electric guitars

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Gil Yaron was born in Israel in 1966 and has many years experience of modifying and repairing guitars. In the 1990s he moved to Los Angeles where he became involved in the vintage guitar market as an expert vintage guitar repairer. Soon the repair jobs developed into partial builds and restoration work. He had been building guitars and basses for some years before deciding to investigate the manufacturing processes used for the iconic 1950s American electric guitars. He amassed all the information, photos, instruments and original paper work needed to accurately reproduce those classics.


Charles Whitfill grew up in rural Kentucky and worked as a machinist on leaving school. He worked his way up from the shop floor eventually becoming a manager in the company. His next job was overseeing production of wooden wine barrels before he finally put his precision machining and wood working experience to use as a custom guitar maker. Whitfill guitars, typically tele or strat style electrics, have steadily grown in popularity and have been used by Jack Pearson, Brent Mason, Johnny Hiland and Vince Gill.


Valery Vaschenko has been making guitars for over 20 years in his workshop outside of Novopolotsk, Belarus. Vaschenko started out in engineering during the Soviet era, but was also a guitar player from childhood. While working at a Soviet space vehicle plant, he would also do stringed instrument repairs for friends. This sideline developed into a full time job and soon he was making guitars as well. Vaschenko's electric guitars are inspired by the tradition of the classic 1950s designs.


Ryan Thorell has been making guitars since the age of 13. Ryan studied guitar making with Tom Ribbecke and also apprenticed under Chris Gouchnour, Joel Nowland and Tim D. Gonzalez respectively. Ryan also found success as a jazz guitarist and guitar teacher, which helps inform his guitar designs. Ryan is a strong believer in the use of hand tools to build an intuitive relationship with each guitar that he creates. Thorell offers archtops, flat-top acoustics and classical guitars.

Source: Thorell Guitars website (22 February 2017)


Mikaël Springer produces hand made electric guitars in his workshop in Valmont, France. Springer's designs are meant to be customised and he strongly believes in the importance of the dialogue between player and maker to adapt each instrument to the player's needs and taste. Springer offers various tonewoods, hardware components, pickups, controls layout, and color options because the best guitar in the world is the one that has been made for you.
Source: Springer Guitars website (22 February 2017)


Jarek Konkol is the founder and the owner of Skervesen Guitars. In the 1980s Konkol began making guitars in his basement. This led to a search for knowledge about guitar making and for him to seek out opportunities to learn traditional guitar making. He spent the next 12 years working for the best regarded Polish guitar company where he further increased his skills. In 1998, he became fascinated by CAD CAM technology and devoted himself to furniture and interior design. This resulted in the creation of the Commelina company, which he still runs.


Sinuous is a Grand Rapids, Michigan company that makes unique, high quality sculpted guitars. Sinuous use innovative design and manufacturing techniques to create instruments that are comfortable to play and look great. Sinuous guitars are designed by Greg Opatik who has a degree in design from Kendall College of Art and Design. Opatik has been creating and developing modern furniture for many years and is also a long time guitar player.

Source: Sinuous Guitars website (22 February 2017)


MeloDuende Guitars was launched in 2009 by Cedric, Jérémy & Bertrand in Semur en Auxois, France. Their first prototypes were built during the 1990’s in a precision mechanics workshop. Inspired by the Rickenbacker & Beauchamp Frying Pan guitar they designed a hollow aluminum bodied guitar with wooden neck. This combination of materials leads to a unique tone - the aluminum body increases sustain and dynamic range but this tone is warmed and rounded by the wooden neck(most Melo’s have solid rosewood necks).

McKay (Ken)

Ken McKay established Up North Strings in Traverse City Michigan primarily to service and sell student stringed instruments and to make double basses. Making guitars, and guitar parts for other luthiers has also been a big part of McKay's business, especially laminated guitar plates for archtop makers. Having made laminated guitars of his own design he wanted to try recreating the original Gibson ES-335 designs - and these became the McKay Tribute series of semi-hollow bodied 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.  


Matt D'Ambrosio started working at Mandolin Brothers in Staten Island as a teenager in 1989. He witnessed first hand the boom in the vintage instrument market in the 1990s and had a great opportunity to learn about the building and repairing of instruments. During this period he also studied luthiery with Carl Thompson, Flip Scipio and John Motellone. In 1998 D'Ambrosio went to work for Guild in Westerly, Rhode Island starting with consumer repair work and eventually doing full rebuilds.


Leonardo Lospennato was born in Buenos Aires in 1968 but now lives in Berlin. He initially worked as a computer engineer, then gained masters degree in marketing and management before working for IBM and eBay. Despite his varied career he has, since the age of 16, had a passion for making musical instruments. He has also published an excellent book on electric guitar and bass design.

Source: Leo Lospennato Custom Guitars website (14 February 2017)


Benjamin Liggett is a Luthier based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He trained at the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery in Phoenix then went to work as a luthier at Bishline Banjos, before establishing Liggett Guitars. Liggett makes hand-crafted electric guitars using exotic woods and thigh quality hardware available. Limited production ensures that each custom guitar is taylored to the customer's personal playing style and tone requirements.


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