Ann Arbor Guitars

world-class repair and restoration 734 332-6142

Master Luthier David Collins

David Collins has nearly 25 years of experience as a Luthier. Prior to being a founding member of Ann Arbor Guitars David had his own shop in Ann Arbor under the name of Collin’s Lutherie. Prior to this David worked for Elderly Instruments in Lansing, Michigan.

David had a formal Lutherie education at the Galloup School of Lutherie and after graduating David was asked to stay on where he worked for Master Luthier Bryan Galloup as a Lutherie instructor.

David is also no stranger to building guitars and while at the Galloup school David built over 100 guitars including many of the pre-production prototypes for McPherson Guitars.

In the past decade or so David has made quite a name for himself in the Lutherie community because of his innovative approach to envisioning, designing and producing some of the most innovative and coveted Lutherie tools and machines in the industry. From the now in production Collins Saddle Mill to the Collins Fret Buffer and a host of other special purpose Lutherie tools David is a voice that many Luthiers are keen to listen to.

Customers ranging from collectors with very valuable pre-war Martins to professional musicians seek David out when they need quality work performed.

In a round about sort of way David can trace his Lutherie roots back to Ann Arbor even though David was not born in Ann Arbor. Having studied under Bryan Galloup David was introduced to Master Luthier and former Ann Arborite Dan Erlewine who has been a important, positive influence to David.

In 2005 David finally caved to a request from Hesh Breakstone to let Breakstone be David’s apprentice. This collaboration in time led to David and Hesh working together as contractors for Herb David while still running their own respective businesses.

David Collins was born to be a Master Luthier and he clearly has a passion for the trade, a skill set unequalled in the industry, and a customer centric obsession with the highest quality work.

Luthier Hesh Breakstone

Hesh Breakstone from his earliest childhood days loved guitars. Early influences were the Beatles and Cream. As a life long guitar player with arrested development at times with his own playing.... Hesh isn’t much different these days from the person he was as a young boy growing up in Michigan.

Hesh has decades of experience in corporate America including having worked for General Electric and other notable corporations. Hesh’s decades of business experience also with a very strong bias toward superb customer service serves Ann Arbor Guitars very well in our own pursuit business excellence.

Hesh’s Lutherie journey started with a doctor advising him that he needed a hobby but Hesh was often traveling for business making any hobby difficult. In 2004 Breakstone purchased an acoustic guitar kit and the rest is history. Although that very first guitar was not even fit for the trash man to take home when left displayed with the hope that someone would want it..... (true story) he did progress at a good pace and learned to build guitars.

After building dozens of acoustic guitars and selling many of them Hesh was advised by Rick Turner, former guitar tech to Jerry Garcia, that he would never really be a Luthier unless he learned the repair side of the trade.

Hesh listened to Rick and more importantly “heard” Rick and then decided to approach David Collins with the request to be an apprentice. After a three year apprenticeship with David Collins Hesh opened his own business in Tecumseh, Michigan called Lenawee Lutherie.

Thousands of repaired guitars later Breakstone and Collins collaborated once again on April 1st, 2013 (April fools day...) and opened Ann Arbor Guitars LLC.

Having spent decades in corporate America and traveled the world extensively Breakstone these days is fond of telling folks that he is as happy as he has ever been. He likens repairing guitars to finding that clean, well lit place that Hemingway spoke of. If you are not careful Hesh might expose you to his sense of humor as he is fond of telling folks that prior to building his first guitar the only thing that he ever made were reservations.