acoustic guitars

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Louis Panormo (1784-1862) was a maker of guitars in the Spanish style in Bloomsbury, London. Louis Panormo was the son of Sicilian violin maker Vicenzo Panormo (1734-1813) who moved to London with his four sons who all found work as musicians, instrument makers or music publishers. Louis advertised himself as “the only maker of guitars in the Spanish style”, and had this slogan painted above his shop on Bloomsbury High Street. Panormo's guitars were well known and the Spanish guitarist Antonio Trinitario Huerta (1800-1874) played a Panormo guitar in 1827 while in England. Panormo's daugher Angelina married Huerta in 1828. Louis emigrated to New Zealand In 1859 with his wife Sarah and three of their children.

Source: Louis Panormo label: Arthur Robb luthier & restorer of 22 Panormo guitars (6 December 2018)


Kolya Panhuyzen worked with his uncle master luthier Edgar Mönch for three years, in Toronto, Canada and later in Germany. He started his own workshop in 1974 and has been making classical guitars ever since. He moved his workshop from Toronto to Germany in 1992. His guitars are valued for their balance, wide tonal palette, and playability. They have been used by many professional classical guitarists including: Jury Clormann, Carlo Domeniconi, Duo Flâmas, Zoran Dukic, Günther Görtz, Giovanni Grano, Helmut Jasbar, Hubert Käppel, Dale Kavanagh, Matt Palmer, Krzystof Pelech, Sonja Prunnbauer, Nathasja van Rosse, Raphaëlla Smits, Harald Stampa, Elisabeth Trechslin, Trio de Cologne, and Laura Young,

Source: Panhuyzen Guitars website (5 December 2018)


Panache is a budget electric and acoustic guitar brand: the range includes Chinese made Gibson Les Paul and Flying V copies as well as Ovation style acoustics. Their label reads "Panache Guitars, San Antonio, TX", so possibly distributed by a San Antonio company.


PANaramic electric guitars were built by Crucianelli in Italy for Pancordion Inc. a musical instrument distributor in New York City. The identical models can be found elsewhere under different brand names (e.g. Vox, Elite, Tonemaster). There were also PANaramic acoustic guitars - its unclear whether these were also all made by Crucianelli. Other Pancordion affiliated companies distributed PANaramic instruments and amplifiers, including Ernest Deffner of New York.

Source: PANaramic catalogs 1963 - 1965


Pan guitars were distributed in Canada by Turner Musical Instruments Limited from the late 1960s into the 1970s. Pan guitars were made in Japan and the range included acoustic, electric and bass guitars which were copies of the iconic American designs.

Source: Pan catalogs 1968-169


Sofia was a brand name of Shino Musical Instrument Corporation, who sold high priced Japanese made Pablo and Sofia acoustic guitars in the 1970s.Their slogan was:

High price yes! But Pablo and Sofia are the Stradivari of guitars.

Source: Pablo & Sofia catalog 1970s


Pablo was a brand name of Shino Musical Instrument Corporation, who sold high priced Japanese made Pablo and Sofia acoustic guitars in the 1970s.Their slogan was:

High price yes! But Pablo and Sofia are the Stradivari of guitars.

Source: Pablo & Sophia catalog 1970s


Nelson Palen has been making archtop guitars since around 1999. His guitars are held in high esteem by jazz guitarists including George Benson and Rodney Jones. Palen started making guitars while working as a design engineer at Sunflower Manufacturing in Beloit, Kansas. A co-worker there encouraged him to make his first guitar.  Palen made his first archtop using information from the internet as well as internet-based guitar-making  class, and a video on the subject. He  also corresponded with other archtop builders. Palen's archtops are very light and acoustic and use “X” bracing like D’Aquisto instruments. Their hand carved top and back is slightly thicker than many other archtops, contributing to a very resonant and acoustic tone.


Benjamin Paldacci moved from his home country of France in 2009 to study guitarmaking, at the National School of Lutherie, in Quebec City, Canada. He graduated in 2013 and opened his own workshop in 2014 making acoustic steel string and nylon string guitars. His designs are original and beautifully finished: his inlay-work is exquisite using a new theme for each instrument, echoed in the rosette, the headstock, and the endgraft.

Source: Benjamin Paldacci website (29 November 2018)


Dave Painter made acoustic guitars in Chantilly, Virginia from around 2005 onwards in his spare time. From the Painter Guitars website (archived in 2005):   

I am not a professional luthier.  That may seem an unusual statement to open with but it happens to be true.  A friend of mine said it best when he described himself as a "Serious Amateur"  I like that, and I'm going to steal his title.  I am a Serious Amateur.  Heck, a "Professional" has to make a living doing whatever he  claims as his profession.  I have the luxury of building guitars simply because I love doing it.

Starforce 8000 Series

The Starforce 8000 series were stratocaster and telecaster style electric guitars made in Korea from 1988 until 1989. The 8000 Series were maked Starforce "USA" models and included; the 8000, 8001, 8002, 8003, 8004, 8005, 8006, 8007, 8008 and 8009 (electro-acoustic model). The matching bass guitars were the 7000 models. The wood used for the body varied, most had bolt on necks, fingerboards were maple, rosewood or ebonol. All the 8000 series had Scorcherz pickups. The entry level models had dot fingerboard markers, but the more expensive ones had stars and planets.

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Vestax ES-1500

Vestax ES-1500 acoustic guitar

Vestax was in partnership with D'Angelico guitars around 2000 when they collaborated on the design of the Modern Acoustic series. The Vestax Modern Acoustic ES-1500 is a thinline archtop acoustic electric guitar with all solid wood construction and an unusual body profile (front and back arch towards the sides of the body), spruce top, mahogany back and sides, 9v battery powered pickup with standard jack in the end pin.


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Washburn SBT21 solid body acoustic guitar

The Washburn SBT21 was introduced around 1987 as part of their solid body acoustic series. It offered a slim, rock maple neck with rosewood fingerboard. The mahogany body was routed using CNC machines - and the design aimed to enhance the acoustic properties of the instrument. The SBT21 had a spruce top. Electronics were a master volume, master tone a midrange "fat" control to increase the presence of the instrument. The design of the SBT21 offered a acoustic tone without feedback even when performing at concert levels.

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Saxon 825

Saxon 825 acoustic guitar

The Saxon 825 model was a dreanought acoustic with a three-piece maple and jacaranda back. The Saxon 825 was reviewed in International Musician & Recording World magazine in April 1975   as follows:

Despite the jumbo tag, the Saxon 825 does not belong to that unwieldy monster breed which is so difficult to play. It is a jumbo in that it's larger than the average steel-strung acoustic, but it's comfortable to play and still produces more volume than most acoustics.

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Juan Román Padilla was born in Granada  in 1928. On leaving school he went from technical drawing into working with his uncle who was a cabinet-maker.  Juan’s father was a music teacher, composer and guitarist and he soon combined this background with his wood-working skills to make bandurrias, and later guitars and lutes. By 2013 Juan had retired from making guitars.

Source: Granada expert: Juan Román Padilla (5 November 2018)


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