Custom Builders

AlumiSonic Guitars
AlumiSonic Inc. is the result of a combination of some of the most talented commercial and aerospace craftsman gathered from the very manufacturing heart and “Cradle of Aviation” known as Long Island NY.

As an Engineer with 20 years of manufacturing and design experience the founder and President of AlumiSonic Ray Matter fostered the development of AlumiSonic through many years of gathering the processes, materials and talent to create the ultimate aluminum guitar company.
Working as a product designer for several different industries over the years, Ray was determined to combine his extensive custom Luthier experience and experiences as a professional musician with his other many commercial and metal design influences.

Some of the many methods and processes used to design and manufacture Alumisonic guitars come directly from Ray’s talents as a successful commercial firearms designer as well as automation engineer and instructor at Island Drafting and Technical Institute.

AlumiSonic has the additional benefit of hundreds of years of the combined knowledge of the professional people hired from several other metal related and guitar related industries.

Together with a wealth of Luthier skills, metallurgy skills, design skills and the incredible craftsmanship of everyone involved, Alumisonic has been able to incorporate many of the most modern and proven processes available today.

See more at www.alumisonic.com

https://youtu.be/4rmYKiAYJX0

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BJ & Byrne Guitars
Tommy Byrne says "We started BJ & Byrne Guitars in 2006 mostly to explore an interesting technology we came across which hardened soft woods such as Pine, organically. This, of course, would mean creating a sustainable hardwood resource in which to make, among other things, guitars. What we found out was that this "Green" wood technology had some terrific tonal qualities and looked great. With our first success, we began exploring other, similar wood technologies trying to capture that perfect combination of increased density, stability and workability with enhanced tonal qualities.

Finally, we came across a technology which ticked all of the boxes and then some. This 'Green' technology has allowed us to produce some extraordinary electric guitars that are a little lighter than their hardwood cousins and with sensational tone and sustain ! This technology increases the density of the Pine we use by about 25%, making it as dense as woods like Maple and Mahogany as well as increasing its stability by nearly 100%. In layman's terms, the enhanced stability means the wood will not take in any moisture allowing it to expand or warp in humid environments, or expel any moisture in dry times like winter, causing the wood to crack.... Stable !

Though all standard handmade BJ & Byrne electric guitars are made out of English Ash and Mahogany, our Master Luthier, Mat Herbst, is custom building BJ&B guitars using this new technology and we are looking to manufacture them on a larger scale once we have hit our stride in our Research & Development endeavors. We are also experimenting with this Green technology on acoustic guitars.

Since our guitars are lighter than most hardwood guitars, we don't want to weigh them down with bulky tremolos, so we prefer the Stetsbars with its wide range of pitch and dynamic tune-o-matic floating bridge that moves with the strings. The Apollo weighs in at 7.7 lbs with the Stetsbar installed; a great combination !

For more information visit the website at www.bj-byrne.com

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Gary Kramer Guitar Company
Only a handful of names are as synonymous with guitars as is Gary Kramer's. His impact on the evolution of the guitar, first with Travis Bean, and later with his Kramer brand (Eddie Van Halen's first endorsed guitar!) easily places him in the book of who's who in the guitar world.

New, from Gary Kramer is the evolutionary Delta Wing, a guitar built ergonomically from the player out, therefore redefining the overall playing experience.

The Delta Wing's design is sexy and stylish, like a high-end sports car, but like that 2007 Ferrari, there is more to its design than just dynamic looks. Its beveled edges, elongated horn, and shortened bout all serve one purpose; to make this the most comfortable playing and performance driven guitar ever created.

Gary Kramer says "I was introduced to Leo Scala, the most creative luthier I have ever met. He showed me the new Delta Wing design, and at first glance I fell in love with it. I knew then that a design like this would be a hard sell in America, because here we're so traditional - the American market has always been focused on traditional looking guitars. But it's a different story in Europe and Asia. They are hungry for a new and innovative looking guitar; the majority of our sales right now are overseas. It seems to me that Europe and Asia have always been two or three steps ahead of America with modern technologies, fashion, cars, etc."

See more at www.garykramerguitars.com

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MeloDuende Guitars
MeloDuende Guitars is a boutique guitar maker based in the heart of the medieval city of Semur-en-Auxois in the Côte d'Or, France.

Originally formedin the 1990's by Sebastien DREYER and Jeremy SACHOUX - with help of his father Patrick - the pair decided to work on a prototype of an electric guitar made of metal. Originally in stainless steel, the MeloDuende guitar was quickly rebuilt in aluminum. This alloy had the advantage of strength but was easy to shape and so could allow for the perfect balancing of the guitar.

