Welcome to the Bacorn Company Home Page


RatePoint Site Seal

Jeff Howlett on his JH-906

How does it sound? Perfect, I think. I wanted a true archtop that would sound good as an acoustic or an electric. The X-bracing makes it less bright and percussive than the Bill West model, more warm and resonant but still with a very articulate bass. Amplified, it very much retains its acoustic character, plus you can roll off the tone and cop a Wes sound if you like. I’m really impressed with the unplugged sound. It’s not a cannon like the flat-tops Roger builds, but it is the equal of any large-bodied archtop that I’ve played. Small body, big sound.
By the way, it was a pleasure dealing with Roger Bacorn on this build. He consulted me on every step of the process. He has a comprehensive knowledge of the history of American guitar-building, yet seems really excited about trying new designs. I recommend him highly if you have a custom project you want done.

Jeff Howlett

Click here to read more about the JH-906.

Click here to read the Harmony Central discussion forum about the JH-906.

Bill West on his BW-906

Friday, January 5, 2007

I have to admit to no small amount of plagiarism of other reviews. Most of your other reviews were much better written, more eloquent, and said exactly, and in the same words I like to use, the very points I wanted to make. I assumed my review is to be posted next to theirs and didn't want to parrot them. Also, your guitar review said similar things that were Germaine and to the point (short and sweet) and I didn't want to say that as well. So, I did my best to laud your work and my happiness with the guitar, with brevity. And, the review is mostly for others who visit your web site and I wanted to say what I could to encourage their business for you. Anyway, I've written guitar reviews for the Ibanez GB10 and Eastman AR805CE and this one was more heartfelt and sincere. But you know that.

Your work to get the new guitar on the internet was extremely well done. Feel free to give inquiring minds my email address. I'd be happy to discuss and endorse via email. We're both WHS Wolverine alumni. Makes us partners in 'crime.'

Bill - gwest56@comcast.net

Bill West with hiw custom BW-906
Click here to read more about the BW-906.

Scott Meyer on his 5 Sting Electric Mandolin

I received the mando yesterday.  It arrived in perfect shape from its trip.  I think the packaging was outstanding by the way. The 5 string is absolutely beautiful in craftsmanship.  It plays perfectly and I found it a joy to have the fifth C string.  I am playing it through a VOX amp and am amazed by how many textures of sound it has.  I am truly happy with the instrument.  Thanks so much for your talent in creating such a fine instrument."

Scott Meyer of Vermont

Click here to see the 5 String Mandolin

Martin Stewart, Scotland / Massachusetts.

Dear Roger,
I re-strung and tried out the ES335 for the first time at a band rehersal at the weekend. I have to say firstly that the reaction alone from the other band members was extraordinary and that was before I had even plugged it in !!!!!!!!! The clean sounds have a bell like chime and quality to them that is simply stunning and it filled the rehersal room in an almost surround sound like way. I should say that I use a stereo amplifier system. The sustain is never ending and the tone is sweet. I have found that the clean sounds cut through brilliantly either for lead or rhythm. Moving on to the lead sounds. What can I say, it sings like a bird, it's absolutely unbelievable. I have been playing for 26 years and I have tried most guitars but I have never experienced this kind of tone and feel. It's like I can feel it sustain through the neck of the guitar while I play. It has a very resonant quality which is very noticable even when not plugged in. I guess it just feels like you can hold a note forever. In short this guitar does everything, I can do Steely Dan type material, hard rock or Jazz. The dual sound from the push-pull option gives me a great Strat sound as well as a fluid liquid lead sound with unending sustain when used as a standard hunbucker. The playability and feel of the neck is great also. To summarise, I would recommend to anyone who is serious about their music having an instrument made by you. Your approach and expertise are world class. I got exactly what I wanted and them some !! This is just the start for this instrument it will mature like a fine whiskey or wine and will only get sweeter as it gets older. This is a family heirloom that I will pass down.

Thanks Roger.
Martin Stewart

Click here to see the Carved Maple 335

James Meyer

Hi Roger....
Just a quick note to say thanks!! I restrung the beast with some new strings and tuned her up, and been playing the hell out of it. It sounds great!! You are the master of tone.

James Meyer

Click here to see the Alrite Mandolin

Jim Lawrence - Refinished 1966 Fender Mustang

April 28, 2003

Roger refinished my 1966 Fender Mustang bass guitar, and did an absolutely fabulous job. I feel like I just walked into a music store and 1966 and just bought this baby off the shelf brand new. It looks fantastic, and I could not be happier. Roger also finished the job quicker than I ever expected, and told me exactly what he did throughout the process, so I felt well-informed, and learned a lot. It was very comforting to work with someone who knows exactly what he is doing, and knows how to get the desired results. Roger's work defines what the word "professional" means, and with heart!

Jim Lawrence


Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown - Carved Maple 335

The guitar sounds great...I've fell in love with it!
Beautiful tone and playability.


