Providing expert services in guitar repair and vintage restoration on brands including: Martin, Taylor, Gibson, Fender, Guild, Collings, Santa Cruz, Gretsch, Larrivee, Dobro, National, Ovation, Tacoma, and many others.
Authorized service and warranty center for C.F. Martin Guitars, Taylor Guitars, and Gibson Guitars. International clientele.
S.B. MacDonald Custom Instruments is a climate-controlled and fully insured guitar and stringed instrument building and repair center located in Huntington Long Island, New York. Clients are seen one at a time, by appointment only to ensure a personal touch and pay complete attention to your needs.
My goal is to take such good care of your instrument that you'll never go anywhere else. The workshop contains the best machinery, fixtures and tools, and matches the humidity levels at major manufacturing companies to provide the proper environment for stable repair, restoration and custom guitar building. The shop has 4 workstations, including a dedicated bench for neck resets and vacuum-clamping. Each zone is specifically allocated for certain tasks, to facilitate consistent results and quality control.
Broken Martin Neck (before and after)
Martin J-21 Crushed Side (before and after)
A short video tour of the repair room
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My clients are professional and amateur musicians ranging from the USA (including Hawaii and Alaska), Canada, The United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Italy, Nova Scotia, Japan, and Korea among others. The shop has been in the same location for 21 years. I have been a feature columnist in Acoustic Musician and 20th Century Guitar magazines. My work has been featured in Guitar Player, Acoustic Guitar, The Guitar Blue Book, The New York Times, several books, and other publications.
Fretwork, cracks, broken headstocks, neck resets, bridge re-glues, rebuilding cracked bridges, loose and cracked braces, bridge-plate repair and replacement, nuts, saddles, wiring & electronics, pickup installations, broken truss rods, tuning machine installation, intonation problems, loose tops and backs, loose and damaged binding, righty to lefty conversion, rewinding pickups, set-ups and more. I am also a banjo and ukulele historian, and have many parts dating back to the 1800s.Finishes and touch-ups are done in traditional lacquers, as well as cutting edge ultra-violet cure lacquer. This means work can be performed on Taylor, Tacoma, and other manufacturers using UV lacquer, and the results will blend in with the factory finish.
ArticlesThese articles contain many detailed photos and explanations of the work as it's being performed, as well as general care and maintenence advice.
Please click the links below to read each article
NEWEST ARTICLE: Broken Dobro Headstock Repair
Other Fretted Instruments S.B. MacDonald Custom Instruments also offers full service repair and restoration for other fretted instruments such as banjos, mandolins, ukuleles, lap steels, resophonic instruments, and Weissenborn Hawaiian Guitars.
Responsible and careful repair and restoration techniques and materials will uphold the original spirit and value of your precious instrument. As a designer and guitar maker, I have a deep insight into the subtleties of construction, stress, tension, finishes, glues, etc. When working on instruments, a respectful and careful touch is required, never doing more than is needed. Please feel free to contact me regarding the shipping of your instrument. I am happy to advise you on the proper packing and shipping methods to protect your guitar and insure it on its journey! The risk of shipping damage is very low compared to the potential damage/devaluation by unqualified or inexperienced technicians.
S.B. MacDonald Custom Instruments is a dealer for the following guitar parts and accessory manufacturers: Fishman Transducers, LR Baggs Pickups, Highlander Pickups, Rio Grande Pickups, Dimarzio Pickups, Ultrasound Amps, Martin accessories and parts, Gibson accessories and parts, Fender parts, TKL and Cedar Creek cases, D'Addario Strings and accessories, Planet Waves accessories, and can get dealer prices or better from most manufacturers upon request.
Frequently asked questions
The following credit cards are accepted:
Interview of S.B. MacDonald
produced for public radio by Carla Seidl