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  luthiers and guitar brands

N-Ne | Ni-


info    updated 22/2/2015




Nature is constantly evolving - from the Swiss guitar-maker Alex Radovanovic.


Nickerson 2006 to present Brad Nickerson, Asheville, North Carolina since 2006.


2004 to present

Nielsen Guitars, archtops by Dale Nielsen, Duluth, Minnesota, USA

Nik Huber

see H for Huber


Could not find much on this brand.  The images are from a classical guitar on eBay. Also came across an Ovation multiple sound hole style, a steel string acoustic signed by Willie Nelson

Nikko guitar label Nikko guitar

Ninety nine  Guitar


Guitars made by hand in Thailand.  First acoustic model made in 2004 according to a Harmony Central review.

Ninja Warrior   Ninja Warrior branded guitars apparently come from the 1980s and 90s according to an eBay advertisement. Have seen stratocaster copies like the one pictured below from guitar-auctions UK and also Les Paul copies. Possible related to Marlin Ninja Warrior guitars.


Nioma guitar headstock


Instruments probably made for distributor. ? by Regal. Included resonators and steel guitars.

Image Greg Boyd


Nitrovane guitars. Kevin Nitrovane is professional guitarist, as well as a luthier of 17 years (at 2012), Perth Australia


2004 -

NK Forster guitars "Made in  Newcastle upon Tyne England since 2004. 

Dating Nigel Forster guitars

Date and Model is on label. No serial number apart from the first dozen or so which were numbered.  I keep a list of all instruments made as well as the cut out of every soundhole with the date, model and decoration so owners are always welcome to ask me whatever they like." [Source: Nigel Forster, email 9/7/2008]
Ex Sobell apprentice for many years, maker of flat top guitars, and carved top mandolins, cittern and bouzouki. Inventer of "long neck" jazz guitar and author of a book about guitar design "Between the ideal and the possible" along with photographer Dave Best[Source: Nigel Forster, email 2/8/2012 ]

NMI   see Nashville Musical Instruments
Noah Guitars current at 2010 Metal guitars.

Masaji Nobe

Masaji Nobe, handmade guitars. Tokyo Japan

Images of 1973 Nobe guitar eBay:

The Noble Guitar

Noble guitar

1963 to ?

The Noble Guitar were imported by Don Noble of Chicago into USA around 1963. Made by Wandre. [Source: Vintage Guitar Magazine ]

Also made by EKO.  By 1965-66 the brand is owned by Chicago importer Strum'n'Drum and was used mainly on Japanese solid bodies.

Images Noble guitars eBay

Images Noble Thunderball 007 guitar  Made in Japan eBay:

Noble Thunderball 007 guitar

Noble Davoli Wandre guitar

Duane Noble

Richland, WA, USA

Roy Noble

1956 to present

Q 1. What year did you start manufacture? 1956

Q 2. How can someone tell the date of manufacture for your guitars? ..on the label, or stamped on top block

[Source : Roy Noble, email 21/3/2008]

Tony Nobles

1990 to present

Tony Nobles , Wimberley, Texas.




While some sources say Nobility is made by Harmony at Antebellum Instrument they had a 1935 Nobility guitar made by Oscar Schmidt for "P'mico" - the Progressive Musical Instrument Company of New York.


1989 to present

"I began making guitars in the mid 80's, but I didn't start building to sell until 1989. For acoustics, each guitar is hand signed on the underside of the soundboard, with the inscription, Musae Expectos.

Dating Nolan guitars

The serial number can be found along with the date, and model on the neck block inside the guitar. This is also done by hand.

For the electrics, I sign and date the back of the neck, where it fits into the body, along with the model. I also put a printed sticker with all the pertinent info inside the body somewhere, it varies depending on the model of guitar, i.e., a tremolo Strat style will get a sticker under the spring assembly on the back side.

I don't really have a coding system, each instrument is numbered sequentially, so, number 027 is an acoustic, 028 is an electric bass, etc. I hope this helps." [Source: Dave Bell, Nolan String Works, email 31/3/2008]

Nolan Stringworks guitar



Nonpareil banjos, mandolins and guitars. My research show it a being a Perlberg and Halpin / Harry Perlberg brand starting in 1926. [Source: Lardy Fatboy, email 13/2/2014]



Carey Nordstrand makes Bass guitars since 2003 under his own name.  Prior to that he worked for Suhr and Azola Basses. 

