"I've been playing the guitar since I was 9 years old. I would spend hours practicing, rebuilding my electric guitars when they would fall to pieces after shows. It seems natural that my love of fixing guitars became something that I would want to do professionally."
I started Ackworth Guitar Setups in 2012, but I've always been fortunate to make a living through various artistic endeavors. Fixing things has always been at the centre of what I do. In the early 1990's I began tinkering with old cars, anything that required a spanner and some thinking about.
I've been playing the guitar since I was 9 years old. I would spend hours practicing, rebuilding my electric guitars when they would fall to pieces after shows. It seems natural that my love of fixing guitars became something that I would want to do professionally. To understand more I trained with Roberto Venn trained luthier Jim Fleeting.
Ackworth Guitar Setups was an idea that just took off. Within 30 minutes of putting an ad up in a local shop we had two instruments to repair. The rest is history. Since launch I have been fortunate to develop a core customer base who are loyal to what we do and how we do it. I am very fortunate to have toured with some of my favourite bands in the world and have a bucket load of 'road' stories. Ask and I'll tell you some time.
I am passionate about repairing guitars and valve amplifiers. I am really lucky that I get to do what I love. Ackworth Guitar Setups now have two locations in West Yorkshire.
Tristan Johnson, Founder, Ackworth Guitar Setups. 2020
I joined Ackworth Guitar Setups at the back end of 2019 and begin studying luthiery seriously while being coached by Ackworth Guitar Setups' senior luthier, Tristan Johnson.
Prior to that I'd been cutting my teeth in the music scene playing in bands and maintaining and repairing my instruments (and everyone else's) on the road. I started playing guitar when I started high school and quickly became obsessed with the guitar as both a musical instrument and a piece of art in and of itself, lead to a ferocious interest in guitar maintenance, repair and modification. It wasn't until many years later that I'd considered making this a professional pursuit, by which time I'd gained a wealth of knowledge and experience through my curiosity and experimentation.
Eventually in the winter of 2019 I teamed up with Tristan, who took me under his wing and helped me to translate my experience into serving the music community at large, professionally. As a passionate musician and ardent tinkerer, I feel blessed to be in this position and am excited to help you.
"I started playing guitar when I was in High School and quickly became obsessed with the guitar as both a musical instrument and a piece of art in and of itself."
Damian Hughes in the new AGS workshop 2020
"No two days are the same... there's always something to learn... "
My background in guitar repair came from building my own instruments. I have a keen facination in construction and using woods to make quality instruments.
Since working with Ackworth Guitar Setups I have learned a lot about construction techniques amongst the various manufacturers. No two days are the same - there's always something to learn. I like working with people, and enjoy meeting the AGS customers.
Nik Hartley setting up a LTD, 2021
"Working at Ackworth Guitar Setups is like a brotherhood. I get to work on great guitars and amps... "
I joined Ackworth Guitar Setups after a chance encounter with a mutual friend.
I've worked as a guitar tech since 2001, and prior to that worked in the local music scene in Rotherham. I've been very fortunate to tour all over the world with various bands, and bring with me years of on the road experience. I seem to have a predilection for guitars and amplifiers and am a firm believer in the mantra "9's on a Strat, 10's on a Les Paul".
Working at AGS is like a brotherhood. I get to work on great guitars and amps when I'm not on tour.