NBN Guitars

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277 Comments

Reply Ian Kelly
9:46 AM on June 11, 2021 

I just found this great link on the web for Elvis' NBN (Image included) and wanted to share it:

https://www.julienslive.com/m/lot-details/index/catalog/134/lot/57296/


Reply Ian Kelly
11:39 AM on April 23, 2021 

That is a great story Harry! Good to see you on here! Hope all is well with you! My dad says hello!

Harry Fleishman says...

My favorite memory of NBN, where I visited, impatiently, while waiting for my guitar, is of the guitar they built for Tim Goodman.  He was on his way up and looking like a good endorsement potential, as well as a good musician and nice guy.  When his very fancy instrument was ready he came in with an entourage loaded down with food and drink for the special unveiling.  He sat down and after looking deeply and carefully at the beautful details of the guitar, as lovely as I'd ever seen, he started to play. Stop. Look at it some more.  Play a bit more.  Stop.  Hmmmm this guitar is dead as they get!  Looking just a bit more deeply he could see that they had stuffed the guitar with foam as a prank. Once removed the guitar was a gem, lively and responsive.  A somewhat cruel prank, and one that took a lot of confidence that Steve would forgive.  

I loved visting them.  Reb and Andy were super generous and helped me with ideas and some wood for my first acoustic buid of my own.  Their support was valuable as I started out.  It was a great treat to see them when they visited my shop and at the Red Rocks Museum while it lasted.

thanks again you guys.  great memories.

Reply Ian Kelly
11:36 AM on April 23, 2021 

Nice song @Paul Turner!

Here is a song I recently wrote and recorded at home during the pandemic with my dad's CT. R-2 Parlor guitar he gifted to me last year:

https://soundcloud.com/iankelly134/hymn-to-new-york

Enjoy!

p.s. There is a bit of an easter egg at the beginning of the song to dedicate the song to our beloved friend David Metsch who passed away in 2019 and was from New York. I cannot play harmonica at all so blew one note to sound like a fog horn. Anway, Dave was the greatest harmonica player I ever heard in my life and a truly wonderful man. He will be missed dearly. R.I.P. Dave

Reply Paul Turner
8:34 PM on April 19, 2021 

A song I wrote long ago on my M-2-12 https://youtu.be/rD7Cu-Imoe4

Reply Paul Turner
11:49 PM on April 17, 2021 

Check out An Interview with Reb Bennett, Part 1 on the Guestbook Extra page!

Reply Duffy Keith
11:07 PM on April 17, 2021 
By the way Reb...I was a Russian language major at cu also...Remember professor Lee...!
Reply Duffy Keith
11:04 PM on April 17, 2021 
I remember about about 1972 I was playing with a band at Tulagis and Reb walks up to the stage and hands me an NBN to play...Well, by the end of the year I owned number 81...Still have it...It has been through the musical war zone all these years but still sounds great...! It needs refinishing and plenty of care...!
Reply James Scarlett-lyon
1:39 PM on March 5, 2021 

I owned an NBN in the 70s while living in Boulder.  I've always consided that guitar "The One The Got Away".  I was in the CU Music School and needed a classical guitar for private lessons I was taking for my coursework.  Out of necessity I ended up trading my NBN for a classical guitar.  Funny story.  The guy I traded guitars with lived in a cave with a pack of ferral dogs up Boulder Canyon and he looked the part.  He was quite a character.  To this day I still regret trading that guitar.  It is still one of my favorite guitars ever.

Reply Paul Turner
5:51 PM on October 27, 2020 

Hahaha those rascals at NBN! Great story, many thanks!

Harry Fleishman says...

My favorite memory of NBN, where I visited...

