringed musical instruments. He didn’t let that stop him from founding and owning his own business doing just that, however. He operates Stambaugh Musical Designs right from his own home, entering 2014 as his 20th year doing so.

“Industrial design simply means the designing of products, so it can be anything from designing cars to doing what I do,” Stambaugh says. “There are luthier schools, but most end in a matter of a few weeks, and you’re on your own after that. I didn’t want to do that.”

Stambaugh says it can take him anywhere from 30 to 60 hours combined to build a guitar or a bass, and that other stringed instruments like violins and violas are separate projects in and of themselves. Among Stambaugh’s clients is Ben McKee, bassist of alternative rockers Imagine Dragons. Most of the other musicians who use his guitars and basses are local, including Keith Foley of Dover, named by Stambaugh himself as the “God of bass in New Hampshire.”

Stambaugh crafts mostly electric basses, as he is a bassist himself, and says that his basses can be played on multiple styles of music. He sells his work right off of his website, but also works with Ear Craft Music, a retailer based out of Dover.



Edit Module
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. When You Can Pick-Your-Own at Mack's Apples
    What better place to harvest apples yourself than at this family-owned farm that goes back...
  2. Graveyard Fall Foliage Tour
    This tour of historical and beautiful graveyards from around the state combines the spirit of the...
  3. Outdoor and Backcountry Cooking
    Equip yourself to make it easier to create meals while camping.
  4. Pets on the Job
    We asked eight of the Granite State’s hardest-working pets (including cats and dogs as well as...
  5. When a Mammogram Leads to a Biopsy
    With cancer, what you don’t know can hurt you.
  6. The New Hot Spot
    The Seacoast once reigned supreme, but Merrimack Valley is the up-and-coming beer region in New...
  7. Dining Destinations in Walpole
    Find much more than historic white clapboard houses and tractor showrooms in beautiful Walpole.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags