The number of acoustic guitar builders (not necessarily certified luthiers) are plentiful, and they’re all different. This directory of acoustic guitars will offer a good starting point for finding that special guitar that you never knew existed. Which one is right for you? Whether you’re looking to buy something more standard like a Martin, Gibson, or Taylor…or something unique and boutique like a Santa Cruz, Goodall or Collings, you’ll find it here.
ACE makes custom-crafted acoustic guitars using modern technology. They are most known for their Classic Electric model, which as an acoustic-electric guitar that uses a high-end preamp offering separate string output refinement. Their TW-100 model acoustic guitars have standard sound holes and have a cutaway for allowing easy playability up the neck.
Albert Mueller is a German acoustic guitar builder who hand-makes classical guitars, steel-string acoustic guitars and traditional mandolins. Their classical guitars (model CL series) are made with East Indian Rosewood and feature either a spruce or cedar top. They make a number of steel acoustic guitars, including the Dreadnaught, Sklein 1-2 (small steel-stringed acoustics), S 1-2 (large steel-stringed acoustics), a Parlour guitar, Jumbo and more.
Alberico Guitars are revered among fingerstyle guitar players as they are well-balanced across each guitar string. This helps to keep the bass notes from overpowering the higher-pitched notes. They are also very touch-sensitive, and will respond to differing levels of playing intensity quite well. They are capable of being loud, sustaining with rich harmonics and overall a breeze to play.
Allen Guitars makes acoustic guitars with slightly-braced soundboards, but still very resonant to allow the acoustic guitar’s top to vibrate and sing. They are made from high-end parts and each has a unique tone. Allen makes a Small Jumbo, Dreadnaught, O-M, Parlour and acoustic Resonator guitars. They also sell acoustic guitar parts.
Alvarez makes some of the most playable entry-level acoustic guitars on the market, but also offers quality high-end acoustic guitars used by musicians like Bob Weir (Grateful Dead). Alvarez was launched in the mid 1960s with Kazuo Yairi (a well-respected luthier whose Japanese family has been building electric guitars for nearly a century).
Andersen Guitars makes standard and premium level acoustic archtop guitars (some with pickups too). They make only one standard flat top acoustic guitar, the Concert model guitar…which has been in production since the early 80s. This is jack-of-all trades sort of acoustic that is capable of good volume and balanced across the strings. This guitar typically uses Engelmann Spruce for the sound board, and Indian Rosewood for the back and sides, however customers can choose their own tone woods for a customized Concert acoustic guitar.
Art & Lutherie Guitars are managed by Godin, and they make some fine entry-level acoustic guitars. They are made in Canada, and use native tone woods such as Wild Cherry and Silver Leaf Maple. Their Cedar and Spruce-made guitars come with solid tops that are pressure-enhanced. The way they set the necks is very reliable, so these guitars will provide many years of playability for the novice or intermediate guitarist.
Augustino LoPrinzi makes classical acoustic guitars, steel-string acoustic guitars and even ukeleles. Their line of classical guitars include the Cremona, Concert and Pinnacle models. Their steel-string acoustic guitars include the 200 (solid Sitka sound board/top and laminated wood for the back and sides via four options: Indian Rosewood, Walnut, Mahogany and Flamed Maple) and the Elite Series (same Spruce top but the neck is made of Honduras Mahogany, and solid East Indian rosewood for the back and sides). The Elite Series guitars also use a truss rod that can be adjusted, a bone nut/saddle, and “mother of pearl” custom inlay.
Avalon Guitars was founded by luthiers from the Lowden Guitar Company. These are very high-end guitars made with exquisite tone woods. Their Legacy, Premiere and Master Series guitars combine modern quality with traditional craftsmanship to produce works of musical art. Popular artists who play Avalon guitars include Van Morrison, Sinead O’Connor and Albert Lee.
Beyond the Trees’ is co-founded by Fred Carlson, who has been making acoustic guitars by hand for nearly half a century. Fred is wel-known for building gorgeous, on-of-a-kind guitars with eccentric style pulled from a lifetime of experimental risk. These guitars are made from Koa, Red Cedar, Sitka Spruce and Vermont Cherry. Some of these guitars, like the Pinwheel, feature strange sound hole placements, and some are asymmetrical 12-string guitars that are one of a kind. Definitely check out these acoustic guitar designs.
Bourgeois makes some of the best bluegrass/flat-picking acoustic guitars in the world. They inspect their tone woods more closely than most acoustic guitar builders by tapping and flexing the wood to get a better understanding of its sound than one would by merely judging the appearance. Based on the wood’s sonic qualities, they decide whether to make a flat-picking dreadnaught or a fingerstyle guitar. They also use this meticulous wood choice process to decide between wood types. Guitarists like Ray La Montagne have recognized their incredible guitars and that speaks volume of the tone coming out of this acoustic tone machines.
