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Rob Van Leuven / Dilemma - Made To Order / 2014 / Guitar For Sale

This instrument is sold, but we would be happy to build one especially for you. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss a project.


Every guitar is a dilemma; if you construct it too lightly it is not strong enough to resist the tension of the strings; if you make it stronger than it may become so heavy, that sound and playability suffer.

Make a big sound box and you get beautiful round basses, but a big guitar is less comfortable when playing; if you make the sound box smaller, then you lose depth in the basses, though for some music that's just fine.

In the design and construction of 'dilemma' some of these choices have been made in a different way than traditionally, resulting in a nice deep voice from a relatively small guitar:

- the off-center placement of the soundhole has several advantages:

+ it creates a longer air column, which results in stronger basses from a relatively small soundbox;

+ the playing hand does not block the sound projection;

+ the soundhole does not interrupt the structural continuity of the area that absorbes the tension of the strings, so the overall construction can be lighter which improves the response of the soundboard.

+ the vibrating area of the soundboard is larger, which also improves response and volume;

- both the bridge and the nut are compensated for perfect intonation

- the shape of the peghead is designed so that the strings do not cross the nut at a lateral angle, which reduces friction and improves tuning.

Available in various materials: spruce or cedar top, mahogany or maple neck, selection of woods for back & sides, african blackwood or fibre composite fretboard & bridge, natural bone nut & saddle, wooden bindings & rosette, Schaller or Gotoh tuners, custom pickup.

The result is a modestly sized guitar which sounds like a much bigger one, but has the playing comfort of a smaller instrument!

model: Dilemma

pricing: € 1495 + options

standard specifications: 

strings: steel (6)

top: western red cedar or spruce

sides & back: mahagony, maple, muiracatiara, several other options

rosette: hardwood and/or herringbone

bindng (standard top only): maple

purfling: none

neck material: mahagony, maple

neck construction: 5 pcs, peghead attached with scarf joint

trussrod: double action

fretboard: muiracatiara, rosewood, composite

fretboard marker dots: paua shell

number of frets to body: 14

peghead veneer: same as rosette

bridge: muiracatiara, rosewood, composite

nut and saddle: natural bone

bridge pins: ebony, rosewood or similar

tuners: Gotoh chrome-plated

scale length: 640 mm.

finish top: high-gloss waterborne lacquer

finish neck, back andsides: satin Danish oil

electronics: standard none

extra options:

- sunburst top: € 100

- (herringbone) purfling top: € 50,=

- back en sides in high gloss laquer: € 100,=

- other tonewoods: depending on choice and availability

- african blackwood fretboard and bridge: € 50,=

- other tuners: depending on choice

pickup systems:

- Dilemma custom under saddle pickup*: € 100,=

- other pickup system: depending on choice

*active system: FET preamp without on-board volume and/or tone control

Dilemma Lutherie, Netherlands  

Contact name:
Rob van Leuven
English, Dutch, French, German
Handbuild custom guitars and irish bouzoukis
Opening hours:

Building stringed instruments has been a passion ever since my college days. Demand for my instruments is now growing and so I have turned my passion into my second business, building four types of instruments mainly aiming at folk, blues and jazz musicians and singer/songwriters: parlour guitar, irish bouzouki, parlour bouzouki and my own design: dilemma. All instruments are handcrafted by me in my small workshop in Eindhoven, The Netherlands and I would be more than happy to build a fine guitar or bouzouki for you too!

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