"Nordstrand started in 2003.
All of our products are made in Yucaipa, California.
Dating Nordstrand guitars

We keep a database of our instruments by serial number, although the exact completion date is not always recorded.

Our N logo has remained the same since the beginning. Usually the best way to tell the age of an instrument is checking the serial number and then asking us." [Source: Adrian Smith, Nordstrand Guitars, email 20/1/2011]

Images Nordstrand Nordy bass eBay:

Nordstrand Nordy bass



http://www.vintaxe.com/faq.htm but according to this forum


They were made from 1957 to 1970 by Tomono in Japan and were distributed by Sprum & Drum in the USA. Later around the 70's National bought them out.




Images eBay:

Norma guitar



Norman guitars was founded in 1972 and taken over by Godin 1988 (Source Email: Michel, Godin 25 Jan 07)

Dating Norman guitars

 " Here's how you can decode our serial numbers :
first 2 digits : production year, 3rd and 4th digits : production week, 5th digit : production day (1=monday, 2=tuesday, etc...), last 3 digits : weekly production rank. Our production year begins on August 1st.
As an example, a guitar with serial number 06053168 was built in september 2005, on a wednesday, and it was the 168th guitar built during that production week.
If your guitar's serial number has 7 digits, the guitar was built in the 90's and only the 1st digit indicates the production year.
If your guitar's serial number has less than 7 digits, you'll have to email me it's serial number so I can look it up in our serial number lists.

On post 1993 guitars, the serial number is engraved behind the headstock.
On pre 1993 guitars, the serial number is stamped on the sound hole label.

The same system goes for Godin, Seagull, Norman, Simon & Patrick, Art & Lutherie and La Patrie guitars. [source: Michel, Godin, email 23 Jan 2007]

Norman guitar history

See Godin

Images Illegal guitar by Norman eBay:

Norman (Texas)


This Norman branded guitar made in 2002 was found on reverb.com. Made by Paul Norman, Odesa, Texas. USA


2007 to present

Jim Normandy. Aluminium hollow body electric guitars. Manufactured and hand riveted in Salem, Oregon USA.

Dating Normandy guitars

I actually have a 4 digit serial number going right  now...started with 0001.  The serial number is stamped into the metal under  the neck and is also stamped (with a rubber stamp) on a label inside the guitar that can be seen through the top F hole.  I'll have the years listed
by serial number after we get into 2009 on my website
." [Source: Jim Normandy, email 15/8/2008 ]

Jim Noris

Luthier Jim Norris ( 1926 - 2000) was a proponent of the classical guitar in Chicago.

Schramm Guitars Tribute to Jim Norris

In Memoriam by R.E. Brune

North American Guitars 1962 to present

"We first began building solid body electric guitars in Millington Tennessee in 1962. The company was first called "The Guitar Shop" . . . Then "American Guitar Shop".
The first prototypes were single cut-away, solid cherrywood, blues guitars and were called "American Eagles". The very first successful instrument of this style was nicknamed "Big Bossman" and was made for the late, great, Jimmy Reed.
After a while, - sometime around 1966, the operation was moved to a barn in Imperial Missouri and guitars made there actually incorporated some elements of race car parts and hardware, obtained from a company called "Top Performance". These limited production guitars - called "Hot Rod Performance Models" - were started in about 1968 or 1969 and were made for about 4 or 5 years, changing when the supply of surplus racecar hardware ran out. The "Eagle" portion of the brand was dropped to avoid a lawsuit which would have been necessary to contest the right to use it. The brand then became simply "American Instrument Company".
The next generation utilized both motorcycle hardware and some other custom made parts and were sold by ABC Choppers, in St. Louis, Missouri. Most of these guitars were in shapes, styles, and colors that appealed to hard rocking bikers and the musicians that followed them. Production of these "Chopper" models stopped in about the middle of 1976 and were never made again.
The more conventional and best quality to that point were guitars that the company built after movine, once again, about the middle of 1980, to San Francisco, California. Association with people from Alymbic Guitars, Stars Guitars, Guitar Player Magazine, The Grateful Dead, and other factions from that area and time period had a strong effect on the direction of the company. Even greater emphasis on quality and detail became the focus for every instrument. Fewer repairs and restorations were done during this period.
The guitars made in California had various shapes and styles but were all hand made to order. No standard model production was ever done in the California shop. Michael Tobias and Ron Armstrong had teamed up to create Sierra Guitars of California and the magnificent mastery of wood selection and joinery expertise that Tobias had perfected was a very strong influence on us, as we observed him working his magic for his and Armstrong's company. We had never seen such expertise in joining and shaping wood and we were determined to learn to achieve that high degree of quality. It didn't come easy and nearly 5 years was spent trying to simply become more efficient and precise at wood selection and joinery.
In mid 1983, the operation was closed, packed up, and moved to Clearwater, Florida where the entire operation remained in storage until about the spring of 1992. It was during this down time that we practiced the art of wood selection and joinery, prior to re-opening the guitar shop. The shop was re-opened as North American Instrument Company and remains to this day, but relocated to St. Petersburg, Florida. The website reflects the type and style of the standard models but, as is the history of the company, most guitars are one-of-a-kind and are built to order. It normally takes from 6 to 8 months for the top-end, hand-mades and the cost runs from about $5800.00 U.S. to just over $8,000.00 U.S., depending upon design and the customer's choices of everything that goes into making a unique instrument. Standard models are less expensive and run from about $2500.00 U.S. to $5,500.00 U.S., again, depending upon model and customer choices.
Dating North American Guitars
No standard serialization was ever developed for these instruments and they are best identified by contacting the company with photos and description.

