Q: How do I order an instrument and how long will it take to get it?
A: If you are interested in obtaining a mandolin or guitar from me, the best thing to do is either e-mail or call. We can discuss different styles of instruments and available options. As for the length of time for delivery, that varies. Please contact me to find out what the current wait is. It is usually less than what you may read various places on the internet!
Q: Iíve never ordered a custom instrument. What assurance do I have that I will like it? This seems like a big risk.
A: Let me assure you, you must be pleased with the instrument when you receive it or I will be happy to sell it with no commission and refund your money, or create another instrument for you. So far, none have been returned! Please feel free to discuss this or any other concerns with me when you inquire about commissioning an instrument.
Q: Do you have instruments in any shops where I can go play them?
A: Sorry, I donít sell thru dealers as Iím a ďone man shopĒ and production is very limited. However, you may find a used Dudenbostel guitar or mandolin from time to time in stores. I also get an occasional instrument for sale on consignment.
Q: Iím coming thru East Tennessee and would like to stop by your store to visit and play some of your instruments. Is this possible?
A: I work out of a shop at my home and donít have a retail store front or regular ďbusiness hoursĒ. While I enjoy visitors, I must ask that you call ahead for an appointment. Being a one man shop, if I have visitors, work pretty much comes to a halt. For this reason, I try to schedule visits late in the day, Monday thru Friday.
Q: I would like to learn to build instruments and wonder if you offer apprentice positions?
A: Sharing the knowledge is important, however, I find that I work best alone. I enjoy the flexibility it allows me and my family. There are a number of good lutherie schools and a tremendous amount of help on-line. If you are capable of the level of work Iíd require, you should probably be out on your own anyway! My instruments have always been made entirely by my own hands, and I plan to continue that tradition.
Q: I read on the internet that your backlog is 10 years and you arenít taking orders. Is that true?
A: Well, at one time it was true. However, Iíve been working diligently for a number of years without taking orders and have whittled the backlog down to a much more manageable size. If you are interested in an instrument, it is best to call or e-mail to find out what the current backlog/order status is. Things sometimes are exaggerated on-line and often the information can be very old.
Q: How many instruments a year do you build?
A: That number will vary depending on the mix of guitars and mandolins. Typically, I produce 12 to 14 total instruments a year. I had hoped by this time in my career Iíd become much more efficient and approach perhaps 20 a year, but that simply hasnít happened. There are no shortcuts and it seems every time I find a better way to do something, it takes even more time! I will not sacrifice quality in an attempt to increase production.
Q: What styles of guitars and mandolins do you build?
A: I build very traditional style instruments. My inspiration comes from the mandolins of the early 1920ís and guitars of the 1930ís. Youíll find many familiar styles in my production and on rare occasions, something quite different! (But not too often.)
Q: I have a guitar/mandolin that needs repair and set-up. Can I send it to you?
A: I take on very little repair work. I find it difficult to maintain a regular building schedule if there is repair work sitting around waiting completion. Obviously, Iíll service what I build, but very little outside of that.
Q: Do you have a catalog or information you can send?
A: Sorry, but since my instruments are custom built, I donít have what you might call ďStandard modelsĒ. I hope this web site gives you a good idea of what I do, and I plan to update it with photos of recent work. Feel free to contact me and I can often e-mail photos of instruments that might be if interest to you.
Q: What is the price range of your instruments?
A: In order to keep good information on this site that doesnít require frequent change, I ask that you please call or e-mail and Iíd be happy to discuss price with you.
Q: Do you have used instruments for sale?
A: From time to time I have used instruments come up for sale, if there are any instruments available you can view them here. If an instrument appears, it is still available and you may contact me for additional information.