Where are Guitars Made? Ultimate Guide (73 Top Brands)
If you want to know where various brands and models of guitar are made, then you can easily spend hours searching the web to find answers.
Knowing how time-consuming it can be to find a seemingly simple answer, I decided to put together a comprehensive list of guitar brands and where they are made all in one place.
So, if you want to know where your guitar is made then hopefully you will find your answer right here. I have also listed what strings each brand uses on their guitars where possible.
Countries Where Guitars Are Commonly Made
Guitar manufacturers provide affordable guitars by making them in Mexico, China, India, and Indonesia. High-end more expensive guitars have traditionally been made in the USA and Japan, with Korea formerly producing guitars for the midrange market. Asian guitar production now supplies most of the market.
The entries in this article will give a general history of manufacturing location for each guitar brand based by year, and which factories or workshops produced them.
This list is not intended to be a serial number lookup of individual guitars, as this would make the article impossibly long. I have included some resources at the bottom for further research.
To quickly find a guitar brand just click one of the links below:
- Countries Where Guitars Are Commonly Made
- Where Are Alvarez Guitars Made?
- Where Are Aria Guitars Made?
- Where Are B.C. Rich Guitars Made?
- Where Are Blueridge Guitars Made?
- Where Are Breedlove Guitars Made?
- Where Are Carvin Guitars Made?
- Where Are Chapman Guitars Made?
- Where Are Charvel Guitars Made?
- Where Are Cole Clark Guitars Made?
- Where Are Collings Guitars Made?
- Where Are Cordoba Guitars Made?
- Where Are Cort Guitars Made?
- Where Are Crafter Guitars Made?
- Where Are Daisy Rock Guitars Made?
- Where Are Danelectro Guitars Made?
- Where Are Dean Guitars Made?
- Where Are Dean Zelinsky Guitars Made?
- Where Are Donner Guitars Made?
- Where Are Duesenberg Guitars Made?
- Where Are Eastman Guitars Made?
- Where Are Epiphone Guitars Made?
- Where Are Ernie Ball Music Man Guitars Made?
- Where Are ESP Guitars Made?
- Where Are EVH Guitars Made?
- Where Are Fender Guitars Made?
- Where Are G&L Guitars Made?
- Where Are Gibson Guitars Made?
- Where Are Godin Guitars Made?
- Where Are Greco Guitars Made?
- Where Are Gretsch Guitars Made?
- Where Are Guild Guitars Made?
- Where Are Hagstrom Guitars Made?
- Where Are Harley Benton Guitars Made?
- Where Are Harmony Guitars Made?
- Where Are Heritage Guitars Made?
- Where Are Huss & Dalton Guitars Made?
- Where Are Ibanez Guitars Made?
- Where Are Jackson Guitars Made?
- Where Are Katoh Guitars Made?
- Where Are Kay Guitars Made?
- Where Are Kiesel Guitars Made?
- Where Are Kramer Guitars Made?
- Where Are Kremona Guitars Made?
- Where Are Larrivee Guitars Made?
- Where Are Line 6 Guitars Made?
- Where Are LsL Guitars Made?
- Where Are Martin Guitars Made?
- Where Are Maton Guitars Made?
- Where Are Michael Kelly Guitars Made?
- Where Are Mitchell Guitars Made?
- Where Are Music Man Guitars Made?
- Where Are Nash Guitars Made?
- Where Are Ovation Guitars Made?
- Where Are Peavey Guitars Made?
- Where Are PRS Guitars Made?
- Where Are Rainsong Guitars Made?
- Where Are Reverend Guitars Made?
- Where Are Rickenbacker Guitars Made?
- Where Are Rockbridge Guitars Made?
- Where Are Samick Guitars Made?
- Where Are Schecter Guitars Made?
- Where Are Seagull Guitars Made?
- Where Are Solar Guitars Made?
- Where Are Squier Guitars Made?
- Where Are Steinberger Guitars Made?
- Where Are Sterling Guitars Made?
- Where Are Suhr Guitars Made?
- Where Are Takamine Guitars Made?
- Where Are Taylor Guitars Made?
- Where Are Washburn Guitars Made?
- Where Are Yamaha Guitars Made?
- Where Are Zager Guitars Made?
Where Are Alvarez Guitars Made?
- The Alvarez Regent, Artist, and Masterworks acoustic guitar series are made in China.
- Alvarez-Yairi branded guitars have been handmade since the late 1960’s in the small town of Kani, Japan.
- Alvarez produced solid body electric guitars like the Dana Scoop, Regulator, AE10-BK and AE20-BS from the early 1980’s until 1997. They were originally made in Japan, and later in Korea.
- If you are looking for a rare electric guitar that plays well and doesn’t cost the earth, keep a look out for an Alvarez.
- Alvarez guitars come with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Aria Guitars Made?
- Aria was founded in 1956 in Nagoya, Japan selling acoustic guitars from 1960 onward.
- In 1964 Aria entered into an agreement for Matsumoko Mokkou to build acoustic guitars, and then in 1966 also to produce electric guitars.
- The higher-end of the Aria A classical series was made between 1966 and 1973 by master luthier legend Ryoji Matsuoka under contract for Aria in the legendary Matsuoka guitar workshop.
- In 1975 the Aria brand name was changed to Aria II.
- Matsumoko in Japan manufactured all Aria guitars until late 1986 when cheaper models started to be produced at the Samick factory in Korea.
- Aria were most well-known in the 80’s, producing mostly low to midrange Aria Pro II series guitars, however there are a few high-quality examples.
- Many Aria AC classical concert guitars have been made in a Spanish workshop led by Jose Antonio since the mid-1980s. Models include the 6C, 7C, 12C, AC-80,
- Current low-end classical Aria’s are made in China.
- In the 1990’s some small runs of professional models (known as Firebrands) were produced in Japan, made as gifts to artists and special dealers.
- The Aria Pro II Fullerton series was made between 1995 and 1999, with their top of the line Aria Pro II Fullerton FL-60 and FL-50 models made in USA, and lower models made in Korea.
- Aria currently produce a range of Aria Pro II guitars in their Japan Custom Shop, however they are not imported to the US.
Where Are B.C. Rich Guitars Made?
- BC Rich make an extremely wide range of electric guitars in many shapes and string configurations aimed at metal players.
- From 1975 to 1993 the USA hand-made models were made in East Los Angeles or El Monte.
- The NJ series were made in Nagoya Japan.
- In 1993 Ed Roman purchased BC Rich and continued making guitars in his custom shop in LA from the body blanks purchased in the agreement.
- Their modern Legacy, Extreme, and Prophesy series are made in Korea and Indonesia.
- The BC Rich Handcrafted series are all made in the USA.
- BC Rich guitars come with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Blueridge Guitars Made?
- Blueridge make quality acoustic guitars.
- Blueridge Guitars are made in China, and are imported by Saga Musical Instruments, based in the US.
- They are replicas of classic guitar designs built to original specifications.
- Their main lines are the Contemporary, Historic, and Pre-war models.
- Their guitars are generally finished to a high level, with the Historic models being made from solid wood bodies – no laminates.
- Blueridge guitars are known for providing great quality at prices much lower than other well-known guitar brands.
- All Blueridge guitars come with D’Addario EJ16 Light Gauge Phosphor Bronze strings except for their 12 string models.
Where Are Breedlove Guitars Made?
- Breedlove guitars was founded in 1990 in Tumalo, Oregon (near Bend).
- Their guitars were all made in their factory in Oregon until 2003, when they branched out to provided guitars to the Asian market.
- The Atlas series is produced in South Korea.
- They now make guitars in South Korea, Indonesia, China, and their 20,000-square-foot facility and custom shop in Oregon State, USA.
- Breedlove are considered high quality guitars and have become well respected in the industry.
- The Pro & Roots series have all their woodwork handcrafted in Korea, with all the finish work completed in the USA.
- Breedlove guitars come with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Carvin Guitars Made?
- Carvin was originally called the LC Kiesel Company, renamed to Carvin in 1949. In 2015 the company was renamed to Kiesel again in honour of their founder Lowell Kiesel.
- All Carvin and Kiesel branded guitars have been made In the USA since their 1946 beginnings.
