Orlando Quagliardi founded an accordion making company in Castelfidardo, Italy in 1921. Quagliardi was one of the first Italian accordion companies to start making guitars. They usually used their Welson brand name, but their guitars were also distributed under the Dynacord (in Germany) and Wurlitzer (in the USA) brands. The first Welson solid bodies appeared in 1962 and were similar to the Bartolini-Gemelli Galaxy model. As the 1960s went on Welson focused on semi-acoustic archtops and a 335 style model - Welson had a reputation as one of Italy's best guitar makers.

Phoenix (Mandolins)

Phoenix Mandolins was founded by Rolfe Gerhardt who started building mandolins in the early 1970s. He was self taught and started by using some plans from Benny Cain, and observations of a local Gibson Loar F-5 to make two reproductions of a 1920s Gibson F-5 mandolin. He then began experimenting with mandolin design and this was the start of Unicorn mandolins. Rolfe made 149 mandolins before selling Unicorn to Dave Sinko in 1980 who eventually moved Unicorn to Nashville. Although Rolfe had agreed not to make mandolins for ten years as part of the sale agreement of Unicorn, he didn't last that long and was building mandolins again in the late 1980s using the Phoenix brand name. His new design had a fixed graphite-epoxy neck stiffener which eliminated the need for an adjustable truss rod. He also refined the body shape using a two-pointed cut-away design, and incorporated a radiused fingerboard and finger-rest.

YAMAHA RGX 420S D6 (Drop 6)

Yamaha RGX-420S D6 (gray) electric guitar

YAMAHA manufactured the RGX 420 SD6 (Drop 6) between 2001 and 2003. It was a baritone (longer scale) version of the RGX 420 S, which allows for a lower tuning - signalled by the "Drop 6" decal on the peghead. The RGX-420S D6 had a solid alder super-strat body (Satin Black, Satin Gray or Metallic Green finish). Pickups were 2 humbuckers with 1 selector switch and a bypass "blower" switch which routes the signal direct from the bridge humbucker to the output jack. The black hardware included a double locking tremolo.

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Otentic guitars are hand made by Rene Meulmeester in the Netherlands from high quality components. Otentic bodies and necks are CNC machined from selected wood and their pickups are handwound to Otentic's specifications. All instruments are finished using oil - no lacquer is used on the body or neck. Otentic instruments are usually Fender style electric guitars and basses.

Source: Otentic website (archived 2016)

Yamaha SX-125

Yamaha SX-125 electric guitar

The Yamaha SX-125 was made from 1975 to 1976. Similar in design to the SX-80 but the SX-125 had a rotary pickup selector switch (with metal position indicators nailed into the body) and had Grover tuners, instead of the Yamaha branded ones. In 1975 the SX-125 cost ¥120,000 -  more than twice the price of the SX-60 at ¥55,000, and considerably more expensive than the SX-80 at ¥70,000.

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Yamaha SX-900A

Yamaha SX-900A electric guitar brown sunburst

The Yamaha SX-900A was made from 1976 to 1979. It was like the SX-800A except with gold hardware and red or brown sunburst finish.

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Yamaha SX-900B

Yamaha SX-900B electric guitar brown sunburst

The Yamaha SX-900B was made from 1976 to 1979. It was like the SX-800B except with gold hardware and natural or brown sunburst finish.

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Suntech was an electric guitar and bass brand from the late 1970s to 1980s. Suntech instruments were made in Japan for overseas distribution. Suntech guitars typically good copies of Fender, Gibson and Rickenbacker models - but there were also some nice original variations like Suntech's Limited Edition neck-through version of the stratocaster.


Aria FEB-FL acoustic electric bass

The Aria FEB-FL acoustic bass was introduced in 2015. The FEB-FL is a hollow bodied fretless bass guitar from the Aria Elecord series. The F-holes give it a classic look. This bass has either a spruce (FEB-FL) or a flamed nato top (FEB-FL/F).

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Rickenbacker 430 electric guitar

The Rickenbacker 430 was a Rickenbacker entry level solid body electric introduced in 1971 and discontinued in 1982. It has a double cutaway body similar in shape to the later 230 models. While the 430 was a budget model, being a Rickenbacker it's a well-made instrument, but lacking some of the fancy features of the higher end models.

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Introduced around 2004, the Zon VB4 is a headless bass that evolved out of Michael Manring's 1993 Zon headless prototype bass. Although compact in size, the VB does not compromise on playability or tone, it is a full-scale, professional-quality instrument. The two piece swamp ash body and bolt-on composite neck in combination with the special ZB5 electronics and Bartolini pickups deliver a full, punchy and clear tone.

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Ronin Guitars hand made from reclaimed old growth redwood in California. Ronin electric guitars are made by Izzy Lugo and John Reed, while Ronin’s acoustic models are built by John's father Jack Reed. The project started when Jack Reed took a chainsaw to an old-growth stump on his property in Humboldt County and made a guitar out of it for John. John Reed teamed up with guitar tech Izzy Lugo and opened a guitar store in New York selling these guitars made from salvaged redwood, before relocating the business to California. In 2016 they revamped the Ronin range, introducing some great original designs alongside their versions of the classic Strat, Les Paul and Tele shapes. Their guitars are not exclusively made from salvaged redwood - you will find mahogany and maple examples.

Source: Ronin Guitars website (16 January 2019)

Ibanez RS520

Ibanez RS520FG electric guitar

The Ibanez RS520 was a Roadstar II Deluxe model electric guitar made in Japan from 1984 until 1985. It had HH pickup configuration with 2 IBZ humbuckers - mounted in gold pickup rings. Both the humbuckers could be coil tapped via two push-push Duo Sonic switches. The RS520 had an Ibanez Pro-Rock'r tremolo and locking nut. The ones made in 1984 had a birch top on a basswood body - but by 1985 the body was entirely basswood.

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Ibanez RS530

Ibanez RS530 electric guitar

The Ibanez RS530 was a Roadstar II Deluxe model electric guitar made in Japan from 1984 until 1985. It was the flame maple topped version of the RS520 and had the same HH pickup configuration with 2 IBZ humbuckers, but with black pickup rings and hardware. Both the humbuckers could be coil tapped via two push-push Duo Sonic switches. The RS530 had an Ibanez Pro-Rock'r tremolo and locking nut. The RS530 was replaced by the RG530 in 1986.

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Ibanez RS1010SL Steve Lukather

Ibanez RS1010SL Steve Lukather electric guitar

The Ibanez RS1010SL was a Roadstar II Deluxe Series guitar made in Japan from 1983 to 1985. The Ibanez RS1010SL was Steve Lukather's signature model and had a carved birdseye maple top with ivory binding on a basswood body. The bolt on maple neck had an ebony fingerboard with snowflake position markers. Pickups were two humbuckers: a custom SL Special at the bridge and a stock Ibanez Super 58 at the neck. When it was launched in 1983 the RS1010SL had a Hard Rocker Pro tremolo bridge, a natural finished maple headstock and neck, 21 frets and rubberized Sure Grip knobs.

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