The company has a very small staff. They are as follows:
Hal Hammer, Jr. - Chief Designer & Luthier
J. Baxter Goode - Luthier & Design Artist
Fred Nichols - Luthier & Restoration Specialist" [Source: North American Guitars, email 24/3/2008]


James North   ? link dead at 21/7/2008

Northern Guitars

Northern Guitars imported into Canada from Japan in the 80's Here is a Guitars Canada thread with some pics

Made by YAMAKI in Japan
They were distributed out of Burlington Ontario and had a distinctive maple leaf inlay on the fretboard for all models.

They show up often in music store & Kijiji & pawn shops. Not bad quality. built by Kasuga Gakki

Here is a good My Les Paul Forum thread with info.

Here is some history

Northern Audio operated out of Burlington Ontario back in the 70's/80's and was owned and operated by Harry Dunnett until he passed away. They primarily sold the full line of J. Chalmers Doane triangular ukuleles, as well as traditional ukes. I can't remember if they also sold guitars. They did indeed have an amazing concert-sized "Martin" copy concert ukulele! Taken from Torontoukes
Ben van Dyk, Canada, email 24/5/2011]

Images Kijiji

North Star Guitars


Acoustic Guitars, Electric Guitars, Electric Basses, Custom Design Guitars, Radical Designs, Onboard Preamps, Handcrafted in the USA.

North Star guitar

Northwood Guitars

"John McQuarrie is the sole luthier and President of Northwood Guitars. Trained by Jean Larrive in Vancouver, British Columbia he remains in Canada as Larrivee has moved to Southern California." [Source: New Millenium Guitar ]

Image eBay:

Northwood guitar label Canada


1982 - present

"I started building under my own name in 1982 and a few guitars are still out there with the 'Alan Marshall' label.

In 1986 I started using the name 'Northworthy' which is the Saxon name for Derby, the county town of Derbyshire, the county where I was born and have lived all my life. The business proper started on December 7th 1987, with the first sale from my current premises rather than from my bench at the back of my garage at home.

The names given to almost all of my instruments are taken from villages in and close to Derbyshire and the Peak District.

Dating Northworthy guitars

Dating is usually very easy, it is written on the label, but further dates can be found on the interior of the instrument, but these may differ as they are added at various stages of building whereas the label date is put in at completion.

The numbering system was started from the outset and is made up of two parts, the first two numbers identify the model, and the last three are sequential numbering of that model. The first instrument to bear my logo was 02002. Some models are a one off such as the Resophonic Ukulele made for Beatle George Harrison which is 24001 which can be seen on the Beatles Anthology DVD being played by Paul Macartney. Others are now heading towards the 100 mark.

To date there have been 34 designated model number sequences started.

