If you have ever paid a visit to David Lipkin’s and Haim Algranati’s workshop in Barnet, you would immediately know that this is the place your musical instrument should be taken care of. Experience, dedication and love are the ingredients they inject in every job they undertake. I am fortunate enough to own an L.A. custom-made, beautiful-sounding, eight-string guitar named after my daughter, Maya. This was a great collaboration since they gave me a chance to explore on the design side, without losing sight of the most basic secrets of traditional guitar making. They are without peers.
I was recommended to L A Guitars through word of mouth. David and Haim have now repaired and set up all of my guitars (and most of my guitarist friends too)
Thanks to their genius and experience, my instruments have been ultra fine-tuned and are a pleasure to play and hear.
Take it from me, if you respect your instrument, doesn’t matter what state it’s in, take it to these guys and they will transform it!
In my estimates, the best guitar workshop I’ve ever come across in the world!
Paul Darkins (The Jo Sear Band)
Just wanted to say a huge thanks for the outstanding set up you did on my Mexican Telecaster. When I dropped it off it sounded lovely but was a horror to play and now, after your attention, it still sounds the same but plays like a dream. There is no doubt the pair of you are master luthiers; there are plenty of those around. What sets you apart from the rest is the friendliness and interest you show in your clients. I could happily spend a day just chatting with you both but that wouldn’t help me or be productive for you! I have recommended you to everyone I think would need your service and rest assured whenever I need some work done on any of my instruments I shall not be travelling in to London anymore – I shall make bee-line to Britannia Road. Thanks again for a truly marvellous job with outstanding customer service. Very best regards,
“I have a thirty-year-old (at least) Martin acoustic parlour guitar, which has become part of me, and which like me has been subject to the ravages of time! The front of the guitar was lifting away from the body and on the fret board were deep wells dug out by favoured chords. It is my main recording guitar and attention was long over due, having to tune it differently for different sections of a song according to the predominant positioning of chords in that section.
Haim and David approached the guitar and as an ‘ interesting project’. This characterises their attitude to the instruments they work on and build. This is their passion and they care deeply about returning an instrument to you that will facilitate you as an artist. I have never seen anything quite like it. They have a wealth of knowledge, unparalleled in my experience. They took time to understand the problems and what needed to happen. When I returned to the workshop to examine and pick up the guitar, it was as if some magic had been worked upon it. A precise mix of glue and rosewood dust had been used to fill the holes in the fret board, barely noticeable, stoned to perfection. The guitar played beautifully in tune all the way up the fret board. Three weeks on, it still does. As part of the set up Haim and David recommended and put on a different weight of string, which has also transformed the sound. The front of the guitar is now re-fixed to the body. My cherished guitar now has another 20 years of of life. I was dreading trying to replace it, now not necessary. Dare I say it sounds better than it did when I bought it. Haim, David, I’m grateful for your care and attention and wish you all the best. Richard Cotton, Songwriter.”
This guitar has an enormous bass response without sounding boomy. It has a very strong mid-range which gives the melody lines (usually played on the top two strings) a real “thickness” more akin to nylon string guitars than steel string. The guitar also has more clarity than any guitar I’ve ever played.
WOW! L.A. Guitars/Strings North London – luthier/Guitar techs
I just dropped off a Les Paul copy for some minor work after recently moving from Philly to London and had the great fortune to meet Haim and Yakov in their little shop.What fabulous gentleman! I can’t be more pleased to have lucked into meeting them based on some threads here at TGP!! And for the work they are doing, they are extremely reasonable and had a few simple suggestions to improve the sound and playability of the instrument for a minimum of fuss.The reason for this thread though is they showed me a few choice samples of their work…One was a modified Ibanez archtop, I guess a recent art-core. I truthfully don’t like them at all, but they are very cheap and pretty if you don’t look too closely at some of the finer details… but anyways. They essentially used it as a shell to start from on the cheap. For a REAL working musician, they replaced the electronics, pickups, did a custom wire job including a piezo pup… What an absolutely amazing sounding instrument they turned it into. An incredible jack-of-all-trades type.
I was very impressed.But what really impressed me, and the reason for this post was a fully handmade instrument that really, really needs a proper home. Again this was a working man’s instrument so a pretender like me shouldn’t keep an animal like this in captivity …This was an electric acoustic semi-arch top custom swiss army knife. What a beautiful piece of art it is too. Looks like a hollowbody electric, but is really an acoustic in solid body electric shape with pickups. Two dimarzio hummers wired up in a unique way and lovingly voiced to bring the most out them. Wired up to a five position switch that goes from all four coils in series through splits and singles to give every kind of single coil or hum bucking tone you could think of. An independent master volume and a secondary volume that only controls the bridge hummer to allow for infinite mixing at all positions (except of course the single coil neck) there is a push pull ‘bright’ pot for even more tonal palate shaping. I don’t think there is a tone you can’t get out of this thing. From acoustic guitar through all the classic Gibson/Fender or whatever rock/jazz you can imagine. This truly is a ‘ one guitar to rule them all’ sort. Not a true arch top this beauty, but a fully scratch built brass float arch top-ish bridge across an arch top like block … sorry my knowledge is limiting my ability to describe here … The top was recovered from an 18th century piano and the bridge, pick guard, sides and back made from Brazilian rosewood given as a gift many years ago. The smallish scale neck was a sumptuous piece of birds eye maple and the entire instrument left in a natural finish. Details done in abalone and with gold hardware. The attention to detail was amazing. No stone unturned to make the best playing, sounding and looking instrument possible and all clearly designed and built for the working musician. On stage or recording this is a monster do it all guitar clearly made by master luthiers. Even in my unworthy hands you could hear this was an altogether other-worldly instrument. For the price of a higher end Gibson Les Paul, this is something on another level completely. I make this post hoping there is someone who might be interested and worthy of such an animal. Please find a worthy home for her! give these gents a call..
