acoustic guitars

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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)

Pace (David J.)

David J. Pace has been making classical guitars since 2002. Pace was initially guided by the luthier Ross Gutmeier, and made guitars based on the designs of Torres, and then by Ignacio Fleta and Robert Bouchet. By 2010 Pace had settled on his own standard model, which combines the tradition of his earlier influences with innovative modern touches like a composite double-top soundboard and carbon-fiber–reinforced neck.

Source: David J. Pace website (4 November 2018)

Palm Bay

The Palm Bay Guitar brand has been around since 1991. The company was founded in the UK by Andrew Mackenzie, who initially made Palm Bay guitars by hand before adding Korean made models to the line-up. Their mainstay is heavy rock superstrat electric guitars but they also produce fixed bridge guitars, basses and electro-acoustics.  Models include:

  • Typhoon 1991-1999. Models: 1, 2, 3, S, Cyrka (Hoodlum)
  • Tidalwave 1991-2002. Models: 1, 2, 3, Custom, R, EXP
  • Cyclone 1995 - onwards. Models: P6, P7, SE, SE-X, SD-X, P7XR, P7XS
  • Pacific Bass 1999-2001. 4 String
  • Atlantic Bass 1999-2001. 4 String
  • Lightning 1999-2002. Models: F-3, F-2, F-1
  • KG-20 1995-1997
  • WG-30 1997-2002
  • FC-8 2012-2014
  • Tempest 2014 - onwards
  • Avalanche XX 1 and 2 2015 - onwards

Source: Palm Bay Guitars website (2 November 2018)


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