Anyone wanting to contact me about a specific instrument should contact me via my web site www.northworthy.com " [ source: Allan Marshall, Northworthy Guitars, email 21/3/2008]



Budget guitars ? from Japan [Source: Vintage Guitar Magazine Price Guide]


The name Noso is the surname of the maker, Jaakko Noso. He had a guitar factory in Jarvenpaa (a town near Helsinki) till the 1960s. [Source: Cheesy guitars]


1986 to 1989

Flat top guitars under the Nouveau brand were introduced by Gibson in 1986.  Made in Japan and assembled in USA.  Moved to Nouveau by Epiphone in 1987. [Source: Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars]


Nova guitars are from the Sears catalog. Made in China

Image courtesy of Sue Blow, Ontario, Canada

Nova Custom Guitars


"We have produced custom electric guitars in Istanbul, Turkey for five years." [Source: Fatih & Fikret Yilmaz, email 11/11/2014]

Andras Novak

1986 to present

"My guitars are very anonymous, they usually don't have dates, numbers or logos. There is a metal inlay at the 12th fret with the text NOVAK, but only on 2002 and later instruments. All of my instruments has my signature on the inside of the top, you need a mirror to see it.
I started building 1986, but the major part of my business is repair work, so there are not so many instruments made, it's about 4 -5 a year. I make them in Stockholm, Sweden
." [Source: Andras Novak, email 26/10/2008]

Curtis Novak   Custom pickups and gutiars
R Novak

Novax Guitars 

1973 - 1989

1989 to present

"Made under "R Novak" name from 1973-1989. Handmade, no production.

Dating Novax guitars

Unique instruments, most have date as serial number (e.g., 1085=October 1985.)

Made under "Novax" name since 1989, with granting of patent for Fanned-Fret concept. Instruments varied in styles. Some had hand-written date on neck, hidden inside the neck joint. Some had "serial number dates," usually on the back of the headstock.

Important to note for collectors: Many styles of instruments have been produced under the Novax name; some are "clones" of popular models like 'Strats' and 'Teles'. Thesse are common and less collectible. They use aftermarket bodies.

The most desirable Novax instruments are handcrafted by Ralph Novak and are typically 'Expression' model and 'Charlie Hunter' model instruments, as well as Novax acoustic and acoustic-electric models. (See www.novaxguitars.com. ) These always have the "Novax" decal applied under the finish and usually have the "serial number date" at the back of the headstock. All will date from 1989 to present.

Early on in Ralph Novak's career, he worked with LoBue in New York and, briefly, in San Francisco.

" [Source: Mary B, Novax Guitars, email 26/3/2008]

Novax guitar

Monte (Monty) Novotne


One of the N's in NBN guitars, Monte continued to build NBN style guitars after the demise of NBN in 1976 until his death in 1983-4. Made guitars in Longmont California, USASee http://www.nbnguitars.com for photos of his catalog from those years. Info courtesy of Charles Morrison 2009.

see NBN

Noyce Guitars

1975 to present

Noyce guitars started in "1975.

Dating Noyce guitars

The first 2 digits of serial# are the year of manufacture." [Source: Ian Noyce, Mount Clear Victoria, Australia, email 30/3/2008]

Images 1990 Noyce Eagle ebay

NRJ   NRJ Guitars. According to Ultimzte Guitar ".Apparently the bodies and necks are made in China then shipped back to the guys in Quebec (Canda) to add hardware and finighing touches."
NS Guitars NS Custom guitars. Our company works on the manufacturing and repair of stringed musical instruments in Ioannina, Greece since 1983.

Christos Ntoukas, founder of the company, started in 1968 to learn the art of instrument craftmanship at Dieter Hopf, together with Christian Stoll, at the side of the great guitar luthier Dragan Musulin. In 1996, Stavros Ntoukas (son of Christos) took over the company.

Nugget Mandolins

1973 to present

Mike Kemnitzer



Lucio Nunez


Lucio Nunez, San Antonio, Texas. 

Sebastian Nunez

Nunez Estevez

1985 to present

Makers of fine Early Musical Instruments Lutes, Vihuelas, Early Guitars & Harpsichords Specialized Restorers of Historical Guitars, The Netherlands.

"I started in 1985 alone and Verónica Estevez started with me in 1999.

Dating Nunez guitars

The instruments are dated on the label. No serial number. Only the year. Until 1998 only with my name: Sebastián Núñez me fecit anno

------ and from 1999 Sebastián Núñez et Verónica Estevez me fecit anno

----- Starting 2008 they are again only with my name." [Source: Sebastián Núñez, email 30/3/2008]

Thomas Andrew Nunez

J Nunis



Found this brand on a Telecaster copy on eBay:


There are not too many mentions of Nuvox guitars on the interweb

Images Nuvox guitar made in Japan eBay:

Nyberg Instruments 1993 to present Lawrence Nyberg, Hornsby Island, British Columbia, USA
Nystrum 2013- NY or Nystrum guitars made since 2013 in Pennsylvania
N-Ne | Ni-