Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC), commonly referred to simply as Fender, is an American manufacturer of stringed instruments and amplifiers, such as solid-body electric guitars, including the Stratocaster and the Telecaster. It is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. 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 basses, the Precision Bass (P-Bass), which has become known in rock, jazz, country, Motown, funk, and other types of music. Fender’s Precision and Jazz Bass models are now widely considered to be the standard to which most other electric bass guitars are measured.
Gibson Guitar Corp. is a Nashville, Tennessee-based guitar and instrument manufacturer. It was founded in 1902 in Kalamazoo, Michigan by Orville Gibson as “The Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co., Ltd.” and was a maker of mandolin instruments. Gibson invented archtop guitars by using the same type of carved, arched tops found on violins. By the 1930s, the company was also making flattop acoustic guitars, as well as one of the first commercially available hollow-body electric guitars, used and popularized by Charlie Christian. It was bought by Chicago Musical Instruments in 1944, which was then acquired by the E.C.L. conglomerate that changed its name to Norlin Inc. This was seen as the beginning of an era of mismanagement.
Ibanez is a Japanese guitar brand owned by Hoshino Gakki. Based in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan, Hoshino Gakki were one of the first Japanese musical instrument companies to gain a significant foothold in import guitar sales in the United States and Europe, as well as the first brand of guitars to mass-produce the seven-string guitar and eight-string guitar.
Yamaha Corporation is a Japanese multinational corporation and conglomerate based in Japan with a wide range of products and services, predominantly musical instruments, electronics, motorcycles and power sports equipment.
ESP Company, Limited is a Japanese guitar manufacturer, primarily focused on the production of electric guitars and basses. They are based in both Japan and USA, with two distinct product lines for each respective market. ESP Company manufactures instruments under several names, including “ESP Standard”, “ESP Custom Shop”, “LTD Guitars and Basses”, “Navigator”, “Edwards Guitar and Basses” and “Grassroots”. Their products range from Japanese-built custom shop instruments to lower end mass-production Korean and Indonesian made instruments.
Washburn Guitars is an American guitar manufacturer. It was established in 1883 in Chicago, Illinois. Washburn is a part of U.S. Music Corporation.
Washburn makes electric guitars, acoustic guitars, electric basses, acoustic basses, banjos, mandolins, travel guitars, and amplifiers. The company also makes accessories including guitar cases, clothing, and other parts like tuners, pick ups, and straps. Washburn is mostly known for its electric guitars and acoustic guitars. The company makes eight different styles or “Series” of both electric and acoustic guitars.
Washburn guitars have been gaining much recognition in recent years, particularly within the extreme metal, hardcore punk and post-rock scenes.
Squier is a musical instrument brand name owned by the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.
In 2008 Squier released its Classic Vibe series. A series of electric guitars and basses mirroring classic Fender designs of the 50′s and 60′s. Each roughly reflecting the hardware, woods, color variations, finishes, body contours, and tonal characteristics of their respective era; although Squier state that the series was not created to be completely era correct, but rather impart the ‘vibe’ of a classic Fender design.
Cort Guitars is a guitar manufacturer centered in South Korea. The company is one of the largest guitar makers in the world, and produces instruments for many other companies.
Jackson Guitars originated in 1980 when guitarist Randy Rhoads approached Charvel with an idea for an individualized guitar. The collaborative design effort between Rhoads, Grover Jackson, Tim Wilson, and Mike Shannon resulted in the creation of the Concorde, an innovative revamp of the traditional Flying V. The Rhoads guitar model designs were such a departure from Charvel’s Stratocaster-based models that Grover elected to label them with his own name.
The 1990s brought changes in musical trends, and brands like Jackson began producing inexpensive, Asian-made versions of their staple designs in an effort to make their products more attractive and accessible to lower-end buyers.
fter several years of running a successful company doing sub-contracting work for many well known guitar companies and extensive design consultancy,Grover Jackson is now co-owner of a new guitar brand, GJ2 Guitars, in Orange County, California. His partner in this venture is former Fender Senior Vice President Jon Gold. Grover Jackson maintains his lifelong commitment to the highest quality USA made guitars.
B.C. Rich is a manufacturer of guitars and bass guitars founded by the late Bernardo Chavez Rico in 1969. Currently, most B.C. Rich guitars are manufactured in Asia, but luthiers of the company’s custom shop continue to hand-make instruments. The Hanser Music Group, based in Kentucky, USA, operates B.C. Rich. As of 2001, no member of the Rico family is involved in the company.