Strength in Numbers
When choosing an apprentice, Bryan looks at what the person can bring to the table. When this ideology is the backbone to developing a team, you end up with one of the strongest teams in lutherie. Galloup Studios is the name others have given to the collective of Luthiers that this system has assembled. Some of the worlds finest luthiers have apprenticed for Bryan and working together, they have without question, changed the course of lutherie.
Each luthier associated with Galloup Studios is encouraged to make their own personal line of instruments. Bryan also pushes the team to collaborate on projects that challenge the boundaries of their skills which in turn produces techniques and works of art that can only be developed through a team effort.
The Galloup Studios Team
Bryan’s guitars are primarily made with Reserve Grade Brazilian Rosewood, Italian Spruce, Honduran Mahogany and the finest Gabon Ebony from Africa. Each guitar has uniquely designed deco nouveau marquetry reminiscent of the golden age of guitar making from the 1920’s and 30’s.
What Bryan brings to guitar making is his quest for tone, tone, tone and more tone. Bryan and the Studio’s team have developed a system for producing guitars that seemingly give you more than what you put in. This is the true sign of a world class, concert level instrument.
Sam’s ability to understand the physical elements of guitar making gives him an edge not many Luthiers have achieved. If you talk to Sam, he feels he’s somewhere in the middle of his journey to unlocking the tone he hears in his head.
But if you talk to other Luthiers who have played a Sam Guidry Guitar they will tell you; Sam’s custom line of acoustic guitars are among the finest sounding instruments being made today. This is what Sam brings to the Galloup Studios.
Zack has become one of the worlds finest arch top guitar makers. His use of texture and design are unique to his guitars and include a vintage style, hand-rubbed sunburst finish reminiscent of vintage instruments from the 1920’s.
Zack brings to Galloup Studios a level of execution and follow through second to none. In fact, Zack’s talents and commitment to follow through are so intense that once a project gets close to completion, we generally follow the ten foot rule; stand back ten feet and only speak if you’re spoken to!
When Tyler started his apprenticeship with the Galloup School, lutherie was only one of the options he was considering. It didn’t take long for the team to recognize what Tyler’s contributions were going to be and as with all Luthiers in the Galloup team, we got behind Tyler and offered a platform for him to develop.
Tyler’s eye for design is as good as it gets and once you see a Robbin’s Acoustic, you’ll understand what that means. Tyler envisions design uniquely different and that ability, coupled with his talent to flawlessly execute a build from concept to completion, makes him one of the country’s most sought after young luthiers today. So far so good, we’ll keep you posted.
Galloup Studios Projects
Over the years the Galloup team has produced many techniques to solve issues in order to make a project happen. Some of these techniques were only used once while others became avenues to fuel other projects. Then there are projects we worked on so intensely, the outcome inspired an entirely different way of viewing the topic at hand.
Please enjoy some of the projects the Galloup Studios team has produced over the years and watch for new projects in the works and others yet to come.
In the fall of 2018 Jamie Gale called and said he was curating an event themed “functional art” at Walt Grace Vintage during the prestigious Art Basel Festival in Miami. After thinking about it for a day, Bryan called back and decided to throw his hat into the mix of Luthiers being considered and Jamie accepted. Bryan informed the team of what he had committed to and after an intense week of deliberation, the team decided to not back down and got to work.
Bryan set up the basic concept of Art Deco paying homage to Miami’s Art Deco district which also fit ideally into the Deco Nouveau designs Bryan is known for. Then, Bryan thought it would be interesting if a custom stand was made to flow with the guitar’s design, a stand that would display the instrument at the same time.
One thing that popped into Bryan’s mind was the Frank Lloyd Wright high backed prairie style chair. This would be ideal to not only double as a stand but as a place to sit and play the guitar. Then, as the team was talking Bryan said, “wouldn’t it be cool if we put a bottle of scotch and a glass under the seat?”. About there is where it spiraled out of control.
What the Galloup Studios produced was a masterpiece of functional art that not only matched the makers style, but produced furniture which incorporated Frank Lloyd Wright design from the finish right down to the webbing in the seat.
Then, the team said, “wouldn’t it be cool if the storage compartment under the seat for that bottle of scotch turned into a well hidden sliding door compartment complete with a private label bottle of Napa’s best, two glasses, a decanter and a corkscrew?”
The rest is history……….
mission (noun) mis.sion; an important goal or purpose that is accompanied by strong conviction; a calling or vocation.
The Galloup Studio’s vision was to deliver a world class concert level musical instrument organically mated to a personalized display that doubles as a chair tailored for acoustic instrument performances. This concept incorporates classic mission furniture designs by chair maker A.J. Forbs that Frank Lloyd Wright used extensively in many of iconic designs.
In addition, many Galloup instruments pull artistic inspiration from the Deco era of the early 20th century, so as a tribute to Miami Art Week & Art Basel the Galloup Studio team designed the instrument and fixture to harmoniously share one artistic Deco Nouveau vision that when combined make one unified artistic statement.
So we offer to you “The Mission”, the culmination of vision, craftsmanship, science, execution, and most importantly teamwork to deliver a harmonic balance of art, music and tradition.
