From John Mills , one of the world's finest guitarists with over 3,000 concerts to his name. Described by Andres Segovia as having ' purity of technique and musical sensitivity' Shaun Newman showed me several guitars built in his Crediton workshop, and they were certainly impressive instruments. His workmanship is of a very high order, combined with a very interesting selection of timbers, giving the guitars a highly attractive and carefully considered appearance. All those I tried had excellent balance and projection, with a characteristic quality of tone often found with the deeper-bodied design favoured by some luthiers. The variety of tone colour was also excellent as was the dynamic range on all the instruments.
From Peter Nuttall, internationally renowned composer, performer, teacher and arranger - Bournemouth 2016. I tried out four of Shaun's guitars. They were all very immediately beautiful not only in the quality and the interesting variety of the woods used, but also in the artistic use of intriguing and colourful detail in a basically traditional appearance. And such a pleasure to play! I played them outside in the garden, (which is quite a disadvantage to a classical guitar as the sound can easily get lost) and still they impressed with the clean and singing resonance of the trebles, nicely balanced by the richness of the basses. The frets had a smooth rounded surface that felt delightful (and easy!) under the fingers. The fingerboard was made with such accuracy that no frets needed "levelling off". There was a brightness and quick responsiveness from all areas of the fingerboard, without sacrificing character and sweetness in the sound. Altogether a delight to the eye and the ear!
From David Cottam, busy performer,composer and teacher resident in the South West. I first tried one of Shaun's guitars about twenty years ago. It was a 19th century style guitar that he had made for his eight year old son. I was immediately struck by the sheer volume possible from this small instrument. In 1999 Shaun made himself a guitar which I liked so much that I borrowed it a couple of times for performances. Its main characteristics apart from the ease with which I could play it were its combination of warmth and clarity. The treble was strong, full bodied and even and the bass was powerful, with good sustain. I had been suffering from tendonitis and I found the fingerboard and set up more comfortable than my other instruments. Shaun made my first 'Newman' guitar in 2000 using a wonderful close grained spruce top and Brazilian rosewood. I have used it to record a number of CDs and for concerts. I feel that it allows me to make my own distinctive personal sound. People always remark on the beauty of the sound and its projection to the back of the hall. On one occasion someone thought I was using amplification! I now have four Newman guitars, one of which has an internal amplification system for those occasions when much more sound is needed. The one he made for me in 2000 is still my all time favourite guitar. I have owned in the past a Romanillos, a Rubio, a Fischer and a Kohno so I am ranking them with some of the best guitars available. My Newman guitars have plenty of volume and are capable of a wide tonal and dynamic range. It's possible to sing legato lines and be punchy too. They have made playing duos with flute and violin easier to balance. Shaun is uncompromising on quality and works with a complete lack of pressure or hard sell. He is quite content to let his instruments speak for themselves.
From Raymond Burley, internationally renown performer and teacher. I recently had an opportunity to try some of Shaun Newman's guitars - what a pleasant surprise! They had everything necessary: good balance, clarity, a comfortable playing action and a very realistic price tag. I would have no trouble in recommending them.
From James Rippingale, Classical Guitarist, Teacher and Composer. I thoroughly enjoyed playing Shaun's guitars with their beautiful rich sound both full bodied and spacious. These fine instruments made it easy to bring out the individual voices in the music and they responded beautifully to even the slightest changes in dynamics and tone colour.
From Justin Shepherd, Classical Guitarist. I was recently looking for a new guitar and decided to follow up a colleague’s recommendation of Shaun Newman’s guitars. I drove down to see him and he let me play half a dozen of his guitars which were ready. What struck me was how different they were in their choice of woods and also in their decoration and finish. This indicated someone with an experimental and enquiring approach to making guitars, an impression which has developed the more I have got to know him and his work.
From Matt Petherbridge - Exeter, June 2015 Teacher, composer, performer.
After having spent much time searching for a quality classical guitar with a cut away but without much success I approached Shaun,
who was more than happy to make a cutaway for me. The process of getting a guitar made from scratch has been a real education.
Being able to talk through things like the merits of different woods and build design and being updated on the progress at regular
intervals was a unique experience. The guitar is stunning to look at and is a real work of art. Some of the features make it quite
original looking in the conservative world of classical guitars, such as the headstock and bridge.
From Jeremy Fox, classical and flamenco guitarist - London, August 2015. I came across Shaun's guitars - and got to know Shaun himself - a few years ago. On my first visit, he showed me one of his guitars and I bought it on the spot. I now have three "Newman" guitars, two classical and one flamenco. They are quite simply superb. All three are full-volumed and beautifully balanced - the basses deep and resonant, and the trebles sparkling and full of life. That they are also a pleasure to the eye is an added bonus. I can't recommend them too highly.
From Phil Tucker - Wellington, August 2015.
I only walked into Shaun Newman's workshop to have my son's school guitar repaired; I walked out with a new beautiful hand-made
concert classical guitar.
From Andrew Scott. Retired GP and guitar enthusiast. I now have three and a half Shaun Newman guitars! The half refers
to a radical repair generously carried out on my very first instrument purchased from a junk shop aged 13 and which turned out to
be from the 19th century and French.
From Steve Gordon, performer, teacher and publisher. One of the most impressive features of the two Newman guitars I've played is the balance, warmth and depth of tone across the entire range and particularly in the middle and upper register. These guitars have a very individual character, the tone on the upper strings is complex,mellow surrounding a steel core, resonant and with great projection.