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  luthiers and guitar brands



S-SD | Se-Si | Ste-   updated 26/12/2015




Wayback Machine

Skermetta   Guitars by Peter B Skermetta.  Peter moved to LA in 1999 to pursue guitar building.  From 2000 to 2004 he was the custom shop director for Fernandes. Mid 2004 he accepted a position with James Tyler guitars where he became the master luthier.



Skervesen custom guitars from Poland. Interesting multiscale guitars.
Skervesen custom guitars have been made since " 2011, in Pruszcz Gdanski, Poland.

How to tell when your Skervesen guitar was made.
If not first owner then must ask us or previous owner. [Source and image below of the Skervesent luthiers: Maciek Horaczko, Skervesen Guitars, email 12/1/2015]


Skylark guitar


Skylark guitars were made in Japan by Matsumoku.  JC Penny purchased a single run in 1981.


Image the Rathole.

see Matsumoku

Skylark Guitars

Skylark guitars headstock

2005 to present

Skylark Guitars was established in 2005 with the strategy of importing directly high quality guitars from selected manufacturers in the Far East. Their other brand is Acepro.

Image Skylark Guitars.

Shrewsbury, UK.

Slaman Guitars

1978? to present

Daniel Slaman -and New Vintage guitars"This will be the 30th year I make guitars; archtop guitars started in 1995
There is a written serial number and year of manufacture inside the guitar, visible through a soundhole often the name of the person that commissioned the guitar, and my signature." [Source: Daniel Slaman, email 26/3/2008]


1990 to present

Hamer budget line. Originally Korean, then Indonesia since 1996. [Source: Vintage Guitar Price Guide ]

Slammer guitar catalog 2005



"Slydmo Guitar Works, Jenks, Oklahoma. Slydmo Guitar Works is a custom manufacturer of Vintage style electric guitars and basses and wholesaler of complete guitar kits. We specialize in hand-made, highly figured Flame and Quilted maple book matched tops on solid Alder bodies.
Finishes are applied using Alcohol Aniline Stains with lacquer clear coats resulting in a spectacular " Wet Look" finish.
Our customers have the option of choosing any color they wish as well as all hardware and pickup options.
We build each instrument to our customers high quality demands and preferred playing style. Each guitar is completely set up prior to shipment to ensure our customers have the best playing guitar "out-of-the-box" they have ever owned." [Source: slidemo.com from Wayback Machine 1999]

According to a thread on Dickeybetts.com the maker was Michael Donoghue who had a guitar shop in Tulsa.

Image Slidemo telecaster guitar courtesy of Ian V, email 13/6/2013.

Slidemo Telecaster


Slingerland Catalog

click for large size

1916 to present

Slingerland Banjo and Drum Company was began in 1916 by H.H. Slingerland. They jumped on the Tenor Banjo boom of the early twenties. They manufactured and marketed the Marvel, Maybell, Songster, College Pal as well as Slingerland brands of banjos and guitars. They discontinued banjo production in 1941, but continued to make drums through a military contract. Sales declined by the mid 1970's. Today they are owned by Gibson. [Source: Banjo Hangout forum ]

Slingerland made ukuleles around 1914-1917,  guitars, banjos, banjo-ukes, banjo-mandolins, etc. in the early 20's, They started making drums in 1927. [Source: dk, email 25/8/2009 www.slingerlandguitar.com ]

Image (from a May Bell guitar) eBay:


Slippertail guitars are hand built on in Eumundi on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland Australia, by Graeme Langley.

Irving Sloane


Irving Sloane

In memoriam New York Times 1989

Author of Classic Guitar Construction 1966

Image eBay

Irving Sloane guitar label

Greg Smallman

1972 to present

Australian luthier, since 2002 based in Melbourne,

Greg Smallman at wikipedia

Label image: Trilogy Guitars, Headstock Kent Guitar Classics

Greg Smallman and Sons guitar label

A Lawrence Smart

1986 to present

"I began building mandolins and guitars full time in 1986 although there  are a few Smart instruments that predate that time.  I work in a one person shop (myself) in McCall, Idaho which is located in the west-central mountains of Idaho.  All guitars and mandolin family instruments are sequentially numbered on a label glued to the back  inside the sound hole." [ Source:  A. Lawrence Smart, Luthier, email 15/8/2008 ]


Roy Smeck

Roy Smeck logo

Roy Smeck (born Leroy Smeck, 6 Feb 1900 – 5 Apr 1994) was an American musician. His skill on the banjo, guitar, steel guitar, and especially the ukulele earned him the nickname "Wizard of the Strings." Smeck designed and endorsed the Vita-Uke and other stringed instruments marketed by the Harmony Company of Chicago. [Source: Wikipedia ]. His name also appears on guitars by Gibson.



