The Luthier and Owner

Theo Nijssen (1974), The Netherlands

My name is Theo Nijssen (pronounce “Nicen” as in nice) and I build my own designed solid electric guitars. As the owner of Nijssen Guitars, I combine my passion for music and craftsmanship to create unique and high-quality instruments. I have more than 10 years of experience as a master guitar maker, and I am a member of the European Guitar Builders association. My background as a goldsmith, watchmaker and luthier, plays a big part of how I do my fretwork and guitar setups and combinging those skills makes me a true expert for frets and refrets. I love to work with my old school 3 corner files :)

The love for the guitar started when I was 11 years old, when I got my first lessons on a small acoustic guitar. The first electric guitar that I took apart was at the age of 16, to improve the playability of my brand new Telecaster. At that time I didn’t really know how to setup the guitar, but the quest and search for it had begun. From the age of 17 till 21 I started to learn fine metal works as a goldsmith, hand engraving and watch making at the Jewelers education in Schoonhoven the Netherlands.

After a sabbatical year in 2012, when I was in between jobs, I’ve started to follow workshops for guitar building, setups and repair from master luthier Pierre Fillet in the Netherlands. His shared knowledge and approache about setting up a guitar is still how I work today. Pierre is also the author of "D.I.Y. Guitar Repair" from 1984, this is one of the first books that described the total setup of the guitar including fret dress and leveling the old school way. He also worked for more than 20 years in the US as a acknowledged luthier with "all" warranty service certificates of the big brands (Martin, Gibson, Fender, Ovation, etc.). In 2013 I’ve founded Nijssen Guitars doing repairs and building guitars and I am also a "Silver" Taylor factory authorized service technician. In that first year I had the honor to do a complete overhaul of dutch guitarist Eelco Gelling’s original 1960 Gibson Les Paul and made it on the cover of “Gitarist” magazine with 4 pages interview . More than 10.000 hours of fret leveling and studying the construction of the instrument since then, prepared me for the next step; The Riptide Guitar.