Click here to see the Carved Maple 335


Travis - 5 String Mandolin

Subject: Got it!!! Date: 5/31/02
From: Travis Straughan
To: Roger Bacorn

What an incredible sound. It's way better than I expected. The
sound is sooooo full and warm. All my buddies in are in for a treat!!


Click here to see the 5 String Mandolin

Ron Ault - M1 Mandolin

Subject: M1!! Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 10:37:25 -0500
From: Ron Ault
To: Roger Bacorn

Got the mandolin!!! I LOVE IT!!! It's EXACTLY what I wanted and expected. I love the finish and the painting/staining, it's perfect. Overall it's perfect. The sound is great too. It has plenty of volume, and a very sweet tone. The neck width is perfect (nut with). The V shape is perfect. The depth of the neck is exactly what I asked for. It's a beautiful instrument. I'm absolutely delighted with it. After playing and owning a bunch of F-5 and A style mandolins, this instruments embodies all of the desirable qualities of both, but has a unique quality that I'm thrilled with. From an engineering point of view, it makes sense! It has the MAGIC combination of volume and projection and tone! The appointments are perfect for me. I love the minimalist quality of the instrument. The wood is the hero! Your craftsmanship is superb! I couldn't be happier. If someone were to offer me an F mandolin of my choice in trade for this mandolin I wouldn't do it. There is really something very fulfilling about having an instrument custom made especially for you!

Ron Ault

Click here to see the M1 Mandolin

Andrew Collins - Mandocello

Subject: photos and critique Date:Sun, 17 Oct 1999 12:32:46 PDT
From: Andrew Collins
To: Roger Bacorn

Bacorn Instruments has demonstrated proficiency in creating a tonally balanced player friendly instrument. The design and creation process included my participation and continual communication - ensuring that I would have the instrument I desired. While being solid in construction, the mandocello is aesthetically superb and proves how exceptional a new instrument can sound. This is truly a players instrument! I greatly enjoyed the time and money spent with Roger Bacorn. I would recommend the experience to any serious musician or one who has an appreciation for fine instruments.

Your friend,
Andrew Collins

Click here to see the Mandocello

Pete Adam - 5 String Mandolin

Dear Roger,
It is with great pleasure and joy that I write to you so soon after receiving my mandolin. It arrived yesterday as promised and encased such that the delivery truck could have backed over it and not harmed it! Normally I would be uncomfortable conducting business over the phone for such a personal investment as a custom built instrument. But after talking to you numerous times and studying your web pages I felt confident that you had not only the ability but the integrity to build a quality instrument. I opened the case, brought it to pitch and immediately compared it to my other 5 string electric. Not only did it have a far superior tone but it sustained and fretted like a classic jazz guitar many, many times its cost. The finish was flawless, the specs were exact, and the craftsmanship was that of a luthier - not an "instrument builder". I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with "Dusty Drapes and the Dusters" for 5+ years. During that time we share the stage with Asleep at the Wheel, Johnny Gimble, Hank Thompson, Merle Haggard, and Jerry Lee Lewis. I personally can add Johnny Paycheck, Norton Buffalo, Mike Bloomfield and the Judds to my list of people with whom I have performed. This list is by no means meant to impress you or your future clients. It is meant rather to let them know that I am well aware of what goes into a quality instrument and that I would not endorse nor play one that I didn't like. In closing I admit that I am a frustrated jazz and swing guitarist who got stuck on fiddle, keyboards and mandolin years ago and never learned guitar. As a result I always wanted a "guitar" that I could fret and play, hence the 5 strung electric mandolin. The fact that you made for me a Les Paul brings my dream to a close. Please feel free to use the endorsement any way that you choose. Thank you again and I hope to meet and play with you sometime!

Very truly yours,
Pete Adams

Click here to see the 5 String Mandolin

Steve Wood - FL5 Mandolin

From: Steve Wood
Date: Tue, 01 Feb 2000 13:13 -0500
To: Roger Bacorn

I am so pleased with my new FL-5 mandolin. Not only is it a beautiful piece of art, it has a quality of workmanship and tone that far exceeds anything in its price range. I looked at many excellent mandolins and was surprised at the number of custom builders I found. The majority had pretty much the same to offer, a get what you get F-5 copy. The FL-5 has to be the coolest mandolin I've seen since the mega-buck Monteleone Radio Flyer. How refreshing it was to see someone offer something besides an F-5 copy in a price range which wasn't ridiculous. In addition, I was immediately impressed with the fact you gave me a clean slate to work with. Every detail of the mandolin was my choice. Your patient and understanding throughout the building process is highly commendable. I am continually amazed how this instrument exceeds my expectations. You truly have a gift. From the first time I chopped this thing, I knew I had something special. I genuinely feel privileged to own my Bacorn FL-5. The handful of people that I've showed it to so far all have the same reaction, "Who did you say built that mandolin?" I am proud to say, "Roger Bacorn". Thanks again.

Your Friend,
Steve Wood

Click here to see the M1 Mandolin

Vote on new design
E-Mail a Friend Bookmark with Delicious Share on Facebook Digg it! Bookmark with Google NewsVine


Repairs & Restorations