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 luthiers and guitar brands

A-Aj 

made

Al-Am  | An-Ari | Arm- updated 22/3/2014

A  Basses

1976 to 2003

Albey Balgochian made his first electric bass in 1976 after working with Peter Kyvelos repairing uprights.  All initial instruments were custom orders and in 1996 more standardised models were produced starting with the Jade. Source: American Basses,  By James H. Roberts, Jim Roberts

Reviews and other info is available at the A Bass site.

Aaron Guitars

2001 to ?

Mark Aaron, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Jack Abbott

circa 1930s

Jack Abbott was son of John George Abbott, London guitar maker. [Source: Banjolin ]

Images are of Ronnie Wood's (Rolling Stones, Faces) Jack Abbott guitar -(not to be confused with Victor Abbots) it is a 1931 Musicmaster The headstock is the Giveaway it is HUGE 8.5in x 4.5in the guitar is a massive 18" wide body and is made from solid Maple with a carve Spruce top and a 20 fret Ebony fretboard. [Source amd images courtesy Kenn Gordon email Feb 2014. ]

JG Abbott

The Aristone guitar headstock

 

John George Abbott (1877-1938) In 1901 he went to supervise the production of Barnes & Mullins banjos in Harrow. He left to start his own company J G Abbott & Co in Hampstead Road , London in 1905. He made banjos under his own name and for several of the other 'names' in the banjo business such as Norton Greenop, Charles Skinner, John Alvey Turner and Len Shevill, Hawkes.

His son (also John George 1905-1994 but known as Jack) learnt the trade and in the late 1920s and 1930s father and son worked together producing guitars, banjos and banjo ukuleles at their workshop in London which had moved in 1928 to Chalton Street.

When JG Abbott grew ill in 1936 and gave up the business, Jack started on his own producing guitars, occasional banjos and banjo ukuleles. Around this time, Besson's acquired J G Abbott & Co.

Jack made instruments until the mid 1950s when he retired and returned to the stock exchange which suggests that he initially trained for and worked there before becoming an instrument maker. He also moved out of London to Cambridgeshire where he was persuaded out of retirement in 1970 to make around 200 banjo ukuleles for the George Formby Society over the next 8 years.

Guitar Trade Names of Abbott & Co

Abbott-Victor - 1932-1957

Aristone - 1928 [Source: Banjolin ]

 

Images early 1930s Aristone by JG Abbott, eBay:

Aristone guitar

Abe

Abe guitars are by Zenon Music Co. Made in Japan.

Image Sakura

Abe guitar label, made by Zen-On Abe guitar en-On Music Co Ltd

Abe Rivera   see R for Rivera

Abel Axe

1992-1996

recently reborn

Abel Axe - Aluminium body/wood neck guitars built in Wyoming, USA

http://people.cornell.edu/pages/aa17/AbelAxe.htm:  As most of the links on this site were dead at 25 Jan 2006 I have copied some text from pages including Google cache just in case it disappears.

"Abel Axe guitars were designed by Jeff Abel of Wyoming and manufactured between 1994 and c. 1996. The company, Abel Axe LLC, stopped production presumably because the guitars never caught on with the public. Only about 200 '94-'96 Abel Axe guitars exist. 

  • Body Styles: Small Strat-type body with holes available with a trem or fixed bridge. You'll notice subtle differences in hole beveling, spacing, and drilling depth if you examine the pictures closely. There was a one-humbucker Abel Axe made with slots instead of holes. It appears to have come with a 21-fret Strat-head neck and a Kent Armstrong pickup. I don't know how many of these one-hums comprise the '94-'96 run.

