Farrant guitar amplifiers were made in the 1960s and distributed by Stroud Audio in Stroud, UK. There were three models: 15, 30 and 50 watts and they were supplied as separate main amplifiers and preamplifiers, with a tremolo circuit. The company was founded by Stewart Farrant but went into receivership in 1968.

Source: Farrant Amplifiers catalog 1960s.

Source: The London Gazette, 2nd February 1968

Boss Axe

Boss Axe guitars and basses were made in Japan by the Shiino Musical Instrument Coporation (Vestax). The Boss Axe range included archtop electric guitars, an upright electric bass as well as solid-body guitars and basses. Boss Axe instruments were made for the domestic Japanese market.

Source: Boss Axe catalog


Vestax was a Japanese musical instrument, turntable and audio equipment firm founded by Hidesato Shiino in 1977 as part of his Shiino Musical Instrument Corporation. Previously Shiino had used the Vesta brand name. Vestax was initially an electric guitar company but in the 1980s, they began to make multitracks recorders and later DJ mixers, professional turntables, compact disc players and signal processors. Financial problems lead to the company's bankruptcy at the end of 2014.

Source: Wikipedia Vestax


Gibson Duane Eddy Signature model electric guitar

The Gibson Duane Eddy Signature model was introduced in 2004 by the Gibson's Custom, Art & Historic division - marking Eddy's 50 years in the music business. The Duane Eddy Signature model had a highly figured maple top, back and sides. The body had the familiar shape of Gibson's classic L-5 model, with a rounded "Venetian" cutaway horn, but at 16 inches wide, it was an inch smaller than the L-5. The two single-coil pickups were custom-designed to Eddy's specs by pickup guru Seymour Duncan. An additional L.R.

Read more ...


Fannin acoustic guitars were made in Taiwan and Japan from 1978 to 1984 for Larry Lee Fannin (1938 - 2015). The guitars were distributed  through his company Nu Look in Columbus, Ohio. Although Nu Look was a fashion company Larry Fannin was also an enthusiastic bluegrass musician. Models included D-27, D-37, D-57, D-67, D-97 (all steel-string models), F-19 (Folk concert steel-string model), and C-100 and C-190 (Classical nylon-string models).

Source: Larry Fannin obituary


Venlonia was founded by Hay Schreurs (1921 - 2002), a violinist and woodworker who started building mandolins and violins at the age of fifteen. In 1939 he decided to set up a company which from 1945 onwards mainly produced guitars. The workshop was located first on Molenstraat and then on Hoeschoorweg in Venlo. In 1959 he moved to a large woodworking workshop in 4, Millenstraat where at its peak the company employed 16 staff making thousands of guitars per year. Venlonia produced their guitars under other brand names including: Magic, Top Tuner, Unicorn and Famos.


Frank Falbo devised a new string anchoring technique (the Falbo Intension bridge) which was launched in 2012. Falbo's design has the strings anchored with the ball ends inside the soundboard - this way the upwards pull on the bridge & soundboard is balanced by the string tension. This allows for lighter top bracing and consequently a bigger sound. Falbo offers a range of acoustic guitars as well as a hollow body electric guitar with this bridge design. Previously Falbo was Vice President of product development at Seymour Duncan, from 2007 to 2012.


Euphonon guitars were made by August (1873-1944) and Carl Larson (1867-1946), two brothers who were born in Sweden and emigrated to Chicago in the late 1880s. They worked as luthiers for various guitar makers before buying Maurer & Company in 1900 from the retiring Robert Maurer. They set up shop on Elm Street, selling guitars direct to the public under the labels of Maurer, Prairie State and Euphonon.


EXLUSIVE GUITARS (yes without the 'C') is a brand founded by Italian luthier Galeazzo Frudua. Each Exlusive Guitar has final set-up and quality control in Italy. Current models include: the Alien (with JEM7VWH styling), the Black Death, the Shredder (with scalloped fingerboard), the single pickup Eruption, and the Fusion 5 and Super B5 basses.

El Rancho

El Rancho acoustic guitars were distributed by the Sorkin Music Company of New York in the 1950s. The El Rancho steel stringed acoustic line included the X-32 Mustang, the X-38 Big Horn and the X-44 Texan. They all featured a big horn cow graphic on the sound-board.

Source: Sorkin Music Company catalog 1958


The Athtlete brand was established in 1994, and is distributed by Voice International, Japan. Athlete produce electro-acoustic guitars and basses as well as electric archtops for distribution in Japan.

Source: Athelete catalog (6 April 2017)


Gretsch G3161 electric guitar

Introduced in the thirties, Gretsch Synchromatic archtop guitars quickly became well respected for their superb tone, matchless playing ease and "Seven Points to Supremacy". Here is what guitar legend Harry Volpe said in 1939 about his original Synchromatic...

"My fingers seem to travel twice as fast on my new Synchromatic. The most amazing combination of magnificent tone and playing ease. And with all its power and punch, it still keeps the characteristic guitar tone."

Read more ...


Emperador instruments and amplifiers were made in Japan for distribution in the USA from the mid to late 1960s. Emperador was one of the many brands associated with Jack Westheimer - who pioneered the use of OEM guitar factories in Japan and Korea.

Source: Emperador catalog 1969

Source: Vintage Guitar - Jack Westheimer (10 April 2017)


The Electronic Music Corporation (EMC) of Cleveland, Ohio made guitar and PA amplifiers, as well as sound system consoles and speaker cabinets. From 1968 onwards EMC used transistors in their amplifiers instead of vacuum tubes - so these were solid-state amplifiers. In 1969 EMC introduced the first plug-in power module - if these failed then they could be easily swapped out by anyone with a screwdriver. Three interchangeable modules covered the 51 EMC amp models.

Source: EMC catalogs 1971 - 1974


Discovery brand electric guitars and basses were a budget range made during the 1980s by Harmony. The Harmony Guitar Company in Chicago closed in 1975 and during the 1980s, Harmony underwent several owner and management changes. These Discovery guitars were most likely made in the Far East.

Source: Harmony Discovery catalog 1985

Source: Harmony USA history (10 April, 2017)


Electromuse was an American brand of musical instruments made from the 1930s to 1950s. While best known for their paddle shaped lap steel guitars, Electromuse also offered Spanish acoustic-electric guitars and amplifiers. Electromuse tube amplifiers were typically made by Valco and often came as part of a package deal which included a color matched lap steel guitar. The Electromuse Eye-Beam pickup  used on their lapsteels was also sold as a sound-hole pickup for acoustic guitars.


The Alamo Electronic Corporation was originally set up by Southland Music and Charles Eilenberg post World War II (ca. 1947), making record players and battery-powered radios. They went on to produce musical instrument cases and around 1949 or 1950 moved on to making amplifiers and lap steel guitars. The first Alamo solid body guitars appeared around 1960 and Alamo guitars were made until around 1970.  Alamo amplifiers were made until the early 1980s, when Alamo combined with a company called Southwest Technical Products.

Subscribe to Front page feed