10 best guitar brands and some information
The Gibson Guitar Corporation, of Nashville, Tennessee, USA, is a manufacturer of acoustic and electric guitars. Gibson also owns and makes guitars under such brands as Epiphone, Kramer, Valley Arts, Tobias, Steinberger, and Kalamazoo. In addition to guitars, the company makes pianos through its Baldwin unit, Slingerland drums, as well as many accessory items. Company founder Orville Gibson made mandolins in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in the late 1890s. He invented archtop guitars by using the same type of carved, arched tops in guitars. By the 1930s, the company was also making flattop acoustic guitars, as well as the first commercially available hollow-body electric guitars, which were used and popularized by Charlie Christian. In the early 1950s, Gibson introduced its first solid-body electric guitar and its most popular guitar to date—the Les Paul. After being bought by the Norlin corporation in the late 1960s Gibson’s quality and fortunes took a steep decline until early 1986, when the company was rescued by its present owners. Gibson Guitar is a privately held corporation (company stock is not publicly traded on a stock exchange), owned by chief executive officer Henry Juszkiewicz and president David H. (Dave) Berryman.
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation of Scottsdale, Arizona is a manufacturer of stringed instruments and amplifiers, such as solid-body electric guitars, including the Stratocaster and the Telecaster. The company, previously named the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company, was founded in Fullerton, California, by Clarence Leonidas “Leo” Fender in 1946. Leo Fender also designed one of the first commercially successful solid-body electric bass, the Precision Bass (P-Bass), which has become known in rock, jazz, country, funk and other types of music.
The company is a privately held corporation, with the controlling majority of its stock owned by a group of its own company officers and managers. William (Bill) Mendello is Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer and Richard Kerley is Chief Financial Officer.
Fender’s headquarters are in Scottsdale, Arizona with manufacturing facilities in Corona, California (USA) and Ensenada, Baja California (Mexico).
Ibanez (pronounced /ˈaɪbænɛz/ or /aɪˈbænɛz/) is a guitar brand owned by Hoshino Gakki and based in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan. Hoshino Gakki were one of the first Japanese musical instrument companies to gain a significant foothold in the United States and Europe.
4.) B.C. Rich
B.C. Rich is a manufacturer of guitars and bass guitars founded by the late Bernardo Chavez Rico in 1969 and the early 1970s. Currently, most B.C. Rich guitars are manufactured in Asia, but luthiers of the company’s custom shop continue to hand-make instruments. Hanser Music Group now operates the Southern California B.C. Rich custom shop. As of 2001, no member of the Rico family is involved in the production of B.C. Rich guitars.
Charvel is a guitar brand originally founded by Wayne Charvel in Azusa, California and then later, Glendora, California (only the PO Box was in San Dimas); they were made popular by famous rock guitarists such as Edward Van Halen (Van Halen), Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi), Warren DeMartini (Ratt), Dave Mercado (Lazarus), Jake E. Lee (Ozzy Osbourne), Vinnie Vincent (KISS), Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister) and George Lynch (Dokken). The main Charvel models were (then) unique custom revamps of the Fender Stratocaster – often consisting of a Strat-shaped body with a single humbucker and Fender style tremolo bridge system. Many other custom creations were available as well.
The company is best known for its hot rodded Strat designs, known by many guitar gurus as superstrats.
The Epiphone Company is a musical instrument manufacturer founded in 1873 by Anastasios Stathopoulos. Epiphone was bought by Chicago Music Company in 1957 who also had owned Gibson Guitar Corporation. Epiphone was Gibson’s main rival in the archtop market. Their professional archtops, including the Emperor, Deluxe, Broadway and Triumph, rivaled (and some contend surpassed) those of Gibson. Aside from their guitars, Epiphone also made bass guitars, banjos, and other stringed instruments. However, the company’s weakness in the aftermath of World War II allowed Gibson to absorb it.
The name “Epiphone” is a combination of proprietor Epaminondas Stathopoulo’s nickname “Epi” and “phone”, Greek for “sound”.
The first ESP Guitar was made in Japan in 1976. The ESP Company (Electric Sound Products) actually started up a year earlier but only provided guitar replacement parts at that time. ESP guitars and replacement parts continued to be sold exclusively in Japan for nearly a decade before moving into the U.S. market. In 1983 their replacement parts were made available in the U.S and in 1984 their guitars made their American appearance.
In 1984/85 ESP guitars were attracting some attention from great guitarists such as Ronnie Wood (The Rolling Stones), Vernon Reid (Living Colour) and Bruce Kulick (Kiss).
he ESP guitar is still very popular today. At the 2008 Winter NAMM show, ESP introduced over 50 new guitar and bass models. They also have a great selection of high profile guitar players on their roster including James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Alexi Laiho (Children of Bodom), Wayne Static (Static-X), Will Adler (Lamb of God), George Lynch, Ron Wood and newest member Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi). With the great quality of guitars ESP produces, they sure look like they are going to be around for many years to come.
Jackson is a guitar manufacturer originally owned and operated by Grover Jackson, a partner of Wayne Charvel of Charvel Guitar Repair. It started with the creation of the “Rhoads” V model guitar, originally designed and used by guitarist Randy Rhoads (and then used and promoted by Vinnie Vincent of KISS/Vinnie Vincent Invasion after Rhoads’s accidental death. Grover put his name on the Rhoads rather than the Charvel name because he felt the design was too shocking for Charvel’s regular customers. This model inspired Grover to start the Jackson guitar company.
Wayne Charvel sold his interest in the Charvel name to Grover Jackson on November 10, 1978. The shop was located in Glendora, California (while using a PO Box in neighboring San Dimas) and manufactured guitars in this location from 1979 to 1986, when the Company merged with IMC (International Music Corporation), a Texas based importer of musical instruments. The factory then moved to Ontario, California.
Kramer Guitars(KRAY-MUR) 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 musicians in the 1980s; Kramer is currently a division of Gibson Guitar Corporation. Kramer was one of the most popular guitar brands of the 1980s and the best-selling brand of 1985 and 1986.At the height of its popularity, Kramer was considered a prestige instrument and was endorsed by many famous musicians of the day, including Eddie Van Halen, Richie Sambora, Mick Mars, Jennifer Batten, Tom Morello and Vivian Campbell.
For the next 40+ years, Yamaha’s company made organs, pianos, harmonicas, furniture, phonographs and finally their first acoustic guitar in 1942. In 1965, a year after The Beatles made their legendary Ed Sullivan Show appearance, Yamaha began production of solid body guitars. In 1966, they started to make the electric bass as well.
By the 1970’s, Yamaha started to grab the attention of major artists such as Carlos Santana and Bob Marley because of the instruments great quality and design. The Yamaha guitars were being built to produce a powerful warm tone with amazing sustain. Also, the “Broad Bass” was introduced in 1977 and quickly caught the attention of famous bass players throughout the world including Paul McCartney.
By the end of the 80’s, Yamaha opened up a factory in North Hollywood, California. Here they started making guitars where they called on some professional guitar players to help them out and advise them on what they would like to see in their guitars.
One of the reasons behind the success of the Yamaha guitar is the targets that they shoot for in their design. Every guitar must have a balanced tone and response and the bass and treble must complement each other.