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From nntp.Stanford.EDU!news.Stanford.EDU!agate!!!!!!dkbfp-dev!root Fri May 31 16:00:33 PDT 1996
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From: timm@dkbfp-dev8. (Tim Maggio)
Subject: Guitar List
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Date: Fri, 31 May 96 16:23:54 GMT

    Guitar Listing                      Rec.Music.Makers.Guitar.Acoustic
    May 31, 1996                              Rec.Music.Classical.Guitar

    Purpose of this resource is to provide:
       o  guitar makers general synopsis and contact info
	  including address, phone numbers and internet resources

       o  general guitar pricing and quality guidelines

       o  basic material on building your own guitar

    Recent Changes:
       o  There are now interenet resources for the following builders:
		  La Si Do         (email and WWW)
                  Martin           (WWW)
	          Steve Andersen   (WWW)

       o  Guild's has been recently purchased by Fender. Does anyone
          have Fender's address?

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 


    1.  Guitar Companies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
        1.1  Large Companies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
        1.2  Luthiers  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
        1.3  Resonators  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
        1.4  Archtops  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
             1.4.1 Larg(er) Makers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
             1.4.2 Luthiers  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
        1.5  Classical and Flamenco  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    2.  Guitar Buying  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
        2.1  Beginner  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
        2.2  Mid-Range . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
        2.3  High-End  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
        2.4  Concert . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    3.  Guitar Building and Repairing  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
        3.1  Guitar Kits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
        3.2  Educational Centers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
        3.3  Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
        3.4  Books . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
        3.5  Internet Resources  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    4.  Credits  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

    1. Guitar Companies 

    1.1 Large Companies

    Alvarez ----------
      Company profile:

      Guitar characteristics:
        lower-cost line of Alvarez-Yairi

      Company address:

      Internet resources:

    Alvarez-Yairi ----
      Company profile:

      Guitar characteristics:
        well-made, mostly copies of traditional American designs.  Lately
        they've been making good quality new designs based on working with
        a variety of pop musicians.

      Company address:

      Internet resources:

    Gibson -----------
      Company profile:

      Guitar characteristics:

      Company address:
        (212) 582-0430 (Gibson Showroom, 1600 Broadway, NYC)
        (800) 4-Gibson (Walter Carter- Gibson Historian)

      Internet resources:

    Guild ------------
      Company profile:
        Guild is an all-american (still?) guitar company that produces
        very well respected guitars in their price range.  The were
        purchased by Fender in December 1995.

      Guitar characteristics:
        The construction is robust but the sound is uniformly good.  There
        are not many 'fancy' details built into these guitars.  Solid
        spruce tops, solid sides on some models, laminate on the backs
        that are unbraced, and solid backs for the braced models.  They
        also tend to be heavier than alot of other guitars.  Prices range
        from $450 to $1,500 (USD).  Used Guilds make excellent purchases,
        and are quite common.  There tends to be surface cracks that
        appear on older models that extend from the ends of the bridge to
        the end of the lower bout, parallel with the strings.  Not sure
        what causes this, but I have seen it on several older Guilds.

      Company address:
        (602) 596-9690

        Guild Guitars
        P.O. Box 51327
        New Berlin, WI  53151

      Internet resources:

    Martin -----------
      Company profile:

      Guitar characteristics:

      Company address:
        510 Sycamore Street
        P.O. Box 329
        Nazareth, Pennsylvania 18064
        (215)  759-2837

      Internet resources:

    Ovation ----------
      Company profile:
        Ovation was the music industry's first roundback and first
        acoustic-electric guitar. The only roundback guitars made by Kaman
        are under the Adamas, Ovation, and Applause names, and only these
        brands offer the acoustic-electric technology and quality
        associated with Ovation.

        Adamas, Ovation and Applause guitars have U.S.-made Lyrachord
        bowls, advanced bracing patterns and electronics specifically
        designed for the roundback guitar.  Furthermore, all Kaman
        roundbacks include the comprehensive Kaman Music Corp. warranty
        that protects the purchaser's investment.

      Guitar characteristics:
        Ovation guitars have a distinctive roundback made of Lyrachord.
        Except for the new 1995 Viper model that has a Carved Mahogany

        "The Sound" is distinctive, many wood purists report that the sound
        is plastic, this may refer to the amplified sound.  Acoustically,
        higher end models have a "mid-rangey" tone.  The bass end is not
        pronounced or boomy and is best enhanced with amplification and

        [Evidently] all of the Adamas and Ovation models can have
        integrated electronic setups, but only some of the models are
        available in Acoustic only format.  (No information on the Applause
        line at this time).

