Gary E. Levinson Guitar
I started playing steel-string acoustics in 1960 and it was love at first strum. By 1964 I was restoring old instruments – painstakingly taking them apart, repairing components and putting them back together again. One of my first projects was restoring a destroyed Gibson Southern Jumbo that had been crushed. It was like building a guitar from toothpicks. I loved it. When it came time to refinish it I couldn’t find the right red mahogany color so I made a stain of red ink and instant coffee. That was a long time ago. But my love affair with steel-strings never ended. During the late 60’s I was part of a small but exclusive repair shop in Champaign, Illinois. We met many of the icons of the 60’s and 70’s when they came to play at the University of Illinois, where I was also studying applied sciences. Many of the world’s finest instruments came across our benches during this period. Infatuated with beauty and tone, I started building my own acoustics around 1970.
During my graduate studies at the University of Basel I continued guitar work and founded Guitars by Levinson in Basel, Switzerland in 1977. This is history and has been a part of the Blade Guitars story over the years. Less known is that I started in Switzerland with acoustics. I have had the pleasure of watching my guitars age and mature for over 30 years. I have been privileged to watch the wood develop a beautiful yellow-aged color under the nitro-cellulose lacquer. It is a joy to hear how wood opens itself, tone matures.
I am returning to my deepest roots. I welcome you to the world of Gary E. Levinson Acoustic Guitars.
Gary E. Levinson acoustic guitars are the result of over 40 years of meticulous work with steelstringed acoustic guitars. A combination of traditional and new designs, excellent craftsmanship, beautiful appointments and the finest materials available define these exceptional instruments. The well proportioned headstock is adorned with the Flying Fish pearl and abalone inlay, which I designed and have used since 1977. It is a symbol of unfettered freedom. The Waverly style machineheads mirror the lines of the headstock, melding it into a harmonic element. Among of the most important tone creation features are table voicing and scalloped bracing. Table Voicing is accom plished by carefully varying the thickness of the top in specified areas that allow it to vibrate more freely, creating a fuller, richer tone and a quicker reaction to the players touch. Scalloped bracing enhances the response further and allows the use of lighter gauge strings, improving playability without losing volume.