John Cruz Custom Guitars: A Review of the Luthier’s Journey

The first time I laid my fingers on the strings of a John Cruz custom guitar, I knew I was in the presence of an instrument like none other. Crafted by skilled hands and designed with a profound understanding of music and the musician’s need, it’s a masterpiece that paves the way for creative expression to emerge. Today, I invite you to join me on a journey into the world of John Cruz, the luthier behind these masterpieces.

Don’t assume that all guitars are created equal. I’ve been fortunate to cultivate a career in guitar craftsmanship, and one thing has remained constant over the years – not all luthiers are equal. Trust me when I say, few have the ability to rival the exceptional quality of John Cruz Custom Guitars. They embody high standards of design, sound, and craftsmanship.

Cruz is not just a luthier, but an artist of extraordinary caliber. His lifelong journey in the realm of guitar creation demonstrates both his passion and mastery. With every creation, this master luthier pushes the boundaries of sound and design to provide fellow musicians with an experience unlike any other.

I’ve admired many craftspeople in the world of guitar making, but none have left an impression quite like John Cruz. And today, we delve into this exceptional journey, exploring the man, his guitars, and the legacy that reverberates throughout the music industry to this very day. So, come along and discover why John Cruz is a legend among luthiers.

Who is John Cruz?

Cruz’s Entry into Fender

Cruz's Entry into Fender

John Cruz’s entry into the illustrious Fender Custom Shop is of particular significance in his journey as a luthier. It was at Fender that Cruz matured his craftsmanship, rising through the ranks to become a masterbuilder in the guitar community. I had the honour of uncovering Cruz’s growth at Fender during my stint as a music critic and found the respect he garnered within the institution, and the guitar world at large, noteworthy.

What makes Cruz’s time at Fender intriguing is how he moulded his luthier care into guitars that touched the hearts of musicians worldwide. I remember being fascinated at the passion and precision Cruz brought to his work, and that translated into every guitar he helped create at Fender. As I observed it, his dismissal from Fender sent ripples through the guitar community, reflective of the esteem he held there.

Indeed, Cruz’s dismissal from Fender was an event of much significance, stirring conversations and queries amongst enthusiasts and critics alike. More than just the man behind the guitars, Cruz’s contribution to Fender and the deeper relevance of his journey became more pertinent post his departure. My understanding and perspective on this, therefore, has been shaped extensively by my in-depth critique and knowledge of the guitar industry and its dynamics.

With his departure from Fender, a new chapter unfolded in Cruz’s life, leading him down a path where he rose to mythic status as a legendary luthier. The relevance and magnitude of his influence at Fender and thereafter, rang loud and clear in the guitar community, leaving an indelible mark.

Becoming a Legendary Luthier

Becoming a Legendary Luthier

Stepping into the world of John Cruz, it is uncanny to witness his evolution from an aspiring artisan to a master builder of high-end guitars. For years, his handcrafted guitars have echoed his passion for detail, sound, and comfort, making him a legendary luthier.

Showing an unrivaled penchant for crafting, Cruz’s genius was born out of a relentless pursuit of perfection. Holistically understanding the anatomy of a guitar, he meticulously aligned every curve, fret, and string, developing an acumen that would later define his signature style.

My own involvement in the music world as a guitar teacher has led me to appreciate the intricate art of guitar making, with Cruz’s work serving as a constant muse. His high-end guitars have a certain finesse, reflective of the time, effort, and creativity he pours into every piece. They’re not simply instruments; they’re meticulously crafted creations.

His legacy to the guitar world remains tangible, inspiring me, and many others, to refine our own skills in the attempt to replicate his top-notch work. Cruz’s journey to becoming a legendary luthier has illustrated the enormous potential that lies in combining passion with technical prowess. His guitars stand as testament to his relentless quest for perfection, a luxury brand that every guitar enthusiast, professional or otherwise, strives to own and play.

In the following sections, we’ll delve deeper into what precisely distinguishes Cruz’s guitars from the rest, exploring the unique craftsmanship and signature designs that mark his legend in the world of luthiery.

