Frans Elferink’s Excalibur

I wanted to commission a new all-acoustic, non-cutaway, archtop guitar from a European luthier, and after much deliberation chose luthier Frans Elferink [WEBSITE] of Holland to make it for me. I say after much deliberation, as there are a few world-class archtop luthiers in Europe, equal to the best of the American school. The reason I chose Frans Elferink is because he seemed to immediately grasp where I was coming from, what I was looking for. He also has a deep practical knowledge of historical archtop guitars, as any of his FaceBook friends will attest. He knows.

Here are some great photos of the guitar. I like that it has my name on the body, under the fretboard…






The key thing for me was to have the instrument conceived from the outset as an acoustic guitar, no pickups, and no design features to combat feedback. I also asked for a vintage aesthetic, old-school varnish. The result is a stunning guitar, both visually and acoustically.

Frans Elferink is clearly a top-level luthier. Why not pay his website a visit?

Here’s the first video, made not long after getting the guitar out of the case and tuned up. I make a few mistakes, but I’m just exploring the possibilities of the instrument:

Guitar Details

Model Excalibur Special 18” noncutaway
Body size 45,7cm (18”) measured across lower bout
Body depth 85mm
Scale 63,5cm ( 25”)
Neck width at nut 45mm
Top Solid handcarved and tuned European spruce
Top bracing patern X
Back Hand carved solid flamed European maple
Rims Solid flamed European maple
Neck Flamed maple
Fingerboard Ebony
Headstock Pickguard Ebony
TailPiece Ebony
Adjustable Bridge Ebony
Binding top 7 ply celluloid binding
Binding back 1 ply celluloid binding
Binding fingerboard 3 ply celluloid binding
Binding f holes 2 ply celluloid binding
Binding headstock 3 ply celluloid binding
Binding pickguard 1 ply celluloid binding
Inlays block inlay on fingerboard
Tuners Schaller gold with ebony buttons
Floating pickup – none
Finish Taditional nitrocellulose lacquer (high gloss)
Colour Tobacco sunburst
Case Hiscox case

5 thoughts on “Frans Elferink’s Excalibur”

  1. Rob, I have been watching your you tube material – very nice, thank you, I hope you continue the effort. I’m sure many people will appreciate your art. I wrote you about a year ago telling about growing up in
    St. Louis, knowing Mel Bay, and working through most of his material, and later teaching it. We really like the same kind of music. Do you still like the Elferink ? I’m seriously thinking about one. I wish there is a place in the states near me so I could try one out. Will you sell me a copy of Lonely Moments or should I Try else where? You do know how to find the stuff. Buy the way, my wive’s ancestors were from the New Hebrides. Her maiden name was Morrison. Does that sound Scotch.
    Thanks so much, Mike Matthews




    1. Hi Mike. I’ve no idea where my copy of Lonely Moments is. I probably gave it to a student, and never got it back. Will I ever learn?!
      Elferink makes great instruments. You will not be disappointed. If you are, just send it to me 🙂
      Yes, Morrison is Scots – “Scotch” is a drink!


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