Breedlove Guitars are made in Oregon, where the weather is consistent and therefore the ideal scenario for making acoustic guitars. Breedlove’s group of acoustic guitar luthiers make some very fine, mid-price acoustic guitars that are now available in popular guitar stores like Guitar Center. Their Master Class, Focus Series, Voice Series and Limited Edition acoustic guitars all feature the legendary Breedlove headstock, bridge and various tone woods. These are very playable instruments that are of a “love ’em or hate ’em” breed.
Brook Guitars makes standard and custom guitars that appeal to different budgets, and they’re named after rivers from the western UK (Torridge, Taw, Tamar, Tavy, Okement, Teign, Creedy, Clyst, Lyn, Bovey, Kit, Dart, Otter and Exe). Whew! The standard models (010) focus on quality construction without all of the finer details. The custom guitars feature bound fingerboards/headstocks, diamond or dot inlays on the fretboard, gold tuners, custom pickups, exotic tone woods, high-end tuners (Waverly) and tops/soundholes trimmed with abalone.
CA Guitars is known for using aerospace technology (CNC machining) to build composite guitars in their acoustic guitar building methodology…and it works, for everything from blues, to jazz to bluegrass. Their guitars reproduce the tone of classic tone wood acoustic guitars using innovative snythetic, composite carbon materials that are more durable and reliable than wood. Some of the CA acoustic guitars come with either a narrow or wide neck to suit different types of playing styles (flat pickers and fingerstyle guitar players can both rejoice), or electronic pickups.
Cimarron Guitars feature classic acoustic guitar designs, and old school construction, that we all love. Their acoustic guitars feature Sitka Spruce soundboard tops, made sturdy via customized X pattern bracing, sides and backs made of either Honduras Mahogany, American Black Walnut or or Indian Rosewood, fingerboards classically made with either Rosewood or Ebony, and three-piece Mahogany acoustic necks. Two-way truss rods make the guitars’ neck relief easily adjustable. If you want a custom-made classic acoustic guitar design, Cimarron Guitars are worth checking out.
Collings is known for making some of the finest Martin recreations in the world, and their Dreadnaught guitars are extremely popular with bluegrass guitars (seen on nearly every big bluegrass stage across the world). Their 00 & 000 inspired guitars are also incredible, which are quickly becoming favorites with blues players and finger pickers. Other American-style acoustic guitar models are available as well, so have fun browsing their website for some really incredible luthiership.
Crafter Guitars is a family-owned acoustic guitar company that officially launched in the early 1990s after building classical guitars in the 80s. These classic guitars grew huge demand and the company is now the largest acoustic guitar manufacturer in Korea. Crafter builds nearly every type of major acoustic guitar design along with a number of other stringed instruments (mandolins, bass guitars, etc.). They even make some fine electric guitars, like a 12-string semi-hollow electric guitar with a single P90 pickup.
Cumpiano Guitars are handmade acoustic guitars that have converted incredible musicians like Arlo Guthrie, Michael Lorimer, John Abercrombie, Country Joe MacDonald, the Todd Rundgren band, June Millington, and Joel Zoss. Cumpiano Guitars has been in business for nearly half a century now, and they feature incredible tone with unique adornments like you see on this guitar shown above. These are small batch, works of acoustical beauty. Definitely check out Cumpiano’s acoustic guitars on their website.
Legendary D’Angelico quality applied to the acoustic realm. Sharing many aesthetic elements with their archtop stablemates, the NYA-2 Flat-top and NYA-2 Rounded-top models offer stunning tonal richness and clarity. Each features a 3-piece premium maple neck with graphite fiber center for added stability and evenness throughout it’s range. Both have a 16″ body, solid spruce top, X bracing, flamed maple back and sides, ebony fretboard with gorgeous abalone marker inlay, gold plated Grover tuning machines, multi-ply binding and rosewood overlay with abalone “diamond” inlay on the back of the headstock. If you’re looking for the elite in acoustic guitars, you found it.
Ray Dearstone, founder, is known for making some of the most incredible mandolins on the guitar market. He also makes some of the most incredible Martin-inspired acoustic guitars on the market. His acoustic guitar models include the HD-18, HD-28, HD-23 and the PAR-1 (which features a Red Spruce top, Walnut sides and back, Mahogany neck, scalloped bracing, ebony fretboard and a Nitro lacquer finish. These are some of the best, and they are priced accordingly ($3,000-$5,000).
Dell’ Arte Instruments is an acoustic guitar company located in San Diego, California, that builds gypsy-style acoustic guitars inspired by the vintage Maccaferri and Selmer brands. You might recognize this guitar shape as one made famous by Django Reinhardt. If you play gypsy jazz acoustic guitar music, these are some of the best. All instruments are handcrafted in the U.S.A. by John Kinnard. John Kinnard focues primarily on acoustic guitars, but also makes mandolins.
