- acoustic guitars
- resonator guitars
Beltona was established in 1990 as a partnership between Steve Evans and Bill Johnson. Evans and Johnson (a luthier and engineer respectively) shared an interest in resonator instruments, and set out to produce a couple of instruments for themselves replicating the best features of the originals but also making adjustments and improvements where they were needed. The business grew from this, producing high quality metal instruments at a time when these were not being made by anyone else. Beltona continues to break new ground by producing quality, handcrafted carbon and glass fibre instruments. The idea for this came in the mid 1990s primarily to cut down on production costs and time to be able to keep the instruments affordable. The unexpected discovery of the other advantages of this material over metal was a huge bonus. The improvements are in the areas of sound projection, weight, strength and ease/speed of production. With the success of this development, Beltona had, by 2002, moved from producing both types of instruments to concentrating solely on those made of resin. The first instruments made were tricones (the most difficult instrument to construct) followed by single resonators, ukuleles, mandolins and then innovative electro-resonators and mandola. Beltona moved from the UK to Steve’s native New Zealand in 1998 and, by the early 2000s, Steve was sole owner of the business. Beltona has been based in the UK once again since 2013.