Reply Harry Fleishman
5:41 PM on October 27, 2020 

My favorite memory of NBN, where I visited, impatiently, while waiting for my guitar, is of the guitar they built for Tim Goodman.  He was on his way up and looking like a good endorsement potential, as well as a good musician and nice guy.  When his very fancy instrument was ready he came in with an entourage loaded down with food and drink for the special unveiling.  He sat down and after looking deeply and carefully at the beautful details of the guitar, as lovely as I'd ever seen, he started to play. Stop. Look at it some more.  Play a bit more.  Stop.  Hmmmm this guitar is dead as they get!  Looking just a bit more deeply he could see that they had stuffed the guitar with foam as a prank. Once removed the guitar was a gem, lively and responsive.  A somewhat cruel prank, and one that took a lot of confidence that Steve would forgive.  

I loved visting them.  Reb and Andy were super generous and helped me with ideas and some wood for my first acoustic buid of my own.  Their support was valuable as I started out.  It was a great treat to see them when they visited my shop and at the Red Rocks Museum while it lasted.

thanks again you guys.  great memories.

Reply Paul Turner
12:49 PM on October 26, 2020 

Check out "R-2 Restoration Story" submitted by Russell Westmoreland on the Guestbook Extra page!


Reply Paul Turner
6:23 PM on October 23, 2020 

No history known but it's #253 on the Registry. Beautiful guitar.

Reply Al da Costa
3:44 PM on October 23, 2020 

[]Thanks - I just saw that one an hour go.  Anybody know the history on this one?  


https://www.ebay.com/itm/284049928182

 

 

[/]

Reply Paul Turner
10:19 AM on October 23, 2020 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/284049928182

Al da Costa says...

Trust this finds everyone safe and healthy.  I am looking for an NBN 12 string, preferably an LTD. 

Reply Al da Costa
10:15 AM on October 23, 2020 

Trust this finds everyone safe and healthy.  I am looking for an NBN 12 string, preferably an LTD. 

Reply Ian Kelly
12:25 PM on April 14, 2020 

My dad has owned an NBN smaller body parlor style guitar that he custom ordered from the shop in around 1970 since then.  It is simply the most wonderful instrument I have ever had the pleasure of playing and the NBN name has become a sacred name for our family since then.  Then my dad surprised me last year for my 38th birthday with another NBN he found on reverb.com, a 1972 R-2 OO38 12 string.  It is another amazing instrument that is just beyond gorgeous to listen to.  These are not just guitars for our family, they are brilliant, one-of-a-kind instruments that have lives of their own and we cherish deeply.  Thanks to the NBN family for these amazing creations that will live on.

Reply John McCaleb
4:16 AM on March 2, 2020 
If you or someone you know would like to own an NBN, please contact me. I have several and they donâ??t fit my home-downsizing plans. I can be contacted at: jmccaleb47@gmail.com. They range from project guitars to specimens. Each is special because it is part of the NBN story.
Reply Paul Turner
12:52 PM on February 11, 2020 

My R-2 is for sale: https://reverb.com/item/31953433


Reply Andy Bennett
12:14 AM on January 9, 2020 

It is always such a pleasure and a priviledge to restore or work on these instruments that we all built some 50 odd years ago. It brings back memories of those days at the school house and all those musicians that came by and played and sang. So many stories and such a time of learning and creativity. I feel very luckey to have been a part of building musical instruments for friends and strangers and famous players who supported us and our passion for building something different and innovative. The vibrations of so many woods from all over this world inspire me still. All of us that worked at NBN have special memories of a very special time in music history. These insruments have survived and grown into their sound that only comes with playing and age. I love it.

Reply Paul Turner
11:59 PM on November 19, 2019 

I have my Brazilian Concert Model CT R-2 for sale: https://reverb.com/item/29781803-nbn-ct-r-2

Reply Sherry Medwin
11:18 PM on September 13, 2019 

"Forty Years in the Making:  The Magic Music Movie" takes us back to Boulder in the early 70's, when Magic Music used to float out of the mountains and play for free on the campus green. I still hum some of their songs.  The movie is available on Amazon.  Will Luckey's  illness and death coming so soon on the heels of his reunion with the band is really sad.



