Saville Guitars

Hand made guitars

Customer Reviews

I'll post customer reviews as they become available.  They will be unsolicited and unedited.

Bud is the proud owner of #27.  He did this great video review.  This was a lot of work. 
I really appreciate his effort and I think you"ll enjoy watching.
Thank you Bud!


This is from Adam, owner of a small jumbo with Lucky Strike redwood on The Tree Mahogany.

Over the last six months I have taken my time in getting to know the subtleties of my new Saville, which are still revealing themselves with each passing day. What follows is my review of what is in my mind a sonically unique masterpiece, a true testament to the golden age of luthierie that we are living in.

I had been cautious to not over hype the guitar in my mind during the proceeding 8 months while it was being built. Thus, when I received it, I was not disappointed. However, I was not immediately blown away. The bass was not as big and ringing as I had hoped and it did sound a bit bright, as Steve had mentioned to me before. Let me mention, however, that it had been shipped halfway across the world from California to Japan so, all things considered, it sounded angelic.

All this said, after spending many nights sitting atop my futon, exploring exactly how my instrument likes to be touched and what styles it is best suited for, I can honestly say that this guitar embodies all the things I had been searching for in an instrument. Also, while I think this is an all-around great guitar, it really excels in more sensitive melodies as opposed to extreme, percussive techniques. That being said, it still sounds great even when I play such tunes as “The Hard Can Remix 2005” by Thomas Leeb, which, by anyone’s standards, is a pretty demanding piece of music for a guitar.

Another great feature is the sound port. The wonderfully rich tone actually envelops you and the lush overtones and warm, shimmering high and midrange is accentuated.

Over all, this instrument produces a ringing sustain, throughout the tonal register. It is a versatile instrument but is more suited to being played with a lighter, more deliberate touch, as opposed to a harsh strumming attack. 

This is from Dave who is the proud owner of a small jumbo with a Lutz spruce top and oak back and sides.   

Thank you for the kind words Dave!.

Hi Steve,

I want to let you know that I am in love with the guitar. Not only is it gorgeous, but it plays and sounds wonderful as well!

One of the pieces I play involves a quick shift to the 10th position, with a hammer-on/pull-off combination. On other guitars, due to the quickness with which this is done, I have had difficulty getting enough power on the hammer-on. On your guitar, due to its responsiveness, this is not an issue. In other words, it makes the difficult easy, which I think is the very definition of playability.

Everyone who has seen and heard or played it has been equally impressed!

So, I am sorry to say, it won't be coming back to you! I can promise to play and enjoy it for a long time to come.

Thank you for building a great guitar, and please keep it up!

Here is a review by Joe.

This guitar has exceeded my expectations in many ways. First and formost is the tone, sound and playability. It's really exactly what I was looking for. I can't wait to grow with this guitar and play it as it breaks in over the next 5-10 years. It should only get better. It has a very nice controlled bass that I love. It does not rattle my chest like my Taylor GS-K did but I did not expect it to. It is an OM and I think it is delivering all of the clear bass possible with an OM. However Steve is bracing and tuning his guitars, it's working. The notes ring all over the entire fretboard. It's extremely easy to play and very comfortable.

Second are the looks. First off, it's looks exactly like I pictured it in my head when I passed on the wood and specs to Steve. My original goal was to have a guitar with 100% wood appointments. I wanted to get away from any sort of abalone etc..even in the smallest of deatils such as the bridge pins. Wood is just too beautiful. But I am a wood guy. We are surrounded by beautiful wood things in our home. I have always been a wood lover. I wanted all of the woods to complement each other and form a nice melow wood look. If that makes sense. The color of the cedar is perfect. I could eat it. Between the cedar and dark walnut, the koa and black ebony look fantastic.

