JMG (Jack Maskiell Guitars) was founded by Jack Maskiell who began making instruments in Adelaide before World War II. In the war he was posted to the Pacific and ended up a prisoner of war with Les O’Connell in Changi Prison, where they made a ukulele to pass the time. Despite losing a leg in Changi Maskiell went into partnership with O'Connell in Perth on their return Australia. They established a workshop in the yard of Perth builder RJ Davies and began making ukuleles.


Daion was a short-lived Japanese company active in the late 1970s and  early 1980s. The brand was known for its high quality and innovative features. The MCI company of Waco Texas imported Daions into the USA.

Django's Hand

Django's Hand and 3D anthopometric model

The jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, although limited by burn injuries, developed a musical technique that created a new musical genre. David Williams and Tom Potokar, of Morriston Hospital Swansea, analysed archive photographs and constructed a three-dimensional computer model of his injuries.

Servoelectric guitar

Servoelectric guitar front view

Milwaukee Servoelectric Guitar is an ingenious experimental instrument. Individual servos for each string control the string tension, with a clever compensator wheel arrangement. The servos are powered by low cost home made amplifiers. The tension / frequency sensing circuit is a novel design incorporating a potentiometer and springs. Solenoids to pick and damp the strings would fully automate this instrument.

Six String Nation Guitar


The Six String Nation guitar is a unique custom instrument made by luthier George Rizsany. It is made from 64 items and each one represents an important aspect of Canadian history or culture.

It contains pieces of historical wood: like part of Wayne Gretzky’s hockey stick and Nancy Greene’s childhood skis. There is also an ammolite carved buffalo skull from the Blood Tribe, as well as animal bone/tusks, minerals, metals and wooden bits from historic buildings.

Matchstick guitar


In Victorian times matchsticks were used as a sort of wooden Lego. Using small pieces as building blocks elaborate structures can be assembled, without the need for specialised woodworking tools. Using this technique Englishman Jack Hall make a guitar, mandolins, ukulele, banjo and other instruments out of matchsticks. The acoustic guitar, made in 1937, used 25,000 matchsticks.

Make a steel string guitar from scratch

Braced soundboard for acoustic guitar

This is an excellent step by step guide to building an acoustic steel-string by Jonathan Sevy. It's intended to be a pictorial journey through the required steps in the construction of a acoustic guitar.  Sevy uses the general approach  described by Irving Sloane in the book "Steel-String Guitar Construction" (E.P. Dutton and Co., NY, 1975).  With some variations for arched tops, neck joints and  truss rods.

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Tone King

Mark Bartel established Tone King in 1993 in Kingston, New York as a boutique Fender style tube amplifier and attenuator manufacturer. In 1994 Tone King moved to Baltimore, Maryland. Bartel then sold the company to the Premier Builders Guild and Tone King is now has its headquarters in Huntington Park, California.

Source: Tone King website (22 March 2017)


Airline Guitars were originally made in the USA from 1958-68 by VALCO in Chicago and sold through Montgomery Ward. Valco merged with Kay in the 1960s but soon went out of business and the Airline brand was discontinued in 1968. The Airline brand was resurrected by Eastwood Guitars in 2001, who make recreations of the sought after VALCO Airline guitars in three different factories in Korea and China.

Source: Airline Guitars website (18 March 2017)


César Carrillo Díaz was born in Puerto Rico was playing guitar by age six. He moved to the USA in 1969 (aged 18) where he played guitar with Johnny Nash before joining Frijid Pink.  During the seventies, César was involved in the developing market for vintage tube amplifiers and became known as "The Amp Doctor" for his tube-amp restoration skills. He found and restored numerous vintage tube amps.


The Valco Manufacturing Company was established in the 1930s by the former owners of the National Dobro Company; Victor Smith, Al Frost, and Louis Dopyera. The company name was a combination of their initials (V.A.L.) plus "co" for company. Valco was a large scale producer of budget instruments including:  acoustic guitars, metal-bodied resonator guitars, electric lap steel guitars, and vacuum tube amplifiers under various house brand names including Supro, Airline, Oahu, and National. They also made amplifiers for several other companies such as Gretsch, Harmony, and Kay.


The Supro brand name was introduced in the 1930s by the Valco company who made a range of Supro amplifiers, electric, acoustic & lap steel guitars as well as a range of accessories. Valco merged with Kay Musical Instrument Company in 1967, but this new company quickly went out of business in 1968 and the Supro brand was discontinued.


Fuji Gen Gakki (FujiGen) Manufacturing Corp was established in 1960 as a Japanese stringed instrument manufacturer. Fuji Gen Gakki started out as a classical guitar manufacturer, but soon shifted to electric guitars to meet a quickly growing demand by overseas business partners, especially in the USA, where electric guitars were becoming very popular.


Jolana was a Czechoslovakian brand, producing electric guitars and basses from 1953 to 1989. During the early period of manufacture in the 1950s it enjoyed export success with some good models (Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton were said to have used the Futurama model) in the period before American electric guitars began to dominate the European market. When the quality of Czech made guitars in general began to decrease from the 1960s onwards, the Jolana increasingly concentrated their export efforts on countries within the Eastern bloc.

GIBSON 1939 SUPER 400 PREMIER (Historic Collection)

Gibson 1939 Super 400 Premier (Historic Collection reissue) acoustic guitar

First introduced in 1934 and enhanced later in 1939 Gibson's Super 400 set a new standard for large-body jazz guitars. Its 18 inch wide body gave it the cutting power to project through any big-band horn section. Introduced in 1939 the Super 400 Premier (400P) was the third version of the Super 400, it had a Venetian cutaway which meant a smaller neck block, shorter pickguard and shallower neck set than the first two iterations of the Super 400 design. This original Super 400 Premier was made from 1939 to 1941 - with some later models being shipped in 1943.

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DeArmond Jet Star

DeArmond Jet-Star

The DeArmond Jet-Star was based on the Guild Jet-Star and was one of the Korean made DeArmond models introduced in the late 1990s following Fender's takeover of Guild and DeArmond. The Jet-Star and had a set mahogany neck, asymmetic design solid mahogany body and rosewood fingerboard. It had American DeArmond Dual Coil pickups with Guild style stop tailpiece. All chrome hardware and die cast tuners. Available in black, moon blue, tyrian purple and crimson transparent.

Source: Guild DeArmond brochure 1998

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El Degas

El Dégas stringed instruments were made in Japan in the 1970s (originally by the Hoshino company) and distributed in the USA and Canada by Buegeleisen & Jacobson, Inc. In the early 1970s there was an El Dégas Replica Series which consisted of Gibson and Fender guitar & bass copies. There was also a range of El Dégas acoustic instruments including acoustic guitars, classical guitars, mandolins and banjos.


Aria Pro-II TA 61 electric guitar

The Aria Pro II TA 61 was an ES-335 style hollow body similar to the TA 60 - but with maple top, back and sides. The TA 60 was introduced around 1984 so presumably the TA 61 was also introduced in the mid 1980s. Aria USA had a TA 61 page on their website until 2007 - although the model may have been discontinued earlier than this.  The guitar is more a hollowbody than a semi-hollow. It has a supporting centerblock, made of laminated maple/mahogany/maple, underneath the bridge and stoptail, which helps to reduce feedback, but the centerblock does not run the length of the body.

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