  • Pickups: Very early models used DiMarzio humbuckers: PAF Pro in the neck position and Tone Zone at the bridge position. Almost immediately, Kent Armstrong pickups (at one point manufactured by Sky pickups) were found to sound better and were installed instead: HRE-1 in the neck position and HSDE-1 in the bridge position. These awesome pickups are now called WPU10CLOSE|CLOSED COVER/BLACK and WPU11CLOSE|CLOSED COVER/BLACK respectively and are sold through www.wdmusicproducts.com

  • Nut: At least three different materials were used. I've seen graphite, bone, and the locking nut that goes with the Kahler trem. Re: Kahler locking nut: Partially routed holes appear on the very earliest '94-'96 Abel Axes. My guess (judging from the brochure and what I've pieced together from serial numbers) is that only a few made in 1994 have the partially routed holes.

  • Tuners are Sperzel Trimlok locking tuners.

  • Frets: I've seen two different fret wire gauges used: Dunlop 6100 or Dunlop 6105 equivalent.

  • Bridges: The vibrato bridge was a Kahler flatmount (also called Kahler pro) patent number 4457201 DS. The fixed bridge was either model WD101 sold by WD Music Supply or another one with more screws into the body.  Only the first dozen or so trem models made had recessed Kahlers and then they stopped recessing them

  • Neck: Rosewood or maple fretboards on quartersawn hard rock maple. The necks on at least some were made by Musikraft, Inc. (Gidwani). The scale is 25.5 inches.

  • Price:  Guitar Player 1995-96 Guitar and Bass Buyer's Guide indicates a list price of $1395 or $1495 with the trem. 

  • Finish: The aluminum guitar bodies came anodized (electrochemical finishing process for aluminum) in many different colors. There were only three done in grass green and about twenty done clear (i.e. silver-looking). I've also seen red, black, blue, violet, teal and a cool rust/green multicolor.

Abel Axe guitars are not to be confused with the Rogue Aluminator. Rogue Aluminators,  had a radically different routing scheme for the body, a hum/single/single pickup configuration, three mini switches, tilt-back headstock, non-locking tuners and no trem option. The bodies are lighter than the Swiss-cheese-routed twin hum Abel Axe. The only connection between the two is that the Abel Axe made the bodies for Rogue.

Abel Axe used the Rogue body pattern of slots for their brief production in 2000-2001. By that time they had changed anodizing methods to a thicker coating with more vibrant colors and used Warmoth necks. The price was $2500 for single-color, $2700 multi-color.

Abel Axe guitar image from Internet Archive.

Abel Axe Guitar

More Metal guitars

Abilene

Abilene guitars made in Korea and Indonesia by Samick.  They made amps also

2000 Abilene catalog

Images eBay:

Abiliene guitar label made in Indonesia

ABM

 

  German guitar components

Abrams Guitars

Sergio Abreu

Sergio Abreu guitars are from Rio De Janiero

Sergio Abreu at wikipedia

Image courtesy of Classic Guitar:

Sergio Abreu guitar label Rio de Janeiro

A Bru & Perrin Violin and bow makes, Paris France

Abstract Guitars

Ed Roman Guitars are usually sequentially serialized, some have the last two digits representing the year, like the Abstract and Quicksilver.

 [Source, Scott, Ed Roman Guitars email 4 Mar 2008]

Abyss

1997 to present

Custom guitars built in Iowa, USA by Kevin L Pedersen.

"I don't have a "number system" that you could follow. Usually I put something like 0307 and that would mean the third guitar I made in '07. But there are times when I put 1305 or something, and that might have been the thirteenth guitar from a previous years sale that I "got to" or "finished" in '05 (point being as an example, I may not have made 13 guitars that year)."[source: KL Pedersen, Abyss, 23 Jan 2007]

So Kevin at Abyss recommends that you refer direct to him to date and authenticate the guitar.

Abyss Guitars specification 2000 from the internet archive.

