founder & director of jitamen and madera
I very much love the guitars made by the talented guitar maker, Evan Kingma. I have already ordered several guitars and our cooperation is successfully continuing year by year. He loves his job very much, and you can see in every guitar he makes that he is putting all of himself into it. The craftsmanship, materials, sound, balance, and playability are all very good. But above all, Evan manages to accomplish something much more difficult and rare to find: his guitars, when played, transmit deep, nice emotions. That is something very unique. And probably no one can ever learn from others how to build it into a guitar.
professional guitarist & youtuber
Evan is a tremendously talented maker. I'm repeatedly blown away by the quality and character of the new guitar he's built me. It has tremendous depth and richness of tone, it's easy to play, and I'm able to get everything I could ever want out of its dynamic range. Before I received the instrument, I was skeptical (as anyone making such a personal and impactful purchase should be) but the guitar delivered on every level that I hoped it would. Evan, as a person, is an absolute joy to work with. He's kind, communicative, open, and professional. If you're considering investing in a Kingma guitar, I implore you to pull the trigger. You will not be disappointed in the guitar he builds you.
I love spruce topped guitars. What particularly appeals to me is that they change over time in a way that reflects the guitar wood’s maturation, and the instrument’s developing a voice as a result of an ongoing interaction between player and the construction of the guitar. A well made spruce guitar has the quality, like a new fine wine, of reflecting its musical qualities from the start, but also contains the sonic pointer to where it’s headed as it matures: it will increase in sustain, the essential balance of the guitar will become more pronounced over time, and ability to draw from a range of tonal colours will expand with playing. A great new spruce topped guitar comes with a promise of possibility.
Recently I received one of Evan’s classical guitars. The top is spruce and the back and sides are made from ziricote, a wood that has beautiful texture and deep resonance. Although only a few weeks old, the guitar already has a voice that is a compelling mixture of clarity, tonal balance, and warmth. This is a difficult combination to achieve, but Evan accomplished this splendidly. It is already a joy to play and to hear. Additionally, the level of Evan’s workmanship is fantastic. The guitar is flawlessly built and is stunning to see.
An essential aspect of Evan’s building approach is to interact with his clients. These interactions are reflected in every aspect of the completed instrument and are visually marked in the rosette. Each rosette reflects something of the client and Evan’s inspiration of his relationship with the client. I got to know Evan when he was apprentice to Stephen Hill, a master guitar builder in La Herradura Spain. I went to La Herradura to participate in a course on building your own guitar (in my case a cedar topped flamenco blanca). Evan and I spent a lot of time discussing many different topics, one of which was a mutual love for astronomy and physics. The guitar Evan built for me is named ‘Sunbeam’ and the rosette that has a beautiful multi-coloured star pattern on it.
The personalized rosette is a reflection of Evan’s relationship with the client, but it also is a reflection of his building philosophy, which is that as a builder he is charged with taking the raw materials of wood and crafting an instrument that will go on to have a long life as a musical conduit for the player and hence the building process is the first opportunity for the guitar to become itself.
I am thrilled with this guitar. Working with Evan has been a joy and the guitar shows the highest level of artisanship and skill. If you are considering ordering a new guitar, Evan is someone you should speak with. I have no doubt than anyone ordering an instrument will relish both the experience and the resulting instrument.
It is challenging to find a good guitar, let alone an exceptional one. When I realized that I had outgrown my previous guitar, I waited patiently to find the best guitar I could get my hands on. When I had the opportunity to purchase the Day/Night guitar from Evan, I took it. The guitar delivered everything I hoped for, and even more. It is a spectacular instrument, with a deep natural reverb that fills the whole room. The guitar itself feels light, but very robust and is an absolute delight to play. Evan was so pleasant to work with. He is very communicative, kind, and was always available to answer my questions and concerns. Thank you, Evan, for building this guitar!
composer and guitarist
In 2019, I decided to buy a high-class handmade guitar from a luthier. Soon after, Evan’s guitars caught my interest for their stunning beauty, traditional approach, and masterful execution of his craft. I fell in love with 'geo', his No. 13, which was for sale at Siccas at that time. Without having played the instrument (Coronavirus lockdown stopped me from visiting the shop) I bought it over the internet – and have been more than happy with it ever since. It has a sweet and clear sound with brilliant trebles and a juicy bass, and for me as a composer it is just so inspiring to play on. Plus, Evan is about the nicest person you can think of. He helped me out with all the questions I had, and I surely can refer to him whenever I need his advice in the future.
multi-instrumentalist & youtuber
As a lifetime musician I have always held the strong belief that every instrument holds its own energetic expression that has the potential to resonate with the player, creating a beautiful relationship between the instrument itself and the one who is expressing themselves through it. Evan, as a maker, understands this with his entire being. I had never purchased a guitar from a luthier before and the experience from the very first chat with Evan has been overwhelmingly joyous. Before even starting to talk about wood or sound, Evan took the time to get to know me as a person so that he could better know how to approach crafting a masterpiece of a guitar that is now in my care. I knew from that moment that he was the right luthier to make anyone's instrument. Every choice I made was received with mindfulness and honest care for the reasons behind the choice. Once I received my guitar it was an immediate level up to my playing, an unexpected bonus. Not only is its sound mesmerizing, it is so comfortable to play. The guitar has rich lows and distinctive highs making it a perfect fit for my love of alternative tunings. Every day the guitar opens up more and I can’t wait to hear it in 10 years. There are moments when the reverberation of the guitar itself sounds like I am playing in a chapel. I hope you choose to take the plunge and order from Evan. Not only will you be getting a lovingly crafted work of art that makes incredible music, but you will be making a really kind and generous friend. Thank you Evan for everything!
Having spent a month in a guitar workshop under Evan Kingma’s supervision, I came to appreciate his love, knowledge, and handling of the wood with which he works, as well as his obsessive attention to detail in his approach to guitar-making, qualities which are clearly evident in his finished guitars. I didn’t need another guitar, but having held and played ‘Earth’ a beautiful cedar classical, I had to buy it! It has a wonderful rounded and balanced tonal quality, excellent volume, and beautiful workmanship. I just love holding and playing this guitar whether I am alone or playing to an audience!