Andrew White Guitars is committed to its West Virginia roots.
COVID-19 CREATED CHALLENGES FOR BUSINESSES EVERYWHERE—but it brought some warm surprises, too. “It’s been really beautiful to watch people reassess their lives and, in some cases, decide that they wanted to be more musical,” says Andrew White of Andrew White Guitars in Morgantown.
A luthier who’s earned international renown, White has produced guitars of curious beauty. Soundholes in his Luthier’s Collection instruments curve delicately or align planetarily. Extra strings grid neatly across wide necks. Fanned frets create an artfully distorted perspective. He describes the collection as “art that is intended to be played.”
But White is also known for his commitment to making great instruments available to everyone, in three additional collections. His Deckers Creek Series—his studio sits on Deckers Creek in downtown Morgantown—is handcrafted on traditional guitar designs. Signature Series instruments, also handcrafted, use body styles of White’s own design with traditional bracing. And the Production Series is factory-built in Korea to Signature Series specifications—boutique West Virginia design at manufacturer pricing, with consistently enthusiastic reviews. While White’s high-end pieces sell for upwards of $7,000, some of his well-regarded production guitars sell in the $1,000 range and occasionally below.
Even with his international recognition, White loves running a small studio with a local presence and providing personal service. Recently, he says, a West Virginia man contacted him to buy as a gift the guitar his wife most wanted of all guitars. It was an Andrew White instrument—and neither of them had known it was made locally. “Somebody first saw us for who we are, and then they were proud that we’re right here in Morgantown.” No matter where customers call from, White says, “people love that there’s still a guitar company out there that offers an affordable, unique product where the guy that runs the company is the guy that’s on the phone with you.”