BTLX Custom Guitars - pronounced BattleAxe - is the name behind Ireland's latest and finest brand of custom hand made hybrid musical instruments.
Each BTLX guitar is individually crafted in the small seaside town of Carrickfergus, in the shadow of our majestic 800 year old Norman castle, either as a stock model, or to the unique specifications of the individual customer.
Our instruments are made the old fashioned way - one at a time - which may seem like an unusual way to work, but we like to devote 100% of our time and attention to each guitar, seeing it through to perfect completion before devoting the same attention to detail to the next one.
Above all else however, we aim to bring you very high quality hand made custom guitars, without the usual astronomical price tags that you would normally associate with this kind of instrument.
Unlike other guitar makers, we don't follow the established crowd by creating copyright infringing clones of the big brand manufacturers models. Instead we have spent considerable time developing our own unique design, optimized to make the most of both traditional and cutting edge composite materials forged together with particular attention being paid to both playability and the perfect tone.
Here at BTLX Guitars, we subscribe to two very important yet simple concepts which mould and shape everything we do - Sustainablility and Affordability. We want you to own a premium musical instrument, but we don't want to break the bank, or the planet in the process.
To achieve this, we use a lot of locally sourced tonewoods that either come from replenishable supplies, or from reclamation and salvage sources, and when a more exotic finish is requested, we use veneers of the exotic woods on a suitable sustainably sourced tonewood.
When it comes to our use of carbon fibre, the act of trapping carbon in resin actively helps to remove it from the atmosphere in general - especially when it's in an heirloom item that will be loved, cherished, and never thrown away - but we go one step further than that. The resin we use is a Bio-Epoxy. That means it's 40% plant extract, making it friendlier to the planet.
All of these things result in an instrument that's kinder to the planet, and to your bank balance.
Much like our choice of materials, we allow our working processes to be guided by a few important principles.
First and foremost among these is Simplicity. We're a small luthiery business and that's exactly how we like it, as this means every instrument gets the personal hands-on touch. When a custom order, a repair, a service or a restoration comes in, we place all stock instrument work on the back burner, and that individual customers job becomes our primary focus until it's complete. We only take on one custom job at a time to ensure quality is maintained at the highest possible level, so this can sometimes mean there's a short wait before the next build commences.
In addition to this, we work wherever possible using traditional tooling and techniques.
Many luthiers cut and prepare their parts using CNC and automated cutting technology, then simply assemble the parts. That's not what we do. That's not hand made - that's hand assembled, and it's a very different thing.
Our instruments are 100% hand made, cut using templates which were themselves hand made, and parts cast in moulds which were also hand made by ourselves.
This means when you buy a BTLX instrument, you're buying something that has had love and affection put into it. An instrument with a living soul.
HOW TO BUY
There's two really simple ways to buy your very own BTLX instrument, whether it's a guitar, bass, ukulele, Bodhralele™ or Duilleog.
1. Search our online store for currently available off-the-peg instruments. These are the ones that are made, in stock and ready to ship at a moments notice. Simply pay using our secure gateway and your instrument will be with you in a matter of days.
2. You can order a custom hand made instrument to your very own specifications, and we'll build it for you from scratch.
This can be your very own twist on one of our existing designs, or you can let your imagination run free.
Just let us know what you want and we'll take care of the rest. If you can dream it, we can build it.
To place a custom order, you only need to pay a £50 deposit to reserve your space and time on the workbench, and the remaining balance is due payable on completion.