To contact Pete Barthell

For more detailed information , how to place an order, or to buy a guitar directly from Pete, please visit his Web Site at:




Cesar Talks about his Barthell Guitar

To speak of an instrument, such as the guitar, is to speak of one of the elements of human expression in which a melody is the result and the reflection of the soul. Joy, surprise, love, sorrow, solitude, adventure are reflected in sounds, rhythm, through the pulsation of strings. Through these, a unique relationship is forged between instrument and interpreter that can only be described by those who understand and appreciate the art of music.

Generally, in my opinion, there is usually a misinterpretation about the classification of instruments. Obviously the sound, and at many times the price range, are of great importance at the time of choosing but the worst mistake is to let yourself be guided by the “big” brands or names of guitars. For me, the election must be based on the communication between the instrument and the musician just as there is communication between people, a relationship, and an affinity that the interpreter must find with his instrument that doesn’t need brand or price. Up until a while ago I was in the need of a new guitar; my last, an Alhambra 3-C, accompanied me for many years since the beginning of my career in Chile giving me supreme results. Unfortunately it was retirement time for her. Throughout the beginning of my quest for a new guitar, I found many good ones in different places but none that fully satisfied my needs as a musician

The Visit....

Finally during the summer of 2006 I attended an event in Sequim, in the beautiful Washington peninsula, where I was invited to play. I had the opportunity of meeting Pete Barthell, a Luthier who lived in the area, with whom I kept in touch after the event.

One day, while visiting his workshop, I was astonished by the organization of his work, every detail denoted a touch of fineness worthy of an artist in love with his work and the simplicity that Pete showed, demonstrated that behind a noble person, the value of real art is found because like an interpreter, a luthier gives life to each of the instruments he creates. As the evening wore on, Pete was cordial to show me the process of making the guitars from the care of the wood to the fitting of the strings; and then, a touching and exciting moment, the moment to try the guitars myself. While I was pleasurably playing and admiring the great quality of Pete’s guitars, I came to play the guitar I felt was the ideal one that would accompany me from that moment on.

          I was impressed, for the guitar had an astounding sonorous capability that did not distort the sound when dynamics (fortes- pianos) were played. I felt that whenever I’d play a piece, no matter what the technical difficulty was, my hands, specially the left one, would glide and obtain the perfect, desired sound; the sound I’d dreamed of and looked for in an instrument. The melodic lines of any piece would be emphasized by the sonority of the sharp strings, making the harmonic capacity appreciated in its totality.

          As a musician, I am endlessly thankful for my Barthell 116 guitar and very satisfied with all its capability. I highly recommend Barthell guitars to all colleagues, musicians, guitarists, students, and music lovers overall.  

Technical specifications of my guitar, the Barthell 116:

  • Soundboard is Engelmann spruce from the Canadian Rocky Mountain
  • Body is American black walnut from Oregon
  • The fingerboard is ebony from Madagascar
  • The tuners are Gilberts
  • The rosette is one-of-a-kind, designed by Pete Barthell.
  • The finish is polyurethane, applied by a craftsman in Chehalis, WA.