Guitar Brand Guide

We put this helpful guitar brand guide together for anyone looking to buy a used guitar. Be sure to contact us and let us know of any guitar brands you'd like to see added to our list.

No matter if you're a guitar rookie or a professional guitarist, eventually, there's a time when you need to decide what kind of guitar you want to buy. Acoustic or electric is usually first on the list of questions you'll want to answer. Once you've decided on the type of guitar you want, your next step is to determine a guitar brand. Start by doing some research on guitar brands and be sure to ask other people their opinions about the guitar you want to buy. Buying a used guitar is a lot easier if you've done your research about the type of guitar being sold.

Alvarez Guitars
Alvarez is a guitar brand founded in 1965 by distributor St. Louis Music. Alvarez has generally produced acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars, including classical guitars, and for a time solid-body electric guitars and basses. From 2005 to 2009, the brand was owned by LOUD Technologies, which also owns Mackie, Ampeg, Crate and other music-related brands. In 2009, Mark Ragin brought the management and distribution of the guitars back to St. Louis Music. As early as 2011, SLM senior vice president Chris Meikle has acted as Alvarez head of development, overseeing the redesign of Artist Series and other models and rolling out new instrument lines such as the 2014 Masterworks Series and the Alvarez 50th anniversary 1965 Series. While many of its models are produced in China, the top-tier Alvarez-Yairi instruments are handmade at the Yairi factory in Kani, Gifu-Japan, part of the legacy of Kazuo Yairi, the late master luthier.

BC Rich Guitars
B.C. Rich is an American brand of acoustic and electric guitars and bass guitars founded by Bernardo Chavez Rico in 1969. The company started to make electric guitars in the 1970s that were notable for their atypical body shapes. In the following decade B.C. Rich gained a broader exposure with the popularity of heavy metal and has since often been linked to that music scene. The company briefly switched owners in the 1990s before being acquired in the 2000s by Hanser Music Group, a distribution company based in Hebron, Kentucky. B.C Rich has since been licensed to Praxis Musical based in Orange, California. The high-end B.C. Rich instruments are custom-made in the USA by Ron Estrada whereas the mid- and low-budget models are produced in different countries in Asia.

Blueridge Guitars
The Blueridge brand are Chinese-built and have won praise from publications such as Guitarist Magazine, Total Guitar and Music Maker for quality and affordability. The company specializes in historic and pre-war reproductions that are used by folk and bluegrass players. Endorsed by UK bluesman Martin Harley, two Blueridge models were used to break the world record for the highest gig ever played.

Breedlove Guitars
Breedlove Guitars was established in 1990 by luthiers Larry Breedlove and Steve Henderson, while working at Taylor Guitars. After moving to Oregon, Breedlove and Henderson began specializing in custom, fingerstyle six and twelve string guitars. In 1991 the first Breedlove guitar model appeared, after experiments with the JLD bridge truss system and various bracing techniques. Breedlove strives to be environmentally conscious, and is "dedicated to selecting alternatives to endangered rainforest woods." Breedlove has since expanded to include mandolins and ukuleles. Breedlove innovations include sound profiling technology, which has been implemented to twenty five guitar models, including the Parlor, Concerto, and Dreadnought. This technology involves an analysis of the sound board to ensure specific thickness reaches the desired frequency and that the ideal match of top and back is a weight that results in a precise sound meeting a high clarity standard. Other innovations include the use of smaller sound hole studies to produce guitars with extreme clarity and resonance.

Kiesel Guitars
Kiesel Guitars is an American manufacturer of electric guitars and electric bass guitars located in Southern California. It was founded in 2015 and took over the guitar and bass portions of Carvin Corporation. Lowell Kiesel founded Carvin Corporation in San Diego, California in 1946 as the L. C. Kiesel Company to manufacture guitar pickups. By 1947, the company manufactured steel guitars in Gothenburg, Nebraska. Around 1948, it returned to Southern California—and, in 1949, moved to Baldwin Park, California, where the company name changed to Carvin, after Kiesel's two eldest sons, Carson and Gavin. Starting in the 1970s, Mark Kiesel took over the guitar department and started offering custom instruments made to order to allow customers to choose from a range of available body shapes, woods, colors, electronics, and other features. In 1995, Jeff Kiesel started working for the company, and in 2011 he began to help with design and instrument development.

