acoustic guitars

product rdf: 


Old Hickory

Old Hickory was a budget guitar, mandolin and banjo brand. Although their logo stated "Nashville Tennessee" these instruments were made in Asia. Not to be confused with Gibson's Old Hickory Les Pauls-  200 of these guitars (& 2 acoustic guitars) were made using old poplar and hickory trees from a garden near Andrew  ('Old Hickory') and Rachel Jackson's tomb.


Odessa was a budget guitar and banjo brand owned by Davitt & Hanser in the USA. A different Odessa Guitars brand existed in the UK around 2015, for custom made guitars.


Robert O'Brien started making guitars in 1997 in São Paulo, Brazil under the guidance Antonio Tessarin. On his return to the USA he studied guitar making with Kent Everett in Atlanta and also in Spain with José Romanillos. O'Brien makes classical and acoustic guitars and in 2003 he founded the Lutherie Program in the Fine Woodworking Department at Red Rocks Community College in Denver, CO.

Source: O'Brien Guitars website (21 September 2018)


Fritz Ober began making guitars in his twenties, guided by luthierie books. He later apprenticed with Helmut Buchsteiner in Bavaria and went into full time work as a instrument maker. Initially he concentrated on making lutes and 19th century-style guitars before adding modern classical guitars to his range of instruments.


Oakwood Instruments is run by Martyn Banks and Gordon Hewson. Martyn trained as a designer. His final year project, on the hurdy-gurdy, led him to an instrument- making career. After working with an organ-maker, he began making harps. In 1979 he met Gordon, who had accumulated a varied range of skills from upholstery and leatherwork to furniture and motorbike restoration, before turning to lutherie. They make their instruments by hand in a small workshop in Oakwood, Leeds and offer a full range of acoustic and electric instuments including: mandolins, mandolas, banjos, bouzoukis, citterns, guitars, harps and dulcimers.

Source: Oakwood Instruments website (18 September 2018)


Lawrence Nyberg studied traditional stringed instrument construction for 2 years with Michael Dunn in New Westminster, B.C., and made his first classical guitar, in 1989 at the age of 19. He then worked with Larrivee guitars for two years, refining his tool skills and production techniques. After leaving Larrivee he worked for 6 years as an independent luthier  in Vancouver, B.C.  Then in 1997 he moved to Hornby Island, B.C. where he designs and builds bouzoukis, mandolins and acoustic guitars.

Source: Nyberg Instruments website (17 September 2018)

Núñez (Lucio)

Lucio Núñez first started making guitars in Mexico City in the early 1980s. Initially he made lutes, vihuelas, and electric and acoustic guitars, mandolins and charangos. By 1982 he was specializing in classical and flameco guitars. After moving to San Antonio, Texas, he began to experiment with lattice bracing.  Núñez uses traditional techniques and mostly works with hand tools. He can use the fan-braced system or contemporary designs but most of the time, he uses a lattice-bracing system.

Source: Lucio Núñez website (14 September 2018)


Ian Noyce began making guitars as a teenager in the 1960s. He studied engineering but quit his engineering career in 1975 to become a full time guitar builder. Since then he has developed a range of electric and acoustic guitars, basses and mandolins which he makes in Mount Clear, Australia.

Source: Noyce Guitars website (14 September 2018)

Nova (USA)

Nova Guitars USA was founded by John Buscarino in the early 1980s. By the late 1980s the Nova range included electric guitars and basses as well as electro-acoustic steel-string and nylon-string models. Buscarino developed an improved releasable neck joint for his instruments (patented in 1989). Around 1991 the Nova Guitar Company was sold to Japanese investors -  so they could obtain the rights to this neck joint. Buscarino carried on making archtop guitars under his own name and the Nova USA brand was discontinued in the early 1990s. Since then Sears catalog company has used the Nova brand for Chinese made electric guitars.

Source: Nova catalog 1989.

Source: Buscarino neck patent

Source: Buscarino website


The Nouveau By Gibson brand was used by Gibson from 1986 to 1987 on acoustic guitars assembled in the USA from Japanese made parts.

Source: Acoustic Guitars: The Illustrated Encyclopedia. edited by Tony Bacon, Nigel Osborn


Jaakko Noso (1913 - 2013) was a Finnish instrument maker. Noso made his first violin while in the army in 1933 and following the second world war began to sell his violins and guitars in local music shops. He opened his own factory in Järvenpää in 1945 where it ran until 1965. The factory was situated at Setulantie 13 - opposite the current music school (Keskisen Uudenmaan Musiikkiopisto), but was replaced by a block of apartments in 1973. At the peak of production in the late 1950s there were 12 people working there and it produced around 10,000 instruments in total - making Noso second only to Landola as a Finnish guitar maker. With success came large tax bills which led to the eventual closure of the Noso factory in 1965. Jaakko Nosos left Finland and moved to Vancouver, Canada. Noso made some instruments in Canada but it was difficult to compete with cheap Japanese instruments in the late 1960s.


Steve Hinde (Hinde Custom Instruments) has been building custom made instruments since 2002. Hinde makes: mandolins, mandolas, octave mandolins, acoustic and electric guitars, resonator guitars, electric mandolins and electric bass guitars. Hinde has earned a reputation for building great custom mandolins and guitars.

Norris (Jim)

Jim Norris (1926 - 2000) was a pioneer of the classical guitar in Chicago during the late 1950s and early 1960s, as a player, teacher, guitar maker and founder of the Mid-America Guitar Society. In the 1970s he worked as a carpenter and cabinet maker in the construction industry, but returned to guitar making in the 1980s and 1990s.

Source: Jim Norris obituary 2000


Dave Bell runs Nolan String Works in West Yorkshire, UK. Dave began making guitars in the 1980s where he established his own workshop in his garage in Carmel, California. In 1989 he began selling instruments, Dave makes one of a kind instruments to custom order including electric, acoustic, classical, archtop and bass guitars.

Source: Nolan String Works website (4 September 2018)


Subscribe to RSS - acoustic guitars