Abyss Pricelists

2002 Abyss pricelist

2007 Abyss pricelist

Abyss Guitar

Reviews are at Harmony Central

Acacia Instruments

1986 to 2000s

Following info from internet archive:

Acacia Instruments were made Southampton, Pennsylvania, USA

Matthew J Friedman of Acacia Instruments is dedicated to the handcrafting of custom exotic basses designed for the individual player. High tech construction and hand crafted quality are at the heart of the Acacia bass. The electronics utilize state-of-the-art components from Lane Poor, Demeter, Bartolini, and custom Acacia High Resolution preamps. Acacia instruments are custom made and all aspects of design and construction are accomplished by Matthew.

Specifications:

Custom Series

Graphite epoxy neck reinforcement. For excellent stability & tone.

All screws for truss rod and electronics compartment covers are set in brass bushings.

4 and 5 string basses feature a 9 piece multilaminate neck through design.

6 and 7 string basses feature a 13 piece neck.

Select 24 fret Ebony fingerboards.

The 5, 6, and 7 strings have two custom Acacia I.C.E. truss rods for precise adjustment of neck relief.

Integral thumb rests are carved out of the neck wood.

The electronics cavity is fully shielded with 3 mil copper and seamed.

Emotion Series

35" Scale Length.

Wenge, Zebrawood, East Indian Rosewood, and Maple neck.

Macassar Ebony fretless 2 octave fingerboard.

Hand carved Gaboon Ebony Bridge with an RMC Active Piezo pickup.

Hand carved Guayacon Nut

GLB Series

35" Scale Length.

Hand carved 5 piece exotic wood neck. 7 pieces for the six string.

Swamp Ash Jazz style body with Quilted or Curly Maple.

Bolt-on neck with 5 bolt cutaway pattern.

The large stainless steel neck bolts are set in brass bushings for a solid tight joint.

Macassar Ebony 24 Fret fingerboard with silver side dots.

4 String spacing .75" @ Bridge & .44" @ the nut..

5 & 6 String spacing .75" or .656" @ Bridge & .4" @ the nut..

2 Lane Poor pickups

Neutrix locking 1/4" output jack.

2-Tek Bridge-through design for great tone and sustain.

Hipshot Ultralight tuners. Very cool!

Reviews are at Harmony Central

Academy

Academy guitars made in China and Taiwan [Source: Ultimate guitar forum]  Entry level

Image eBay:

Ace

Brand distributed by Henry Stadlmair Co. Inc. Distributors New York

Images eBay

Ace Henry Stadlmair Co New York

see Stadlmair

ACE Guitars

ACE guitar headstock

Electrical classical guitars, Dover, MH .

 

AcePro Guitars

2004 - present

Korean

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ace_Musical_Instruments

Miquel Acevedo

Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico

Achieve Achieve instruments by Andy Holliman , Newark Nottinghamshire, England
Achiles   Achiles is a friend of mine, luthier from Brasilia, specialized in electric basses and has worked with several well known luthiers in America and later London in the late 1980's. [Source: Jose Fonseca, email 6/4/2013]

Ackley

Ackley guitars by Scott Ackley, Portland Oregon USA

Acme

1960s

Student market guitars from 1960s. [Source: Vintage Guitar Magazine Price Guide ]

Acme Guitar Works

Suppliers of guitar parts, pickup assemblies and so on. Vero Beach, Florida, USA

Acorn

Image 2nd acorn guitar built from Kijiji Canada March 2012

Acosta Music & Mfg. Co

"The label on this guitar says: "Guadalupe Acosta," Fabricantes de Toda Clase de Instrumentos de Cuerda y Encordadura. 608 W. Houston St., San Antonio, 7, Texas."
The family still repairs guitars, on Bandera Street, in San Antonio, but no longer fabricates. Photos are attached.
This one needs a lot of work. Top cracked and separating. Sides cracked. Rope binding missing. Back separating. Scarf-joint in neck coming un-glued. Neck needs re-setting. Bridge bellying. The action is not good." [Source and images: Ed Fahey, email 1/3/2013]

Acosta guitar Acosta guitar

Acoustic

Acoustic brand guitar headstock

1965-1987

While mainly known for solid state amps the Acoustic Control Corporation of Los Angeles, California offered guitars and basses from 1969 to 1974.

