In 1970, founder Michael Millard (a.k.a "Froggy") began building his own guitars on the side while working as a shop foreman for Gurian Guitars in New York City. In 1973 Millard and fellow builder Andrew Mueller set up their own shop in Richmond, New Hampshire.
They build bespoke instruments of stunning tone and quality. This is what their website says:
"We build guitars directly for players who wish to work closely with us to create their own instrument. We also sell our instruments through a select network of dealers around the world chosen because they are experienced, knowledgeable, friendly, and committed to helping you find the perfect guitar for your needs".
Froggy Bottom Guitars
P.O. Box 246
Chelsea, VT 05038
802 685 2205
Beautiful, beautiful instruments - a joy to touch, play and own. Here's what their website says:
"Composite Acoustics( the "C. A." of CA Guitars) was started as a technology company with the mission to create the best sounding, most consistent and durable acoustic guitars ever made. What equipped us with the ability to pursue such an ambitious course? The mastery of a technology which allows us to reproduce the sound characteristics of the finest wood instruments, and an unquenchable appetite to innovate based on the needs and desires of players".
3403 Moss St. Lafayette, LA 70507
Berkowitz Guitars are designed and built by luthier David D. Berkowitz in his workshop in the Washington, DC neighborhood of Eastern Market on Capital Hill.
Berkowitz's interest in building guitars came early at the age of four and was fostered by his discovery of the works of David Russell Young, and Irving Sloane, both who wrote the early modern treatises of guitarmaking in the 1970's.
In 1985, Berkowitz attended the Roberto-Venn School of Lutherie. Berkowitz continued his lutherie education on his own, eventually training with luthier Charles Fox, at the American School of Lutherie in Healdsburg, California.
Berkowitz began building professionally in 1993, and continues to build fine acoustic guitars baritones and acoustic basses for the professional musician.
Guitars for the professional who knows quality when he/she sees it and wants the best. Here's what the website says:
"My guitar is based on the Hauser/Torres body shape. The bracing pattern is my own design which has evolved over the years to capture the sound I am striving to achieve. I think you will find the instruments powerful and rich in tone color, enabling the performer to easily produce a full pallet of tonal shadings to accommodate the entire range of repertoire.
The standard guitar comes with Indian Rosewood back and sides, spruce or cedar soundboard, ebony fingerboard, headstock laminated on both sides with Indian Rosewood, traditional rosette, and Sloan tuners".
J.S. Bogdanovich Guitars
14 Kirkland Drive
Ashville, NC 22805
phone: (828) 299-1097
Linda Manzer makes truly remarkable and sweet sounding guitars. Everything from steel and nylon string through to baritone and 12 string guitars.
Here is one specification from one of her guitar models:
"This is my most popular flattop model. Using only highest grade aged European Spruce or Cedar top. Indian Rosewood back and sides with an Ebony fingerboard and bridge. Scale length of 65 cm (25 1/2")".
Now here's something different - graphite guitars. A unique guitar - RainSongs are the only all-graphite acoustic guitars in the world: body, neck, fretboard and bridge are all made out of pure graphite.
With their iridescent black graphite weave, the all-graphite soundboards on these instruments make them gorgeously different. Whether played on-stage, at a campfire amongst friends or in the privacy of your bedroom, these breathtaking instruments will never be mistaken for traditional wooden guitars.
Rainsong Graphite Guitars
12604 NE 178th Street,
Woodinville, WA 98072
Fred Carlson, co-founder of Beyond the Trees, has been hand-building original and traditional guitars and other stringed instruments for over 30 years. If you like beautiful, unusual instruments and you're not familiar with Fred's work, you're in for a treat. A unique combination of discipline, skill, whimsy and innovation, along with an intuition finely honed by years of experimenting, makes Fred's work stand apart from that of other luthiers.
Rather than viewing the guitar as a collection of separate components, i.e. body, neck, bridge etc., each of Fred's instruments is conceived of, from the design stage on, as a coherent piece of sculpture. This attention to how details combine to make the whole is carried through in the sculpting of the instrument's voice as well.
An important focus for Fred is that of insuring that the unusual design features add to, rather than detract from, the instrument's function. In the end, all these factors- tone, playability, visual and tactile effect- are intertwined in the creation one of Fred's guitars.
Fred Carlson, Beyond The Trees
2026 Back Ranch Road
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Heritage Guitar Inc. was incorporated on April 1, 1985. The company is going on 20 years old and it has achieved the status of one of the premier guitar companies in the world today.
It is, in many instances, the new guitar line handled by countless vintage shops throughout the world. This indicates it is thought of as the collectible guitar of tomorrow. Based in Kalamazoo, the former home town of another well known maker of guitars and mandolins (Here's a hint, it begins with a "G" and ends in an "ibson") these guitars are something very special indeed.
Lane Zastrow, born September 14, 1943, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the President of Lasar Music Corp. Lasar is the exclusive sales and marketing company for Heritage Guitars Inc.
