Migma is a musical instrument makers cooperative based in Markneukirchen who have been selling bowed, fretted instruments, and wind instruments (plus accessories and components) since 1943. It became part of the Musima corporation under East German communist rule -  although many of its instrument makers continued to work from their own small workshops. Although Musima was closed in the 1990s, Migma is still operates as a collective of Markneukirchen instrument makers.

Source: Migma catalog 1956

Source: Migma website (18 May 2018)


Darkmoon Pickups has been established in 2010 by the current master winder and owner Mark V. For the first six years the company released products solely for independent guitar builders and luthiers. During the expansion in 2016, Darkmoon began going public and released their signature humbuckers. Divided into Vintage and Black Arts series, the signature line is covering a very wide range of music styles from blues and jazz to heavy metal. Aside from guitar pickups, Darkmoon also specializes in guitar wiring harnesses, instrument cables, and custom pickguards.  The company has introduced a large variety of custom cosmetic options such as real mother of pearl inlays, celluloid inlays, gold foils and engraved humbucker covers.


Henry Stadlmair Company Inc. was a New York distributor of musical instruments from 1923 to around 1928. In the 1870s Henry Stadlmair began working with C Bruno and Sons, by 1914 he had risen to the rank of Vice President and General Manager. He left Bruno & Sons and formed his own distribution company in 1923. Stadlmair's ukulele, guitar, tiple and banjo brands included: Miami, Avalon, Ace and Triple X. he was also the east coast distributor of Weissenborn. Stadlmair's company appears to have ceased trading in the late 1920s possibly as a consequence of the Wall Street Crash. Henry died in 1940, but was survived by his son Harry who also worked in music distribution for Bruno and Sons.


Miami ukuleles and tiples were distributed by Henry Stadlmair of New York from the mid to late 1920s. Stadlmair was the East Coast distributor of Hermann Weissenborn. Weissenborn is said to have made some Miami instruments, but most would have been made by Oscar Schmidt or Tuarturro. The label states that these ukueles were Used & Endorsed by Ukulele Hughes.

Source: Lardy's Ukulele database (12 May 2018)

Source: Wiessenborn Miami Ukulele advert & label - reverb.com


Musicraft was a San Francisco company established around 1967 by Bert Casey (President) and Arnold Curtis (Senior Vice-President). They introduced the Messenger range of guitars and amplifiers,  built around a patented aluminum chassis. This aluminum chassis was tuned to resonate at 440Hz and extended throughout the guitar's length - allowing a thin fast playing neck. The fingerboard was located outside the sound chamber for unobstructed access to all frets. The Messenger had electronics equipped for both mono and stereo signals and the bass and treble signals could be amplified separately. Finish options included yellow, red, black and sunburst and there was also a 12-string and a fretless bass model.

Source: Musicraft Creates New Guitar Neck. Billboard. 13 May, 1967. Page 62.

Source: Musicraft Messenger catalog 1967

Kanda Shokai

Kanda Shokai Company Limited is a Japanese musical instrument distributor established in 1948. They manage mainly Japanese brands but also instruments made outside Japan and sell wholesale to retailers - but not to the public. In 1982 Kanda Shokai established Fender Japan Ltd. in partnership with Fender and Yamano Gakki.

Source: Kanda Shokai Company Limited website (28 April 2018)


The Unicord company was a transformer manufacturer that bought the Amplifier Corporation of America in Westbury, New York in the early 1960s and began selling Univox branded tube amplifiers. Unicord was itself bought by Gulf + Western Oil Company in 1967 and around that time merged with Merson - (a distributor of guitars and amplifiers under the Tempo brand name) and became Merson Musical Products. In 1975 Merson & Unicord split and the Unicord name appears again in the 1976 Univox catalog. The Univox brand name was discontinued in 1978 and replaced by the Westbury brand for guitars and Stage for amplifiers. Unicord was bought by Korg in 1985.


Tempo was a brand name of Merson of New York City, who advertised the first Tempo archtop electric guitar in 1948 with a matching Tempo amplifier. Merson was taken over by (or merged with) Unicord in the 1960s but continued to distribute Tempo guitars, amplifiers and other instruments including ukuleles and banjos. The Tempo brand appears to have been discontinued by 1975.

Source: Tempo catalog 1964

Source: Univox et al Merson/Unicord. Michael Wright. Vintage Guitar Magazine


Merson was a distribution company founded by Bernie Mersky in the 1940s in New York. Merson archtop electric guitars and amplifiers first went on sale in the late 1940s under the Tempo brand name. By the late 1950s and early 1960s Merson was distributing Giannini acoustic guitars from Brazil and Hagstrom electric guitars from Sweden. Around 1967 the Unicord company was merged with Merson. Merson moved from New York City to Westbury, New York and became Merson Musical Products, A Division of Unicord Incorporated.

Source: Univox et al Merson/Unicord. Michael Wright. Vintage Guitar Magazine (26 April 2018)

Prince (Tsushinkogyo)

Prince Tsushinkogyo Co. Ltd.  (Prince Telecommunication and Engineering) was founded in 1950  in Nagoya, Japan. They concentrated on making tuners and solid state musical instrument amplifiers which were sold under the Prince brand names as well as others (such as Memphis). The company began to use the Arion brand name in 1980 and began making guitar effects pedals. The company's fortunes declined in the 1990s and by 1997 Arion was sold to the Ueno Kaihatsu Center, who continued making pedals and tuners, but discontinued the amplifiers.


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, Melofonic and National. They also made amplifiers for several other companies such as Gretsch, Harmony, and Kay. In the 1950s they started making solid body electric guitars. The Valco company merged with Kay Musical Instrument Company in 1967, but the new company soon ran into financial problems and went out of business in 1968.

Source: Supro catalogs 1948 - 1968

Andersen (Brad)

Custom classical guitar maker based in Old Town Albuquerque NM, USA. Also makes steel string guitars and ukeleles.

Music Drive

Music Drive (MD) guitars and basses were made in Korea by Sumer Musical Instruments Company Limited, from around 2000.

Source: Music Drive catalog 2000.


Glen McKerrihan made archtops from the mid 1990s to the early 2000s. McKerrihan made guitars to custom order and so there are relatively few around.

McKay (Joe)

Joe McKay started making acoustic instruments in the mid 1990s in a shed next to his house. He started by studying violin making with the late Robert Rife. McKay combined this luthiery training with the principles of engineering and physics learned from his college education to develop acoustic guitars with original bracing patterns and hand tuned tops. McKay Guitars produced a limited number of custom handmade guitars each year - but circa 2018 the website was inactive.

Source: McKay Guitars website (archived 2013)


The MCI Intertek brand was established by John Burkhead (as part of MCI, Inc.), and later aquired by Fred Gretsch. MCI Intertek guitars were budget low quality instruments, made in Japan between 1983 and 1985. Gene Fields worked on the research and development of MCI pedal steel guitars. Some players complained that the Saxon brand pickups used in these guitars were prone to microphonic feedback.

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