acoustic guitars

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Laskin (William)

William Laskin has been making guitars since 1971 and worked for a while with Jean Larrivée in the 1970s. Laskin is an innovator in acoustic guitar design - he originated the built-in armrest and ribrest edge beveling. He also co-developed the sideport soundhole. His steel-string, classical and flamenco guitars are known and coveted around the world. Laskin is also a master of inlays and sometimes uses his guitars as canvases for engraved inlay art. His years of craftsmanship have been recognised with both the Order Of Canada (in 2012) and the Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence (in 1997).

Source: Laskin website (5 December 2017)


Jean Larrivée started out as an apprentice to classical guitar maker Edgar Munch Junior in Toronto in 1967. In 1970 Larrivée aquired a workshop above the Tarragon Theater and began making steel stringed acoustic guitars. He developed an X-bracing system still used today. Larrivée's business grew steadily, which meant several changes of location.  Many talented luthiers spent time working for Larrivée in the 1970s, including: William "Grit" Laskin, Linda Manzer, Sergei de Jong, David Wren and Tony Duggan-Smith. In 1977, seeking a warmer climate, Larrivée moved the business to Victoria on Vancouver Island, BC.


Peter Hopkins first became interested in carved archtop instruments back in 1973 when his father built a Gibson A-5 mandolin. He was in awe of the process of carving a solid piece of wood into an instrument of sublime beauty. Peter continues to impart that reverence for the creative process into each one of his hand-crafted archtop guitars.

Source: Hopkins Guitars website


Michael Heiden began making instruments in Vancouver, British Columbia in the 1970's. He developed a reputation as a skilled repairer and restorer and he used his experience of working on fine vintage instruments to create his own line of guitars and mandolins. Heiden found most of his time was devoted to building mandolins as they became very popular. Recently he has taken a renewed interest in building guitars again and offers acoustic, archtop and Selmer-style Gypsy Jazz guitars.

Source: Heiden Instruments website


Garrison is a Canadian based company, whose innovative ideas concerning acoustic guitar design started as a rough sketch on an airline napkin. For founder Chris Griffiths it was the product of an interest in guitars that started when he was just 12. By the time he was 17 he was working as a guitar repairman at his local guitar shop - but after a while found himself unemployed.

At 19 he started his own company in  St. John’s Newfoundland - Griffiths’ Guitar Works - with a simple but effective ethos, building custom guitars at budget prices. It paid off, and now Griffiths’ Guitar Works is one of the largest custom guitar stores in Atlantic, Canada.

Mario Beauregard

In the early 1990s Mario Beauregard started guitar building with luthier Robert D’Crivouir, while working at Tom Lee music in Vancouver. A few years later he moved back home to Quebec where with the help of a grant from  “Le Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Quebec” he was able to attend the Roberto-Venn school of luthery where he met Ervin Somogyi in one of his master classes. He was later invited to study with him, which represented a turning point in his career.During weekdays he would work and study with Ervin Somogyi and during the weekends he would drive up to Taku Sakashta’s shop to learn about archtops. He also went on to work as the designer in the R&D department of Lasido for a period of 4 years. Mario is presently a one-man operation in the small town of St-Denis-sur-Richelieu near Montreal, Quebec and continues to act as a consultant in the industry.


Maton was established in 1946 by Bill May, a Melbourne-born jazz musician, woodwork teacher and luthier. Maton opened their first factory Canterbury, Melbourne, in 1949 and in the following years more than 300 different models made there. In 1990 Maton relocated to a bigger and more modern factory in Bayswater, Melbourne. 2002 saw another move to Box Hill, Melbourne to an even bigger factory to satisfy the growing demand for Maton guitars.

Source: Maton Guitars website (24 February 2018)

de Jonge (Sergei)

Sergei de Jonge began playing the guitar as a teenager in Toronto. While in college de Jonge was introduced to Jean Larrivée by his guitar teacher - this led to him leaving college to work in Larrivée's newly established workshop until 1971. de Jonge then went to work for Patt Lister in Collingwood until 1972 when he left to set up his own workshop in Toronto making guitars in the way he had been taught by Larrivée. He made mostly classical guitars until 1979 when he began building both steel and classical guitars. He continued building guitars while raising his family until he lost his workshop unexpectedly in 1986 and then went to work as a carpenter on film sets. in 1992 he set up a small home workshop on the Lakeshore in Toronto. In 1995 he began giving guitar making classes and has been making guitars continuously ever since.


Marc Beneteau opened his first shop in 1974 in Ottawa, Ontario inspired by Canadian guitar maker Jean Larriveé to pursue a career in luthiery. Since that time Beneteau has been exploring the mystery and intricacies that make the perfect acoustic guitar. Beneteau has always been a one-man operation and he has made over 700 guitars so far from his workshop in St Thomas Ontario. Beneteau acoustic guitars are used by two time North American Fingerstyle Champion Don Ross, world renowned Celtic guitarist, Tony McManus as well as top players, Craig D'Andrea, David Gillis, Paul Asbell, Del Vezeau, and Ray Montford.

Encore Musical Instruments

Encore Musical Instruments was established in 1993 and offers a one-stop guitar and drum shop with private lessons and more.

On the side of this music store is a mural of Garnet Gillies, the man behind the Winnipeg Garnet amplifiers company (used by Randy Bachman), as well as a Burns Hank Marvin Guitar.

Link: Mural at Second Encore Music

Up until around 2005 the store was called Second Encore Music.


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