Epiphone Dot 335 VOS

John Skinner - Ongar, Essex

(Steve Marriott - (Small Faces, Humble Pie, Packet of Three), Guitar Tech / PA / Roadie)

Many years ago I had the opportunity to work with Steve Marriott, (Small Faces, Humble Pie, Packet of Three), as his guitar tech/pa/roadie. I looked after many of his guitars, from the iconic Epiphone Coronets and Les Paul Juniors he used whilst in Humble Pie, to the more obscure from Ibanez and Ovation, when he endorsed their products and got several “freebies” from those companies. His guitar of choice was always a Gibson Les Paul, and he used them in all the bands he played in, until the latter years of his life when he got his Blonde Gibson 335. It became his regular guitar as we played the pubs and clubs all over the UK. When he died, in a fire at his home, in 1991 aged just 44 years old, I quit the music biz and became a truck driver for a firm local to where I live. All thoughts of guitars faded away as the years passed by. Until recently.

I could never afford a proper Gibson 335 but, a chance sighting on e-bay, found a very nice Epiphone Dot 335. It had lovely figured grain on the front, and was in my favourite colour of vintage sunburst. "Buy it Now", and the deed was done. When it arrived it was lovely, looked fantastic, but, and it was a big BUT, the first few frets were badly worn and pitted.

It hung on the wall, all forlorn and lonely for some time before I decided to “do something about it”. That’s when I found John’s website. He lived near me, and offered free collection and return. Without further ado I gave him a call and set up a meeting.

As soon as we met I knew that, here was someone who was genuinely passionate about what he did, and I had no worries about handing over my guitar. I trusted him completely.
A couple of days later he called, and ran through what needed to be done, and a rough estimate of cost. I had no hesitation in saying “go ahead”. I got the impression that he liked my Epiphone almost as much as I did.

When it returned I was amazed. It had been transformed. It was as good, if not better, than any guitar I had worked with in the past. John had turned it from a “cheap” Epi 335, into a beautiful playable guitar. The neck and frets were superb, and the set up he gave it was the icing on the cake. Not only that, but he had also checked the pick ups, the volume and tone controls and the switch, to make sure everything was working as it should. He even cleaned and polished it, making it look brand new. To say I was pleased would be an understatement.

To find someone, in this day and age, who is genuinely dedicated and passionate about what he does, knowing he would treat your instrument as if it were his own, with the respect and understanding it deserved, and having the knowledge and skills to accomplish a truly professional and first class job is rare. I would have no hesitation in recommending him to anyone.

Taylor 114 - Faith Baby Jumbo Acoustic

Michael MacGeoch - High Roding, Essex

Hi John. Just wanted to thank you for the work on the guitar. Just had a little play and if I didn't know better I would suspect you'd given me a different and better guitar. It's so much better.... thanks.

Looking forward to seeing what magic you can do with the Faith. I'm truly amazed at the difference, so thanks again. Cheers Michael

Fender USA Strats

Ian Morgan - Chelmsford, Essex

Hi John. Just to say thanks for the set ups on my guitars. They have never sounded or played as well as they do now. Its like having new guitars. Thanks again. John

Ibanez Artist - 1978

John Golder - Brentwood, Essex

Hi John. Just to say thanks for the set ups on my guitars. They have never sounded or played as well as they do now. Its like having new guitars. Thanks again. John

Epiphone Casino - Fender Precision Bass - Fender Stratocaster - Fender / Roland Stratocaster - Fender Telecaster (George Harrison Rosewood Model - Fender Custom Shop) - Fender Telecaster 1978 - Gibson Les Paul - Gibson SG - Hofner Ignition Violin Bass - Line 6 James Tyler Variax - Rickenbacker 1993 Plus - Martin D28 Reimagined - Taylor 114 - Yamaha Silent Guitar (Steel String) - Yamaha Silent Guitar (Nylon String)

Brian Baker - Grays Essex


Many thanks for all the hard work you put in on servicing my acoustic, semi-acoustic, electric and bass guitars. They are now far easier to play than they were before you worked your magic on them.


Your attention to detail is particularly impressive. You went to the trouble of finding out that my Custom Shop Telecaster was lightly relic’d and therefore you would not be doing your usual polishing job on it so as not to devalue it. I would never have thought of that and at some time in the future would have polished it myself. But I won’t now. And you asked me if the wear on the lower frets of my red Strat was caused by me as I had told you that I had bought it new. You were alerting me to the fact that the fretboard had been used. That is attention to detail. The wear was indeed caused by me.


Also your advice regarding the positioning of my guitars was invaluable. They have been moved away from the window and are now in a rack. My circumstances dictate that I can’t visit any guitar shops to have a proper setup done and even if I could it’s unlikely that their service would be able to match yours as you included fret leveling. So finding your site was a godsend to me. Once again thank you for a very professional and comprehensive service.

I’m very grateful.