- Carvin moved to San Diago in 1995 and produced guitars there until 2016.
- Since 2016 they have produced mostly neck-through designed guitars, and they are made in Escondido, California – where they also have their custom shop and show room.
- Carvin’s Cobalt acoustic guitars were commissioned to be built by the Cort factory in South Korea.
- All Carvin acoustic and electric guitars come fitted with Elixir Nano Web strings
- Carvin/Kiesel CL450 nylon string guitars come with Carvin 450N classical nylon strings.
Where Are Chapman Guitars Made?
- Chapman Guitars was founded in 2009, and their first guitar models were made in China.
- Chapman Standard Series guitars are hand-made in Indonesia. The Indonesian factory is owned and operated by World Musical Instruments, based in Korea.
- World Guitars make Chapman Pro Series guitars in their South Korean factory.
- The Chapman British Series are hand-made in small batches in the UK.
- Chapman guitars come with Ernie Ball strings.
Where Are Charvel Guitars Made?
- Charvel guitars was started in the 1970’s and guitars were originally made in a small shop in Glendora California, USA.
- Jackson Charvel Guitars started making custom order Charvel guitars through the mid 1980’s, until production was moved in 1986 to Ontario, California where US production soon stopped.
- From 1986 to 1991 IMC (International Music Corporation) made Charvel guitars exclusively in Japan.
- Various models were made through the 90’s to early 2000’s in Korea (mainly), and also China (Desolation Series).
- In 2002 Charvel was purchased by Fender (FMIC).
- Production continued in Japan until 2015 when they started manufacturing Charvel guitars in Mexico.
- Charvel still produce various models including their custom shop guitars in the US, built by the original Charvel luthiers in a dedicated section of the Fender factory.
- Charvel guitars most likely come with Fender strings (made by D’Addario).
Where Are Cole Clark Guitars Made?
- Cole Clark primarily make unique acoustic guitars such as the Angel and Fat Lady models.
- They also make lapsteel guitars (Violap & Hollow Lapdog models) , and a bass guitar model.
- Cole Clark guitars are made in Melbourne, Australia, mostly from Australian native woods finished in satin nitrocellulose.
- Jack Johnson plays Cole Clark almost exclusively.
- Cole Clark guitars are commonly fitted with Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze 12-53 strings.
Where Are Collings Guitars Made?
- Collings make primarily acoustic guitars, but also a few electric guitar models, ukuleles, and mandolins.
- The quality of Collings instruments is possibly the best available.
- Collings also make a guitar line branded “Waterloo” which are vintage inspired depression era models.
- All Collings guitars are hand-made in Austin, Texas.
- Collings guitars come strung with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Cordoba Guitars Made?
- Cordoba are well respected for making quality nylon-string guitars, and in 2013 introduced their first steel-string guitars.
- Their main headquarters and factory is located in Oxnard, California, where they hand-make the Cordoba Master Series.
- Cordoba handcrafts the Espana series in Valencia, and Loriente ukulele series in Barcelona, Spain.
- Cordoba’s Iberia, Fusion, Luthier, La Playa, and beginner Protege Series, as well as all Ukuleles are handmade in China.
- The steel-string Acero guitars are made in China.
- Cordoba nylon-string guitars come with Savarez Cristal strings.
- Cordoba steel string guitars come with Elixir Phosphor Bronze Nanoweb.
Where Are Cort Guitars Made?
- Cort guitars (Cor-Tek) is based in South Korea. They are one of the world’s largest guitar manufacturers, and also have factories in China and Indonesia.
- The first Cort guitars were produced in 1973 in Seoul, Korea.
- Cort guitars with a serial number starting with IC are made in Indonesia.
- Cort guitars with a serial number starting with CC are made in China.
- Cort Custom Shop guitars are made in a separate section of their Korean factory using traditional hand crafting techniques.
- Electric hollow-body Cort’s and modern PRS copies are made in China.
- Cort’s cheaper acoustic guitars are made in South Korea, while the more expensive models like the Gold A6 Grand Auditorium are made in China.
- Cort Nylon string guitars come with Savarez strings.
- Cort electric guitars, and steel string acoustic guitars come with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Crafter Guitars Made?
- Crafter branded guitars were first produced in 1986 in South Korea, being renamed from the original Korean name ‘Sungeum’.
- Crafter are the largest acoustic guitar manufacturer in South Korea, where they make around 60,000 instruments each year including bass guitars, mandolins, banjos, and ukuleles.
- The majority of Crafter guitars are made in South Korea with a smaller number of budget guitars made in China, specifically the Silver Series.
- Crafter acoustic guitars come strung with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Daisy Rock Guitars Made?
- Daisy Rock guitars are squarely aimed at guitar girls – and debuted in November 2000 at Seattle’s ROCKRGRL music conference. They are designed to better suit females body form, also being lighter to hold, and having slimmer neck profiles.
- Daisy Rock acoustic and some electric guitars are made in China at the Yako factory.
- Daisy Rock electric guitars are made in Indonesia.
- Daisy Rock guitars come fitted with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Danelectro Guitars Made?
- Danelectro guitars were originally made from 1955 to 1969 in the US, when the company was sold.
- Danelectro appeared again in the 90’s with a reissue of a U2 guitar range based on their earliest successful guitar.
- Some of the 1998 59-DC’s and 56-U2’s were made in Indonesia.
- Models made from 2007-2008 were made in China.
- Since the 1990’s Danelectro guitars have been made in South Korea.
- Danelectro guitars come strung with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Dean Guitars Made?
- Dean Guitars are currently made in the USA, South Korea, Indonesia, China, and India.
- Dean have a USA series of guitars including the Amott, Cadillac, Icon, King, Martucci, Splittail, Thoroughbred, and West models – these are all made in the US.
- Some Dean guitars were originally made in Japan’s preeminent Fujigen guitar factory, such as the Dean Soltero.
- ARTIST Series
- USA – Leslie West, and Dimebag Series.
- Indonesia – Martucci, and King Series.
- South Korea – Peterson, Sanders, Amott, and Schenker Series.
- The SELECT series are mostly made in Indonesia, with a couple of Exile Select models made in South Korea.
- CLASSIC Series
- India – V 79, Z 79, and Cadillac models.
- China – ML 79 model.
- LEFTY Series – made in Indonesia, and China.
- All Dean acoustic guitars, acoustic bases, banjos, and mandolins are made in China.
- Dean guitars come fitted with D’Addario strings, except the USA Dimebag series which come with DR DBG strings.
Where Are Dean Zelinsky Guitars Made?
- Dean Zelinsky guitars are all made in Chicago, IL – where he also opened a factory-direct showroom in Highland Park in 2014. They only sell guitars direct to the public, not through 3rd party retailers.
- Some components are sourced outside the US, however all actual shaping and building of Dean Zelinsky guitars is done in their US factory.
- Dean Zelinsky formerly started, then sold Dean Guitars, eventually opening his Dean Zelinsky private label in 2012.
Where Are Donner Guitars Made?
- Donner guitars are aimed at the beginner market only, and they have been in production in China since 2012.
- Donner produce acoustic and electric guitars in the range of $100 to under $200.
- Surprisingly, their DAD-812 model acoustic guitar comes with a solid spruce top.
- Donner guitars come with their own proprietary Donner-branded strings made from anti-corrosion coated steel and bronze/phosphor bronze.
Where Are Duesenberg Guitars Made?
- Duesenberg guitars bodies and necks are shaped and constructed at the Mirr Music factory in Korea, then sent to Germany for final assembly and setup.
- This is the best information available, and Duesenberg do not state on their website that their guitars are wholly made in Germany.
- A statement originally on their website was…
‘Components of our instruments are manufactured by leading industry companies around the world but we don’t outsource the assembly, the conditioning with the PLEK-machine or the final setup. That’s still done at our Duesenberg headquarters in Hannover by qualified luthiers.’
This statement no longer exists on their website.
- Their guitars are all assembled in Hannover, Germany, where the original business was started in 1978, with all guitars being made there at that time.
- In 1986 the first line of Duesenberg electric guitars was made.
- Duesenberg guitars come with Duesenberg nickel wound strings.
