My name is Nate Lord. I build Lord Guitars with a simple mission: making the best guitars I can, by hand, with unique and responsibly sourced materials. I make extensive use of salvaged domestic tonewoods in my builds and avoid using woods that contribute to deforestation in areas that are critical to our planet’s health. In keeping with this mission, I often experiment with restored vintage pickups, old stock plastics, and other recycled or repurposed materials as well.
I have been building and fixing guitars for over 10 years, getting my start as a guitar repair and luthier apprentice at Becker Guitars. After working my way up to a repair tech/assistant luthier position at Becker over a few years, I set out to start my own guitar repair service in the Boston area around 2014 while I refined and prototyped my own guitar designs.
Lord Guitars was launched in my Medford, MA basement shop around 2017-2018 as construction began on the final prototype for what would become my Mystic model. Today my shop is located in an 1850’s barn in Amesbury, MA.
I strive to build original designs that are visually attractive and a joy to play and hear. My designs are heavily influenced by the department store and import guitars of the ’50s and ’60s and early Fender guitars, but built with an obsessive focus on quality materials and construction, comfort, and playability.
A few things you can expect from a Lord Guitar:
- Responsibly sourced tonewoods: All of my guitars are made from reclaimed or salvaged lumber. In addition to the commonly used domestic woods like pine, ash, and maple, I make extensive use of locally available species that aren’t traditional tonewoods, including black walnut, butternut, fir, and others. I am always on the hunt for sustainable tonewoods and have a regularly rotating selection of unique woods like salvaged Florida rosewood, reclaimed vintage mahogany and pine, and whatever else I can find. I’ve found many excellent fretboard sources available as domestic salvage – Florida rosewood, Texas ebony, and mesquite are a few favorites right now. They produce great fretboards without impacting critical global forests.
- Chunky necks: I am a big believer in the “big neck, big sound” mantra and, like many, find that larger necks are more comfortable in the hand. My necks are typically in the .90-92” range at the 1st fret and the .95”-1.00” range at the 12th fret.
- Lightweight: Most guitars are in the 6-7 pound range, with just the right amount of contouring.
- Extensive use of vintage, oddball, and unique pickups. Whether original vintage, shop made/restored, or sourced from independent builders like Gemini Pickups, Mojo Pickups, Curtis Novak, etc.
- A few sneaky modern appointments like two-way truss rods, 12” radiused fretboards, and tall, stainless steel frets.
- High attention to detail from tip to tail. You will see, feel, and hear the care and effort that go into every guitar – frets are polished to a mirror shine after leveling and shaping; nuts are spaced and slotted accurately, shaped to a low profile, and polished to a gloss; final fit, finish, and setup are all done to very exacting standards.
- Made in limited quantities: I build by hand and run a one person shop. As a result there are times when my queue is full and I cannot take custom orders. I do however try to include one guitar in each batch to be made available for purchase upon completion.