Reviews & Testimonials

When I think of the absolute nexus of modern guitar construction, only a few names come to mind.  Johan Gustavsson is always at the forefront.  With his flagship Bluesmaster model he has cracked the code.  Somehow, the best attributes of what makes a great vintage guitar great are consistently and reliably delivered in Johan's models.

- Justin Jurman



"This is an anecdote about my Gustavsson Bluesmaster that I have told more
than once... My friend and I were sitting around going thru a number of
humbucker guitars -  very high end stuff, including 1964 ES-335 and a number
of other PAF equipped vintage instruments. It was intense as we A/B-ed these
guitars and we were listening hard. Then I pulled out the Bluesmaster,
plugged in, and started to play. The tension just broke wide open as we
heard something WAY beyond the other guitars and we both spontaneously
started to laugh! Just more resonance, more substance to each note, more
bloom, larger than life! That's Gustavsson guitars!!! ...

- Hugh H. Canada"



I have had my wonderful JG Bluesmaster for over 3 years now and I still love it, maybe even more than when I first got it! Although I have owned and played countless real Bursts and other vintage Les Pauls since the 1970s, I am always happy to strap on my Bluesmaster and kick out the jams. The resonation is incredible, and the feel of the guitar is so natural and nice that I forget what guitar I am playing, and simply enjoy the music we make. I never regret playing it over one of my Bursts, and if I had to live with this as my only guitar, I would be very happy! Yes, it is really that good!! I firmly believe that the value of a guitar is measured by how much I like it. For me, my Bluesmaster is greater in value than the price I paid for it. It is a world class guitar with no equals that I have found.

- Tom Wittrock 



Old world build techniques, and the genius of Johan, have created, for me, a guitar for the ages.
It just keeps getting better and better, the more I play it.

- Charles Daughtry



"My sole JG encounter left me pretty much speechless...there was an immediate physical connection that bordered on the spiritual...it really was something."

- Tom Darian



Hi Johan,

hope the autumn finds you well.

Man, the Futuremaster just keeps on inspiring me, and catching peoples ears... I just took it to Warsaw, Poland, Basel, Switzerland and now we're in France playing a festival. It's going with me to the states for a week in the studio next month, for a new record from singer Tad Robinson.

The guitar is really something special. Thanks again for what you do.

- Alex Schultz



i've been working with johan since 2002. he was operating at an extremely high level, at that point. 

he's indulged my most demanding proclivities for "the perfect instrument" and has built me a number of extraordinary instruments. 

these exceptional and irreplaceable instruments get worked daily, in service of my musical endeavors. 

we've also developed a great and powerful friendship over the past decade. it's been such an immense pleasure to share his gifts with my guitar playing crew, as well as the world at large. 

i can state with absolute conviction, having received the prototype dotmaster in spring of 2012, (incomprehensible as it may be) that he's actually raised the bar even further. 

  • amazing player. 
  • amazing builder. 
  • amazing human. 

g#d bless you, johan!

- Matte Henderson



Despite its originality and the improved ergonomics of the design, there's not a single curve, bevel, or appointment present on the Bluesmaster that wouldn't be right at home back in the golden days at Kalamazoo.  Johan's certainly the only luthier out there that's breaking the mold by staying so well within it.  

 - Jason



"Johan Gustavsson breathes the rarified air of the greatest guitar makers past and present.  I’m a professional guitarist who has been able to own and play some of the finest guitars ever made – from vintage ’59 Bursts, to Holy Grail Strats, to D’Aquistos, to spectacular contemporary instruments from today’s masters.  I truly feel that Gustavsson guitars stand alongside any of the greatest guitars I've ever played"   

- Craig Snyder



"My first experience with a JG was one kindly loaned to me.  I kept it for a month and A/B'd it against my vintage Les Paul conversion, high end PRS guitars and Baker guitars.  That extended trial period showed me how special the BluesMaster was.  It played as well as my conversions and was even more articulate and just as resonant as a 50s Les Paul

Since then I've held JG's in the highest regard.  I've played about a dozen and to me they are the pinnacle of modern humbucking guitars."

-Nigel Lall


 

We are living in a very special time. There are more top notch luthiers and their beautiful guitars available now than ever before. For me Johan is at the top of the heap. While his guitars are finished impeccably, their tone and playability exceed their vintage/modern aesthetic. Prior to playing Bluesmasters I was a pretty hard core vintage user. Now I cannot go a job without my JG. Very special instruments keep giving and giving. Every gig or session I keep getting more from Johan’s guitars. These indeed are very special instruments.

-Pete Faragher


 

When I bought my 2005 JG '59 Bluesmaster, I got three different types of feeling.

The first one was when I looked it...... It was gorgeous, absolutely stunning in every aspect. It was love in the first sight.... The second feeling was when I touched it..... The playability was remarkable, the "feeling of the guitar" was terrific, my hands and fingers melt into the neck and fingerboard. I searched every inch on the guitar and it looked vintage, old in a good way, like a 50 years old instrument without be played.

So, I went to the third and final steep, I played it..... It was beyond describing, the only thing that I really remembered was my happiness after 2 hours of playing (at least) when I put it down. It's a joy to look, feel and play..... Thanks JG!!!

-Oz Hofstatter


 

It’s easy to see, looking at photographs, that Johan Gustavsson knows how to make a guitar with that old LP look, and in person the guitars are even more stunning. However, of all the builders working within the vintage LP recipe, Johan is the one who comes closest to achieving that ineffable feel that the best guitars that came out of Kalamazoo in the ‘50s have. Maybe it’s the lacquer. Maybe it’s the neck shape. Maybe it’s the carve of the top. More likely it’s the sum of all of these elements, plus Johan’s experience and deep knowledge of what makes a vintage LP tick. At the same time the Bluesmaster is very much its own guitar rather than just another LP wannabe. Its voice is rich and nuanced, with hints of “335” and “ Telecaster™” in the mix. I have a lot of great guitars, both old and new, around the house. My Bluesmaster is what I invariably choose when I want that Old Kalamazoo essence. Johan is one of that handful of builders who truly understands how to make wood sing. Every one of Johan's guitars I have played (and I have played more than a handful) has been one of those instruments that inspires me to want to play for hours and hours without ever coming up for air or taking a coffee break.

-Kingsley Durant