" Ari Lehtela's handcrafted instruments are meticulously created from scratch in the old school luthier fashion. "
Stephen Adams, 2017
Ari built a Guitar Mandolin hybrid for me and I love it. It has MIDI capabilities, both electric and acoustic sounds, and it plays wonderfully. He also maintains all my guitars. Ari is super talented and a nice guy to boot.
Cito Giulini, August 15, 2015
This, as are all of Ari's archtops,is the ultimate guitar for jazz. Don't let it's small size fool you, it is as rich and full as just about any full size archtop. The guitar sounds quite big acoustically, and when amplified produces a crystal clear reproduction of its natural tone, with absolute minimal feedback at any volume. All notes ring very evenly throughout the neck, no dead spots. Distortion would not be recommended as this is pretty much a straight-ahead jazz guitar, and will suit any setting in that realm, whether it be solo, duet, trio, quartet or big band. As I stated, this is the ultimate jazzbox.
Unlike many archtops, this thing does not feel fragile in the least. It seems like it could take a hit or two(not that something like that should ever happen to it, it is still an archtop and you should always be careful). Since all the hardware is handcarved, I wouldn't expect much noticable wear at any time. His wiring is always top notch and as long as you have decent technique it is not likely that you would break a string. That being said, you could gig without a backup.
I've been playing for 9 years and have probably owned over 50 guitars, and have played many top of the line jazz boxes(L-5's, Bourgeois, D'Angelico, D'Aquisto, Heritage etc) and nothing compares to Ari's work, and best of all, at a fraction of the price. In my opinion, Ari's guitars are the finest in the world. I just couldn't imagine finding something better.