acoustic guitars

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Michael Lazar

Michael Lazar began making classical guitars in 1980 using Irving Sloane's book "Classic Guitar Construction". Leo Brouwer tried on of his early instruments, gave some constructive criticism and encouraged him to keep building. Over the next 20 years Lazar made around 30 more instruments - while also working full time as a banker. He retired from banking in 2000 and was able to put more energy in his guitar making. In 2001 he attended a master class in luthiery led by Gregory Byers and incorporated the new methods he learned into his own instruments. From 2004 onwards Lazar has been systematically researching new innovations in classical guitar design such as elevated fret boards, lattice and other top bracing designs, double tops, acoustic ports and non traditional bridge designs and numerous other modern approaches.

Geza Burghardt

Geza Burghardt received his Maestro Certificate in 1981 for Fretted and Stringed Instrument Making in Budapest, Hungary before opening his own business. In 1988 he moved to Vancouver, Canada in 1988 with his family and worked for many years in a music store as a luthier. In 1996 he opened his own luthiery business on Granville Island where he mainly builds guitars. He also teaches classical guitar construction and repair/restoration of the violin family.

Source: Geza Burghardt website (21 October 2020)

Len Letourneau

Len Letourneau makes classical guitars by hand in Morinville, Alberta. Letourneau had a background in making intricate models from wood and brass but his interest in making guitars started in his 30s after buying a fine classical guitar from Geza Burghardt in Vancouver. Burghardt saw pictures of his wood & metalwork and asked him to build a special luthiery tool. This cemented a friendship and led to Letourneau making precision tools to perform delicate operations in the process of guitar making. After a few more years Geza suggested he should build guitars. With the help of Michael Lazar and Geza Burghardt, and his acquired skills he was soon building very fine handmade classical guitars.

Source: Letourneau guitars website (21 October 2020)

Malone Guitars

Malone Guitars is a boutique guitar maker and repair workshop, based in Billericay, Essex, UK. Owned and operated by luthier Ian Malone, Malone Guitars hand-build a small number of high quality electric and acoustic guitars every year. The majority of their guitars are built by commission to customer specification, with occasional unique builds sold direct through the Malone Guitars web shop.


Oliver Specht has been building instruments since 1991. From 1991 to 1993 he studied guitar building with Michael Dunn at Douglas College. The next year he started Specht Guitars while also studying cabinet-making and woodworking at BCIT. From 1995-2005  he repaired musical instruments with Paul Iverson at Calder Music and at Tom Lee Music.  From 2005-2011 he designed and built various electric and acoustic guitars, basses and baritone guitars. He exhibited some of these guitars at the Montreal Guitar Show. Since then he has also repaired and serviced guitars for Long & McQuade in Nanaimo.

Source: Specht Guitars website (20 October 2020)


Sovereign was an Oscar Schidt brand name used for banjos, mandolins and guitars used from 1879 until the late 1930s when Harmony bought the rights to the name. Harmony used "Sovereign" as a model name.


Gary Southwell studied Guitar Making at The London College of Furniture after which in 1983 he set up his first workshop in Nottingham. At first he specialised in making historical guitars of the early 19th century. In 1989 he created The Temperate Guitar - made using woods only from temperate climates. In the early 1990s he started to make his distinctive A Series Guitars, which drew on the Viennese style of guitar making. He moved to Hough on the Hill, a small village in Lincolnshire in 2011 and began using Fenland Black Oak, also known as Bog Oak, for guitars. In 2018 he moved to Northumberland, where continues to make his own uniquely designed guitars and replicas of famous historical ones.

Source: Gary Southwell guitars website (16 October 2020)


Sonoro was a brand name used by Kiso-Suzuki (Suzuki Violin Company) for acoustic and classical guitars made in Nagano, Japan.


Sonora acoustic guitars were made in Europe in the early/mid 20th century - possibly related to Busato. These early ones have "Sonora" stamped on the soundboard Circa 2020 the brand was still in use on budget imported classical guitars as well as strings distriuted by the Sonora Strings company.


Rossco Wright and Frank Nakatsuma invented the SoloEtte Travel Guitar in 1993.  Rossco made 5,367 SoloEttes in Eugene, Oregon, with 10 employees. He also licensed the design to Aria Guitars who made 25,000 of them under the Sinsonido model name.

Source: Rossco Wright website (8 October 2020)


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