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info    updated 17/11/2015



Raffaele Tieri


According to Mandolin Cafe Raffaele Tieri started in Naples, Italy and trained at the shop of the Brothers Vinaccia.  One label on a bowl back: "Raffaele TIERI Allievo del FRATELLI VINACCI NAPOLI 1909".  He later moved to New York in the 1920s.

Raffaele Tieri - Spring St. - New York
Working as a neighbor and during the same period as D'Angelico. [Source and image courtesy of Lowell Levinger , Players Vintage Instruments ]

Raffaele Tieri guitar label

Tiepolo 2010-

Tiepolo guitars from Bulgaria. They were created by Kremona in 2010 with their German distributor Pro Arte Fine Acoustics. The first lot of instruments made of typical European solid woods, such as maple, cherry, walnut, spruce, as well as exotic woods, such as cocobolo, sapelli, Indian rosewood, Honduras and American cedar. The guitar has a unique design provided by Pro Arte and can be considered as "ecological instrument", being nature-friendly in regard to materials and technology. The guitar is distinguished by its nice binding, rounded ebony fingerboard and double hole method of string fixation.

Tiger Cat

  Tiger Cat Telecasters built in Cummin, Georgia USA by Jeff McDowell at least in 2014. See Reverb.com

Joe Till

1996 to present

Joe Till guitar logo

Joe Till custom guitars are handmade in California, USA.

"I first put my name on my guitars in 1996.

I build them in Westlake Village, Ca. about 30 miles north of Hollywood.

Dating Joe Till guitars

Since about my 10th guitar I stamp my name and the consecutive series number in the pickup cavities. I started stamping 'serial' numbers on the outside of my guitars - either on the last fret or, more commonly, on the back of the headstock. It is common for me to include the series number and the month and year. ( #123 0408 ) was my 123rd guitar body and was readied for finishing in April of 2008.

I'm keeping better and better records and I welcome inquiries through my website. [Source and images courtesy: Joe Till, email 9/8/2009]

Images of guitar # 158 ebay Aug 2009.

Joe Till guitar

WB Tilton

1850s-late 1800s

William B Tilton manufactured guitars in New York from 1853 to 1867.  He was creative and registered a number of patents which he licensed to other manufacturers. [Source: C.F. Martin & His Guitars, 1796-1873, By Philip F. Gura ]

Builders included John C Haynes & Co, Boston, A. B. Kitson (Civil War era)

2004 Auction results for Eric Clapton's Tilton:

Lot #21 - William B. Tilton Style Grade 2 (circa 1865) $26,290
(Pre-Sale Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000)

Images 1890 Tilton Improvement Guitar Vintage Instruments:, mid 1800s Parlor - Elderly

WB Tilton label John C Haynes and Co Boston guitar headstock

Timber Creek

2004 to present "I started making these guitars under this brand name in 2004. I make them in my shop in Beavercreek Oregon. There is a label inside each guitar that is signed along with a model# and a serial #. The first letter or #s of the model # is the body style, the second letter of the model # is the material the top is made of, the third letter of the model# is the material that the back and sides are made of, like the ones on my website GRK is Grand Auditorium body style R/Redwood top K/Koa back and sides. I have a new one coming out soon ,000SPH, 000body style S/spruce top PH/purpleheart back and sides. There is also a serial # on each label, A 6 digit  #000108 this is the first guitar built in 2008 and so on The label inside each guitar has my logo on each one and the logo is on each headstock and some also have the logo burned in the heel cap. [Source and photos courtesy of Terry Johnson Timbercreek Guitars, email 24/8/2008]

Tomber Creek guitar label

Timberidge 1994- Timberidge is an Australian owned guitar brand.
Timberline Current Handmade guitars, California, USA



Handmade guitars in Kettering, Ohio USA since 1 April 2013

Guitar dating information for Timberwolf Guitar [Information and images courtesy of Rick Wolf, Timberwolf Guitars email 21 Feb 2015]


Time Guitars

Time Guitars headstock


The Company was located in several Vermont locations from 1973 to the 1980's. Alan Slack worked for a company called Mellisa Guitars in the 60's. He built the first Time Guitar in Florida. In 1970-72, Alan moved to Vermont setting up shop in Waltham.  Time Guitars was founded in 1973.  An arson attack forced the firm's closure.