G.4 Grand Parlor
My G.4 is a small 12 fret to-the-body design that has an extended shoulder area which lowers its fundamental while retaining the positioning and feel players identify with on a 12 fret instrument. The design works well with both short and long scale lengths; this makes for a versatile instrument that is both easy-chair comfortable and has enough punch to accompany an ensemble.
Scale length - 25.5″
String spacing - 2.250″
Nut width - 1.750″
Body bout width - 14.625″
Body bout depth - 4.125″
Shoulder width - 10.375″
Shoulder depth - 3.500″
Body Length - 20″
Overall length - 40.125″
Technology and Art
Bryan introduced Computer Numerical Control (CNC) technology to his shop. Not to improve production, but to explore the possibilities the technology could offer with the development of tone wood testing, guitar design, arched plate evaluation and art.
What the team zoned in on was the artistic possibilities the CNC had to offer. At first the attempts were basic designs like rosettes and back stripes for acoustic guitars but it quickly moved into more advanced projects that can be seen in works like “Sound and Science”.
Recently the team has shifted into another gear with the next installment of CNC generated art with the work that can be seen on “The Lilly” and “The Hibiscus” guitars made by Robbins Acoustics. These are another level of artistic expression made possible by technology. From the tip of the peg head to the bottom of the back stripe this is a unique expression formed between the efforts of the artist, the technician and the team.
Development of artistic expression through the collaboration of the artist and the technician is an ongoing experience. One event feeds the other; or to coin the phrase, “if this then that”. When the process is a team effort, the people contributing multiply the possibilities.
This collaboration is as old as Lutherie itself. The iconic period of violin making in Carmona Italy is well documented as being not just a team effort but also a communal one. Craftsman specialized in many facets of the process that founded the most iconic violins ever made. It's this harmonic balance that’s the inspiration we live for.
"The levels of execution in Tyler Robbins Hibiscus and Lilly guitars are only a piece of the puzzle. There were many inspirations that paved the way and there are many possibilities still in the works".
Sound and Science
“Sound and Science” was made for the 2014 Grand Rapids Michigan ArtPrize competition. The team’s original idea was to produce something that was pure Michigan by coupling the skills of our Master Luthiers with the shop’s technology and innovation. The Galloup Sound Profiling Software would be used to analyze the tone woods, the CNC would cut the guitar to the exact specifications for tone, response and appearance as determined by the software, then it would all be skillfully crafted by the team.
It was going to be a simple guitar with a few inlays but as all things associated with the Galloup Studios have a tendency to do, it spiraled out of control from there. The outcome was a guitar (of course) made from Michigan maple, that was a replica of the arch top guitars made in Kalamazoo Michigan, with some of Grand Rapids most famous icons inlaid into the peg head and fret board. It also included a beautiful custom made display case built “in-house” as well.
The whole project is a real testament to man and machine but the best part of the story? Utilizing the Galloup Sound Profiling Software to tune and pitch the top and back was so successful it opened up an entirely new approach to guitar building. The science of sound is a story of innovation that continues to evolve at Galloup Guitars today.
What the team wanted to do was depict the artistic development of Grand Rapids itself in an impressionistic pictorial for the viewer to experience.
Once fished the story told was simplistic by design so the viewer could fill in the gaps remembering their personal journey through a piece of Grand Rapids history.
'This project was modeled after the classic Arch Top guitars made in Kalamazoo Michigan. The back, sided and neck were all made from Michigan maple just as many vintage arch top were. Even the cabinet was modeled after Grand Rapids area's Meyer May House designed Frank Lloyd Wright".
Scale length - 25.00″
String spacing - 2.125″
Nut width - 1.750″
Body bout width - 17.00″
Body bout depth - 3.00″
Shoulder width - 13.00″
Shoulder depth - 3.00″
Body length - 21.250″
Overall length - 42.00″
Art Deco, Frank Lloyd Wright and 1930’s guitars all seem to go together in Bryan’s mind. The artistic expression of this time period is so unique, it has withstood the test of time. Somewhere in the mix of all this is a style called Art Nouveau (new art) that refers to the total art style of everything from architecture to paintings. To this day it influences so much and musical instruments are no exception. Bryan’s spin on this is his Deco Nouveau (new deco). He has taken the ground work already laid, messed with it, tweaked and ultimately has developed his own take on the Deco style.
Bryan’s guitars for the most part are not highly embellished instruments. A standard spec Galloup build generally follows the Deco Nouveau movement but he changes each guitar so no two are alike. Others in the shop have been inspired by this flow and have in turn developed their own path and so on it goes…. We’ll let you know if this story ever ends.
G.2 Grand Auditorium
A low, solid, defined resonance is desired by many players for the foundation of their sound. The trick is to balance the low end with a defined midrange while retaining a clear high end. My G.2 is a Grand Auditorium classed instrument with an excellent fundamental resonance ideal for traditional Americana performances.
“If you’re looking for great low end volume and clarity, my G.2 has it. I have spent decades perfecting its tone to deliver a well balanced, powerful performer."
Scale length - 25.5″
String spacing - 2.1875″
Nut width - 1.750″
Body bout width - 15.875″
Body bout depth - 4.750″
Shoulder width - 11.750″
Shoulder depth - 3.625″
Body length - 20.125″
Overall length - 41.750″