The history behind Ares Custom Guitars

Robert Sahrling, owner and founder of Ares Custom Guitars, made his first guitar in 1980. Made is a strong word here, he put together a kit from Mighty Mite. Many kits passed his hands thru the years until 1985 when he first came to USA

The reason why he came to USA was that he had made a bass amplifier he named RSL. He ended up at Valley Arts Guitar in Studio City, CA, trying to sell the amps.
At Valley Arts they were making Guitars!

Robert spent all his spare time at the guitar workshop, fascinated.

Robert spent a couple of weeks every year between 1985 and 1991 at Valley Arts. Mike McGuire, one of the owners and responsible for the guitars, taught him how to put together a guitar, lacquer and finishing, and how to do the final setup.
Robert went back to Sweden and formed his own company, Ares Custom Guitars, in 1987. The name Ares is the signature of Robert Sahrling, RS, pronounced in English. It happens to be the name of a Greek war God, but when Robert discovered that, the name was already established. The War God Ares is not the nicest guy in the Greek mythology, but...

1993 Robert designed his first own guitars, Ares SC and DC. But the real kick came 1994 when Robert got a phone call from Mr. Abraham Laboriel, USA. He asked him if he would make him a 6-string bass. He told Robert about his CTS problems (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome) and asked for a smaller neck. This was a Thursday afternoon and Robert asked him when he wanted it ready. Abraham replied "I'll be in Sweden on Tuesday next week for a tour with Koinonia". YES! Right...

The bass, an Ares DCBNT, was ready on Saturday, four days after Abraham's arrival. Abraham is still using the bass occasionally.


There was a time, a couple of years from the end of the 90s to the beginning of the 2000s, when making guitars was less fun. Robert decided to do something else. What does a guy in his late 40's do when he feels low and doesn't know what to do? He goes to school and learn about Computers. So did Robert. He became a Linux teacher and finally headmaster of an IT school.
After five years he quit and decided to go back to guitars. Robert moved from Motala to Vallvik, 2006. He built up a nice workshop for both guitar production and guitar repair. The following four years were good for the company and it grew to financial stability. But too much work and some problems with health (asthma) Robert decided to go back to a "normal" job.
Since 2010 Robert works as a school leader in Hudiksvall for YH-education in IT and Telecom.
In his spare time he still makes guitars and basses...