- electric guitars
RnB Custom Guitars are strat and tele replicas made by Brian Smiles Estes. The following history of RnB is from the old RnB website (now inactive):
"Welcome to RnB Custom Guitars, hand built by Brian "Big B" Smiles Estes who has played guitar since age five and went on to play with Buddy Miles and many other great musicians, did extensive session work along with the club scene for as long as he's made guitars. Brian ( then lil B) started hanging out in his local music store in Danbury Ct at the tender age of six, and by the age of eight was working on guitars. That's 42 years of experience behind him. Big B has been building custom guitars for over 36 years.
Until 8 years ago Big B was only building for about a dozen or so celebrity clients. In 2007 Big B made a decision to have a website developed and offer his hand made S-Style and T-Style guitars worldwide. So if you want to own a guitar built by someone who is in our opinion as big a part of the legacy as the namesake himself, then buy one and see and feel for yourself . You might ask yourself? If Big B is supposed to be such a great builder why didn't he go to work for the Manufacturer? Simple, Big B has never stuck his head up anyones ass and never will period. Brian is an American guitarist/vocalist/songwriter and guitar builder who surfs. Big B's finishing skills led him to build surfboards along side of the best surfers and builders in the world when he was young. Big B also holds 3 patents for inventions in the medical industry. Big B has an audiophile ear and is a sound engineer deemed by many as heir to the thrown of tone right behind the semi retired Mr. Bill Humphries the man that took Big B under his wing at the tender age of 8. Bill Humphries A.K.A Humptone worked with Jimmy Hendrix on his tone at Baggies Recording Studio in the 60's and was the #1 Sunn Amplifier Technician for Baggies at the time. Bill played guitar on the original Jesus Christ Superstar Tour and is widely reknown as the Guru of tone and sound, repairing and hot-rodding amps and guitars for 100's of celebrities, not to mention he is a " Fender Gold " rated guitar amp repair technician. This is where Big B's talent stemmed from. What Big B does believe in?, Mother Earth, children, animals, the music, the musicians that create it, tone, and his pure love and passion to build a great guitar for a fair price knowing it makes someone happy.. Yes! to us here in the RnB family, Brian (Big B) is the real deal.
Brian is considered by the in crowd as one of the finest if not the finest S & T style guitar builder of today. Over the years Big B found that guitarists wanted something they could not get from the manufacturer mass production line off a hanger in a music store. A guitar that had the feel, sound and playability, with a vintage vibe of the 50's and 60's S & T guitars that Leo handbuilt himself that were now few and far between or were just re fretted too many times or had been stolen. A guitar that stayed in tune, a guitar that was lightweight that had crystal clear bell like tone without 60 cycle hum. Some people at Fender accused Brian of building forgerys, even though he often used original manufacturer parts. In the 70's the manufacturer was not into doing anything pre CBS at that time, and when the early 80's pre CBS reissues came out Big B aged those guitars and rebuilt them. After many years the manufacturer sold out to a few long time employees and the light came on in their heads about the demand for the pre CBS guitars, so they commissioned a few good guitar builders that were doing what Brian had already been doing for over a decade before. Thus came the custom shop relics that flood the market today for astronomical prices. Today Brian's guitars still outshine everything on the market. Including the namesake manufacturer and he made them affordable for working musicians.
Today there are more people than ever building guitars and every major company charges more money than most working guitarists make in a month. We are not interested in being known as another guitar builder, but builders of musical instruments. Sound and feel is what please's us. That is what please's great musicians. Big B learned this many years ago. Professional guitarists care about the sound and feel, yes asthetics are cool but we listen with our ears and feel with our hands and somewhere in between all this is where we express ourselves through our guitars.
Big B has been very fortunate to have played and owned truly great vintage instruments and has developed his ear from their amazing tone. That is why he builds guitars not to just equal to those instruments but exceeds them.
If you have never played or owned a really great vintage instrument we are not talking about reissues by the major manufacturers, and if you really are in love with Strats and Tele's then you owe it to yourself to have RnB Custom Guitars make you an instrument with feel and tone like no one else can for this price. Great instruments are an extension of your soul and it is hard to put them down. That is what we want out of our guitars."