Blackstar had its origins in 2004 when four friends & bandmates decided to form a company to create new and innovative guitar amplifiers and pedals. Having spent two and a half years doing intensive technical research in a garden shed in Northampton England, the first Blackstar products were ready and in March 2007, Blackstar was officially launched at the Frankfurt Musik Messe. Since then they have moved from the garden shed to our own premises, which has a purpose built lab and studio.
Slick electric guitars and basses are designed in collaboration with Earl Slick and sold by GF Sales. The brand was launched around 2014 and they are finished in a thin layer of automotive paint, sanded it back to reveal the wood. Hardware is brass and they use Slick designed pickups - which are also available to buy separately.
Woodrite Guitars was launched in 2021 as a partnership between the Woodbine Guitars Custom Shop and Steve Reis of stoner doom website Does It Doom? Their original Woodrite Warlord electric guitar has a design inspired by Steve Reis’ FA Custom Shop DC-6 as well elements from the Yamaha SG2000, and the Gibson LP and SG designs.
Ciari Guitars was founded by Jonathan Spangler to produce high quality folding travel electric guitars. Circa 2023 their range included the Ascender Pro, Ascender P90 and Ascender Custom models. The guitars are made in Nashville and luthier Joe Glaser is involved in overseeing the production.
Carol-Ann amplifiers was a custom boutique guitar amplifier company founded by Alan Phillips in New Hampshire. Phillips moved to the USA from England in 2002, and his background was in engineering having served an engineering apprenticeship in the 1980s. Carol-Ann amplifiers were hand-built using point-to-point wiring, all assembled and tested by Phillips himself. The Carol-Ann range included single channel models, classic & modern multichannel models and a British series of amps. Carol-Ann amplifiers closed in 2019