Max Barr Guitars


John builds guitars in his spare time, and he can build one for you.

If you want a guitar built for you that’s a traditional shape, or your own design – built from standard guitar woods like Ash, Alder or Mahogany, or topped with something more exotic, please contact John to discuss your requirements.

Why Max Barr and not John Barr? There’s a Canadian singer also called John Barr, so John’s guitar projects are named after Max, John’s cat.


These three guitars are actually the same guitar after a couple of rebuilds. It started life as a Telecaster kit build, was then refinished in a John Mayer relic style, before being reworked with a Korina (black Limba) top.

First kit build 1  First kit build 2  First kit build 3

I’ve build a few Partscasters. The one on the left is “inspired by” a 1956 Strat (I was born in 1956), and the one on the right is “inspired by” David Gilmour’s famous Black Strat. I use the term “inspired by” rather than saying its a copy, as I try to capture the essence of a guitar, but don’t guarantee that the components are identical.

Pair of Stratocasters

My first build from blocks of wood used a rather pretty one piece swamp ash body.

Version 2

I wasn’t pleased with the finish on my next build, and the shape was a bit clunky, so that was soon reshaped, a Zebrawood top was added, the pickup configuration changed from a pair of humbuckers and a P90 to a single coil and a P90. I also replaced the neck and made the neck/body join more stable.

Version 2  Version 2

As you can see, I like guitars that look good as well as sounding good and playing well. This family picture of my guitar builds includes a Strat-style guitar with a one piece mahogany body and Korina top (second from right). The guitars at the front are baritone guitar (one piece swamp ash body and spalted beech top) and a 5 string bass built from a kit.

guitar family

My most recent build is an “inspired by 1956 Telecaster”. It started as the blocks of wood on the left, with the finished guitar below.

Version 2  Version 2

I played this guitar at the Lunaplexx film festival in 2018.

From below