Alan Miller Guitars

Comments and Reviews

"I have a "New Faithful" recently purchased from @AMillerGuitars now I realise that to play your best, you need the best."

Nigel Ollis - Getting back into regular guitar playing!

"Hi Alan - I am so thrilled with my dulcimer, it's fantastic. I was really nervous about having such a beautiful instrument, being such a beginner, but it is lovely to play and has a lovely sound even at my level of proficiency. Thank you!"

Kate - Appalachian Dulcimer Music Student

"Alan is a hidden gem of the luthier world! He can turn his hand to just about anything, any instrument with real imagination and consummate skill. I came to him with a tricky problem on an unusual and complex instrument and he took it on with an open mind and a willing creativity, where several other luthiers had shied away. With perseverance and patience we got a fantastic result. His guitars are unique in that almost every one explores a slightly different design and set of features to the last one. He’s a lovely bloke too and I can’t wait to see what he will come up with next!"

Jonathan Pickard - Harp Guitar Player Extraordinaire! (www.jonpickard.co.uk)

"Hi Alan, it was really great to meet you and your guitars at the Festival, I could not wait to get the guitar home to try it out fully, it is truly delightful to play, more resonant and sonorous than even my old Fylde but much lighter and smaller. It was funny, I had been looking at getting another acoustic and had tried several Gibsons, Martins and Guilds but the The Alan Miller "small guitar" is so much better than any I have played. I look forward to hopefully many years of playing it. I hope to see you at next year's festival."

Russell Van der Wert - musician

"I first met Alan at Folk East 2015. I spent some time at his stall playing his guitars and basically fell hook line and sinker for them. He was very accommodating as to payment methods but I wanted to make sure that I had the money ready to pay for the guitar before I ordered one.

It was January 2016 when I contacted him to arrange to go to see him about making me a guitar and arrangements were made for me to go over to Glastonbury to talk to him about requirements. We discussed woods and he showed me the woods he had in stock. It seems that I chose the most expensive piece he had for the body and sides (macassar ebony). A spruce top was chosen along with birds eye maple neck and cocobolo fretboard.

I particularly wanted a fan fret because I use a number of alternative tunings and the fan fretting would alleviate intonation problems when using a capo in these tunings. I also asked Alan to make the neck a lot less deep than his normal acoustic guitar neck as I have quite small hands. It is a thing of beauty to look at, it sounds as good as it looks and the fan fretting did not take as long to get used to as I thought it might.

I use a lot of low tunings, Csus4add9 and the like, and so the neck had to be set up to accommodate this and even with light gauge strings the action is low without causing problems up the neck.

I have played the guitar out in folk clubs and at sessions and it always draws attention and questions. The sound quality and projection of sound is always commented on favourably. I have had 2 people offer to buy it from me. Fortunately, I have some of Alan’s cards and have passed them on.

The fan fret Alan made for me is now my go to guitar and I wouldn’t swap it for the world."

Adrian Hall - Finger picking musician

"I own one of Alan’s baritone guitars and have played many of his other instruments. They all have a recognisably rich and resonant tone and are incredibly beautiful to look at. The dedication and love Alan puts into his craft is abundantly clear and I’d recommend his instruments to anyone."

Sam Kelly (Band - The Lost Boys) - brilliant guitar player

"Alan converted one of my basses to a removable neck bass. This means a 3/4 size instrument can pack down into a square case. Airline friendly double bass travel. The bass actually sounds better since this conversion was made. The advantages of having 2 bolts between the neck and the block improve sustain and resonance immensely! Excellent job by Alan Miller."

Jim Mortimore - double bass player with The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Moulettes

"As a music journalist since 1979, I have reviewed many hundreds of instruments. I have been intrigued by Alan Miller's instruments since being introduced to that magnificent group The Moulettes. I caught up with Alan at this year’s Wickham Festival, where he displayed his fan fret designs, but was drawn to his 12 string maple body 12 string acoustic. This is a stunning instrument, with a tone and clarity that sets it apart from almost every 12 string I have ever played... Play close to the bridge with a pick and it turns into a driving Fylde-like bouzouki! Fingerpick on the neck and you get a shimmering sound, and thrash it with open chords and tuning and it has drive to push a tank! It is a beautiful aesthetic design too, with the minimum of ornamentation drawing attention to the little details like the carved truss rod cover. A magnificent hand built guitar is like a pie made by a master chef - no factory made version would ever even resemble it."