Japanese guitars distributed by Acoustic amp company USA.

In 1972 Acoustic Black Widows were built by Paul Barth http://www.allthetransients.com/subdomains/blackwidow/

Images 1972 Acoustic AC500 Black Widow guitar eBay:

Acoustic AC500 Black Widow guitar Acoustic AC500 Black Widow guitar

Acrari

"I found this Acrari guitar at ebay about two years ago. I searched all over the web but I couldn't find another one. Only an advertisement where someone had sold an Arcrari Les Paul copy. But this was several years old.

My Acrari is a rather unconventionally shaped guitar. It's body looks like a fish or a cow's head. The body doesn't have contours like e. g. a strat body. Much more like a Telecaster. It is very heavy, I guess it is ash or basswood. It is not plywood. The neck (maple with rosewood fingerboard) is bolted on after the 15 fret. That makes the guitar a bit uncomfortably to play on the higher frets. It is a short scale. The tuners look like Grovers but have no brand name on them. Anyway they work fine. The nut ist black plastic. The frets are normal, not medium or jumbo. The two humbuckers have no brand name either. The electrics are OK, I only had to change the toggle switch. All in all the instrument is in good condition and easy to play with 009 strings. The body color looks a bit faded, as if the guitar would be about 20 years old. A serial number is not on it.
Sound: Without amplification it is not loud. Amplified I miss brightness in the clean mode. Distorted the guitar has a fine singing voice. But I think it has not been made for soloing. Because of the body shape is it hard to play on the higher frets. [Source and pics: Michael van de Locht, Germany, email 20/9/2010]

Review

Manuel Adalid

Son of Manuel Adilad Lazaro, one of the founders of Esteve

Biographical info

see Esteve

Guirarras Adalid

Adamas

 

High end Ovation

Dating Adamas guitars by serial number

Automated service

http://www.adamasguitars.com/?fa=faq

http://www.ovationtribute.com/index.php

http://www.ovationguitars.com/?fa=codeadamas
see Ovation

Adamovic

2002 to present

Nikola Adamovic graduated from the Roberto-Venn school in 2003. [Source: Roberto-Venn ]

"Nikola Adamovic started building back in the 1997. First as a hobby but it grew soon to a semi professional business. The name is enlisted at the chamber of commerce in 2002.  This would mean that the first official instrument was made in 2002. Since 2002 the instruments also carry the company logo.

 

The Adamovic Shop is located in Haarlem, The Netherlands, Europe.


Every instrument is sold with a certificate of origin with a description of the instrument and all the original features and options. At Adamovic there is an archive with the copies of all the certificates with a picture. For information about dates and the original instrument contact Adamovic
." [Source: Nikola Adamovic, email 29/7/2008 ]

Admira

1944 to present

The Admira Guitar Company was founded by Enrique Keller and his two sons George and Kiki in 1944 at Zarauz in the Guipuzcoa region of Northern Spain. Admira Guitars are made in the traditional manner.

Admira UK pricelist 2002

Image ebay:

Aelita

'70s

Russian built guitars

Examples and information on Aelita guitars

http://meatexz.com/cheesyguitars/aelita2.html

http://www.cheesyguitars.com/aelita1.html

http://www.cheesyguitars.com/rostov_manual.html

http://www.junkguitars.com/stories/vintage_guitars_rus.html

http://www.cumpiano.com/Home/Articles/Transcriptions/Yuri/yuri.html

http://homepages.nyu.edu/~cch223/ussr/info/brigadniypodryad_inter.html

Images bay:

Aerie Guitars

2003 to present

"I began repairing, customizing, and building guitars in 2000.  Handmade guitars are living breathing things, and that's why they're beautiful.  My primary design influence comes from small body guitars made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

I began using Aerie Guitars as a logo in 2003, though I'd been building for a few years before that.