The founder of Di Giorgio’s fine acoustic guitars, “Romeu Di Giorgio,” was born in Rome, Italy, in 1889. Romeu was a violin luthier apprentice under Professor Fritelli, who passed down many secrets of violin making that Romeu Di Giorgio later applied to acoustic guitar building when he launched his company in 1908. Romeu began making everything from violins, to violas, to mandolins to acoustic guitars. He was know as one of the best Ateliers in the area. His legend lives on today with Di Giorgio acoustic guitars.
Boris Dommenget, founder of Dommenget custom acoustic guitars, creates custom instruments to order using air-dried tone, historic woods. They are very popular with 80s style rockers due to their flashy styles. Dommenget even makes a Flying V inspired acoustic guitar, which is quite unique (perfect for big hair band acoustic sets). We tend to like their Explorer inspired acoustic guitar a bit more as it’s a bit more classy.
Doolin Guitars creates double cutaway acoustic guitars (like shown to the left) that are based on traditional acoustic guitar building techniques. These are highly playable acoustics that will truly stand out on stage with their unique, “modern classic” design. As a result, Doolin Guitars combines the conventional with the unconventional in their acoustic guitar designs…quite well, actually.
Founded by Lloyd Loard in the early part of the 20th century, Eastman guitars was one of the premiere, early-years acoustic guitar luthiers. They made their name with violins and cellos, but changed their focus to guitars. Their models include the Parlor, Grand Concert, Orchestra, Grand Auditorium, Dreadnaught and Jumbo…all classic designs for classic acoustic guitar needs.
Started by Epi Stathopoulo, the company’s founder, Epiphone helped steer the musical instrument industry away from only producing mandolins and banjos (for early jazz music) and toward acoustic guitar making. Epi was awarded many patents over the years for his innovative approach to building acoustic guitars (one of which was the extension truss rod concept). While these acoustic guitars are not considered to be of the same quality as today’s boutique acoustic instruments, they were one of the founding companies. Epiphone makes some quality entry-level guitars with some higher end models.
Kent Everett offers his own acoustic guitar models along with custom acoustic designs, conceived through relationships with his customers. The Elan Series of acoustic guitars (of which only a handful are built each year and have a long waiting list) feature Brazilian Rosewood and adornments with Abalone, Mother of Pearl or Koa (an exotic tone wood from Hawaii). The Sofia models are made from Koa or Walnut and feature exquisite fingerboards along with a unique side port (top of guitar) to help further amplify the guitar’s tone to the player during performance. Additional models include Catalina and Alienzo. These are some incredible acoustic guitars, so be sure to check out their website.
Forshage Custom Instruments handcrafts very elaborate and harmonically rich hollowbody and archtop guitars. These are guitars for the those with an artistic eye and and a very conscious understanding of good tone. Some of them feature tone wood tailpieces and artistic carved F-holes (like this Forshage acoustic guitar shown above).
Froggy Bottom Guitars, based out of Vermont, makes some of the most incredible modern boutique guitar. They make arguably one of the best Martin 00-inspired acoustic guitars on the boutique market. Their acoustic guitars are built free standing, like the classic acoustics that started the industry many years ago, and do not use molds. The bracing for Froggy Bottom acoustic guitars is carved and implemented by hand. They welcome custom guitar projects, so be sure to reach out to them if you’d like a custom acoustic guitar made.
Fylde Guitars were first made in 1973, although Roger Bucknall had been making professional guitars on a small scale for many years. His initial intention was to establish a company to make instruments for the complex styles evolving in the UK, but Fylde’s range has since increased to include instruments for folk, jazz and acoustic rock, while their reputation for quality and individuality has spread world-wide throughout all styles of music. Check out the Single Malt Guitars!
Gallagher Guitars is a small boutique acoustic guitar company who makes small batches of handcrafted instruments for tonally-inspired guitar players. They have a huge stock of tone woods, utilize technical design innovations and are always improving upon their acoustic guitar designs. They cure their own wood and use customer feedback to make further improvements. Models include: Dreadnaught, Slope Dreadnaught, Grand Auditorium, Grand Concert and more.
Gibson was one of the first acoustic guitar companies and helped set the standard for tone. Their J-35 (which Robert Johnson played) and J-45 guitars are some of the most revered blues, country and rhythm acoustic guitars still being played today. Their acoustic guitars are still handmade, one at a time, by some of the world’s greatest acoustic guitar luthiers. The Gibson acoustic factory is located in Bozeman, MT, where they are inspired by some of America’s most beautiful countryside. The local climate is also ideal for acoustic guitar making. Their “MasterBuilt” acoustic guitars helped start it all, and you simply can’t go wrong with a Gibson. They have too many acoustics to lists, so check out their website for more models.
Go Guitars is one of the finer acoustic guitar companies making travel guitars that are convient for flying, road trips, backpacking or simply taking to the park. Their slender, boxy body shape allows them to be conveniently transported for nearly any playing situation. They fit in the overhead compartment on an airplane with room for more luggage.