        The 1995 Adamas and Ovation family of guitars include:

        Model            Top               Bracing   Electronics
        ---------------- ----------------  --------  ----------------
        Adamas           Carbon Fiber      Fan       Optima Preamp w/tuner
        Adamas II        Carbon Fiber      Fan       Optima Preamp w/tuner
        Collectors Ed.   Sitka Spruce      ??        OptiMax Bridge/Int Mic
        Elite            AA Sitka Spruce   Quintad   OP-X Preamp
        Elite Standard   Sitka Spruce      Quintad   OP-24 Plus Preamp
        Custom Legend    AAA Sitka Spruce  'A'       Optima Preamp w/tuner
        Legend           Sitka Spruce      'A'       OP-X Preamp
        Foklore/Country  Sitka Spruce      ??        OP-X Preamp
        Std. Balladeer   Sitka Spruce      'X'       OP-24 Plus Preamp
        Std. Balladeer   AAA Cedar         Fan       OP-X Preamp      
        Viper            Sitka Spruce      ??        Thinline Graphic eq.
        Ultra Delux      Spruce or Maple   'K-5'     OP-24 Plus Preamp

        All of the above have solid tops.  The models listed below do not
        mention solid tops in the 1995 catalog.

        Model            Top                    Electronics
        ---------------- ---------------------  ----------------
        Celebrity Deluxe spruce,cedar,sycamore  OP-24 Plus Preamp
        Celebrity        spruce, cedar          OP-24 Plus Preamp

        The options (not on all models) include: Deep, Mid-Depth, and 
        Shallow Bowls Cutaways, 12 string, integrated Roland system.

        Ovation also has these models:

        Long Neck, 28.35" scale length with OP-X Preamp
        Mandolin, Solid Sitka Spruce top, OP-24 Plus Preamp, Quintad Bracing
        Elite Bass, Solid Sitka Spruce top, OP-X Preamp, 4 or 5 string.

      Company address:
        Kaman Music Corporation
        P.O. Box 507
        20 Old Windsor Road
        Bloomfield, Connecticut  

        Ovation Customer Service at:

      Internet resources:

    La Si Do ---------
      Company profile:
        This manufacturer is the largest volume producer of guitars in
        North America.  These instruments are far more popular in Europe
        than in North America, which explains why they are so scarce in the
        USA.  There are several lines of guitars made including a low cost
        "hand-made" model by Simon & Patrick (Sons of owner Godin).  Prices
        range from $250 for the A&L's (low end-mass production) to $1,200
        or so for the latest glossy Seagulls, more for some Simon &
        Patricks.  They also make semi-hollow body acoustic-electrics, and
        classical guitars. 

      Guitar characteristics:
        Most of their guitars use an alcohol laquer finish.  According to
        their literature this is because the thinner finish allows the wood
        to vibrate easier.  This matte finish can be a bit less protective.

        Historically, there have been small differences between their many
        brand names of guitars.  However, this is now changing.  Their
        midrange Seagull guitars are now being built with glossy finishes,
        bound headstocks, top quality tuning machines, among other details.
        These guitars are also now about 2 or 3 times more expensive than
        they have been priced in the past.  They range from $450 for non
        cutaway models without a pickup, to $1,200 for models with a
        cutaway with pickup.  The original alcohol laquer finished Seagulls
        should still be available.

        All tops are solid except for some of the A&Ls and the Norman
        B-15.  Sides and backs are generally laminates.

	Acoustic steel string guitar models:
            A & L (Arts & Lutherie)
            Simon & Patrick

	Midi guitar models:

      Company address:
        Lasido Inc.
        4240 Sere Street
        Ville Saint-Laurent, P.Q.
        Canada, H4T 1A6
        Fax: (514) 343-5098

        1 Emery Drive
        Norton, VT 05907

      Internet resources:
        http://www/	Patrick Godin

    Takamine ---------
      Company profile:

      Guitar characteristics:
        They are fairly light-weight guitars, but tend to be well-built.
        Some models come with pickup and pre-amp already installed and
        the electronics are considered very good quality.  Higher end models
        have either solid spruce or cedar tops.  Prices range from $500 - 
        $1,200 (USD).

      Company address:
        Kaman Music Corporation
        P.O. Box 507
        Bloomfield, Connecticut 06002

      Internet resources:

    Taylor -----------
      Company profile:
        Started 20 years ago by partners, then high school friends, Bob
        Taylor and KurtListug.  Their simple philosophy... "that guitars
        should sound good and be easy to play".  Taylor guitars are
        considered to be right up there in terms of craftsmanship, quality,
        tone, balance, materials used, playability.

        Taylor was one of the first makers to use high-tech computer driven
        machinery to insure consistent shape of their necks from guitar to
        guitar.  They also build their own top-quality cases to the same

      Guitar characteristics:

        They have four body sizes. Dreadnoughts end in "0"; grand concerts
        in "2"; grand auditoriums in "4"; and jumbos in "5". An 810 would
        be a deluxe rosewood dreadnought 6-string. If the middle number
        were a 5, like 850, then the guitar would be a 12-string.  Each
        also comes in a cutaway version.  They vary the woods used, shapes,
        and level of ornateness such as intricate inlays, fancy bindings,
        and touches like gold tuners, and depending on the model, one of
        five different bracing patterns.

