God City Instruments

Kurt Ballou founded God City Instruments (GCI) in 2011. Ballou  is the owner of God City Recording Studio owner as well as the guitarist for Converge. He started off making guitars and snare drums for himself and his friends but it took until 2016 for the first commercial GCI product release. This was the Brutalist Jr. DIY PCB distortion pedal- initially designed as a business card for the studio. This was a huge success and spurred Kurt on to design more effects pedals including the SBD Fuzz, the Medicine Boost and the Riffchild. Small runs of the pedals were made in the studio basement and sold online via the GCI Reverb shop. The full scale commercial launch of GCI was in 2019 and now the product range includes guitars, basses, effects and you can still get the DIY effects PCBs that started it all.

Source: God City Instruments website (23 September 2022)


3Bender electric guitars use special 3Bender hardware that enables the player to bend 3 strings simultaneously. This allows you to simulate pedal steel guitar chords and licks. Setup as standard, the B string bends to C#, the G string bends to G# and the A string bends to B simultaneously. All the early models appear to be Telecaster style but other styles seem to be available as custom options. 3Bender was founded by Wade in 2018. The 3Bender concept was inspired by Bob Stafford's 'Stafford Bender' - Wade befriended Bob Stafford and bought the 'Stafford Bender' tooling from him before starting 3Bender.

Source: 3Bender Guitars website (23 September 2022)

Preston Thompson

Preston Thompson Guitars was established by Preston K. Thompson. Preston learned guitar making with Charles Fox in Vermont in the 1970s before going to build acoustic guitars at  Randy Wood’s Old Time Pickin’ Parlor in Nashville. His guitars were popular amongst bluegrass flat-pickers and he went on to make guitars for Charles Sawtelle and Peter Rowan. Preston Thompson passed away in 2019 but his team of luthiers carries on making his guitars in Sisters, Oregon.

Source: Preston Thompson website (21 September 2022)


Pamelina H. is an artist who specialises in painting guitars. She started out as a comic book artist in her teens and was a professional illustrator by the age of 17. She began painting guitars in the 1980s for a guitar shop near San Francisco, this led to work with many well known rock bands. She started working with the Fender Custom Shop in 1989 - an ongoing collaboration which produced the Hendrix Strat, the Harley Strat, the Marilyn Monroe Strat amongst others.


StoryWood electric guitars and basses are made in Raleigh, North Carolina from reclaimed and salvaged wood. Both neck and body are made using wood from old buildings such as the American Tobacco Company Warehouses and the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. They also make StoryWood effects pedals.

Source: StoryWood Music website (21 September 2022)

Seymour Duncan '78 Model

Seymour Duncan '78 model humbucker

The Seymour Duncan ‘78 Model humbucker is based on the P.A.F. humbucker that Seymour Duncan rewound for Eddie Van Halen in 1978. Van Halen wanted a hotter pickup to help give his artificial harmonics that extra squeal. The '78 model is loaded with an Alnico 2 magnet and wound to the same hot specs as Eddies original P.A.F. rewind. The ‘78’s magnet and output combination lends itself to a warm crunch with biting leads and would suit players looking for a classic hard rock rhythm crunch, articulate picked harmonics for tapped solos and tremolo acrobatics.

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Pittman guitars were made by Paul Slagle in California. Pittman guitars were usually Telecaster style electrics, but there were some Strat style ones and basses. Slagle had been responsible for finishing guitars for Asher Guitars, Echopark Guitars, Iconic Custom Guitars, Trussart, Modulus and Tyler Guitars. In addition to guitar making Slagle was also an experienced audio engineer specializing in live music mixing. Paul Slagle passed away in 2020 after a long battle with leukaemia.

Cort Pagelli (PAG-II)

Cort Pagelli PAG-II electric guitar

The Cort Pagelli II (PAG-II), introduced in 2007, is a grungier vesion of the first Pagelli (PAG-I) model. It has the same beautiful single cutaway body shape (Les Paul X Iceman). The body wood is mahogany, but without the maple top of the PAG-I model. The maple set neck has a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard. It has black or rusty finished hardware: wraparound combined bridge/tailpiece and three per side tuners. The pickups are two Powersound humbuckers controlled by one volume and one tone control with a three-way selector switch. The finish options for the PAG-I1 are black or rusty brown.

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Daisy Tempest

Tempest acoustic guitars are made by luthier Daisy Tempest. She trained to become a guitar builder in her early twenties. Since establishing Tempest Guitars, Daisy has received the Newby Trust Craft Excellence Award, and moved into her own workshop in South London in the Cockpit Arts community of makers and artists.

Source: Tempest Guitars website (11 September 2022)


Starmaker is a brand name for budget electric guitars and amplifiers made in China and distributed in the United Kingdom.


Tempest was a Japanese made brand of electric and bass guitars distributed in Australia around the late 1970s.


Class Basses are hand made by Samantha Royal in Colorado. Samantha uses reclaimed wood to build unique Bass Guitars. She also makes bass effects pedals.


MUSI is an affordable electric guitar brand - available via Amazon circa 2022. They come with stainless steel frets as standard. The range includes the Virgo, Capricorn and Classic models.


TEN32 electric guitars are made in Denver, Colorado by Chaz Ginest. The brand launched in 2022 with 5 body models, 3 contour options per model, a component shelf option for each series, 3 different pickup configurations, 4 different neck scale lengths, 4 different bridges and 3 different headstocks. There are a large number of potential variations - but this is manageable because Ginest uses an automated modular approach & parts are interchangeable between models. Each guitar comes will a special TEN32 travel case - you can take the guitar apart (un-bolt the neck and even the headstock) and all the components and tools fit neatly into a compact backpack perfect for traveling with your guitar.

Source: TEN32 guitars website (11 September 2022)


Michael Fuller started Fulltone around 1991 while working as a Session Guitarist, a Composer, Performer, and Electronic Tinkerer. People started calling him asking for his effects pedals after he was featured in Guitar Player Magazine as one of the winners of their "Ultimate Guitarist Competition" competition. Fulltone effects use True Bypass switching or their exclusive "Enhanced Bypass TM" (OCD V2, WahFull) with L.E.D. status indicator in all their pedals. Fuller also provided these bypass switches to other pedal makers. All Fulltone pedals were designed, hand-built & tested at their shop in Southern California.

Fulltone closed their California factory in 2022 when Fuller admitted it had become unprofitable. He planned to move to a large ranch near Nashville with a recording studio and make use of his large collection of vintage guitars.

Source: Fulltone website (14 February 2022)

Josh Williams

Josh Williams studied luthiery at the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery where he learned to make acoustic and electric guitars. He then worked at The Blue Guitar in San Diego, doing guitar repairs. He apprenticed with master luthier Yuris Zeltins, an expert in French polishing and construction of classical and flamenco guitars.  Williams started his own company and now makes acoustic and electric guitars in Fallbrook, California with the help of a small team.

Source: Josh Williams Guitars website (28 August 2022)

Address: Swansea, United Kingdom | Tel: +44 7366 885355 | e-mail: [email protected]


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