Godin Guitars makes electrics and acoustics, and their Multiac Series acoustic guitars offer both steel and nylon string options, and are incredible instruments for the esoteric performer or acoustic recording guitarist. Their acoustic guitars feature highly transparent electronics to help amplify the acoustic sound through a PA or acoustic guitar amp. Their body shapes are quite unique, as with most Godin guitars, like this one shown to the left. Their A-series acoustic guitars offer the acoustic tone you expect along with comfortable playability like an electric guitar.
Goodall acoustic guitars are super high-end, handcrafted instruments made with exotic tone woods in Hawaii. James Goodall, founding luthier, creates some of the most touch-sensitive and 3D-sounding acoustic guitars on the market. His instruments can be found in hig-end guitar shops around the country and a treat to play. These are instruments that offer so much tone that it feels like the music plays itself. You need to play one to know what we mean.
Having built flat top, arch top and double-soundhole guitars for some of the most incredible guitar players in the world, Steve Grimes (founder) has created a brand that is alive and strong. He specializes in constructing custom guitars for discerning guitarists who know the sound, style and look they are looking for. Steve helps bring acoustic guitar dreams to life.
Granata Guitars creates nice acoustic guitars that are built in a climate-controlled shop with incredible tone woods as you would expect. Some of their acoustic guitars have uniquely slender single cutaway designs (like this guitar to the left). Granata uses wooden bindings and glossy guitar finishes to help protect each guitar and make it shine. Their acoustic guitars feature 5-pieces laminated wood for the necks (for durability), many different tuning options, a scarf joint in the headstock to help prevent cracking, custom inlays and more more custom options available by request of the customer.
Michele Greci, founder of Greci Guitars, has focused his luthier career on creating louder acoustic guitars that can keep up with other instruments. These classical guitars are practically twice as loud as other classical guitars built using standard methods, and they sustain for days with rich overtones. These are incredible concert classical guitars. They look amazing too with unique double soundhole placement and aesthetics.
Guild guitars are one of the forefathers of guitar making. Their acoustic guitars can be heard on classic country, folk and bluegrass albums spanning many decades. They make quality 12-string guitars, 6-string acoustics and more. Vintage Guild guitars can sell for a lot of money, but newer Guilds are still being made today.
Header luthier, Michael Heiden, is known for making very fine acoustic guitars, mandolins and more. Michael is going on half a century in the business and knows what guitarists want from his own experience as an acoustic player. The Heiden line of acoustic guitars includes: 0M, 00, Dreadnaught, Jumbo, Jumbo Jr., Gypsy Jazz (inspired by Selmer) and arch top guitars.
Kenny Hill, founder of the Hill Guitar Company, is an experienced guitar-making teacher, performing acoustic guitarist, freelance magazine article writer and acoustic guitar luthier. This man does it all. He makes high-end classical guitars in two models: Signature and Performance. They sell for $6k-$12k, typically, and are some of the finest classical acoustic guitars on the market. They are louder than most, as well, due to their unique double soundhole placement on the side of the guitar next to the neck-body joint.
Stephen Hill, not to be confused with Kenny Hill, makes high-end, traditionally-styled classical guitars out of England. He has been in business since the mid 1980s, and actually guitar his start (like some other guitar luthiers) as a fine furniture apprentice. Hill Guitars are born out of a love for Flamenco guitar styles, and Stephen Hill has gone to great lengths to study and produce his guitar designs. He has consulted with guitar greats like Juan Serrano and Paco Pena, along with well-known luthiers like Antonio Marin Montero and Manuel Reyes. He has truly mastered his craft.
Hoffman makes solid wood acoustic guitars by hand that model traditional designs. However, they also make an incredibly unique harp guitar that inspired by the Dryer harp guitars made in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. Charles Hoffman has years of experience in repairing these guitars, so he decided to make one per a customer’s request. They also make a Dreadnaught, Concert (6 and 12 string), Parlor, Single O, Sloped D, Jumbo (6 and 12 string), OO and Piccolo guitar.
By the mid-80s with the interest in instrumental rock guitar on the rise, Ibanez collaborated with players such as Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Paul Gilbert and brought out the JEM, JS, RG and S models. Today, present day versions such as these models still considered the standard in hard rock and instrumental rock guitars. As well known for its jazz guitars as it is for rock, Ibanez has an impressive line of jazz boxes including the aforementioned George Benson models, two Pat Metheny models, and most recently, the new John Scofield signature semi-acoustic.
Handcrafted one at a time, the acoustic instruments created by the luthiers of Ithaca Stringed Instruments draw upon the rich heritage of American lutherie, mixed with a sensitive amalgam of modern technologies. This unique line of Florentine guitar & mandolin family instruments have the grace & feel of classics with the performance and sound of truly modern masterworks.