        The basic Taylors have a model mumber xyy, with an extra C if they
        are cutaways (with varients for 12 strings).

            x = 4,5,6,7,8 or 9

            4yy lower priced line, mostly matte (as opposed to glossy) finish
            5yy mahogony sides and back
            6yy maple sides and back
            7yy rosewood sides and back
            8yy fancier rosewood sides and back, more inlays, etc...
            9yy fanciest series rosewood limited production

             yy = 10 Dreadnought
             yy = 12 Grand Concert
             yy = 15 Jumbo
             yy = 55 12 String

        In addition there are two signature modes, Dan Cary (a cutaway 6
        string rosewood deadnought with special bracing) and the Leo Kottke
        (a cutaway Jumbo mahogony 12 string braced for heavy guage
        strings), and the various Aniversary models, which are somewhere
        betwee 00 and 000 in size.

        All Taylors are solid wood. Taylor has been in the vangaurd of
        using cumputer controled equiptment in the guitar making buiness.

      Company address:
        1940 Gillespie Way
        El Cajon, California 92020

        (619) 258-1207
        FAX:  (619) 258-1623

      Internet resources:

    Washburn ---------
      Company profile:

      Guitar characteristics:

      Company address:
        255 Corporate Woods Parkway
        Vernon Hills, Illinois 60061
        (708) 913-5511

      Internet resources:

    1.2 Luthiers

    A list of the more popular and respected names in the art and business
    of producing hand-made acoustic guitars.

    Andersen ---------
      Company profile:
        Steve Andersen is a builder of high-end archtop guitars &
        mandolins, his best instruments are his F5 style mandolins, and his
        various archtop models.  He also makes flattop D and OM size
        guitars.  His manolins have been ordered by Gruhn's Guitars for
        resale, and he has also made some Archtop guitars for Pioneer Music
        in Portland, OR.  Mainly he does special orders, dealing directly
        with the customer.

      Guitar characteristics:
        These guitars are quite well made, with very good attention to
        detail.  The bracing is quite heavy compared to prewar Martins or
        today's Shoenbergs or re-issue Martins, without compromising the
        sound.  Backs and sides are made with Indian Rosewood, top is
        Englemann Spruce.  Neck is adjustable through the soundhole.  The OM
        body style is shaped exactly like that of the Martin OM.  Recently
        Anderson has been concentrating mostly on building archtops.

      Company address:
        Steven Andersen Stringed Instruments
	503 North 36th
	Seattle, WA 98103
	(206)632-5986 - Voice
	(206)632-6675 - FAX

      Internet resources:

    Dana Bourgeois ---
      Company profile:
        Dana has his own shop now and is selling via retail dealers.

      Guitar characteristics:
        Models include an OM, a Jumbo OM, and a slope-shouldered dreadnought.

      Company address:
        Available in Acoustic Guitar :)

      Internet resources:

    Bozo -------------
      Company profile:
      Guitar characteristics:
      Company address:
      Internet resources:

    Breedlove --------
      Company profile:
      Guitar characteristics:
      Company address:
      Internet resources:

    Collings ---------
      Company profile:
      Guitar characteristics:
      Company address:
      Internet resources:

    Franklin ---------
      Company profile:
        Franklin guitars are built by Nick Kukich of Portland, OR.
        The waiting list is currently at 2 1/2 years!  Kukich builds
        OMs, Jumbos and a replica of the old Stella 12-string.
        Nick has an excellent eye for wood color, so that his guitars 
        are striking in that sense.  He has 2 standard sizes, an OM 
        style and a jumbo style. He also makes a 12 string in the 
        Stella style.  Stephan Grossman is quite a fan of Franklin 
        guitars, and Nick had/has videotapes of Grossman and Renborn 
        singing the praises of his work.  These are probably available 
        from Franklin.

      Guitar characteristics:
        Guitars are handmade, to order by Nick Kukich with inlay work
        by Jean Munro.  These low profile, smooth action guitars are
        popular with Stefan Grossman and his buddy John Renbourn.  The
        OMs I have played have had a very slinky setup and been somewhat
        on the quiet side.  I have observed finish flaws, glue spots and
        rough brace edges as well on a couple of models.  

