About Flame Guitars

Flame Guitars is based in Sutton, South London, and is owned by me, David Kennett. I build custom electric guitars and have a repair, servicing and set-up facility for all types of guitars. Have a look around this website and you will find examples of my work, both for new, custom guitars and for servicing of guitars. 

Custom Guitar 

I have been building custom guitars for more than 20 years. Initially I made acoustic guitars but for a number of years now I have dedicated much of my time to making custom electric guitars. When I started making electric guitars I was keen not to make high-end copies of other well known guitars. I wanted to make guitars that look distinctly different, use tonewoods that are not commonly used by the big manufacturers and sound a little different, with their own voice.

My mission is to make guitars that look stunning, sound great, have their own distinctive voice, are really well set up and bring great pleasure to the owner of the guitar. If you look around this website you will see that I love using exotic hardwoods for body facings, such as; bubinga, paduak, macassar ebony, bocote and walnut. Once lacquered these tonewoods look quite stunning. But ultimately the guitar must play well and be a serious gigging guitar. So the attention to detail when constructing the guitar, the balance of the guitar, the choice of pickups and the set-up are ultimately more important than how the guitar looks. But even better to have a guitar that plays really well but is also a thing of beauty!

Maybe you have owned a number of guitars and are looking for something a bit different. Or maybe you know just what you are looking for in a guitar and can't get this from the big manufacturers. If so, this is where the custom guitar maker comes into their own.

Whether it is a choice of tonewoods, neck width and thickness, scale length, pickup selection and switching options, I can make a guitar that is tailored to your specific requirements. So at the heart of each Flame Guitar is a conversation that has taken place between customer and maker and led to the creation of a unique and very personal guitar.

Guitar Servicing and Repairs

Whilst I love making new guitars I also really enjoy this side of the work I do. It is by no means second best for me. I really enjoy taking a guitar that has perhaps seen better days or is in need of some attention and bringing it back to life and getting it to optimum playing condition. So the high standards I set myself when building new guitars I also bring to the servicing of guitars. 

I also really enjoyed meeting all the customers that pass through my workshop. Every set-up is different because each player has their own style and preference. So the conversation I have with each customer about the style of music they play and what they look for in a set-up is really important to me. There are many wrong ways to set-up a guitar but there are many right ways as well. There is lot of information about this type of work on my servicing page with many examples of my work.

Why the name Flame Guitars?

Occasionally people ask me "Why the name Flame Guitars?". Well, partly it is a nod towards the job I did for 31 years; that is, a firefighter in the London Fire Brigade. But also, having studied fire for all those years I know that it needs three elements to grow and live; that is heat, fuel and oxygen. For me, music can be a bit like fire. It grows and decays but can also bring light and heat to our lives. It needs those three elements of heat, fuel and oxygen to come alive. And guitars are little more than wood and metal when left in the corner of a room. But in the hands of a skilled player, bringing passion and inspiration, the instrument comes alive and there is a bond between musician that is hard to put into words.

So there you are. Maybe that sounds a bit fancyful, but it makes sense to me!