Those Brit guitar makers just keep on coming. Idly browsing for luthiers on Facebook this morning, within 30 seconds I’d come across Probett Guitars – a quick check in my own A-Z confirmed yet another guitar maker I had not found before.
Damien Probett certainly comes across on his website as a man on a mission – one that he is going about with understatement but an underlying pursuit of excellence, both in build and tone.
When I was a small boy our family moved into a new home, the garden of which was was somewhat overgrown and full of interesting things like old Anderson shelters and a once loved but now ramshackle workshop full of old tools and dusty containers of things which must have once seemed useful.
We would spend hours enacting games of “cowboys and indians” and similar childhood escapades.
I became increasingly drawn to the old workshop where I would attempt to fashion various “objets de guerre” from whatever materials I could rescue from the spidery corners.
I remember once finding a piece of an old clay roof tile. It was roughly triangular in shape but with one irregular side such that, in my imagination, it resembled a handgun. I used the “clay gun” as it was for several days, but the more I used it the more I thought that it wasn`t quite good enough. I became convinced that if I was careful enough that I could modify the old tile until it would be indistinguishable from the real thing.
Sadly my youthful enthusiasm proved to exceed the limits of my own ability and my attempts resulted in no more than several rather smaller pieces of red clay tile shattered on the splintered workbench of the old workshop.
I`ve spent the intervening 35 years pursuing my passion for making things of beauty and function. I might still not be able to make an accurate Colt 45 replica from an old roof tile but sometimes I think I might just try again, because you never know, if I`m really careful…
A lovely story. An analogue of this is probably at the heart of the inspiration for many artisan craftsmen all over the world.
Although not strikingly unique in design, the guitars certainly seem to have a presence all their own – but see if you are as taken with the tone as I am from this video, particularly the Rapide 5.9 with the P-90 soapbars …
Here’s one more pic I found on Facebook. Now that’s beautiful!