Tim Oakes - Founder: 'Guitarist' magazine. Contributor to: Melody Maker, International Musician, Electronics & Music Maker, Live!, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, etc.

"I met Alan at Warwick Folk Festival in 2015, and tried out several of the guitars he had on show. After several visits during the festival I realised I had fallen in love with the AMG fan fret guitar that I now own. After purchasing the guitar I found there were few adjustments needed and Alan was most helpful in setting it up precisely as I wanted it, demonstrating his dedication to getting it right for you, with his excellent after-sales service. It is a beautiful guitar, well constructed using bird's eye maple, with a distinctive body shape and of course the amazing fan shaped frets. It has a lovely sonorous tone, and always attracts comment and admiration when it appears in public. It can take a 13 gauge string set as well as the 12 gauge that I usually adopt. This adds to the depth of tone, particularly at the bass end. I am very pleased with my AMG fan fret guitar!"

Phil Harrison - Finger Picker Extraordinaire

"Can't describe how happy I am with my bowed guitar/ fretted viol amazingness. I personally endorse Alan's craft to the max. Not only skilled, but very decent guy to deal with. He takes tremendous care that all the build details are tidy, and he builds with an attention to sound quality, but also longevity as a working tool and an eye on the environment. Having made instruments myself and some cabinet and carving work I have an idea of what I'm looking at and all of Alan Miller's joinery is pukka."

Richard Gonzalez - professional sitar and stringed instrument player

"Alan Miller is my favourite Instrument maker. He is a true champion for affordable handmade, independent and environmentally conscious guitars. He is astonishingly good value and also very willing to listen and adapt the instrument to your specific needs. He personally presented me my first commission at an album launch I was playing – a lovely gesture as I was able to play with it that night. It was a hard top steel string designed to cope better with all the percussive playing I do. I loved it so much that I have commissioned him to make a customised fan fret for me. I might have to get one of his electrics too ... To top it off he is quick to help when any of his instruments need a service after intensive touring – What more could you ask for. Everyone I know who uses his instruments are thoroughly satisfied with Alan’s service."

Oliver Austin - touring musician/producer and member of the Moulettes

"A few years ago I decided to bite the bullet and commission the build of an instrument I’d had stuck in my head for years - an arpeggione. This is a fretted, gut stringed, bowed guitar. Knowing Alan’s work I couldn’t think of anyone more suited to build this unusual mix of guitar and cello. Alan was always a pleasure to communicate with. His work was excellent and was very generous with his time and expertise and up for the unusual challenges that this instrument bought.I’m glad to say I’m now regularly playing this gorgeous instrument as part of string quartets, for soundtracks and recording sessions, and am always stopped by people amazed by the unusual instrument and its stunning sound. Thanks Alan for making a whim a reality!"

Daniel Clark - musician and composer

Cocobolo Fan Fret Acoustic Guitar
" First of all I would like to say this is a seriously well made guitar. I have played guitars for 40 years or more and in that time I have played and owned some top of the range mainstream manufacturers’ guitars. Alan's work as a luthier certainly ranks alongside them. In this time of CNC machined manufacturing it is refreshing to find that the art of hand building guitars from scratch using only traditional methods is alive and well. The selection of the woods used is beautiful. The tone is also beautiful and it has a ringing and complex set of overtones. It is a large bodied instrument and this results in a powerful projection of the music. I believe that as it ages and opens up with time it will only improve further what is already a wonderful tonal experience. Alan is a very friendly person who goes the extra mile to make the whole experience of buying a guitar from him a pleasant thing. Alan gave that extra touch and produced a selection of custom initials for me to personalise my instrument. I would certainly recommend Alan Miller to anyone wanting a first class instrument using top selected woods which are expertly crafted together with care. Considering the amount of hours it takes to build them and the quality of all the materials used in my opinion they certainly represent good value for money and I am not disappointed with mine in any way. "

Colin Timms - ardent guitar fan

"Alan Miller - what a find! Not only did he do an innovative, invisible repair to the head-stock on my Irish bouzouki; he also sold me one of his beautiful, hand-made electro-acoustic narrow-body guitars which is an absolute delight to play. Highly recommended! "

David Williams (Kangaroo Moon and Seize The Day)

Nyckelharpa
"I commissioned Alan Miller to make a nyckelharpa for me and although this was the first time he had made one, I was not disappointed. The instrument is beautiful and is finished to a very high standard - an aesthetically stunning piece of craftsmanship. It also sounds wonderful and is a joy to play. In addition, Alan worked with me to make a few minor adjustments, and was interested in my thoughts and opinions on the instrument. This ensured that I was totally happy with the instrument he had made. I would highly recommend him to anyone."

