Established in 1973, Mark Simon has been providing repair and restoration services for discerning Musicians, Players, and Collectors.
Mark's expertise has been featured in Guitar Player & Vintage Guitar magazine. He has been cited in numerous books concerning stringed instrument construction, maintenance, and repair. His work has been on exhibit at The Smithsonian, The Virginia Historic Society, The Blue Ridge Institute, The Boston Museum of Fine Art, & The National Heritage Museum.
Resume & Clients
From basic upkeep to complete rehabilitations; please consider
Mark Simon Guitars for all your fine acoustic & electric stringed instruments including; Guitars, Basses, Banjos, Dobros, Mandolins, Fiddles, and Ukuleles.
"Repairman Mark Simon of Bridgewater, New Jersey has been instrumental to the success of the Chinery Collection. In my opinion, he's the most gifted artisan in the genre. His work and talents are greatly appreciated, and he is the only person whom I will let work on my guitars." -Scott Chinery Vintage Guitar Magazine: January 1995
"We had great, great fun exploring all the (Chinery) guitars and we also had the pleasure of having Mark Simon there to set up any little details because we weren't just looking at them, we were playing them. So if they needed restringing, a bit more preparation, or had a fret buzz, we had a professional guy there. It was a fantastic experience."
-Steve Howe Lap Steel Guitar
"Mark Simon is a dear friend, a fantastic luthier, and overall great guy."
-Arlen Roth <arlenroth.com>
"Thanx for saving my guitar & act!" -'Uncle' Floyd Vivino <unclefloyd.com>
"For over 30 years, I've had work on my guitars done by Mark Simon, who lives in Bridgewater, NJ. He is the go-to man in the New York/Tri-State area for any repairs or adjustments on your guitar! I've been a completely satisfied customer since I first met Mark in the mid-1980's. He's terrific." -El McMeen <elmcmeen.com>
"I have an excellent guitar repair/setup person for you. His name is Mark Simon, he rebuilt my old (40 years old) Gibson B-25 (bridge/saddle, frets, tuners); plays great, sounds old and sweet. He is an artist. The job will be done right."
-Dom Q. <Bridgewater, NJ>
"I have had a lot of work done by Mark Simon in Bridgewater, NJ. He's the former head repair guy from Mandolin Brothers and Martin highly recommends him."
-Rob Sandt <midnighttoastband.com>
"He does very nice work - excellent, especially if what you need is restoration of a historical instrument." -Frank Basile <donegone.net>
"I highly recommend Mark Simon in Bridgewater New Jersey for setup and repair work. I live in Manhattan with about 15 archtops that I've acquired over the last 30 years, and have had lots of experience with many repairmen. IMHO, Mark is as good as it gets."
-Perry Beekman <perrybeekman.com>
"It's amazing how much a familiar instrument improves my playing. I had borrowed another Martin dreadnaught to use while my guitar was with you, and it just felt clumsy. It's great to have mine back again. Thanks again for the fine work."
-Mike Agranoff <mikeagranoff.com>
"Mark Simon is a Luthier supreme; there are no two ways about it. He's also the quintessential nice guy, and his skill, talent, and attention to detail are all top-notch. If you have a guitar that needs work -- pick-ups, refinishing, or whatever it may entail -- and you want it rendered the way it should be, Mark Simon is the man to see, as he'll deliver beyond your expectations. I have encountered no one better over the last thirty-plus years." -Randy <randyworks.dphoto.com>
"Mark Simon is the former head of repair at Mandolin Brothers. He refretted one of my instruments and is generally considered one of the best in the business." -Lance Goler
"If you don't mind driving into NJ a bit you can go to Mark Simon.
He has done great work with my Martin guitars." -Jim Pilgrim
"I absolutely LOVE it!!!! Thank you Mark." -Jim Frankovic
"Mark Simon is a great repair/tech person in northern NJ. He's maintained several important guitar collections." -Peter Watrous <NY Times music correspondent>
"After having my Martin OM-28V setup by Mark Simon, this guitar is great. Thanks Mark." -S Mac <harmony-central.com review>
"The Terraplane Amp don't suck! This is the way an amplifier should sound."
"I've decided to go back to Mark Simon in Bridgewater, NJ. For those who don't know about him, he is excellent. He used to head the Mandolin Bros. repair shop in Staten Island, NY, and now works independently. He worked magic on a cosmetic issue on my R0. Highly recommended!" -Andy Lackow <andylackow.com>
"I just wanted to thank you again for the great job on my Taylor. Its plays great...real easy, and the sound with the new strings is just awesome. Thanks again, you've got my guitar business for life." -Ken Klein
"Thanks for fixing my uke so quickly. Tuned it up, plugged it in and everything is back to normal and sounds great !! Now I will have some time to practice before my lesson :-) "
"I just wanted to thank you again for the really magnificent work you did on my Ramirez.
The guitar now looks good, sounds amazing, and feels great to play."
