Hello, I’m Jay Jenkins and I began Chartwell Guitar in the spring of 2014.
Chartwell Guitar is the culmination of years of my fascination with the guitar, beginning in the 1960’s, when I used to open the case on my new Framus classical and felt a thrill of excitement at the possibilities it promised, along with that particular aroma of maple and spruce. Although serious matters of raising a family sidetracked me for some thirty years, a single piece of music by Ed Gerhard, “The Water is Wide,” heard on a public radio program, lured me back to playing and exploring both steel stringed and classical guitars. This piece is played on many of the videos here, by permission.
As work requirements and an empty nest allowed me time to make progress with my playing, collecting classical guitars began to capture an increasing part of my imagination. This founding year, 2013, found me as good as in the business already, having dealt with many of the major dealers around the country. Now I don’t have to be jealous of what they are doing, as I offer a fine array of concert and student guitars, all owned. These are the guitars I’ve researched and bought with as much of a discriminating eye as you the potential buyer employs in your search. I understand what a web based guitar dealer needs to offer a buyer, which is visual and auditory samples, enough to make a trial ownership worth while. I try to give you that, along with my thoughts about prominent aspects that make this instrument unique. Each guitar is just that, although modern design like lattice and double tops segregate by sound, as you’d expect. The video recordings were done with a MacBook and Apogee MIC, without editing or enhancement. It is clear this is not a concert level player sampling these guitars, but I humbly offer recordings made in a home environment, played perhaps not as well as the hoped for buyer might, but with an honest, dry sound. The guitars speak for themselves.
Chartwell Guitar celebrates the magic a fine, luthier built guitar produces. I have Australian and American lattice builders, a variety of double tops, and traditional builds by the best of Madrid, as well as American and British traditionalists. If you come to this site with excitement of finding something new or something quite special at a fair price, you share my founding impulse. I look forward to talking with you about making a guitar dream a reality.
Jay Jenkins, owner