Things to point out. For most of these it was just a reaffirmation of things I thought or knew or thought I knew.
1- The comfort a proper armrest provides is amazing. It's nothing to be dismissed as a gimick or flavor of the day. I have struggled since day one (1986) with pain on my right arm from the pressure of a "normal" acoustic side. Even on a guitar as small as my Taylor GS-mini, within minutes I get a serious red mark on my arm where the side is cutting off circulation.
2- A soundport only enhances the guitar for the player. It's a great thing to have.
3-Wood is beautiful
4-Going with a 24.9" scale was the right choice for me. I love it.

I'm extremely happy with the guitar and with working with Steve. I will post soundclips as soon as I can and have plans to have the guitar photographed by a professional photographer friend of mine. It's fall in Kentucky and the perfect time for it. Trust me when I say none of these photos do it justice. I'm not even sure if my photographs will. It's has to be seen and heard in person. One Love--joe

Here is a review from Calvin.

So I know this review is long overdue, but I wanted to make sure that the honeymoon period for this guitar is over. It also doesn't help that going back to school and recently being married has been taking over most of my life at this moment . But like any other true AGFer, I have been making time to play my new Saville and getting to know it better.

So for those of you who may not know, I commissioned a build with Steve Saville last year. After MUCH collaboration and conversation, I decided on a OM shaped guitar with Honduran rosewood back and sides topped with Adirondack spruce. During the process, Steve was extremely patient with all of my questions and indecision and worked with me to create a beautiful guitar that really fit me and my needs and sense of aesthetics. He was very generous with showing me his workshop when I visited him and was very willing to entertain all of my suggestions and ridiculous ideas.

So after many months of anticipation, I finally received the guitar. My first impression when I opened it up was something very difficult to describe. I saw pictures online and I heard the descriptions, but there's really nothing quite like seeing it in person. Fantasy becomes reality and I was stunned. I finally understood the phrase, "Pictures really don't do it justice." Everything was what I hoped it would be and better. I asked Steve for understated elegance and he delivered. I loved everything from headstock to end pin. The details were clean and neat and I loved the armrest, soundport, and radiused purfling! Along with the beautiful lines and smooth surface, coupling what I saw with the awesome smell of fresh rosewood...whew. It was awesome. While I will say that the details are not perfect all over, there are a couple of spots where I could tell Steve patched it up, I appreciate that he told me mostly everything and they are hardly noticeable without the closest scrutiny. Also, I got this guitar to be player! 

So after unpacking the guitar, I tuned it up and started to play. And wow, for a OM, the volume of the guitar blew me away. It also might have been due to the soundport, but I could hear everything so clearly. The sound is crystal clear with more complexity than I've heard on any other guitar. Also, I got this guitar to be a strummer and when I dig in, because of the adi top, it doesn't overdrive and has great note to note separation. I especially loved that if I switched from strumming to flatpicking, the notes wouldn't lose volume oddly enough, but they were distinct and would jump off the string! Beautifully fat and rich I would call it. My friend who played it probably summed up the sound best when he said, "It sounds like this guitar has limitless potential," and I agree. As I've been playing it more and more over the past month, the guitar seems to get better and better in terms of volume, tone richness, and response. I can only imagine what it will sound like a year from now!

So all in all, I am very happy with my guitar. Steve did a wonderful job and would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone looking for a custom build guitar at an affordable price. Unfortunately I haven't had time to take pictures but here are some from Steve's shop!

OM Cedar on Walnut

This review is from Joe in Indiana.  Thank you Joe!

The beautiful little walnut/cedar made the long journey from sunny California to humid northern Indiana and I couldn't be happier.

Steve, Your marvelous creation has landed safely! I have slowly brought it up to tuning and have had the pleasure of playing one of my own songs on a beautiful, articulate and attractive guitar built just for me!!

The tone (while very fresh and new) is what I'd call a traditional voice, no part of its tone fights the other. It is warm and very focused on the upper bass and lower mid of the sound spectrum. WARMTH DELUXE!!! I could not have described or expected a more perfect tone for this beautiful little guitar. The action is super sweet, and very, very easy to fret anywhere. I have done some strumming and some fingerstyle and it more than shines on both.