The density of Aluminum combined with the wood is an ideal material to provide long sustain, a sharp attack, a warm sound and an excellent reactivity. The alchemy of these 2 materials is the basis itself of MeloDuende concept. The results far exceeded their expectations and they planned the manufacturing of several models in order to refine their searches for an atypical and unique sound. However, the death of Patrick halted the MeloDuende project and both friends moved on to other professional careers.

But, after lots of adventures and 15 years of management Sebastien and Jeremy decided to give a second life to MeloDuende guitars. Once the drawings were dusted off and the prototypes taken out of their cases, new guitars saw the light of day in 2009. Surrounded by specialists like Lulu, Christian and Gilles of AMG Company, Renaud Launay of Areo concept 21 and with the participation of Dominique Bouges, a stringed instrument maker, MeloDuende guitars have become exceptional, high quality instruments able to meet the requirements of the most demanding guitar players.

MeloDuende models are made in a limited quantity directly to each guitarists unique specifications. Each guitar body is hand made using "aluminum 6061". This material is mainly used in the aerospace industry but is the very basis of MeloDuende guitars. MeloDuende guitars are shaped in a manufacturing process that combines craft industry with high technology. The choice of top of the range specific components and the aluminum connection system named "the soul and the heel of Duende handle" (which allows the resonance and the perfect adjustment of neck to body) plays a large role in an innovative instrument with an exemplary finish.

For more information visit the website at www.meloduende.fr

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Mollenhauer Guitars
For more than 150 years the Mollenhauer name has been synonymous with the peak of musical perfection. Composers and violinists extraordinaire such as Edward Mollenhauer and William F.T. Mollenhauer set the world of classical music on fire in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Michael Mollenhauer, grandson to this musical legacy, has chosen to carry on the family music tradition of excellence by creating an extraordinary series of playable and collectible guitars that are ready to rock the world of 21st century music.

One of the most striking benefits that Mollenhauer Guitars offers to its customers is the fact that each guitar is ready to play as soon as it is received by the customer. Each and every guitar is painstakingly set-up by hand in their Victorville, California shop, to the particular requests and specifications of the individual customer thereby eliminating any need for additional adjustments, set-up or tweaking.

Upon receiving his Mollenhauer SsT KlassiK, noted blues guitarist Jeff Watson remarked; "this is the only guitar I've ever played that I didn't have to do something to just to get it to play right, it played perfect as soon as I picked it up!"

Michael's attention to this detail has helped to attract the attention and endorsement of many other high profile players such as Phil Brown, Paul Kingery of Three Dog Night, Jeff Cook of the Alabama Band, English writer and musician Pete Sargeant and David Howard of the Berklee School of Music.

Recently, Mollenhauer Guitars was commissioned to create a new LP style of guitar for Phil Brown which could be "B-Tuned" and include a tremolo system to accommodate Phils aggressive playing style.

After extensive research Michael Mollenhauer determined that the Stetsbar was the only product that would provide the solution to both the tone and playability that Phil was looking for. Chris Peterson, the lead Luthier and guitar tech for Mollenhauer worked his own special brand of set-up magic to create a masterpiece of versatility and tone incorporating the Stetsbar as the focal point of the guitar.

For more information visit: www.mollenhauerguitars.com

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Myka Guitars
Once a resident of the US North-East, though now based in Seattle on the other side of the continent, David Myka is very much a friend of Stetsbar. In fact, David helped design the Stetsbar's OEM baseplate with Eric Stets 'back in the day'.

David builds totally handcrafted guitars and, to use his own words "Custom guitars are my specialty. When I use the term 'custom' I truly mean that anything is possible. You can not only choose your own woods and stain colorings but you can also design a totally new shape, style, or an entire new instrument concept. There are no limits to what is possible. I enjoy the challenge and rewards of building truly custom instruments. Quite often the designs are solely the vision of my clients. Together we make these instruments come alive."

As he is a builder of such unique and beautifully crafted instruments we can only recommend that you visit his website to see what can only be described as stringed works-of-art! David Myka, Myka Guitars website at www.mykaguitars.com

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Tolvanen Guitars
Timo Tolvanen is a highly-respected, luthier and guitarist based in Sydney, Australia. He has been kept busy for many years simply through word-of-mouth recommendations. Some of Australia's most talented guitarists play Tolvanen guitars, including the brilliant Rex Goh and Carl Dimataga. Additionally, high profile singer/songwriters such as Guy Sebastian and Alex Smith from Moving Pictures have also recently discovered Tolvanen Guitars.

