“Seasoned luthiers, bass builders and double bass specialists, since 1979.”
Rikkers Guitars has been building custom bassguitars and guitars since 1979. Ferdinand celebrates his 35th anniversary this year. We are artisanal but modernluthiers for your personal instrument. On top of that Rikkers Double Basses is one of the few specialized contrabass repairers in the Netherlands. Double Bass players from home and abroad rely on our craftsmanship. Do you take your instrument seriously? Then we will be the professional bass and guitar workshop for you.
Luthier: Ferdinand Rikkers
Ferdinand comes from a family of musicians. His grandfather was a leader of a Big Band, which played throughout Europe, his father Peter Rikkers played double bass his entire life in a symphonic orchestra, his uncle and cousin are both professional bassplayers. But Ferdinand did not want to be a performing musician, because his sports (high jump, athletics, boxing) was to dear to him and he engaged in a very different love, the instrument making.
Apprentice: Daan Marinus
Daan Marinus caught the guitar building virus at a very young age: 12 years old he made his first Les Paul with a kit. Soon cheap guitars were rebuilt and refinished, and 3 years later Daan started his first real guitar building project.
When this guitar was ready, he embarked on an ambitious project with interchangeable pickups, as a Master Test for his Highscholl final exams. He asked Jacco as a supervisor for this project, which resulted in a training as a guitar builder at Rikkers Gitaarbouw. Daan’s first 7-string guitar is now under construction.
Luthier: Jacco Stuitje
Like Ferdinand Jacco also comes from a musical family. He began playing the guitar on his 15th. He has played in various formations in Groningen but chose not only the instrument making over that of musician, but also that of IT. Trained as a computer scientist he made the switch to the making of guitars in 1992. Like Ferdinand, he learned the trade by doing it. His specialty is the making of electric guitars, winding pickups and electronics.
A piece of Dutch Luthiers’ history
The first handmade bass guitar by Ferdinand Rikkers immediately went to the bassist of the Metropole Orkest in the early eighties. As a result, his name gained prominence and the stream of assignments for custom Rikkers basses grew. In the first years, bass and guitar studio Rikkers was located in the Groninger town center, in the Folkingestraat. With the arrival of guitar repairman Jacco Stuitje in 1994, the business expanded and Ferdinand Rikkers could increasingly focus on double bass. As a result, the cozy building with pinball machine and musicians hanging around quickly became too small.
De huidige werkplaats mét winkel
In 1996, Rikkers Guitars moved to the current address at Rijksweg 13 in Groningen, near the city ring road and perfectly accessible. Come and have a look during our opening hours . Or come by on appointment. We are happy to give you our expert advice.
“A bass or a guitar made exclusively for your hands will make you play very differently. It’s that personal touch that makes our work special.”
We build instruments for people
Our values when building are: Personal, Feeling, Music, Craftsmanship.
You can’t see music. You can’t hold it in your hands and the different styles and tastes in music are so diverse that you can’t stop talking about it. Music goes directly into your brain and there’s not much you can do about that. Something will ‘touch’ you or it won’t. And when it does, it’s really not that important on what kind of guitar the music is played. But for a player it can make a world of difference!
We are convinced that you will play differently on an instrument that clicks with you. That is made for your hands. It’ll make you try new things, it’ll give you confidence or an edge to your playing you haven’t had before. To us that is the difference an exclusively custom made instrument will be for you. Ofcourse all the technicalities and specifics need to be in order, and we will make sure of that. But to us the most important aspect of building your custom guitar is making sure your musicianship will be enhanced by our instrument & personal approach.
On top of that we think it’s important to keep good instruments accessible for all players. It won’t matter for us whether you are a seasoned player or just starting out. Are you passionate about music and do you care for your instrument? Then you’ll always find a place here in our workshop. We’ll check your instrument and repair when necessary. We check and repair all kinds of guitars, double basses and bassguitars. Also the ones you bought somewhere else, we’re happy to have a look and make every instrument the very best it can be.
In the past 35 years of building custom guitars and basses we’ve had the privilege of hearing a lot of beautiful and personal stories and creating unique instruments to match these stories.
We’re curious about your story and we’d love to hear it, come share it with us!