See Gibson, Harmony

Images eBay:

Roy Smeck guitar

SMF   see Sonic Machine Factory

AE Smith

Arthur Edward Smith (1880-1978), Australian luthier made violins [Wikipedia]


Caleb Smith

Caleb Smith guitar logo

Caleb Smith guitars


Caleb Smith guitars.

"Smith Custom Guitars started in 2007. Made in Waynesville, NC USA
How to tell when your Caleb SMith guitar was made
All guitars have date stamped into tail block." [Source and images: Caleb Smith, email 2/9/2013]
Caleb Smith tail block Caleb Smith at the Grand Ole Opree

George Smith

1959 to present

Flamenco and classical guitars, Portland, Oregon, USA.

Usually known for his Blackwood guitars, based on a modified Torres/Hauser Design

Current web site is very light on so the following is from the previous web site on internet archive.

George Smith web catalog / price list 1999

Gordon Smith

see G

Ken Smith Basses


Ken Smith Bass guitars - Perkasie, PA, USA.

Ken makes his own strings.

Dating Ken Smith guitars


Image Ken Smith Bass ad from 1985 eBay:

1985 Ken Smith Bass ad

Lawrence K Smith

1977 to present

Handcrafted guitars and mandolins, instruments made in Thirroul, a small sea-side village just 1hrs drive south from Sydney, Australia.   

Mark Smith Mark Smith, The Guitar Smith. Guitars made in Australia and Kent, United Kingdom
Miles Henderson Smith   Miles Henderson Smith, luthier, Falmouth, Cornwall UK
Image Staffor Guitar

Miles Henderson Smith
Paul Reed Smith see P for Paul
Ron Smith 1997- Ronald Smith has been making custom archtop and bass guitars since 1997. Quakerton, Pennsylvania, USA
Stephen L Smith   SL Smith makes acoustic guitars, Chestertown, New York USA

Tim Smith

Tim Smith of Mt. Wolf, Pennsylvania is a luthier who specialises in reviving old banjos. 

Save the Banjos

T. K. Smith
T.K. Smith Special guitar headstock
  TK Smith’s Electronic Guitar Service offers custom builds, pickups, pickguard inlay, set up, modification and an array of guitar parts. Los Angeles, California USA

Smith Guitars

Walt Smith - see Mel O Bar

Smith Academy St Louis   see Koerser-Brenner


  Snider guitars are made in Rochester, New York by Mike Snider

Sobell Instruments

1982 to presen

Stefan Sobell, Whitley Chapel, Hexham, Northumberland NE47 0HB, England

John Soderlund   See JGS Guitars


Sogo guitar made in Japan


Soitinrakentajat AmF is a cooperative of 7 craftspersons. We build musical instruments both as a company and as individuals. Our workshop is  by the Leppävirta-river. As a company Soitinrakentajat AmF offers primarily small Kanteles, accessories for them and other musical instrument accessories.

Solid8 2011-

Solid8 sells custom built, new, and used guitars. They are a reseller for multiple musical instrument and accessory manufacturers.

Solid8 has been killing frowns in 2011 and is based in Orange County, California USA.


Solo2 guitars were made in Belorussia. [Source: Cheesy Guitars]

Images eBay:

Solo2 guitar from Belorussia


Soloette travel guitars made in the USA

Solomon Archtop Guitars

Erich Solomon, Epping New Hampshire, USA

Jim Soloway   Portland Oregon, USA



Solwayer Guitars is a small firm based in northern Cumbria, UK.

"Solwayer Guitars started out in 2008. We are a small design / manufacturing business based in northern Cumbria in the UK, batch-building solid-body electric guitars to our own designs. We use traditional craft-based techniques and processes - all work is carried out by hand or with small workshop machines. Our guitars are simple and straightforward in concept - we source top-quality woods, pickups and hardware, we have a meticulous approach to construction, and we employ traditional finishing techniques, to produce guitars that are old-school workhorses with class.

