In the beginning, musically speaking, Dana Sutcliffe was a classically trained pianist, a fledging drummer and painfully poor saxophone player. And, he played the guitar, which eventually won out over all the other instruments.
Throughout his 30-plus year career, Dana has dabbled in and mastered many aspects of the world of guitar construction, customization and repair, pickup construction, amp design, live performance and recording. Dana has also been a retail salesperson, business owner, patent owner and consultant to the manufacturing/retail industry.
“My passion for the guitar and all things related never ends,” Dana says. “There is not a day that goes by that I don’t involve myself in this fascinating field.”
Dana loves to share his knowledge of guitars and amps. He has assisted many world famous recording artists with his expertise, helping them bring to the stage the sounds they achieve in the studio. He has designed award-winning guitars for major manufacturers, and consulted for one of the most respected guitar and amplifier manufacturers in the music industry.
1978-1980 – Apprentice at Renaissance Guitar Company under John Marshall (now with Martin Guitars). Work consisted of learning to build jigs to mass produce necks and bodies, painting and buffing finishes. All instruments were made from raw materials in house. Dana personally produced over 300 instruments from scratch.
1983 – In-house luthier and repairman for Soundboard Music. Repaired and redesigned instruments and electronics for customers. Over 1,000 instruments serviced.
1992 – Guitar Repair Company owner. Owned a large musical instrument repair shop located in Christiana, Delaware (Halfway between NYC and DC off of I-95). Guitar Repair Company (GRC) was a full service instrument repair and design facility. It serviced annually over 3,000 guitars and 1000 amplifiers various other electronics for clients nationwide. At its peak, GRC employed over 30 apprentices and technicians. GRC was a service center for most major instrument manufacturers such as Fender, Martin, Gibson, Ovation etc. It had an all-star roster of clients such as George Thorogood, Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Allman Brothers, Ricky Medlock of Lynard Skynnard and Trevor Rabin of Yes to name a few. GRC produced over 500 custom instruments for clients and manufacturers. Also designed at the luthiering division of GRC was the MMR award winning and patented Alvarez Dana Scoop Guitar.
1992-1995 – Designed the Alvarez Electric Guitar line for St. Louis Music. Consulted on the Alvarez Yari acoustic line.
2005 – Consultant for St. Louis Music for Alvarez Guitars, Crate and Ampeg Amplifiers.
2005 to present – Dana is now a Master Luthier contractor based in Ardentown, Delaware, providing clients throughout the USA with the highest quality instrument repair and historic instrument restoration. Dana specializes in exact protocol restorations of Martin, Gibson, Taylor, Collings, Breedlove, Corbin, Eastman, Derring, Fender, etc., and instrument repairs and restorations include guitars, mandolins, banjos, ukuleles, baglamas and dobros.