Reply Tom S
10:09 PM on August 19, 2019 

Making this post an announcement that Will Luckey, the person who introduced me to Monty Nivotny (resulting in my custom concert and now 42 year old guitar) who owned his own NBN prior to its being stolen at a gig in Denver in the mid-70's,  passed away just a few days ago after a long struggle with cancer, pneumonia being the final blow that took him. Some of you may have known him or heard of Magic Music way back in the early 70's. He played with them then and in recent years was featured with the re-united band in a film made about the band, I believe online to view if interested.

Reply Andy Bennett
2:31 PM on December 6, 2018 

The first NBN ever built is available for purchase through me at andybennett208@gmail.com. Description, pictures and pricing at your request.

Reply Al da Costa
9:38 AM on December 6, 2018 

I bought Larry Aase's LTD #255 a couple of months ago and want to thank Larry for all his kindness to me with the transaction.  This particular guitar has a three piece back and MOP purfling on the top.  The guitar has very little wear, and aside from replacing the original Grovers with new ones (the gold finish was completely worn off the old ones) and lowering the saddle (and a touch of the bridge) the guitar is original.  Totally different sound than the R-3 Andy Bennett completely restored for me a few years ago (and still my favorite so far) but that's good!  I think this particular guitar is already in the gallery.  Everyone who plays my NBNs marvel at the tone and the sustain of these instruments.  I am delighted to be the guardian of these guitars for a few years more...

Reply Hans Post
1:56 PM on November 6, 2018 

After having met Reb at a local watering hole, I got interested in NBN guitars. But considering their scarcity (and price) I never thought I could have one of my own. In 2018 I saw a reasonably priced Reverb ad for an R-2, that had been used a lot over time, but had been professionally fixed recently. And so, Reb and I sit together now and then to play our NBN’s. A great pleasure to play such a wonderful guitar, that is part of guitar making history. Especially after seeing “40 Years in the Making: the Magic Music Movie” about a 1970s Colorado band that used NBN guitars.

Reply Al da Costa
10:52 AM on May 4, 2018 
Is the 12 string still available? Thx! Al
Reply Paul Turner
12:38 PM on February 17, 2018 
Thanks for the post Joe! Can you share some pictures?
Reply Joe
12:05 PM on February 17, 2018 

In 1970, I moved to Boulder and picked up a Yamaha FG-180 that had allegedly "belonged to the owner of NBN Guitars." I have no idea if that was true, but the fretboard does have abalone inlays which were supposedly crafted by the original owner. I've lugged this guitar around for nearly fifty years; it has a bit of a twist in the neck and doesnt stay in tune long. But I wondered, after coming across this board, if this old Yamaha would mean anything to anyone. 

Reply dave danze
8:55 PM on January 14, 2018 

Had the luck to crash in a commune in Boulder in 1974 and learnt my first chords on a jumbo NBN that belonged to some sharing hippie gal.

Years later heard NBN stopped making their guitars.   I liked the boxy shape contours of the body, not too boxy, just enough to appeal to the

craftsman in me.  


Dave Danze

Arlington Va

Reply David H. Thompson
5:27 AM on November 26, 2017 

I was Monty's tax man from the time he left NBN until he died.  A nicer guy, you'd never want to meet. I never charged him much, he was always cash poor and inventory rich and when he knew he was dying, he said, take care of my taxes, make sure my wife doesn't have to worry about things and gave me a guitar he'd been stiffed on by an A**hole out of Gold Hill, CO.  Anybody in the know, knows exactly who I'm talking about.  They wouldn't even let him sit in on the Sunday afternoon jams,  that's how much he was liked. Monty's widow exercised the clause in the Elvis guitar contract and bought it back for the $10,000.  She sold it for a lot more than that.  I saw that guitar during the build and it was awesome. Monty was the most detail oriented I ever met, when he was doing inlays, there was no filler, it fit.  I saw his house when he was building it and  it was just the same.  A gorgeous place, obviously built by a craftsman.  Someday I'll sell the guitar, it's been over 30 years and I still can't.  I still have one of the T-shirts from when he came back from his foray into California. Says, Monty's Back.  It's almost worn out, but I wore it down to the local bar about 6 months ago and somebody recognized it.  He had his fans. After Monty left, NBN folded fairly quickly, he was the talent. 

