Picador guitars were relabelled Martin Sigma acoustic guitars - that failed cosmetic quality control checks. Underneath the Picador headstock label is typically the Sigma or Martin logo. C.F. Martin first trademarked Picador brand and logo in 1974, but the trademark expired in 1996.



Peter Gottschall (1949 - 2014) of Uttenweiler, Germany introduced the funnel bodied acoustic guitar in 1994. The funnel bodied guitar was created to improve the bass sound of both a small steel string guitar and of an acoustic bass.  The sound holes are placed on both sides of the neck heel. This means that the soundboard has no sound hole. Without the sound hole lighter top bracing can be used, which improves the sustain and volume.

Source: Gottschall website (Archived 2002)


The Sisme company was founded in 1967 in Osmio, Italy as a distributer of audio, video equipment - including musical instruments. Sisme branded guitars appeared from 1967 onwards - made by other Italian companies including Crucianelli. Sisme owned the Godwin brand.

Source: Sisme website (18 July 2017)


Seagull is a Canadian company and sub-brand of Godin Guitars that produces acoustic guitars. Born out of La Patrie, a small village in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, this company hand crafts acoustic guitars targeted towards working musicians. Established in 1982 by Robert Godin and a few of his friends, this company specializes in making acoustic guitars with solid tops as opposed to laminated tops.

Seagull guitars use a distinctive and recognizable headstock which places the tuning machines roughly in line with the nut to improve tuning stability. Most models are available with either the Godin Quantum I electronics (featuring an under saddle transducer) or the Godin Quantum II electronics (with both a transducer and small microphone which can be blended together).


Gill dreadnought acoustic guitars were made in Israel in the late 1970s and distributed in the USA by National Wholesale Music Corporation, Baltimore. In 1978 the recommended retail price for a Gill acoustic guitar ranged from $289.95 for the F-014 to $489.95 for the top of the range F-136, F-0386 and F-0389 models.

Source: Gill guitars catalog, 1978


Bob Givens started working on instruments in 1962 as a repair person in Los Angeles. From 1962 to 1966 he did over 300 5-string Mastertone conversions and around 10 D45 conversions. He then moved east to Nashville where he became involved in mandolins - first with F5 conversions and then making his own instruments. He designed an A model and went into business with Tut Taylor to mass produce them in the old Harmony guitar factory. The partnership with Tut Taylor did not work out however and in 1974 Givens moved back west to the coast of Washington and got back into custom work and restorations. Having done extensive work on Norman Blake's 1938 Martin D-18, Givens designed his own 18 dreadnought guitar model using that instrument for inspiration. By 1976 he was selling a limited range of acoustic guitars and mandolins, distributed by Guitars Friend, Idaho.  Bob Givens died in 1992 at the age of 50.

Source: RL Givens guitar and mandolin catalog, 1976


Girl brand's Chris Larsen makes guitars as they should be made, each one is a work of art and great fun. Money is not the bottom line with this guy!

The guitars are loosely telecaster shaped, but in Chris Larsen's hands the telecaster is clearly a canvas for artistic expression. Necks are maple with ebony or cocabolo. The bodies have an outside rim of anodized aluminium, with a wood core. The backs are phenolic or formica on birch plywood, and the tops can be almost anything: formica, linen, plastic, zinc, rusted steel, street signs!


Giles USA electric guitars were made in Bellingham, Massachusetts in the late 1990s. Giles made the KL-400 electric guitar which had a cast resin body.

Source: Giles USA catalog 1996


The Kiesel brand was established in 2015 when the guitar and bass making part of Carvin was moved from Carvin Audio into the Kiesel brand name. Kiesel is named after L.C. Kiesel who founded the Carvin Corporation back in 1946 (Carvin was originally called the L.C. Kiesel company until 1949).

Source: Kiesel Guitars website (12 July 2017)


The Garen company has its origins in France in 1946 when its founder Jean Guen began making the first French made amplfiers and pickups. In 1950 he made the first French solid body electric guitar. By the late 1960s Garen was one of the main French amplifier producers, and also offered PA equipment, microphones, guitar effects and pickups. Garen also sold electric guitars - including the Solo and Lido models.

Source: Garen advertisment 1969


Robert Gallien is a Stanford educated engineer who first began making amplifiers in the late 1960s, while working a day job at Hewlett Packard in California. These first amplifiers had the GMT brand name, but in the early 1970s Gallien joined forces with another HP engineer Richard Krueger and the company became Gallien-Krueger. Gallien-Krueger are best known for their bass amplifiers and stopped producing guitar amplifiers all together in the late 1990s.

Source: Gallien-Krueger website (5 July 2017)


Bryan Galloup has been making and playing guitars since the 1980s. Galloup guitars are made one at a time using computer controlled woodcutting with meticulous hand finishing and voiced to the customer's specifications using a computer-assisted voicing process. Bryan also runs a guitar building and repair school.

Source: Galloup Guitars website (4 July 2017)


Martin DC-16E (2017 model) acoustic guitar

Originally manufactured in 2003 only, but reintroduced by Martin in 2017 with a thinner body, the Martin DC-16E is a single cutaway version of the D-16GT.

The 2003 model had a Sitka spruce top and sapele back and sides. The soundhole rosette was a single ring of Blue Paua Pearl with BWB fiber on both sides. Top inlays were style 28m with style 45 back purfling and it had Schertler Blue Stick electronics. Fingerboard was black micarta.

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Epiphone Demon electric guitar.

EPIPHONE produced the DEMON between 2001 and 2002. It had a modified V-shaped solid hardwood body, with a shorter lower horn. The bolt on maple neck had slim-taper profile and satin finish. The Demon had a tune-o-matic bridge with strings through body tailpiece and two E-series Ultra-Hot humbucking pickups (neck pickup DC resistance: 12 kΩ, bridge pickup DC resistance:16 kΩ). Also available with built in effects as the Epiphone Demon-FX model.

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Gallotone was a brand name used by the South African Gallo record company for a range of acoustic guitars and banjo-ukuleles in the 1950s and 1960s. Gallotone instruments were aimed at beginners and had laminated tops guaranteed not to split. The Gallotone brand would have faded in obscurity had it not been for John Lennon. The 14 year old Lennon bought a Gallotone Champion guitar for ten pounds from a mail order advert in the weekly Reveille newspaper. In 1999 this guitar was bought at aution for £155,000 by an unnamed New York investment fund manager.

Source: Wikipedia Gallotone (28 June 2017)

Source: Magical Mystery Tours: My Life with the Beatles. Tony Bramwell. 2005


Alaya is a brand name of Super Musical Instruments(Zhangzhou) Co.,Ltd. of Fujian Province, China. Super Musical, through their links with Taiwanese enterprises, have made OEM guitars for well known brands. Alaya is their own brand name - typically distributed in China rather than for export.

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