About Us

Home of master luthier; Tom Ribbecke. This website details Tom Ribbecke’s private practice.

In 2003 Tom developed the HalflingTM design with the help of renowned bass player (and good friend) Bobby Vega. The design is a unique blend of the Steel String/Classical guitar and the Archtop guitar that offers versatility, enhanced bass response and more feedback suppression.

Since 1974 Tom has been building and repairing guitars and basses in the San Francisco bay area. He has built a reputation for creating instruments that perfectly suit his clients’ needs. Tom hopes to give a part of himself to every instrument he builds.

Born in Brookyln, New York Tom attended NYU Syracuse University Newhouse School of communications and earned a BFA in Music and a BA in communications. He relocated to San Francisco in the early 70’s and opened his first lutherie shop in the Mission district. After ten years, and thousands of repairs and custom builds for clients, he closed the storefront in order to concentrate on Commission building.

Tom served 10 years with the Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans (ASIA) and as President of the board of directors. His instruments have been featured in the Scott Chinery Blue Guitar Collection for the Smithsonian and in the Boston Museum.

After over three decades of guitar building Tom is closing his regular commission list and will no longer accept standard commission work. He is only accepting orders for his “Masterpiece Series”. Each instrument will be unique and differentiated by label, material and thematic detail. They will be individual and uncompromised.