John Greven began working for George Gruhn at Gruhn Guitars in the late 1960s repairing and restoring vintage acoustic guitars. Having now established his own custom guitar building workshop in Portland Oregon he uses his experience of working on vintage instruments to recreate the look, feel and sound of the best pre-war acoustic guitars. Greven builds his guitars one at a time - priced from around $4200 to $12,00 depending on the type of wood chosen and the amount of ornamentation or custom work.

Source: Greven guitars website (21 August 2017)


Emile Grimshaw and his son (also called Emile) established a company in 1933 in the United Kingdom to sell banjos. Emile Grimshaw had previously worked at the Clifford Essex company and was a reknowned banjo player and teacher - the initial focus of the Grimshaw company was to sell banjos made by Robert Blake of Finchley, London. By 1940 the Grimshaws had opened their own guitar making workshop and established a reputation as makers of high quality instruments. Initially the guitars were branded as Revelation, Hartford or Premiervox. Following the death of Emile Grimshaw senior in 1943 the guitars were branded as "Grimshaw". During the 1950s they made many archtop, acoustic and electric models - with the first Grimshaw solid body electric introduced in 1959 (the Meteor model). The Grimshaw electric guitars of the 1960s were inspired by Gibson and Fender designs, but the 1970s saw Grimshaw introduce more of its own original designs.


The CSL brand name was used on guitars distributed in the UK by Summerfield Brothers of Gateshead England. CSL stands for Charles Summerfield Limited. CSL guitars were made during the 1970s in the FujiGen Gakki factory in Matsumoto Japan.

FujiGen made many guitars for other brands including Ibanez, Fender, Yamaha and Greco. CSL instruments were typically copies of popular American models including electric and acoustic guitars as well as basses by Fender, Gibson and Rickenbacker. FujiGen certainly knew how to build guitars so the CSL models should  be worth a try.

The CSL company was wound up in 1993, but Maurice Summerfield (the son of Charles) now trades as Summerfield Musical Instruments.



Canadian musical instrument distributer Peate Musical created the Mansfield brand name in the 1950s, after Mansfield Street in Montreal where the Peate music store was located. The original Mansfield guitars were produced in Japan, by makers who later became leading
names in the industry.  Mansfields were produced until the mid-1990s.

Source: Peate Musical archives

Source: Mansfield catalog 1975


Gordy guitars was founded by Gordon Whitham after he left the Gordon Smith Guitar company in the early 1980s. There were Gordy solid body redshift electric and blueshift bass guitars produced until the early 1990s.

Source: Gordy catalog 1985


Grant was a house brand of James Grant Music (Jimmy's) -  a chain of Scottish music shops in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen from the mid 1960s to the mid 1980s. Jimmy Grant imported various instruments from Japan - for example electric guitars were made by Chushin Gakki, FujiGen, Dyna Gakki and possibly Terada. These were sold in Jimmy's shops under the Grant brand name - but also distributed to other UK music shops. The guitars and basses were typically Gibson and Fender copies. There were also Grant branded effects and banjos. The Grant brand was discontinued when Jimmy Grant sold his music shops and emigrated to Spain in the early 1980s

Source: Grant guitars Facebook group - made in Japan sold in Scotland


Picador guitars were relabelled Martin Sigma acoustic guitars - that failed cosmetic quality control checks. Underneath the Picador headstock label is typically the Sigma or Martin logo. C.F. Martin first trademarked Picador brand and logo in 1974, but the trademark expired in 1996.



Peter Gottschall (1949 - 2014) of Uttenweiler, Germany introduced the funnel bodied acoustic guitar in 1994. The funnel bodied guitar was created to improve the bass sound of both a small steel string guitar and of an acoustic bass.  The sound holes are placed on both sides of the neck heel. This means that the soundboard has no sound hole. Without the sound hole lighter top bracing can be used, which improves the sustain and volume.

Source: Gottschall website (Archived 2002)


The Sisme company was founded in 1967 in Osmio, Italy as a distributer of audio, video equipment - including musical instruments. Sisme branded guitars appeared from 1967 onwards - made by other Italian companies including Crucianelli. Sisme owned the Godwin brand.

Source: Sisme website (18 July 2017)


Seagull is a Canadian company and sub-brand of Godin Guitars that produces acoustic guitars. Born out of La Patrie, a small village in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, this company hand crafts acoustic guitars targeted towards working musicians. Established in 1982 by Robert Godin and a few of his friends, this company specializes in making acoustic guitars with solid tops as opposed to laminated tops.

Seagull guitars use a distinctive and recognizable headstock which places the tuning machines roughly in line with the nut to improve tuning stability. Most models are available with either the Godin Quantum I electronics (featuring an under saddle transducer) or the Godin Quantum II electronics (with both a transducer and small microphone which can be blended together).


Gill dreadnought acoustic guitars were made in Israel in the late 1970s and distributed in the USA by National Wholesale Music Corporation, Baltimore. In 1978 the recommended retail price for a Gill acoustic guitar ranged from $289.95 for the F-014 to $489.95 for the top of the range F-136, F-0386 and F-0389 models.

Source: Gill guitars catalog, 1978


Bob Givens started working on instruments in 1962 as a repair person in Los Angeles. From 1962 to 1966 he did over 300 5-string Mastertone conversions and around 10 D45 conversions. He then moved east to Nashville where he became involved in mandolins - first with F5 conversions and then making his own instruments. He designed an A model and went into business with Tut Taylor to mass produce them in the old Harmony guitar factory. The partnership with Tut Taylor did not work out however and in 1974 Givens moved back west to the coast of Washington and got back into custom work and restorations. Having done extensive work on Norman Blake's 1938 Martin D-18, Givens designed his own 18 dreadnought guitar model using that instrument for inspiration. By 1976 he was selling a limited range of acoustic guitars and mandolins, distributed by Guitars Friend, Idaho.  Bob Givens died in 1992 at the age of 50.

Source: RL Givens guitar and mandolin catalog, 1976


Girl brand's Chris Larsen makes guitars as they should be made, each one is a work of art and great fun. Money is not the bottom line with this guy!

The guitars are loosely telecaster shaped, but in Chris Larsen's hands the telecaster is clearly a canvas for artistic expression. Necks are maple with ebony or cocabolo. The bodies have an outside rim of anodized aluminium, with a wood core. The backs are phenolic or formica on birch plywood, and the tops can be almost anything: formica, linen, plastic, zinc, rusted steel, street signs!


Giles USA electric guitars were made in Bellingham, Massachusetts in the late 1990s. Giles made the KL-400 electric guitar which had a cast resin body.

Source: Giles USA catalog 1996


The Kiesel brand was established in 2015 when the guitar and bass making part of Carvin was moved from Carvin Audio into the Kiesel brand name. Kiesel is named after L.C. Kiesel who founded the Carvin Corporation back in 1946 (Carvin was originally called the L.C. Kiesel company until 1949).

Source: Kiesel Guitars website (12 July 2017)


The Garen company has its origins in France in 1946 when its founder Jean Guen began making the first French made amplfiers and pickups. In 1950 he made the first French solid body electric guitar. By the late 1960s Garen was one of the main French amplifier producers, and also offered PA equipment, microphones, guitar effects and pickups. Garen also sold electric guitars - including the Solo and Lido models.

Source: Garen advertisment 1969

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