Dating Solwayer Guitars

We stamp serial numbers on the back of the headstock of each guitar, in the format 000XXYZ, where:

- 000 is the number of the guitar, e.g. 010 is the tenth guitar we made (we don't restart the numbering each year)
- XX is the year, e.g. 10 is 2010

- Y is the guitar model (we have three models, Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3, denoting different pickup configurations)

- Z is the body wood, e.g A=ash, K=korina and M=mahogany.

We also stamp the number of the guitar only in a simplified form inside the neck pocket of the body, e.g our tenth guitar is simply stamped 10 [Source: John, Solwayer Guitars, email 31/5/2010]

Images Solwayer Type 2 Korina , logo and serial number courtesy of Solwayer.

Som Douro

Som Douro guitars are made in Italy.

Somervell 1979 to present Douglas P Somervell

Somogyi Guitars

1971 to present

"I started making guitars in 1971. The first guitar that I made that I put a label and date into dates back to 1972. I was living in Berkeley, California in 1972. Since that time I have had five shop locations, all of them in Berkely and Oakland, California. (Berkeley and Oakland are one big cosmopolitan area with an adminstrative line drawn between them that distinguishes them politically. Otherwise, they look like the same big town and you can drive from one into the other without even knowing it.)

My present location is at 516 52ND Street, Oakland, California, 94609.

Dating Ervin Somogyi guitars

Each label tells you the date of manufacture. Or at least when the guitar left my shop. Since I make very few guitars, and they take me rather a long time to make, a given guitar might have been begun in a given year but not be completed until the following one.

Each guitar is identified by year and serial number. The serial number is the number of that particular instrument as it comes off the workbench. The year is self-explanatory. I make seven different models of instruments, but the serial number merely indicates the sequence in which it was made.

I do not have separate serial numbers for any of my individual guitar models. Therefore, if you find a Somogyi guitar (of any type) that is identified as, say, Number 348, then it's the 348th guitar I've ever made. The number refers to my total lifetime production of guitars ... which at this time is up to about #420 or so.


If someone were to track my guitar production by year, they'd notice that some serial numbers seem out of sequence. For instance, I might stick guitar #355 into the middle of a run of serial numbers in the 380s or 390s, if you went by year alone. This reflects the fact that mine is a very small shop, and sometimes projects get delayed or put on hold for any of a number of reasons. I might have started guitar No. 355 a long time ago and identified it as that number for purposes of record keeping. The next guitars would of course have sequentially higher numbers. And then time would pass . . . and I'd eventually complete guitar No. 355 two or three years after I started it. I'll deliver it at that time . . . but it will have the serial number assigned to it when the project began. It's one of the minor hazards of being a custom builder: Guitar No. 355 would have been tied to the fortunes of that particular client." [Source and images: Ervin Somogyi, email 29/3/2008 and 20/12/12]







A Harmony Brand


SonFather Guitars


Son Father guitars - David A. Cassotta, acoustic and electric guitars, Rocklin, California, USA


2002 to present




Songbird guitars were originally made overseas for the Story and Clark Piano Company in Cranberry Pennsylvania, around 1996. The company was then sold to Bingley Distributors in Canada where they are still being sold, only manufactured now in China. Ed Keifer was the designer and is still at Story and Clark Piano Co. [Source: Harmony Central]

Images Demetrius Yandrich email 16/11/2012

Songbird guitar



Luthier Danny Songhurst, Spokane Washington, USA
Danny Songhurst makes at peak production, approximately 20 guitars annually.
All guitars come with hand wound Amalfitano pickups. Offers 4 nut widths to accommodate every player. “Skinny skinny” neck has a nut width of 1 & 5/8-inch. "Skinny" neck has a 1 & 11/16-inch nut width. "Medium" neck has a 1 & 3/4-inch nut width. "Wide" neck has a 1 & 13/16-inch nut width.
All models come standard with a 12-16 compound radius on the fingerboard.

No CNC stuff and no production machinery.

SonicF 2005- SonicF guitars are made in Seattle, Washington since 2005 by Sean.

Sanora branded guitar found ebay Septembe 2013. Reportedly from the 1950s ? made by Busato

Sonora   Sonora guitars made by Duane Waterman, Tucson Arizona.


