Welcome to the website of UK-based guitar and mandolin builder Dave Gregory, who sadly died on 11 March 2016. A celebration of Dave's life was held at York Cemetery Chapel on 24 March 2016 with lots of his family, friends, customers and fellow musicians in attendance. Many people brought along their Dave Gregory hand-built instruments, some of which are shown in the photo below.
Dave started playing guitar in his teenage years. This was partly prompted by meeting a guy at his first proper teenage party who was playing one he’d made himself. A couple of years on, Dave would go to London’s Denmark St. to gaze at all the expensive guitars he would love to be able to afford. The ones that really grabbed him were the amazing creations of Tony Zemaitis…. “Don’t touch that, mate, don’t even look at it!”…and all handbuilt in a South London shed, he was told.
He started Dave Gregory Guitars and Mandolins in York in 1978. York has always had a thriving music scene, and there was a need for good quality instruments and a local repair service. The idea was simple: to build the very best instruments he could to musicians’ specification, and to take care of repairs in the locality. Thirty years on, the locality extends as far as New Mexico and New Zealand.
Dave always built both traditional and more radical, modern instruments. Detailed knowledge of the classic designs from the past provided an excellent bedrock when he was called upon to design something entirely new. Much of this knowledge, and a keen awareness of potential weak spots, came from repairing and restoring instruments. In this way, Dave found that the repair side of the business fed naturally into the building.
The photos you will see here represent a small sample of Dave's work. The selection is partly based on simple availability, and many of the instruments have given years of service, so are no longer pristine. Nicely aged spruce, though…Hopefully they give an idea of the range of his work, albeit incomplete. Sincere thanks to those customers who lent their instruments for the photos.