"As my working career approaches its end, I wish to pursue a childhood dream of playing the six-string guitar. As a child, I received piano training based on classic composers for eight years, and the emergence of rock-n-roll shifted my interest to electric guitar. My parents insisted that my training be based on an acoustic guitar with an "old school" country-styled foundation, which was doomed to failure before it even started. My musical interests are varied to say the least. Listening pleasures range from Sirius XM Classic Vinyl or Coffee House to Alison Krauss, without skipping a beat.
I own Grand Concert Taylor guitars with Cedar/Mahogany and Sitka/EIR pairings and love them. Recent shoulder surgery limited my ability to play a Grand Auditorium so finding a larger-bodied guitar utilizing either the Laskin-style armrest or Manzer wedge was my goal. My research took me to a guitar shop in Toronto where Gerry had a guitar on consignment and he was written up as a local luthier. Upon visiting his website, two things became apparent: he offered high quality custom guitars with a number of innovations, and he offered exceptional value for them.
Thus began an amazing journey to build a custom guitar, utilizing ideas I had gleaned from other builders and having Gerry inject his own thoughts as to how they could be enhanced. Gerry's weekly updates, complete with photos and descriptions of what was happening, were worth the price of admission. I discovered the final product is what we see, feel (play), and hear with great joy; however, the nuances of the craft involved in the construction of such an instrument only deepens that joy for me now.
Gerry loves his craft and is generous in sharing that love with his customers. I felt like I was involved in this guitar's life from the beginning, and I doubt many custom shops would provide such an experience. Playability and tone of this guitar matches its beauty. Fundamental note clarity, the ability of the guitar to sustain that note, and its ability to handle finger-style along with strumming demands exceeds everything I had hoped to accomplish. The Engelmann top delivers wonderful mid-range and, when combined with the enhanced bass from the side sound port and cocobolo back, results in an amazing sonic footprint.
Gerry, thanks for everything.
"G Day Eh! Let me introduce myself. My name is Brian McGirr, or as my guitar buddies call me, Mr. B. I've been playing the guitar off and on since I was about 8 years old, doing the guitar music lesson thing as all parents make their guitar loving sons do, hoping you will become the next Segovia of classical guitar; then I played in a rock band in high school; and then sort of drifted in and out of playing and put the guitar away for awhile until I met THE GUITARMAN Randall Ash of Cumberland. Together he and I began our renewed interest in guitar playing and just making some music jamming.
One day when visiting the Cumberland Farmers' Market it was then that I was introduced to Gerry Gruber of Orleans and his beautiful array of custom handmade guitars under the name of Xaver Guitars. From the moment I saw these guitars and actually sat down to try one I realized that I was playing a very beautiful unique instrument. The craftsmanship, warmth and audio resonance of his acoustic guitars was truly amazing and very impressive. That guitar that day was a Grand Concert and it was then that I began my journey to own a very unique custom made guitar selecting all the details and finishes myself with help from Gerry - a guitar luthier and artisan who is deeply connected to his guitars, promising a beautiful deep, rich full sound; each guitar hand built and signed by the maker himself thus guaranteeing uncompromising sound perfection.
The next step after signing up a contract back around July 2012 for the specifications I wanted for the guitar including the details of customization involved a visit and tour of his studio at his residence where one could see for himself the very art of guitar making where Gerry demonstrated his craft and his endless pursuit of attention to detail in his guitars. Every detail was explained to me in the art of how making beautiful custom guitars presents new owners with such unique instruments. The entire process was to take up to one year from commencement to the final product. Gerry also provided Randy and me with monthly updates on the progress of the build itself. Every detail was carefully thought through in his demonstrations and explanations of his guitar making process for my custom guitar. The next step involved Randy and me choosing the wood for sound resonance. It was also throughout the building process that Gerry demonstrated his luthiery experience and shared his time-tested philosophies, tips and technology of his craft describing the structural and acoustical attributes of his special Xaver Guitars and what I was to expect from my own custom guitar that he was building for me as per my instructions along with his experience from what to listen for when tap-tuning; selecting a good piece of wood for sound; placement of the braces and tone bars; how to select the right strings; what to consider in bridge design and his special design for compensated nuts and saddles to offset the flatness of open played strings, thus allowing for perfectly tuned guitars all along the fretboard, and much more.
Finally in August of this year I was presented with the final product according to my specifications and details I had requested, along with Gerry's unique experience in making guitars. My very own custom handmade guitar and, I might add, at a very affordable price considering its uniqueness. My guitar - a Grand Concert made of makore (African cherry) back and sides with dark bursts to accentuate the figure and a Sitka spruce soundboard; ebony on the bridge for accuracy; customized mother-of-pearl inlay with beautiful lacquer compliments the finish including precision Gotoh 510 gold tuners and a K & K Pure Mini pick-up that lets my guitar just sing through the soundboard. And my strumming arm rests comfortably on Gerry's unique adaptation of a Laskin-style armrest - another great feature of Xaver Guitars, great bass response, ringing trebles and a nice even balance across the strings. Very bright and clear and light as a feather, not a heavy guitar. I'm also very impressed with the tone and intonation.
The craftsmanship of my guitar is beautiful and I can't express in words how great it feels to play my very own custom made guitar. Once again I have picked up my guitar to play, and I've Got Rhythm playing music because of Gerry Gruber and my unique Xaver Guitar. Thanks a million Gerry.
Brian McGirr (Mr. B.)"
Gord Matheson is a lifelong musician and guitarist for over 40 years, both as a performer and also a teacher. He has owned and played many guitars. He also arranges music for the guitar, gives private lessons, teaches guitar in the School Board, and has published music books for the guitar.
