Daley announces guitar division

Does it seem odd that Nashville’s most celebrated mandolin builder is a banjo playing Brit?

Sim Daley performs on the 5 string with the Tina Adair Band and, in addition to building world class mandolins, attends to the cherished instruments of some of the top pickers in Music City at Daley Instrument Company. His Daley mandolins have been played and endorsed by such luminaries as Adam Steffey and Dan Tyminski, and fretted instrument players from all over visit the shop regularly for repair and maintenance on their prized banjos, guitars and mandolins.

Now Sim feels he is ready to expand his operation to include building flat top guitars, and has brought on luthier Adam Chowning to assist in producing them.

“People have been asking me for years when I was going to start building guitars full time (I did test the waters by co-building a half dozen guitars several years ago), which I always took as a great compliment. But it was never the right time.

Now that I have someone with years of guitar building experience and the same determination to build excellent instruments working with me, it finally is the right time.

Adam and I know these guitars are worthy of the Daley name.”

There will be 2 Daley guitar models initially, both dreadnaught body styles, with slope shoulder bodies available by request. The SD-18 features mahogany back and sides, while the SD-28 uses rosewood. Both have an Adirondack spruce top, with Sitka spruce prewar-style bracing.

Like the mandolins, these guitars will be completely handcrafted, and Sim assures us that they will be produced with the same painstaking care and attention to detail that are hallmarks of his instruments. They will also undergo what he calls the Sim Daley Aging Process, a unique finish experience that he says enhances tone, resonance, and feel.

“I’ve been fortunate to earn a reputation as one of the great repair and set-up shops in the acoustic community, which means that I’ve had just about every incredible guitar, old and new, on my bench. And I’ve taken notes on every one.

You can be sure that we will draw on the knowledge acquired over the years with so many exquisite guitars in the ones that we build.”

Chowning also brings many years of guitar repair and building experience to the table, on top of his skill as a flatpick guitarist. He says that he is looking forward to his new partnership with Daley.

“I’ve always wanted to partner with a luthier I admire – someone who has a great reputation and a shop that turns out high quality instruments.

I know that two heads are better than one when it comes to building instruments and in Sim Daley I’ve found not only an inspiring colleague but a great friend.”

Even before an official announcement, there is an order backlog for the new Daley guitars. If you have an interest in obtaining one, contact Sim at (615) 876 3741 or visit www.simdaley.com, and get in line.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.