“A passionate master craftsman. That’s how I’d describe Richard Lucas in a few words.”
In 2016 I decided I needed my “Dream Guitar”.
I spent a lot of time researching my options and found a few likely candidates, however none of the off-the-shelf high-end guitars had everything I wanted.
My journey resulted in me crossing paths with Richard Lucas from Lucas Guitar. From the first meeting I immediately felt comfortable – Richard understood what I wanted and was very consultative and thorough in his approach.
My build was definitely challenging and unique, however Richard relished the challenge at hand. His ability to learn and master new techniques amazed me. He undertook the build with the attitude “Nothing is impossible”.
The result is a functioning piece of art with the precision of a Swiss watch. From the first moment I picked up my guitar it felt part of me and was instantly comfortable to play. The key word is “Custom”, no off the shelf guitar – even the custom-shop variants – are truly “Custom”.
If you want your “Dream Guitar” to become a reality Richard Lucas is THE MAN. An artisan and perfectionist with a can-do attitude.
Thank you Richard my dream has now come to life.John Galanis
It was the never ending search for tone that eventually brought me to Lucas Guitars. I wanted something beefy and full of attack but I figured while I was at it why not make something as sturdy as it sounded – many a guitar have I run into the ground with my boisterous playing.
Richard was great. Right from the start he took the time to hear my vision and help hone it into a reality. No stone was left unturned as he delved into my influences, my playing style, even my physiology, to ensure that not only were my wants as a guitarist met, but also the needs that I had never even considered. He was full of suggestions and insights every step of the way and the build was an exhilarating process with regular updates keeping me excited.
I couldn’t be happier with the final product; a beautifully crafted riff machine with plenty of bite and a sturdy build that fits in my hands like it was built for me – because it was.Tristan Higgins
I’ve been playing for over half my life my now and in that time I have owned and played a truly disgusting number of guitars. The more I played, the more I learnt and developed. The more I developed, the more I required out of my instrument to make the most of how I wanted to play it. I tried for years to find the perfect match, but a mass produced off the shelf build may only be 70% of what I need. After many years and a small fortune in purchases, repairs, modifications, adjustments, and so on, I was approached by a man who woke me out of the cycle, and brought me into the world of the true artist.
It was a blessing and privilege to be able to sit down with Richard and talk tones, speeds, feels, looks, and have that translated into woods, radius’, dimensions, materials and finishes. I didn’t realise how much I needed from a guitar, until I was told exactly what I could get.
The rest is history, and an exciting journey down a path from which there is no return. I was involved in each level of design, and present for all the glorious triumphs and events. I witness a lump of wood transform into a weapon of beauty. I was so satisfied and informed by the adventure I feel as if I created the beast myself.
I admire these instruments. They are gorgeous to behold, magnificent to play, and heavenly (or hellish) to listen to. I adore them for what they are, but I love them because they are mine.Andrew Hudson
A passionate master craftsman. That’s how I’d describe Richard Lucas in a few words. I’m the lucky and very happy recipient of Richard’s latest custom built guitar. I first emailed Richard last December about a custom build, asking what I hoped were intelligent questions. He promptly replied and suggested I visit him in his workshop to have a look and talk about my guitar. I met a friendly guy who was passionate, and knowledgeable, about building great guitars out of beautiful timbers. We quickly got down to business and after a highly enjoyable and informative 90 minutes, I went away with a good idea of what Richard had in mind for me. Prototype body and headstock designs soon arrived. Richard was happy to take my suggestions on board and the whole process was highly collaborative.
Once we’d settled on a design I was happy with, Richard set to work, keeping me informed by email and Facebook posts about his progress. It was thrilling to see the guitar take shape from the 4 pieces of timber Richard selected to the beautiful instrument you can see on this page. The design and build quality are first class and I couldn’t be happier.Bob Agnew
Now before I say anything about the treatment, I must mention that every time I’ve gotten my Les Paul Custom back from Richard it has looked and felt like a completely new guitar of the shelf, apart from the irremovable buckle rash of course.
With that bit of house keeping out of the way…
I was happy with the way my LP played, happy in an ignorant way, content in the way that a man who’s only drank slightly warm stale VB before discovering refrigerated Heineken. Despite my naivety I wondered, what might it be like to have strings above the 12th fret that weren’t a centimetre off the fret board or maybe to not have my G, B and E strings sound like a sitar. I knew about truss rods and bridge height and so forth but there was something more elusive happening.
It didn’t take long at all for Richard to notice. In fact in one of our first dealings together he said ‘Tom I’d highly recommend a fret dress’. Turns out my 4 year old Gibson LP Custom had some of the largest fret height variation Richard had ever seen. There’s the problem. It took me a while to warm up to the idea but a lower action with less string buzz seemed all too enticing. So Richard got to work scrupulously levelling the frets using not but his own sweat and very precise German tools.
