Custom Stringed Instruments
to email Leo
5981 Wellman Road
McLouth, KS 66054
Now The Quotes!
"There are few people on the planet I trust to work on my Nugget
mandolin when it needs professional repair and set-up.
Leo does more than just great work,
he can take any stringed instrument and truly maximize its potential,
playability and overall performance.
He is truly a gifted craftsman."
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"Leo, Count me among your greatest fans...
The reproduction 5 string Florentine neck that you built
and carved for me is nothing short of exqusite!"
What a great guitar.
You made exactly what I was looking for.
It speaks in the mid range, the highs are bell like
and clean and the bass resonates to the point I can
feel it in my chest.
Beautiful in sound and construction.
I admire your ability to turn wood into a being with soul and spirit.
Sincerely, Scott Stiles
I just wanted to let you know that I like my new guitar more and more every day.
It has great tone and a big sound for a small guitar.
I have been playing it a lot and it is always the first one that I pick up to play,
My son and I play together once in awhile and he will play it as much as he can also.
He always remarks how much he likes it also.
Itís easy to play, sounds great and looks like a million bucks.
I canít think of anything I would want to change on it.
"I was diagnosed with some medical problems in July of 2005.
I found that playing dreads was becoming increasingly difficult due to my illness and I
began looking for a quality, smaller bodied guitar.
I had pretty much decided on a short scale 000 12 fret.
I happened to be visiting Leo's shop to get some set-up work on an
older Martin D 18 that was going to my oldest son.
Leo asked about my physical problems and what I planned to do about a more comfortable guitar.
I told him I had almost made a decision, but for some reason it didn't feel right.
Leo then said that for 25 years he's been doing all the individual tasks in making a guitar,
but had never put them all together at one time.
He said that it had always been in the back of his mind to make guitars.
He then said, "Roger, how about letting me make you a guitar?"
It took me about 3 seconds to make a decision and agree.
Two years later, it's still the best guitar oriented decision I've ever made.
Working with Leo was an extremely positive experience.
He helped me with decisions on the wood to use
(madagascar rosewood for the back & sides & adirondack spruce for the top),
what appointments I wanted, etc.
We didn't always agree, but it was an easy process,
and the end product is so good, it's mind boggling.
I feel like it was a true collaboration.
He absolutely nailed the neck profile I had in mind.
The guitar has been very stable & has no issues.
Since it has an adirondack top, the tone/sound continues to evolve.
It doesn't know it's not a dread.
It's louder than it has any right to be and the tone is killer.
It's well balanced across the mids, lows and highs.
It cuts well in a jam and is a joy to play.
I realize that my description of my 000
(the first of many that Leo has now made)
sounds a little "over the top", but it's the way I feel.
Since I acquired my Posch, my GAS is gone.
Leo, thank you very much,"
"Leo, I sure appreciate the work you've done on my old Martin.
A guitar that old, that sounds that good, just should not play that well.
The new five string neck for my banjo is awesome.
The coloration is a perfect match for the resonator and rim.
The binding with the toner looks identical to the original.
How did you do that?
I love the radiused fingerboard and the way the necks feels.
It is fast but solid.
Wow - what a rush to play!
"I have many good things to report on my guitar.
Number one, I liked it even before it came into being, because you built it
and I was sure it would be a fine instrument.
Confidence in the builder, his art and nature goes into the product.
I have enjoyed it since it was placed in my less than worthy hands.
It plays like Leo would want it to play and looks great........
it is a definite chick magnet, too, which is always a good thing...you know...well, maybe you don't know yet but,
when you get to a certain age you need as much help in that direction as you can get.
I have placed my guitar in many different players hands....pro players and amatures....
many players who are so picky and spoiled on fine instruments they make me sick....
all have left highly impressed with the tone, playability and looks of my #5....
a couple have offered to buy my guitar...I deny their GAS and refer them to Leo."
"I first took my 1935 018 Martin to Leo probably fifteen years ago.
Someone had done quite a bit of bad repair to the guitar in an (unsuccessful)
effort to take a huge bow out of the top.
A modern bridge had been put on it, and the nut was set way too high.
It also needed fretwork, the neck to be re-set, and one of the top braces was cracked.
Not only did Leo do an outstanding job of undoing the bad repair
but he put the guitar in excellent playing condition.
I play and travel with the single O regularly and it has an amazingly big and rich sound.
One rarely finds people who do such consistently exceptional work with vintage instruments.
After this first and very fortunate experience with Leo and the O18,
my husband and I have continued to take all of our vintage instruments to Leo for repairs and maintenance."
"Over the years Leo has transformed many of my instruments
through his impeccable craftsmanship and expert repair.
He also has a thorough knowledge of vintage instruments, and an eye for appropriate restoration."
"I'd heard about Leo's incredible abilities as a repairman when I read Roger Renfro's
post about Posch #1 in Jan. of 2006 on the Flatpick-List.
Sitting there at my computer that night something just felt right and I e/mailed Leo
to ask about a brazilian/red spruce dread (lefty, of course).
We exchanged several e/mails and I stepped out in faith and ordered the guitar that became Posch #2.
It arrived in April of 2006 and I was pretty sure I had a great guitar,
but wasn't quick to pronounce it as such.
See, this was the 4th custom instrument I'd had built -
I eventually sold the first 3 after being enamored with them in the beginning.
I let #2 convince me that it was great by taking it to jams.
I remember the first jam I took it to when I snapped off a G-run and my friend
turned around in the middle of the song and said "Wow!"
I fell in love with #2 enough that I ordered a second dread from Leo in June of '06,
this one in cuban mahogany/red spruce. #9 arrived in Feb. of 2007.
Leo is a treat to work with.
He listens - one of the signs of a great luthier.
He's got a great eye for details, I learned with #2.
On #9 I let Leo guide me - a designer - in picking out binding,
fingerboard inlays, headstock overlay design, etc.
That's how much I've learned to trust his eye.
Both guitars are the top 2 guitars that I've owned out of 30+ so far.
#2 has the sparkle and depth that a good brazilian dread has.
#9 has power and cuts in a jam like a good mahogany guitar does.
It's Jan. of 2008 as I type this and I've got a 3rd guitar on order from Leo.
That's the highest compliment I can give him!"