ABOUT SCOTT LENTZ JR.

Scott Jr. likes to say he was born into guitar building. He grew up surrounded by guitars and guitarmaking, and one of his earliest memories is of running into the kitchen of his home and hitting his head—knocking himself out cold—on a guitar that was drying in the entranceway. But he was not just surrounded by guitars themselves; he was immersed in his father’s unwavering passion for creating the perfect guitar.

Just as Scott Sr. was taught to value independence and self-reliance by his grandfather, he passed on the same lessons to his son. When Scott Jr. first started working in the shop as a teenager, his father followed the traditional master/apprentice way: he rarely showed his son how to do anything! But Scott Jr. understood that there was much to be learned, and his ardent and inquisitive mind paid attention, learning the skills—by watching and trial and error—and making the connections to eventually become a master builder in his own right.

But it wasn’t only his father who influenced Scott Jr. to devote his life to the guitar. The great Jimi Hendrix was a powerful force that drew him not just to guitars, but specifically to traditional T and S style guitars. Hendrix turned everything upside down when he came on the scene, and with his S style guitars showed the world what was musically possible with an electric guitar. To this day, there is a large portrait of Hendrix above Scott Jr.’s main workspace at Lentz Guitar.

Throughout his 20s, Scott Jr. spent a great deal of time in the Lentz shop, learning about vintage guitars and amps, guitar repair, electronics, and how to run a business. He also broadened his life experience by playing music—studying guitar, bass, and keyboards—surfing, hiking, and exploring the landscape around his home in Encinitas, CA. Throughout this period, he played an essential role at Lentz Guitar, becoming an expert at guitar and amp repair and working on instruments for heavyweight pro musicians including Ike Turner, John Mayall, Buddy Whittington, Hank Van Sickle, Phil X, Joe Bonamassa, Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus, Lance Keltner, Walter Trout, and many others. This was important both for the Lentz Guitar shop in terms of generating income, and for his own broad-based education.

More than 10 years ago, Scott Jr.’s role at Lentz Guitar expanded as his father recognized he had become a true master builder. As Scott Jr. says, “At Lentz Guitar, there is NO room for error...” and he had worked diligently over many years to achieve a level of mastery essential to the Lentz Guitar ethos. What started out as an apprenticeship then evolved into a partnership. For the last decade, Scott Sr. and Scott Jr. have run Lentz® Guitar together. The only real division of labor is that Scott Sr. handles the painting/finishing of all Lentz® guitars, and Scott Jr. handles the internet presence and website development, and manages the day-to-day operations and business aspects of the shop. Every other part of the building process they share.

Scott Jr. has also developed his own line, the JR Reserve guitars, which, like the guitars in the Reserve line, are made from start to finish with absolutely no compromises, to be the very best an electric guitar can be. Over the years, Scott Jr. has garnered an enormous amount of knowledge about what makes a guitar great, and the JR Reserve guitars are his vision of the ideal electric guitar.

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