Michael Kelly, founder of Kelly Guitar Company, began making acoustic guitars in the very late 1990s. His models include the Sojourn 6 Travel Guitar, Series 10 Folk Cutaway and Full Body, Series 15 Arena Acoustic, a couple Jumbos and a bunch of Dreadnaughts. These acoustic guitars are not boutique quality, but more applicable for entry-level guitarists looking for a first instrument.
Kingslight Guitars are high-end, hand-crafted tonal masterpieces that are simply amazing to play. They are highly responsive, stay in tune, gorgeous guitars that feature unique bridge designs and rounded shapes for ergonomic comfort. They make an OM steel string, Dreadnaught, Small Jumbo, Jumbo and Super Jumbo. All of the classic acoustic guitar designs are covered except for the 00, 000 and sloped shoulder Dreadnaught. No need to worry. You’re bound to find one you like if you can get your hands on them.
Made in the countryside of Texas, Kinscherff Guitars is a very small boutique guitar shop that puts out only 20 guitars per year. Models include the High Noon, Concert, Dreadnaught and Troubador…which has the shape of a Gibson L-00, the famous acoustic blues guitar, and can be made as a short scale 12-string guitar. The High Noon is their most requested guitar, and is a small Jumbo that works great for either finger-style playing or flat picking.
LaPatrie is a Canadian acoustic guitar company located in the forestland of eastern Quebec. They got their start in the early 1980s and is now part of a community of luthiers (around 200) that build some very fine classical guitars. There are five classic acoustic guitar models in their line: Etude, Motif, Concert, Presentation and the Collection. These are highly-resonant classical guitars made from choice tone woods that stand the test of time. Some include active pickup circuitry.
Lado Musical, founded by Joe Kovacic, makes high-end guitars (mainly electrics) following traditional designs. This Dreadnaught shown to the left, the Limited Edition JK Lado Signature Acoustic, uses Joe’s own stock of Brazilian Rosewood (owned since the mid 1970s). The guitar features a 3-part Mahogany neck with Ebony or Purple Heart tone woods used for the center, a B.C. Spruce top that is made from wood over 500 years old, and African Ebony fretboard. This guitar sells for nearly $5,000.
Lakewood Guitars makes handmade acoustic guitars built to be highly playable and inspirational…just like everyone tries, right? Well, these German-made acoustics do a pretty good job at it. Their Natural, Deluxe and Premium series are made with highly resonant AAAA-grade European Spruce soundboards, Indian Rosewood back and sides, and Mahogany necks. Those tone woods are some of the most revered for quality acoustic tone. They even make a J-32 baritone acoustic guitar that is incredibly cool. Visit their website to learn more about their guitars.
Landola guitars are handmade, singly by skilled luthiers led by Erkii Noromies in Finland. They use Finnish wood (heat-treated) in the majority of their acoustic guitars and have many models, including: their 60th Jubilee (anniversary guitar), the modern Artist Cutaway, the Curly Birch acoustic guitar (quite unique), classicals, the D-Series dreadnaughts, J-Series jumbos, Landola Ragtime guitars, 12-string guitars, mandolins and more.
Chris Larkin makes fine acoustic guitars in three different body shapes which he calls ASAP, ASAP Jumbo and ASAPJ. They feature soundboard tops made from either Sitka Spruce or Cedar tone woods, with backs and sides made from Walnut and Mahogany. But, Chris will work with a lot of different tone wood options. These are just the standards in his line of acoustic guitars. Fingerpicking guitarists will want to check out the ASAP model, while rhythm strummers will find joy in the ASAPJ acoustic models. Chris also offers withe scalloped or fine bracing for underneath the soundboards, based on your preference. These are custom made acoustic guitars, so reach out to them if you’re interested in building one to your specifications.
Jean Larrivee, founder of Larrivee guitars, began his career by studying classical guitar in his early 20s. Edgar Munch became an early influence, and Jean began learning the craft of building acoustic guitars under this mentorship. Larrivee makes some of the best mid-level acoustic guitars (and some great high-end acoustics as well) for the intermediate guitarist who wants stellar acoustic tone without breaking the bank. They can typically be found in most acoustic guitar shops around the world, so they should be easy to play in a town near you. But, visit their website to get a closer look at their different designs. Their L-03 (Mahogany), in particular, is a great acoustic at around $1,600.
Most of the time, you won’t want to see your acoustic guitar doing what you see to the left. Looks bad, right? Well, it’s not so bad with Leach Guitars. They feature hinged necks to allow for easy packing and traveling (fits in a small bag) across country with. This helps save space in the overhead compartments of airplanes. What’s also unique about Leach Guitars is that they specialize in custom inlay work for other luthiers (Martin, PRS, etc.). Their inlays are some of the best in the industry.