Reply Paul
3:54 PM on August 8, 2017 
Gorgeous! Incredible work Chuck!
Reply Chuck Morrison
1:29 PM on August 8, 2017 

Perhaps of interest is a custom guitar I just finished based on the NBN concert size acoustic. I've built several instruments based on this shape over the years from of a tracing of NBN #4 Classical courtesy of Reb Bennet. This guitar is built with African Blackwood back and sides, 5 piece curly maple & Blackwood neck and Euro Spruce top. Bracing is an X brace similar to that used in later NBNs . I don't usually do as much elaborate inlay as this instrument sports nor have I ever used pearloid binding before. It's all rather striking on such a dark background. I don't know how well these images will show up here, so if you'd like to see the full size photos, email me and I can send them directly.

   

Reply Art Tedeschi
9:03 PM on February 3, 2017 

Great website Paul!

Reply Travis T
7:47 PM on December 2, 2016 

 Hello, I have a beautiful, one of a kind NBN 12 string that I'm looking at selling. Let me first start off by saying that if I weren't in such a bind financially then I wouldn't even consider selling my NBN. That said, I just built a studio and invested in a console,outboad gear and mics. It completely tapped me it out. Anyway, my NBN 12 string was originally my dad's. He used to play the Colorado ski curcuit back in the 70's and during this time, he met Monty Novotny. The story goes that they became friends and Monty was a fan of my dad's guitar playing. Anyhow my dad had Monty build him a custom NBN 12 string. From what I was told, my dad's NBN is the only one that came in it's particular color. I don't know whether this true or not. Overall it's in good condition. there's some wear and tear on the front but the fact it's a vintage insrument from the 70's, it's iin really good condtion. Even the case that comes with it is amazing. It weighs a ton but this guitar could fall out of a plane and it would probably survive in this case. Anyhow, email me if you're interested and I can send some pics over. Thanks,

Reply Paul Turner
3:34 PM on November 26, 2016 

Thanks Mike, great to hear of Bernie! Please extend an invitation to him to share any stories and pictures!

Reply mike gentry
12:47 AM on November 25, 2016 
I would like to comment on one of the founders of nbn guitars that I had thanksgiving dinner with today. Bernie Nettesheim of 5562 olde stage road,Boulder back then whom now lives in Loveland ,Colorado spends thanksgiving along with his wife Julie every year for the last 5 years with us in ft Collins Colorado. I brought out my Gibson Baldwin sg style guitar and was telling of how I acquired it and what I paid for it when Bernie Nettesheim told the story of building the first nbn guitars. it was most rewarding to hear about the creating of such fine stringed instruments right here on the front range of colorado
Reply Al da Costa
10:28 AM on October 29, 2016 

Larry, 

Did you sell your Limited Edition?

Thanks,

Al

Reply Warren McCosky
1:49 AM on June 25, 2016 

Just became a proud owner of my first NBN guitar today.  Very impressed with this guitar (an R-2) even though she needs some major work.  Dropping her off at my repairman's shop next week.......so for the few days between now and then, I get to enjoy her.  Obviously, when it's been repaired, she'll be even more enjoyable, but so far...........I'm "extremely" happy with it.  Never played or even saw one of these before this one............but she's already made me a big fan of NBN guitars.

Reply Jon Svetkey
12:36 PM on June 14, 2016 

Hi Tim! I've never run across Severin Browne but I'll definitely look him up! Cheers, Jon

Reply Tim Snider
12:35 PM on June 3, 2016 

To Jon Svetkey, "singer, songwriter for 25 years". Have you run across Severin Browne, singer songwriter for about 50 years now, whom I knew in high school, played bass for at reunions, on the opposite coast, famous last name but the more talented of the two of course. I am envious of good talent and I'm glad to see your "beast" of a guitar doing what it was built for.