Time Guitar Forum http://www.timeguitars.com/

1985 Time guitars advertisement eBay:

1985 Time guitar ad

Timeless Guitars

1980 to present

"Look thru the soundhole with a mirror & read what it says,    If there is a number on the back waist brace, it is the date built backwards . yr mth day " [Source: David Freeman, Timeless Guitars, email 21/3/2008]

Timeless is also a luthier trainer and luthier supply stop.

Tugaske, Saskatchewan, Canada


1997 to present

Jerry Timm makes (made?) grand concert, dreadnought guitars, square neck resonators and a traveling guitar in koa called, The Little Bear Traveler. Auburn, WA, USA

Timtone Custom Guiitars


Tim Diebert, Grand Forks, British Columbia Canada

Printed From the internet archive:

1998 Timtone pricelist

2003 Timtone Body styles

2003 Timtome Body information

2005 About Timtone

Tinker 2002- Custom guitars by Ed Bond, Canada

Tin Tone

Tin Tone Sonic Fascinators, London by John Free.

Metal-bodied Guitars & Amps

Tippin Guitars

1978 to present

Bill Tippin guitars, Marblehead, MA, USA.
Image 2004 Bill Tippin guitar label eBay Sep 2013

Bill Tippin guitar label

Tipton 1989 to ? Custom guitars by Bill Tipton.  He has built about 80 odd guitars to date according to Strings
Tisdale Tisdale custom guitars and instrument finishing including pianos. Renton, Washington, USA
Tix   http://tix.gozaru.jp/other.html

TLH gutiars handmade by luthier Terry Heilig in Truckee, CA


TMG - Taylor McGrath. Relic style stratocaster and relecaster shapes Waterloo, Sydney Australia


TMS guitar head


This TMS branded guitar logo is from a "Japanese copy of Gibson Dove 1964 and it was purchased as new in 1972-1973. Unfortunately there is no serial number anywhere on the guitar and no label in the sound hole.

However, it is an incredibly high quality copy:

Top: Solid pine
Bottom and sides: solid rosewood
Arm: Mahogany
Finger board: Rosewood
TMS Name: Brass coloured plastic [Source and images: Finn Sorensen, Denmark email 5/11/2013]

TMS Dove guitar


1978 to present

Tobias guitars was formed at the Guitar Shop in Orlando, Florida USA in 1978. [Source: Tobias guitars the California years 1983-1992. ]



see MTD for more info on Michael Tobias

Tobias mark "Michael Tobias luthier, The Guitar Shop" courtesy of Charles Naughton.  This mark was found inside Charles' 1978 Taylor guitar.

Michael Tobias luthier mark

Tobias 5 string bas guitar




TogaMan GuitarViol

2003 to present

Janathan Wilson, San Fernando, California

Guitar violins


Tokai guitar headstock

1973 to present

Tokai Gakki Co., Ltd. (Tokai Musical Instruments) was founded in 1947 as a harmonica manufacturer.   In 1965 Tokai started making classical guitars and in 1968 started making the Hummingbird electric guitar series and in 1970 started making the Hummingbird Acoustic models.   In 1972 Tokai went into a joint venture with Martin to supply Acoustic guitar parts and also build Martin's solid body Sigma guitars.  Copies of US classics started around 1976.  [Source:  music trade ]




Tokai articles http://www.flyingvintage.com/

Tokai guitar catalogs



1984 http://brochures.yokochou.com/guitar-and-amp/tokai/1984/jp_index.html

1975 Acoustic catalog http://www.t-shiga.com/sub7-5-1.htm

1980, 1986  http://freenet-homepage.de/bluezz_bastardzz/readme.htm

1981 http://guitar.webinjp.com/70guitar_catalog/tokai.htm

Tokai forum http://www.tokaiforum.com/

Tokai headstock image courtesy of stratmoto, Aussie Guitar Gear Heads forum 2008. Label 1970 Tokai Gakki label eBay:

Tokai guitar label


  This headtsock logo from ebay is a Japanese made guitar from the 1970s.
Tolvanen   Tolvanen guitars are made by Timo Tolvanen. Born in Finland but lives in Sydney, Australia.

