Philadelphia-based luthier Bill Comins began playing guitar at an early age, eventually going on to study jazz guitar at Temple University. His initial career as a working guitarist and private instructor led to a lifelong pursuit of exploring the intricacies of designing and building guitars with a special interest in archtop guitars.
Guided by the works of great guitar makers past and present, Bill has devoted much time and attention to key elements of the process such as wood selection, the modeling and graduation of the arched plates, the mass of individual components, sound-hole styling and placement, variables in geometric relationships, and the interaction with electronic amplification. By fine-tuning his techniques to meet the objectives of each custom-build, Bill has gained a deep understanding of how individual components function in concert with each other and how they can be manipulated to craft instruments of distinction. Like Buscarino, Comins also studied under Robert Benedetto and built his first archtop with Benedetto in 1991.
Attributing the success of his career in luthiery to sensibilities acquired through his years of playing guitar, Bill always remains mindful of the intended use of each musical instrument he creates, the demands of the player, and how the two together express a unique identity. Over the past quarter century plus, Bill has built hundreds of custom instruments for clients worldwide, including professional musicians, educators, and collectors. Bill’s work is renowned and has been featured in magazines, books, and formal exhibitions.
The Comins Chester Avenue is the result of the knowledge and experience gained under the tutelage of a great master, as Comins was mentored and heavily influenced by Robert Benedetto. Comins imprints his own unique innovations with this guitar as it uniquely features arm and chest chamfers on the top and back of the guitar to create a more comfortable feeling guitar. The body of the guitar features a spruce top with a flamed maple top, ebony bridge and tailpiece, and a burled wood pickguard. The neck construction utilizes a nine-piece maple back, ebony fingerboard, micarta nut, and Schaller tuners with ebony buttons.