ABOUT NIK GRUBER:
I have been surrounded by guitars for as long as I can remember. I began seriously trying to learn guitar in 1992 at age 11. At age 14 I began teaching guitar at Lidgett Music (Lidgettmusic.com) in Council Bluffs, IA where I taught hundreds of students over the following 4 years.
At 18 I enrolled at the University of Iowa where I studied jazz, theory, and composition under the aegis of John Rapson and Steve Grismore. I graduated with an M.A. in Jazz Studies in 2006 and immediately put my training to use teaching guitar at Kirkwood Community College. In the year between my undergraduate and graduate studies I became interested in guitar building and in 2003 I designed and constructed a set-neck custom guitar.
In the fall of 2007 I moved with my wife, Heather, to Athens, OH for a teaching position. I began working at Stewart-MacDonald Guitar Shop Supply (www.stewmac.com) while teaching jazz ensembles at Ohio University. Here my interest in guitar building was renewed. Being surrounded by the best materials, cutting edge tools, and fountains of guitar knowledge like StewMac's Dan Erlewine and Erick Coleman allowed me to tackle a few projects like building teles and winding my first set of pickups. In the spring of 2009, I joined Erick Coleman and former StewMac technician Gene Imbody at their shop, United Lutherie (Unitedlutherie.com). Gene and Erick taught me the art of lutherie in a hands-on way. I was able to repair dozens of guitars under their guidance.
I opened Gruber Guitars in January 2010 after moving to Moorhead, MN. I continue to strive to provide top-notch repair services ranging from basic set ups to complete custom instruments. I also teach jazz guitar at Concordia College.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT GRUBER GUITARS:
Nik has adjusted my personal guitars and did so in a very courteous, prompt, and professional manner. He really knows his stuff! -Mark Berntson,Guitar Teacher, West Fargo High School. Basic set ups on Les Paul, Taylor.
Just a short note to let you know how happy I am with the service and quality of work you did on my Hofner Beatle Bass guitar! The pick-ups and switches have never worked so good, and what a treat it is to have the variety of sounds I should have had all along. You really nailed it! Wow ...great job! Thanks again! -Lee Nelson, Moorhead, MN. Electrical repair on vintage Hofner bass.
The new nut that Nik installed on my Guild D-25 really improved the sound of this guitar. Before it was a bit muddy and flat. With the new nut it was brighter and more resonant with a much lower action. -Nick Fryer, Assistant Professor of Music, Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Guild acoustic, ES-335 fretwork, Custom Tele style guitar.
I was extremely happy with the work done by Nik. I had him do basic maintenance work after hearing about him through a friend and after seeing some of the guitars he had built, I asked him to build me a replica of a '57 Les Paul gold top. The guitar looks and plays phenomnenally and sounds just as good. I don't think I will buy another guitar from a retailer again. My next guitar will definitely be from Nik. -Cole Hooey, Fargo, ND. American Standard Tele set up, Custom LP style guitar.
Nik Gruber knows guitars! Aside from being able to make the guitar sing as a player, he knows how to bring the instrument to its full potential before you even pick it up. I recently sent him a 1978 Fender Telecaster that was in pretty rough shape: microphonic pickups, failing hardware/wiring, and a neck that couldn't even handle half step bends in places. What I got back was one of the best feeling guitars I've ever playe. it's restored to 100% playability and I can eve slam it into both my overdrive pedals and a wah without any pickup squeal! Thank you Gruber Guitars!-Mike Tallman, Ft. Collins, CO. 1978 Tele pickup restoration and set up.
I just wanted to drop one more letter here to say thank you very much for the work you did on that guitar. I was able to play it and check it out when I was back in Bismarck and you definitely did and unbelievable job. It worked out very well because my Grandma came to town and I was able to play it for here. She loved it. It was the first time she had heard anyone play it since my Grandpa passed away back in 1956. Seeing her face when she heard it again was awesome. My 2-year old cousin sat and held it and strummed a bit. That was very neat, too. As we originally talked about, this guitar wasn't worth a whole lot of money, even when it was first purchased. But with the emotional and sentimental value that it has, this restoration has made it worth very much to my family. Thanks again for your professionalism and beautiful work. I will definitely come back to you with any future needs and will recommend your services to anyone else I know in need of a luthier. -Craig Bosch, Bismarck, ND. 1940s Harmony acoustic restoration.