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  luthiers and guitar brands

W-WD | We | Wh-Wi | Wm-


info    updated 28/9/2016




Unsure as to the origin of this W branded guitar. Found on ebay - a Les Paul copy

W. Paul

1995 to present

W Paul guitars are made by William Paul Jarowski in the USA.

Dating W Paul guitars

"I started W. Paul guitars in 1995. 2. Its hard to tell the date of manufacturing by the serial number but inside the electronic cavity I would have signed and dated". [Source Bill Jarowski, W Paul email, 25/3/2008]



Wabash guitars were distributed by David Wexlar Company. ? made by Kay. [Source: Vintage Guitar Price Guide ] Wabash is a street name in Chicago.

Images eBay:


Tom Waghorn started making and repairing musical instruments under luthier Phil Davidson in early 1996 whilst working for Hobgoblin Music in Bristol. By March 2000 Tom was working from his own workshop at Clevedon Craft Centre, making a range of mandolin family instruments for local shops such as Hobgoblin Music and The Music Room as well as building acoustic guitars for private customers.
In 2002 the move was made from Clevedon to a small workspace in Treblerock Music on St. Michaels Hill in Bristol and Tom concentrated solely on making guitars. After five years at St. Michaels Hill, having built up a large customer base for custom built guitars, repairs and setups as well taking on and teaching a couple of apprentices and launching the company's first website; Waghorn out-grew the back room of the guitar shop and moved to the existing workshop on Mill Avenue in the centre of Bristol

Gernot Wagner


Image Danzeff

Gernot Wagner guitar label

Wal basses

Wal bass headstock

1978-late 2007. Restarted in 2009

1976 Wal bass guitars emerged, when session player John G. Perry asked Ian Waller (“Wal” to his friends), to build a bass that would combine the best features of the Fender and Gibson basses of the time.

Wal and his business partner Pete Stevens (a highly skilled wood-machinist and experienced sound engineer) began a short run of Custom basses, the “JG” series, named after the owner of the first of these, John Gustafson, and its short-scale “JP” sister model based on John G. Perry’s.

Virtually every component of the instrument, with the exception of the tuners, was designed from the ground up. The heart of each bass was the revolutionary Wal pickup, which has remained virtually unchanged ever since and is still unrivalled in the sheer range of detail and power it provides.
In 1978 the ‘Electric Wood’ company was formed and began production of the Wal Pro Bass., the first production line instrument. With its innovative electronics and fine build quality, the Pro Bass soon became a market leader and Electric Wood was thriving.

July 1988 Wal died suddenly of a heart attack at age 43. Pete decided to continue building, ably assisted by his dedicated team.

In 1994 Wal 6-string bass introduced. [Source: Wal basses]

Dating Wal bass guitars

See the date written on the masking tape under the control cover.


Wikipedia Wal Basses


History of Wal Basses

1994 Wal brochure http://www.subidiom.com/wal/

Images 1979 Wal eBay:

Wal bass date of manufacture on end of neck

Wal control plate 1982 Mark 1 ebay


1996 to present

"Walden guitars are made in a town called Lilan since 1996. Lilan is a small town located about a 2 hour drive south of Beijing, China. All Walden guitar
models are built there beginning with milling and seasoning through final setup and inspection.

Principal designer and Fretted Instrument Division Manager, Jonathan Lee, lives in Portland, Oregon, USA. Jonathan learned the craft of guitar building during the '90s as a partner at the handmade guitar shop CFox Guitars, located in Healdsburg, CA.

Walden's parent company is KHS Musical Instruments who has been building instruments for 75+ years and is located in Taiwan. KHS is primarily known for the drum brand MAPEX, wind instrument brand JUPITER, and stand brand HERCULES.
Dating Walden guitars

The first 2 digits of the SN written on our label connote the year of manufacture. The rest of the serial number is sequential beginning that year." [Source: Jonathan Lee, Walden Guitars, email 22/9/2008]


2002 Walden catalog

2009 Walden catalog

2011 Walden catalog

2012 Walden catalog

Image courtesy of Walden guitars:

Walden guitar label

Luca Waldner   Classical guitar maker Italy

Walker (Kramer)


In 1980-1981, Kramer had come up with an idea to introduce a wood necked guitar, but didn't want to take away from their existing market share of Aluminum necks, or didn't want to de-brand themselves from that image. LaPlaca and Berardi came up with the idea to start "Walker" guitars, which in essence was their first stab into the wood neck market. About 6 different prototype models were produced, and a catalog was designed to go with the new line. LaPlaca stated in a June 2003 interview that they hired a guy to manage the program, referred to them by Dimarzio. LaPlaca also stated that the whole Walker line only lasted 6-8 months, and it is not known whether or not any production models were ever produced. Later on, according to an ex-Kramer employee, the line was dropped because Kramer had a hard time mastering the wood neck creation process, and later went with outside vendors to produce wood necks for those models. [Source: Cifra Club]

There is discussion of Walker Pacers on the www.

