Custom Made Guitars

My name is Steve Marks, maker of custom, hand crafted electric and steel string acoustic guitars. I make the kind of guitars that I enjoy playing; this gives me a personal bond with every instrument I make. In fact, before an instrument leaves my shop, I have played it for many hours. I want to give the instrument enough time to settle in, enough time for me to fine tune it for excellent playability, and enough time for me to enjoy it some before sending it out into the world.

About the Guitars

I make two types of guitars: electrics and steel string flat top acoustics. I stick to these types because these are the guitars I enjoy playing. This is an important point for me. I make my guitars generally one at a time, some times in batches of two. I only make a few guitars each year. I make guitars because I love doing it; I certainly am not getting rich in the process. My motivation is primarily based upon an inherent interest in the instruments I make. Furthermore, it is important for me, in the way I approach building, that I relate musically to the instruments I make, as I spend quite a bit of time playing each instrument to fine tune the playability.

Electic Guitar Design

The goal for my electric guitar designs is to honor the classics without copying them. I am not particularly interested in making replicas of Stratocasters or Les Pauls. If you want one of those you can do well by visiting your local music store. If you want a superb guitar with a classic feel, but one you won’t find on the shelf at Guitar Center, maybe you should play a JeSt.

My choice for pickups and electronics is consistent with my design goal; I choose components for classical voicing. I particularly like traditional single coils in the style of vintage Stratocasters, Telecasters, and P90s like used in the early Fendors and Gibsons. I tend to feature guitars with these types of pickups. I also like and use PAF style humbuckers. I don’t use high output heavy metal style pickups. I generally use commercially made pickups but do make custom, hand wound JeSTone pickups for special projects.

Acoustic Guitar Design

The classics of the steel string flat tops are to be found in the Martin and Gibson lines. I have made traditional style acoustics inspired by the classics. However, just as with my electric guitars, my goal is not to produce a copy or replica, but rather, for the most part, to produce a guitar that looks traditional while incorporating a number of what I believe to be improved technical features in the construction (see Other Features for details).

I am now beginning to explore less traditional designs that are uniquely JeSt. The consumers of acoustic guitars are a fairly conservative lot, so the reception may not be universally enthusiastic, but I make guitars primarily to please myself; we will see if the new designs please anyone else. I have produced a uniquely shaped chili guitar.

Contact Acme for your custom appointments or check out stock for sale.