"It's a real pleasure for me to endorse Gerry's guitars! It's been a few months now but I just wanted to let people know that I'm extremely happy with my new Xaver guitar - I knew I would be.
If one really wants the very best in acoustic sound the Xaver guitars are that - and a lot more! I knew the moment I started playing one that I would buy one. I challenge anyone to find a better sounding acoustic guitar anywhere. I think anyone who tries one will soon realize that Gerry's guitars are head and shoulders above everything else that's out there.
As I've said before I want to encourage Gerry to make more of these guitars! Once I started playing these guitars it soon became apparent there was a tremendous amount of very detailed and meticulous workmanship/finish that went into crafting these exceptional instruments.
The sound quality over the fret range just takes your breath away! I had never experienced anything quite like this until I started playing Gerry's guitars. Quite clearly he's put his heart and soul into creating these wonderful guitars and he has given the word "note" a new meaning - very well done!
I took possession of my new Xaver guitar (a walnut mini jumbo with a cedar top) exactly one month ago today and I purposely waited one entire month before writing this endorsement. I waited this long so that I could play this guitar almost every day, and at the same time play many other guitars not so much to compare, but simply to avoid playing this guitar exclusively, which by the way I could easily have done because this guitar does it all since it is equipped with a K&K pickup.
First off I am more than completely satisfied with this guitar. There is absolutely nothing about this guitar I would change. It has exceeded every expectation I could ever have during the wait while it was being built. I would say to myself, "How is it going to look? How will it sound? How will it feel? How will it respond to the touch - especially my wild and varied touch?" All of these things were a waste of worry. It is the most beautiful piece of walnut I have ever seen. The cedar, at least to my eyes, is flawless. The workmanship is just something you do not find in a production guitar. I have searched and researched custom guitars during the past six or more months and dollar for dollar there is not a guitar of this ilk anywhere to be found on this planet.
This guitar has already made me a better player. For many reasons. First of all it is such a precision instrument that it is almost impossible to play it badly. The balance in the string tone is something that I have never experienced in close to sixty years of playing guitars. I have actually attempted to overpower the trebs with bass and I tell you right now - you cannot do it. The trebs on this guitar are stronger than those of any guitar I have ever played. Yet all of the tones are completely in balance - all the time. This must be experienced to be believed.
Now, after all of this research into custom guitars, I took all of the features of this guitar and made a spreadsheet so that I could cost out each item on this guitar. In the first column I listed Gerry's price, and next to it I listed a very fair and conservative price in accordance with other guitar builders of top level guitars of this standard. The second column came out to about $8,000. The first column (Gerry's price) was less than half that. I have mentioned to Gerry that his prices are too low, but with the understanding that he is still in the process of making his name, all I can say here is that if you feel that you ever want to own a beautiful custom built guitar - do it now because this product will soon catch fire and folks who know guitars will just have to own one. I own many guitars, but to be completely honest, as much as I love the Gibsons and Martins, this is all the guitar one really needs.
Hi, I'm Samantha Mouchet. 2012 seems to be a pinnacle year for sewing seeds and finding new growth in music. After having spent last fall recording my debut album "Strange Dreams", which I am ecstatic to be releasing August 11, 2012 at Irene's Pub, I have had the pleasure of building a summer that has taken my original music to local markets, living the life of a busker by day, and setting up on stages by night at renowned local venues such as the Elmdale House Tavern and The Rainbow Bistro.
It has been my good fortune on this journey to have fallen into collaboration with Gerry Gruber and his beautiful Xaver guitars. My personal favorite is Gerry's new Grand Concert Makore, with a sound that resonates warm tones both out to the audience and up to my ear through the soundport and a "laskin-style" armrest that takes the pressure off my arm, letting me feel the music more comfortably. Of course, Gerry's talent and passion extends into each of his creations, and I have taken every opportunity to pick up every offer to try them out. I am so pleased that Gerry will be allowing me to use the Grand Concert for my CD release performance, as his guitars played a special role in the creation of the album and I know the show will be that much better for it. I highly recommend taking the time to get in touch with Gerry to find out for yourself just how exciting it is to play a guitar so expertly crafted.
My Name is Tim Mouchet and I am President of hmcs inc., a small computer consulting firm in Orleans Ontario, just east of Ottawa. I have been playing guitar since I was 15 years of age and music has been my passion all my life. In the last 10 years I have had the privilege of playing in a classic rock band known as "Crossroads" and we have performed at private parties, corporate events, weddings and at some of the local bars in the Orleans area.
Over the last 20 years I have used my musical talents at Divine Infant Parish playing at various weekend masses. I attended some of the 8:00 am masses where Gerry and his lovely wife Laurie would lead the music. It was always a treat for me to listen to these two very talented people. Gerry went the extra mile by recording additional instruments to enhance the quality of his music.
It was during this time I learned that Gerry was a professional luthier, designing and creating high quality guitars. Gerry heard that the parish was in need of a guitar and he graciously offered to build and donate one. I must say, I was astonished and amazed at the quality and workmanship that went into this beautiful instrument. It is truly a "work of art".
I had the distinct pleasure of visiting Gerry's home and was able to see first hand how these wonderful instruments were being created. It literally takes months for a guitar to be produced. He then brought me into his living room where I was literally surrounded by guitars. Like a kid in a candy store, I was given the opportunity to try them out. "WOW!!!!" I could have spent hours there.
Gerry uses the finest materials and I know great care is taken in producing each and every instrument. His brand name is Xaver.
If you're in the market for a "Quality" custom built guitar, give Gerry a call and set up an appointment. Even if you're not in the market, if you're a guitar enthusiast, check out his guitars - you won't be disappointed.