Completed in under a week, I went to collect my instrument. The guitar looked brand new. This is Richard I’m talking about so it’s just assumed every molecule of grime had been meticulously removed. The frets, they’d been polished to make 22 little mirrors, so reflective that you’d burn your retina staring at them. But how did it play? Like a dream. The action was so low and there was no string buzz! When bending the strings it was so smooth over the frets where as before you could feel every imperfection hindering you. To sum up, a fret dress has vastly improved the way that my guitar feels and sounds. I would recommend Richard’s fret dress to anyone.Tom Robinson
I’ve owned a beautiful handmade Carvin guitar that I had made back in the mid 90’s. I rarely played it because I really disliked the sound of the original Carvin pickups. I’d put off having the pickups changed for so long because the Carvins aren’t a standard size and I was reluctant to get the guitar routed. I decided the time had come and researched a luthier I could trust to do the work. I found Richard online and after speaking with him over the phone I felt he understood exactly what I wanted. We discussed a number of options and I decided to go with custom wound pickups handmade by Richard.
Even though this was a relatively small job for someone who builds guitars from scratch, Richard put in a lot of hours researching Carvins and sourcing pickup components that would fit without having to make modifications. The pickups that Richard made were exactly as we discussed. I’m sure that no off-the-shelf pick up could achieve the tone and clarity of the pickups that Richard made for me. His commitment to getting the job right and making sure he delivered what I wanted was obvious, as was his passion about what he does.
Richard also did a full set up at the same time and again, researched the recommended specs. The Carvin has never played better and because of the great pickups, the Carvin has gone from a guitar I wish I played more to the guitar I choose to play first.
Thanks Richard, it was a pleasure working with you and I’m really grateful for the effort you went to to get the job right for me.
He’s also a lovely bloke!Malcolm Hollis
I’ve had the pleasure to experience a wide range of the services Richard provides, from a full refret of my Strat, a fret dress on my Carlo Robelli (both necks!) and a simple service of my Kramer. All three guitars, after having sat idle for the best part of 15 years have never looked, played or sounded better and it’s all down to Richard’s attention to detail and willingness to take the time to do the job right.
I had spoken to a couple of other luthiers before contacting Richard, and I was extremely impressed with the way Richard took the time to understand my needs and never pushed more than what was needed to get a guitar back to it’s optimum condition.
Having visited Richard’s workshop a few times now, I was lucky enough to see some of his custom builds (at various stages of construction) and again, the quality and workmanship blew me away. It’s obvious that Richard not only loves what he does, but is very proud of his creations and he has every right to be. The guitars he designs and makes are works of art.
If you need someone to bring a tired old guitar back to it’s former glory, or if you’re looking for a beautifully made custom guitar, look no further. You’ve found your man.Rob Benovic
When it came time for my beloved Heavy metal thoroughbred guitars to be serviced there’s really not many I trust out there to service yet alone handle them with greatest of care. After decades of exposure in the guitar industry and encountering many different luthiers and engineers, I dare say that there are only but a few out there who knows what they are really doing.
Richard is one of them, his skills and expertise are most credible. I should’ve taken my guitars to him long before. When I got my ESP Hammett and Charvel Model 3 back from being serviced it was……Wow! Amazing jaw dropping experience ! My ESP Hammett most especially was like….Wow ! and that was what I kept saying to myself playing this axe of mine of 24 years. Never have I ever experience this on my guitars. Of Course there is nothing like a newly serviced guitar with new strings but Richard brought my guitars to a whole new level ! Every note came alive and the sound, clarity and feel was truly remarkable.
My guitars were reborn and transformed with new energy I never knew exists. It made for such an exceptional excitement in playing.
Lucas – Not only a great guitar builder but equally a great guitar engineer.
Thank you Richard.Donny Lim
I recently took my PRS S2 Custom 24 and Puresalem Bette to Richard to have some work done. The PRS just needed a setup and pickup height adjustment, and the Puresalem had a setup and I also asked Richard to swap out the stock tuners for Grover Mini Locking tuners. In addition, Richard helped me out with a finnicky toggle switch on the Bette.
The guitars play beautifully now and I couldn’t be happier with the work he’s done on them. On top of that, Richard was a really nice guy who went out of his way to make sure I was happy and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to him. Would definitely recommend.Lincoln McGregor-Smith
Thank you very much for the great job you did on my Rickenbacker. I’ve given it a solid workout over the last few days and am enjoying playing it more than ever. The action is extremely smooth to play and I’m wondering why I put up with it the way it was for as long as I did. I suppose you can get used to anything.Ian Belshaw