As for the appearance, it just rocks. All the woods and their tones just melt together and you really captured that "Lowden" vibe I was after. I see myself and this great little giant creating some wonderful music together for years to come.

I am proud and very privleged to be your first official customer. What a great guitar from a great builder!!! My friend, keep up what you are doing,,,you are a gifted builder and this guitar speaks that in volumes. Thank You, thank you, thank you!!!!!

Folks, I can't tell you what a pleasure it was dealing with Steve and watching him create such a great guitar. If you have been considering a handbuilt, I would contact Steve before he becomes backlogged like all the other great builders. It sure is cool to watch our own new luthier grow right before our eyes. I look forward to watching as Steve creates more guitars in the future. 

OM Adirondack on East Indian Rosewood.

This review Is from Red in Oklahoma.  Thanks Red!

This might be a little silly, but I wanted to share the experience with all of you:

Have you ever had an unbelievable feeling of confirmation sweep over you, in regards to your guitar purchase? In October I took delivery of a beautiful adi/EIR Saville OM(deep-bodied) and fell in love. I realized immediately that it was a better guitar than my abilities warranted me owning. Since receiving my Saville I have not played any other guitars other than my beater(Seagull). Yesterday I went to a local guitar shop during my lunch break to test out the Shen 100. I didn't have my guitar with me so I just played a few of the shops guitars to get a feel for the amp. I played a Taylor 814, Martin OM28 Marquis, Larrivee LV10 and Taylor GS. They were all gorgeous guitars and sounded nice; however, I was completely unsatisfied with any of them. After 40 minutes of this I finally realized that I was so unsatisfied because I was spoiled by my guitar. These were no Estaban guitars...these were some high dollar well-regarded instruments and I wouldn't have traded mine for any of them. At first I thought maybe I was crazy for thinking this way, but quickly realized that wasn't the case at all. For the first time, I felt completely confirmed in the fact that my guitar was made for me...literally and figuratively. I left the store, forgetting why I even went in, on cloud nine. I by no means believe my gas is cured forever, but I know I have a keeper in my Saville. I've never been satisfied completely with any guitar purchase before this, so I was wondering if this is normal or just something special that happens every once in a blue moon?

I am not affiliated with Saville Guitars, nor any other guitar company. The above statements were just made out of happy customerdom (I MIGHT have just made this word up.)

SJ Adirondack on Bubinga

Sorry about taking so long. When I'm not busy I'm playing The Guitar, I can't put it down long enough to do anything else when I've got the time to play.
Steve, you were/are a
pleasure to work with. I appreciate everything. I WILL do a review of the guitar, I wana spent a little more time on it. Simple as it is, it's the best guitar I've ever played and heard. Everyone I know that has touched it has said, "Looks like I need to save up some money and talk to this Steve Saville fellow." 
Three biggest compliments are always the Lutehole, which is absolutely great. I can move around and play "aggressively" and have no trouble with it at all. It is very solid. I haven't had to take it out with the exception of the first time I put it in, but it isn't nearly as difficult as I thought it might be.
The other is the bevel, EVERYONE has mentioned that it makes a guitar a dream to play on. I know for a fact that I will never want another guitar unless it has a bevel. 
Lastly, the sound port. Gosh, the guitar ENVELOPES YOU. When I listen to other people playing it, I stick back and feel wrapped up in its sound. I was playing my fiances' Seagull next to this thing, and man... That thing got blown away in sound quality and volume. Tried again with my Cousin's Parkwood (a devision of Cort), and yet again totally blown away in terms of sound and volume.
Speaking of the sound. It's absolutely impressive. Talk about STRING BALANCE. When I play folk lines rotating between low E and low A, I can HEAR each and every note in the chord pronounced and alive. Absolutely unreal. 
I'm so very proud of you Steve. I'm very glad to hear that everyone appreciates your work as much as I do.
Thanks for letting me be part of your building.
All the best,