I’ve been what I call a decent guitar player for almost twenty years. Even after several years in school for jazz guitar, I was only decent, not terrific. However, that never stopped me from loving and playing the best guitars. I am partly a gear-head but also convinced a great guitar can elevate, or the very least, inspire one’s abilities and willpower to want to practice and be better. Up until a fateful late-night Google search of Luthiers close to my home of New York City, I thought I had been playing the best, or at least the barometer of which all other guitars are judged: the Martin HD-28. I’ve had this beauty for almost 15 years. It was one of six at the store at which I bought it, and it sounded the best of the lot. I’ve accumulated other great guitars including a custom Tom Anderson Hollow Body Telecaster, a Gibson Montana Custom shop J-60, and a Taylor 914ce. As far as Luthiers, I had heard of the famous shops whose prices are in the upper 4 to 5 digits. I’ve played most of them at demos or in stores. The idea of owning a custom acoustic was always intriguing, but financially out of reach. However, on that fateful night of Google searching, I found what would elevate my perception of high quality instruments. That search led me to Bill Russo, and I am incredibly thankful for finding him. First and foremost, Bill is a stand-up guy who I found myself calling unnecessarily and frequently… Please Click Here To Read More…

~ Harrison Hughes

I have been playing guitar for many years and I can easily say that Bill Russo is the most talented guitar maker I have ever had the pleasure of meeting… And when I say guitar maker, I am including the big names (Taylor, Martin, etc.) Bill’s service and expertise is second to none and I feel privileged to own one of his guitars. I highly recommend Bill over anyone for a guitar that you will never want to stop playing. Thank you Bill for all that you have done for me and I continue to look forward to more guitars from you!

~ John Lotwick

I was in the market for new acoustic guitar and was doing research by scouring the internet — not uncommon these days. There were various criteria that I wanted fulfilled by my choice, and it was becoming apparent that none of the offerings satisfied all of them — especially in a reasonable price range. Then I turned to the idea of a custom build; I forget exactly how I discovered William Russo Custom Guitars — one quickly loses track of the thread of links online. Upon finding his website, it was the beginning of the end of my quest. I contacted Bill and we started a great exchange of ideas and suggestions which made the whole process fun and satisfying. The end result is stunning and I am extremely pleased with it.

Here are some things to consider if you are in the market for an acoustic guitar: there are guitar companies that make their products in the USA (one of my criteria) …. by machines; this does not do justice to the wood which should have the human touch of a luthier to bring out its full potential. Also, the specs of factory guitars are given and you have to live with that; the same with woods and coloring, etc. However, when you have a craftsman, like Bill Russo, listen to you and understand you so that he can use his skill to work with the wood to achieve the desired result — that is the best.

Sure, you could go to a factory custom shop … but the price soon moves beyond the reach of the average guitar player. A guitar from WR Custom Guitars is not only competitively priced, what you get for the money is head and shoulders above what the factories offer. You get a fine musical instrument to your specs (select tone woods treated with respect, scalloped braces, etc.), and you get to support a skilled craftsman make a living …. its good all around.

~ J. Fritz, Dayton, Ohio

My teenage son and I built a guitar with Bill in the builder’s workshop. Wonderful experience for my son and I that we will never forget. Bill is as honest, straightforward, kind man as you’ll find anywhere. He guided us through the work with patience and made sure we paid attention to detail. We had a fantastic experience and now have an unbelievably nice guitar, custom built to our specs. It’s pure pride to see my son make it sing. We’ve had it for over a year now and the longer he has it, the more he loves it. We’ve played it against guitars costing thousands more and it’s right there. This guitar is now a prized possession and a family heirloom.

~ Rick & JT Greene

This guitar is really a machine! The first time I picked it up and felt the weight of it I didn’t think it would be what I was looking for–but I started playing it and found it to be louder than any other guitar I’ve ever played. Not only was I surprised with the weight, but the tone blew me away!  It has a certain deep warmth but doesn’t fail to give out some bright high notes.  It’s like the best of both worlds.  I really love my guitar and I plan on keeping it as my first professional quality instrument ever. I have yet to play something that honestly compares in any normal guitar store without mortgaging a house. This guitar is beyond its price in both value and playability.

~ Zaq Stiles, Hebron, Maine

Bill is meticulous in his attention to detail. Where else are you going to get features like scalloped bracing for this price? His guitars are not only beautiful-sounding, but are aesthetically captivating. Upon close inspection of the interior of his guitars, you’ll notice that they are as pristine as the exterior. You won’t find any excess glue protruding from underneath the braces or the ribbon. I wish I could say the same about my $2,000 Taylor!

~ Grant Durrell, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

The phrase “If you can dream it, he can build it.” best describes the passion and skills that Bill puts into making the guitar of a lifetime. I approached Bill with my ideas for the guitar I always wanted and he turned those ideas into an instrument that was beyond my expectations. I’ve enjoyed playing guitar all my life and have been fortunate to have owned and played some of the best guitars produced by the major companies. The guitar Bill crafted for me surpasses any of those. It’s exciting to be able to have an instrument made to your own specifications with the knowledge that the craftsman doing the work is one of the very best. His attention to detail, not only in making the guitar, but in understanding what I was looking for made the experience that much more exceptional. If you’ve always wanted that “Guitar Of Your Dreams” then get in touch with Bill Russo and let him make it possible. Thanks for everything Bill!

~ Mike Bonesteel, Clifton Park, New York

“Songs of the Wood” is a good way to describe these guitars. These new WR Guitars are awesome, great tone, balance and volume from tried-and-true tone woods, but what really makes the difference is the precision construction and setup from the hands of a true craftsman and musician.

~ Craig Hutchinson, Wilton, Maine

The sweet smell of Indian Rosewood, the feel of a sharp chisel as it glides along effortlessly, the sound of sandpaper shaping and smoothing, these unexpected pleasures I learned while taking Bill Russo’s guitar making class. Initially, I doubted whether my meager woodworking experience would be enough to build a guitar. With Bill’s guidance and instruction I dove into it and found that I loved it! I never dreamed that I would end up with such a beautiful instrument.

My Triple 000 looks and plays as well or better than most guitars I find in music stores. When my friends look at it and listen to it they ask “You built that?” Sometimes I have a hard time believing it myself. I’ve been an amateur musician for over 40 years and this is one of the best musical experiences I’ve had. The experience was well worth it and I would highly recommend it.

~ John Valencia, Sabattus, Maine

I’ve known Bill for many years and watched him assemble this shop and this business piece-by-piece with not only meticulous attention to quality and detail, but with a passion unmatched for music and the craft of building custom acoustic guitars. I’ve seen it all from Day 1 and Guitar 1, and the thing about Bill is that he makes it all about you. He is both a master craftsman and a humble servant, and working with him on any project is a great experience.

~ Eric Bryant, Auburn, Maine

Bill with Mike Bonesteel of Clifton Park NY

Bill with Mike Bonesteel of Clifton Park NY