Luthier

NK Forster

Luthier
Nigel Forster
Founded
2004
Location
Australia

After a decade and a half spent training and then working alongside legendary luthier Stefan Sobell, Nigel Forster set up his own shop, making guitars in England, Germany, and now Australia.

Building on what he learned with Stefan and taking it in his own direction, Nigel crafts not only acoustic guitars, but bouzoukis, mandolins and archtops as well, available in familiar and uncommon fine tonewoods, and with different approaches to the soundboard structure, and a classic, wood-focused aesthetic.

Despite having made hundreds of instruments, I’ve never made the same instrument twice. I constantly experiment with both structure and aesthetics. Whilst the “look” of the work changes from one year to the next, it’s all recognisably “Forster.”

Nigel offers several different top shaping options. Each guitar is named after the body shape (Model C, Model S) and then the type of soundboard used to create each guitars unique individual voice – SS (Sobell style), HO (Howe Orme inspired), SK or SK adv. So a Model C with a Sobell style soundboard would be a C-SS.

His preferred top wood is European spruce, which he hand-selects himself for lightness and response while on periodic trips to Europe. By request, for folks who want a quicker-opening top, he also uses torrefied Sitka and cedar.

For back and sides, Nigel has been creatively venturing into the world of rosewood alternatives. He believes that rosewood's supremacy in the guitar world is because it doesn't detract or get in the way of the soundboard. So in building with other woods, his goal is always to best hear the top, with as little interference from the back and sides as possible. This has led him to the use of laminated sides, allowing him to replicate the best features of rosewood guitars using any other tonewood. He offers a wide array of less common, non-regulated woods, in addition to the classics.

Instruments

From guitars to mandolin-family instruments, Nigel offers a wide range

Models

Model C

The Model C is the biggest guitar in the range. A little larger in size than a traditional Martin OM or 000, for more bass but with a tighter waist for a crisper sound.

Dimensions
Lower bout
16-1/2"
Depth
4.4"
Body length
19.3"
Standard specifications
Top
European spruce or cedar
Back and sides
Varies
Neck
New Guinea rosewood, maple or mahogany
Fretboard
Sri Lankan ebony or ancient bog oak
Bridge
Rocklite ebano or ebony
Frets
Gold EVO
Tuners
Gotoh 510
Nut and saddle
Polished bone
Scale length
24-3/4" or custom
Nut width
1-3/4"
String spacing
2-1/4"

Model S

The Model S is a similar size to a traditional Martin OM or 000, but with a tighter waist for a crisper sound. The design can be tweaked to suit your playing style – fingerstyle or plectrum.

Dimensions
Lower bout
15-1/2"
Depth
4-3/4"
Standard specifications
Top
European spruce or cedar
Back and sides
Varies
Neck
New Guinea rosewood, maple or mahogany
Fretboard
Sri Lankan ebony or ancient bog oak
Bridge
Rocklite ebano or ebony
Frets
Gold EVO
Tuners
Gotoh 510
Nut and saddle
Polished bone
Scale length
24-3/4" or custom
Nut width
1-3/4"
String spacing
2-1/4"

Model D

The Model D is a similar size to Nigel's Model S guitar but with a wide waist that gives the sound a wonderful warmth. If you’re a fingerstyle player then go for the D-SS with its clarity and power. If you’re a player who uses a pick, the Model D-SKAdv is for you.

Dimensions
Lower bout
15-1/2"
Depth
4-3/4"
Standard specifications
Top
European spruce or cedar
Back and sides
Varies
Neck
New Guinea rosewood, maple or mahogany
Fretboard
Sri Lankan ebony or ancient bog oak
Bridge
Rocklite ebano or ebony
Frets
Gold EVO
Tuners
Gotoh 510
Nut and saddle
Polished bone
Scale length
24-3/4" or custom
Nut width
1-3/4"
String spacing
2-1/4"

Model E

The Model E is based on Nigel's Model D body shape but slightly smaller – a great option if you’d like the powerful sound of a smaller-bodied guitar but the warmth of a dread. This is combined with a 25.4″ scale to introduce a little more tension, allowing it to handle dropped tunings beautifully.

Dimensions
Lower bout
14-1/2"
Depth
4.3"
Standard specifications
Top
European spruce or cedar
Back and sides
Varies
Neck
New Guinea rosewood, maple or mahogany
Fretboard
Sri Lankan ebony or ancient bog oak
Bridge
Rocklite ebano or ebony
Frets
Gold EVO
Tuners
Gotoh 510
Nut and saddle
Polished bone
Scale length
25.4" or custom
Nut width
1-3/4"
String spacing
2-1/4"

Why Buy From The North American Guitar

Secure payment methods

We accept all major credit and debit cards as well as PayPal or bank and wire transfers

Flexible finance options

We offer an array of flexible finance options so that you can secure your dream guitar

Safe and secure packaging

All instruments ship in triple-layered guitar boxes stuffed with packing peanuts

Global shipping

We use the most trustworthy couriers to give peace of mind no matter the location

No hidden fees or taxes

What you see at checkout is what you pay so there are no surprises at your door

72-hour appraisal period

All our guitars come with an appraisal period meaning easy returns if you’re not satisfied