MARYVILLE (WATE) - Violins have their Stradivariuses and pianos have their Steinways. For guitars there are Martins and Gibsons, but have you ever heard of a Dudenbostel? They're sold worldwide and are made in Tennessee.
From his little shop in the foothills of the Smokies, Lynn Dudenbostel works on his latest guitar creations. In a year's time, he will crank out around a dozen instruments, which will sell in places as far away as Italy and as close as East Tennessee.
"It's amazing. I built my first guitar in 1989 as a hobby, and now it's a hobby that's gone beyond my wildest dreams," said Dudenbostel. "At the time, I never dreamed it would become a full time endeavor, and in 1997 I went full-time with this, and it still doesn't feel like a job."
Dudenbostel guitars have a crisp and clean sound, and if they remind you of an old Martin or Gibson, that's because they're modeled after Martins and Gibsons of the 1920s and 1930s, which he describes as the golden era of instrument making.
"[When] I started out, I was real fortunate, because I had some guys who loaned me some real vintage instruments and let me study them, and that's our best teachers are these old instruments," he said.
Dudenbostel says making a quality instrument is about craftsmanship and artistry, but it's also about the wood.
"It doesn't look like much now, but that will make a great sounding guitar," Dudenbostel said of his latest work.
In this case, Dudenbostel points to a spruce from Romania. He believes it has great tonal quality and knows that by listening to it.
"Anything that has a tone to it like that is going to make a good instrument," said Dudenbostel.
He says great wood combined with a practiced touch, with patience and hard work thrown in equals a beautiful looking and sounding product.