Where Are Eastman Guitars Made?
- Eastman Strings started out making violins in 1992, and in 2004 began producing Eastman branded acoustic and archtop electric guitars in Beijing, China.
- They are not the usual cheaper mass-produced guitar lines, but rather are hand-crafted using traditional techniques and hand tools.
- Eastman often procure their tonewood from the same sources as the major American builders, producing guitars that rival the quality of top US-made guitars.
- Eastman also make Custom Edition models, which are finished and modified in Pomona, CA, USA.
- Eastman guitars come fitted with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Epiphone Guitars Made?
- The Epiphone brand is owned and built by the Gibson guitar company since 1957.
- In 1970 Epiphone stopped producing guitars in the US, and moved its factory to Matsumoto in Japan, and for 5 years only produced rebranded Matsumoku company designed guitars.
- The Epiphone EP Series were produced in Taiwan from the late 1970’s until mid 80’s.
- Production of Epiphone’s was moved to South Korea in the 80’s where Gibson employed contractors like Samik to produce their guitars.
- In 1993, a limited run of Rivieras and Sheratons were produced in Gibson’s Nashville factory, with the company’s Montana plant also building 250 Excellente, Texan, and Frontier flat tops.
- From 2002 to 2008 Epiphone produced a range of high-quality guitars named the ‘Elite Series’ made by Terada and FujiGen in Japan, using higher grade woods, bone nuts, and hand-rubbed finishes.
- In 2002 Epiphone ceased making guitars in Korea, and presently Samik still make some Epiphone lines such as Masterbilt in their newest Indonesian factory.
- Most modern Epiphone guitars are made in Quingdao, China – where Gibson opened two factories in 2004.
- As the Chinese factories improved their processes, they soon came to match the earlier Korean standards, and from around 2006 onward most people agree the Quingdao-made guitars are as good as any.
- In 2020 Epiphone started making their high-end Texan acoustic guitars in Boseman, Montana – the first U.S.-made Epiphone acoustic in many years.
- Mid to high priced Epiphone guitars come with Gibson strings.
Where Are Ernie Ball Music Man Guitars Made?
- From 1976 to October 1979 Music Man guitars were made by Leo Fender’s company CLF Research in Fullerton, California.
- Ernie Ball bought Music Man in 1984, and since then Ernie Ball Music Man guitars have been made in San Luis Obispo, California.
- Ernie Ball Music man guitars come with Ernie Ball strings.
Where Are ESP Guitars Made?
- Original Series and Custom Shop ESP’s(Electric Sound Products) are handcrafted in Japan.
- The ESP Elite and E-II Standard Series are factory made in Japan.
- ESP’s lower-end Grassroots models and Mid-range Edwards models are made in Japan.
- The remaining Grassroots models are manufactured in Korea.
- The Higher-end ESP and LTD models are made in the USA.
- The early LTD GL and EC series were made in Vietnam, and later in China, Korea, and Indonesia.
- ESP Eclipse and Horizon models are made in ESP’s American custom shop in North Hollywood, California.
- ESP guitars come fitted with D’Addario strings.
Where Are EVH Guitars Made?
- Originally Eddie Van Halen collaborated with Ernie Ball Music man to create the US-made EVH between 1991-1995.
- The next EVH Wolfgang was made between late 1996 and 2004 by Peavey in Massachusetts USA.
- The Peavey EVH Wolfgang Special EXP was made from 2002 to 2004 in Korea.
- From 2004 to 2007 the Charvel EVH Art series were made in the USA.
- From 2009 a revised version of the EVH Wolfgang started production by Fender in Corona, California.
- The EVH Striped Wolfgang Special is made in Fender’s Ensenada factory in Mexico.
- Earnie Ball Music Man made a custom EVH branded string set for the original EVH guitar.
- Current EVH guitars come with EVH branded strings made by Fender.
Where Are Fender Guitars Made?
- Early Fenders were made in Fullerton, California.
- The Fender Corona factory in California started making guitars in 1985.
- Fender American series guitars are all made in Corona, California, USA.
- Other models are made in Mexico, Japan, and China.
- The Fender Player series, Marauder, and acoustic guitars have been made in China from 2011 – 2014. Other models are made in China but are only for the Chinese market – not exported to the US.
- Most Fender Squier guitars are currently made in China and Indonesia.
- Fender acquired Squier strings, and since 1982 manufactured Squier guitars in Japan, Korea, Mexico, India, Indonesia, China, and the USA.
- In 1985 FMIC took ownership from CBS and made their entire guitar line in Japan from February to October that year.
- Since 1987 Fender have manufactured guitars in their Ensenada factory in Mexico.
- Fender ceased making guitars in Korea around 2002, moving production of these guitar lines to Mexico.
- Fender ceased making guitars in Japan in 1991.
- The Fender custom shop in the US have made their high-end guitars since 1987.
- All Fender and Squier electric and acoustic guitars come fitted with Fender branded strings.
Where Are G&L Guitars Made?
- Their current USA-made guitars are the Fullerton Deluxe, CLF Research, Special Edition, and their 40th Anniversary models.
- The Fullerton G&L factory is quite unique, still using some of Leo Fender’s original equipment, and still produce true USA hand-made guitars.
- The Tribute Rampage Jerry Cantrell Signature, ASAT HB, and Legacy HB are currently made in China.
- Other Tribute models are built in Indonesia by Samick.
- but prior to that it they used GHS, then back in the 80’s they used G&L Hot Rounds (private label strings).
- From late 2006 G&L guitars changed from SIT to D’Addario strings.
- The Tribute series strings are supplied by the local factory where they are built.
Where Are Gibson Guitars Made?
- Gibson have produced their guitars in the USA at four different locations during the history of the company.
- From 1917 Gibson made their guitars at Kalamazoo in Michigan right through World War II.
- Between 1976 and 1984, production of Gibson guitars was shifted from Kalamazoo to Nashville, Tennessee.
- All Gibson acoustic guitars since 1989 have been made at their Bozeman factory in Montana, including models like the J-45, J-200, and the company’s new G-45 Series.
- The Bozeman facility was doubled in size in 2021 due to an increase in sales brought on by the pandemic, and now hosts its own custom shop.
- Gibson’s semi-hollow & hollow body ES Collections are still made in Nashville, Tennessee.
- Gibson Les Paul and SG lines are also produced in the Nashville plant.
- The Beal Street facility in Memphis produced mostly semi-hollow electric guitars and custom instruments. From around 2006 the facility became a dedicated ES series factory for Gibson.
- The Memphis factory operated from 1999 until 2019, when production of ES models was moved to Nashville.
- The Gibson Custom shop is in Nashville, where they make their various signature series, limited replica guitar runs, Vintage Original Spec (VOS) lines, Historic lines, and others.
- Gibson guitars come strung with Gibson branded strings.
Where Are Godin Guitars Made?
- Godin began making guitars in rural Quebec, Canada in 1972, and remains a family owned and operated business until today.
- Their guitars are built with almost all North American indigenous woods.
- Necks, headstocks, and bodies are all made in their original location in La Patrie, Quebec.
- Godin Guitars are then assembled and finished in their other Quebec and New Hampshire factories.
- Godin acoustic guitars are made in Princeville, Quebec, Canada.
- Godin electric guitars are made in a separate factory in Richmond, Quebec – and also in Berlin, New Hampshire.
- Godin guitars come fitted with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Greco Guitars Made?
- The Greco guitar brand is owned by the Kanda Shokai Corporation, being started in 1960.
- Early guitars were made by Matsumoko Mokkou in Japan in a partnership with Fujigen’s founder until the mid-1970’s.
- Around 1974-75 Greco Gibson replicas, and close Fender replicas started being made by FujiGen Gakki, continuing into the mid-1990’s, and were the main manufacturer of Greco guitars.
- Lower priced Les Paul and SG model Greco guitars were made during the late 1980’s by Cor-Tek(Cort) and Tokai Gakki. These guitars have no serial numbers and can be identified by the shape of the tooling holes in the bottom of the pickup cavities.
- Dyna Gakki produced a few of the lower-priced Greco guitars around 1990-1992.
- Tokai Gakki currently make the Kanda Shokai Zemaitis and Talbo models since 2012.
