Welcome!

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RL Guitars Welcomes you!

RL Guitars features high quality, handmade electric guitars built by Russ Layman of Yorktown, Virginia.  Guitar styles include f-hole t-style and semi-hallow guitars.  Please browse the portfolio page for recent custom guitar builds.

Connor and Jeff's Guitars
Check out Jeff Spirko & my signature line of RL Guitars, available now!!
Check it out, our own custom guitars! Actually we’ve been playing these for a little while now, so if you’ve seen us live lately, you’ve seen these awesome guitars from RL Guitars. We can’t say enough about ’em – they kick ass.  Check out the Connor Christian Series and the Jeff Spirko Series next time you see us play!
Ukulele Drawing!
Win a custom made ukulele!  Leave a comment or post on my web page and a name will be drawn on August 20, 2014.  The winner will receive a soprano ukulele with the person’s name, a tag line or special saying and sound hole art.  Please tell your friends!  One entry per person.  Winner will be notified by email.  Good luck!
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Comments
  1. Exciting! Congratulations on this new adventure! Praying many wonderful things for you!

  2. Nelly says:

    Congratulations, Russ sunbae! This is exciting! Many guitar dust for you!

  3. Kevin Kim-Eng says:

    Got my RL T-Custom from Russ and I can’t believe the build quality, sound and feel of this guitar! Maybe Russ will post a good pic on the website!

    T-Custom Build Features are:
    – Solid mahogany body with burl maple top. All custom cut and hand finished. Beautiful final finishing that really accentuates the natural grains of the high quality woods.
    – Russ custom fit the controls to suit my needs! (Will the big box guitar companies do that without charging you $500 more because they have to change the plan?….Not!)
    – 22 fret maple neck and fingerboard with custom/personalized headstock engraving
    – I chose the Dimarzio Area T and Super Distortion T pickups. You have a choice of pickups when ordering depending on your wants and needs.
    – Premium hardware including; locking tuners; roller trees; roller bridge pieces; pots and knobs etc

    Sound, Feel, Look:
    – This guitar has the resonance and sustain that far surpasses any guitar that I have played in 50 years, including PRS and Fender Custom Shop guitars! Very impressive!
    – Chords evenly resonate all the way up the neck (This is pretty rare)
    – Sustain is seemingly endless
    – Pick attack and fingerboard sensitivity is very high and is very responsive due to the density of the woods and the pup combination. Can easily go from sparkling clean to creamy-smooth distortion working with the volume and tone controls. Nice taper on the 500K volume pot.
    – The guitar weighs in about 7 or 8 lbs. Dense enough to get the tone but not a sandbag on your shoulder.
    – Neck has a smooth finish with no “gloss-grab”
    – The look of this guitar is striking with all of the natural grains showing all their character. Easily compares to the look of a PRS custom shop model.

    What’s Next?
    – I am considering getting one of Russ’ RL S-Custom (Strat style) guitars down the road a bit.
    – Anyone reading this who wants a truly beautiful guitar for a reasonable price should get in touch with Russ! He will build you something that you can call yours!

  4. raindrops1 says:

    Congrats, Russ the site looks great!!! May you continue to have continued success.

  5. Phillip Chambers says:

    Congrats Russ!! I wish you continued success in your business.

  6. Keya says:

    Hey Russ Oppa! These guitars look pretty amazing. I was looking through your Facebook page too and the ukulele crafted out of a cigar box looked awesome. Are you part of a band also by any chance?

  7. Queenie Vo says:

    Hi Russ! Great guitars/ukes you have here.

  8. Josh says:

    Hey i loved your guitars so much that I played at Authentic Guitars that i figured i would enter to win the Uke. If I do win, I would like it to have it say “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain” -Bob Marley. I hope you pick me to win the uke. I also build guitars and one day I hope to be able to sell mine as well. Happy 4th of July!

  9. Hello! I heard about your ukuleles from none other than the Wee One (apparently that’s her secret identity on the internet that I’ve never heard about). I have great interest in playing the ukulele, I currently have a pink Mahalo ukulele (aka Moonbeam) with plastic strings, a very basic one but I enjoy it very much 🙂 since I’ve always wanted a better quality ukulele I was very excited when she told me about this contest. Thank you for doing this draw and…may the odds be ever in my favor?

  10. Rita Peters says:

    Love your work..so beautiful. put me in the drawing..please!

  11. Ed says:

    WOW Brother; you have really made it now… Congratulations!! every RL Guitar piece is a work of art.

  12. kimnamsoon says:

    I just won your Ukulele from Musings Of A Twinkie! I’m so Excited! Thanks for this wonderful gift! have a great day!

  13. Ed Thompson says:

    Post the picture of the next Ukulele I should look forward to playing someday Bro….
    Best of luck to one and all!!!

  14. Anne says:

    Please add me in the drawing!!~~ I would love to own and learn how to play an ukulele >.<

  15. Mawiie says:

    Hiya Russ!

    This entry is for my cousin. He’s working far far away in a Canadian forest (probably with bears and moose hehe) so I’ll enter the contest for him. He’s been starring at “Wee One” ever since I received mine, and I’m sure he’d love to add a ukulele to his collection.
    You see, my cousin (Minh is his name, also Queenie’s cousin) plays the “erhu”, whuch is a classical Chinese string instruments. When I told him about the handmade ukulele, he told me “damn! Too bad your nice friend doesn’t make erhu”

    He used to play piano and the guitar too, so I’m sure he’ll pick up ukulele in no time!

  16. Cy Perkins says:

    Hey Russ!! Hope u guys are doing well. Mary Lou and I are getting older and fatter by the day!! Going to NC tomorrow for the birth of Courtney’s third child. It’s a boy so she’ll have two boys and a girl. Cy is in Texas with his son Cy IV. We should have made more of an effort to see each other when you were in Valdosta. Life happens and u do what u can do. I’d love to pick one of your guitars sometime. I still have my 1969 Martin D-35. I pick it some each week. Good luck with your business!!

  17. Judy (TJ's Mommy) says:

    Hey Russ, great looking guitars and ukuleles! Here’s to trying again and hoping for an ukulele for my son!

  18. Kevin says:

    Russ-if I win the uke I would like to donate the cost of it to charity.

  19. Francis Pyon says:

    Hey Hyungg!

  20. Lynne Roadarmel says:

    Hi RL Guitars! This site is awesome! Russ congratulations on the business! Best of Luck!

  21. shl says:

    Hi Russ! Haven’t had time to email but thought I’d drop in to put in my congratulations on this site! All the best 🙂

  22. Mike D. says:

    I have been taking guitar lessons from Annie Johnson (http://www.reverbnation.com/anniejohnsonband) and asked if she knew a Luthier; “go see, Russ” she said and gave me his phone number. I had a Fender Jaguar in need of a setup and Russ did it for a very reasonable rate. He answered every question I had in detail and even went above and beyond to fix the Jag’s notorious buzzing bridge. He now has two of my Strats getting a setup and a fret job. I highly recommend Russ to fix any guitar problems you may have or if its too far gone he can build you a new one. Good job Russ and Thanks!

  23. Scott says:

    Hi, I’d like to enter your contest. Thanks!

  24. Kim says:

    I really like your website.

  25. Niema says:

    Thank you to Snoopy’s Twinkie for sending me here! =)

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