To Reb and Andy, I don't remember knowing about yours and Monty's signatures on the end block. One more little fact that makes me smile. I hope all is still right with the world.

Reply Jon Svetkey
8:19 PM on May 3, 2016 

Hi Everyone - 
I just had an L.R. Baggs Anthem SL pickup system installed on my R-2 and it sounds AMAZING! Here's a little Facebook shout out from the luthier who installed it! 

https://www.facebook.com/207109429349271/photos/a.207580319302182.52141.207109429349271/1081105011949704/?type=3&comment_id=1081241765269362¬if_t=like¬if_id=1462315892309648

Reply Jon Svetkey
2:26 PM on May 2, 2016 

I'll let the luthier know about the plexiglass -- he was wondering if it was something like 'bakelite' (spelling?). He looked inside it and on first glance it shows that you, Andy and Monty all built the guitar. I don't know if there are other names in there yet. I do know, however, that part of Andy's name is obscured because of the hole that got drilled for the strap button! I asked him to take a photo of the signatures. I'll also try to post a picture or two so you can see it. Thanks again! Jon

Reb Bennett says...

Jon, the rosette is plexi glass and we used it to protect the sound hole area from pick damage and to strenthen the area around the sound hole to reduce overtoning. It was also easy to inlay on the fancier guitars. I'm guessing the back and sides are Indian rosewood as we normally used the Brazilian wood on the Limited Edition guitars. I would have to see the guitar to be sure. I hope you enjoy the gutar. Reb, NBN Guitars

Hi Reb -

Thanks so much for replying to my question! I definitely will give you a shout soon to learn a little more about my new favorite guitar. I'm taking it to the luthier tomorrow to have a pickup installed and to have a minor set up done -- there's some 'plinky' notes and some sympathetic ringing/buzzing -- so I can start bringing it to gigs. I also want him to take a picture of the signatures inside -- that's so damn cool. One question that I know you can answer in the meantime: What is the black rosette made of? I know the top is German spruce, the neck's mahogany, the back and sides are rosewood (Brazilian, right?) and the fingerboard is ebony -- but the rosette? Thanks again, have a great weekend, I will connect soon! Best, Jon

 

 

 

 

Reply Reb Bennett
12:34 PM on April 30, 2016 

Jon, the rosette is plexi glass and we used it to protect the sound hole area from pick damage and to strenthen the area around the sound hole to reduce overtoning. It was also easy to inlay on the fancier guitars. I'm guessing the back and sides are Indian rosewood as we normally used the Brazilian wood on the Limited Edition guitars. I would have to see the guitar to be sure. I hope you enjoy the gutar. Reb, NBN Guitars

Hi Reb -

Thanks so much for replying to my question! I definitely will give you a shout soon to learn a little more about my new favorite guitar. I'm taking it to the luthier tomorrow to have a pickup installed and to have a minor set up done -- there's some 'plinky' notes and some sympathetic ringing/buzzing -- so I can start bringing it to gigs. I also want him to take a picture of the signatures inside -- that's so damn cool. One question that I know you can answer in the meantime: What is the black rosette made of? I know the top is German spruce, the neck's mahogany, the back and sides are rosewood (Brazilian, right?) and the fingerboard is ebony -- but the rosette? Thanks again, have a great weekend, I will connect soon! Best, Jon

 

 

/Reb Bennett says...

Reply Jon Svetkey
3:04 PM on April 29, 2016 

Hi Reb -

Thanks so much for replying to my question! I definitely will give you a shout soon to learn a little more about my new favorite guitar. I'm taking it to the luthier tomorrow to have a pickup installed and to have a minor set up done -- there's some 'plinky' notes and some sympathetic ringing/buzzing -- so I can start bringing it to gigs. I also want him to take a picture of the signatures inside -- that's so damn cool. One question that I know you can answer in the meantime: What is the black rosette made of? I know the top is German spruce, the neck's mahogany, the back and sides are rosewood (Brazilian, right?) and the fingerboard is ebony -- but the rosette? Thanks again, have a great weekend, I will connect soon! Best, Jon

Reb Bennett says...