      Company address:
        Somewhere in Oregon

      Internet resources:

    Gallagher --------
      Company profile: 
        Small company in central Tennesee. Don Gallagher (J.W.'s son) makes
        about 100 instruments/year. Dreadnoughts in 12 & 14 fret models,
        and Auditorium-size in 12 & 14 fret. 12-strings & cutaways
        available.  Rosewood or Mahogany bodies. 7-string guitars by
        request. (How about a 12-fret, cutaway, 12-string for a unique
        instrument?) They currently offer 14 models in 4 body sizes. The
        wait can be lengthy (almost two years for my last one).

        Grandpa Jones, Doc Watson, Steve KAUFMAN (not to be confused with
        Steve DIKKERS) all play them.
      Guitar characteristics: 
        Volumewise, my month-old A-70 (14-fret,Rosewood, OOO-size) is able
        to hold its own with banjos. My 18-year old G-70 (14-fret,
        rosewood, D-size) [projects extremely well].  The tone between
        strings is very balanced.  Fingerpickers should check out the
        auditorium-size Ragtime special (14-fret, mahogany)

        Great workmanship, and a warranty that can't be beaten: if
        something goes wonkers, Don will fix it.  Period.

        [They have a] Great resale value. I have not seen many on the
        market, but typically a used Gallagher will sell for what the
        current price of a new equivalent model.

        The prices are not out of line: currently about $2K for a top of
        the line, hand-built instrument, give-or-take (depending upon
        specifics). [Price-wise, they are] basically equivalent to
        top-of-the- line, non-pearl Martins. (Yep, Don will pearlize one of
        his if that is what you want.)

        [Currently], I think they are available only directly from the
        company.  [The staff are] pleasant people to work with, too.

      Company address: 
        J.W. Gallagher & Son
        Wartrace, TN

      Internet resources:

    Steve Kauffman ---
      Company profile:

      Guitar characteristics:
        Uses only solid woods. Brazilian Rosewood, sitka spruce most common. 
        Unless client wants something else.  Has used California native wood, 
        walnut for sides & back.  Custom orders. Prices start at ~~3500.00.  
        All hand made by Steve.
        Built for Steve Miller, J. Kaukonen.

      Company address:
        Kauffman Lutherie
        Steven J. Kauffman
        1089 Oak Hill Rd.
        Lafayette, CA  94549
        (510) 283-6520

      Internet resources:

    Larivee ----------
      Company profile:
      Guitar characteristics:
      Company address:
      Internet resources:

    Lowden -----------
      Company profile:

      Guitar characteristics:
        The sound is very open and woody.  Lovely all-wood bindings, 
        purflings, solid top-side-backs on all models.  Very light weight 
        construction.  Prices range from $1,600 - $4,000 (USD).  Sitka or 
        Cedar tops, Mahogany, Rosewood, etc. sides, backs.  Custom orders 
        can be placed so you can pick out the neck width, tone woods, etc 
        that suit your tastes.  Evidently there is no extra charge for such
        custom orders, provided  the selections come out of their current 
        stock.  Some interesting features on their guitars are: No truss-
        rod access via some plate on the headstock.  The reasoning beind
        this is the hole in the headstock weakens the neck.  In order to
        access the truss rod you can a) buy a special tool and adjust it
        (or have a qualified repairman do the same), or b) drill a hole
        in the brace just inside the sound hole.  Most doctors prefer (a)!
        Additionally, braces are not scalloped.  Instead, they are shaved
        in lateral thickness.  This avoids the weakening of scalloped
        bracing, while also lightening up the braces.

      Company address:

        Lowden Guitar Co.
        137 Doggett Drive
        Forest City, NC  28043
        voice: (800) 872-5856
        voice: (704) 245-8904
        fax:  (704) 245-8965

      Internet resources:

    Maton Guitars ----
      Company Profile:
        Founded in 1946 by Bill May who decided to make his own guitars
        because he was unhappy with the quality and price of instruments
        available in Australia at that time. Maton is derived from his name
        and "tone".  By the mid-sixties, Maton had an established
        reputation throughout Australia and with many overseas artists.

        Notable Australian artists who have played a Maton at some time in
        their careers include Bruce Woodley and Keith Potger of The
        Seekers; Richard Clapton; Beeb Birtles, Graham Goble and Steve
        Housden of Little River Band; Rick Price; Iva Davies and Paul
        Gildet of Icehouse; James Reyne of Australian Crawl; and Jack Jones
        of Southern Sons.

        Early in his career George Harrison played an MS500, the first
        Maton solid body. Albert Lee owns a Maton. George Golla, Phil
        Manning and Tommy Emmanuel have all had their own models
        designed. Custom models have been built for Richard Marx, Hank
        Marvin, Deborah Conway, Colin Hay, and Andy White of Hothouse

        Maton now has a modern factory that blends with traditional
        craftsmanship.  The recently installed CNC router is currently the
        only one of its kind in Australia. Face-joining and side-bending
        presses have been specially built, as have the internal body clamps
        and the dovetail router for the neck joints.

