Linda Manzer, a Jedi Master of the guitar luthiery world, has continued to find inspiration and avenues through which to challenge herself over a celebrated career that spans nearly half a century. She’s a movie score loving romantic, in it for the art, and for the player. Interested in a build? Her favorite specs are your preferred specs; her approach is entirely informed by the player in question. Let’s learn a little more:

Your incredible skill and success in luthiery has led to a 45+ year career – impressive by any standards, but especially in the Musical Instruments industry. What still excites you about building now?
It’s a combination of things that keep me inspired but I think the most important is my clients and musicians inspire me.  I get so deep inside each guitar and knowing there’s a person on the receiving end who’s going to potentially throw their heart and soul into creating music on it is a real driver for me. And the things that fascinated me from the very beginning about guitar making still do. The combination of making something with one’s hands, and combining art, science and music. Plenty of inspiration from all those disciplines.
How do you approach amplification from an acoustic energy-to-electric signal perspective; what’s your preferred pickup scenario in terms of type, placement, other properties?

I build each guitar as if it’s going to be 100% acoustic, then add a pickup. You can always make a guitar less acoustic but it’s difficult to make it more so once finished – so I go on the assumption that the pickup may be removed at some point. I work with the client to research what pick up is best for them. And I also listen to players and find out what they currently love. They are out in the real world playing with all the current technology and they can give me the best feedback (if you’ll excuse the expression!)

Furthering that line of questioning, what do you look for in an amplifier and what does it need to have or do to best suit your needs?

Again, I trust what my clients tell me.  And I’ve heard some incredible things about Henriksen amplifiers. I would have no hesitation pointing my clients towards them

How did your relationship with Henriksen Amplifiers begin? 

I met Peter at one of the guitar shows a few years back and immediately noticed his positive energy, which was why I immediately liked him. When he talked about having a guitar show in Colorado I suspected he would do a good job but he did more than a good job – it was an incredible show. Professional and warm. Magic happened. He did it right. Completely impressed with him.

What kind of music would people be surprised to hear you enjoy?
Other than my clients’…. Movie scores. The final actor to any movie is the soundtrack, and it can completely change everything.
I’m a big  fan of Mark Isham and just discovered Olafur Arnalds. I have a dear friend, John Welsman, who scores film and he has been very kind to occasionally let me look over his shoulder while he’s working. Brilliant composer. (see
If you could assemble a table of 5 of your favorite builders and/or artists (living or not) for lunch or dinner, who’d be seated with you?
Dinner for sure. Lunch is too short! I’m going with two lists: deceased, because I can; and living, because dreams can come true. And you would hope they enjoy each others’ company as well!
Deceased: Amelia Earhart, Hendrix, Robin Williams, Lucille Ball, My British grandfather on my mom’s side that I never met.
Living: Obama, Justin Trudeau, Randy Rainbow, Pink, Kamala Harris.
(These lists subject to change every 5 minutes)

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One Comment

  1. Orlando Laureano December 16, 2021 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    Cool And very interesting

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