Sonority guitars, made by Tranquillo Giannini SA S. Paolo Brazil

Image Sonority guitar label 1969 ebay April 2012

Sonority guitars


Sonoro guitars OEM by Suzuki Violin Co, Japn.

Image Yahoo:

Sonoro guitar label

Sorensen Sorensen mandolin and guitar company. Handmade instruments by Steve Soresen, Santa Clarita, California USA

Sorento branded guitar forwarded by Ben van Dyk. Japan. Made in Source Guitar Center Vintage

Sorento guitar


Sorina brand guitars - made on Korea and Japan.

Sorina guitar community. Thanks to Ben van Dyk for bringing this brand to my attention.

Image  Late 1970's Sorina Telecaster Deluxe Natural Heritage Auctions

Sorina guitar

Images Sorina Telecaster blue stratocaster copy with New Gibson Electric logo ebay



Guitars made by Epiphone for Chicago Musical Instrument Co. [Source: Gruhn's Guide To Vintage Guitars ]

Click to enlarge 1935 Sorrentino brochure eBay cover


Sorrento guitars. Made in Japan.  Models include electric guitars and basses including Beatle violin style.

Images eBay, Craiglist:

Southern Belle 2013- Southern Belle Guitars was founded in 2013 inTexas. They make Fender copies with David Allen hand wound pickups.

Gary Southwell

1983 to present

Making guitars since 1983, since 2002 as Southwell Guitars Ltd.  Nottingham, England.



Sovereign was originally a brand of the Oscar Schmidt Company of New Jersey and used on guitars, banjos and mandolins. In the late 1930s Harmony bought a number of brands from Oscar Schmidt including Stella and Sovereign. Sovereign was no longer used as a brand from this point but Harmony did use it as a model name. [Source: Vintage Guitar Price Guide ]




Sovereign guitar headstock

Sovereign was Oscar Schmidt's deluxe brand. The Sovereign line included both six and twelve string guitars as well as banjos and mandolins. [Source: Stella Guitars]

  Sozo guitars are made by Brian Robinson since 2004.
Spalding Guitar Technology  

Spalding Guitar Technology - guitars by Steve Spalding Oregon. Established for repairs from 1990 in Ashland Oregon by Steve Spalding. [Source: Manta]

Image 2001 guitar Reverb

Michael Spalt


Michael Spalt is an artist as well as guitar maker in Austria, Europe.  Famous for Totem, Dream Catcher and Spalt Bass.  Check out media publications on Michael's web site.
"I started selling on a full-time basis in 1998. Until 2009 all guitars were made in Los Angeles, CA. Since Aug. 2009 we have been located in Vienna,
Austria. All subsequent instruments have been built here." [Source: Michael Spalt, Spalt Instruments e.U. Ameisgasse 11 , A-1140 Viennate, email 12/11/2012.]

Dating Michael Spalt Guitars

"Generally the date the body is made is stamped on the neck plate, -year/sequential #- of body. I.e.: G0709 would be the 9th Totemguitar body made in 2007. Since it can take a while for the Totemguitar body (this is especially true of the first 7-8 years) to be made into a guitar this number does not reflect assembly date of the instrument. A more accurate indicator would be the code stamped into the headstock which is a combination of yy/mo/####. The sequence may however not be consistent, since over the years sometimes it was ###/mm/yy or various combinations.
S&S models, hybrid models, custom models follow the same pattern, with a different prefix, i.e: S&S 0709 is the 9th S&S made in 2007, SN 0506 is the 6th set-neck guitar made in 2005. With these there is no divergence between build and completion time, so they accurately date the instrument." [Source: Michael Spalt, email 24/3/2008]

Spalt Totem guitar

Michael Spalt of Spalt Instruments

Sparrow 2004- Sparrow guitars Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Import bare bone guitars from factories in Asia, dismantles the instruments,  completely overhaul them with new hardware, fretwork, electronics, paint and artwork informed by "classic cool '50s greasy stuff." In other words, hotrods, motorcycles, pinball, tattoos and rock 'n' roll.


Spear guitars made in Indonesia


Oliver Specht

Specimen Products

Specimen Guitar headstock serial number

1986 to present.

Luthier Ian Schneller makes aluminium and wood guitars, amps.