        Maton apply the same philsophy today that Bill May set out with -
        to build the finest quality hand-crafted guitars at an affordable

      Guitar characteristics: 
        Maton mainly produces premium quality acoustic and
        acoustic-electric dreadnoughts and cutaways. All have solid tops,
        mostly of sitka spruce with some cedar and Australian timbers such
        as Tasmanian King Billy

        Unique processes have been developed in the fitting of the dovetail
        neck joints, contouring of the neck relief, and hand finishing of
        the fingerboard and neck shaping. This, in combination with careful
        selection and seasoning of tonewoods, give the instruments a unique
        sound and feel. Every instrument is handcrafted.
        Australian timbers feature predominantly.  Maton uses Queensland
        Maple and Walnut, and Tasmanian and Victorian Blackwood in the back
        and sides as well as traditional timbers such as Brazilian
        mahogany, rock maple and rosewood. Most of the guitars feature
        solid timber in the back and sides.

        Maton have an alliance with Australian piezo manufacturer
        GEC-Marconi to develop Pick-Up Systems that faithfully reproduce
        the guitars' acoustic sound.

        The definitive instrument is the CW80 dreadnought that has solid
        Queensland maple or Brazilian mahogony back and sides, and has been
        in continuous production since 1967. The EM325C is an
        acoustic-electric cutaway that features laminated Queensland Walnut
        back and sides, and is favoured by professional musicians for live
        work as its characteristic bright tone provides cut-through on
        stage while being durable enough to survive life on the road.

        Other designs include smaller body "Bluegrass" and larger body
        "Country Jumbo", as well as 12-string acoustics, classical guitars
        and electric basses. A range of solid body electrics and arch-tops
        is planned for reintroduction in 1995.

      Company address:
        Maton Guitars
        9 - 11 Kelvin Road
        Bayswater North
        VIC 3153

        Phone +61 3 720 7259
        Fax   +61 3 720 7273

      Internet resources:

    Olson Guitars ----
      Company profile:
        All guitars are handmade by James A. Olson in Circle Pines, MN.
        Jim makes about 40 guitars a year and has been making guitars since
        1977.  The wait for getting is currently 1 and 1/2 years.  He never
        has more than one assistant.  Some of the best known players who
        play Olson guitars are James Taylor, Phil Keaggy, David Wilcox,
        Sting, Paul McCartney, Leo Kottke, Pat Alger, Russ Barenberg, and
        Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues.

      Guitar characteristics:
        Olson makes mostly what he calls a concert "small jumbo" which are
        shaped like a jumbo but smaller than a dreadnaught.  The sound is
        beautifully clear and balanced from top to bottom and are very easy
        to play. He also makes dreadnaughts.  His guitars feature east
        Indian rosewood back and sides, sitka sruce or western red cedar
        tops, five piece laminated neck (rosewood center, maple, mahogany
        outer) with a carved volute on the back of the headstock.  Tortoise
        shell binding on body, herrinbone top purfling (3 ring sound hole
        rosette, back center strip).

      Company Address:  
        11840 Sunset Ave
        Circle Pines, MN  55014
        (612) 780-5301 

      Internet resources:

    Santa Cruz -------
      Company profile:
        Founded in 1976 by luthier Richard Hoover and repairpersons
        Bruce Ross and William Davis.  Hoover became the sole owner
        of the company in 1989.  

        Richard Hoover and a small staff (4-6) build each guitar to 
        order, by hand.  SCGC produces a few hundred guitars per year.

      Guitar characteristics:
        Dreadnoughts, OMs, archtops, 000s and a few original designs 
        compose the SCGC catalog.  All guitars are built to Richard 
        Hoover's philosophy of "stress free" construction - meaning 
        that top braces are glued in flat, rather than arched, and 
        braces are split along grain lines, rather than cut.  This 
        relaxed assemblage emulates what Hoover believes to be the 
        secret in vintage, "opened up" Martins: the fact that time 
        and usage has relaxed the stress inherent in the construction 

        The soundboard of every guitar is individually tuned, yeilding
        instruments of superb response and resonance.  The SCGC sound
        is unique, comparing favorably with vintage Martins.

        The guitars are impeccably made.  Very clean with exacting
        inlay work.  The SCGC aesthetic is fairly subtle.

        1994 list prices range from $2150 to $8500 prior to custom
        option selection.

      Company address:
        Santa Cruz Guitar Company
        328 Ingalls 
        Santa Cruz, CA USA
        +1 408 425 0999

      Internet resources:

    Schoenberg -------
        [note: Schoenberg is currently not producing guitars. From Eric 
         himself: "Believe me, I'll announce it when I get these guitars
         rolling again. Probably be a while yet, though." -tpm]

      Company profile:
        Schoenberg Guitars is a very small company that has existed by
        having the bulk of the manufacuring done by the Martin Co. [They]
        built the tops here in Concord, shipped them to the factory in
        Nazareth to arrive at the exact moment the bodies were completed
        and waiting for the tops. [They] started this process in 1987 (or
        so) and have made somewhere between 200 and 300 guitars. 