Lowden Guitars simply makes some of the most incredibly playable and aesthetically pleasing acoustic guitar sin the world. For many decades, Lowden has been producing acoustics with very deep bass that still maintaing the lower midrange frequencies and a sparkling high end to add brilliance. They are the fingerpickers dream guitar, hands down. Their guitars also have a very curvy nature to them, and you’ll see what we mean when you play them. If you can find Lowden Guitars in your area, give them a test drive.
Mark Lacey, founder of Lacey Guitars, was obviously influenced by the greatest arch top guitar designers of our time (D’Aquisto, D’Angelico, etc.). These are traditional arch top designs that are inspired by years of analysis and repair work done on the classics of yesteryear. These guitars are also highly durable and ready to be played on a consistent basis, for years. If you’re in the market for an acoustic arch top guitar, definitely check out Lacey Guitars.
AJ Lucas, founder of Lucas Guitars, builds radial-design classical guitars and steel string acoustic guitars in many different looks. His line of acoustic guitars includes the Radial Hawaiian guitar, Radial Steel String acoustic guitar, Radial Classical, the Parlour acoustic guitar and many more. Check out AJ’s website to learn more about his acoustic guitars.
When you’re done checking out this incredible Manzer cross-neck steel string guitar to the left, let’s talk about Manzer guitars. Linda Manzer, founder and luthier, makes most every single part of her acoustic guitars: necks, bodies, and soundboards along with the amazing Manzer pearl headstock logo and inlays. Fretboards are slotted all wood is bent by hand (she’s really strong). She’s always on the hunt for Curly Maple in the lumber yards for both her electric and acoustic guitars. Very nice acoustic luthier.
Warning: This site contains extremely high quality handmade instruments at an affordable price. You may be shocked. If you can’t handle this rare exception to the rule then please do not enter this site. Otherwise, experience Marler Guitars.
The Martin Guitar Company has remained in the Martin family for over 150 years and is now owned by C.F. Martin IV. Foremost is the Martin family’s tradition is the dedication to quality craftsmanship and to making each guitar possess the quality of sound that is the basis of the Martin legend. The Martin tradition of quality is not only the Martin family’s tradition, but the tradition of the many generations of workers who contributed and continue to contribute making Martin Guitar Co. a legend. The art of building the world’s finest acoustic guitars is passed down to each generation.
Going on half a century as a premier acoustic guitar luthier, Ellio Martina continues to build instruments with the ultimate craftsmanship of aged tone woods and the highest quality parts fit for his guitars. Ellio Martina specializes in arch top guitars and nylon classical guitars.
Founding luthier George Gorodnitski started Master Guitars in the 1980s (in Europe) as a violin-trained luthier. He took his skills to acoustic guitar making and has created some of the world’s finest hand-crafted acoustic guitars. His guitars are also able to be played with a bow.
Maton Guitars is the oldest guitar company still in business in Australia. They build unique acoustic guitars with local Australian tone woods. Their founder, Bill May, is a central figure in the Australian guitar scene as a result of his longstanding reputation for building quality acoustic guitars.
Brent McElroy, founding luthier, builds detail-focused steel-stringed acoustic guitars by hand, one at a time. Their guitars simply have more resonance and overall tone than even some of best mass-produced high-end acoustic guitars available today. They specialize in 00, 000 and classical modeled guitars. Their Standard model acoustic is a cutaway made with exotic tone woods (as shown to the left).
John Mello, owner and luthier, builds handmade concert acoustic guitars that offer incredible tonal range and maximum sound projection. John has been building guitars for over 4 decades and has always built guitars that are extremely touch sensitive. These guitars are great for folk and country, but especially finger-style guitar playing. These guitars really bloom the longer you play them, as it settles underneath the specific characteristics of your playing style.
Based out of Norway, Mentyjaervi is a little custom guitar shop that also repairs instruments. They build customized acoustic guitars per the customer’s specification along with keen recommendations on choice of tone woods, exotic inlays or unique designs.
Founded by Jimmy Moon in the late 1970s, Moon Guitars is a Scottish company that started by creating dulcimers and swiftly transitioned into building acoustic guitars with incredible craftsmanship…and eventually mandolins. Moon Guitars is now based out of Glasgow and offers Standard, Select, Signature (Bryan Adams, Doug MacLean), and Historic models.
Brad Nickerson, founding luthier of Nickerson Guitars, has been making acoustic guitars since the early 1980s and has developed a global reputation for incredible arch top and acoustic guitars. They are sold in high-end guitar shops due to their elegant aesthetics and extreme playability. Like a handful of other custom guitar luthiers, Brad has had one of his guitars featured in the prestigious Blue Guitar Collection exhibit at the Smithsonian. On the acoustic side of his business, Brad mostly focuses on his D-55 Dreadnaught (shown left) which is more balanced across the low to high notes than a typical dreadnaught. This makes it an incredible bluegrass or singer/songwriter guitar.
