2019 Mark Whitebook


2019 Mark Whitebook

  • Model: JTS

  • Origin: USA

  • Woods: Spruce / Brazilian Rosewood

  • Scale: 25 1/4 in. Nut Width: 1 11/16 in.

  • Finish: Lacquer

The legendary luthier Mark Whitebook has recently returned to guitar building after putting his tools in storage in 1980. Having built around 70 guitars in the 70’s, his list of clients during that time is astounding and reads like a top music chart of the era: artists like James Taylor, Carly Simon, John McLaughlin, Linda Ronstadt, Phil Keaggy, and Clarence White.

In late 2014, Whitebook, after 35 years, made the decision to being building again; but this time without an order list, without customization, and without timelines. He wanted to build instruments free from the constraints of clients waiting in the wings and instead wanted to focus on building according to his inspiration and desires. Whitebook has set his sights on reaching 99 guitars built before he hangs up the shingle for good.

This JTS spruce top is #96 of the proposed 99 guitars that Mark is building. The body style is a modification of a tracing of a Marcelo Barbero classical guitar (which belonged to Mark’s Flamenco teacher). The upper bout radius was shorten and pulled in to meet the neck at the 14th fret making it both accessible and incredibly comfortable to play. The guitar features beautiful wood out of Whitebook’s original wood stores which includes a stunning Brazilian rosewood neck. The sound is sweet, balanced, and wholly unique. We love when a guitar comes in the shop and has a completely new voice and sound. Whitebook is a true master of the craft and has loaded this guitar with exquisite detail and refinement.

Speaking about his love of guitar wood and inlay shell in his fantastic interview on the Fretboard Journal Podcast, Whitebook said, “My job as a luthier is to do them justice.” 

Well, he has certainly done that with this gorgeous Brazilian rosewood, spruce top JTS.