"I have been building guitars for over 10 years plus I have a long history playing, writing and recording music. I bring to guitar building a working player’s perspective rather than just a craftsman’s approach but enough of this self –promotion J.
With regard to serial numbers, I really haven’t included this with my fully hand-made models (JN316 and Rapture models) possibly because they aren’t mass-produced so I didn’t see the need. However, with my next batch I will be adding serial numbers. Interestingly, I have written “Timo” with a smiley face and date of completion onto the neck pocket of the JN316 although you have to take the neck off to see it.
As for the guitars that I finish from “shells” (guitars that come to me with neck and body mostly finished but require fretwork, saddles, bridges, nuts, electrics setup etc) I have serial numbers. The Tolvanen Angel falls into this category eg TA0910 (10th one built in 2009). There were only 12 of these built. All have been sold. I am not sure if I will continue with this model as I can’t get the same price for the shells anymore. I would have to bring the price up significantly or build them from scratch and charge $4000 plus. This would really go against my philosophy of producing world-class guitars at affordable prices.
The new Tolvanen OM Acoustics have a standard label inside the soundhole with build date clearly listed.
Over the years I have also built quite a few totally customized guitars or Strat and Tele style guitars. These often had serial numbers eg TTG6103 (Tolvanen Tele Guitar 2006 number 3) or TMB5102 (Tolvanen Moose Bass 2005 number 2). However, this system was also a little random at times.
If anyone is uncertain if they have a genuine Tolvanen guitar, they are always welcome to contact me. I remember every guitar that I have built." [Source: Timo Tolvanen, email 24/4/2010]

Otis Tomas Guitars

1980 to present

"I have small business building custom made one-of-a-kind instruments, mainly violins and guitars. I started around 1980. All my instruments should have a label, visible through the sound hole, dated with the year of its creation." [Source: Otis, email 3/4/2008]

Tom Bills


St Louis, USA


Images eBay:

Tomkins Current Custom guitars, basses, lap steels and mandolins by Allan Tomkins. Australia


Tommy Hawk guitar headstock


Tom Barth, (The Music Box store) acoustic travel guitars, Succasunna, New Jersey, USA

From the internet archive:

"Established in August, 1971 in Ledgewood, NJ, the Music Box has been a crossroads for many professional musicians. Bob Benedetto (Benedetto Guitars), Dave LaRue (Dixie Dreggs & Ernie Ball), John Suhr (Pensa Suhr, Fender Custom Shop), Bruce Kunkel (Gibson Custom Shop), and Margaret Taylor/Machum Notarile (Hiroshima, Foreigner, Pink Floyd) have all worked with Music Box owner Tom Barth in the early days of their careers."

Acoustic Guitar Magazine Review (1996) of the Tommyhawk

New York Times article (1999) Tommyhawk

Example from Mandobar


Tommy's Special Guitars

1989 to present

Thomas Metz, Viersen, Germany. Electric Guitars

"I stated with my guitar store in 1976, when I was 19 years old.  I've made Tommy´s  special guitars since 1989.  - I make my guitars at my guitar Workshop, which is included in my store.   You can see the date of manufacture in the neck  pocket of every guitar. You just have to loose the neck." [Source and image courtesy of Tommy, email 14/9/2008]

Tommys Special guitar


Tomson brand guitars were a mail order item for a major Japanese magazine. Aimed at kids. [Source: Trade Me Japan] Acoustics were made by Kiso Suzuki Violin Co. Electrics were Fender copies. They had a very large product range and there are lots of examples at Yahoo Japan eg:

 Tomson electric guitar

Tomson Splendor Series guitar headstock Tomson Kiso Suzuki Violin Co Ltd


The Tonaharp guitar is one of two instruments made by Edwin D Wilber of Quaker Street. [Source: Duanesburg and Princetown By Duanesburg Historical Society]


Images 1916 Tonaharp guitar eBay:

Tonaharp guitar

Tonaharp guitar label

ToneHound   ToneHound guitars and amps. Made in Germany. W Bradley is a brand of this firm.

Tone King

a Harmony Brand




Italian made guitars (Crucianelli). Distributed in US by The Imperial Accordion Company.

Tonesmith Guitars

1992 to present

"GLF was the name of my company at first before I made guitars. I was doing Repairs, Restorations, and Custom Finishes. I didn't know what direction my business was going to go.  When I decided to come up with a name, ToneSmith made sense to me since my last name was Smith and I worked with Tone.

Dating Tonesmith guitars

1992 is about when I started building ToneSmith guitars early guitars are hand written dates and I Sign them all and still do.

SN codes such as this 005100 would be

51st ToneSmith and made in 2000

so first for places are for the number of the guitars made.

and the last 2 for the year this is the year it was started since I have to put the SN in the guitar very early in the making and if it took 6 months to get it done it may be the next year it was Delivered. or if it was in a store for a while.