Chicago, Illinois, USA

"I began building Specimen guitars and amps over 20 years ago (circa 1986 or so).

I make them in my shop, by hand, now located in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood.

For the past 12 years I have been consistently serializing all of my instruments as well as signing and dating them. Instruments made prior to this time were sometimes serialized, sometimes not.

Attached are photos of an instrument (an aluminum Mandola) I finished last week showing the headstock with serial # stamped into it and the wood burned Specimen logo I place at the neck heel. For the past dozen years or so, this is how I mark them." [Source: Ian Schneller, Specimen, The Chicago School of Guitar Making. email 24/2/2009]

Specimen Products metal guitar


1975 to present

Stuart Spector made his first bass in 1974 on a work bench bolted to the wall of his bedroom in a communal house in Brooklyn.  He handmade the pick ups on a sewing machine.  He then rented space from the Brooklyn Woodworkers Coop in an old factory building.  He sold his first bass or about $450 to Bernie Gracin at Gracin & Towne Music on 48th Street New York.  Stuart formed a partnership with a former furniture builder, Alan Charney, and went into business as Spector Guitars. In 1976 furniture maker Ned Steinberger designed a bass for Spector.  The company was acquired by Kramer in 1985 and Spector by Kramer Basses were produced 1985 to 1990.    After Kramer went bankrupt, Stuart built basses sporting the SSD (Stuart Spector Design) label, and in 1998 he finally won his legal battle to recover the Spector trademark. Today, Stuart makes eight to ten Spector neck-through basses a month in his shop near Woodstock, New York, and he also offers production instruments built under contract in the Czech Republic, Korea, and China. [Source: Spector Bass ]

"The first Spector instruments were made in 1975, in Brooklyn NY.

Current production:
USA Series = our Woodstock NY workshop, by Stuart Spector and his 5 employees.
Europe Series = in our Czech Republic shop.
Professional Series = Asian factories.
USA models usually have at least a serial number on the back of the heastock. since 1992, even more info is included on the back of the USA headstocks, hand signed and written by Stuart.
Spector Model History

We are the original curved body bass, since 1977. Our world famous NS curved body was designed for us by Ned Steinberger in our Brooklyn shop, this was Ned's first musical instrument design." [Source: PJ Rubal, National Sales Manager / Artist Relations, Stuart Spector Design Ltd, email 2/9/2008 ]
Spector at myspace


Spector catalogs - http://www.spectorworld.com/scatalogs.htm

Images early 1977 Stuart Spector guitar - see date on reverse string feed plate ebay.

Modern (2005) Stuart Spector bass


2006 to present

Star Power Guitars / lapsteels made by Rick Welch, Farmingdale, Maine and Hanson, Massachusetts.


Catalog distributor

Spiegel catalogs


Ron Spillers

Images 1999 Ron Spillers Dyer_knutsen style guitar. Richmond, VA, USA

Jack Spira

1991 to present

Guitars, Irish bouzoukis and mandolins made in Dandenong ranges,  east of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

"The date and serial number of the instrument is written on the label. They are also signed and dated inside under the soundboard, usually towards one side near the finger braces, but not always in that spot. The soundboard is dated when the instrument is assembled, and the label dated when the instrument is finished, so these two dates may differ by a month or so. I also supply a printout with each instrument with more detailed information specific to each instrument. This paper also has the serial number and date. I also keep my own records and can usually identify one of mine if some details are sent to me." [Source: Jack Spira, email 3/8/2008 ]

Images courtesy of Jack Spira:

Jack Spira guitar signatureJack Spira guitar label


Splendor brand was made in Japan by Hitachi Musical Instrument MFG Co Ltd as seen on the neck plates of electric guitars.  Note the example of a Splendor acoustic guitar which has Zeno-On Suwa Co Ltd.


Image 1967 Splendor guitar.

Splendor guitar label Splendor Hitachi Musical Co Ltd

Splitrock Current at 2012 Splitrock guitars made in USA


  Luthier James Spooner, Athens, Ontario, Canada - Acoustic guitars

Spodaryk Guitars

Steve Spodaryk, USA

Spruce Hill Guitars

Aluminium body guitars made in Perham, MN, USA.

Rolf Spuler

Guitars and basses, handmade in Switzerland.