Norman Guitars is part of the eclectic luthier community in La Patrie, Quebec (CA), and employs town residents with deep ancestry in the area. The area is rich with forests, which offers incredible local tone wood selections for acoustic guitar making. Norman Guitars makes 3 acoustic guitar series: Protege, Encore and Studio. They are mostly all dreadnaughts (full body and single cutaway) with some variances.
Jim Olson, founding luthier of Olson Guitars, builds acoustic guitars in the Dreadnaught, Jumbo and Small Jumbo body shapes. They feature numerous different tone woods and finish options. His Small Jumbo (Indian Rosewood back/sides and cedar soundboard) is probably his most popular acoustic guitar. Phil Keaggy was the first guitarist to play an Olson Small Jumbo, and then James Taylor eventually picked up two of them for himself (plus a Dreadnaught).
Ovation guitars became popular in the 80s, and really took off when Dave Matthews played one early in his career. They have a unique plastic back with a wooden top to create their unique tone. They are typically low-action acoustic guitars meant to be plugged in. Their electrified acoustic sound is a signature tone that is great for juicy acoustic rhythms and lead lines. They project very well due to their combination of composite materials and traditional tone wood soundboards.
Petillo Guitars uses aged tone woods (usually exotic), highly precise fretwork, comfortable necks and string setups and gorgeous inlays that really help bring their guitars to life. These are Masterpiece guitars that will provide a lifetime of inspired acoustic guitar playing.
Petros Guitars makes hand-crafted, pre-stress arch top acoustic guitars. They feature some of the most strong and stable soundboards for loud volume and rich tone. The overtones literally jump out of these acoustic guitars in a way that make it seem like it’s playing itself along with you. The necks are extremely playable and will inspire years of advancement in your acoustic guitar playing. Their acoustic models include a cutaway Jumbo, cutaway acoustic Archtop, cutaway Dreadnaught, and “Lady Butterfly” which is a sloped shoulder acoustic guitar with intricate inlay work of butterflies. These are gorgeous guitars.
Raimundo y Aparicio makes handmade acoustic instruments that are never the same as another. They have been awarded the Trade Craftsman and Trade Chambe Prizes in the early 1990s for their incredible acoustic luthier skills. They start with incredible tone woods, given the utmost care and respect in handling, to build their fine acoustics. They’ve become internationally recognized for their craftsmanship.
Rainsong guitars are unique in that they are made from Carbon Graphite to produce a crisp, solid and loud acoustic guitar sound. Their piano-like tones resonate loud and clear to help you wail on their acoustic guitars. The bass tones are deep and tight while the highs are brilliant without sounding harsh. These are truly unique guitars that will last a lifetime and provide a unique acoustic guitar playing experience.
Jim Redgate, founder of Redgate Guitars, produces roughly 15 acoustic guitars per year working by himself. These are exquisite classical guitars that are made with as few tools as possible but feature innovative design elements like the braceless back (arched), which helps to increase the guitar’s sound projection. A honeycomb lattice made of carbon fiber is placed under the soundboard to provide structural support and tonal superiority in terms of resonance. These are very nice classical acoustic guitars.
Rick Turner makes acoustic-electric guitars that offer wide a wide frequency range and are perfect for the performing or recording acoustic musician who needs to plug in. Their thin body shapes help to limit feedback that is all too common with plugging acoustic guitars into an acoustic amp or PA system. They also feature a custom piezo pickup on the bridge along with a Highlander preamp powered by 18 volts to produce incredible sonic clarity when plugged in. Their acoustic guitar models come as classicals, 6 or 12-string acoustics or 6/12-string baritone acoustic guitars.
Ribbecke Guitars, based out of San Francisco (CA), got its start repairing guitars many decades ago. They officially became a luthier in the mid 1970s and began building fine acoustic and arch top guitars in SF’s Mission District. After a decade in business, Ribbecke began focusing solely on custom guitar projects for clients around the world. Ribbecke now works closely with customers to bring imaginative acoustic guitar designs to life through collaboration, innovation and traditional techniques and best practices. Fear not the custom project, as Ribbecke offers a 100% money-back guarantee for any custom guitar project. But, they’ve yet to have a customer need to take advantage of this due to the incredible craftsmanship in the end result.
Manuel Rodriguez comes from a line of incredible acoustic guitar history. His grandfather was an established flamenco guitarist, and his father was a well-respected classical guitar luthier. With this background, Manuel Rodriguez is able to create some of the most incredible acoustic guitars on the planet. He uses the finest tone woods, forms the acoustic guitars’ sides by hand to exact tolerances and thus creates an acoustic guitar that is a breeze to play.
Richard Hoover, founder of Santa Cruz Guitar Company, is one of the most well-respected acoustic guitar luthiers in the United States. They’ve become especially famous for their Tony Rice signature Dreadnaught acoustic guitars…which are modeled after Tony’s unique D-28 given to him by Clarence White. Santa Cruz Guitar Company’s other acoustic designs are inspired by traditional models, but are of extremely high quality with classy detail. Richard has been building acoustic guitars since the mid 1970s, but actually got his start in building custom-carved top mandolins in the early 1970s. These are some of the best acoustic guitars in the industry, and you definitely need to check them out. They have probably the coolest acoustic guitar company logo on the planet (as shown on the 12th fret of this Tony Rice Signature guitar above).
