Like any good beard we’re growing constantly,
and we’re nowhere near our limits…
Goldbeard Guitars is a guitar building school, manufacture and repair company based in Wellington’s Lyall Bay. We offer short guitar-making and ukulele-building courses, build guitars to commission using customer-selected designs, components and timbers, and bring old and damaged instruments back to life.
The company was founded in 2011 and has welcomed customers from as near as next-door to as far away as Europe, South America, Africa, Japan and the US.
Built on a foundation of precision science, our values are based around business integrity and loyalty to our community. We practice fair, sustainable trade, and once you’ve joined the Goldbeard family you will always be well looked after.
We see our approach to instrument building as our way of practicing good energy. Because we think good energy is what it’s all about, from the thud of a knuckle against rough plank to the vibration of fingers on strings. Our goal is to see our customers carry this good energy forward… igniting themselves, lighting up stages and warming up hearths.
Goldbeard Guitars became a twinkle in Founder and Head Tinkerer Dave Gilberd’s eye way back... As a qualified aircraft mechanic, a high-tech recycling engineer, occasional classic car fixer-upperer and total '90's motorbike fanboy, he has spent a life time working with fine machinery. However, after taking an instrument-building course in 2003, the inaugural strum of his first hand-built guitar was the moment that first got him thinking about doing this for life.
Dave wanted to challenge commercial guitar-building companies by injecting a new personality into the mix. He wanted a strong brand, but one that could adapt to suit his customers. He wanted great service and to create the perfect, bespoke tone. Ultimately he wanted to give other instrument-lovers an experience.
After further training at the Totnes School of Guitar-Making (UK) the stage was set, and by 2011 the Goldbeard show was on the road. From electric/acoustic, classical, blues and the downright brazen (!) Dave has since brought countless creations into the world, taught over 60 students how to build their own instruments and revived numerous old and damaged pieces.
Dave lives in Brooklyn, Wellington, with his wife Natalie, young son Karsiah, an oh-so-nearly refurbished '71 Peugeot and a very large cat called Jack.
Phil Fahey is Goldbeard’s electric guitar specialist. His roots are in professional photography and design but his heart is firmly stuck on guitars.
He made his first guitar as a response to a particularly ugly electric guitar he owned - he made a new body for that one, then decided to go the whole hog and build a completely new guitar from scratch.
A Christmas present for his brother in 2012 soon followed and Phil has been turning them out ever since, fine-tuning his style through practice, practice, practice.
His involvement in Goldbeard has brought a stunning collection of electric gats into the Goldbeard mix that merge both the look and feel of traditional styles with Goldbeard’s unique identity.
Phil lives in Island Bay, Wellington when he is 'living' among the dust and wood shavings at the workshop.