Why I Love Fairbanks Guitars

Dale Fairbanks is a hugely talented young luthier living and working in his own one-man shop in Connecticut.

He is one of the true Kings of the New Golden Age of the acoustic guitar. His work is inspired by many of the great vintage designs of the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s.

He is one of the few that takes the early Gibson and Stella designs and makes them as good, or, I think, even better than the old designs.

I recently had Dale make me an F-10 NL (pictured left), which is a gorgeous and improved version of the 12 fret Gibson Nick Lucas Special and L-1 models. What he did for me, on this guitar, inside, is use his own modified X-bracing instead of the original A or H ladder bracing of the originals. And made it closer to the L-1 depth.

The result is a singing, deep, rich tone with lots of bark and sustain and sparkle, perfect for my string twanging style. And the look is to die for! Dale really nails the vintage Gibson sunbursts, made the neck width and profile perfect for me. It really brings me back to my first good acoustic guitar, which was a late 20’s “The Gibson” Nick Lucas Special. Except “The Fairbanks” is much better for me and has a full life ahead of it.

The beauty is, Dale can make each guitar perfectly suit each player, with custom neck profiles, neck widths, tonewoods, finishes, inlays, bindings, you name it.

Dale was inspired as a youngster by Paul Geremia, myself, and other acoustic country blues players to pursue the mystery mojo elements that made the J-45, Nick Lucas, and Stella 12 Strings the magic instruments that they are. What he achieved brings all the power and beauty and knockout character of the great early designs and makes them even better.

Fairbanks Guitars are spectacular!

Catfish Keith playing a new Fairbanks F-3

Catfish playing a new Fairbanks F-10

Updated July 18, 2019

Buy Your Fairbanks Guitar Through Catfish

I am very honored to give his guitars my full endorsement and to offer them for sale, here. You can order any custom build and buy guitars that are already in stock, too. Please enquire, orders and ETAs can change. Email or call 319-338-3614 with any questions!

ONE BUILD SLOT for any Fairbanks Model are available for July-August 2019. ORDER NOW, these go fast! Django Jumbo AVAILABLE NOW.

Custom Southern Jumbo Kalamazoo Gals Models: $6590 & $6730.
SOLD! ONE BUILD SLOT is available for July August 2019 to make any Fairbanks you can dream of. Just ask me!

Top left is the 14 frets-to-the-neck, both guitars have sunburst Red Spruce top and bracing. Aniline sunburst under shellac sealer and thin, nitrocellulose clear coat. Honduras Mahogany back sides and neck, Red Spruce top and unscalloped bracing. Two way adjustable truss rod. Madagascar Rosewood fingerboard and bridge. Bone nut and saddle and pins. 1-3/4″ nut, 2-3/8 string spacing at bridge. Period correct faux tortoise shell pickguard. Unbound fingerboard, Mother-of-Pearl Southern Jumbo Parallelogram inlays. C neck profile. Waverly Ivoroid button tuners.

Ont he right of the picture is a similar slope shouldered dreadnaught, but with 13 frets-to-the-neck, a more open burst and a very vintage looking, “broke in” beautiful relic job. Comes with hard case.

Ask for details of both, they were both custom builds, and jaw dropping in every way.

Also, both feature the Kalamazoo Gals custom label by genius artist Robert Armstrong, inside and the WWII-era design Banner saying “Only a Kalamazoo Gal is Good Enough.” 10% of the profits go to Kalamazoo Gals author John Thomas’ charity to raise awareness to the all female workforce at Gibson during WWII that made all of the legendary Banner guitars.

Alright!

F-35 (J-35): $5,500.
SOLD!
14 frets-to-the-neck with Mahogany back and sides, small sunbursted Red Spruce top and bracing. Modeled after Paul Geremia’s J-35 with 3 tone bars and thin top. Small aniline sunburst under shellac sealer and thin, nitrocellulose clear coat.

Honduras Mahogany back sides and neck, Red Spruce top and unscalloped bracing. Two way adjustable truss rod. Madagascar Rosewood fingerboard and bridge. Bone nut and saddle and pins. 1-3/4″ nut, 2-3/8 string spacing at bridge. Ivoroid binding, Mother-of-Pearl dots on fingerboard. Modern C neck profile.Waverly Ivoroid button tuners. Comes with hard case.

Look at the top of this page to see video of CATFISH KEITH playing the F-35!

~ Fairbanks F-45 $5500.
SOLD. Order yours today!
Classic Slope Shouldered Dreadnought (J-45 Tribute).

Connecticut-based Luthier Dale Fairbanks has done it again! A gorgeous, very alive, brand new guitar, the F-45, which was modeled after the fabled vintage Gibson J-45. Dale really knocks it out of the park with this guitar.

