I have owned and played a James Lister guitar for over one year so have had plenty of time to reflect on it as a concert instrument. It has been used for recitals, concerts with a classical/jazz/metal fusion group, functions and recording.
Following meticulous testing and conversing with James I placed an order. During the making process he was always very friendly and enthusiastic in discussing the process and even provided detailed pictures of the various stages.
Since the arrival of my Lister the other guitars I own have been hardly used and I now plan to sell a concert guitar (Jose Ramirez 1a) I thought I would never part with. The versatility, depth of sound and quality of the instrument are all hard to fault - close to perfection in almost every department, and I am an enormously fussy player!
Many well known professional classical guitarists have commented on the sound quality and one of them has even borrowed it for a recent recording session. Since its purchase several people I know have placed an order which confirms to me that James Lister is already an English guitar maker of great significance whose name should be on your 'to try' shortlist. I will not hesitate to order another in the near future.
It is very rare to read a description of a guitar that lives up to the expectation it creates. James' guitars are not just beautifully crafted instruments, they sound and play better than just about any other hand-made Guitars I have ever played. They are warm but with a clear singing treble. They are very even, without any dead spots, every note sustains beautifully making the instruments a joy to play and to listen to.
I have performed recitals and made recordings with my Lister Guitar. In the concert room it projects superbly well and when recording required no attention from the mixing desk to make the instrument sound well balanced.
I have recently acquired a wonderful guitar from James Lister. This is a maple instrument which is perhaps out of the norm, but in my view has a better tone and sustain that rosewood. I have owned quite a few well respected makes of guitar over the last forty years including guitars by Fleta and Ramirez. I can honestly say that without doubt this is up there and above there with the others. The craft and finish of this truly hand made guitar is perfect, and above all the sound is beautiful, smooth across the entire range, bass profound but subtle, trebles lively but not shrieking, fast to play and a real joy to own. This is a broad, wide subtle instrument full of passion and discretion made by a man who loves the guitar and it shows. I encourage anyone looking to buy a special instrument to go and see James, you will not be disappointed.
I had my new Lister Guitar for over two months now, I must say it's a beautiful instrument, and very comfortable to play. The intonation is dead on. The volume is great, the sense of security and control allows you to concentrate more on the music. The tone is rich, and still improving and growing, the basses are firm and focused, the trebles are sweet, the balance is maintained through all the registers, with great sustain "cello like" that makes this guitar very enjoyable to play.
It was a pleasure to try James' guitar, it really was very impressive. I've heard a lot of guitars by relatively young or unknown builders, and this one far exceeds the typical level I hear. Very nice instrument, I'm sure he'll do very well with them!
I have to say that the guitar you made for me is the most beautiful instrument I have ever seen. It is just stunning. It will not be the last. It sounds fantastic and I am so delighted. Thankyou!!!
Safe guitar reached me today. I was satisfied with the very wonderful finish. I played a sonata of Weiss immediately but this guitar is very wonderful. This wonderful guitar has the timbre which fits their music very much.
Having tried guitars from various luthiers when I was considering buying a handmade guitar, James Lister's certainly stood out! The high quality of his instruments was affirmed when I visited him and his workshop. He takes great care in all aspects of his work, and is (very rightly!) pleased with his guitars.
My Hauser model guitar has been essential in my musical and technical development. (Particularly gratifying as finalist music student!) It allows me to create a very wide range of colours, and is suited to any genre of musical styles. A truly playable instrument, and very handsome-looking too!