David Simmons BSc. was one of the first group to study Music Technology to degree level at the London College of Furniture and gained a First Class Honours. He followed a personal interest in the guitar and while studying branched into the field of early music, making period instruments such as the Renaissance 4 course guitar, vihuela, Baroque cello and treble and bass viols. He has made Renaissance lutes and more recently went back to its ancestor from the Middle East when commissioned to make a bespoke oud.
He continues to make modern acoustic and electric guitars, including his own registered design electric lap-slide and a reconstruction of the "Robert Johnson" Gibson L1.
David undertakes commissions, restorations, repairs, set-ups and refrets. In addition he offers a bow rehairing service. He was also commissioned to make Papageno's pipes for Glyndebourne's production of The Magic Flute. This was followed by similar commissions for The Royal Opera House, Sydney Opera House and professional musicians.
In addition David teaches instrument making in his own workshop on a one to one basis. Current projects for students include the "Robert Johnson" L1 acoustic guitar reconstruction and the Höfner "Paul McCartney" electric violin bass. Hours can be arranged to suit individuals and woodworking tuition is available for those who need to learn the basic skills before embarking on an instrument.. Please contact for details.
Reviews & recommendations: classical instruments & modern guitars
Courtesy multi-uke owner
Antique banjolele: "Thanks for putting on the vellum. It really looks superbly done and I'm very pleased."
Courtesy Marie, Worthing, 2015, via Worthing Streetlife https://www.streetlife.com/conversation/30yv2pw98k4ba/
Just letting people know David repaired my cello & it now sounds lovely! You can tell he has turned a passion into a profession & has many years of experience, skill & knowledge. Also loved his workshop... Happy to recommend
Courtesy of Michelle Willis, Worthing Philharmonic, 2014, by email:
I am playing mostly on the violin you restored for me as it plays and speaks so easily. I have had many compliments on the tone so there you are!
Courtesy of Richard Winfield of RG Winfield & Double$huffle.
...1979 I bought a new Gibson Les Paul Custom. After years of gigging I’d worn the frets down so much a refret was required. ... I met David Simmons at blues jams. Mates told me he was also an exemplary luthier...In all respects the quality of work exceeded expectation: it's been brought back from the dead really. I am absolutely CHUFFED! I really can't recommend David's work highly enough.
Oct 8, 2014
Courtesy of Neil Johnsen via David Simmons , Luthier website guestbook:
Went down to David's workshop yesterday to try out the Gibson style L1 acoustic he has just finished in Figured Cherry wood. The guitar is a dream to play and super sound. I particularly loved the feel of the neck, a nice fat neck that is easy to play even though i have quite small hands. A finger pickers dream guitar!
Posted on Thu 23rd Jan 2014
Courtesy of Bob Crossley via David Simmons , Luthier website guestbook:
David many thanks for a super job completed in fitting an active pick up into my Washburn acoustic guitar. It has now had several 'outings' and I have been very pleased with its performance.
Posted on Mon 9th Jul 2012
Courtesy of Chris Whitehead via David Simmons , Luthier website guestbook:
I have recently completed a short course with David in his Worthing workshop. We covered guitar setup and refretting. David is an excellent and patient teacher. I learned loads and anytime now will start “digging into” my 1984 Japanese SG... How’s that for confidence!? Many thanks David.
Via Steel Guitar Forum, on own registered design electric lap slide guitar:
Jay Fagerlie, Lotus, California, USA
Both look like they would be very comfortable to play, plus- they look great!
Stefan Robertson, London, UK
Great shape for lap steel playing. I love creative new ways of approaching this instrument.
Thumbs way up.
Johnie King, Tennessee, USA
Man that's out there really cool very creative I dig it!
Keith Glendinning, United Kingdom
Very different and it sounds good too. No doubt "traditionalists" will be aghast at the shape, but if you never change things, you never improve them either.
Don Barnhardt, North Carolina, USA
... the workmanship is impressive and I imagine they sound great. I think the fella deserves an “A".
Ted Smith, Idaho
Very innovative and cool
(see own website or forum for this design guitar. Can be heard on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBO0qQhH-8o )