It features an Adirondack Spruce top, Honduras Mahogany back and sides. Beautiful aniline sunburst under shellac sealer and thin, nitrocellulose clear coat. Two way adjustable truss rod. Unbound Madagascar Rosewood fingerboard and bridge. Bone nut and saddle and 1-3/4″ nut. 2-5/16” bridge spacing. 24-3/4″ scale length. Mother-of-Pearl dot inlays on unbound fingerboard. Waverly Ivoroid button tuners. Comes with very Fairbanks F-45 Headstockprotective, high quality, Harptone hardshell case.

Dale says, and I quote, “It’s an Earthshaker!” Dale Fairbanks is one of the true Kings of the Golden Age of the acoustic guitar…I admire his work very much, he’s a wonderful and inspired luthier, and his work has gotten a big buzz over the last few years, for good reason, these guitars are FANTASTIC.

He’s got the vintage Gibson mojo down, and, really, these guitars offer even more. This one has the whomp and sparkle and rich, forever deep tone. Love it!

$5700 including shipping and Harptone case in USA & Canada.
Email me or call with any questions! We do ship worldwide, inquire for rates.

NOTE: The video above of the F-35 has a very similar response and tone, take peek!

PS. Ask for more pictures, I have more!

~ Fairbanks Django Jumbo: $5,650. AVAILABLE NOW!

One-off Gypsy Jazz-inspired masterpiece.

14 fret oval hole cutaway with black/white/black purfling.. Unique tortiose pickguard reflects the round curves of the big body, measuring 17″ at the lower bout. Natural, figured Adirondack Spruce top and bracing. Honduras Mahogany back sides. Two way adjustable truss rod. Shellac sealer and thin, nitrocellulose clear coat. Madagascar Rosewood fingerboard and bridge. Bone nut and saddle. 1-3/4″ nut, 2-3/8″ string spacing. Super cool arrowhead bridge. Ivoroid binding, plain fingerboard. Waverly tuners. Huge rich sound flies out of this one-of-a-kind guitar inspired by mysterious European luthiers of old. Comes with hard case.

$5850 includes shipping and hard case anywhere in USA or Canada. Email me or call with any questions! We ship worldwide, ask for rates.

Ask me for more pics and video!

Order any of these models here. Current, 2019 pricing:
Base price $5,500 for:
F-10 (L-1)
F-20 (L-00)
F-35 and F-35RS (J-35 and 12 Fret Roy Smeck)
F-45 (J-45)

Base price includes straight grain Mahogany back and sides, Red Spruce top and bracing, sunburst or natural top finish, ivoroid binding, Madagascar Rosewood fingerboard and bridge, Harptone hard shell case, MOP dot fingerboard markers and MOP inlaid logo, Waverly tuners.

Nick Lucas mods for L-1 and L-OO: +$300
Includes multiple ivoroid bound body and fingerboard, deeper body depth and traditional Nick Lucas fingerboard inlay.

F-SJ (Southerner Jumbo): +300
Includes multiple ivoroid body, fingerboard, and soundhole binding, MOP parallelogram fingerboard inlay.

F-40 (J-185): $6200
Maple back and sides, red spruce top, mahogany neck, full body sunburst. Parallelogram fingerboard inlay with crown inlay on peg head veneer. Kluson DeLuxe tuners.

TWO BUILD SLOTS AVAILABLE for completion May-June 2019. Order any custom or stock Fairbanks. Order now, these go quickly!

Django Jumbo: $5650 IN STOCK NOW!

Prices and are subject to change. Ask about inlays, pickguards, finishes, neck widths, profiles, timeframes, etc. Please email me or call me at 319-338-3614 for more information.

Black (Spanish) Cypress F-35

F-45 Southern Jumbo: $5900.
SOLD.
14 fret, Deep body J-45-inspired slope-shouldered classic, complete with parallelogram inlays and stripey pickguard. Vintage Gibsonesque aniline sunburst under shellac sealer and thin, nitrocellulose clear coat. Honduras Mahogany back sides and neck, Red Spruce top and true-to-vintage bracing.
Two way adjustable truss rod. Fairbanks Southern JumboMadagascar Rosewood fingerboard and bridge.
Bone nut and saddle and pins. 1-3/4″ nut, 2-3/8 string spacing at bridge. Ivoroid binding, Mother-of-Pearl dots on fingerboard. Modern C neck profile. Waverly Ivoroid button tuners.
HONKIN’ GREAT sound, it out performs most any vintage Gibson. Dale’s guitars are in high demand, and you will love this one. I love Dale’s work!