Jon, sorry about the repeat on the message to Michael. Your build date would be around 1972. Enjoy! 

So I think I'm perhaps the newest member of the NBN Guitar Owners Family... my wife just surprised me for my birthday with that left-handed R2 that was on sale at Carter Vintage Guitars in Nashville! It's Serial Number 0227 (I'll put that into your registry here). I'm going to have some minor work done on it -- a grind and polish, a neck tweak, some new bridge pins and a pickup -- and then it's going out to gigs with me! I see by this site that there's lots to check out; my biggest curiosity question is how many lefties did NBN make? Any ideas? Thanks!

[/Reb Bennett]

Reply Reb Bennett
1:20 PM on April 28, 2016 

Jon, sorry about the repeat on the message to Michael. Your build date would be around 1972. Enjoy! 

So I think I'm perhaps the newest member of the NBN Guitar Owners Family... my wife just surprised me for my birthday with that left-handed R2 that was on sale at Carter Vintage Guitars in Nashville! It's Serial Number 0227 (I'll put that into your registry here). I'm going to have some minor work done on it -- a grind and polish, a neck tweak, some new bridge pins and a pickup -- and then it's going out to gigs with me! I see by this site that there's lots to check out; my biggest curiosity question is how many lefties did NBN make? Any ideas? Thanks!

[/Jon Svetkey]

Reply Reb Bennett
1:11 PM on April 28, 2016 

Michael Niebuhr, if you explore the website you will find copies of the old catalogs and other articles that will give you some background on NBN. Paul has done a wonderful job with the site. I own #0010, also an R-2 and we built mine in 1969. This would be an approximate date for yours as well. If you get a chance, everyone who worked on your guitar will have signed the end block iinside the goitar





Jon, if you explore the website you will find copies of the old catalogs and other articles that will give you information on NBN. Paul has done a wonderful job with the site. I have # 0010, also an R-2 and it was built in 1969. I would guess that would be your build year. If you get the chance, check out the end block on the inside of your guitar. Everyone that worked on it will have signed that block. You are welcome to call me at 303-817-5588 if you have questions.  Reb Bennett, NBN Guitars 






 

Reply reb bennett
12:44 PM on April 28, 2016 

Jon, of the 375 or so instuments we made, I don't think we made but 2 or 3 left handed guitars. going from memory but that is close. Congrats on the new instument and enjoy it. I own # 0010 and play it every day. Great guitar!  Reb Bennett, NBN Guitars

Reply Jon Svetkey
11:42 AM on April 28, 2016 

So I think I'm perhaps the newest member of the NBN Guitar Owners Family... my wife just surprised me for my birthday with that left-handed R2 that was on sale at Carter Vintage Guitars in Nashville! It's Serial Number 0227 (I'll put that into your registry here). I'm going to have some minor work done on it -- a grind and polish, a neck tweak, some new bridge pins and a pickup -- and then it's going out to gigs with me! I see by this site that there's lots to check out; my biggest curiosity question is how many lefties did NBN make? Any ideas? Thanks!

Reply Paul Turner
11:03 AM on April 28, 2016 

Hi Mike - you'll likely find this website to be the best information source. 0014 is a pretty early SN so probably built around 1970. If you're looking for a good luthier I suggest checking with good acoustic guitar shops and players as well as Internet research.

Michael Niebuhr says...

I fam so stoked to find this site..I am the owner of an R-2 #0014..i am looking for all the info....help..i can find to restore this beautiful piece of art...the sound is over the top and it needs some tlc..i live in Hawaii and i would like to restore this guitar to the best possible condition  i can..

Also any info i can get on this guitar..what year it was made...etc..as much info as i can get

Aloha and Mahalo

Mike Niebuhr