electric guitars

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Mike Ponce (born 1974) is a builder of electric guitars. He has worked in the musical instrument industry since the early 1990s. Initially at Fender for 7 years, he then worked at Rickebacker and then for 16 years as a production manager at Suhr Guitars. He left Suhr in 2018 to establish his own electric guitar company, specializing in strat-style guitars.


Splawn Amplification was founded by Scott Splawn in 2004 in Dallas, North Carolina. Scott had previously been selling guitars & doing repairs since 1996. He studied up on tube amps & repairs before modding his own Marshall amps to give them extra gain. This led to a business modding Marshall amps and eventually to full scale production of Splawn tube amplifiers in 2004. Splawn also offers electric guitars.

Source: Splawn Amplification website (19 July 2023)


Belvedere Instrument Company was established by Brett Hawes. Brett makes Belvedere electric guitars and pickups in his workshop in the Mile End Guitar Co-op in Montreal. Brett previously worked as a manufacturing specialist for Next Gen Guitars where he helped design and build hand-wound guitar pickups, guitar harnesses and instrument cables.  After leaving Next Gen Guitars, Brett started a business winding custom pickups for builders and hobbyists. He launched Belvedere Instrument Co. in 2022 with his own sleek design electric guitars which incorporate his unique hand wound pickups.

Source: Belvedere Instrument Company website (14 July 2023)

TLL Guitars

TLL electric and arch top guitars are hand made in Sweden by Tobias Lundberg. In his youth, Tobias Lundberg frequently accompanied his father to restoration projects in the southern regions of Sweden, involving old churches and houses. Witnessing the transformation of raw wood into aesthetically pleasing creations left a lasting impression on him, fostering a deep appreciation for woodworking.

Music held a significant place in Tobias's life. At the age of fourteen, he embarked on his musical journey by learning to play the guitar. Engaging in various band setups and composing original songs became integral parts of his musical pursuits. It was the realization that he could meld his love for woodworking with music by crafting his own guitars that truly captivated him.

Thomas Ochs

Thomas Ochs is a German luthier who specialises in making classical guitars based on the principles of Michael Kasha. Ochs also makes a variety of other instruments including electric basses and guitars. He learned guitar making from 1996 to 1999 as an apprentice at Hanika. A seminar with Boaz Elkayam inspired him as to the benefits of Kasha construction. He then studied from 2000-2004 at the University of Applied Sciences for Music Instrument Making in Markneukirchen, before opening his own workshop in Kemmern, near Bamberg. Ochs also publishes research into instrument design and construction as well as teaching music instrument making in Markneukirchen at the West Saxon University of Applied Sciences in Zwickau.

Source: Thomas Ochs website (12 July 2023)


Guttlin Guitars is a Belgium-based custom guitar manufacturer established in 2007 by musician Karel Phlix. Seeking to create distinct models with a vintage essence, Phlix developed the Thin King, a guitar design that pays homage to classic styles while maintaining a unique identity. Over time, Guttlin expanded its repertoire to encompass a range of original designs for various guitar types and basses.

In addition to crafting guitars, Guttlin ventured into pickup production under the brand "BarBar Pickups," and manufactures bridges, tailpieces, and knobs in-house. The company uses traditional manufacturing techniques, eschewing CNC machining, 3D printing, or outsourcing, emphasizing the creation of "HANDCRAFTED ORIGINALS."


Charlie Hunter, Clay Conner and Wes Lambe joined forces to start Hybrid Guitars. Hunter is a well known player of 7 and 8 string guitars. Clay Conner has been making guitars since 1996 and has worked with Hamer, Ralph Novak and Guru guitars as well as making his own Clay Conner instruments. Clay runs the workshop at Hybrid Guitars. Wes Lambe is a guitar maker well known for his 7 and 8 string fanned fret guitars, who has built custom instruments for Moog Music and for players including Pat Metheny, Charlie Hunter, Sean Lennon, Trent Reznor, Mike League, and Nels Cline.

Retro Guitars

Retro Guitars are made by Chris O'Dee in Pataskala, Ohio. Chris founded Retro Guitars in 2012 building the business up from humble beginnings to a 600 square-foot workshop. Jeremy Hodges handles the finishing and together they have made custom guitars for Sheryl Crow, Mike McCready, Billy Gibbons, Joan Jett, Peter Stroud, Mark Chatfield, Kenny Greenberg, Brad Paisley and Bernie Marsden. As well as completed guitars they also sell bodies, necks and pickups.

Source: Retro Guitars website (28 June 2023)


Greg DeLuis has been making guitars since the early 2000s. He makes them by hand in his workshop in Los Angeles. All inlay is hand cut and all guitars are hand carved and he favors traditional techniques to ensure that all instruments are of the highest quality. His range includes acoustic and archtop designs as well as semi-hollow and solid body electric guitars. DeLuis also offers tributes to the iconic Tiger and Wolf guitars played by Jerry Garcia.

Source: DeLuis Guitars website (11 July 2023)


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