J. Kennedy Guitar Repair

About Us


Justin Kennedy, Luthier

"Guitarists like me because I don't let my personal biases get in the way. I let geometry, physics, and the individual players' preferences guide my work. Bassists like me because I don't treat their instrument like a second-class citizen."

Luthier Justin Kennedy has been fixing, tweeking, modifying, and improving guitars since his parents bought him his first bass guitar in 1993 (which he promptly took apart and reassembled). Justin’s repair and technical skills were taught by years of guidance by world renowned guitar tech Tom Weber (Van Halen, Poison, Nine Inch Nails, Reba McEntire, The Cult, Billy Corgan, Bush, Dio, and more) in Cincinnati, and master luthier Matt Friedman of Acacia Instruments in Southampton, PA. At the age of 15 Justin was introduced to Tom Weber who expanded his instrument knowledge base with helpful tips and first hand examples thanks in part to him not kicking Justin out of his shop even though he had stayed there way too long ("Justin, don't you have homework you should be doing?" -Tom Weber circa 1997). With that experience, coupled with reading every bit of tech advice in guitar magazines he could find, Justin began working on friends' and bandmates' instruments in his late teens. In his early 20s he began his tutelage with Matt Friedman focusing on custom lutherie. After a short time spent building instruments Justin turned his focus to learning repairs, again returning to Tom Weber's shop to learn ("Justin, don't you have a job you should be at?" -Tom Weber Circa 2005). In early 2009 Justin moved into his first commercial location inside the Toedtman School of Music, then went to work as the in-house guitar guy at Chrome Dome Audio until mid 2011. In July 2011 he moved into his current shop where he works full time. Justin has worked on guitars for Walk The Moon, Boy Meets World, For Today, Taproot, Smile Empty Soul, Public, The Griswalds, members of Bootsy Collins'  Rubber Band, members of Megan Trainor's band, and operates as Walk the Moon's touring guitar tech. Justin's guitar building alter ego is Bridge Builder Instruments, where he builds insane guitars. Additionally, Justin has played bass for Cincinnati based bands Lift the Medium, Atlantis Becoming, and Pluto Revolts.

Joseph Bartone, Luthier/tech
Joe began working at J. Kennedy Guitars part time as Justin's assistant in 2013. Doing nearly all of his training in-house has tailored Joe's skill set to be virtually identical to Justin's, and his work is of the highest quality. Specializing in set ups, nut replacement/repair, acoustic saddle work, and fretwork, Joe's attention to detail is apparent to many of our customers, as nearly every guitar passes through his hands at some point while at the shop. Joe's "fret-prints" have been felt on hundreds of instruments throughout Cincinnati and the surrounding areas. Joe currently plays guitar for the Cincinnati based band Lift the Medium, and has previously played for the West Coast based band House of Floyd (Pink Floyd tribute), and Cincinnati based bands Atlantis Becoming and Patchwork.

Warranty Service 
The Fender Family of brands (Fender, Squier, Gretsch, Jackson, Charvel, EVH)
BC Rich
Michael Kelly
Floyd Rose Guitars
US Music family of brands
KMC family of brands

J. Kennedy Guitars & Repair is excited to help you keep your instrument maintained at its peak shape to help you get the most out of your guitar so you can hone your musical potential!

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