- electric guitars
Mario Guitars are boutique vintage Fender style electrics made at the Guitar Mill in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Mario Guitar originally began as the “Guitar Mill Custom Shop,” and is named after its founder and owner Mario Martin. Since 2011, Mario Guitars have expanded to include almost a dozen different guitar styles and have been played by musicians such as Hunter Hayes, Chase Bryant, The Brothers Osborne and Saul Zonana.
Mario Martin was originally a country singer, who got his first record deal in 1991 with Nashville's DPI Records. By the end of 1993, DPI had gone out of business and eventually Mario decided to follow his other passion of working on guitars. In 1996, Mario went to work at the Gibson Guitar factory in Nashville. Then in 1999 he went to work in the newly formed Nashville based “Fender / Guild Custom Shop”, alongside master luthier, Evan Ellis. In 2004 he moved into a management position with MIRC (Music Instrument Restoration Corporation) in Franklin, TN. overseeing factory authorized repair work for Yamaha Guitars. Finally in 2005, Mario with his wife Shannon decided to go out on a limb and start making their own brand of custom guitars.
The Martins called their venture The Guitar Mill and began by selling two basic guitar body styles on eBay, the classic “T” (Tele®) and “S” (Strat®) styles. In 2006, the Guitar Mill moved from the Martins' two car garage to its current location in Murfreesboro, Tennessee: a factory that has grown to 4,000 square feet. The Guitar Mill now offers more than a dozen body styles as well as repair, handmade necks, set-up, restoration, aging/relicing, customization, rerouting and custom Nitro finishing services. In 2009, The Guitar Mill Custom Shop (GMCS) was opened offering for the first time a completely finished high-end boutique guitar. In 2011 The Guitar Mill Custom Shop was renamed Mario Guitars replacing the former headstock logo with the current “MM” inscription.