Images Rolf Spuler, Paradis guitar eBay:

Rolf Spuler guitar

Rolf Spuler Paradis guitar serial number


1982-3 to present

Following appointment of Bill Schultz as President of Fender in 1981 the Squier low price range was introduced. Originally made in Japan.

Fender Squier history


Fender Squier Pricelists

2005 Squier pricelist

2006 Squier pricelist

Squier forums


see Fender Squier

SR Guitars   The brand SR is a French brand that was created by a passionate of guitar.
The letters of the SR logo are the initials of the designer: Sebastien REMACLE

S.S. Maxwell


S.S. Maxwell brand guitars and resonators were around from around 1932 to 1947. Made in Chicago. ? Kay  [Source: Stephen, USA, email 24/10/2010]

Stephen " bought [an SS Maxwell] guitar from the son of a black blues player who father played this guitar in 'Maxwell Square, Maxwell Street. His father came from the south for work as at that time thousands of black people went north. His name was ' Emerald J Johnson ', He was one of the men who asked Harmony to make larger holes in the guitars for extra amplification which they did as nobody of his back ground had amplifiers and people could not hear the music well enough."

S.S. Stewart

SSStewart guitar

Bugellsein & Jacobsen logo

Bugellsein & Jacobsen logo



SS Stewart was a prominent banjo and guitar maker in the late 19th and early 20th century to 1904. Brand was acquired by Bugellsein & Jacobsen of New York and the brand was used on guitars into the 1960s. [Source: Vintage Guitar Price Guide]

Update 25/5/2011. I was contacted and sent photos of a dreadnought D35 style guitar bearing SS Stewart name made in New York and clearly a more modern instrument possibly 1970s/80s from Korea. "General quality level is "flashy paint on a cheap car": all laminate including the top, substandard materials where they don't readily show (note the black dye worn off the fingerboard on the close-up of the headstock, for instance), and pretty sloppy construction/gluing inside the soundbox"  [Source: No Picks]

Mugwumps SS Stewart Banjo Page

Made by Martin, some by Harmony [Source: Harmony] and Gibson [Source: Gruhn's Guide To Vintage Guitars ]

S.S. Stewart’s banjo, guitar and mandolin journal - an amazing resource of articles from 1884-1900

Example SS Stewart Parlor Guitar


S.S.Stewart Phil'a. PA.

SS Stewart guitar label

SS Stewart electric guitar

Image SS Stewart acoustic guitar courtesy Robert Trostle

Modern image courtesy of No Picks




Staccato was a little British company that made a name for itself painstakingly making out of fiberglass the oddest drums you've never seen. But founder Pat Townshend's real passion was to make truly great and equally odd guitars. And with the financial backing of a little band called the Rolling Stones, his dream became a reality for a short while (about 200 instruments worth between 1985 and 1987). Staccato players included Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman, Gene Simmons of Kiss, and Lemmy of Motorhead.

The Staccato MG bass features a magnesium alloy neck-through-body core elegantly mated to an ergonomic fiberglass shell with four Allen screws, much like a Travis Bean. Unlike the Travis Bean design, however, the Staccato's strings don't have to come off to detach the body and all of the goodies therein are attached directly to the neck core. The fingerboard is made of industrial plastic. The tuners are at the body in Steinberger headless fashion.

This 1986 Staccato MG bass is all original, serial number 061/43. The electronics are active and colorful. [Source: ebay]

Stoccato instruments were in the Nomad Drum case building between Led Zep and The Who practice spaces in England. [Source: Merv Kosar, email 30/8/2010]

The date of manufacture is written under the scratch plate - pick up assembly



The pictures here are of what was reported to be a vintage Stadium brand guitar on eBay.  According to Guitarsite Stadium guitar are made by Egmond guitars in Holland.  Apparently pre 1960.

Apparently in the sound hole there should be a "Made in Holland" stamp. [Source: All Experts]

Pictures are of a parlor size Stadium branded guitar.

The logo on the right is from a high quality instrument referred to me by Jim B.  Apparently Stadium is related to Orpheum. and Strad-o-lin [Source: Mandolin Cafe]

Stadium guitar headstockStadium guitarStadium guitar logo

The pictures to the left and below are courtesy of Steve Eddy, December 2015. The two Stadium branded guitars are made in Holland. The solid headstock is the one with Made in Holland in the sound hole and there is a serial number on the reverse side of the headstock. Steve thinks this guitar is relatively poor quality compared to the parlow guitar with the slotted headstick which may be from the 1940s.