What Makes Cruz’s Guitars Unique

The Craftsmanship

The Craftsmanship

Delving into the heart of what makes Cruz’s guitars stand out, one thing shines through- the profound mastery of craftsmanship. As a fellow luthier, I have always been fascinated by the artisanal approach Cruz takes in guitar building. The process reflects a deep understanding of the instrument and a respect for the ritual of creation. From the curves of the body to the wiring of the pickups, every element bears the signature of meticulous attention to detail.

The John Cruz pickups, for example, are a testament to this precision – hand-wound with an unmatched consistency, they deliver a tone that musicians dream of. These pickups aren’t mass-produced in a factory; they’re individually crafted, making each instrument unique.

It’s this kind of personal touch that makes these handcrafted guitars more than just objects. They’re pieces of the luthier’s soul, their passion echoing in every strum. Each guitar is a story, from the raw materials to the final setup, with Cruz acting as both author and protagonist.

The detail-oriented craftsmanship of Cruz is not just an add-on; it’s inherent in every guitar coming from his workshop. This level of care, expertise, and personal commitment elevates Cruz’s guitars from musical instruments to extraordinary works of art, aptly contributing to their unique charm. Moving forward in our guitar journey, we’ll delve into the defining aspects of their signature designs.

Signature Designs

Signature Designs

Among the highlights of what makes John Cruz Custom Guitars exceptional are the unique signature designs. As someone with a deep understanding of music theory and composition, I can affirm the pure creativity encapsulated within each original design. These are not generic, mass-produced electric guitars we are talking about. Rather, each instrument boasts a unique custom guitar design conceptualized and brought to life by Cruz himself.

The signature designs of Cruz’s guitars pay homage to his exceptional craftsmanship, attention to minute details, and unwavering commitment to quality. It’s literally like owning a piece of art. You can see, feel, and hear the sheer ingenuity that’s gone into creating each guitar. The rich tonality, playability, and aesthetic appeal of these instruments truly set them apart.

Reflecting on my own experience and knowledge, the distinction of Cruz’s guitars lies in their unique signature designs. What stands out is the personal touch and the individual storyline inherent in each piece. These guitars do not merely produce melodious sound; they tell a captivating narrative, carrying the mark of Cruz’s masterful touch evident in every detail.

To sum up, the essence of what makes John Cruz Custom Guitars unique is deeply rooted in the signature designs that each guitar features. Each guitar vibrates not only with melodious sound but also with Cruz’s passion and dedication to his craft. This uniqueness truly places Cruz’s guitars in a league of their own.

Why Did Cruz’s Solo Business Close?

Why Did Cruz's Solo Business Close?

Focusing on the question ‘Why did Cruz’s solo business close?’ pulls us into a deeper discussion about the everlasting effects a seminal event can have on an individual’s professional journey. This unfortunate circumstance was incredibly perplexing, considering the fantastic craftsmanship he brought to the table, that had evolved from his earlier work at Fender. John Cruz’s dismissal from Fender in March 2020 was a shock the industry hadn’t anticipated. Having gotten this far, what could’ve led to the shuttering of a business that created guitars revered by musicians the world over?

What led to the unfortunate closure of a business that created guitars coveted by musicians worldwide? Let’s dissect the events.

As a member of the music industry, I closely followed the journey of Cruz, a brilliant luthier, who produced masterpieces that commanded massive respect. His abrupt dismissal from Fender had far-reaching implications, affecting not just his personal brand but also his solo endeavour, Cruz’s business dynamics could not escape the COVID-19 economic impact, which further compounded his business woes.

His guitar business was just taking flight at a time when the pandemic was at its peak. Artists, significant clients, were grounded, and the demand for custom guitars plummeted drastically. Furthermore, the financial implications of the pandemic made many prospective customers rethink their investments. The luxury of a custom guitar was, for many, no longer a priority in a time of economic uncertainty. This chain of events created a chasm Cruz’s solo business could not overcome, leading to its closure.

For a brilliant luthier, this was a blow that transcended just financial implications. It was a speed bump in his journey of strumming exceptional music by crafting world-class guitars. This unexpected setback, however, does not undermine Cruz’s immense talent and expertise, reflected in his stunning creations distinguished by their precision, beauty, and sound. Instead, it highlights the unforgiving nature of an unforeseen global health crisis that spared no sector, not even the niche, high-end custom guitar business.