Where Are Gretsch Guitars Made?
- Gretsch first started making musical instruments in 1883, and in 2002 was acquired by Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.
- In late 1969 Gretsch moved manufacturing operations from Brooklyn to a plant in Booneville, Arkansas, where guitars were made until the plant’s closure in 1981.
- Older Gretsch guitars were known to be of average quality, with neck and finish issues, and sometimes built with poorly seasoned wood.
- In 1984 a handful of Gretsch guitars were produced in Jaurez, Mexico.
- In 1989 production was started again, with Gretsch guitars made in Japan.
- In 1999 – 2000 Gretsch stated production of the Electromatic and Historic lines in Korea, until the Historic line ceased production in 2003.
- Gretsch Electromatic’s from the mid 2000’s onward are made in China.
- Gretsch Pro Line Series is made in Japan at the Terada factory and have gained a reputation as high quality, preferred over early Gretsch models made in the USA.
- American-made Gretsch guitars are the custom shop models.
- Gretsch hollow body and solid body electrics generally come with Gretsch brand strings. This may depend which factory they are produced in, as some Chinese-made guitars such as the Corvette can ship with D’Addario strings.
- Artist Signature Editions come fitted with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Guild Guitars Made?
- Guild was founded in 1952, and in 1995 acquired by Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, and then sold to Cordoba in 2014.
- There have been some Guild offshoot brands, namely Madeira, Burnside, DeArmond, and GAD (Guild Acoustic Design). These brands were manufactured in various factories in South Korea and China.
- Cordoba moved the Guild factory from the Rhode Island Factory to Oxnard in California, where they manufacture the M, D, F, and F twelve-string acoustic guitars today.
- Guild’s Westerly Collection are currently made in China to high standards and reflect the original Guild guitars from the 1960’s – 1990’s, with quality wood solid tops.
- The Newark Street Collection electric guitars are made in South Korea, Indonesia, and China depending on the model, with more models slowly being added to their US factory as it grows.
- Guild guitars all come with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Hagstrom Guitars Made?
- Hagström is a Swedish guitar company that started manufacturing electric guitars in 1958 and ceased production in 1983.
- All their guitars were originally made in Älvdalen, Dalecarlia, Sweden until closure of the factory.
- Before they closed their doors in 1983 Hagström tried having the Ultra Swede prototypes produced in Japan to cut costs, however the quality did not meet their expectations.
- The Swede and Super Swede, made from 1970–1983 was the last model to be manufactured in Älvdalen.
- In 2004 Hagström resumed manufacturing guitars in Korea, then moving production to China around 2005. The Chinese-made guitars are considered better quality, however not like the original Swedish-made instruments.
- Hagström now build the Super Swede electric guitar in Sweden again.
- Hagström guitars ship with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Harley Benton Guitars Made?
- Harley Benton guitars produce ‘almost’ replicas of well-known guitar models, and is a brand operated by Musikhaus Thomann, based in Germany.
- Thomann management do not reveal exactly where their guitars are made (not unusual in the guitar industry), however it is confirmed they currently manufacture using factories in China, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
- Although they make their guitars at multiple factories in each country, it is believed one of the factories in China making HB guitars is the Saein factory, which is run by Saein Co. from South Korea.
- Harley Benton used to manufacture in Korea but have moved to other countries due to cheaper production costs.
- Some models we know of are:
- HB DC-200 BK and HB SC450 plus – made in China.
- HB Fusion Range – Made in Indonesia.
- HB SC-550 – made in Vietnam.
- Higher priced Harley Benton guitars ship with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Harmony Guitars Made?
- Until their closure in 1975, Harmony had been the largest musical instrument manufacturer in the world.
- Harmony guitars were American made in Chicago, Illinois.
- In 2009 Westheimer corporation acquired all rights to Harmony. After being approached by Amazon to supply new lines of guitars Westheimer briefly debuted the imported New Harmony Vintage Reissue series from Asia.
- In 2018 Harmony guitars resurfaced under the ownership of BrandLab Technologies, who have started manufacturing Harmony guitars again.
- Harmony’s new Standard Series are made in Kalamazoo, MI, USA.
- Harmony guitars come fitted with Harmony branded strings.
Where Are Heritage Guitars Made?
- Heritage Guitars was founded in 1985 by a handful of former Gibson employees in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA.
- Heritage was originally started in rented space inside the old Gibson factory, and was purchased in 2016 by a couple of investors involved in PlazaCorp Realty Advisors Inc.
- Heritage manufactures hand-crafted high quality small-batch electric guitars, at least they did, until 2018 when the new management sacked long-time skilled luthiers in favour of CNC and Plek technology, citing the need for improvements in quality.
- Most Heritage models come with GHS Boomers, including the Heritage H-137, H-530, H-535, H-575, and Eagle Classic Hollowbody.
- The Heritage H-150 has Elixir Optiweb strings, and the Custom Shop Golden Eagle comes with Thomastik-Infeld Bebop strings.
Where Are Huss & Dalton Guitars Made?
- The Huss & Dalton Guitar Company is an artisan acoustic guitar and banjo manufacturer.
- Huss & Dalton guitars started in late 1995, and hand craft all their guitars in Staunton, Virginia, USA.
- All their guitars are high-end, produced in a small workshop where all their luthiers are avid guitar players, and regularly sell new for $5,000 to $10,000 and above.
- H&D produce 15 different acoustic guitar models, in extremely limited numbers.
- In 2020 Huss & Dalton added their first electric guitar to their range, a LP style body with AAA grade wood construction.
- All Huss & Dalton guitars come strung with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Ibanez Guitars Made?
- Early Ibanez guitars in the late 1950’s to 60’s were made in Japan.
- From the 1970’s until the mid-late 80’s all Ibanez guitars were produced in the FugiGen factory in Japan.
- After the late 80’s production moved to South Korea from 1987 until around 2008 when labour costs forced them to move manufacturing elsewhere.
- Ibanez commenced making guitars in China around 1999, and in the Indonesian PT Cort factory from 1997.
- In the late 80’s to mid-90’s the USA Custom range and American Master Series was made in Los Angeles, California.
- The Custom and Prestige series are made in Japan.
- Ibanez’s Iron Label, and Axiom line of guitars are made in Indonesia.
- The Premium line is made in the Indonesian ‘premium’ factory.
- The Ibanez GIO line is made in China.
- Ibanez guitars ship with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Jackson Guitars Made?
- Jackson Guitars was founded in 1980 and produced their first Concorde model guitar in California, USA. They built their early reputation by producing high quality US-made instruments.
- Jackson Guitars are currently made in China, Indonesia, Mexico, Japan, and the USA.
- In the 1990’s the Artist Signature Series and KV2 USA series were made in Ontario, CA.
- The KV3 (Pro Series) was produced in Japan between 1996-2001. The KV5 was also made in Japan.
- The KV4 had two series: made in Korea from 1999, and USA series from 2001.
- The Jackson KVX10 (X series) was made during 2001 in India for that year only. Subsequent models are all built in Japan.
- Jackson Soloist models have been produced in many different locations since 1984, including the USA, Japan, Korea, India, Indonesia, and China. Higher-end models are made in USA and Japan.
- The Jackson Custom Select Dinky DK1, and USA Series guitars are made in the USA.
- The Jackson Pro Series DK2M Dinky was manufactured in Japan from 2006-2010 and was reintroduced to the market in 2012, now manufactured in Mexico.
- The Jackson Pro Series and X series guitars are now made in Indonesia.
- Jackson Performer Series were originally made in Korea, and then later in Japan.
- Early DXMG models were made in Japan, and after 2006 were made in India. DXMG models are now discontinued.
- In 2021 Jackson announced a new made in Japan MJ series that includes a new Rhoads RRT model, Soloist, and various Dinky models.
- Jackson guitars ship with a variety of string brands depending on the factory.
Where Are Katoh Guitars Made?
- Katoh make Handmade Classical Guitars built in Guangzhou, China.
- They produce a good grade of instrument at quite low prices.
- They are branded as “Martinez” in USA and Europe.
- Katoh guitars come fitted with Savarez strings.
Where Are Kay Guitars Made?
