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Chris Larkin / ASAP / 2014 / Various / Guitar For Sale

The ASAP range of acoustic guitars

(See also ASAPJM and the Longscale option)

3 body sizes, ASAP, ASAPJ and ASAP Jumbo with choice of cedar or sitka spruce tops and mahogany or walnut backs and sides with wood bindings in standard form. Many other wood options.

The ASAP with it's small body is an ideal fingerpicker, the ASAPJ has a deeper body and is 'strummier' while the ASAP Jumbo gives the big sound.

Laminated maple and mahogany neck with veneer detail.

For the six string versions, a choice of two different top bracings. Fine and scalloped for an open, balanced sound. Reflective and scalloped for a more focussed projected sound.

The ASAP 12 string and ASAP B (acoustic bass guitar) share the Jumbo sized body with double X bracing.

The ASAP and ASAPJ are available as nylon string models with a choice of classical or lightened X bracing.

The Highlander pickup and preamp is the electro option. To my ears, the most natural, even, flat response of any pickup I have tried. I have also fitted RMC saddles when MIDI is required and the Fishman Rare Earth is a good soundhole pickup.

Gold hardware in by Schaller or Gotoh.

Rosewood fingerboard.

Silk finish as standard.

Hand made to order, so choices include -

  • fret type
  • fingerboard radius
  • fingerboard width
  • neck profile
  • gloss finish, natural or coloured
  • many body woods including Indian or Rio rosewoods, flamed, quilted or birdseye maple
  • Engelmann, european spruce or yellow cedar tops
  • left handed
  • cutaways
  • 12 fret joins
  • standard, short or long scales lengths
  • levels of decoration
  • many other options to makeeach guitar suit the customer - just ask about the possibilities.

 Footnote on Sizes.

Long after I had finished this page somebody called me to ask about the sizes of the bodies of my acoustic guitars because it is not at all obvious from the pictures! I had stupidly not thought of this. So here, below, are the sizes of the various models.

What I also forgot to mention is that the body depths can be altered so that, for example, an ASAP can have a deeper body which would increase the internal volume and thereby lower the resonant frequency thus giving more bass. Similarly an ASAP Jumbo could have a shallower depth which would decrease the internal volume and have the opposite effect. The customer only has to ask. This is one of the things that hand makers can do to make instruments better suited to the player but which factories would not be bothered with.

Another size variant is the scale length. The standard acoustic length I use is 650mm with the exception of the JM model which is 628mm. To order I have built guitars of the ASAP range with scales from 620mm to 690mm.

Model top bout waist lower bout length depth at neck depth at tail
Jumbo 12.5" 10.5" 17" 20.75" 4.125" 4.875"
ASAPJ 10.5" 9.75" 15.875" 19.75" 4" 4.5"
ASAP 10.25" 8.75" 15" 19" 3.5" 4.0"
ASAP JM 10.25" 8.75" 15" 19" 3.5" 4.0"

Depth figures are for 'standard' models but due to the way I build the guitars the depths can be altered to suit a customer's need. Additionally the body depth for the cutaway models is generally a little deeper to compensate for the extra treble that is created by the stiffening of the top that a cutaway creates.

Prices are exclusive of applicable tax/duties/shipping/VAT

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Chris Larkin Custom Guitars, Ireland  

Contact name:
Chris Larkin Custom
Hand-Built Guitars & Basses
Opening hours:
By appointment.

About Chris Larkin

I work alone hand building a variety of instruments beside the beach on the beautiful west coast of Ireland. I am in my third decade of guitar making and it is still the best job in the world. And, so far, I get paid to do it. Nothing could be better!

Working alone gives me total control over the process. I do everything from buying in the wood to packing the instruments for shipping and nothing leaves the workshop that I cannot be proud of. Each day I look forward to going to work and learn something more about my craft. The more I learn the more I know I have to learn. And there is no Holy Grail in guitarmaking, there are too many variables in hand making an instrument to be sure of anything. The traditional 'rules' are there to be tested. At this stage, working with wood has become largely intuitive for me. And I am a wood junkie!

The wood junkie on the left is cuddling enough yellow cedar to make at least 40 flat top guitars when he cuts it up. This yellow cedar board is perfectly quartersawn with 80 grain lines per inch (31 per cm). Yellow cedar makes great archtops (jazzers and mandolins) and is also very good for steelstrings. In my opinion more people should try it.

The man on the right is taking instruction from Melody (the guitar building dog and real brains behind the business) on the best way to carve the top plate for an ASAS Semi. (yes Harvey, it is yours!)

I produce a limited number of master grade instruments each year almost all of which are exported (thanks to contacts made by exhibiting at the Frankfurt Musikmesse since 1985). Naturally I use the finest available materials. My designs are original, practical and, I think, beautiful. My instruments are individual for individuals.

My wife Syra is a professional painter (there she is on the left working on a portrait of Robbie Overson which was used for his album cover) and after years of makeshift workshops and studio space we finally designed and built our ideal workplace attached to our house in 1997. Syra has most of the upstairs with great natural light and wonderful views over the bays and mountains while I have the ground floor and an upstairs sprayroom. All of my areas are humidity controlled (47% RH) which gives me great confidence in dealing with the wood and the assurance that the possibilities of future climatic damage to instruments is limited to extreme conditions (which instruments should never be exposed to anyway!).


It is possible to order from a dealer or directly from me at the workshop. When a customer makes an order they will fill in a Conspec which is a document that specifies all aspects of the intended instrument. The Conspec is exchanged between me and the customer being changed by agreement until we are both happy with what is to be made. At this stage a firm price and delivery date is set. The Conspec now becomes the blueprint from which I will work when I am making the instrument. The Conspec can be changed at any time up until the start of building with agreement between the customer and me. As both the customer and builder have a copy of the Conspec there should be no surprises on delivery! Payment.

For orders from the workshop a non-returnable deposit of 30% is normally paid when the Conspec is agreed and the price is set. The balance is payable on completion of the instrument. A photograph of the finished instrument is sent to the customer (by mail or email) to show that the building is complete and shipping happens when the balance of the money reaches my bank.

For orders from dealers the payment details should be arranged with the dealer concerned.


Shipping costs are the responsibility of the customer. For orders from the workshop I can arrange shipping by insured courier at cost if required.


Someone once said that the only two things you can be sure about in life are taxes and death! I can tell you a bit about the taxes.
Orders from the workshop that are to countries within the European Union to persons who are not registered for VAT will have Irish VAT included in the price at the rate that is current at the time of payment. Orders outside the European Union will be free of Irish taxes but note that most governments charge some sort of tax on imported instruments. Check what this will be locally. Orders from dealers will include whatever taxes are relevant in that country.Your dealer can tell you about this.

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