SONIC MACHINE FACTORY (SMF) was a boutique amplifier company founded by Mark Sampson and Rick Hamel. Mark Sampson is credited with the design of some famous brands of Class A tube guitar amplifiers (Matchless, Bad Cat). Mark started in tube circuitry design as a boy, working with his dad on vintage radios and televisions. Rick Hamel is also well known in the guitar industry for his original Class A tube circuitry designs. He developed his own line of tube effects pedals (SIB). Rick repaired and modified tube amps for pro players and started in analog circuitry as a telephone / communications engineer in the 1980's while playing in bands. SMF closed down around 2005 and Mark Sampson went on to start Star Amplifiers.


Agape electric guitars are made by Rich Chaffins in West Virginia. Circa 2020 prices for existing Agape models start at $1900, and go up depending on exotic woods, custom shapes, higher end hardware, etc. Complete custom builds start at $3000.

Jean-Noël Rohé

Jean-Noël Rohé is a French luthier based in Strasbourg. Rohé studied luthiery at Newark with Tony Johnson and Roy Courtnall - graduating in 2001. A couple of years later he met Dominique Field who encouraged him to establish his own buisness and in 2004 he was awarded with the title “Un des Meilleur Ouvrier de France”. Rohé builds in the tradition of French guitar makers like Daniel Friederich and Dominique Field. Rohé's guitars became known internationally when Kent Guitars and Guitar Salon International began to import them to the UK and USA respectively and when David Jaggs started to play one.


Albedo is a custom acoustic and electric guitar brand founded by French luthier Cyril Guérin.


Braga learned luthiery from his father who made rustic guitars. After making his first instrument he began to expand his horizons to making classical guitars and ukuleles. He worked as a teacher of luthiery giving a class at the Vicentina Aranha Cultural Space in the city of São José dos Campos / Sp for two years. His name and work are cited in the book "Violeiros do Brasil" released in 2008 which lists him among the best luthiers in Brazil. Nowadays, besides working in his studio, he also researches new techniques to improve the sound of his instruments and new materials for construction.


Ronald L. Bracken is the founder of Bracken Guitars. He describes why he founded the company:

"After studying the guitar industry as a whole, I saw a great need to modernize and revamp the old tired ways of doing things. I immediately recognized the demand for old-world craftsmanship and quality, the need for rare worldwide materials sourcing, and the leading innovations in manufacturing innovations . I feel very fortunate to have placed a great team together, bringing Bracken Guitars to fruition."

Bracken produces a range solid body, archtop and bass guitars.


Aegilium is the brand name of Piero Tievoli who makes acoustic and classical guitars in Arezzo, Italy.

Gozzi (Amerigo)

Amerigo Gozzi was born in 1982 and has always lived in Montespertoli, a small village on the hills of the Chianti Fiorentino. He attended the schools of the town and the surrounding area and graduated in Chemistry at the University of Florence.

Parallel to this life as an aspiring scientist, he cultivates a passion for art, self-construction and "beautiful" and functional things. He soon became passionate about modern luthiery and in 2000 he designed his first guitar, which he would create with little equipment and a lot of passion, the latter characteristic that constantly accompanies him also in the last works.

Acoustic Liuteria

Acoustic Liuteria is an Italian company which builds archtop, acoustic, semi-acoustic guitars, including Maccaferri style. Acoustic Liuteria was born from a partnership between Fulvio Cappelli and Saverio Sacco. Fulvio was a player first who then became a builder. He completed a classical guitar apprenticeship in Valencia (Spain) and also in Arezzo (Italy). In the early 1990s he began his own development on semi-acoustic and jazz arch tops that continues today. Saverio is a goldsmith, woodcarver and “inlay-man”, ans is also the owner of the company, together his wife Paola Mascagni the administrative manager, designer and style advisor. Andrea Sacco, the younger, with ensures the intergenerational transfer of the skills of the workshop.


Armas guitars established the Brave amplifiers brand in 1999. Armas Guitars is located in the town of Catania, a city on the Italian Island of Sicily with a rich history of musical instrument manufacturing.

Brooks Cobb

Brooks Cobb started making custom guitars while he was at college in 1996. He now lives in Bluffton SC, where he runs all of Brooks Cobb Guitars production from his workshop. Previously he worked as a carpenter and spent many years in a woodshop building cabinets and furniture. He also spent two years working as a repair tech at the biggest music store in Alaska.

Source: Brooks Cobb Guitars website (11 January 2020)


Armas Guitars is located in the town of Catania, a city on the Italian Island of Sicily with a rich history of musical instrument manufacturing. Armas make the "Brave" amplifier brand, as well as electric, acoustic and bass guitars

Anastasio Fasanaro

Anastasio Fasanaro was inspired to become a luthier when he visited the workshop of Antonino Scandurra. At the beginning he only built electric guitars, then he started with basses and later on with classical and acoustic guitars. He applies a forward thinking approch and does not like traditionalism for its own sake. Of course the instrumentss of the great masters of the past remain points of absolute reference, but he tries to build acknowledging that we are in the second decade of the 21st century. He uses epoxy resins, aliphatic glues but also hot hide glue where needed, polyurethane paints and carbon fiber.

Source: Anastasio Fasanaro website (13 January 2020)

Anna Corona

Handmade guitars and basses built entirely by hand

Italian Guitars

Italian Guitars was founded by Aldo Illotta. Aldo was born in Borgosesia in 1970, where he still lives and works. He graduated from the Civic School of Luthiery in Milan with a thesis on the guitars of the Guadagnini family of Turin carried out under the guidance of Lorenzo Girodo. At the luthiery school in Milan he was, for eight years, a workshop teacher for the construction of plucked instruments, the modern luthiery division, guitars, as well as free courses for beginners. In addition to the restoration and reconstruction of historical guitars and mandolins Aldo makes classical and acoustic modern guitars also small size instruments for children.


Agostin Custom Guitars was founded by Agostino Carella in Italy. Making custom guitars since the late 1990s, Agostino has developed a unique neck joint design with full access to the upper frets with improved stability. This neck joint can support the body with no screws or glue, and once the neck is in its place, you can forget about moving it. Agostin Custom Guitars use the highest quality tone woods which are hand selected and "tap matched" to ensure a dynamic and acoustically alive instrument. In all, the pieces get a rough cut on CNC machines, and the rest of the work is finished by hand. All guitars are finished in a nitro-cellulose lacquer to allow for maximum resonance with minimum finish buildup.

Source Agostin Custom Guitars website (13 January 2020)


Balladori is an Italian custom design guitar maker.

Enrico Bottelli

Enrico Bottelli makes responsive, lightweight, traditionally inspired classical guitars. Enrico Bottelli’s work has been displayed at numerous important exhibitions and conventions in Italy, Europe and the U.S.A.


Mirko Borghino graduated with honors in 2000 from the Civica Scuola di Liuteria in Milan. For his final project, he restored a Gibson L-5 belonging to Franco Cerri (for whom, in 2015 he created a Gibson Signature). Mirko divides his time between teaching luthiery and hand making custom instruments in his studio in Desenzano del Garda (Italy). He makes custom archtop, flat top and electric guitars - his customers include John McLaughlin, Franco Cerri, Francesco Buzzurro, Maurizio Brunod and Simone Guiducci.

Subscribe to Front page feed