The images below are of a Stadium branded guitar fromo ebay. It looks to be quite old. According to Harmony-Central forum there is a current Stadium brand with electrics made by Shine. That could be the brand that is at the current Stadium Guitars website.

see Shine

Images eBay



Stadlmair guitars were Distrubuted by Henry Stadlmair a wholesale distributor.  They distributed and sold Stella, Sovereign and other guitars, also under the name of Avalon and Miami brand. [Source and images Guitar Museum]


Stafford is an "original" brand for the instrument store chain called Kurosawa in Japan. Many of their guitars are of the cheap laminate variety, although they do offer some expensive models as well. [Source: Acoustic Guitar Forum]

Images eBay:

Stafford & Co

1957 - ?

Stafford & Co guitars, established 1957. made by T Kurosawa & Co Ltd, Tokyo, Japan

? Japanese Martin copies

Stafford and Co guitar label


Vintage Stagg Guitars

Stagg logo at top is from Japan made guitars.

Lower one is modern - made in China.

This is a 1970s Les Paul type Stagg that was originally purchased in Australia. It seems to have no external markings anywhere except for the "Stagg" decal. The wood has a very nice and rich color.
It weighs around 3.5 kilograms (7.7 pounds). The Fretboard is rosewood and the body is mostly hollow ply with blocks under the bridge. The fret markers seem to be plastic imitation mother of pearl and the headstock inlay is mother of pearl.
The pickups are 1974 Nishin Onpa (Maxon) as found on Greco and Ibanez guitars of that period. The pickup serial numbers suggest a manufacture date of June 1974 but of course the guitar may have been assembled after that date. [Source: Kenn Gordon, emailMay 2015]



William Stahl ran a publishing firm in Milwaukee and sold instruments from a variety of manufacturers. From at least 1906 some were made by Larson Brothers of Chicago.

By Larson Brothers.


Image Larson Brothers

WM G Stahl Maker Milwaukee centre strip stamp

Stambaugh 1995 to present Chris Stambaugh, New Hampshire


1952-1974, 1997 to present

"In the late 1960's Standel, based in California, was an amplifier manufacturer that had made several half-hearted attempts to get into guitar production. Somehow they hooked up with the Harptone company of Newark, New Jersey which was a well-known case manufacturer with some background in guitar production. Harptone commissioned New Jersey luthier Sam Koontz, known for his original archtop creations, to design a line of hollowbody instruments and set up the production line. The guitars were offered in a range of models branded Standel, and distributed out of California.

Soon enough, the Standel company ran into financial trouble and the guitars were re-branded Harptone, and sold for another few years out of New Jersey. Although the Harptone line lasted into the early '70's the company soon focused on acoustic guitars and the electrics were discontinued. [Source and image courtesy of RetroFret]



Image Standel neck date eBay:
Standel serial number label Standel ? 1967 made in Harptone factory

Stanford guitar logo

1993 to present

Stanford Custom Guitars. The history of Stanford CUSTOM GUITARS goes back to 1990, when the Czech master luthier Frantisek Furch and the German guitarist and designer Toni Goetz met for the first time, one year after the breakdown of the former socialist wall.

"We started the company in 1992 and started to manufacture in 1993.  The label shows a serial no. So with that no. we can identify when the guitar has been built." [Source: Toni Götz, iMusic network, email 18/3/2008]

Les Stansell

1980 to present

Top class classical guitars. Pistol River, Oregon, USA

Guitarbench interview


Starfield guitars

late 1970s-1990s

Hoshino used Starfield name in 1970s on Japanese made guitars.  From 1992 to 1993 the brand was made in US and Japan, again by Hoshino (Ibanez). [Source: Vintage Guitar Price Guide ]

"I used to run a messageboard on the Starfield site which was fairly successful but I had to pull the plug due to the amount of spam posts.  However, the headstock serial numbers were discussed and there was a general consensus that there was no difference whatsoever between starfield serials and the parent Ibanez company and their guitars.  So the information on Jemsite appears to hold true for starfields:

"JEM & UVs with the All-Access-Neck have serial numbers engraved on the back of the headstock. Pictured is the serial number of a a 1993 JEM7VWH (top) and a UV777BK (bottom). Like the heel plate serial numbers, these serial numbers are untraceable by Ibanez for some sad reason.

