Frequently Asked Questions
About Acoustic Guitar

 

Who Makes Top Quality Acoustic Guitars...Cont.?

Mid-Size Guitar Companies
These are some of the more popular companies that produce less than 1000 guitars each year but are still made in what is best described as a small-scale production environment (as opposed to a single luthier), but predominantly with "by hand" building techniques.  These manufacturers also sell their guitars via retail channels rather than custom orders only.

  • Pantheon Guitars
    Pantheon Guitars was formed in October, 2000 when Dana Bourgeois, a well known master luthier, and a set of new business investors came together. Dana and Bourgeois Guitars had, up to that point, crafted over 1,000 of the finest acoustic instruments played by musicians around the world.  At that time, having designed and built guitars for more than a quarter of a century, it was exciting for Dana to be part of Pantheon Guitars and combine strong business resources, marketing capability and great guitar building into the same organization.  Together, everyone at Pantheon Guitars is working to be the best "small shop" acoustic guitar builder in the world, and Dana, now, part of Pantheon Guitars, has the opportunity to focus on designing and building instruments of the highest quality and making Bourgeois guitars the best they can be.
  • Breedlove
    Breedlove GuitarTighter waisted than most guitars and featuring a smaller sound hole positioned higher on the instrument, the Breedlove Guitar's physical characteristics distinguish it from everything else out there.   This re-proportioned design and interior construction with its unique bracing system (see pics) frees more of the top for vibration and resonance.  It is made possible through the utilization of a patented support truss under the bridge.  The guitar leaves the luthier's bench with a better voice...built in. Each guitar is intonated individually.  Meticulous attention to detail is paid at every step, from the shaping of the body to the polishing of the finish, ensuring an instrument whose sound is as beautiful as its appearance.
  • Collings
    Collings guitars are made in Austin, Texas, USA.  They make beautiful and beautiful-sounding reproductions of some of the classic pre-war steel string guitars such as Martin D-28, D-18, and OM-28, as well as several Gibson body styles, such as the L-00.
  • Froggy Bottom
    Froggy Bottom is a small company in the hills of southern Vermont which has been dedicated to making fine steel-string guitars since 1970.  They recognize that the needs of guitarists are as varied as the music they play, and go out of our way to be responsive to that reality.   
    It is with this diversity in mind that they offer a line of some fourteen different models, from a 13 1/2" parlor guitar with its balance, resonance, and sparkle, through the concert, grand concert, and auditorium size ranges, to full 17" jumbo instruments,  an acoustic bass  and even a baritone model. Combine those model choices with half a dozen options for back and side material, and four varieties of spruce for top wood, and you've got quite an open array of possibilities.  Add custom nut width and neck contouring at no extra charge and the field widens further. 
  • Huss & Dalton
    Located in the heart of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, an area rich in the tradition of fine acoustic music, is Huss & Dalton Guitar Company.  Makers of fine hand crafted instruments which capture the spirit of the time honored music played here for generations.  A significant difference in Huss & Dalton Guitars is the use of a 25’ radius top on most models.  This is done for several reasons, the most important of which is structural integrity.  Because a domed surface is inherently stronger than a flat one, our radiused soundboard helps the guitar top bear the stress of the steel strings.  This helps our guitars to have a more balanced tone than traditional designs.
  • James Goodall
    Goodall GuitarsJames Goodall represents an artisan who is at the pinnacle of his profession.  Superb craftsmanship, an exacting finesse for detail and wood choice, combine with robust, three dimensional sound character; these are qualities which embody every Goodall guitar.  All Luthiers have certain emphasis in their craft.  Some are talented with tone, some with decoration, and others with design. But few who endeavor in musical instrument making are capable of consistently maintaining a high level of precision and excellence along with superior tonal character in every instrument.  Discerning eyes and ears will find the substance of all these qualities crafted together in every James Goodall instrument.    Goodall Guitars offers three fine models which span the widest range of the guitarists needs, from the sensitive fingerstyle player to the aggressive flatpicker.
  • Lowden
    The company’s founder George Lowden originally started out as a clothes salesman but took to guitar making in 1973 reviving an interest he had as a child.  Demand for his guitars grew, and during the years 1980-85 he had them built in Japan under licence.   The fluctuating Yen pushed up prices for the European market and he decided to bring production back to Ireland.   Lowden Guitars was thus established, with George as technical and design consultant.  Since the late 1980s Lowden have built on their enviable reputation as a supplier of quality guitars to the discerning player.  Their products are now used by musicians the world over, among them Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Richard Thompson and ... Jan Akkerman.
  • Santa Cruz
    Luthier Richard Hoover began building guitars and carved-top mandolins in 1972. By 1976 his focus was on the modern steel string guitar.  The task of becoming a master at all aspects of guitar making is a lifetime pursuit, the pace determined by how prolific the luthier is.  It was and is Richards intent to translate the skills and sensitivity of the individual luthier to a small team of exceptional craftspeople each becoming expert in their specialty.  To this end Santa Cruz Guitar Company has become one of the worlds most respected team of guitar builders. 
  • Tippin Guitars
    Bill started designing and building his own guitars in 1978 and later created the Tippin Guitar Company in Marblehead, MA - just a few miles north of Boston. Bill and his specially trained craftsmen/artists work full time to produce beautifully crafted instruments that anyone would be proud to own.

    All Tippins are made to strict standards of excellence. Each Tippin is constructed with select woods and the finest hardware. Even the lowest priced instruments receive the same attention to detail as the most expensive ones. Options such as matched rippled abalone rosette and trim add elegance to these quality guitars. Each guitar benefits from years of working, building and listening to each individual instrument. Each Tippin is balanced, proportional and tasteful.

  • Wechter Guitar
    Abe Wechter has been designing and building guitars for 22 years.  It has been a long journey from his first guitar shop in Seattle, Washington, to his current shop in a rural Michigan town named Paw Paw.    Over the course of his career, Abe designed and built hand-made guitars for artists like John McLaughlin, Steve Howe, Al DiMeola, B.B. King, John Denver, Earl Klugh, and Jonas Hellborg. He spent 9 years building Kasha model guitars with the late Richard Schneider during which time he also worked as a model-maker and designer for Gibson Guitars.  From 1984 until 1994 Abe built custom guitars in his own shop, developing a reputation as one of the world's finest craftsmen and guitar designers.  

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