Charvel Guitars
Charvel is a brand of electric guitars founded in the 1970s by Wayne Charvel in Azusa and headquartered in Glendora, both cities in California. Charvel guitars became popular in the 1980s due to their association with famous rock and heavy metal guitarists such as Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen), Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi), Warren DeMartini (Ratt), Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee (Ozzy Osbourne), Vinnie Vincent (Kiss), Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister), George Lynch (Dokken), Criss Oliva (Savatage), Allan Holdsworth, Shawn Lane, and others. Modern Charvel players include Mike Orlando (Adrenaline Mob), Guthrie Govan (The Aristocrats), and Joe Duplantier (Gojira).

Cordoba Guitars
In the late spring/early summer of 2014, Fender's New Hartford Guild facility closed its doors as FMIC prepared to sell off the Guild brand. Cordoba Music Group (CMG), Based in Santa Monica, California, stepped in and purchased the Guild brand rights and began setting up a new manufacturing facility in Oxnard, California, led by Gibson alum Ren Ferguson as the VP of Manufacturing and R&D. Cordoba started ramping up production in late 2015, releasing its first models (M-20 and D-20) in early 2016. Higher-end models like the D-55 were released in late 2017.

Daisy Rock Guitars
Daisy Rock Girl Guitars is a girl-guitar company founded in 2000 by Tish Ciravolo. Daisy Rock Girl Guitars has instruments available in over 26 countries worldwide. Tish Ciravolo credits her oldest daughter Nicole for inspiring her to create Daisy Rock Girl Guitars. When Nicole was one-and-a-half years old, she drew a picture of a daisy while coloring with her mother. Tish was inspired to draw a guitar neck and headstock on the picture. She developed the design and took it to her husband, Michael Ciravolo, the President of Schecter Guitar Research. (Schecter had grown, under Michael’s leadership, from its original roots as a small instrument parts company in the 1970s and 1980s into a major guitar manufacturer. Early Schecter endorsees included Michael’s old friend Robert De Leo from Stone Temple Pilots, as well as artists like Prince). The resulting first model, the “Daisy” guitar, debuted in November 2000 at Seattle’s RockGrl Conference. During the conference, musician Courtney Love saw the guitar and liked it so much she graciously gave her stamp of approval with an autograph. In 2006, the Courtney Love signed Daisy Rock Guitar was inducted into the NAMM Museum of Making Music along with Tish Ciravolo and the original drawings by Nicole Ciravolo.

Dean Guitars
Dean Guitars, commonly referred to simply as Dean, is an American manufacturer of stringed instruments and musical products. It is known for its solid-body electric guitars, bass guitars, and acoustic guitars such as the Dean ML, the Dean V, the Dean Z, but more recently the Dean Razorback, Dean Stealth, Dean Icon, Dean VMNT, Dean Zero, and Dean Mako Acoustic Guitar. Its headquarters are in Tampa, Florida. The company also makes and/or distributes a full range of products to include resonator guitars, basses, banjos, mandolins, ukuleles, amplifiers, guitar cases, accessories and custom guitar pickups. The company was founded in Chicago, Illinois, in 1976 by Dean Zelinsky but came to prominence under Elliott Rubinson in 1997 when his company Armadillo Enterprises purchased the trade name. The Dean family today consists of over 100 people: guitar luthiers and techs, distribution and sales staff, customer service providers, office admins, tech and marketing personnel, almost all of which are practicing musicians, artists, and artisans. Armadillo Enterprises today is a privately held organization with Evan Rubinson serving as the Chief Executive Officer.

Epiphone Guitars
Epiphone is American musical instrument manufacturer founded by Anastasios Stathopoulos, currently based in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1957 Epiphone, Inc., of New York City was purchased by Chicago Musical Instrument Co. (CMI, the same company that bought Gibson in 1944) and given the name Epiphone, Inc. of Kalamazoo, Michigan. CMI took great measures to keep Gibson and Epiphone separate in different buildings each with its own management team. Epiphone was Gibson's main rival in the archtop market prior to its acquisition in 1957. Their professional archtops, including the Emperor, Deluxe, Broadway and Triumph, rivaled those of Gibson. Aside from guitars, Epiphone also made double basses, banjos, and other string instruments. However, the company's weakness in the aftermath of World War II allowed Gibson's parent, CMI, to absorb it.