Bo Walker   Bo Walker is a luthier from North Texas, USA

John Walker

2004 to present

I started building guitars under the name "John Walker Guitars" in 2004. I have been building guitars for over 20 years.   John Walker Guitars are built in Montana USA.

Dating John Walker guitars

John Walker Guitars have a label in the sound hole, which states the serial number, date, and model name.  In addition, I date and sign the inside of the top which can be read using a mirror. The serial number is simply the number of instruments built and is usually stamped on the headblock." [Source: John Walker, email 6/8/2008 ]

John Walker guitars Montan USA

Johnny Walker

1996 to present

Johnny Walker, luthier, Bartlesville, Oklahoma USA. Classical and flamenco guitars

Image Acousticguitar.com

Johnny Walker guitar label Bartlesville Oklahoma

Kim Walker

1994  to present

Kim Walker guitars are made in North Stonington, Connecticut, USA

S Walker Custom Guitars

S Walker Custom Guitar headstock

2005 to present

Scott Walker custom guitars are made since "2005 in Santa Cruz, California.

Dating Scott Walker Custom Guitars

The first two digits divided by 3 is the year made, the last two digits divided by 3 is the number of guitar made that year." [Source and image: Scott Walker, email 26/12/2008]

Walla Walla 1980s-

Walla Walla Guitar Company makes strat and tele style models.

Walla Walla Guitar Company
2109 S Wilbur Ave.
Walla Walla, Washington 99362

They are all made in the USA  Walla Walla Washington.   All custom 
Designs are original and include everything from laser graphic tops, Denim jeans, Stingray hide and many exotic woods. We also make guitars with vintage crate tops some over 100 years old.
We first made some guitars in the 1980s and have been in music for over 50 years.
Each guitar comes with a Certificate of Birth signed.

>Walla Walla Guitar Company Magazine advertisemen

[Source and images courtesy of Terry Martin, Walla Walla Guitar Co, email 27 Dec 2015]



David Wallace, Smokey Mountains, USA. Custom flat tops, arch tops, electric and bass guitars.  Feature 5 piece necks. At a 2000 version of this site suggested 3 decades - therefore assume since around 1970.  Web site was still available in 2006 - but cannot access modern pages on wayback machine.

Walsh   Walsh guitars by Drew Walsh, Tallahassee, Florida

Michael Walsh

Michael Walsh, Munich

Image 1914 Sebastian Nunez:

Michael Walsh Munich guitar label

Steven Walter   Classical guitars , Asheville, North Carolina, USA


GB Walters

A Harmony Brand


Angela Waltner

Berlin, Germany

Kim Jong Wan

Kin Jong-Wan luthier, Jeonbuk, Korea

Image Guitar Salon Korea


Wandre BB head

1956 - 1969

Wandre logo

Wandre Pioli, artist and sculptor from Milan. Brands included Wandre, Davoli, Framez, Avanti I.  Aluminium neck guitars years before Travis Bean.

1956-1960 built by Pioli.

1960-1963 built by Framez in Milan.

1963-1965 built by Davoli

1966 -1969 built in Paoli's factory.

Wandre guitars were distributed in UK by Jennings Muical Instruments, USA by Don Noble and Company. [Source: Vintage Guitar Magazine Price Guide ]


Images eBay:

Wandre guitar Davoli pickups Wandre guitar

Image Wandre Spazial 1960s guitar eBay

Wandre Spazial 1960s guitar

Wandre BB 1960s eBay:



1929 - 1943

Ward / Wards was a house brand of Montgomery Ward. The guitars were made by Gretsch, Kay, Gibson and Regal. [Source: Gruhn's Guide To Vintage Guitars ]

Ward guitar catalogs



2007 to present

Handmade guitars by Mike Ward, Lewisville, Texas. USA.