I have been lucky enough to be an old customer of LA Guitars for more than sixteen years. In that time David and Haim have repaired and built the best guitars I have ever played and I have been playing for the last 50 or so years. They know exactly what a guitar should play like and have created some beautiful instruments for me. Without any doubt, they are the Masters and really good guys too.
Many thanks for the very professional work you have done to my brand new Les Paul which now plays & tunes as I expected it to when I bought it. I appreciate the time you spent with me, you asked all the right questions re. my playing style, type of strings I prefer & even the picks I use, the short time the guitar has spent with you has transformed it from an instrument that was annoying to play due to the un tunable G string, to an absolute delight. I would have no hesitation in recommending LA guitars to my musician friends & collegues. Indeed I already have.
Thank you so very much David and Haim for the work you carried out on my Gordon Smith and Epiphone Casino respectively. It’s very rare these days to find craftsmen who take such pride in their trade, are so congenial and personable and yet manage to keep their prices so reasonable. You have brought a new lease of life to both of my guitars and it was a true pleasure to visit you both and converse in your workshop. I feel as though I have two new guitars and a wealth of information from just the few conversations we have had. I’ll have no reservations in recommending you to many others in London and I wish you both continued success. Regards, George
Just a quick note of appreciation for the work that you did on my fender acoustic – apologies that I could not collect it myself. It sounds amazing even with me playing it! I have been recommending you to a couple of my colleagues . I would never have believed that my guitar could be so so improved – I can feel the work that went into it- lovely soft action now and great sound.
If you want your guitar to be absolutely the best it can be, you owe it to yourself to come and see David and Haim. They’ve conducted set-ups, repairs and customisations for me since 1997 and, every time, the results have been outstanding. You won’t believe the difference they can make to your guitar’s sound and playability. They’re not only greatly skilled, master craftsmen, they’re also genuine, warm and considerate guys who go to great lengths to delight you with their service. Ten years ago, I had the ultimate luxury of having them build me an acoustic guitar. It was a wonderful experience to completely personalise the shape, the woods, the fittings, the colour, the finish, everything. A decade later, I’ll still never play another acoustic six-string because nothing can touch mine for its aesthetic beauty and its tone. Whether you’re a professional musician or an enthusiastic amateur like me, don’t go anywhere else.
After searching for ages for a place to have my guitars cared for, LA Guitars was recommended to me and I haven’t looked back. In 2002 I took and old Gibson 335 which was literally unplayable and they brought it back to life. I have had my other ‘workhorse’ guitars looked after by David and Haim and will not trust my gear with anyone else. They are so thorough that when I pick up a guitar they have repaired or set up they will not allow me to leave the workshop without trying it just to make sure it is right for me. I have sent several of my students to the shop as well and they have been very satisfied with the work carried out on their guitars. These guys are tops. Adam Behrens
Luthiers both, My Tokai was the nicest guitar I had ever played when I got it, but after 20 years of ignorant maintenance and the odd breakage, it had become quite ordinary and wouldn’t hold its tuning. It had fallen from favour and brochures for instruments that I could not afford were finding their way into my possession. Two days with you gentlemen have resurrected the magnificent soul of this guitar – its notes ring on and on and it is such a pleasure to strum one single chord and listen to it slowly die away over a few minutes. I am so pleased with it. So thank you very much for your good work . . . Jim Drury was full of praise for the quality of your craftsmanship . . . and he wasn’t wrong! Regards,
Thanks, Paul Andrews.
I bought a £1800 Gibson Les Paul and i was so disappointed with it i sent it back. These guys customised my £395 Paul Reed Smith semi cut and transformed into a guitar better than a Les Paul Absolutely fantastic service . I been playing the PRS guitar today , feels great and sounds great , I’m totally in love with it , thanks for everything .
Peter Ostrin’s Guitar blog and other Stuff (Algranati-Guitar-Course)
Peter Ostrin PoW Guitars -Haim, gave us a guest lecture. He was awesome. He is a full time luthier and philosopher in London. He really knows the shit. The class was riveting. Haim gave his views on all sorts of things from the soul of trees to his theory of 5 minutes to five. This was a great treat.
L A GUITARS offer the best service I have ever known, nothing is ever to much trouble for them, David and Haim are so enthusiastic about there work,that I know I have come to the right place,if your looking for honesty craftsmanship you have found it here.they are so skilled they can do anything from re stringing a bow to creating world class instruments !!!!
Hi Haim/David, I’ve really been enjoying playing the oud today, fantastic job – thanks so much for your work. It’s like a new instrument now! And I’m sure sound engineers all over the country are going to be grateful too! See you soon, Frank Moon
So I’ve had the guitar back for less than 24 hours, I played it for most of the day at home yesterday and will probably do the same today.In short, it is amazing! The action is perfect and feels exactly how I was hoping it would arrive from the factory when paying for a medium/pro level instrument. I really do appreciate you adjusting this without cost David, the guitar is a dream to play.
I want to say a big thank you to David and Haim for the great work they have done on my Washburn USA electric guitar. It now feels like a new guitar! They’ve corrected a badly installed nut from other repair shops and installed a bone nut along with amazing fret and pot work. Now the guitars plays like a dream, the pots are smooth and have a wider range and the overall sound is much cleaner and crisper. The frets have been done very nicely and the playability has been massively improved. As a professional musician, I have been in many repair shops in London and I can honestly say that these guys are not only the best but they also have very reasonable rates. Will be recommending them to everyone I know.