Being both a woodworker and a working musician in 1972, Steve Grimes found himself fascinated by the prospect of combining these two professions. After studying with a violin maker and working in the instrument repair trade, he set up his own shop in Seattle, Washington and began making arch top mandolins. For the first two years he made mandolins exclusively, subsidizing his new venture by doing repairs on all types of string instruments. When he was able to increase production of new instruments and get them into the hands of some good players he was finally able to devote himself fully to building new instruments. In 1974 he began making archtop guitars and in 1982,he moved his shop to its present location in Kula, Hawaii.
Grimes Guitars is a relatively small shop producing instruments slowly and meticulously by hand. Close attention to detail, such as tuning top and back plates, often missing in production guitars, is fundamental in each instrument. The advantage to building a few instruments at a time from start to finish is being able to control the response and tonal characteristics as each instrument progresses. His Jazz Nouveau model is built with an arched top and flat back. Steve offers an array of instruments including flat tops, mandolins and ukulele’s in many different forms. If it has strings, Steve can build it.
Steve has built instruments for some of the top players in the world including George Benson, Larry Coryell and Steve Miller, to name a few. He specializes in tailoring his guitars to suit the tonal, aesthetic, and playability requirements of his customers. He recently celebrated the making of his 1000th instrument.
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