Handmade from the finest select woods and materials
Acoustic Archtop Guitars
by Southern California Luthier
Tad R. Brown
Tad R Brown is an American luthier, known for lightweight powerful archtop guitars which are exceptionally responsive and comfortable to play.
Tad has been working with music, art, wood, and guitars for over 25 years, and personally hand crafts all aspects of each instrument from start to finish with the utmost attention to quality.
Brown began building guitars in 1996 and has worked for several renowned Southern California guitar repair shops where he became known for his fine set-up and fret work.
Brown guitars are made from all premium-grade materials and solid tone-woods; specially designed to crossover between jazz and acoustic instruments.
Exceptional quality, tone, and playability. Lightweight, comfortable, highly responsive instruments that inspire a wide dynamic range of rich acoustic tonal resonance.
Brown Guitars – Art and Life Aligned
A harmony of engineering, vibrance, and talent – Brown is a walking manifest of the boundless beauty that lives within all sides of music-making. Tad Brown and Brown Guitars understands that for musicians to produce art, the instrument itself must be one that inspires. For this, and the art of every day that is this eclectic man and his California shop, we’re thrilled to feature Brown Guitars in this edition of our Top Shelf Luthier Series.
Brown; Born to Create
Tad Brown, as a young man, lives the world at a different tempo. From early on, he was possessed by an obsession with assembly, disassembly, and all things engineering. It would only further serve him that his father was also a gifted woodworker and a nurturing mentor. Tad Brown himself would say of his early years: “Some of my earliest memories are of pounding nails with a hammer in the garage with my dad at 2 1/2. He had a lot of tools, and so did his father. Building things has been in my family for generations, since colonial America.”
From this seemingly preordained vantage, Brown would march incorruptibly onward, driven as if by a guiding light emanating from a personal north star toward a cosmos of music and infinite creation. This would all collate at a personal milestone in his early years at Orange Coast College, where he would discover a class called ‘guitar-making’ in its last year of existence, and synthesize a personal journey of both luthiery and engineering. Here and there, Brown would find opportunities to deconstruct and re-engineer guitars, before eventually finding his way into a guitar shop.
Brown worked in guitar repair shops doing setups for 10 years where he “Really honed (his) eye for detail”. He recalls: “I worked on over a thousand guitars a year; everything from old gear in dire need of adjustment, to many many fine instruments of all types. This honed my skills in developing a critical eye for detail, best practices, and things to avoid.”
Eventually, this led to a love of archtops in the early 00s; a specific make that he would come to master over his decades in the trade. After about ten years of working in the backrooms of dusty repair shops, he set off on his own, creating a shop in his namesake and focusing exclusively on building just archtop guitars for those interested in guitars in their highest form. Tad Brown started from humble beginnings and today continues to charge upward through a relentless predilection for innovation and creativity.
Brown and The Art of Better Guitar Making
Brown notably loves guitars that are responsive, loud, and rich, which is why much of his line are archtops, and potentially why he maintains a persistent devotee for all things handmade. “Each guitar is meticulously handcrafted, one at a time, with exceptional attention to quality, tone, and playability.”
He likens his instruments to a crossover between jazz and acoustic instruments and personally sees to it that instruments’ sounds are as energetic and exciting to hear as they are to play.
In the end, Brown guitars are a celebration of beauty in classical practice, form, and reckless abandon. With an array of colors as vibrant as the sunset and an infinite luminance of ideas as breathtaking as sunrise, it would seem the horizon is bright for the Brown Guitars shop.
Love in Every Model
Tad Brown works from his keen sense of adoration. His guitars, much like his life, center around an innate sense of good, hope, and love. His instruments, like the guitarists who swear by them, are a song of celebration for all the most beautiful aspects of life on Earth today.
Whether you’re a guitarist, an artist, or just a human with a beating freaking heart – there is something inestimably cherishable about Brown and his beautiful guitars.