Luthier

Wilborn Guitars

Luthier
Ben Wilborn
Location
Reno, Nevada

Ben Wilborn specializes in steel string acoustic guitars. Wilborn guitars are lightly built, simply appointed guitars with an emphasis on extremely refined details and a powerful, balanced sound.

"My focus as a builder is on my own unique designs, which I have created as a response to my desires as a musician, and my knowledge as a craftsman. These guitars are sleek and modern and employ all of my hard won techniques and secrets for voicing and responsiveness, but they are not strange. In your hands they feel timeless and alive, and in your ears, they create all those sounds that you always imagined a guitar should produce: warmth, harmonic sophistication, intensity and articulation."

“These guitars are built by a player, for players.”

As a guitarist myself, I put particular emphasis on the way they feel and perform. These guitars are built by a player, for players. I’m afraid that is more rare in the hand-built guitar universe than it should be.

The Guitars

Wilborn Guitars currently offer two series, the Comma and the Period. Find out about each of these series and the models they include below...

Models

The Sidewinder (Comma)

The Comma Series is a family of instruments that completely redefines what a high-performance guitar can be.

This is the largest guitar in the comma series, at nearly 16" wide, it is a similar size to the traditional dreadnought.

*Please note, the specifications provided below are the standard specs included in the base price. Specifications are customizable upon request*

Dimensions
Fingerboard Radius
Compound 14 – 20"
Lower Bout Width
15-7/8"
Maximum Body Depth
4-3/4"
Standard specifications
Back & Sides
East Indian Rosewood or Honduras Mahogany
Top
Sitka Spruce or Red Cedar
Neck
Honduras Mahogany
Neck profile
Comfortable Contemporary C
Sideport
Player's sideport in upper bout (Period series)
Neck
Ebony bound
Headstock
Ebony bound
Headplate
Ebony
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony
Read head plate
Ebony with volute
Nut
Bone
Saddle
Bone
Tuners
Waverly nickel tuners or equivalent
Bindings
Curly Maple, Ebony or Rosewood
Rosette
Single line abalone or fine herringbone rosette (Period series)
Inlay
Wilborn diamond emblem in headstock and rosette
Finish
Nitrocellulose lacquer gloss
Pickguard
Complementary wood or clear, if desired
Case
Visesnut Active Flight Case or Ameritage Custom
Scale Length
Multiscale 26 – 25.4"
Frets to Body
14
Nut Width
1-13/16"
String Spacing at Saddle
2-5/16"
Ben's Notes

Named not just for the lovely tracks left in the dunes by the Sidewinder rattlesnake, but also for its potent and fearsome nature, this guitar is the largest of the Comma Series.

At nearly 16” across, it is the same width as the traditional dreadnought, but with a longer 26– 25.4” multiscale fingerboard, it is designed to handle drop tunings and provide unprecedented power and bottom end

The Nautilus

The Comma Series is a family of instruments that completely redefines what a high-performance guitar can be.

This is the mid-sized guitar in the comma series, sized similarly to the standard orchestral model.

*Please note, the specifications provided below are the standard specs included in the base price. Specifications are customizable upon request*

Dimensions
Fingerboard Radius
Compound 14 – 20"
Lower Bout Width
15"
Maximum Body Depth
4-1/2"
Standard specifications
Back & Sides
East Indian Rosewood or Honduras Mahogany
Top
Sitka Spruce or Red Cedar
Neck
Honduras Mahogany
Neck profile
Comfortable Contemporary C
Sideport
Player's sideport in upper bout (Period series)
Neck
Ebony bound
Headstock
Ebony bound
Headplate
Ebony
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony
Read head plate
Ebony with volute
Nut
Bone
Saddle
Bone
Tuners
Waverly nickel tuners or equivalent
Bindings
Curly Maple, Ebony or Rosewood
Rosette
Single line abalone or fine herringbone rosette (Period series)
Inlay
Wilborn diamond emblem in headstock and rosette
Finish
Nitrocellulose lacquer gloss
Pickguard
Complementary wood or clear, if desired
Case
Visesnut Active Flight Case or Ameritage Custom
Scale Length
Multiscale 25.4 – 24.9"
Frets to Body
14
Nut Width
1-13/16"
String Spacing at Saddle
2-5/16"
Ben's notes

This model is the genesis of the Comma Series design. At 15” across the lower bout, it is a terrifically versatile instrument whose orchestral voice belies its moderate size.

Fingerstyle, cross picking, strumming or tapping — this guitar can do it all.

The Arum

The Comma Series is a family of instruments that completely redefines what a high-performance guitar can be.