"In any event the serial numbers have some meaning. The "F" indicates that the guitar was made at the Fugijen factory in Japan. The first digit represents the model year. For example "F336765 is a 1993 model. "Made in Japan" is engraved below the serial number."

One thing to note is that there was a USA range of Starfields - I have three of them - and whilst they definitely were assembled and finished in the Los Angeles custom shop(s), the basic woodwork (using very nice wood) was performed in Japan - hence my three USA guitars have "made in USA" on the back of the headstock but the serials begin with an "F" - indicating that they began their musical existence in the Fugijen factory." [source: Andrew, publisher of "Unofficial Starfield Guitars http://www.mortimer.f9.co.uk/starfield/ ,email 26/1/2007:


Starfield guitar headstock

See Ibanez

Starfire   Starfire is the low cost line of Galaxy guitars.


Starforce guitar headstock


Starforce started in 1988. Instruments previously produced in Korea. Initially exported by Tropical Music of Miami, Florida prior to their purchase of the Dean company  [Source: Guitarsite quoting Bluebook and Tony Bacon]

example Model 8007 the guitar collection

Images eBay:

Starforce guitar

Adam Stark    



Stars brand guitars made in Korea.

2005 Example


Starway guitar headstock mid 1960s


Starway guitars were made in Japan in the 1960s possibly by Tiesco. Starway might have been a British importer. Yamaha also might have marketed this guitar with their name. Teisco also had it listed in their 1965 catalog. [Source and images Ian Hynds email 2/8/2014]

According to an ebay sale Starway guitars were used by the Buzzcocks in the 70's.

Starway guitar


Japan made copies of Fender guitars. Image from eBay

Status guitar made in Japan


Status Graphite

1982 to present

"The first Status was exhibited at the 1982 Frankfurt show. We used various serial number systems over the last 26 years.. stay tuned..." [ Source: Rob Green, Status Graphite, Colchester, Essex, England email 26/3/2008]

Images eBay:

Status bas guitar Graphite neck guitar

Johann Georg Staufer

Guitars from Vienna. 

Images Johann Georg Staufer guitar circa 1810 eBay:

Staufer Guitars

Staufer guitar headstock

1985 to present

"I started 1985 with building electric guitars and basses in Munich/Germany after learning and working a coupler of month at Chandler Guitars in London.
I opened the Munich-Shop together with Dough Chandler, so the first Guitars came out with the Chandler-Logo. Dough Chandler left the Munich-Company in 1987 and I overtake the company completely and changed the name to "Lake Placid Guitars München". I sold the company in 1995, moved to another place in Germany and opened in 1997 "Staufer Guitars".
Dating Staufer Guitar
All "my" instruments have following serial number coding system:
CD means "Chandler Germany". All Instruments after the Chandler-Ära will have "CD" as well (because the other letters are missing ... ;-)) XX means the year YY means the Number of the instrument in this year.

For example:
CD-8712 will be the 12th instrument in 1987
CD-9901 will be the first instrument in 1999

With beginning of the year 2000 I changed the serial number coding system in this way:
For example:
CD-2127 will be the 12th instrument in 2007

All my instruments will have impressed the Serial Number at the neck plate AND at the Neck-Heel AND in the body's neck-pocket with the same letters. You will find there my hand-signature as well and at the neck-pocket written by hand the month and the year. The last Instruments with the "Lake Placid" name (1995/1996 only) and all Staufer Custom Guitars will have my hand-written signature "André Waldenmaier" at the backside of the Headstock under the lacquering. All custom made instruments will have the year of building under my signature.

All my Staufer Custom instruments are build completely by hand here in Germany and represent the best what you can get over here. The most of them are custom order and the most of them are my interpretations of Fender's Strat or Tele or transferring a coupler of Les Paul themes to the Telecaster's Shape. The price range starts by 2.500 Euro.

In cooperation with the old German Hohner-Company I have designed two new instruments (Hohner Artist and Hohner Black Prince) for this company. They are produced in Europe. The 2007/2008 Models are without Serial Number. The price range is about 1.500 Euro over here." [Source: André Waldenmaier, Staufer Guitars, email 24/3/2008]

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