Washburn KC-70 Chicago series

Terry Thompson - Loughton, Essex

I recently dropped my Washburn KC70 guitar on a hard floor and to my horror the neck completely shattered.  Strings and splinters everywhere – what a mess.  The guitar, being 30-odd years old, was not worth a great deal of money; nevertheless, I wanted to get it repaired, if possible.  I searched on the internet for a competent guitar technician.  I came across JB Guitars and as I didn’t know the technician from Adam I read, and was impressed by, the testimonials.  Being based not a million miles from where I live I took the plunge and contacted John through his website.
John turned up and examined the mess and, although he didn’t promise anything, said he would do his best and took the guitar away.
Miraculously, John managed to source an original KC70 neck and went to work.  First and foremost, he refurbished the neck paying particular attention to the frets.  Unfortunately, the holes in the neck where it connects to the body had become elongated so John re-daled the holes and re-drilled them.  With a series of shims, he attached the replacement neck to the body achieving a very low action.
One of the three original pick-ups had been replaced some years earlier with a Humbucker; none of the three were really very responsive.  John completely re-wired all the pick-ups, installed new switches, tone and volume pods and a new jack plug.  He even lined the guitar body with copper to prevent static and humming.  He also did a score of other things to the guitar that escape my memory right now.  Finally, he polished the guitar removing many of the scratches and blemishes acquired over a 30 year period.  He really did a top draw job.
When he returned the guitar it looked, played and sounded amazing.
John is an extremely talented and first-class technician who I cannot recommend highly enough. As part of his service he even has a free pick-up and delivery service within the Essex area – what more could you want?
If John can’t fix it: it can’t be fixed.
Terry Thompson

Guild D35

Malcolm Friars - Witham, Essex

Thank you for bringing my Guild D35 back to life, I had forgotten what a lovely instrument it was. I had a play with it this morning and it looks and sounds beautiful and plays better than it ever did! Job well done! Cheers Malcolm

Martin Acoustic - Gibson Les Paul

Andy Brown - Margaretting Tye, Essex

John, 10 out of 10 mate, plays beautifully Thanks Andy. 

Fender Squire Telecater

Adam Butler - Brentwood, Essex

Hi John, I've had the chance to play the guitar and I just wanted to say thanks, you've done a brilliant job. I'll probably want a setup on my acoustic in a couple of weeks. 

Fender Telecastor - Eko Ranger Acoustic x2 - Epiphone Acoustic

Gary Stone - Colne Engaine, Colchester, Essex

I have known John of JB guitars for many years now and have had three guitars fixed by him, all of which have turned out great!
My Fender Telecastor had a fret level and setup and now plays so much better. I didnt realise how out of shape it actually was. It now has lovely low action and plays much better.
The Eko Acoustic had a complete refret, turned out great! So much so I then asked John to fit a Dean Markly acoustic pick up and output jack/strap.
My second Eko just had a setup and new strings.
Finally, my Ephiphone Acoustic, I thought was beyond use? The action was so high, it was almost unplayable. I left it with John to see what he could do?
It received a fret level and dress and a new lowered saddle, the playability was improved so much the I opted for a bone nut to be installed too. The guitar is now fantastic! Great service, reasonable prices. 

Epiphone Acoustic

Dave Knighton - Brentwood, Essex

My guitar always had a strange buzzing noise to the B and E strings, JB Guitars was recommended to me by a friend, so gave it over to them to look at. Turned out the bottom of my saddle was uneven and didn't sit correctly in the bridge. John fixed this for me, quickly and cheaply. My guitars been great ever since. Would recommend JB Guitars.co.uk to others, many thanks.

Ovation Semi Acoustic

Darrel Leigh - Chelmsford, Essex

My guitar started buzzing in various places up and down the fret board, so took it to a local guitar shop to be fixed. When it was returned it was even worse, a friend told me about JB guitars, so gave John a call. After a free report, John advised me it was all fixable, so left it with him. Got it back the next day, all fixed! It had a fret dress, re-crown, set up and new strings. I'll always use JB guitars from now on.

Fender Stratocastor

Mathew Bremner - Chelmsford, Essex

JB Guitars did a great job on my Strat. I had a complete refret as I prefer jumbo frets to the thin ones my guitar came with. Professional job, looks and plays great.

Ibanez Artist

Roger Sanders - Writtle, Essex

My old Ibanez had been knocking about, neglected for many years, so handed it over to John for a revamp. It underwent a semi restoration and was basically brought back to life. She had a fret level, fret dress and recrown. All the electrics were removed and cleaned. The lacqure was cut back and replosihed. The fret board was cleaned and oiled. All finnished with a professional setup and new strings. Very pleased with the results.

Epiphone Acoustic FR300 - Serial no. 110423

Gill Banks- Writtle, Essex

John is a gentle soul and this reflects on his love for guitars and the work he does with them. My fathers Epiphone classic had a lovely tone but did not look as good as she sounded, so John gave her a spa day and face lift!!! She looks and sounds amazing, worth every penny.