David has over fifty years’ experience making custom instruments & would be happy to design and build your dream instrument. Please take some time to browse the Guitar, Ukulele, Mandolin, Steel, & Unique/Traditional galleries, as well as the “Inlay” gallery towards the bottom of this page.
We always use solid wood of the highest quality, and all custom inlay (including the Dart logo) is cut & set by hand. With the exception of tuners, fingerboard dots, frets, strings, cases, and pickups, all instrument components are hand-made, assembled, and finished at David’s shop in Navarro, California.
Our standard finish is satin polyurethane. Lacquer, French polished shellac, oil varnish, sunburst are all available for an additional charge.
Wood options include (but are not limited to):
- ancient Sitka spruce
- Honduras rosewood
- Hawaiian koa
- Honduras mahogany
- Western & Eastern maple
- old-growth coastal redwood (locally sourced)
- black acacia (locally sourced and a relative of Hawaiian koa)
- Monterey cypress (locally sourced)
- Western cherry (locally sourced)
Pricing – includes hardshell case but not tax and/or shipping
- Guitars (parlor, 00, 000/OM, SJ, D, baritone, classical) – starting at $6,000
- Bass Guitars (large or small body, with or without frets) – starting at $6,000
- Hawaiian-style lap steel guitars – starting at $5,000
- Mandolins, A-style (mandolin, octave mandolin, mandola, mandocello) – starting at $5,000
- Ukuleles (soprano, concert, tenor, baritone) – starting at $2,000
- abalone purfling +$750 per top/back/fingerboard/peghead
- custom purfling/binding contact for quote
- custom peghead / fingerboard design & inlay +$500-???; contact for quote
- slot head +$500
- specialty finish (lacquer, shellac, oil varnish) +$1,500 – $2,000
- sunburst contact for quote
- K&K pickup +$250
There can be a degree of flexibility on the price for certain custom-ordered instruments with more basic ornamentation options.
Dart Instruments is located between the rugged Mendocino Coast and beautiful Anderson Valley, in the heart of Mendocino wine country. If you see something you like on this website or have a particular style or design in mind, get in touch with David for a consultation.