Rick Turner (luthier)

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Rick Turner
Born (1943-07-30) July 30, 1943 (age 75)
Occupation luthier
Years active 1969-Present
Known for Alembic Inc
Rick Turner Guitars
Website rickturnerguitars.com

Rick Turner (born July 30, 1943) is an American builder of guitars and basses.


Turner co-founded Alembic Inc in 1969 and was involved in the design and construction of the Alembic instruments. He founded Rick Turner Guitars[1] in 1979 and joined Gibson in 1988 where he served as president of Gibson Labs West Coast R&D Division.

Turner left Gibson in 1992 and ran a guitar repair shop at Westwood Music in Los Angeles where he developed piezo pickup designs, working with Jackson Browne, David Crosby and others. He later co-founded Highlander Musical Audio, manufacturer of piezo pickups for acoustic guitars.[2] He continues to design and build guitars for many professional players including Lindsey Buckingham, Ry Cooder, David Lindley, David Crosby and Andy Summers. He is also a regular columnist for Acoustic Guitar magazine and was a former columnist for Bass Player, Frets and Guitar Player magazines. He has partnered with Seymour W. Duncan to form D-TAR.[3]

Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham playing a Rick Turner Model One Guitar, designed originally for Buckingham as his signature instrument.

The Turner Model 1 electric was designed by Turner in 1979 for use by Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, who continues to use the Model 1 to this day. The guitar pioneered the use of curved plates on the front and back in order to reduce standing wave hysteresis loss and the use of 18 volt preamps in an attempt to tame the 'quack' sound commonly associated with piezoelectric acoustic guitar pickups.

Turner helped engineer the Grateful Dead's "Wall of Sound."

Turner holds the patent on the graphite guitar neck, which he developed in 1976 with Geoff Gould (who then started Modulus Graphite).

Turner teaches "Build a mandolin in four days" courses in the US and Australia and is extremely active on a wide range of musical instrument Internet forums.


  1. ^ "Turner Renaissance Guitars - Hand-Built Guitars, Basses & Ukuleles By Rick Turner". rickturnerguitars.com. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Highlander Musical Audio Products. Acoustic Instrument Amplification". highlanderpickups.com. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Welcome to D-TAR! Acoustic Guitar Pickups and Preamps". d-tar.com. Retrieved 16 August 2015.

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