- In the 1900’s Kay were a large instrument manufacturer second only to Harmony, and had hundreds of guitar models in their catalogue.
- From 1931 until 1964 Kay produced guitars in Chicago, USA.
- In 1964 Kay moved manufacturing to Illinois, producing guitars until 1968.
- Kay guitars specialize in student and budget lines of guitars.
- From 1973 to 1980 Kay branded guitars were made in Japan by Teisco.
- From early 2008, 12 Vintage Reissue Kay guitars and bases have been made by Fitz Brothers in the USA.
- The current line of Kay guitars is made in China.
- String brand is not specified with Kay guitars.
Where Are Kiesel Guitars Made?
- Kiesel guitars are made in Southern California, USA, where they also operate their custom shop.
- The Kiesel and Carvin brands have had a close relationship over the years, and Kiesel Guitars split off from Carvin Corp in 2015.
- See more in the Carvin Guitars Section.
Where Are Kramer Guitars Made?
- ESP formed a relationship with Kramer, which used ESP to “ghost build” necks and bodies.
- Founded in the late 70’s there were originally more basses made than guitars, with the necks being aluminium. They were produced in a factory in Neptune, New Jersey.
- In the early 80’s Kramer started making “American Series” wood neck guitars, with the necks made in Japan and the guitars assembled and finished in New Jersey.
- By 1987 Kramer guitar necks and bodies were made in Japan, assembled in NJ.
- The Striker and Aerostar series were made completely in the Samik factory in Korea.
- The Focus series was made by ESP guitars in Japan.
- In 1995 a few hundred guitars were made in NJ from surplus stock in the Neptune plant.
- From the late 90’s until 2009 high-end Kramer guitars (now owned by Gibson) were produced by the Epiphone division in the USA from American-made components.
- From 1998-2008 the “Yo Era” guitars were made in South Korea (sold on the defunct MusicYo website).
- Currently Kramer guitars are being made in the Indonesian Samik facility, also in a ‘good’ guitar factory in China.
- Kramer have used a variety of strings throughout the years, including Kramer branded strings, D’Addario, and Floyd Rose.
Where Are Kremona Guitars Made?
- Kremona specializes in making nylon string classical and flamenco guitars, and in 2016 started producing steel string guitars also.
- They have produced stringed instruments in Bulgaria since 1924, with their first guitars some years later.
- Kremona have a workshop with around 120 staff where all guitars are handcrafted.
- Kremona steel string guitars come with either Elixir or D’Addario strings depending on the model.
- Kremona nylon string guitars come with Royal Classic strings.
Where Are Larrivee Guitars Made?
- Larrivee specialize in acoustic guitars, however made a range of electric guitars and basses since 1982 until the market cooled in the 90’s. They currently produce the Baker-T pro electric.
- All Larrivee acoustic guitars are solid wood, with no laminates used.
- Larrivee guitars was founded in 1967, making their first guitars in Ontario, Canada.
- In 1977 they moved production to Victoria, BC, and later in 1982 opened a factory in Vancouver.
- In 2001 Larrivee guitars opened a second factory in Oxnard, CA making their gloss-finished guitars, while the satin guitars continued to be made in Canada.
- Larrivee also resumed making their high-end electric guitars in 2001 in California.
- In 2013 they ceased production in Vancouver, with their entire range now made in California.
- Larrivee hand make their guitars to a high standard, and most guitarist agree that their newer US-made guitars match the quality of the older Canadian-made guitars.
- Before 2005 Larrivee guitars were fitted with D’Addario strings.
- In 2005 at NAMM, Larrivee announced all new guitars would come with Elixir phosphor bronze strings.
Where Are Line 6 Guitars Made?
- Line 6 started in 1996, was acquired by the Yamaha corporation in 2013, and currently operates as a wholly owned subsidiary company with their own management.
- The first Line 6 guitar produced was the Variax 500 modelling guitar in 2002.
- The First acoustic was the Variax acoustic in early 2004.
- From 2002 to 2005 the Variax 500 was made in Korea.
- From 2005 to 2009 the Vairax 300 was made in Indonesia.
- From 2005 to 2010 the Variax 600 was initially made in South Korea, and later in China.
- From 2004 to 2010 the Variax 700 was made at the Fujigen plant in Japan, along with a limited run of 50 Variax 900’s.
- Since 2010 Line 6 ceased production of their original Variax series, and now produce the Standard, Shuriken, and James Tyler JTV models.
- Line 6 Shuriken Variax SR270 Electric Guitar – Made in China.
- Line 6 JTV-59 Standard Variax Electric Guitar – Made in South Korea.
- James Tyler Variax US Custom Series – Made in the USA.
- Line 6 guitars ship with D’Addario phosphor bronze strings.
Where Are LsL Guitars Made?
- LsL was founded in 2008 in a garage.
- All LsL guitars are hand made in Santa Clarita, CA, USA.
- They are one of the very few guitar companies who still hand shape the necks on their guitars.
- Every guitar they produce in their small factory has its own unique female name engraved on the neck plate.
- LsL guitars ship with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Martin Guitars Made?
- C.F. Martin Company began in 1833, and produce Martin acoustic guitars in Pennsylvania, USA and their dedicated plant in Sonora, Mexico.
- Their original factory in Pennsylvania was opened in 1859 and is now houses the Martin Museum, and ‘Guitar Makers Connection’ where they sell guitar parts and kits.
- Martin’s higher-end models (Standard Series, Modern Deluxe Series, Authentic Series, 15-16-17 Series, D-35 David Gilmour, 00L Earth, and custom shop guitars) are all made in the USA.
- Martin’s more affordable guitars (X Series, Road Series, Dreadnought Junior, PA5 models, Backpacker series, Little Martin Series, SC-13E, and select ukuleles) are made in Mexico.
- All Martin guitars come strung with their own Martin branded strings, which they have made since 1970 after buying the Darco Strings company.
Where Are Maton Guitars Made?
- Maton guitars was founded in 1946, and makes all their electric guitars, acoustic guitars, and ukuleles in Melbourne, Australia.
- Many Maton guitar models are made exclusively with Australian and Tasmanian woods.
- Maton guitars are mid to high level models, not generally aimed at beginners.
- Maton guitars are played by artist such as Tommy Emmanuel, Keith Urban, and Michael Franti.
- Maton guitars come strung with Elixir strings.
Where Are Michael Kelly Guitars Made?
- The Michael Kelly Guitar Company was founded in 1999, originally offering acoustic bases and mandolins, and is named after the founders two children.
- Their first electric and acoustic guitars appeared in 2001.
- They concentrate on affordable boutique-style guitars.
- Samson technologies acquired Michael Kelly Guitar Co. in 2018.
- Michael Kelly guitars are designed in the US and manufactured in Asia.
- Originally their guitars were made in South Korea, but like many guitar companies moved manufacturing to China and Indonesia as cheaper sources of labour.
- All Michael Kelly guitars come strung with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Mitchell Guitars Made?
- Mitchell Guitars first appeared in 1986, and still have a low profile today.
- Their guitars are aimed at the beginner and lower intermediate market.
- Almost all Mitchell acoustic and electric guitars are made in China.
- The Mitchell MS450 electric guitar is made in Vietnam.
- Mitchell Guitars ship with D’Addario strings.
- Mitchell short-scale guitars come with GHS strings.
Where Are Music Man Guitars Made?
- Music Man was founded in 1974, making all their guitars in San Luis Obispo, California.
- Ernie Ball bought the company in 1984, and since then has focussed on producing high -end quality electric and bass guitars.
- All Music Man main lines of guitars ad basses are still made in the USA.
- They employ modern computerized machinery to produce accurate instrument dimensions.
- Music Man developed the Sterling budget-oriented electric guitar series made to Music Man’s high-quality standards, made possible by cheaper materials and manufacturing in Asia.
- For more information on Sterling Music Man(SBMM) guitars – see the Sterling Guitars section.
- Music Man inspect all imported guitars in their USA factory before shipping them to retailers.
- All Music Man guitars ship with Ernie Ball strings.
Where Are Nash Guitars Made?
- Nash Guitars is a family-run business, founded in 2003, and assemble all their electric and bass guitars in Olympia, WA, USA.