      Guitar characteristics:
        The concept has been to return to the true qualities and features
        of the OM guitars of 1930, which for [them] has always been the
        peak of modern guitar history. [They] have added modern features,
        such as cutaway and trussrod, because our foundation is making
        guitars to be played rather than collected.  [Eric's] playing
        experience and knowledge of guitar history and specs as they
        relate to the players' needs gives [him] a unique opportunity to
        design instruments that can enlighten todays players as to what's
        possible in the world of great fingerstyle guitars.

      Company address:
        38 Shore Drive
        Concord, MA 01742

        [Or] more easily at:
        Music Emporium
        165 Massachusetts Ave.
        Lexington, MA 02173
        (617) 86-000-49 (voice)
        (617) 86-000-51 (fax)

      Internet resources:

    Somogyi ----------
      Company profile:
        [Evidently,] Ervin Somogyi guitars are only available directly 
        from Ervin himself.

      Guitar characteristics:
        Six-string guitars in the following styles: classic, dreadnought,
        modified dreadnought.  Back and sides of East Indian rosewood,
        padauk, figured or birdseye maple, mahogany, or figured koa.  Tops
        made of Sitka spruce or cedar top, quarter sawn and aged.  Mosaic
        pattern rosette around soundhole, Ebony fingerboard of various
        widths.  Hard (18%) nickel-silver frets.  All wood bindings and
        purflings.  Simple diamond snowflake position markers.  Schaller
        or Van Gent tuning machines.  Quarter-sawn mahogany neck and
        head.  Compensated bone saddle.  Scalloped bone nut.  Clear
        finish: .005" thick.  Hardshell case.  Price: $4,100.

        Somogyi asks for a tracing of each customer's left hand and
        information about the average seasonal humidity in the customer's
        area.  He also likes to know what kind of music the customer
        plays, how it's played, and prefered sting gauge.

        Among the interesting options listed is a photo album of the
        construction process of your guitar: $400. 

      Company address:
        Ervin Somogyi, luthier
        2606 McGee Street
        Berkeley, CA 94703

      Internet resources:

    Marc Silber ------
      Company profile:
        (See K&S Listing under Classical and Flamenco)

      Guitar characteristics:
        The K&S Co. also produces "Silber" steel string guitars, designed
        by Marc Silber.  They are a result of 35 years of research and
        development by Marc, and are based on early American instruments
        used by legendary Blues artists such as "Blind Lemon Jefferson",
        "Charlie Patton", and 12 string virtuoso "Leadbelly".  These
        guitars are assembled in Berkeley rather than Mexico, and the
        Signature models are built by Stewart Poritsky in the USA.  K&S
        has built mandolins, mandolas, cuatros, children's guitars, and
        will soon offer a Hawaiian "Lap Steel" guitar based on the
        Weisenborn model.

      Company address:
        (See K&S Listing under Classical and Flamenco)

      Internet resources:

    Thompson ---------
      Company profile:
      Guitar characteristics:
      Company address:
      Internet resources:

    1.3 Resonators

    And then there are the Resonator guitars, which  vary  in  construction.
    Some are metal bodied, while others are wood.

    National ---------
      Company profile:
      Guitar characteristics:
      Company address:
      Internet resources:

    National Resophonic ---
      Company profile: 
        Small company in San Luis Obispo, CA. Originally started by two
        people, and have grown since.

      Guitar characteristics: 
        They make both metal-bodied and wood-bodied resonator guitars.  The
        tone of their guitars ranges from very raucous (single-resonator
        metal-body) to very warm (three-resonator metal-body).  The tone of
        the wood-body single- resonator guitars is smoother than that of a
        Dobro.  These guitars tend to inspire fanatical devotion, partly
        because there is a mystique to them and partly because they're just
        fantastic guitars.  These guitars are all capable of incredible

      Company address:

      Internet resources:

    Dobro ------------
      Company profile:
      Guitar characteristics:
      Company address:
      Internet resources:

    1.4 Archtops

    There's more to guitars than flattop steelstrings.  Here's some pointers
    to makers of archtops.

    1.4.1 Large(er) Makers

    Heritage ---------
      Company profile:  
        When Gibson abandoned Kalamazoo, MI for Nashville and Montana,
        several Gibson luthiers chose to stay in Michigan.  They acquired
        the old Gibson factory on Parsons Street and began making guitars
        in the old Gibson style.  At first they concentrated on solid- and
        semisolid-body electrics, but before long they started making
        archtops with floating pickups (i.e., no extra holes are cut into
        the top for the pickup or controls - they're mounted on the
        pickguard, and the jack goes out through the strap button).  They
        make a variety of cutaway 16", 17", and 18" archtops.  They're very
        nice guitars and are rather economical as archtops go.

