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September 13, 2021
American-made Guitars from Gibson, PRS, Martin, and and More
A guitar made in America not only represents a history of proud craftsmanship, but also the history of rock 'n' roll. Each generation of new guitars builds on the last, yet remains rooted in tradition by luthiers who put decades of experience and pride in their work. Join us as we examine American-made guitars in this special buyer's guide. No matter which model interests you, from Gibson electrics to Taylor and Martin acoustics, these American-made instruments will provide a lifetime of reliability and entertainment.
Gibson Guitars: Made in Nashville, Tennessee & Bozeman, Montana
There is a reason "Only a Gibson is Good Enough." Synonymous with legends like Les Paul, Ted McCarty, Seth Lover, and countless musicians old and new, Gibson guitars just plain rock. Starting with select mahogany, maple, ebony, and other premium tonewoods, Gibson's luthiers employ precise handiwork and manufacturing innovations such as PLEK technology to ensure a feel and setup on every Gibson instrument that is as close to perfect as humanly possible. This blend of history and progressive thinking result in amazing-sounding, amazing-feeling guitars that players the world over aspire to own.
PRS: Made in Stevensville, Maryland
Since the mid-1980s, Paul Reed Smith has been making guitars that fit right between Gibson and Fender. He even went as far as making sure the body of the guitar had elements of some of Gibson's designs as well as some of Fender's innovations. The scale length was even split down the middle, making his guitars slinkier than a Fender, but stiffer than a Gibson. Some models even bear the name "McCarty" because Ted McCarty -- the man who is credited to designing the Les Paul, ES-335, and many other famous models -- mentored Paul Reed Smith. Based in Stephensville, Maryland, PRS prides themselves in making just about everything that goes on the guitar. From the tuners to the bridge to the pickups, it's all handcrafted by PRS -- ensuring that they are the highest-quality parts you can find.
Ernie Ball Music Man: Made in San Luis Obispo, California
Back in the mid-1970s, starting after the sale of Fender to CBS, Leo Fender founded Music Man. These guitars and basses are still made in Southern California today. Since the mid-1980s, Ernie Ball bought Music Man and the range has been extended to signature guitars from Annie Clark of St. Vincent, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez from The Mars Volta and At the Drive-In, and John Petrucci. Every Ernie Ball Music Man guitar and bass is all about performance and playability.
G&L: Made in Fullerton, California
Originally a research and development division of Music Man, G&L was founded in the early 1980s. American-made G&L guitars and basses are still made in the original Fender factory in Fullerton, California. Leo Fender (the "L" in G&L) had incorporated his Dual Fulcrum vibrato, Magnetic Field Design pickups, and many other updates from his early days at Fender. Leo's desk still remains in the factory, and the original blueprints were even found for the Espada that was designed in 1969. G&L is all about serving the legacy of Leo Fender and building guitars for the gigging musician.
Taylor Guitars: Made in El Cajon, California
Since 1973, Taylor has worked tirelessly to blend old-world craftsmanship with bold, innovative manufacturing techniques. At Taylor, precision laser cutting, computer-aided machining, and hand work all combine, resulting in some of the easiest to play, best-feeling guitars on Earth. Taylor's successes are felt, seen and heard the world over -- with Taylor guitars gracing top-level stages and exciting music dealers and enthusiasts everywhere. Taylor's priorities are pristine wood selection and sustainable, responsible harvesting practices for the good of our shared global environment.
Martin Guitars: Made in Nazareth, Pennsylvania
Since 1833, the Martin name has stood for heirloom-quality instruments for players, collectors and top-tier artists the world over. Martin guitars exude superior hand-craftsmanship, and a time-honored, well-honed sense of originality. Superior wood selection, expert luthiery, and legendary tones continue to elevate C.F. Martin and Company. To own a coveted Martin guitar is to own a playable work of art.
Breedlove: Made in Bend, Oregon
Breedlove was founded by Larry Breedlove and Steve Henderson, both former luthiers at Taylor Guitars. They fled sunny San Diego for the great wide open of the Pacific Northwest. Breedlove offers alternative woods, such as myrtlewood, that you won't find on other guitars. Breedlove's innovations include using different headstock shapes -- which allows the guitars to have more or less mid-range depending on the shape -- and redesigning a traditional bridge. The innovative bridges found on all Breedlove guitars allow the the player to put plenty of force put on the top, in a way that won't warp the top.