Tela / Custom / 2003 / Zebrawood / Guitar For Sale

Mint condition custom "TELA" by Master North Carolina Luthier, Ari Lehtela.

Originally from Finland, Ari Lehtela has been involved in music in North America for over three decades. Playing music professionally in Canada and the U.S. throughout the 1970s and 80s Ari eventually turned his attention to building guitars. Around 1990, Ari began to toy with the idea of designing and building his own guitar. This idea was solidified after meeting a local Charlotte (NC) builder, Luke Lukuer. Impressed by the sound and playability of Luke's instruments, Ari realized that handmade was the only way to go. Another interest that continues to hold Ari's attention is fine art and design — Ari holds a degree in fine art.


Harmony and balance between function and esthetic is one of my primary objectives as a guitar builder. For me, these are the essential elements of good design. A well-designed instrument will exhibit uniformity of sound in all registers of the neck. Essentially, the ' sweet-spot ' is experienced throughout the neck. This is achieved by having rigidity and resonance in their appropriate places — rigidity in the neck and the carved or bent sides of the body, resonance localized within the soundboard. Similar qualities are achieved in solid body instruments as well. Body resonance is optimized by usage of aged, light or medium weight tone woods dimensioned to the right thickness.

In addition to the above considerations, I find it important to let the player participate in shaping the sound of the instrument. While the player's touch is an important part of the equation, I add to that by offering modular, sound-shaping options such as the adjustable side soundholes and movable floating pickups found in many of the models. In the end, each instrument is brought to a finish with an appropriate amount of oil varnish or lacquer for the soundboard of the hollow bodied instruments. Finally, I tune each instrument as a player (my background includes more than 30 years of jazz guitar experience) and my last question is: Do I feel 100% confident to gig with this instrument?

-Ari Lehtela


- Mahogany Body & Neck
- Zebrawood Drop Top
- Ebony Fingerboard
- Tonepros Locking Bridge and Tailpiece
- Sperzel Machine heads

- Pickups
Bridge: Seymour Duncan'59
Neck: Seymour Duncan Tele
Graph Tech Acoustic Piezo Transducer

- Controls:
Vol/ Tone for Mags Piezo Vol
3-way toggle to select pickup position
3-way mini switch to select pup/both/piezo

- Original Hardshell Case - Custom Cut by “Hybrid Cases”

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