      Guitar characteristics:
        Nice woods, wide, flat necks, traditionally-shaped f-holes,
        cutaways.  The decorations are on the florid side, but that's
        typical of archtops.  Most of the archtops are modified versions of
        traditional Gibson archtops, specifically the Sweet 16 (16", like
        the Gibson L-4), the Eagle series (17", variants on the L-5), and
        the Super Eagle (18", similar to the Super 400C).

      Company address:
        228 (?) Parsons St., Kalamazoo, MI

      Internet resources:

    1.4.2 Luthiers

    Here are the names of a few builders of archtops off the top of my head.
    An issue of Acoustic Guitar ('95) had a pretty good list.

        D'Angelico II
        Santa Cruz

    1.5 Classical and Flamenco

    Most of the companies that make acoustic guitars in Asia also make
    classicals of similar quality.  This includes Yamaha, Takamine, and
    Alvarez-Yairi.  Gibson used to sell some decent Korean-made classical
    guitars under their Epiphone brand, but [they may have] all been

    Dauphin ----------
      Company profile:
      Guitar characteristics:
      Company address:
      Internet resources:

    K&S --------------
    Montalvo Flamenco and Classical Guitars
    (See also Marc Silber above)

      Company profile:
        Montalvo guitars are the result of an association between George
        Katechis-Montalvo and Marc Silber that began in the 1970s.  Marc is
        a noted guitar historian, restorer, and designer.  George is a
        highly skilled craftsman with experience in all aspects of tone
        production.  Together they combine more than 60 years experience
        restoring, repairing, and selling musical instruments.

      Guitar characteristics:
        Montalvo guitars are finely crafted instruments featuring solid
        Engelmann Spruce or Canadian Red Cedar top, Mahogany or Spanish
        Cedar necks and Rosewood or Ebony fingerboards.  The necks are
        reinforced with a graphite stabilizing bar.  The backs and sides
        are made of solid Indian Rosewood, Honduras Rosewood, or
        Cypress. These woods are well seasoned, and the guitars are
        guaranteed for one year against defects in materials or

      Company address:
        K&S Guitar Co.
        2923 Adeline Street
        Berkeley, CA 94703
        (510) 843-2883 or 548-7538

      Internet resources:

    Steve Ganz -------
    Handmade Classical Guitars

      Company profile:
        Works alone, making a few guitars per year.

      Guitar characteristics:
        Wood for individual guitars individually chosen/obtained from 
        selection of rosewood (e.g. Indian, honduras, brazilian, bubinga), 
        maple, spruces, cedar.  Necks of mahagony or spanish cedar.  
        Various woods in bindings, linings, and bracing.  Fingerboards 
        [are made] of ebony [and to] scale length from 635 to 665.  
        Guitars are individually made, four guitars [were built] in the 
        last year.
        Prices depend upon wood choices.  Base price $1500. 

      Company address:
        Bellingham, WA

      Internet resources:          

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

    2. Guitar Buying

    The question of price and model is a constant.  New guitarists, people
    buying for the first time in 10 years, etc. all need to know what models
    fall into what price ranges.  I have attempted to build a list of
    characteristics and companies that fall into a few different categories
    in order to make searching for the right guitar a bit more concise.
    Most of the guitar makers listed below make only steel string guitars.
    Some of them make classical, and some make only classical.  Following is
    how to tell the difference:

        (SS)   Steel String Only
        (S/C)  Steel String and Classical
        (C)    Classical Only

    Please note that sometimes guitars in a higher category can be bought for
    prices that are much lower when they are either put on sale, or are
    bought used.  These prices reflect new guitar prices and are ballpark
    figures at best.

    2.1 Beginner

    These guitars are priced for the person unsure if guitar playing is
    suited for them.  They also make great beach or camping guitars.
        Price:      $100 - $300
        Top:        Laminate (few with solid wood)
        Side/Back:  Laminate
    Here are some of the brands that I can think of.  There are *loads* of
    guitars off the Asian market, and they probably are comparable to any in
    this list.

        A&L             (SS)
        Fender          (SS)
        Charvel         (SS)
        Ibanez          (S/C)
        Seagull         (S/C)
	Washburn        (S/C)
        Yamaha          (S/C)

    2.2 Mid-Range

    In this range, the issues involved in buying a guitar are fairly
    simple:  price, playability, and 'bang-for-the-buck' are usually 
    foremost consideratoins.  There are several brands that have guitars
    that suit the bill.  Following is a list of features that usually
    are associated with new low-end guitars:
        Price:      $300 - $800
        Top:        Split between Solid and Laminate.
        Side/Back:  Laminates- some solid sprinkled in there.
    Some of the guitars have solid tops.  The sound for these
    instruments is good.  Finish on the guitars are usually glossy.
    Any exceptions to the above comments will be noted.

