RAMA electric guitars and basses were made in Melbourne, Australia. RAMA was founded in 1978 by ex-Maton employee Barry Cowen and his friend Leon Bronson. RAMA guitars were made by hand from exotic and rare hardwoods and top quality hardware. They sold through a small network of shops including Dynasound in Melbourne and Ebony Music in Sydney. RAMA Guitars was closed down in the early 1980s after making around 90 instruments.
Fabio Ragghianti was inspired to become a guitar maker when he visited luthier Carlo Raspagni’s workshop to order a guitar. In 1981 he started an appreticeship with the luthiers Leo Biancardi and Paolo Vettori - he soon gave up his day job as a languages teacher to become a luthier himself. Over the following years he continued learning at Malden School of Musical Instrument Repair in England & Maestro Matter’s Workshop in Portugal and visits to various luthiers such as David Rubio and Daniel Friederich. Ragghianti received awards in 1993 and again in 1995 at the International Contest of Baveno and in 1998 as Artisan of the Year from the Rotary Club. Ragghianti also speaks about guitar making at international conferences and has taught luthiery.
Radian was a brand name of New Zealander Adrian Hamilton (Ash Custom Works) who has been hand making electric & acoustic guitars and basses since 1992. Adrain Hamilton introduced the Radian brand in 2007 (Radian is an anagram of Adrian) - these were an affordable combination of NZ made bodies, Japan/USA made necks and the good value hardware.
Orlando Quagliardi founded an accordion making company in Castelfidardo, Italy in 1921. Quagliardi was one of the first Italian accordion companies to start making guitars. They usually used their Welson brand name, but their guitars were also distributed under the Dynacord (in Germany) and Wurlitzer (in the USA) brands. The first Welson solid bodies appeared in 1962 and were similar to the Bartolini-Gemelli Galaxy model. As the 1960s went on Welson focused on semi-acoustic archtops and a 335 style model - Welson had a reputation as one of Italy's best guitar makers.
Phoenix guitars and bassed were distributed in Canada in the early 1980s by B&J Music Ltd of Toronto - (a division of Hornberger Music Ltd founded when Greg Hornberger bought the Buegeleisen & Jacobson Company of New York in the 1970s). Phoenix Vintage Series guitars & basses were copies of Fender & Gibson designs were imported (from Japan?) and had DiMarzio pickups. There was also a Phoenix Phantom Series including a super-strat, super-tele and a bass.
Otentic guitars are hand made by Rene Meulmeester in the Netherlands from high quality components. Otentic bodies and necks are CNC machined from selected wood and their pickups are handwound to Otentic's specifications. All instruments are finished using oil - no lacquer is used on the body or neck. Otentic instruments are usually Fender style electric guitars and basses.
Suntech was an electric guitar and bass brand from the late 1970s to 1980s. Suntech instruments were made in Japan for overseas distribution. Suntech guitars typically good copies of Fender, Gibson and Rickenbacker models - but there were also some nice original variations like Suntech's Limited Edition neck-through version of the stratocaster.
Phantom Guitars and basses was a brand name owned by Island Musical Supplies (Staten Island, New York) in the 1980s. Phantom instruments were made in Korea and included a complete range of electric, acoustic and bass guitars as well as mandolins and banjos.
K Nyui Custom Guitars is a high end brand name of the Japanese PGM (Professional Guitar Manufacture) company - named after PGM founder Kazuhiko Nyui. Kazuhiko Nyui studied classical guitar making with Yukinobu Chai and worked for ESP before founding PGM in 1978.
PGM (Professional Guitar Manufacture) is a Japanese company founded by Kazuhiko Nyui and Katsumi Omote around 1978 after they both left ESP. Kazuhiko Nyui had previously studied classical guitar making with Yukinobu Chai. PGM make VanZandt guitars - not officially linked the with Van Zandt pickups brand, although these guitars are fitted with Van Zandt pickups. These hand made VanZandt guitars are some of the best Japanese Fender copies, finished using a very thin all-nitrocellulose coat. PGM also make Moon guitars - another highly-regarded Japanese guitar and bass brand and K. Nyui Custom Guitars.
Perl Gold was a brand name of German musical instrument distributor Kurt Gropp. Kurt Gropp opened his mail order business in 1922 in Siebenbrunn near Markneukirchen, and then moved it to Breitenfeld in 1925. Kurt Gropp's two sons: Gerhard Gropp (1931 - 1999) and Armin Gropp were both master luthiers. Kurt Gropp traded as a private company until April 1972 when it was forcibly nationalized and became part of the VEB group trading under the name VEB Perl Gold until 1975 and then VEB Sinfonia Markneukirchen. In 1979 Kurt Gropp died at the age of 78 years. Armin Gropp and his son Mario Gropp restarted the Gropp business as a private company after the reunification of Germany in 1990.
Ronin Guitars hand made from reclaimed old growth redwood in California. Ronin electric guitars are made by Izzy Lugo and John Reed, while Ronin’s acoustic models are built by John's father Jack Reed. The project started when Jack Reed took a chainsaw to an old-growth stump on his property in Humboldt County and made a guitar out of it for John. John Reed teamed up with guitar tech Izzy Lugo and opened a guitar store in New York selling these guitars made from salvaged redwood, before relocating the business to California. In 2016 they revamped the Ronin range, introducing some great original designs alongside their versions of the classic Strat, Les Paul and Tele shapes. Their guitars are not exclusively made from salvaged redwood - you will find mahogany and maple examples.
Rivertone is the brand name of luthier John Robinson based in Yorkshire, England. Robinson makes one-off electric guitars and basses by hand, specialising in neck-though designs, often with figured tops made from English walnut or sycamore.