Heritage Guitar Inc.
225 Parsons St.
Kalamazoo, MI. 49007
SALES & MARKETING
Lasar Music Corp.,
500 Wilson Pike Circle, Suite 204
Brentwood, TN. 37027
Phone: (615) 377-4913
Fax (615) 373-4986
Now these are something WAY different. Probably one of the most exciting guitar concepts since the electric guitar began. Here's what the website says:
The NOVAX® Fanned-Fret® concept evolved from a desire to produce an instrument with balanced tone and string tension. As a guitar player and professional repair technician with extensive experience, I had grown dissatisfied with the performance of instruments as they existed. Lack of definition in the lower frequencies, harsh, percussive trebles, and general "muddiness" of tone seemed pervasive, even when the performance of these instruments was optimized. Experimenting with composite materials and state-of-the-art electronics only made matters worse by highlighting these problems. My repair experience led me to examine scale length as a possible solution.
920 A Estabrook,
Pickard Acoustics offers a range of handbuilt steel-strung guitars, and mandolin family instruments, all featuring a unique bracing system which produces a bright tone and even response. Each instrument is built using solid wood construction and employing a variety of tone-woods and spruce tops.
These really are fine, hand-built Guitars, Mandolins and Mandolas.
He also makes Bouzoukis, Citterns and Banjos and I am now offering handbuilt Ukuleles (Sopranino, Soprano, Concert, Tenor, Baritone).
Lincs. LN8 6BW .
TONE… Players seek that holy grail whenever they pick up a guitar, but it often eludes them. But not at McKnight Guitars.
Luthier Tim McKnight masterfully crafts his custom guitars to produce tone that inspires the heart and touches the soul. He builds each McKnight guitar with equal measures of hard-earned expertise, unique innovation, passion and soul. The results are precision instruments of sweeping beauty, grace … and, most importantly, tone.
A player could ask no more of a fine guitar.
P.O. Box 6
These really are superbly made guitars that ooze quality. They are made with meticulous attention to detail. Truly a guitar players guitar!
Here's what their website says:
"The concept behind Campbell American Guitars is simple: build guitars here in America - using old New England craftsmanship; utilize sensible designs, top-shelf components;
and always retain a commitment to quality, integrity and ingenuity.
We believe the results of this philosophy speak for themselves.
Campbell American Guitars
P. O. Box 460,
Fax : 508-785-3577
Mark started his guitarmaking career at the age of 18 with "Patrick Eggle" guitars working with people like Trevor Wilkinson, Gary Levinson, Rob Williams and Patrick himself.
He learned from masters of the art until 1998 when with his partner Carol Davies, he started his own company "Bailey Guitars", in a double decker bus. With their immensely popular "Build your own guitar" course, Mark set about teaching others to build their own dream guitars
PO BOX 8409
Kirkmichael Guitar Village
Phone:01655 883138 (during office hours)
Ainsworth Guitars is based in Lancashire
I first started making classical guitars over 20 years ago.
After starting to learn to play guitar, I was disappointed and frustrated by the quality of the instrument I was using. I decided to try my hand at making my own and set about finding information on guitar making.
Like many guitar makers, my initial information came from A. P. Sharpe's book on Spanish guitar construction. This was followed by McLeod & Welford and Sloane. Both of these books have inspired numerous guitar makers.
Great guitar builders/repairers. Here's what their website says:
"Trained in the U.S.A at the Taylor guitars factory in California by some of their top repairmen, we are authorised Taylor technicians able to repair and fit ES systems and work on NT necks. We are also able to set up and repair Parker Guitars and are authorised Fishman pickup installers.
As well as being authorised by many more brands we are one of the only repair centres in the UK for Lowden guitars. Over the years we have setup and repaired guitars for many bands and artists including Coldplay, Funeral For A Friend, My Vitriol, Foo Fighters, Elliot Minor and Skunk Anansie. These are to mention but a few."
Telephone: 07751 724922
Based in Banffshire, Scotland, Rob Aylward builds beautiful stringed instruments. Here's what the website says:
Rob Aylward studied Musical Instrument Technology for four years at the London College of Furniture (now Guildhall University) under the tuition of Herbert Schartz and the widely acclaimed classical guitar maker Michael Gee.
He started R J Aylward guitars in 1990 and has steadily built a reputation for high quality handcrafted instruments built to his clients specifications. In 1997 Guitarist magazine reviewed an OM sized guitar saying “ A feast for the eyes and the ears”, ” A call to rob could be the end of the search for the perfect and perfectly affordalble guitar.
R.J Aylward Guitars
1 Kinermony cottages,
Banffshire AB38 9LT.
Tel: 01340 881366
Ken Powell is based in Llanwyddn in Montgomeryshire, Wales and makes truly gorgeous guitars. Being a musician himself and coming from an engineering design background he combined both his passions and his guitars are all hand made by the man himself.