Ernie Ball Music Man Guitars
Music Man is an American guitar and bass guitar manufacturer. It is a division of the Ernie Ball corporation. The Music Man story began in 1971 when Forrest White and Tom Walker formed a company they would call Tri-Sonix, Inc (often incorrectly referred to as "Tri-Sonic"). Tom Walker approached Leo Fender about financial help in forming Tri-Sonix. White had worked with Leo in the very early days of Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company as the plant manager and stayed on after the company was sold to the CBS Corporation, but had grown unhappy with their management. Tom Walker worked as a sales rep at Fender. Because of a 10-year non-compete clause in the 1965 contract that sold the Fender companies to CBS, Leo Fender was a silent partner.

Fender Guitars
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC or simply Fender) is a United States manufacturer of stringed instruments and amplifiers. Fender is best known for its solid-body electric guitars and bass guitars, particularly the Stratocaster, Telecaster, Precision bass, and the Jazz bass. The company was founded in Fullerton, California, by Clarence Leonidas "Leo" Fender in 1946. Its headquarters are in Scottsdale, Arizona. The company also manufactures acoustic guitars, electric basses, mandolins, banjos, and electric violins, as well as guitar amplifiers, bass amplifiers, and PA (public address) equipment. Other Fender brands include Squier, Jackson, Charvel, EVH guitars and amplifiers, and the manufacture and distribution of Gretsch guitars under license.

Gibson Guitars
Gibson Brands, Inc. (formerly Gibson Guitar Corporation) is an American manufacturer of guitars, other musical instruments, and consumer and professional electronics from Kalamazoo, Michigan and now based in Nashville, Tennessee. The company was formerly known as Gibson Guitar Corporation and renamed Gibson Brands, Inc. on June 11, 2013. Gibson sells guitars under a variety of brand names and builds one of the world's most iconic guitars, the Gibson Les Paul. Many Gibson instruments are highly collectible. Gibson was at the forefront of innovation in acoustic guitars, especially in the big band era of the 1930s; the Gibson Super 400 was widely imitated. In 1952, Gibson introduced its first solid-body electric guitar, the Les Paul, which became its most popular guitar to date— designed by Ted McCarty and Les Paul.

G&L Guitars
G&L is a guitar design and production company founded by Leo Fender, George Fullerton, and Dale Hyatt in the late 1970s. Fender sold his eponymous company Fender in 1965. He designed and produced instruments for Music Man in the 1970s through his company CLF Research. When relations with Music Man soured, G&L was created to continue operations outside of Music Man. The G&L name comes from the first names of Fullerton ("G" for "George") and Fender ("L" for "Leo"). G&L instruments are similar to the classic Fenders, but with some modern innovations. They are built at the same facility on Fender Avenue in Fullerton, California that produced the early Music Man instruments. G&L instruments are not widely distributed but are highly regarded by many musicians and collectors. The relatively small scale of production further allows for more custom options that are not possible on larger production lines.

Godin Guitars
Godin Guitars is a Canadian manufacturer that specializes in stringed instruments, including guitars, electric basses, ukuleles, and ouds. The company is owned by founder Robert Godin. Godin started building Robert Godin's guitars in 1972 in La Patrie, Quebec. The head office is located in Montreal, and they build instruments in six factories in four locations—three in Quebec and one in New Hampshire. Godin Guitars makes instruments under several different labels. Norman makes entry- to mid-level acoustic guitars. Art & Lutherie makes entry-level budget acoustic guitars. The Simon and Patrick brand make mid- to high-range steel-string acoustics. La Patrie manufactures classical guitars. Seagull makes solid wood entry- to professional-range acoustic guitars. Guitars under the Godin brand are primarily mid-range to top-of the-line electrics that are made of high quality wood from the northeastern part of North America. They have many models that feature synth pickups (MIDI-equipped) and some with piezo pickup-equipped bridges. Godin has synthesizer pickups as a standard feature in their high end models, and many of their electric models use piezo-acoustic pickups integrated with the bridge assembly.

Gretsch Guitars
Gretsch is an American company that manufactures guitars, basses and drums. The company was founded in 1883 in Brooklyn, New York by Friedrich Gretsch, a 27-year-old German immigrant, shortly after his arrival to the United States. Friedrich Gretsch manufactured banjos, tambourines, and drums until his death in 1895. In 1916, his son, Fred Gretsch Sr. moved operations to a larger facility where Gretsch went on to become one of the most prominent manufacturers of American musical instruments. Most modern-era Gretsch guitars are manufactured in the Far East, though American-made "Custom Shop" models are available. In 2002, Gretsch entered a business agreement with Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC). Under the terms of that agreement Fred W. Gretsch would retain ownership while FMIC would handle most of the development, distribution and sales.