This is the mid-sized guitar in the comma series, sized similarly to the standard orchestral model.

*Please note, the specifications provided below are the standard specs included in the base price. Specifications are customizable upon request*

Dimensions
Fingerboard Radius
Compound 14 – 20"
Lower Bout Width
14"
Maximum Body Depth
4-1/4"
Standard specifications
Back & Sides
East Indian Rosewood or Honduras Mahogany
Top
Sitka Spruce or Red Cedar
Neck
Honduras Mahogany
Neck profile
Comfortable Contemporary C
Sideport
Player's sideport in upper bout (Period series)
Neck
Ebony bound
Headstock
Ebony bound
Headplate
Ebony
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony
Read head plate
Ebony with volute
Nut
Bone
Saddle
Bone
Tuners
Waverly nickel tuners or equivalent
Bindings
Curly Maple, Ebony or Rosewood
Rosette
Single line abalone or fine herringbone rosette (Period series)
Inlay
Wilborn diamond emblem in headstock and rosette
Finish
Nitrocellulose lacquer gloss
Pickguard
Complementary wood or clear, if desired
Case
Visesnut Active Flight Case or Ameritage Custom
Scale Length
Multiscale 25.4 – 24.9"
Frets to Body
14
Nut Width
1-13/16"
String Spacing at Saddle
2-5/16"
Ben's notes

A 14” body has traditionally been the domain of the blues guitar, but for The Arum, that definition is far too limited. This guitar punches well above its weight in overall volume and bass response, but is also incredibly even in its response up and down the neck.

It is an ideal instrument in the studio, with great focus and note separation.

The Bantam

The Period Series are the embodiment of Wilborn's desire to improve upon the traditional-style guitars like the OM, Dreadnought and L-00.

This is the Wilborn Parlor sized guitar with a very healthy bottom end, and a rich, singing high end.

*Please note, the specifications provided below are the standard specs included in the base price. Specifications are customizable upon request*

Dimensions
Fingerboard Radius
Compound 14 – 20"
Lower Bout Width
12-1/4"
Maximum Body Depth
3-11/16"
Standard specifications
Back & Sides
East Indian Rosewood or Honduras Mahogany
Top
Sitka Spruce or Red Cedar
Neck
Honduras Mahogany
Neck profile
Comfortable Contemporary C
Sideport
Player's sideport in upper bout (Period series)
Neck
Ebony bound
Headstock
Ebony bound
Headplate
Ebony
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony
Read head plate
Ebony with volute
Nut
Bone
Saddle
Bone
Tuners
Waverly nickel tuners or equivalent
Bindings
Curly Maple, Ebony or Rosewood
Rosette
Single line abalone or fine herringbone rosette (Period series)
Inlay
Wilborn diamond emblem in headstock and rosette
Finish
Nitrocellulose lacquer gloss
Pickguard
Complementary wood or clear, if desired
Case
Visesnut Active Flight Case or Ameritage Custom
Scale Length
24.9"
Frets to Body
12 or 14
Nut Width
1-3/4"
String Spacing at Saddle
2-3/16"
Ben's notes

The Bantam is a small but fearsome parlor guitar. At only 12-1/4” across the lower bout, and the smallest of my "waist-forward" guitars, this small and elegant guitar defies expectations with a very healthy bottom end, a penetrating mid, and a rich, singing high end, coupled with volume that always surprises the first time listener.

The Bantam can be built with a 12 or 14 fret neck. Its small size makes it a perfect choice for smaller players, and a lovely intimate musical companion for anyone. The unique lines of the body give it a look that is both exciting and contemporary, yet somehow reminiscent of the baroque era.

The Lion

The Period Series are the embodiment of Wilborn's desire to improve upon the traditional-style guitars like the OM, Dreadnought and L-00.

This guitar is based upon the classic Gibson L-00 guitar, available in either 12 or 14 fret options.

*Please note, the specifications provided below are the standard specs included in the base price. Specifications are customizable upon request*

Dimensions
Fingerboard Radius
Compound 14 – 20"
Lower Bout Width
14-1/4"
Maximum Body Depth
4-1/4"
Standard specifications
Back & Sides
East Indian Rosewood or Honduras Mahogany
Top
Sitka Spruce or Red Cedar
Neck
Honduras Mahogany
Neck profile
Comfortable Contemporary C
Sideport
Player's sideport in upper bout (Period series)
Neck
Ebony bound
Headstock
Ebony bound
Headplate
Ebony
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony
Read head plate
Ebony with volute
Nut
Bone
Saddle
Bone
Tuners
Waverly nickel tuners or equivalent
Bindings
Curly Maple, Ebony or Rosewood
Rosette
Single line abalone or fine herringbone rosette (Period series)
Inlay
Wilborn diamond emblem in headstock and rosette
Finish
Nitrocellulose lacquer gloss
Pickguard
Complementary wood or clear, if desired
Case
Visesnut Active Flight Case or Ameritage Custom
Scale Length
24.9"
Frets to Body
12 or 14
Nut Width
1-3/4"
String Spacing at Saddle
2-3/16"
Ben's notes