- Nash guitars are all vintage designs, essentially Fender copies with a distressed look (Relic’d), having a good construction and hardware at a fraction of Fender Custom Shop guitars.
- Nash guitars are made from Fender neck and body shapes made for them by an undisclosed business partner, and back in the early 2000’s used to ship their guitars without a logo on the headstock.
- Nash guitars and bases come strung with Mapes American-made strings.
Where Are Ovation Guitars Made?
- Ovation’s USA factory is high-tech, lending many processes from the aerospace industry including unique tooling, and is located in New Hartford, Connecticut.
- Early model Ovation electric guitars from 1967-1969 were made by Schaller in Germany.
- All early model Ovation acoustic guitars were made in the US.
- Ovation make some other cheaper entry-level guitars brands – Applause, and Celebrity. These are made in China and Indonesia.
- Ovation’s upper-level guitars labelled Balladeer, Legend, and Elite are made in South Korea.
- From summer of 2014 -2015 the Hartford facility was closed under the ownership of Fender. They re-opened in August 2015 with a small selection of staff when the company was purchased by Drum Workshop.
- In early 2020 Ovation opened their custom shop in Hartford and started production of two limited runs of the Adamas 1687GT and the Adamas 2087GT, where they also produce custom designed guitars.
- Ovation acoustic guitars come strung with Adamas strings, while their bass guitars and nylon string guitars come with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Peavey Guitars Made?
- Peavey Electronics Corporation was founded in 1965 originally producing amplifiers, and 10 years later started adding electric guitars, bass guitars, and acoustic guitars to their catalogue.
- Peavey’s first guitar was produced in 1975 being made at their Leakesville & Meridian plants in Mississippi, USA.
- To compete for price with other guitar manufacturers, Peavey employed state of the art computerised machinery to make their guitar bodies and necks, being the first American guitar manufacturer to do so.
- Peavey still produces some guitars and amps in the USA – including the HP2 range of electric guitars.
- Peavey had a large plant in the UK that operated for decades until its closure in 2014.
- Although Peavey still manufacture guitars in the US, due to economic stress they eventually moved to manufacturing their guitars in Korea, then eventually China, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
- Peavey’s imported guitars are all designed in the USA.
- Most Asian-made Peavey guitars are produced in China.
- Following is a list of some models produced in Asia over the mid 1990’s – 2000’s. Most other models were made in the US.
- Made in Korea: Falcon 1 International Series, Generation EXP, Generation, EXP ACM, Hartley Peavey Signature EXP, Predator Plus HB, Raptor Plus, EXP, Raptor Plus TK, Rotor EXP, Rotor EXP Limited.
- Made in China: Generation EX, Generation Triple/Single EX, Generation, Vintage EX, Jazz Fusion Series JF-1 & 2 EXP.
- Made in Indonesia: Rotor EXP (locking tremolo).
- Korea & Vietnam: Predator Plus (rosewood fingerboard).
- Korea and Indonesia: Predator Plus EXP.
- Korea and China: Raptor Plus.
- Peavey’s most successful guitar was the EVH Wolfgang Special series, and from 1996 to 2004 various models were made in the USA, with the EVH Wolfgang & Wolfgang Special Deluxe being made in their custom shop.
- From 2002 – 2004 the Peavey EVH Wolfgang Special EXP was made in Korea.
- Peavey’s current HP2 range of electric guitars ship with D’Addario strings.
Where Are PRS Guitars Made?
- PRS Guitars was founded in 1985, and have their US factory in Stevensville, Maryland, USA.
- PRS make high quality electric guitars, being the first to use highly figured wood for the top laminate, a hallmark of their guitars to this day.
- They started producing bass guitars in 1987, and acoustic models starting in 2008.
- PRS high-end guitars are manufactured in the US, including the PRS Core series, PRS CE line, PRS S2, and PRS Custom Shop guitars, which are all made at their factory at Maryland in the US.
- The lower priced PRS SE solid body guitars are made in South Korea by WMIC, and Indonesia by Cor-Tek.
- The Cor-Tek facility in Indonesia exclusively manufactures PRS SE guitars, with the majority of their SE line made there.
- Before 2019 the PRS SE Custom was exclusively made in Korea, before PRS moved production of that model to Indonesia.
- PRS SE hollow body and acoustic guitars are produced in China by Cor-Tek.
- PRS perform setups on all their imported guitars in the US before shipping them to retail shops.
- PRS electric guitars come with either PRS or D’Addario strings depending on the model.
- PRS acoustic guitars come strung with PRS strings.
Where Are Rainsong Guitars Made?
- Rainsong was founded in 1982 in Maui, Hawaii, where they originally manufactured their guitars until 2001 when they moved production to Woodinville, Washington, USA.
- Rainsong produces instruments made from carbon fiber, which requires no internal bracing, and is weatherproof (the original concept behind the idea).
- They currently produce a range of guitars with four different series.
- Rainsong guitars come strung with Elixir strings.
Where Are Reverend Guitars Made?
- Reverend guitars are made in Korea by the Mirr Music Company.
- Originally Reverend were started in a garage in East Detroit in 1997.
- The Reverend guitar factory is in Toledo, Ohio, where they do final assembly and setup work, and inspection before shipment to retailers.
- Reverend 6 and 12 string guitars come with D’addario strings fitted, while their baritone and bass guitars come with SIT strings.
Where Are Rickenbacker Guitars Made?
- Rickenbacker International began in 1931 and is a family-owned business that makes their guitars at their factory in Santa Ana, California.
- They were the first company to make electric guitars.
- The first electric guitar they produced was an aluminum lap steel model known as “the frying pan”, made from 1932 to 1939.
- In 1954 Rickenbacker started producing their first modern electric guitars – the Combo 600 and 800 models.
- From 1996 to 2006 Rickenbacker acoustic guitars were made in their US factory, and from 2006 to 2013 a luthier with a workshop in San Francisco named Studio California built their acoustic lines under a licence agreement, and due to the large backorder, the last guitar was made there in 2017.
- All Rickenbacker guitars are wholly made in the US, with many hours labor put into achieving a high level of finish.
- Rickenbacker guitars come fitted with Rickenbacker branded strings.
Where Are Rockbridge Guitars Made?
- Rockbridge Guitars was founded in 2002, and makes their guitars at their workshop in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.
- They make a limited run of acoustic guitars each year in their small workshop, where every guitar is completely handmade to a very high level of finish.
- Rockbridge produce only 10 guitar models, and also custom orders.
- These are very high-end expensive instruments, used by some famous artists.
Where Are Samick Guitars Made?
- Samick Musical Instruments Co. was founded in 1958.
- Samick started producing acoustic guitars in 1965 and electric guitars in 1972, growing to become one of the largest musical instrument manufacturers worldwide.
- They have made guitars for many different brands such as Squier, Epiphone, Washburn, Silvertone, and Greg Bennett, amongst many others.
- Samick produced models based on the Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul from 1972 to 1989 for the Hondo guitar company, and they were mainly produced at the Samick factory in Korea.
- The Hondo professional series was made by Samick in Japan from 1980 to 1983, and the Deluxe Series was made in 1981 in their Korean plant.
- In 1992 Samick built a factory in Indonesia, and from 1995 until 2006 manufactured most of their guitar models there. From 2006 all their guitars have been made in Indonesia.
- In 1994 Samick made almost 50% of all the worlds guitars that year.
- In 1995 Samick released the Artist Series, which became their most popular guitar line, producing them until 2002.
Where Are Schecter Guitars Made?
- Schecter Guitar Research was started in 1976 initially as a USA replacement parts manufacturer and repairer.
- In 1979 Schecter started producing their own high-end electric guitars in California.
- In 1983 Schecter was sold, and manufacturing moved to Dallas, Texas.
- In 1984 they unveiled 12 new guitars and bases, with the T-style guitar (known as the “Saturn”) and the S-style guitar (known as the “Mercury”) becoming their most popular models. They also had a model named the “Genesis”
- In 1987 Schecter was sold again, and manufacturing was moved back to Burbank, California, where they returned to making high-end custom shop electric guitars.
- From 1997 Schecter started having their guitars made in Incheon, South Korea. They were then shipped to the USA for setup. This included the Diamond Series.
