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Sad Fernando Guitars by Gavin Hallam

I am a new luthier, from a family with a long history engineering and problem solving.  I've had many roles in the world, from Physicist to quality technical manager for timber as well as a published writer and editor (albeit under pseudonyms) and a guitarist for thirty years. I've trained at Crimson Guitars under Christopher Owen and Ben Crowe, and am known as "the heavy metal rainbow guy", "Jerry Garcia lookalike", "Fat Jesus" and many other less kind nicknames.


A company needs a name.  In the world we operate, it is unwise to register one with your own name as the trademark.  Nobody wants to lose the right to their own name - as many have done before. Do you think Leo was happy seeing his name on CBS era strats?

Why "Sad Fernando"?

To be honest, it started as a joke with fellow luthiers, which ended in one of them (Hello Craig) crying on the floor in laughter at the sketches of a Dorado shaped truss rod cover, and our maester giving him a voice, not unlike a moronic version of Marvin the paranoid android, that sealed the deal. Fernando the Dorado.  However - do a search for Dorado on google and you will never find a happy one.  They all have the same, down turned sad face.

Ben Crowe remarked "People search for ages for the right company name - you've got it before you have even started!"

A world without silliness is not one I want to live in.

The guitars I make answer issues I feel are inherent in the present state of guitar making.  Every guitar I have ever purchased has had something wrong with it.

The wrong neck, the wrong head-stock, poor pickups, too heavy, too light, covered in a thick plastic finish, unknown timbers used under unknown working conditions - and I certainly can't be alone in believing that guitar design should have advanced more than it has in the last 60 years.

My guitars are beautiful looking and sounding, their construction allows the timbers used to sing out and should be the best feeling electric instruments you've ever played.

When I have decided on what my standard models should be - check back here - or contact me to discuss collaborations on a custom build.

I'm still experimenting to find the right mix of new ideas and classic design - why not join me on the ride.

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