I am a luthier based in Orion, Michigan. My goal is to build guitars that are comfortable in playability, have a wide tonal palette and are responsive to the musicians needs. I take the greatest care in maintaining a high standard of craftsmanship, with great emphasis on the usage of hand tools to construct my guitars. My focus is on traditional guitar design, drawing inspiration from the great historical Spanish makers – Antonio de Torres, Santos Hernandez and Domingo Esteso among others.
For more than two decades, I have been studying traditional construction techniques of the great guitar masters of the past. I am a fourth-generation woodworker and craftsman in a family line that began with my great-grandfather’s making of fine furniture. My main focus is to keep alive the traditions of the Spanish guitar makers in particular (especially Antonio de Torres, Santos Hernandez and Domingo Esteso) but at the same time incorporating my own notions of tonal qualities and aesthetic details.
When not constructing instruments, I enjoy spending time searching for and restoring antique woodworking tools. I utilize many of them to build my hand-made guitars.
I am sure you will appreciate and enjoy my guitar as your go-to instrument.
"My love and passion is the classical guitar. I have owned several classical guitars by highly respected luthiers, all of these guitars were so beautiful but each had a flaw in my arms. I convinced myself it was me, then my wonderful brother told me I should try a different guitar, one I could be completely happy with and keep for life. With his blessings I talked with JohnPaul at Guitar Salon International and he knew exactly what would be my guitar, it was Matt's guitar, a beautiful spruce top with Indian rosewood back and sides. As soon as I saw her I knew finally this was it for me. The sound is like a gift from God, the build and body size is perfect and the fret work is amazing. I am so in love with her, I can grow old with this guitar and play to my full potential. She is the best instrument I have ever had. Thank you Matt for this beautiful companion."
"The first time I heard Matt's guitar was in a master class and I didn't know who made it but I needed to have one. Matt Chaffin made me a wonderful guitar. It is beautiful, exactly the right size for me, clear and bright. Matt is a wonderful craftsman- he made the most exquisite, detailed rosette just for my guitar. I love my guitar."
-Helene Rottenberg |
Professor of Music, Madonna University
Board Member, Guitar Foundation of America
A Grand Rapids area dealer brought a Chaffin guitar to a summer workshop in Cincinnati. It was a wonderful specimen. As I contemplated the purchase, someone else bought it. Strike one!
Later, I went online and found two Chaffin guitars available through Guitar Salon International (GSI) and Chartwell guitars, both highly respected dealers. The GSI instrument was put on hold for purchase before I could even post an email indicating my interest. Strike two!
Unwilling to suffer any further disappointment, I had Chartwell ship the available 2013 Chaffin to me on approval. Also, I called Matthew directly and arranged to visit his Orion, MI workshop. His 2014 Spruce/Quilted Maple awaited my inspection. I was mesmerized. Matthew's skill and craftmanship were clearly evident on both.
Matt went out of his way to help me select my dream guitar. We passed a pleasant afternoon, playing both instruments. This time, I couldn't miss! I wanted both, but parted ways (reluctantly) with the 2013.
The tone is warm and mellow, with plenty of energy and drive to exploit when I choose to. It has a full palette of sounds to explore. This guitar enhances every aspect of my playing. It intensifies my every move and mood.
It's a major accomplishment for Matt to imbue inanimate objects with such sensitivity. The 640 scale and perfect setup make phrasing and articulation effortless. Intonation is pitch perfect. Playing my Chaffin guitar has been a delight from day one, and it, like Matt, just gets better and better. This time it is a home run!"
-Catherine M. Fleming
"I am the proud owner of a Chaffin. I am not a professional but having one of Matt's guitars makes me want to practice because the action is so smooth, the tone is so even and strong over the whole fretboard, and the sound is so beautiful. My guitar makes me a better player."
-Ed Goldman |
Ann Arbor, Michigan