- In 2013 Schecter started making their “USA Production Series” and custom shop models in their Californian factory.
- Schecter have a factory in China where many guitar body parts are made, and the final assembly and setup is done in other countries.
- Some series of Schecter guitars have been produced in multiple countries and can depend on the year of manufacture. See below for an example of where some of the series have been manufactured.
- Schecter series made in Korea : Banshee, Blackjack, C-1, C-7, Hellraiser, Diamond, Artist, Standard, Custom, Damien Elite.
- Schecter series made in Indonesia: Banshee Extreme, CR-6, C-6 Elite, Demon, Omen, Reaper, Damien, Hellraiser.
- Schecter series made in China: C-6, Omen, Damien, Diamond, Hellraiser.
- Schecter also make guitars in Japan, but they are for the Japanese market. Occasionally you may be lucky to find one in the US.
- The made in Japan series includes the Exceed, ST Custom, PT-CTM, S, TRAD, SD, NV, BH, KR, AR, and MZ.
- Many of Schecter’s current guitar series ship with Ernie Ball strings.
Where Are Seagull Guitars Made?
- Seagull Guitars was founded in 1982, and hand-make their guitars in Quebec, Canada.
- They use only sustainable woods, producing quality instruments mostly from local Canadian woods, and also reclaimed wood.
- The Seagull brand is a sub-brand of Godin guitars, manufactured in the same facility.
- Seagull guitars were ahead of their time, making all solid-top acoustic guitars at affordable prices back in the 90’s.
- The most popular Seagull model is the S6, with innovative features like their headstock design, radiused top, and slightly wider fretboard making it great for larger hands.
- Seagull guitars come strung with Godin strings.
Where Are Solar Guitars Made?
- Solar Guitars is located in Sant Gregori, Spain – and focus on making guitars purely for metal and death metal.
- Solar guitars are manufactured by PT Wildwood in Jakarta, Indonesia – where brands like Schecter, Fender, and PRS have been made.
- The founder of Solar guitars attends the factory to personally quality check every guitar before shipment.
- Guitars are manufactured with modern CNC machining.
- Solar guitars come equipped with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Squier Guitars Made?
- Since 1965 Fender have owned the Squier brand name, continuing to sell Squier brand strings until 1972.
- In 1982 Fender started producing lower priced guitar models under the Squier brand name, with the first Fender Squier models appearing in mid-1982.
- Squier manufacturing started in Japan, and over time has migrated to Mexico, Korea, China, and more recently Indonesia. Some models have also been made in the US.
- The first Squier guitars were made in Japan at the FujiGen Gakki factory, becoming known as the Squier JV (“Japanese Vintage”) guitars, highly sought after today as collectors’ items for their high quality and scarcity. These were produced until late 1984 and are considered better quality than American Standard guitars made in California at that time.
- Early models sold within the Japanese market were still labelled as Fender, but exported models were labelled as Squier.
- In late 1983 Fender started importing Japanese-made Squier guitars to the US.
- Since 1985 guitars labelled “Made In USA” have been made in Corona, CA.
- Fujigen employed many sub-contractors to make guitar parts, so in this period you will find Squier guitars with parts made in various factories. For example, Fujigen-made Squier guitars between 1982 and 1997 have necks made by Atlansia.
- Guitars made in the Fujigen Gakki factory from 1982 until 1996 have the logo MIJ (“Made in Japan”), and guitars made in other the other Japanese factories were labelled CIJ (“Crafted in Japan”).
- In 1983 Fender added the beginner Bullet Series to Squier, producing them in Japan.
- In 1985 the Squier Katana was made in Japan, with a non-Fender based shape.
- From 1996 to 1998 the Squier Jagmaster was made in Japan, as part of the Vista Series that included the Super Sonic, Venus Six, and some 12-string guitars.
- Manufacturing was moved to Tokai Gakki and Dyna Gakki in 1996 after serious quality issues had developed in the original plant, with the last guitars produced there in 2010.
- There is a rumour that some very early Squier JV Stratocasters’ were Greco guitars fitted with Fenders’ specified hardware, with the Greco label removed and replaced with Squier.
- Fender made Squier guitars in the US for a period of 9 months from 1989 to mid-1990. The earliest guitars were made at the Fender Custom Shop, shipped to Mexico for painting and then returned for assembly. The serial number prefix E = Eighties (1980s), and prefix N = Nineties (1990s).
- From 1988 Fender started producing Squier guitars in Ensenada, Mexico after production ceased in Japan.
- From 1993 to 1998 in California, Fender produced a Squier Telecaster, Stratocaster and Precision Bass Series that was a Fender “Squier Series”, often confused with Squier branded guitars.
- In South Korea from 1987 to 1998 the Bullet, Squier, and Squier II series guitars were made by a number of factories including Young Chang, Cor-tek (Cort), Saehan, and Samick.
- Korean Squiers built between 1992 and 1995 with a black (or dark grey) logo on the headstock and have a thin laminated body.
- The Korean Squiers were generally considered the lowest quality Squiers, not surprising when considering Fenders’ cost-cutting drive to compete with other low-priced guitars on the market. As a result, these guitars were made with laminate (plywood) bodies, and lower quality hardware.
- One exception with Korean Squiers were the “Pro Tone” Series, especially the ones made by Kor-Tek and Chang. This model was hand-made with a solid 3-piece body, and quality pickups like the Fujigen Gakki MIJ Strat models of the mid 80’s.
- The Squier Standard Stratocaster was one of the first models produced in Korea, followed from 1988 to 1990 by the HSS Squier Contemporary Stratocaster.
- The second generation of Korean Squier series appeared in 1992, with a black Squier decal on the headstock, and the plywood body remained through to the 3rd generation.
- In 1996 the 4th generation of Korean Squiers returned to a solid alder body, with a gold Squier decal.
- The Squier Master Series were made in the Korean Cort factory from 2005 to 2007, and included the M80, Esprit, Chambered Tele, and Thinline Tele. The early versions were set neck, and in 2007 changed to bolt-on necks and cheaper PuP’s.
- In 1995 the Squier Bullet series, followed a year later by the Tradition and Affinity series started to be made in Taiwan (Republic of China) at the Yako plant, with a serial number prefix of CY.
- In 2000 manufacturing of the Squier Standard and Affinity Strat began in China (PRC) at the AXL plant, with a serial number prefix of CA.
- From 2000 the Jagmaster Series was revived, now made in China, and replaced with the Jagmaster II in 2005.
- Currently some Squier Contemporary and Affinity Stratocasters are still produced in China.
- Around 1989-90 some Squiers were made in India and were extremely poor quality, with a “Made in India” sticker on the headstock.
- From 2007 to 2012 Vintage Modified (VM) series Squiers were again manufactured in India, with “Crafted in India” stamped on the headstock.
- From 1998 some Squier Affinity, Mini, and Standard Series started production in Indonesia at the Cor Tek (Cort) factory in Indonesia.
- The Series 24 models were built in Indonesia between 2002 and 2004 to mark Squiers 20th Anniversary.
- Indonesia still manufactures the Classic Vibe Series.
- Higher range Squier guitars come with D’Addario strings, and cheaper models with Fender branded strings – currently made for Fender by D’Addario.
Where Are Steinberger Guitars Made?
- Steinberger instruments first appeared in 1979, with the L2 Bass guitar which was awarded the coveted Industrial Designers Excellence Award from the Industrial Designers Society of America (ISDA).
- Steinberger guitars were originally manufactured at Newburgh, New York, USA.
- Steinberger became renowned for innovative use of materials such as graphite and carbon fiber in their instruments, for their headless neck design, and for developing their proprietary locking tremolo system.
- Their carbon fiber construction made the guitars impervious to humidity and temperature changes.
- Their guitars are designed to be low weight, and many models are excellent travel guitars.
- In 1987 Gibson purchased Steinberger Sound, continuing to make their guitars until the late 90’s.
- Gibson moved manufacturing to Nashville, investing extra money into ensuring Steinberger guitars retained or even improved on their original quality, with production ceasing there in 1998.
- In 2002 due to popular demand, Steinberger guitars were resurrected, now made in Korea.