At 14” across the lower bout, The Lion falls into the Parlor Guitar category, but is truly the King of that tiny jungle. The second smallest of the "waist-forward" guitars, my original inspiration for this model was the 1935 Gibson L-00. But ultimately, The Lion shares very little in common with its godfather besides its size. A thoroughly modern approach to bracing, a carefully graduated top, and careful control of body resonance creates a guitar that is entirely surprising in its rich and voluminous tone.

A great choice for lead players, the smaller body size contributes to a very even and articulate sound all the way up the neck, with great note separation and attack, and an incredibly sweet and powerful midrange. Works well as a 12 or 14 fret instrument.

The Elliebelle

The Period Series are the embodiment of Wilborn's desire to improve upon the traditional-style guitars like the OM, Dreadnought and L-00.

Elliebelle is the versatile, OM sized guitar within the Period Series.

*Please note, the specifications provided below are the standard specs included in the base price. Specifications are customizable upon request*

Dimensions
Fingerboard Radius
Compound 14 – 20"
Lower Bout Width
15"
Maximum Body Depth
4-1/2"
Standard specifications
Back & Sides
East Indian Rosewood or Honduras Mahogany
Top
Sitka Spruce or Red Cedar
Neck
Honduras Mahogany
Neck profile
Comfortable Contemporary C
Sideport
Player's sideport in upper bout (Period series)
Neck
Ebony bound
Headstock
Ebony bound
Headplate
Ebony
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony
Read head plate
Ebony with volute
Nut
Bone
Saddle
Bone
Tuners
Waverly nickel tuners or equivalent
Bindings
Curly Maple, Ebony or Rosewood
Rosette
Single line abalone or fine herringbone rosette (Period series)
Inlay
Wilborn diamond emblem in headstock and rosette
Finish
Nitrocellulose lacquer gloss
Pickguard
Complementary wood or clear, if desired
Case
Visesnut Active Flight Case or Ameritage Custom
Scale Length
25.4"
Frets to Body
14
Nut Width
1-3/4"
String Spacing at Saddle
2-3/16"
Ben's notes

This guitar is the most versatile instrument I make, capable of holding its own in an acoustic ensemble, creating sonorous and cello-like basses with finger style drop tunings, and leaping out front for leadwork with a ton of volume and headroom.

The EllieBelle is 15" across the lower bout, a comfortable size for almost everyone. This was the first instrument I designed with my "waist-forward" philosophy, and lends its modern lines to the rest of the team. The idea, beyond the purely aesthetic, was to push the waist forward, thereby bringing the left hand closer to the player’s body for a very comfortable and healthy playing position, even with its standard 14 fret neck join. With a very sensitive and quick feel, it's a true jack-of-all-trades. (That happens to be a master of them, too!)

The Patros

The Period Series are the embodiment of Wilborn's desire to improve upon the traditional-style guitars like the OM, Dreadnought and L-00.

A larger bodied instrument measuring 16-7/8” across the lower bout.

*Please note, the specifications provided below are the standard specs included in the base price. Specifications are customizable upon request*

Dimensions
Fingerboard Radius
Compound 14 – 20"
Lower Bout Width
16-7/8"
Maximum Body Depth
4-3/4"
Standard specifications
Back & Sides
East Indian Rosewood or Honduras Mahogany
Top
Sitka Spruce or Red Cedar
Neck
Honduras Mahogany
Neck profile
Comfortable Contemporary C
Sideport
Player's sideport in upper bout (Period series)
Neck
Ebony bound
Headstock
Ebony bound
Headplate
Ebony
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony
Read head plate
Ebony with volute
Nut
Bone
Saddle
Bone
Tuners
Waverly nickel tuners or equivalent
Bindings
Curly Maple, Ebony or Rosewood
Rosette
Single line abalone or fine herringbone rosette (Period series)
Inlay
Wilborn diamond emblem in headstock and rosette
Finish
Nitrocellulose lacquer gloss
Pickguard
Complementary wood or clear, if desired
Case
Visesnut Active Flight Case or Ameritage Custom
Scale Length
25.4"
Frets to Body
14
Nut Width
1-3/4"
String Spacing at Saddle
2-3/16"
Ben's notes

The Patros, as the name suggests, is the Papa of this family. This is a big guitar, at 16-7/8” across the lower bout. A tremendously voiced 6 string, this platform also works well for 12 strings or Baritone configurations.