Guild Guitars
The Guild Guitar Company is a United States-based guitar manufacturer founded in 1952 by Alfred Dronge, a guitarist and music-store owner, and George Mann, a former executive with the Epiphone Guitar Company. The brand name currently exists as a brand under Córdoba Music Group. The first Guild workshop was located in Manhattan, New York, where Dronge (who soon took over full ownership) focused on electric and acoustic archtop jazz guitars. Much of the initial workforce consisted of former Epiphone workers who lost their jobs following their 1951 strike and the subsequent relocation of the company from Queens to Philadelphia. Rapid expansion forced the company to move to much larger quarters, on Newark St. in Hoboken, New Jersey, in the old R. Neumann Leathers building. The advent of the folk music craze in the early '60s had shifted the company into production of an important line of acoustic folk and blues guitars, including a dreadnought series (D-40, D-50 and, later, D-55) that competed successfully with Martin's D-18 and D-28 models, and jumbo and Grand Concert "F" models that were particularly popular with blues guitarists like Dave Van Ronk. Notable also was the Guild 12-string guitar, which used a Jumbo "F" body and dual truss rods in the neck to produce a workhorse instrument with a deep, rich tone distinctive from the chimier twelve-strings put out by Martin. The company continued to expand, and was sold to the Avnet Corporation, which moved production to Westerly, Rhode Island, in 1966. As the folk scene quieted, a new generation of folk-rockers took Guild guitars on stage. The most notable Guild performance of that era was on the D-40 that Richie Havens played when he opened the Woodstock Festival in 1969.

Ibanez Guitars
Ibanez is a Japanese guitar brand owned by Hoshino Gakki. Based in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan, Hoshino Gakki were one of the first Japanese musical instrument companies to gain a significant foothold in import guitar sales in the United States and Europe, as well as the first brand of guitars to mass-produce the seven-string guitar and eight-string guitar. Ibanez manufactures effects, accessories, amps, and instruments in Japan, China, Indonesia and in the United States (at a Los Angeles-based custom shop). Currently, there are nearly 165 models of bass guitar, 130 acoustic guitars, and more than 300 electric guitars.

Jackson Guitars
Jackson is a manufacturer of electric guitars and electric bass guitars that bears the name of its founder, Grover Jackson. Owned by the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, Jackson has manufacturing facilities in USA, Mexico, Indonesia, and China. Grover Jackson obtained ownership in Charvel's Guitar Repair of Glendora, California in the 1970s with a promise to bolster Charvel's business. Wayne Charvel eventually sold his interest to Grover Jackson on November 10, 1978, which gave Jackson control of the business and the Charvel name. Jackson Guitars originated in 1980 when guitarist Randy Rhoads approached the company with an idea for an individualized guitar. The collaborative design effort between Rhoads, Grover Jackson, Tim Wilson, and Jackson's masterbuilder, Mike Shannon, resulted in the creation of the Concorde, an innovative revamp of the traditional Flying V. These designs were such a departure from Charvel's Stratocaster-based models that Jackson elected to label them under a different brand name. He chose his own last name, and create the first Jackson guitar.

Kramer Guitars
Kramer Guitars is an American manufacturer of electric guitars and basses. Kramer produced aluminum-necked electric guitars and basses in the 1970s and wooden-necked guitars catering to hard rock and heavy metal musicians in the 1980s; Kramer is currently a division of Gibson Guitar Corporation. There is some dispute over the company's early history, but it begins with Travis Bean, a California luthier who was building guitars with aluminum necks. Bean and Gary Kramer started the Travis Bean guitar company in 1974, in Sun Valley, and while their guitars did well, Bean lost interest and left most of the business aspects to Kramer; the two parted ways. Kramer then founded the company that still bears his name, improving on the Bean design—Bean's necks were heavy and the material felt cold to the touch. Kramer's improvement consisted of two wooden inserts in the back of the neck. By 1975 he had hooked up with a friend from New York, Dennis Berardi, and the two founded BK International, which engaged luthier Phil Petillo to make prototypes for them. Other involved parties were Henry Vaccaro, a real estate person who invested money in the venture, and Peter LaPlaca, who had experience with Norlin, the company that owned Gibson Guitar Corporation from 1969 to 1986. The rest of the account is murky: Kramer says he was supposed to increase production but was too inexperienced in that area, and he wanted to move back to the West Coast. He was to sell back his interests and receive royalties, and then represent the company out west, but none of this seems to have happened.