Connecting back to this article’s primary narrative, these events underline the volatile nature of industries dependent upon the fine arts, the importance of timing, and the significance of resilience. You never know what the next strum of life’s strings may bring. And for Cruz, we can only hope it is a resilient comeback, filled with more breathtaking designs and melodious sounds.

Where is Cruz Now and What’s Next

Where is Cruz Now and What's Next

In the wake of his independent business’s closure, it’s a natural question to wonder about the whereabouts and future of John Cruz, the legendary luthier whose name has long been synonymous with guitar craftsmanship.

In the aftermath of a career upheaval, where does a master luthier like Cruz find himself and what’s on his horizon? With my unique access to guitar industry news, I find myself uniquely positioned to bring you firsthand information on this topic.

It’s a well-known fact that the heart of John Cruz lives in every instrument he creates. Disentangling his personal journey from his celebrated role in the music instruments industry is near impossible. His fame, earned through decades of building iconic John Cruz Custom Guitars, continues to reverberate even as he pivots to face a new chapter in his career.

I caught up with John recently as he was deep in the process of charting his next path. He mentioned the possibility of imparting his depth of knowledge to others through mentoring programs and workshops. Cruz is passionate about developing the next generation of luthiers, providing a crucial link between the past’s craftsmanship and the future’s innovation.

Never one to completely abandon his tools, rest assured that Cruz will continue to create music instruments that bear his signature touch. His resilience in the face of adversity is a testament to his unwavering drive to create. He’s contemplating evolving his traditional approach with a foray into the realm of digital craftsmanship.

The mantra of adaptability guiding Cruz’s new journey is evidence of his innate understanding that to survive and thrive, one has to heed the winds of change. This elasticity grants him the freedom to embody the endless curiosity of a novice while drawing on his wealth of experience. The wisdom of his past informs his present, and will in turn, shape his future.

While we all miss John Cruz Custom Guitars, what’s truly enduring about Cruz is his ability to shape guitar industry news itself. It’s a testament to the regard in which his craftsmanship skills are held that even as he shifts his path, he remains a person of interest within the sector.

Thus, the musical journey of John Cruz continues, albeit with a different melody. And with each change, he brings not only his deep expertise but also his passion and love for the craft. The guitars that would result from this new phase promise to be as exciting and authentic as their legendary creator.

As we turn our gaze towards the horizon in anticipation of what’s to come, John Cruz remains a beacon of excellence in the luthier world—illuminating the path, guiding those who follow with his unique blend of passion, skill, and innovation.


Who is John Cruz?

John Cruz is an esteemed luthier known for customizing guitars. His mastery of craftsmanship and deep understanding of what makes a truly exceptional guitar has gained him international recognition.

What is unique about John Cruz Custom Guitars?

John Cruz Custom Guitars are meticulously handcrafted with an uncompromising attention to detail. Each one is unique and exhibits high levels of precision, quality, and an unmistakable resonance that is characteristic of John Cruz’s luthier style.

What is the luthier’s journey?

The luthier’s journey refers to the path that one takes to perfect the art of crafting musical instruments. For John Cruz, this journey has been filled with rigorous training, countless hours of meticulous craftsmanship, and unwavering dedication to his passion for creating top-quality custom guitars.


In conclusion, John Cruz, a master builder, is not only a legendary figure in the music industry but also a testament to the resilience of an artist faced with the tumultuous waves of change. His story, encapsulated within the craftsmanship of his custom guitars, speaks volumes of his passion and commitment.

Does the story of Cruz, a master builder, highlight the resilience and artistry often overlooked in the music industry? Reflecting on our journey might hold the answer.

The guitar business closure he faced might seem like a setback to some, but Cruz, with his indomitable spirit, takes it as a chance to reinvent himself. The beauty of his guitars, their signature designs, and the personal touch Cruz adds to each piece he creates are evidence of his unique craftsmanship that continues to echo within the industry.

Over my career, I’ve seen the highs and lows of the music industry. This entire guide is my tribute to Cruz, the legendary luthier and resilient artist. After exploring the different angles of his journey in the previous sections, it’s evident that his influence continues to resonate. Indeed, the story of John Cruz Custom Guitars is a melody that persists, sustaining its sweet notes even in the face of adversity.

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