With a body this large, boasting this much wood to amplify string energy, the Patros looks down from its throne and laughs at the feeble efforts of Dreadnoughts and Jumbos. A great flat picker’s guitar, it also does well as a near-symphonic accompaniment for a singer/songwriter solo act.

The Gloria

The Period Series are the embodiment of Wilborn's desire to improve upon the traditional-style guitars like the OM, Dreadnought and L-00.

This is a mid-sized guitar, with an increased depth- the idea behind this is to increase the air volume and subsequently the bass reponse.

*Please note, the specifications provided below are the standard specs included in the base price. Specifications are customizable upon request*

Dimensions
Fingerboard Radius
Compound 14 – 20"
Lower Bout Width
15-1/4"
Maximum Body Depth
4-3/4"
Standard specifications
Back & Sides
East Indian Rosewood or Honduras Mahogany
Top
Sitka Spruce or Red Cedar
Neck
Honduras Mahogany
Neck profile
Comfortable Contemporary C
Sideport
Player's sideport in upper bout (Period series)
Neck
Ebony bound
Headstock
Ebony bound
Headplate
Ebony
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony
Read head plate
Ebony with volute
Nut
Bone
Saddle
Bone
Tuners
Waverly nickel tuners or equivalent
Bindings
Curly Maple, Ebony or Rosewood
Rosette
Single line abalone or fine herringbone rosette (Period series)
Inlay
Wilborn diamond emblem in headstock and rosette
Finish
Nitrocellulose lacquer gloss
Pickguard
Complementary wood or clear, if desired
Case
Visesnut Active Flight Case or Ameritage Custom
Scale Length
25.6"
Frets to Body
12 or 14
Nut Width
1-3/4"
String Spacing at Saddle
2-3/16"
Ben's notes

The Gloria is my solution to a problem I’ve noticed in so many guitars: a small body produces a sweet, immediate tone, but lacks the gusto of a large body’s bass response. A large body (think Dread) often produces a very satisfying bottom end, but with a constricted treble response

Although The Gloria is only 15-1/4” across, the body is deep, giving it an air volume approaching that of a dreadnought. With the smaller, carefully braced and graduated top, and the larger bodied air volume, I am able to capture the best of both worlds. The Gloria has a more traditional look than my other instruments, and is offered with either a classic slotted or standard headstock. With its longer scale length, it's a favorite of fingerstyle players.

The WarHorse

The Period Series are the embodiment of Wilborn's desire to improve upon the traditional-style guitars like the OM, Dreadnought and L-00.

The Wilborn interpretation of a Modified Dreadnought.

*Please note, the specifications provided below are the standard specs included in the base price. Specifications are customizable upon request*

Dimensions
Fingerboard Radius
Compound 14 – 20"
Lower Bout Width
15-1/4"
Maximum Body Depth
4-3/4"
Standard specifications
Back & Sides
East Indian Rosewood or Honduras Mahogany
Top
Sitka Spruce or Red Cedar
Neck
Honduras Mahogany
Neck profile
Comfortable Contemporary C
Sideport
Player's sideport in upper bout (Period series)
Neck
Ebony bound
Headstock
Ebony bound
Headplate
Ebony
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony
Read head plate
Ebony with volute
Nut
Bone
Saddle
Bone
Tuners
Waverly nickel tuners or equivalent
Bindings
Curly Maple, Ebony or Rosewood
Rosette
Single line abalone or fine herringbone rosette (Period series)
Inlay
Wilborn diamond emblem in headstock and rosette
Finish
Nitrocellulose lacquer gloss
Pickguard
Complementary wood or clear, if desired
Case
Visesnut Active Flight Case or Ameritage Custom
Scale Length
25.6"
Frets to Body
12 or 14
Nut Width
1-3/4"
String Spacing at Saddle
2-3/16"
Ben's Notes

The WarHorse is my modified version of the iconic Dreadnought. Gone are the flat surfaces at the top and bottom of the body. (These were employed to make construction easier.) The shoulders are tightened up, and the lower bout is more shapely. At first glance, it is clearly a Dreadnought, but somehow more elegant and modern.

Inside the body, the bracing is tall and narrow, to maximize lightness, and redistributed slightly to create a very powerful but exceptionally even tonal response all up and down the neck. Primarily intended as a flat picker’s guitar, it also works wonderfully for finger style and drop tunings.

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