Timo utilizes traditional tone woods plus native Australian timbers to produce guitars and basses that are impeccably built, a dream to play and full of pure, vibrant tone. Besides custom building guitars, Timo also has a range of production models that are assembled from partly completed "shells". This has proven to be a very popular innovation that enables guitarists on a tighter budget to access the superb playability and tone of a Tolvanen guitar.

Stetsbars are now an integral part of the Tolvanen range. Timo says, "I tried many different trems over the years but nothing compares with the fluidity, practicality and superb engineering of the Stetsbar".

For more information visit the website at www.tolvanenguitars.com

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Unk Guitars
A Kramer legend and guitar builder of 30 years experience, Paul Unkert is now the "Unk" in Unk Guitars.

Paul has appeared on TV on many occasions and has built, repaired and set-up countless guitars. He created the famous Eddie Van Halen FrankenStrat and is recognised as one of the true experts in the field of Luthierie.

So when he says "The Stetsbar is the neatest tremolo system since the Floyd Rose. A great tremolo only comes around once every 20-25 years and this is it. You've got to see it to believe it!" we start to feel all warm and gushy!

Unk Guitars' new line of solid body electrics are straightforward in design with an iconic headstock, clean lines and deliver a great sound!

These guitars are made in the U.S.A and each guitar is made by Paul "UNK" Unkert himself.

See more at www.unkguitars.com

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XOX Audio Tools
XOX Audio Tools brings high designed and advanced technologies to the musical field to produce innovative and seductive instruments. The Handle guitar, designed and developed in Italy by Peter Solomon, is XOX's advanced all carbon fibre guitar.

Its mono-chassis construction favors perfect transmission of acoustic vibrations for everlasting sustain, and its hollow sectioned chassis creates a resonance chamber for a vast tone range. The Handle is made from carbon fiber, developed for the aerospace industry, and used in F1 race cars. This ultra lightweight material is incredibly resistant, it won't bend or deform under high temperatures or humidity. Surprisingly, carbon fiber offers a much wider harmonic range than wood.

The Handle is a high-end guitar in every detail. The all European construction begins with the highly skilled and technological carbon lay-up process, and is decked out with top of the line American components. The Handle guitar was built from the guitarist's dreams up. The Handle boasts a slim neck for all 24 frets, light weight and a concave body, all of which bring speed and comfort.

The latest Handle models were announced at Frankfurt's 2009 Musikmesse and included a Stetbar equipped guitar.

XOX said in their press release "The second surprise is the Vibro, a sought after combination of the Handle guitar with the zig-zag fret board inlay and a custom mounted Stetsbar tremolo. The Tune-o-matic sports a floating bridge moves with the strings, minimizing string fatigue and bridge wear and its hi-tec micro roller bearings gives the Stetsbar unrivalled pitch range and stability. The Vibro has a high-tech but functional look and feel that really gives the tremolo lover the guitar of his dreams"

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Luttrell Guitarworks
Voted 2005 Best of the Bay "Best Place to Get Your Axe Sharpened" and 2010 BayList Winner for the SF Chronicle/SF Gate's "Best Musical Instruments" category, Geoff Luttrell's SF Guitarworks continues to be the premiere service center for guitars and amps. The shop is an Authorized Stetsbar & Buzz Feiten Retrofitter, a recognized AllParts dealer, a PLEK Service Center, and has a Martin Warranty Repair Specialist on staff a few days a week.

In 2012, Geoff Luttrell founded Luttrell Guitarworks (luttrellguitarworks.com), a custom guitar service for those looking to create their own instrument.

Geoff has over fifteen years experience in working with guitar repair and has the following to say about being a luthier in the Bay area: "After repairing and improving high-end guitars for 13 years, I felt compelled to build my own design. I found most factory built guitars lacking in quality, and even the most storied designs have room for improvement.

Build quality is of paramount importance to me as a craftsman, but for the player, the instrument must disappear in their hands, be reliable and play like a dream. To this end, I employ full contouring of the body and heel, carbon neck supports, lightweight truss rod and a six-bolt neck joint. A six-in-line angled headstock keeps the tuning stable and eliminates the need for string trees. I love working with my clients to bring their dream guitar to reality."

See more at www.sfguitarworks.com

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