F-10 $5500
SOLD.
A masterpiece! 12 fret, Deep body based on a 1928 L-1 body shape. Beautiful aniline sunburst under shellac sealer and thin, nitrocellulose clear coat. Honduras Mahogany back sides and neck, Adirondack Spruce top and (different than the A-bracing of the early Gibsons), this has unscalloped, modified X bracing, which gives the guitar more sustain and clarity. Two way adjustable truss rod. Madagascar Rosewood fingerboard and bridge. Bone nut and saddle and. 1-3/4″ nut. Ivoroid binding, Mother-of-Pearl dot inlays on fingerboard. Waverly Ivoroid button tuners. Comes with a Deluxe Cedar Creek hardshell case.

F-30 Roy Smeck: $5,500.
SOLD.
12 fret, Deep body Roy Smeck. Dale does a to-die-for burst, the best in the world, I think: a small aniline sunburst under shellac sealer and thin, nitrocellulose clear coat.
Honduras Mahogany back sides and neck, Red Spruce top and unscalloped bracing. Two way adjustable truss rod. Madagascar Rosewood fingerboard and bridge.
Bone nut and saddle and pins. 1-3/4″ nut, 2-3/8 string spacing at bridge. Ivoroid binding, Mother-of-Pearl dots on fingerboard. Modern C neck profile. Waverly Ivoroid button tuners.
These have a super rich whomp and beauty, hard to descibe how wonderful the Roy Smeck Fairbanks sounds and plays.

F-20 Gold Sparkle: $5750
SOLD.

FAIRBANKS F-20 GOLD SPARKLE features an L-OO body shape, with Honduras Mahogany back and sides, a Red Spruce top, super cool raised pickguard, unscalloped tone bars, 2 way truss rod, Madigascar Rosewood fingerboard and bridge. 24-3/4″ scale length, 1-3/4 nut and 2-3/8″ spacing at the bridge. Plus, the magic L-2-style Gold Sparkle purfling and binding on the top. Bone nut and saddle and pins. Ivoroid binding, Mother-of-Pearl dots on fingerboard. C neck profile.Waverly Ivoroid button tuners.

Dale Fairbanks built one fantastic guitar here, it was a runaway hit of the Woodstock Luthier’s Invitational Showcase this year, being called the best guitar there for fantastic classic country blues sound with great modern playability.

Black Cypress F-35: $5,450
SOLD
14 fret, with construction details modeled on Paul Geremia’s vintage J-35. Red spruce top and bracing, 3 unscalloped tone bars. Spanish Cypress back and sides, which is sort of a cross between Mahogany and Maple, cypress creates a very immediate, dry tone.
Translucent black stain all around with Firestripe pickguard, Ivoroid binding and beautiful headstock veneer.

F-20 (L-OO): $5500
SOLD.
Modeled after Dale’s personal 1936 L-OO 14 fret. It has a small aniline sunburst under shellac sealer and thin, nitrocellulose clear coat. Honduras Mahogany back sides and neck, Red Spruce top and unscalloped bracing.
Two way adjustable truss rod. Madagascar Rosewood fingerboard and bridge. Bone nut and saddle and pins. 1-3/4″ nut, 2-3/8 string spacing at bridge.
Ivoroid binding, MoP dots on fingerboard. Modern C neck profile. Waverly Ivoroid button tuners. (Pictured in Dale’s workshop, this one now has a happy home in Alaska!)

~ Fairbanks F-30 Roy Smeck made with 130-year-old Honduras Mahogany $5700.
SOLD.
Dale’s superguitar made with the deep slope-shouldered dreadnaught design, 12 frets to the neck. Three tone bars and thin top. One of Dale’s trademark gorgeous bursts: small aniline sunburst under shellac sealer and thin, nitrocellulose clear coat. Very special and rare 130-year-old Honduras Mahogany back, sides, and neck, with remarkable tone that Nashville’s BOB MINNER (guitarist for Tim McGraw) said, “Geesh this is a great great box.”
Red Spruce top and unscalloped bracing. Two way adjustable truss rod. Madagascar Rosewood fingerboard and bridge. Bone nut and saddle and pins. 1-3/4″ nut, 2-3/8 string spacing at bridge. Ivoroid binding, Mother-of-Pearl dots on fingerboard. Modern C neck profile. Waverly Ivoroid button tuners. Comes with TKL hard case.

Fairbanks F-30 Roy Smeck Model pictured LEFT and ABOVE

Please ask me to email you a WAV file of this guitar being played! Email me at catfishkeith@catfishkeith.com

Please, always feel free to email me, or call me at 319-338-3614.
Always happy to help you.
Yours truly, Catfish Keith