acoustic guitars

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Raleigh was a brand name of Aloha Musical Instrument company - named after founder Jack Raleigh who was a 1920s steel guitarist.

Manouk Papazian

Manouk Papazian was born in 1914 in Smyrna, Turkey into an Armenian family. His family soon left Turkey for Argentina, escaping the Armenian Genocide of 1914 - 1923. While in Buenos Aires Papazian became a self taught luthier in 1934 and worked there professionally from 1949 to 1956. In 1956 he moved to New York, where he made violins, violas, cellos, lutes, vihuelas and classical guitars. By 1981 he had made over 50 classical guitars, nearly 50 lutes and around 25 each of the other instruments. Manouk Papazian died in 1999.

Source: Amati Auctions website (1 April 2009)

Source: Directory of Contemporary American Musical Instrument Makers. Susan Caust Farrell. 1981

Fabio Ragghianti

Fabio Ragghianti was inspired to become a guitar maker when he visited luthier Carlo Raspagni’s workshop to order a guitar. In 1981 he started an appreticeship with the luthiers Leo Biancardi and Paolo Vettori - he soon gave up his day job as a languages teacher to become a luthier himself. Over the following years he continued learning at Malden School of Musical Instrument Repair in England & Maestro Matter’s Workshop in Portugal and visits to various luthiers such as David Rubio and Daniel Friederich. Ragghianti received awards in 1993 and again in 1995 at the International Contest of Baveno and in 1998 as Artisan of the Year from the Rotary Club. Ragghianti also speaks about guitar making at international conferences and has taught luthiery.

Source: Fabio Ragghianti website (30 March 2019)

Pickard (Jason)

Jason Pickard gained a Masters Degree in music performance from East Carolina University, studying classical guitar. He also taught music and worked as Director of Education for MARS Music, Inc. in Charlotte, NC.  By 2006 he was making classical guitars, working out of the Music 49 shop in Charlotte, NC - while also teaching music. Circa 2018 Jason Pickard seems more involved in making custom electric guitars than in the classical models.


Pascal Quinson has been a luthier since 1987. He started out in Toulouse, at quai de la Daurade. He was partly self taught but also learned from luthiers in Paris. Now works in Montauban where he makes violins, lutes and classical guitars.


Ricardo Quiles Ballester was a maker of guitars, bandurrias, lutes and other stringed instruments in Catarroja, Valencia in Spain. Ricardo opened his own workshop in 1959 after working with Ricardo Sanchis. His son Rafae Quiles Ballester joined him in the business and eventually took over.


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 (Guitar Company)

Phoenix Guitar Company is run by George Leach who first started working on guitars in 1988. From 1988 to 1994 he worked under the name of “GSL Guitars” but then changed the name to the Phoenix Guitar Company, and opened a store in Phoenix . The store specialized in building custom instruments and repairs until it closed in 1996. This allowed George to concentrate on building custom guitars - specialising in archtop, acoustic and classical guitars as well ascasionally doing repairs or restorations.

Source: Phoenix Guitar Company website (13 February 2019)

Phantom Guitars

Phantom Guitars and basses was a brand name owned by Island Musical Supplies (Staten Island, New York) in the 1980s. Phantom instruments were made in Korea and included a complete range of electric, acoustic and bass guitars as well as mandolins and banjos.

Source: Phantom Guitars catalogs (1985 - 1987)


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