-Howie Waldman <tennesseeosmosis.com>
"The LPs sound great. Thanks very much. I'll put the word around."--Tom Minet
"Thanks for fixing my lute. It's working out. Be blessed." -Daryl Hester
"Mark, Thank you for repairing my LP, It looks perfect and the fret work improved play-ability immensely!!!" -Mitch Kahl
"A guitar should draw you to it like a beautiful woman. To hold & play a guitar worked on by Mark is that experience. Who's better? Answer, No one." -Rick Collins
"Setup on new Yamaha FG700S, my guitar sounds so much better now. A great job!!"
"Mark has the ability to make your guitar play better than the day you fell in love with it. I'll be bringing all my guitars to Mark exclusively from now on. Hands down the best luthier around." -Andreas Prodromitis <soundcloud.com/andreas-prodromitis>
"The ES-345 is good. Real good. Sounds great and plays great. Gibson gets credit for the sounds great, but you get your share for the plays great! Thanks for the re-fret."
-Chris Soucy <facebook.com/chris.soucy.75>
1.) "Just wanted to say Thank You for the great set up and fretwork you performed on my Guild M20. It plays effortlessly and the frets are behaving themselves!" 2.) "Just want to again say Thank You -The mandolin plays great and sounds so nice with the Martin strings." -Chris Lafrenz
"Nice job on the LP, like you said, it plays like a totally new guitar. Very pleased with the results. Thanks again." -Chris Schmidt
"I just wanted to let you know I LOVE what you did on my Les Paul! What an improved sound! You were correct with using the Lollar pickups. The set up as well Is PERFECT! The action, intonation, and top wrap are all spot on! I am so happy I came to you to do the work. And thank you for indulging me with the conversation. I sincerely enjoyed it. I'll tell you that what really impressed me about your shop is that it's very obvious it's a working shop. That may sound odd, but I mean that in the best sense. It's apparent you are busy which is a sign of how much customers come to you." -Chris Todd
"Mark Simon, my technician who works on the unknown for me, is an excellent luthier in Bridgewater, NJ. He has been working on my guitars for over 20 years and has not steered me wrong yet. You HAVE to check out his handmade resonator guitars - they are absolute TITS." -Chris Gansz <Ledgewood, NJ>
"I've been playing my Washburn for the past three hours and it sounds phenomenal and looks just as good. When the damage occurred I was assuming I'd lost and old and dear friend. Means a lot to me you were able to bring it back to life." -CJ Grogan
"Mark Simon, a Martin certified service professional who also has extensive experience with Fenders, replaced the "claw" in my tremolo and removed the tremsetter. He did a setup on the guitar and the intonation is perfect. Now I'm happily playing the guitar more often. I highly recommend him." -Steve Comeau
"Mark - Great job on the Engle and Godin. They both play like butter. I can no longer blame the guitar for my mistakes. Superb job on the LoPrenzi Classical. Thanks for for taking care of my guitars." -Steve Desalvo <reverbnation.com/stevendesalvo>
"I’ve been very happy with the work you did on my Collings MT. It’s really playable, and sounds great. I also took the "banjolin" that you saved from oblivion to my lesson with Andy Statman because I wanted to show it off. He was very impressed with the Collings re-fret and fretboard fix, and was REALLY impressed with how you saved the banjolin." -Steve Wetter
"The Martin HD-28 is absolutely perfect thanks! It opened up after about an hour of playing – Sounds and plays perfectly!" -Steve Goodson
"I just wanted to thank you for the outstanding repair work, professional setup, and fantastic service. The guitar looks and sounds better than I could have imagined. It was definitely worth the investment from the view of this demanding customer."
1.) "I wanted to thank you for the super-fine job. My mandolin is buzz free up and down the fretboard and as easy-playing as I could imagine all the way up and down. I now feel renewed enthusiasm for mastering the instrument." 2.) "I never had a dreadnought that played that well buzz free. Thanks for the fabulous setup." -Larry Seltzer
"Mark has worked on my Guild D-40 whenever I've needed since 1985, from installing frets, building a nut (and a bridge), and also repairing a crack that had developed on the upper bout. Now that the guitar is nearing 40 years old, I had been thinking that it may be time to buy a new instrument. However, I decided to bring it back in for Mark to do a complete setup. Since its return, not only did the guitar come back to life, but it is actually playing better than ever before! The precision of the work on this instrument once again showed me that Mark is someone that I can trust with my finest instruments. It also made me realize that true guitar lutherie is a rare skill. Thank you Mark!"