Seagull Guitars offers some of the best entry/mid-level acoustic guitars that money can buy. They are great for hobbyist acoustic guitar players who like to play songs around the campfire or at a party. These acoustic guitars featured tapered headstocks, backs and sides uniquely made from Wild Cherry tone woods, and a slightly different body shape. They feature solid tops for optimal resonance and are finished with lacquer. They also make a newer acoustic guitar design that uses what’s called a “compound curve” top.
Ervin Somogyi, founding luthier of Somogyi Guitars, is going on half a century in the acoustic guitar making business. His acoustic guitar designs receive global recognition for their incredible performance in the recording studio. He has an incredible lineup of supporting acoustic guitarists using his guitars, and some of them include Michael Hedges, the late John Denver, Mike Marshall, The California Guitar Trio, Will Ackerman and more. These are very fine acoustic guitars, so check them out.
Tacoma makes quality mid-level acoustic guitars, and some of them feature a very cool shaped soundhole that is placed on the guitar’s sound board above the highest frets of the fretboard. This helps the guitar’s top to resonate more and produce a louder volume due to a larger solid surface area. Tacoma really is an innovative acoustic guitar company that has become quite popular in recent decades. Their guitars can be found in most major guitar shops in the United States. They’re actually the United States’ third largest builder of acoustic stringed instruments. One of Washington state’s finest companies.
Takamine Guitars have become quite popular as mid-level to higher end acoustic guitars, although not quite boutique like companies of Goodall, Santa Cruz and Collings’ stature. These are some of the best acoustic guitars that can be found regularly in guitar shops arounds the world. They select their tone woods unique for each guitar and top-notch acoustic luthiers bring them to life as one of the most accessible quality acoustic guitars found today.
Taylor Guitars has become such a recognized mainstay in acoustic guitars that their line has grown to around 100 models. Most of their guitars are high-end, solid wood acoustic guitars that can come with tapered or scalloped bracing, ebony bridges and fretboards and their own pickup circuitry. These guitars are very playable and quite popular with the majority of guitarists looking to upgrade from a lower-level acoustic guitar. They work for nearly every acoustic guitar style.
Threet Guitars, founded by Judy Threet in the early 90s, are handmade boutique acoustic guitars that come in 3 different acoustic body styles: Custom, Deluxe and Standard. Their Standard acoustci guitar is the most affordable as it leaves out the custom adornments in favor of producing a lower-cost but highly playable acoustic guitar. But, this guitar is no longer made. Judy now focuses on her Custom and Deluxe models, which are of very high quality.
Standard models from Traphagan are made from European or choice Engelmen Spruce…or even Red Cedar tone wood. The backs and sides of Traphagan guitars are made from tone woods like Brazilian, Honduras or Indian Rosewood…or even Spanish Cypress wood. Their acoustic guitar necks are always made with Spanish Cedar and reinforced with an innovative method using a hidden graphite bar. Eboy fingerboards and Brazillian Rosewood bridge construction wraps up some of the finest acoustic guitars around.
Jim Holler, founding luthier of Trinity Guitars, has been awarded 8 patents (incredible!) over several decades as a skilled woodworker and designer. He was schooled in Syracuse, New York’s School of Forestry, and has invented a “bent top” acoustic guitar design. The acoustic guitars that Jim custom crafts are inspired by the Germanic Hauser School of guitar making…but he has taken them in new directions with his own advancements in luthier work. Jim is especially fond of the classical guitar, so take note.
Versoul Guitars draws on inspiration from European modernism in design/art to make their unique acoustic guitars. Kari Nieminen, founding luthier, uses this artistic background to influence his guitar design concepts, shapes and tonal response. Versoul uses tone woods acquired from long-standing suppliers in both Europe and the USA. They also make electric guitars using the very unique Finnish Basswood along with the classic tone wood, Alder.
Abe Wechter, founding luthier of Wechter Guitars, has developed a reputation for building affordable guitars with quality construction and aesthetic appeal. These guitars are currently built out of Fort Wayne, IN, and have a legendary list of supporting artists including Al Di Meola, Steve Howe, John McLaughlin and B.B. King. His unique Pathmaker guitar is a double cutaway, thin body shape, Mahogany acoustic guitar with active pickup circuitry. It also has an incredibly supportive neck joint.
Kathy Wingert builds hand-crafted acoustic guitars using solid tone woods and traditional luthier techniques to create durable and toneful acoustic guitars that will last a lifetime. Their sonic goals with each guitar are maximum sustain, clarity and playability. Oh, and they look gorgeous too. Check out Wingert acoustic guitars.