"I started making guitars around the end of 2007.  With the intent of just making them for my children.  After building a few guitars I received quite a bit of interest.  I build them now in my garage with plans to rent a shop and start full time production later this year as sales support.

Dating Mike Ward guitars

I put a label under the pickups and a serial # listing the type, model, year then number. Eg. OL,44,09,00267." [Source: Mike Ward, email 29/3/2009]


  Warling guitars are made in Los Angeles, CAlifornia USA

Warr Guitars

1991 to 2009?

Mark Warr, touch style guitars and basses.

Warr Guitar Brochures and Price Lists

2003 Warr Guitar Brochure

2002 Warr Guitar price list

2005 Warr Guitar price list

2007 Warr Guitar price list


1998 to present

"I have been making guitars for about 10 years as custom orders for one person at a time and to this point, I recall most of my customers in that I personally interact with them throughout the process.

Until a few years ago, I had not numbered them but now I do with the year and order number on the backplate.

I make the guitars in upstate New York.

Besides a link to www.warrenguitars.com I can also give you a link to my new site that is all about  my doing setups on guitars ...Check out my site about doing setups on guitars www.theulitmatesetup.com

I also make the Arlen Roth signature model: www.arlenroth.com

[Source: Don Warren, email 6/8/2008 ]

The ultimate set up


1994 to present

Warrior acoustics and electric guitars are built by J.D Lewis, Roseville, Georgia. 

The company Warrior, was started by Bruce Bennett,  JD Lewis and Michael Shawn, who was later replaced by William Fix as 1/3rd of the partnership. Will was Bruce's Bro-in-law at that time.

The earliest designs for the Warriors were by Bruce Bennett, and were originally drawn while he was working for Tobias Basses, about 8 months before Warrior came into existence.  Bruce was the head Luthier for Warrior from 1994-1998. [Source: Bruce Bennett, Gearpage]

Dating Warrior Guitars


Warrior brochure page

Image eBay:


1982 to present

Warwick was founded in 1982 in Erlangen, in the German state of Bavaria, by Hans Peter Wilfer (son of Alfred Andreas Wilfer founder of  Framus) ..

In 1995 Warwick moved to Markneukirchen in the Saxon Vogtland to capitalize on the centuries-old tradition of instrument building in the region. In 1996 the company opened an office in Shanghai.   [Source: Warwick ]

Dating Warwick guitars


Warwick Rockbass Specs 2008

contact details at: http://www.warwickbass.com/about.html

see Warwick in Amps also

J Warwick    


Washburn guitars logo

Washburn guitar headstock

1864 -  present

Washburn first starting making guitars in 1883 in Chicago Illinois.  Washburn's electric guitar history began in 1978. [ Source: Adirondack Guitar

Washburn guitar dating and serial numbers




Washburn reference books

Washburn Prewar Instrument Styles

Washburn: Over 100 Years of Fine Stringed Instruments

Catalogue of the Washburn Guitars, Mandolins, Zithers

History of Washburn Guitar

Washburn Wing Series info

Washburn catalogs and pricelists

(Japanese) http://www.matsumoku.org/models/washburn/catalogs/wb_catalogs.html

2007 Washburn pricelist

2009 Washburn Catalog

2009 Washburn Pricelist

Washburn catalogs 1990 forward

Washburn forum

Image of Washburn headstock, mid 90s courtesy of Chris Rice, Rice Custom Guitars

Image of centre strip logo - 1980s eBay:

George Washburn guitar stamp

George Washburn guitar label



Washington guitars were a brand manufactured by JW Jenkins & Sons of Kansas City, Missouri. Guitars and mandolins.  [Source: Mugwumps]

Images ebay:

see Clifford, Harwood

Ian Watchhorn   Ian Watchorn began his professional career as a maker & repairer of instruments in Sydney, Australia in 1976, moving to Canberra in 1979.
Waterslide 2014-

Waterslide guitars are made in Los Angeles, California USA since 2014.

How can someone tell the date of manufacture for your guitars?

The first 15 or so had MIM Fender necks and no Waterslide logo. After that, Musikraft, Warmoth & Guitar Mill necks were used with a Waterslide logo. As of March 1st, 2015 (at about guitar #45) the back of the headstocks should have the model name and date of completion hand written on them. " [Source and image:Patrick, Waterslide Guitars, 10/3/2015]


2003 to present

Waterstone guitars are Korean made instruments imported by Waterstone Musical Instruments of Nashville, Tennessee.

