MeloDuende Guitars was launched in 2009 by Cedric, Jérémy & Bertrand in Semur en Auxois, France. Their first prototypes were built during the 1990’s in a precision mechanics workshop. Inspired by the Rickenbacker & Beauchamp Frying Pan guitar they designed a hollow aluminum bodied guitar with wooden neck. This combination of materials leads to a unique tone - the aluminum body increases sustain and dynamic range but this tone is warmed and rounded by the wooden neck(most Melo’s have solid rosewood necks).

McKay (Ken)

Ken McKay established Up North Strings in Traverse City Michigan primarily to service and sell student stringed instruments and to make double basses. Making guitars, and guitar parts for other luthiers has also been a big part of McKay's business, especially laminated guitar plates for archtop makers. Having made laminated guitars of his own design he wanted to try recreating the original Gibson ES-335 designs - and these became the McKay Tribute series of semi-hollow bodied electric guitars.


Kapa Continental electric guitar

Kapa guitars were made in the USA using imported German necks, electronics and tuners. Kapa made their own bodies and tremolos, as well as the pickups on later guitars. The Kapa Continental had a scaled down Jazzmaster type solid body with a bolt-on neck, made from 1966 until 1970. Pickup configuration was HH or SSS and the Continental model was available as a 12-string and a bass. The Kapa instruments were generally well set up and their price was affordable compared to contemporary Fender instruments.

Kapa described the Continental as follows, in 1968:

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Angel Lopez

Angel Lopez is a classical guitar brand introduced around 2007 by European musical distributor EMD. Angel Lopez guitars are made in China


Mario Guitars are boutique vintage Fender style electrics made at the Guitar Mill in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Mario Guitar originally began as the “Guitar Mill Custom Shop,” and is named after its founder and owner Mario Martin. Since 2011, Mario Guitars have expanded to include almost a dozen different guitar styles and have been played by musicians such as Hunter Hayes, Chase Bryant, The Brothers Osborne and Saul Zonana.  


Washburn WG587V electric guitar

The WASHBURN WG587V (made between 1999 and 2002) was the Floyd Rose vibrato version of the WG587 7-string. The WG587s were Washburn's answer to the Ibanez RG7620 RG7621 models - desgined to give the low end rhythm crunch favoured at the time by bands like Korn, Fear Factory and Limp Bizkit. The WG587V was available in metallic red or metallic gray finish. These guitars were made in Korea for the 99-00 models (HSH config, 'square' neck heel), and China for 01-02 models (HH, 'round' heel).

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Leonardo Lospennato was born in Buenos Aires in 1968 but now lives in Berlin. He initially worked as a computer engineer, then gained masters degree in marketing and management before working for IBM and eBay. Despite his varied career he has, since the age of 16, had a passion for making musical instruments. He has also published an excellent book on electric guitar and bass design.

Source: Leo Lospennato Custom Guitars website (14 February 2017)


Benjamin Liggett is a Luthier based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He trained at the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery in Phoenix then went to work as a luthier at Bishline Banjos, before establishing Liggett Guitars. Liggett makes hand-crafted electric guitars using exotic woods and thigh quality hardware available. Limited production ensures that each custom guitar is taylored to the customer's personal playing style and tone requirements.


Aria FEB-FL acoustic electric bass

The Aria FEB-FL acoustic bass was introduced in 2015. The FEB-FL is a hollow bodied fretless bass guitar from the Aria Elecord series. The F-holes give it a classic look. This bass has either a spruce (FEB-FL) or a flamed nato top (FEB-FL/F).

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Avon Les Paul (3403)

Avon Les Paul (model 3403) electric guitar

The Avon Les Paul copy (model 3403) was made during the 1970s. The Avon brand was used by UK distributer Rose Morris in the 1960s and 1970s as their entry level brand. Avon guitars and basses were typically made in Japan.

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La Grange

Benjamin Wasservogel was born in Paris and grew up in a small village in the south of France. In the 1990s he worked as a lawyer before starting a internet company and then moving to Israel. He studied luthiery with Jacob Algrenati in Tel-Aviv, before founding La Grange guitars some years later as a boutique hand made guitar company.
Source: La Grange Guitars website (13 February 2017)


Saul Koll has been making guitars since 1986. Saul had studied sculpture and earned a degree in Fine Art before starting work as a luthier at the World of Strings in Long Beach, California where he worked under the supervision of luthier Jon Peterson. Saul also worked with TVJONES as technician and as a writer for the Gretsch company for several years. During this time he also toured and recorded with pop/punk acts The Charms, 8 Foot Tender, and The Lovesores. 



Mike Fleck began building and repairing guitars in the early 1990s while still at school. He went to work for Parker guitars in 1996 before establishing his own guitar repair workshop in Anchorage, Alaska in 2001. Fleck has distilled his 20 year experience of repairing all kinds of guitars into the design of his Fleck Electric guitar which he makes single handedly at his Anchorage workshop.

Dean Gordon

Dean Gordon started playing guitar at the age of fourteen was soon building and repairing guitars. At sixteen he apprenticed with Victor Baker and Roger Sadowsky. At eighteen years old he designed and built the first Dean Gordon Guitar and launched Dean Gordon Guitars in 2012. During this time he became the head repair tech at Chelsea Guitars in New York, which gives him valuable experience with vintage, new and rare guitars.


Luthier Giulio Negrini got his Master's degree in violin and bow making in 2007 in Italy. He has since also attended instrument making seminars including Violin Restoration with Adam Whone and Archtop Guitar Making with John Monteleone.  Being a hard-rock guitar player, informs the designs of Negrini's GNG electric guitars which are comfortable and playable incorporating features like smooth necks and fretboards, extra strings (like the 10-string Shen model), extended scale lengths, fanned frets and hi-gloss finishes.

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