Martin Guitars
C.F. Martin & Company (often referred to as Martin) is an American guitar manufacturer established in 1833 by Christian Frederick Martin. It is highly respected for its steel-string acoustic guitars and is a leading manufacturer of flat top guitars. The company has also made mandolins and ukuleles as well as several models of electric guitars and electric basses, although none of these other instruments are currently in production. The company's headquarters and primary factory are situated in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, located in the Lehigh Valley region of the state. The building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2018, includes the Martin Guitar Museum, which features over 170 guitars made by the company over its history. Visitors can see pictures of famous guitar owners, try out some guitars, or take a factory tour. Martin also manufactures instruments in Navojoa, Mexico. It produced 182 instruments during 1901, increasing to 56,422 in 2000.

Ovation Guitars
The Ovation Guitar Company is a manufacturer of guitars. Ovation primarily manufactures steel-string acoustic guitars (both 6 and 12-string versions) and nylon-string acoustic guitars, often with pickups for electric amplification. In 2015, it became a subsidiary of Drum Workshop after being acquired from KMCMusicorp. The company's Ovation and Adamas guitars are known for their round backs, which gives them a recognizable shape. The latter are also well known for the use of carbon fiber tops (instead of the typically wood tops for acoustic guitars). Among musicians the relatively thin neck stands out as well, compared to other acoustic guitars.

PRS Guitars
PRS Guitars (also known as Paul Reed Smith Guitars) is an American guitar manufacturer headquartered in Stevensville, Maryland, founded by luthier Paul Reed Smith in 1985. PRS Guitars established a reputation as a manufacturer of high-end electric guitars made in the United States, particularly their "custom shop" instruments. Since the 1990s, PRS has expanded production to Asia, where they manufacture the lower-priced 'SE' line of instruments. As of 2013, they have begun making more affordable guitars in the United States with their 'S2' line. PRS Guitars also manufactures guitar amplifiers; four of PRS's most notable endorsers are Carlos Santana, John Mayer, Mark Holcomb of Periphery, and Alex Lifeson, all four with "signature" guitar models. In addition to this, many other artists endorse the company, including Mike Oldfield (who has used a PRS Artist Custom 24 for studio recordings and live shows since the late 1980s), David Grissom, Steven Wilson, Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth, Paul Allender, Dave Navarro, Ted Nugent, Neal Schon of Journey, Al Di Meola, Jennifer Turner, Clint Lowery, Mark Tremonti, Bernie Marsden, Orianthi and Jakko Jakszyk of King Crimson.

Rainsong Guitars
RainSong is an acoustic guitar manufacturer currently based in Woodinville, Washington, and originally based in Kihei, Maui, Hawaii. The company makes high-end carbon fiber (graphite) bodied acoustics and acoustic electrics, with past models including nylon string guitars, 12-string guitars, and a jazz arch top. RainSong Graphite Guitars is a guitar manufacturing company originally based out of Hawaii that recently moved to the mainland to Woodinville Washington near Seattle. Because the company was in such high demand, relocation allowed for easier distribution. In addition to the 30 states in the U.S., they can now be found in Canada, The United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Singapore, and Australia. RainSong makes about four or five guitars a day and only about five hundred to one thousand in a year compared to larger companies like Fender and Gibson which make that much in a day. This attributes to the cost of the guitar, where they range from about $2,000 to $4,000 depending on the model you purchase, the twelve-string tends to be one of the most expensive.

Rickenbacker Guitars
Rickenbacker International Corporation is an electric string instrument manufacturer based in Santa Ana, California. In 1932, the company became the world's first to produce electric guitars and eventually produced a range of electric guitars and bass guitars. Known for their distinctive jangle and chime, Rickenbacker guitars were favoured by the Beatles, and the 12 string later became associated with jangle pop and the Byrds. The company was founded in 1931 as the Ro-Pat-In Corporation (ElectRo-Patent-Instruments) by Adolph Rickenbacher and George Beauchamp in order to sell electric Hawaiian guitars. These instruments had been designed by Beauchamp, assisted at the National String Instrument Corporation by Paul Barth and Harry Watson. They chose the brand name Rickenbacher (later changed to Rickenbacker), though early examples bear the brand name Electro. Nicknamed "fry-pans" because of their long necks and circular bodies, the instruments were the first solid-bodied electric guitars, though they were a lap-steel type. They had a single pickup with a steel cover that arched over the strings. By the time production ceased in 1939, several thousand "fry-pans" had been produced.