Watkins / WEM / Wilson



Watkins guitar logo


Watson were high end Korean guitars imported to Canada by a distributor in Brampton. Now out of business. They made copies of the major brands , LP’s, Strats, Ricky’s, SG’s etc. I was told that two brothers had a guitar import and distribution business ; one had Hunter and the other had Watson. The Hunter line is a bit more upscale. [Source: Ben van Dyk, Canada email 7/2/2012]

Image Kijiji


Watson Guitars, Idyllwild, California, USA
Alex Watson is a luthier originally from Inverness, Scotland who now lives and works in Southern California, USA. Alex started building guitars in his late teens. Alex has been building guitars for over 30 years and decided that it was time to change from a hobby to a commercial enterprise. As an engineer and a bass player, he has the right kind of background and knowledge to extend the boundaries of guitar building. [Source: Watson]

Watson Musical Instruments Manufacturing Co


Established in 1995 , Guangzhou Watson Musical Instrument Manufacture Co.,ltd. specializes in manufacturing WATSON brand guitars and violins

J Watson & Co

This J.Watson & Co 12-String Acoustic guitar was made in Japan by the Suzuki company.  Being sold in Australia on eBay

James R Watts 1994 to present James R Watts guitars are from New Mexico, USA

Ronnie Watts


Ronnie Watts guitar - this example from Gumtree UK - apparently an entry level brand.



Wayne guitars - Made for an Australian company Wayne Music Co of Melbourne. Made in Japan and Korea. [Source: Grouse Guitars]

Images including Smoky Dawson model courtesy of Vintage Cowboy Guitars:

Wayne guitar label Wayne Smoky Dawson guitar

Wayne Guitars

1998 to present

Made in USA

Wayne guitars are solidbody guitars built by father and son Wayne and Michael Charvel in Paradise, California, USA.  Also found acoustic examples at ebay.


see Charvel

Wayne Pro 2


Based on a question about Wayne Pro Guitars at Vintaxe Forum I had previously incorrectly  linked the Wayne Pro 2 image to Wayne Guitars (Charvel) above.  I am grateful to an update as follows:

"You have a picture listed under Wayne Guitars of a Wayne Pro 2. This guitar is in no way associated with the Charvels. I have contacted them and they confirm this. I just thought you would want to know so as to not confuse anyone...[Source: Ian Laliberte, email 3/6/2010]

One was sold online in Brisbane, Australia in 2010 for only $200 so this suggests not a high quality instrument.

I was contacted in September 2016 by Justin Weekes who advised Wayne Pro 2 guitars were made between 1983 and 1985. His own guitar was "Purchased from Fitzroy Melbourne 1983. My version of this guitar is a start copy but has lock neck and tremolo. Mine was custom orderd and I believe they were produced by a local guitar maker. Cost my parents 275 dollars in 1983 will restore one day."

Wayne guitar logo

If you compare the W script on the logo above you can see there is a similarity with one of the logos for Wayne brand guitars from Australia.

WaZoo Custom

WaZoo Custom Guitars by Dan Wagner. Following text is the introduction at the WaZoo site on the internet archive:

"Here at WaZoo Custom Guitars, there are no automated processes.  No CNC machines whir in the back, and no state of the art computer spits out the curves, and lines of your custom guitar. Everything we do here is done by hand. Each contour on a WaZoo Custom Guitar is lovingly carved out from exotic hardwoods by hand, one at a time. Each nuance of the artwork instrument is fleshed out by the hands of a master craftsman, who has spent years in the art of working wood into music. The pride and care put into making these uniqe masterpieces is not possible at the end of an assembly line. The joy of owning a WaZoo Custom Guitar is in knowing that this instrument was made for you, and there is no other "one like that" Here there are no templates, no standard models, and no rigid designs, "Here at WaZoo Custom Guitars, we never cut corners... We carve them by hand".

WaZoo 2005 pricelist


WCS Guitars are made by hand at West Corinth Studio. Isaac Willis, a self taught craftsman and folk artist builds one of a kind electric guitars out of his small shop in West Corinth, Vermont. Handmade, One of a kind, semi hollow body electric guitars. Sustainable woods, eco friendly process. Image Facebook.

WCS Guitar

WD Music Products

current at 2010


WDK Guitars   WDK guitars by William Kritzberg
W-WD | We | Wh-Wi | Wm- W continued