Rumsey Guitars


Premium guitars handmade in Australia.

We’ve designed these guitars from the ground up to be something a bit different than your average instrument.  There’s no reason for us to build another copy of a guitar that’s been built the same way for 50+ years, there are plenty of those out there.  These designs are meant to take the best parts of all those guitars, add some new ideas, make it comfortable to play and versatile enough to be your only guitar to take to a gig.

American Luthier Dave Rumsey started out as a professional guitarist on the road and in the studio with a few artists playing on four major label records and touring nine different countries before relocating to Australia and starting his own guitar repair shop north of Sydney.

Years of repair work and numerous replica guitar builds led him to design and build his ultimate guitar, one that overcame the faults of a lot of his favourite guitars.

“I wanted a guitar that was as comfortable to play as a California surf guitar, but with the thick tone and sustain of the classic set-neck LPs, but can get a range of tones you’d only get from a heavily modded instrument.  In my repair shop, I’ve seen so many guitars come in that need components replaced, frets dressed, nuts filed, the normal stuff you always do.  I thought that there must be a better way to build that didn’t need constant maintenance.”

“So I went through every component and part of the guitar, from the pots & switches to the neck construction, and designed a guitar that was the best I could do with no barriers.  I use a super-tenon neck joint where the neck extends all the way to the bridge, sandwiched in between the top and body woods, giving greater stability, sustain and resonance between the parts.  It lets all the different woods resonate well together transferring vibrations back into the strings as you play.”

“We use a three piece laminated neck with carbon fibre reinforcement rods to help with stability and consistent note volume.  It resist warping over time and lessens the impact of weather changes. An 8 degree headstock angle with transfer volute has enough break angle to give downward pressure on the nut for increased tone and sustain, but not enough of an angle to worry about the headstock cracking or breaking off during an accidental fall, like I’ve seen on so many guitars with larger headstock angles.”

“I’ve looked past the average guitar parts suppliers to find pots and switches, they always seem to get crackly and need to be replaced. Industrial supply companies offer better pots and switches that are sealed and moisture proof, not allowing dust and oxidation to get in the way of your output signal.  I’ve been using Puretone output jacks that have more contact points so there is no loss of signal or popping from poor contact with the plug.”

We use Jescar medium-tall stainless steel frets for maximum life without the need for costly fret dressings or fret replacements.  They don’t get scratchy and worn like traditional softer nickel fretwire. They feel ultra smooth under your fingers for bending and vibrato.  We’ve also been using woods like Wenge and Zizicote on fretboards for their smooth feel, resistance to wear, and sustainability… and they’re not on the CITES list.

The use of mostly Australian timbers adds to the unique sound, look and feel of our guitars while maintaining the benefit of locally sourced and sustainable materials.  Woods like Australian Blackwood and Queensland Maple are tremendous woods to build guitars out of, the blackwood is strikingly beautiful, a cousin of Koa, with a rich full bodied tone with a harmonic resonance not found in many timbers.  The Queensland maple, although a completely different species than American rock maple, has a consistent tight grain pattern making it a very stable wood for necks, but is lighter in weight than rock maple or mahogany.