Borys Electric Archtop
Borys Electric Archtop
This Borys Electric Archtop custom was built while Roger was living and building guitars in Vermont. Featuring the original Ken Armstrong humbuckers with coil splitting capability on both, this guitar can go from shredding the blues to clean jazz licks with the twist and pull of a couple of knobs. Overall excellent condition, with great patina on the hardware and even finish checking throughout the top of the guitar.
Roger Borys was born in New Jersey in 1953. He was introduced to tools and woodworking at a young age and by the time he was in high school, friends would break guitars and he would fix them. At the time, there wasn't a lot of information about guitar building or repair.
In 1971, Roger found his way to New England and began working in home construction and on boats in shipyards. He settled in Vermont in 1972 where he continued repairing guitars alongside building houses, working on boats and building furniture. He set up shop in a horse barn and by 1974 and by then, repairing guitars became his primary work and he formed the business that would become Borys Guitars.
The first Borys Guitar was made in 1976 in the form of a small, flat top acoustic. By 1978, he had made 11 guitars, including flat tops, classicals, solid bodies and his first arch top. He took #10 and #11 to meet luthier James D’Aquisto in Farmingdale, NY, who subsequently became Roger’s mentor, collaborator and friend until D’Aquisto’s passing in 1995. Jimmy never failed to critique Roger’s builds with his signature blunt honesty, which pushed Roger to develop into a master craftsman. Jimmy was a legendary guitar builder and designer and his work greatly influenced what Borys Guitars has become today.
D’Aquisto took on a larger role in Borys Guitars in 1981 which ultimately led to the design of the BG100 Barry Galbraith Model, the first original Borys Guitar. It was a 16” hollow body jazz electric based on a 16” acoustic guitar Roger had been producing prior, with the addition of a built in pickup and laminated top and back. The first BG100 was made for the legendary Galbraith who also contributed to the design process. D’Aquisto’s and Galbraith’s influence in the process also allowed Roger to enter into a network of respected jazz players and educators, including Jimmy Wyble, Billy Bauer, Allen Hanlon and Fred Rundquist. Barry Galbraith passed away in 1983.
In 1984 D’Aquisto stepped back from the Borys Guitars business in order to design a line of Fender guitars. Roger has since continued producing and perfecting the BG100, which has developed into what is known today as the B120 Deluxe. In 1985 Roger introduced new models including the Jazz Solid and the Special. In 1987, the first Jazz Classic was made for Emily Remler. In 2006 the first Jimmy Wyble Model guitar was made for Jimmy Wyble. These five guitars are what make up Borys Guitars’ signature models today.
By 1991, Borys guitars were being played by jazz musicians such as Joe Pass, Jimmy Wyble, Emily Remler, Larry Coryell, Larry Koonse, Pat Kelley. Later players such as Smokey Hormel, Vic Juris, Paul Bollenback and Tony D’Caprio, entered his network of musicians.
Roger eventually moved his business to Hoboken, New Jersey in 2008 where he is still in full operation. His shop is a hub for musicians to sample his guitars and share a cup of coffee. His daughter, Laura, loves hanging around the shop asking lots of questions and helping with the website.