Cello
"My cello, made by Alan Miller, is beautiful, both in sounds and looks. It is a fantastic piece of work that has changed and developed in sound the more it has been played. After many hours of practising, I love it so much it has become a part of me. I can't recommend Alan enough."

Esther Rachels - Musician

"A few years ago, a terrible misfortune befell my beloved old Seagull when a friend of mine fell flat onto it. I was gutted, as this was my first proper acoustic guitar, which I'd had for 10 years, and it had seen me through many gigs, jams, and sessions. Fortunately, through my wonderful fiancé and a network of wonderful friends, it found itself at Alan's workshop, and now it sits proudly back at my house, upon a stand, having been played once again at gigs, sessions and jams. When he received it, the entire top was caved in, and the braces underneath were completely shattered. The bridge too was completely defunct. Alan replaced the supports inside the guitar, and replaced the top with a brand new piece of sitka spruce which means it sounds even brighter than it did originally! It sounds great, the intonation is marvellous and plays even better than when I had it originally. Alan really has worked a miracle with it, and I am really eternally grateful to him. Since its repair I have gigged it as far afield as Brazil, France and Italy and it has stood up to the rigours of modern touring. Thank you Alan, you are a gent!"

Ellis Davies - professional musician / Band - Honeyfeet, Manchester

"The electric double bass is a dream to play. The sound is amazing. Not only does it look stunning, but it sings when I play it. It resonates unlike my 3/4 conventional bass with a rich full sound but it still sounds like an acoustic double bass. Thank you to Alan for taking on the challenge and sending regular 'story' pictures from start to finish. It's a work of art! Not enough hours in the day to play it! I'm working on a solo at the moment that is completely out of my comfort zone but will do it justice if I get my head round it!"

Louise Field - Frome Swing Band

"After a long hiatus, I finally decided to pick up my guitar again this year. Having previously owned a number of concert instruments, I wanted a fresh start: a guitar that was easy to play, with a shorter neck, but with a full tone and good volume. I stumbled across Alan's details on a website and put my requirements to him, and I was immensely glad that I did. Despite my somewhat exacting demands, Alan remained calm from the outset; his enthusiasm and willingness to listen were always reassuring. Anxiety soon turned to anticipation following weekly email updates on progress, complete with photos of the emerging form of the instrument. Alan's skill and craftsmanship were evident and the walnut back and sides looked spectacular! Once complete, the guitar itself exceeded my expectations: the action is incredibly light and, despite the reduced string length, the sound is very strong and full. Moreover, the process of creating the guitar was personal; in a world of mass produced instruments, the experience was very special. I am already saving the pennies to do it all again!"

Graham Downes - classical guitarist

"I own several instruments made by Alan. He is always happy to discuss customers' requirements and has the in depth knowledge to offer great advice. He works accurately and what's more, with passion, which means that you always get a great instrument. He is also willing to do repairs to your guitar should it get damaged. Overall he offers a brilliant service that provides his customers with fantastic sounding instruments!"

Aaron A. - Bass player, Liberty Ships

Baritone Guitar
"The idea for ordering this guitar came from my own interest in the guitars used by finger style players such as Don Ross and Andy Mckee. Their compositions often require a longer scale length of fretboard - so the idea of the baritone becomes necessary. The construction is similar to Alan’s normal jumbo body however the guitar features a thicker neck to act against the larger pulling tension created by the heavier strings. The large body size allows the bass end to be much more pronounced compared to a standard acoustic. This allows the guitar to be very loud when played unplugged. This guitar has really expanded my horizons especially within fingerstyle playing. The guitar is a lot more responsive and touch sensitive than other big brand guitars I have played in the past. This allows much more subtle variation in picking intensity and percussive actions such as tapping and knocking the top and sides. After receiving the guitar I decided that I would like the neck a little thinner. Alan was more than happy to visit and shave the neck down to the desired thickness. It truly is a custom built instrument with all the exact touches I required."

Electric Solid Body
"This guitar is my stay at home instrument to really bring a smile to my face every time I play it. It is hard to sit down with and not begin turning out blues licks and classic rock lead lines. After playing this guitar for a while I also decided I would like a couple of changes and again Alan was more than happy to help. Throughout the building process of both guitars I received high resolution photo updates and consultation. My instruments really are one of a kind both in their excellent function and high build quality."

Sam Bishop - Student at Uni. and keen guitar player

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