My favourite guitar – Howe Orme

Is this the best acoustic guitar in the world?


Me pal Seth Tinsley made this very nice video featuring my 1890’s Howe Orme. We both fell in love with this guitar – it’s magnificent.  I bought it a couple of years back after searching for some 15 years or so.

Well worth the wait.


It’s an old guitar but despite being over 100 years old it’s still perfectly playable thanks to the clever design.

howe orme neck join


The neck is attached to the body by a small metal hinge (yes, a hinge) and a wood dowel. Two capstan bolts (piano action adjusters) allow you to set the neck to whatever you fancy.


Howe orme


The Adirondack spruce top has a couple of obvious repairs but apart from that, it’s in fine condition. The bridge is made of fruitwood, dyed black, the saddle is fretwire.

This is one of those cylinder top guitars I keep banging on about that have inspired my work the last few years. Who ever came up with the concept was a very lateral and clear thinker. It’s all very logical a kind of forgotten format of guitar making which I feel is actually better than much of the work done since.

Almost everyone who plays it asks where they can get one. Well, they crop up on eBay from time to time, but keep in mind, there will be me and half a dozen other “enthusiasts” (nutters?) chasing it!


Howe Orme Rio