electric guitars

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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.

Source: Guitar Nerd - RAMA Guitars (23 April 2019)


Raleigh was a brand name of Aloha Musical Instrument company - named after founder Jack Raleigh who was a 1920s steel guitarist.


Rahan guitars are handmade in Texas. Rahan started in 1997 when Rick Cantu made a strat copy for a friend. Several custom guitars later he met skilled guitar maker Mike Curd who became his business partner. They founded Rahan guitars, named after Rick's daughters Rachel and Hannah. Rahan guitars were initially sold locally in Houston and Austin by word of mouth. In 2002 they launched their web site to make Rahan guitars more available to other areas. Circa 2019 the company is now called USA Guitars and deals in boutique electric guitars by other makers as well as offering Texas made Rahan instruments.

Source: Rahan Guitars website (archived 2011)

Fabio Ragghianti

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.

Source: Fabio Ragghianti website (30 March 2019)


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.

Source: Radian Guitars website (Archived 2013)

Sky Guitars (Uli Jon Roth)

Sky guitars are designed by Uli Jon Roth and made in Germany by Roth's favorite luthier, Boris Dommenget. The business was founded in 2017 and offers ten series of Sky guitars - divided into three main families: Pegasus, Aquila and Unicorn. The Sky guitar design was first produced in the 1980s, when Roth commissioned construction of custom guitars with 30 frets from luthier Andreas Demetriou. Extra higher frets were added to emulate the high notes of a violin.

Pickard (Jason)

Jason Pickard gained a Masters Degree in music performance from East Carolina University, studying classical guitar. He also taught music and worked as Director of Education for MARS Music, Inc. in Charlotte, NC.  By 2006 he was making classical guitars, working out of the Music 49 shop in Charlotte, NC - while also teaching music. Circa 2018 Jason Pickard seems more involved in making custom electric guitars than in the classical models.

CR Alsip

C.R. Alsip Guitars is a boutique electric guitar maker established in Arkansas City, Kansas in  2012. In 2014 the company moved to Atlanta, Georgia and then again in 2018 to Dallas, Georgia. The company was named in memory of Connie Rae Alsip-Willoughby,  the mother of the founder Jake Willoughby.

Source: C.R. Alsip Guitars website


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.

Photo Genic

Photo-Genic electric guitars and basses are made in China. Typically budget copies of Fender and Gibson models - but also some more original designs.

Phoenix (Canada)

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.

Source: Phoenix catalog early 1980s

Phoenix (Guitar Company)

Phoenix Guitar Company is run by George Leach who first started working on guitars in 1988. From 1988 to 1994 he worked under the name of “GSL Guitars” but then changed the name to the Phoenix Guitar Company, and opened a store in Phoenix . The store specialized in building custom instruments and repairs until it closed in 1996. This allowed George to concentrate on building custom guitars - specialising in archtop, acoustic and classical guitars as well ascasionally doing repairs or restorations.

Source: Phoenix Guitar Company website (13 February 2019)


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.

Source: Otentic website (archived 2016)


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