Schecter Guitars
Schecter Guitar Research, commonly known simply as Schecter, is a US guitar, bass and amplifier manufacturer. The company was founded in 1976 by David Schecter and originally produced only replacement parts for existing guitars from manufacturers such as Fender and Gibson. Today, the company mass-produces its own line of electric guitars, bass guitars, and steel-string acoustic guitars, and offers hand-built custom instruments and a small line of guitar amplifiers. In 1976, David Schecter opened Schecter Guitar Research, a repair shop in Van Nuys, California. The shop manufactured replacement guitar necks and bodies, complete pickup assemblies, bridges, pickguards, tuners, knobs, potentiometers, and other miscellaneous guitar parts. Contrary to popular belief, Schecter never supplied parts to Fender nor Gibson. By the late 1970s Schecter offered more than 400 guitar parts, but did not offer any finished instruments. In 1979, Schecter offered, for the first time, its own fully assembled electric guitars. These guitars were custom shop models based on Fender designs. They were considered of very high quality and expensive, and were sold only by twenty retailers across the United States.

Seagull Guitars
Seagull is a Canadian company and sub-brand of Godin Guitars that produces acoustic guitars. The company was originally located in La Patrie, a small village in the Eastern Townships of Quebec and founded in 1982 by Robert Godin and a few of his friends. Seagull guitars feature a headstock which places the tuning machines roughly in line with the nut to improve tuning stability. Most models are available with either the Godin Quantum I electronics (featuring an under saddle transducer) or the Godin Quantum II electronics (with both a transducer and small microphone which can be blended together). Seagull Guitars have also released a "compound-curve" top design on all of their lines. This adds an arch to the top of the guitar to allow fora thinner and a more lightly braced top. This is opposed to the typical flat top of an acoustic guitar which has problems with the sound hole sinking in. As part of the new design, the top has a slight (30' radius) curve slightly above the soundhole which then levels out around the bridge of the guitar. This provides stability while maintaining a traditional sound.

Squier Guitars
The V.C. Squier Company manufactured strings for violins, banjos, and guitars. It was established in 1890 by Victor Carroll Squier in Battle Creek, Michigan. In 1965, the company was acquired by Fender. By 1975, Squier became defunct as a manufacturer and a brand name for strings, as Fender opted to market its strings under the Fender brand name. In 1982, the Squier brand was reactivated by Fender to become its brand for lower priced versions of Fender guitars. Squier guitars have been manufactured in Japan, Korea, Mexico, India, Indonesia, China, and the United States.

Taylor Guitars
Taylor Guitars is an American guitar manufacturer based in El Cajon, California and is the #1 manufacturer of acoustic guitars in the United States. They specialize in acoustic guitars and semi-hollow electric guitars. The company was founded in 1974 by Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug. In 1972, at age 18, Bob Taylor began working at American Dream, a guitar making shop owned by Sam Radding, where Kurt Listug was already an employee. When Radding decided to sell the business in 1974, Taylor, Listug, and a third employee, Steve Schemmer, bought American Dream and renamed it the Westland Music Company. Needing a more compact logo suitable for the guitars' headstock, the founders decided to change the name to Taylor as it sounded more American than Listug. Kurt Listug said, "Bob was the real guitar-maker." Listug became the partnership's businessman while Taylor handled design and production. In 1976, the company decided to sell their guitars through retailers. In 1981, facing financial difficulties, Taylor Guitars took out a bank loan to purchase equipment.

Washburn Guitars
Washburn Guitars is an American manufacturer and importer of guitars, mandolins, and other string instruments. The original company was established in 1883 in Chicago, Illinois. The modern Washburn is a division of US Music Corp., in turn now owned by JAM Industries USA. Washburn "among the top three guitar manufacturers in the world," behind only Fender and Gibson.

Yamaha Guitars
Yamaha Corporation is a Japanese multinational corporation and conglomerate with a very wide range of products and services, predominantly musical instruments, electronics and power sports equipment. Yamaha has manufactured guitars, basses and amplifiers in Japan since 1966. Yamaha's history began when its founder, Torakusu Yamaha, repaired a broken reed organ in 1887. Shortly thereafter, he successfully completed the first reed organ to be built in Japan.

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