Laurent Letourneau has been making guitars and basses since the 1990s. Lutherie Letourneau is located in Boussy-Saint-Antoine near Paris.

Michael Lazar

Michael Lazar began making classical guitars in 1980 using Irving Sloane's book "Classic Guitar Construction". Leo Brouwer tried on of his early instruments, gave some constructive criticism and encouraged him to keep building. Over the next 20 years Lazar made around 30 more instruments - while also working full time as a banker. He retired from banking in 2000 and was able to put more energy in his guitar making. In 2001 he attended a master class in luthiery led by Gregory Byers and incorporated the new methods he learned into his own instruments. From 2004 onwards Lazar has been systematically researching new innovations in classical guitar design such as elevated fret boards, lattice and other top bracing designs, double tops, acoustic ports and non traditional bridge designs and numerous other modern approaches.

Geza Burghardt

Geza Burghardt received his Maestro Certificate in 1981 for Fretted and Stringed Instrument Making in Budapest, Hungary before opening his own business. In 1988 he moved to Vancouver, Canada in 1988 with his family and worked for many years in a music store as a luthier. In 1996 he opened his own luthiery business on Granville Island where he mainly builds guitars. He also teaches classical guitar construction and repair/restoration of the violin family.

Source: Geza Burghardt website (21 October 2020)

Malone Guitars

Malone Guitars is a boutique guitar maker and repair workshop, based in Billericay, Essex, UK. Owned and operated by luthier Ian Malone, Malone Guitars hand-build a small number of high quality electric and acoustic guitars every year. The majority of their guitars are built by commission to customer specification, with occasional unique builds sold direct through the Malone Guitars web shop.


Sozo Guitars was founded in 2004 by Brian Robinson since 2004. Early on he designed and patented the Sozo body style. The guitars & basses are made in Korea and feature Sozo's signature unfinished neck which aims to have the tone and sustain of a set neck guitar, with the feeling and wear of a bolt on. They have a patented chambered body with a solid center block running the length of the body.

Source: Sozo Guitars website (20 October 2020)


Gary Southwell studied Guitar Making at The London College of Furniture after which in 1983 he set up his first workshop in Nottingham. At first he specialised in making historical guitars of the early 19th century. In 1989 he created The Temperate Guitar - made using woods only from temperate climates. In the early 1990s he started to make his distinctive A Series Guitars, which drew on the Viennese style of guitar making. He moved to Hough on the Hill, a small village in Lincolnshire in 2011 and began using Fenland Black Oak, also known as Bog Oak, for guitars. In 2018 he moved to Northumberland, where continues to make his own uniquely designed guitars and replicas of famous historical ones.

Source: Gary Southwell guitars website (16 October 2020)


Otwin was established in 1886 in Shilbach, Germany by Franz Otto Windisch (born in 1866). Franz Otto Windisch had previously apprenticed as a violin maker and worked in Markneukirchen for Gläsel & Herwig. In 1903 Windisch opened another Otwin factory in Schöneck. This branch quickly became the main factory, with up to 120 employees making stringed and plucked instruments. Franz Otto died in 1935 but his son Johannes took over the company, and his cousin Friedrich Paul Windish joined him as a partner in 1937. Otwin also used other brand names including: OW, Owi and Owophone. The company carried on until 1973 when it was taken over by  VEB Musima. In 1984 the Schöneck Otwin factory was closed, and Musima itself filed for bankruptcy in 2004.

Source: Schlag Gitarren - Otwin (31 October 2018).


Sonora acoustic guitars were made in Europe in the early/mid 20th century - possibly related to Busato. These early ones have "Sonora" stamped on the soundboard Circa 2020 the brand was still in use on budget imported classical guitars as well as strings distriuted by the Sonora Strings company.


Joe Floyd founded ElectroPhonic Innovations, and together with Jan Lucas developed several prototypes. In 2016 they launched their first guitar ElectroPhonic™ Model One as a Kickstarter project. Electrophonic guitars have a built in amplifier, speaker and effects and are made in Inglewood, California, USA.

Source: Electrophonic Innovations website (8 October 2020)


Rossco Wright and Frank Nakatsuma invented the SoloEtte Travel Guitar in 1993.  Rossco made 5,367 SoloEttes in Eugene, Oregon, with 10 employees. He also licensed the design to Aria Guitars who made 25,000 of them under the Sinsonido model name.

Source: Rossco Wright website (8 October 2020)


Sogo classical guitars were made in Japan in the 1970s.


Mike Snider makes electric and acoustic guitars and does custom inlay work in Rochester, New York. Snider started out making guitars as a teenager, learning from books and internet forums. He started an apprenticeship with Bruce Clay (Rarebird Guitars) in Colorado while at the same time working at a furniture restoration shop. He later apprenticed with Brian Deckebach of Del Toro Guitars. He trained in acoustic guitar building with Robbie O'Brien before becoming his assistant and then creating the electric guitar building and inlay classes at Red Rocks School of Fine Woodworking and Lutherie. He worked there for seven years before relocating in 2014 to Rochester, New York.

Source: Snider Guitars website (9 October 2020)


Sign Guitars was founded in 1996 by Jochen Imhof in Aachen, Germany. The Sign Guitars range is largely based on classic electric designs but Jochen also makes unique custom designs as well.

Source: Sign Guitars catalog 2006.

Ron Smith

Ron Smith (born 1955) did a 4 year apprenticeship program to become a journeyman tool and die maker. He began making instruments in 1997 and was inspired by a Bob Benedetto TV show to start making archtop guitars. In 2008 he found himself unemployed so decided to put his efforts into making guitars and basses. Since then, he has taken his guitars to trade shows in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Florida, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.

Source: Ron Smith Guitars website (24 September 2020)

Santos Hernandez

Santos Hernandez (1873 to 1943) first apprenticed with Valentin Viudes before moving to José Ortega’s workshop. In 1905 he eventually took a position in Manuel Ramirez’s workshop where he made make Andrés Segovia’s famous 1912 Manuel Ramirez guitar. He opened his first own workshop in 1921 after having worked for Ramirez’s widow alongisde Domingo Esteso.

Source: Siccas Guitars - Santos Hernandez

Arcangel Fernandez

Arcangel Fernandez was born in 1932, he initially worked as a cabinet maker but in 1954 he became an assistant to Marcel Barbero in Madrid. When Barbero died in 1956, Fernandez began making his own guitars in Barbero's workshop. In 1959 Fernandez was joined by Marcelo Barbero's son Marcelo Junior and they went on to work together for the next 40 years. His reputation grew and he is considered one of the best ever Flamenco guitar makers. In 2007 (aged 75) Arcangel Fernandez stopped taking new orders. In 2011 (nearly 80) he officially retired and moved to the Canary Islands.

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