-Joe Bilotti <ccm.edu/spotlight/joseph-bilotti>
"I have two second hand long neck banjos with plenty of road wear from the previous owners. Mark did a stellar fret redress and set up on both, so I'll be able to continue gigging with them for years to come. If you are looking for a luthier in the Tri State area who knows their way around a banjo, I absolutely recommend Mark." -Joe Seider
"I just wanted to thank you again for doing a great job on my Les Paul. I am really happy with how it turned out. The frets are perfect." -Joe Sturnialo
"Thanks for fixing my guitar. It's set up great and I'm really enjoying it. The difference is HUGE." -Joe Colleran
"Thank you again for your work on my guitar repair. I'm so glad to have it in good shape again! I really thank you for your dedication & care in the repair." -Judy Goldrich
"Thanks for performing the setup on the Merrill that my husband brought in. It really plays and sounds fantastic!" -Polly Strauss
"I have been playing the Campanella A5 a few hours a day and it has been getting progressively better. The strings have settled in and it really has a bell like quality throughout highs, lows, and mid. I am really wowed at the improvement. Thank you : ) " -Linda R DeGaeta
"I've been playing my guitar since you did the setup and want you to know what a difference it made. I find it much easier to play, and at my level that's a good thing! Thank you for a job well done." -Herb Rodgers
"I wanted to thank you for the recent work on my Martin guitar. We played a gig last night and it was a joy to play. The pick-up worked great, and the adjustments you made with the neck and nut improved the playability and tone. Thank you again for the quick turn-around and your wonderful work." -Rich Covington
1.) "Mark Simon did a fantastic job of refretting my '67 Tennessean - along with fabricating a beautiful new bridge for my '49 L-1 that looks as if it had always been there - and improved the sound (is this possible?) by about 250%. He always goes the extra mile. When I bring him an instrument to work on I always know that when I get it back it is going to be exactly as it should be. That doesn't happen very often in this day and age!" 2.) "Just quick note to say the saddle on the D-28 GREATLY improved the sound and playability! Gretsch and Collings also good… So thanks!"
-Jordan Chassan <jordanchassan.com>
"Man, that guitar plays excellent! I really love it, you really did a great job. I love the electronics on it too (Duncan Turner multi-source pickup and microphone system), I'll tell ya, it's unbelievable, I think that thing sounds great." -Bobby Liana
"Mark is a rare talent who is able to rebuild/rebrace/reglue a 100 year old Weissenborn Kona so that it can now be enjoyed for my lifetime and probably beyond. I can't thank you enough for your artistry!" -Ed Bierly
"There is no better luthier to bring your guitars to in NJ than Mark Simon, period. Just got a 12 string J-200 with terrible action setup, and he made it play like a 6. Just amazing."
"I came to Mark from NY with a 1890's SS Stewart five string banjo in need of parts and set up. After his work I left the shop with a perfect playing and sounding antique instrument. Mark set up the banjo with intention and integrity to its original purpose and design. I haven't put it down since, and I know I will be playing this banjo for the rest of my life." -Adam Siegler <Addy & the Banjo Days>
"Mark, the mandolin plays and sounds great after your repairs and setup. I really appreciate your skill." -John Marlin
"Mark – just a note to tell you that you did an awesome job on my Les Paul re-fret, and the guitar plays better than ever. Thanks again!" -Jonathan A. David
"All three guitars play beautifully..thanks so much! Now if I could just ship my wife and kids off for a few weeks…" - J
"Mark, I always knew that you were the greatest luthier in the world. All the work you have done for me has always been absolutely the best; especially the repair work you did recently on my Les Paul and my custom made Tele. Now it seems that you are reaching a celebrity status with the Terraplane guitars. I was blown away when I saw you and Johnny Winter in a guitar magazine. I just want to wish you all the best with this guitar and I will tell everyone I know to order a Terraplane guitar or amp. Good luck and I am sure I will see you soon with another project of mine." -Bill Ryan
In my opinion you have really done it, finally achieved “The Sound of God” in a metal resonator! -Blair Johnson
"I love your resonator guitars! I think your resonators are amazing and I think the quality and sound is incredible. Thank you taking the time for me and for making the best resonators in the world." -Ty Brown <Covington, GA>
"Lo and behold, a new version of Olde Time Craftsmanship is here. The Terraplane Resonator Guitar. Handcrafted by Guitar Master Mark Simon, the Terraplane is unique unto itself." -Robert ResonatorGuitar.Blogspot.Com: 4-12-2007
"I love your workshop. It's on a beautiful lot that is an oasis in the midst of a typical suburban shopping area, with all its commercial enterprises. Your enterprise is very special and unique and I appreciate that artisans with your experience and insight even exist in this era of automation and social networking applications running on cell networks with micro computers the tool of choice. What an interesting juxtaposition of realities." -Frank Healy <Bloomfield, NJ>
"I came across Mark Simon Guitars from a google search and could not be any happier with the work he did on my 1980 Ibanez Cimar bass. There is now more life left in the truss rod, he reset the upper part of the “Skunk stripe” on the back of the neck that was lifting up, removed the heavy gloss finish off the back of the neck, fixed one of the control knobs, smoothed out the edges of the frets and perfectly set the action with my new strings. It’s like a brand new bass. Payment was processed via PayPal which was very convenient. The work he does is truly an artform acquired from years of experience. You are not going to find this caliber of work at any chain music store." -Yvonne Parenteau