I build in Fort Worth, Texas, USA, in my little one-man shop.

I date my guitars by a hand written note in pencil, on the inside of the top, down below the lower bout braces,
like this:                                                          My labels all look like this:

Aerie Guitar dedication and signature of Eben Atwater Aerie guitars label

All models made for a specific client have their names printed on the label, and are signed on the label as well.  They are done in blue and green ink on parchment.

My logos are hand-done marquetry and look like this (se left):
All my headstocks are this shape and size.

My earliest stuff had no logo, just labels, and simply had the model name and the built by info.

After that came a few with just a decal logo [See logo to left under Aerie link ]
My electrics have a signature and date on the body, inside the neck pocket, and on the end of the neck.
" [Source:
Eben Atwater, the builder at Aerie Guitars,  email 1/8/2008]

Forum http://www.luthiercom.org/

Aerostar

1986-1989

Aerostar guitars were made in Korea for Kramer

http://www.vintagekramer.com/company43.htm

see Kramer

aFerrari aFerrari guitars are made in USA. Ones visible at Reverb are telecaster copies. Thanks to Ben van Dyk for spotting this brand.
African

AG

see

Gracia Guitars (Argentina)

Alan Gardner (UK)

Agile

Agile guitar headstock

1985 to present

Agile guitars is a brand of Rondo Music, Union, New Jersey, USA. Budget instruments. Note while most may be made in the East there are also USA made versions including the one below.

Agile Forum http://www.agileguitarforum.com/

[Source: Image Agile Ghost, Kenn Gordon email 6/7/2013]

Agile Ghost

AGS   AGS brand guitars. Made in Japan ? 1960s. Examples include electics and acoustics. ? Sold by Woolworths. [Source: Harmony Central]

Agustin Gaspar Cebrian

Valencia, Spain.  The examples I have seen on the web are from around 1950s but the label suggests may have been around since 1908.

Images ebay:

Angel Benito Aguado

current

Angel Benito Aguado (b 1949) Spain

Information from Zavaletas

Image Trilogy:

Angel Benito Aguado Espana

AI Guitars

see I for Inteso

Aims

Aims guitar  headstock

1974-1976

Aims instruments (copy guitars and amps) were distributed by Randall Instruments. [Source: Vintage Guitar Magazine Price Guide]. According to a HC review (see below) Aims instruments were made by 'Rogue' in Japan or Korea.

Image extract from Ad for sale on eBay:

Aims Guitar Randall instruments

Reviews http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews/Guitar/brand/Aims

Image Aims Les Paul ebay April 2012

Ainsworth Guitars

current at 2010

John Ainsworth, Lancashire, England

Aircraft

http://toguitars.com/gallery-japan/aircraft-guitars.html

Airline Guitars

1958-1968, 2004 to present

Airline brand guitars were a Montgomery Wards brand instrument made by Kay, Harmony and Valco.

Made famous by Jack White of the White Stripes.

Some were manufactured by Valco in Chicago from 1958 to 1968.  Recently reissued by Eastwood Guitars.

Dating Airline guitars

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Guitar-649/Airline-Guitar-serial-numbers.htm

http://www.provide.net/~cfh/national.html

eg. The following guitar has serial T62302 which according to the above link is made 1961.

Airline guitar

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JB_Hutto_Montgomery_Airline

http://harmony.demont.net/brands.php?id_brand=2

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_White

Airline guitar catalog 1954 http://harmony.demont.net/catalogs.php

see Valco, Supro, Harmony

Images eBay:

Airline guitar

Airstream 1960s Airstream guitars were made by Egmond in Holland during the 1960's and were sold by Rosetti.
Airstream guitar head

AJL Guitars

Luthier Ari-Jukka Luomaranta, Gypsy guitars,  Kokkola, Finland

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