        Charvel         (SS)
        Dauphin         (C)
        Fender          (SS)
        Guild           (SS)
        Ibanez          (S/C)
        Ovation         (S/C)
        Seagull         (SS)    (most w/ solid tops)
        Simon & Patrick (SS)    (all w/ solid tops)
        Takamine        (S/C)
        Washburn        (S/C)
        Yamaha          (S/C)

    2.3 High-End

    For just about any player, guitars in this range should satisfy some to
    all of your guitar-playing needs.  Features these guitars should all
        Price:      $800 - $1,500
        Top:        Mostly Solid some Laminates (the FAQ tells how to know)
        Side/Back:  Mostly Laminate some Solid
    Depending on model, maker, or a sale, you might get a real beauty for
    alot less than expected.  The use of a variety of tone woods is
    important in this category.  Combinations of woods for a variety of
    effects determine the sound and feel of a guitar.  These guitars are
    usually mass produced, but there are probably a few that have some
    hand-detailing, and finishing.

        Alvarez         (S/C)
        Gibson          (SS)
        Guild           (SS)
        Martin          (S/C)
        Ovation         (S/C)
        Seagull         (SS)
        Simon & Patrick (SS)
        Takamine        (S/C)
        Taylor          (SS)

    2.4 Concert

    These guitars are usually hand made from the finest tone-woods
    available.  Individual luthiers or apprentices work on each model, 
    and attention to detail is critical to the making of every guitar.
        Price:      $1,500 ->
        Top:        Must be Solid
        Side/Back:  Must be Solid
    Expect to pay a pretty steep premium for Brazilian Rosewood, although
    there is an unsupported rumor that Thompson Guitars will make one from
    Brazilian for under $3,000.  (anyone have better facts?)  Many (all?)
    of these dealers will accept custom orders to mix and match different
    dimensions and woods.

        Breedlove       (SS)
        Collings        (SS)
        Franklin        (SS)
        Gallagher       (SS)
        Gurian          (SS)
        Larivee         (SS)
        Lowden          (S/C)
        Olson           (SS)
        Santa Cruz      (S/C)
        Schoenberg      (SS)
        Silber          (S/C)
        Thompson        (S/C)

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

    3. Guitar Building and Repairing

    3.1 Guitar Kits

        The Kit Factory
        4901 Monroe Ave. 
        San Diego, CA 92115
        (619) 583-5160

        Martin Guitars
        510 Sycamore St. 
        Nazereth, PA 18064
        (800) 247-6931

    3.2 Educational Centers

    The Luthier's Workshop
        99 Moody St.
        Waltham MA 02154
        (617) 894-4292

    3.3 Organizations

    Guild of American Luthiers
        8222 South Park Ave. 
        Tacoma, WA 98408
        (206) 472-7857

    Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans (ASIA)
        PO Box 341 
        Paulsmiths, NY 12970
        (518) 891-5379

    3.4 Books

    "Tradition and Technology"  
        William Cumpiano/Jonathan Natelson 
        Rosewood Press
        Comment: "Cumpiano builds by hand, is very knowledgable and
                  explains things well."

    "Steel-String Guitar Construction"
        Irving Sloane

    "Classic Guitar Construction"
        Irving Sloane

    "Understanding Wood"
        Bruce Hoadley
        Comment: "This is an essential text for serious builders."

    3.5 Internet Resources




    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

    4. Thanks millions, RMMGA, and RMCG :)

        A low-level operator
        Alex S.          
        Allen Kaatz     
        Arabella Clauson
        Bill Nail       
        Bruce Tiffany   
        Chris Peckham   
        David (D.C.) Cromwell
        David Kaatz     
        Dennis O'Neill            denio@seismo.CSS.GOV
        Douglas Asherman
        Eric P. Salathe, Jr
        Eric Schoenberg 
        Garrett Lau     
        George Kaschner 
        Grant Alvis     
        Jim Smith       
        John Gorsky     
        Joseph A Pescatello
        Kim Passarella  
        Lothar Dornieden
        Malcolm Barker  
        Mike Neverisky  
        Paul Mitchell   
        Paul R. Leach   
        Peter Rayner              pjr@atmos.dar.CSIRO.AU
	Richard Levine
        Robyn Landers   
        Ross Bethel     
        Stephen Sano              sano@leland.Stanford.EDU
        Steve Ganz                
        Tom Morley      
        Trevor Strohman 

Tim Maggio                                                                  #                                                            |
                                              |_ (:) |/\| |) [- |\|         Q
All computers wait at the same speed.                                      (_)

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