- The modern Steinbergers now have 3-piece maple necks.
- Steinberger guitars come strung with Steinberger DoubleBall™ strings.
Where Are Sterling Guitars Made?
- Sterling by Music Man is a sub-brand of Ernie Ball, which operates from Los Angeles, California.
- Sterling guitars and bases are designed to be an affordable version of USA-made Music Man guitars.
- Most of the Sterling guitar range was originally made in Indonesia, including the AX40 & John Petrucci JP50. Over the mid 2000’s manufacturing extended to China and South Korea.
- The Sterling Silo30’s and the JP50 Satin Black for Guitar Center are made in China.
- Sterling bass guitars are made in Korea and Indonesia for SBMM(Sterling by Music Man) models, and China for the Sport Utility Bass (SUB) Ray 4 / 5 series.
- Music Man inspect Sterling guitars in their USA factory before shipping them to retailers.
- Sterling Music Man guitars ship with Ernie Ball strings.
Where Are Suhr Guitars Made?
- Suhr guitars was founded in 1997, with their factory based in Lake Elsinore, California.
- They initially produced only high-end custom guitars.
- All Suhr guitars are made in the USA in their 27,000-square-foot state-of-the art factory in Lake Elsinore.
- In 2010 Suhr released their sub-brand Rasmus Guitars, which were manufactured at the Yako factory in China, carefully selected for their ability to produce the quality demanded by Suhr. The final setup was performed at the Suhr factory in the US, and the production run ended in 2012.
- In 2012 Suhr introduced the Modern Satin series, made in Lake Elsinore, CA.
- In 2015 Suhr switched to stringing some guitars with D’Addario’s NYXL strings, and then changed again to Ernie Ball Slinky strings.
Where Are Takamine Guitars Made?
- Takamine started the town of Sakashita, Japan as a family-run guitar shop in 1959.
- In 1962 they re-named the business as Takamine Gakki Ltd., after Mount Takamine where they are located.
- In early years they produced classical guitars and mandolins, and later became well-known for their acoustic steel string guitars.
- Takamine manufacture their highest-level guitars in the Sakashita factory, where they have some woods that have aged for up to 40 years. The highest-grade aged woods are often used to build guitars for the local Japanese market, especially since US laws prevent certain woods from being imported to protect those species of tree.
- The Japanese-built guitars are made with a combination of modern high-tech machinery, CNC machining, hand-carving, and hand finishing by skilled luthiers with decades of experience.
- Each year starting with their 25th Anniversary in 1987, Takamine has produced a limited run of LTD guitars are made to high standards, prized by collectors.
- The Takamine Pro Series, Hirade, Legacy, Limited Edition, Signature, Thinline and TT guitars are all made in Japan.
- The lower end of Takamine’s guitar models such as the G Series guitars are made in Korea, China, and Indonesia.
- Jasmine Guitars, which started out as a sub-brand of Takamine were also made in Asia, with the brand sold to KMC Music in 2005.
- Takamine guitars ship with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Taylor Guitars Made?
- Taylor Guitars make classical and steel-string acoustic guitars, founded in 1974.
- All Taylor guitars are made in El Cajon, USA, and Tecate, Mexico – with the two plants only about 40 miles apart over the border.
- As stated on their website, “Taylor does not manufacture any guitars in Asia”.
- The El Cajon factory in the USA produces all Taylor’s solid wood guitars, which are the 300 series and above. These guitars have higher levels of craftsmanship and detail applied to them, some models with newer advanced bracing patterns, and all come with a hard case.
- The Tecate factory in Mexico manufactures Taylors’ more affordable guitar lines, which includes the 200 series and below (such as the GS Mini, and Academy Series). These models have a solid top with laminated back and sides, Lower-level electronics, and come with a soft case (apart from the 200 Deluxe model).
- Taylor steel string guitars come with Elixir Nanoweb Strings, and nylon string guitars come with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Washburn Guitars Made?
- Washburn Guitars was originally founded in 1883 in Chicago, Illinois. It is now owned by JAM Industries USA.
- In 1974 a series of quality imported acoustic guitars, made in Japan by Terada was imported and had the Washburn name applied to them.
- Eventually through a few changes of ownership, the company was renamed Washburn International in 1987, and started making higher-end short-run guitars in Chicago.
- From the late 1970’s to mid-80’s, Washburn introduced its first electric guitars, with most guitars made in Japan.
- In 1991 production began at Samick in South Korea, followed in 1992 by the opening of Samick’s new factory in Indonesia.
- From 1992 – 2000 Washburn custom shop guitars were built in Chicago.
- From 1994 to 2001, ten acoustic guitar models were built for Washburn in the United States, five by Tacoma Guitars (Tacoma, Washington) and five by Bourgeois Guitars (Lewiston, Maine).
- From 2002 to 2008 Washburn made the D-78, D-80, D-82, and D-84 dreadnoughts in the USA (these were all solid wood guitars).
- The Washburn USA factory was closed in 2015, however a few models are still made in Cincinnati.
- Since 2017 most Washburn guitars are made in Indonesia and China.
- All Washburn guitars come with D’Addario strings.
Where Are Yamaha Guitars Made?
- Originally Yamaha built their guitars in Japan at their Hamamatsu factory, however they now manufacture world-wide.
- Yamaha now manufacture their guitars in a variety of places like China, America, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japan where their custom shop makes the Yamaha GC82 Handcrafted Ceder classical guitar selling for $10,000-18,000.
- From around 1971 many Yamaha acoustic guitars have been made at the Kaohsiung factory in Taiwan (known as “Green” Label – or parchment color).
- Yamaha also produce guitars in Japan at the Nippon Gakki plant (known as “Red” Label guitars), and originally manufactured at the Tenryu/Wada Factory since 1946, and at the Production Custom Shop in Hamamatsu since 1966.
- As an example, these Yamaha “Green” Label guitar models were produced in Taiwan: L5A, L15A, L-25AT, FG110, FG160, FG180, FG300, FG335, FG360, FG422, and the SE350 Superstrat.
- Examples of “Red” Label guitars are: Yamaha FG140, FG360, FG730.
- Many identical FG models were produced in both Japan and Taiwan.
- From the late 1970’s Yamaha produced G-model classical nylon string guitars in Taiwan.
- Yamaha also produce some of their Grand Concert Series such as the GC22 and GC12 models at their factory in Hangzhou, China.
- Yamaha’s electric and bass guitars are developed at Yamaha Artist Services, which is located in Los Angeles.
- Their newest facility was opened in Kanchipuram, India in 2019 , and previously in 2018 they built a musical instrument plant in Bekasi, Indonesia at a cost of $43 million.
- The Yamaha SG, SA, and Revstar models are made in Japan.
- Yamaha Pacifica guitars, and some Revstar models are made in Taiwan.
- Yamaha guitars ship come strung with a variety of strings depending on the model. Generally, you will see Elixir strings on most acoustics, with some models using D’Addario.
- Yamaha’s electric guitars generally ship with unbranded factory strings and Fender strings for their lower end guitars, and D’Addario strings on their more expensive guitars.
Where Are Zager Guitars Made?
- Zager Guitars was founded in 1969, operating from Lincoln, Nebraska, United States.
- All Zager guitars are made in IndoChinUsa, located somewhere on this planet! If you are not sure where that is, then I encourage you to search for Zager guitars on any well-known guitar forum to see if you can find an honest answer.
- Zager guitars state their instruments are made in the USA, however the label often hidden under another label seems to say either Indonesia, or China.
- Zager guitars are supposedly the easiest guitars to play in the known universe …it’s highly advisable to research them and speak to other guitarists before deciding to purchase one.
- Zager guitars come with Zager branded strings.
Hopefully you have found this a useful resource to answer some of your questions. I have researched as thoroughly as time has permitted, attempting to present information as accurately as possible.
If you have found incorrect information in this article or have extra credible information to add, then please reach out to us via our contact form.
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Serial Number Searching
GuitarDivision.com is not associated with these sites, however I have included them as excellent resources to help track manufacturing locations of guitars by their serial numbers.
In addition, guitar manufacturers’ websites, forums, and Wikipedia may also help you track the origin of your guitar.