Less than 200 ToneSmiths have been made." [Source: Kevin Smith, ToneSmith guitars USA, email 24/3/2008]

Tonfuchs Guitars

2005 to present


"I built my first bass in 1994, started a three year education as a guitar builder (stringed-instrument-maker in Germany) at Schack guitars. I've been  building guitars professionally since 1996.

Between 2001 and 2005 I worked for Nik Huber and shared my know how in manufacturing guitars. In this time, we pushed the production with 2 and 1/2 people making 2-3 instruments per week to 9 instruments with 3 and 1/2 people.

In the year 2004 I made the first prototype of the Bulldog model. and in 2005 I worked under the Tonfuchs brand.

I´ve changed my workshop two times. and now I finished the first step of restoration of an old barn in a small city near Heidelberg, called Eberbach.  It is owned by myself and constantly growing.

Dating Tonfuchs Guitars
The serial numbers are written on the headstock. it is a system with  eigt numbers. for example: 05076513 the first two numbers(05) are the month, the next two numnbers(07) are the year, the next (65) is the  number of instruments, and the last two numbers the number of the model.
so, 05076513 means it is build in may 2007, is 65th Tonfuchs instrument  and the 13th instrument of the series, a Sportbass for example."

[Source: Uwe Scholch, Tonfuchs, email 25/4/2009]

Image eBay:

Tonfuchs guitar headstock


late 1960s-70s

Tonika was the first electric guitar made in USSR, and it was the first experience of Soviet luthiers. In end of the 60's (most probably 1969) made in Leningrad (st Petersberg). [Source: Cheesy Guitars]

Image eBay:

Tonika guitar

Tonk American

Tonk American guitar headstock

? 1930s

Image Vintage Blues Guitar:

Toogood Guitars

Toogood guitar logo

2003 to present

Luthier - Chris Toogood (b 1975) Ukuleles, guitars, electrics

Toogood guitars are made since "2003, in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, England

Dating Toogood Guitars

4 digit serial number on inner label. AAXX. AA is the year of manufacture. XX is the rank of instrument that year. So 0315 would be the 15th instrument made in 2003." [Source: Chris Toogood, email 2/3/2009]

Toon Guitars


Steve Toon, Cheltenham, UK Building Toon guitars full time since 2006.

Toon Guitars at myspace

Top Tuner   by Venlonia: http://www.daisybelle.nl/nedgit.htm


Topaz Les Paul copy from ebay


Toredo guitar headstock

? by Kiso Suzuki.

Images Yahoo Japan

Toredo guitar



A Dallas Arbiter brand Image ebay:

Antonio Torres


Antonio de Torres Jurado (1817-1892).  Torres guitars are divided into two epochs. The first, belonging to Sevilla from 1852-1870; the second, being the years 1871-1893 in Almería. The guitars Torres made were so superior to those of his contemporaries that their example changed the way guitars were built, first in Spain, and then in the rest of the world[Source: wikipedia]


Antonio De Torres  By Jose L. Romanillos, Julian Bream, Marian Harris

Image: Aquilacorde:

Antonio Torres guitar label 1890

Vicente Torres

Factory built guitars, Spain


Tortorica   Ben Tortorici, Long Beach, California
Total Rojo   Total Rojo cigar box guitars and ampifiers
Totem Guitars   see S for Spalt
Jens Towet

1997 to present

"I started making guitars in 1997 in Germany. I started a full time course for classical guitarmaking in 1999 in England after that i did learn violin making.
Now i make classical and steel string guitars near by my hometown in Germany.

The date of making is written inside on the soundboard and back of the guitar.
The number is written on the Label until 2006. After that it is written on the soundboard underneath the fingerboard (use mirror). If you`re not sure contact me via e-mail. For each guitar I keep notes." [Source and image courtesy of: Jens Towet
, email 10/10/2008]

Jens Towet guitar label


Toyo guitars Made in Japan

Images eBay:


1972 - ?

Toyota guitars were distributed in the U.S. by the Hershman company of New York, New York. The Toyota trademark was applied to a full range of acoustic, thinline acoustic/electric hollowbody, and solid body electric guitars and basses, (Source: Michael Wright, Guitar Stories, Volume One).

Images from ebay - thanks to Bob Lasschuijt

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