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Hi Tom and All Who are "guilty by association":

The Halfling Jazz Guitar I ordered arrived on Friday the 5th, and I have spent the betterpart of the past few days getting acquainted, and letting the initial excitement subside. What to say? The thing absolutely glows and shimmers, both physically and acoustically. I am trying hard here not to be a "wood nazi", but the quality of finish and materials on my instrument are visually narcotic, and they exceed the beauty that the construction photos implied.

Each and every moment out of the case seems to offer something new and delightful to enjoy and discover. I am so glad to have chosen the light golden finish that you have executed so beautifully. The finish simply radiates warmth under any and all available light.

So it is sure Be-ooot-iful!

Obvious great setup, action and everything else technical.....But.....the real deal boils down to what happens when I finger something as simple as a 3 finger "D" chord and let it ring out......Sustain, resonance, and harmonic qualities that equal those of my very favorite older instruments. I cannot imagine how good this thing will sound in a few years time....

Thank you all so much for applying your energies and heart to creating such a magnificent instrument.

Your Friend,

Peter Sumpf

Hi Tom,

No hurry, it can certainly wait. Sounds like you have your hands full and I'm sure I can find a gig bag around here. I love the bass. I stayed up all night again getting to know it, and I'm ready for a few hours sleep. I can't imagine returning the bass at this point so we'll just consider this one sold. The bass is full of fresh revelations and surprises, and to think that it is capable of so much at just a couple of weeks age. What will it be capable of in a month? A year? A decade? That is the definition of a great instrument, one that develops along side the artist playing it. It is inspiring me to practice more than I have in years just to see how deep the nuance retrieval goes. I imagine that this bass will always stay ahead of me in that regard. And that is the true measure of greatness in an instrument. Again, thank you for all you did to make this happen. I'm hoping to return to a long and reasonably successful career using your bass.

Chris McMahon

Ok, I've had a chance to test drive the new Monterey for a few hours and I must say it is absolutely fabulous - I was praying it could be as good as my old honey blonde one but I believe this one even surpasses that one - I find this one a bit more responsive and has a more balanced tone - I really don't see how you've built it a bit heavier, the acoustic sound is just fabulously sweet without any of the bright, brittle loudness that so many modern luthiers build into their instruments - I guess they do this to try and impress people with volume at guitar shows...

Anyway, I'm thrilled with this guitar and it's everything I could have hoped it to be, I even have grown to like the color (I just adore your honey blonde ones), it's a rich, unique, warm color and looks beautiful. Fit, finish and workmanship are exemplary, as expected, and the fretwork is superb, a better job can simply not be done. I wouldn't change a thing on it, and am thrilled with my purchase - kudos to everyone there and the whole crew who touched it on the way from lumber to finished instrument.

Morey Richmand


I got the guitar home last night and was able to play it this evening. It's a great sounding instrument and I'm very pleased. And it's gorgeous, as well. Thanks so much for the time and attention.

Best wishes,

Rich Shapero


I thought that you would like to know that I absolutely love this guitar! I sat down and played it for 2 hours last night and found that I could not put it down. The longer I played it the more delicious it became. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to buy it!



Hi Tom,

The guitar arrived Friday in good shape. Very good wrapping! I took it out for a first look. Not what I had envisioned for Honey Blonde! It was maybe a bit too orange or cherry for me. It took me a few days to get used to it. However, I would state that this is much better as it transition so nicely with the sides. I just have to get used to it. The degrade looked wonderful. Such a wonderful job for top and back.

The neck is simply put a perfection. It felt home as soon as I grabbed it. Never that feeling before. Again the finite level is beyond belief. My brother was stunned, as I still am.

Soundwise, I think it felt better than all the guitars I have ever tried, including some of yours. It is loud but with such balance and finesse. I know it will open up and get a bit fuller in time, so no worries there. That guitar is such a pleasure to play with. I did not have to change anything, the action was perfect, the alignment too. I am really enjoying playing the instrument and listening to the music.

Again, I would like to thank you and tell you how much I appreciate your dedication and talent. That guitar is truly extraordinary and met and exceeded my expectations.




The guitar is great! It needs to be played, a job that I willingly sign up for!

Tom, I can't express how satisfied I am. Your work is extraordinary. It looks great and feels great. It sounds great, needs to be broken in, and I really like the pickups. The setup is great for my playing style. I haven't been able to put it down.

Again, thanks for the privilege of owning part of your life's work!

Michael Galane

Dear Tom,

It arrived yesterday (only because backlot security opens and inspects everything). It was in perfect condition so far as I can tell and looks and plays beautifully. I could not be more pleased.

I hope to see you again, perhaps next year at Healdsburg and in the interim I have become a full-time Ribbecke-acolyte/preacher.

Best of Luck to you and best wishes,


Dear Tom,

What can I say? The guitar is a masterpiece!!! No one can get it out of my hand---even though I have so much work to do!!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!! Its a beauty-----what an artist you truly are!

Mark Mancina