Guitars Galore at the 2011 Montreal Guitar Show

October 24, 2011

More than 140 acoustic and electric guitar builders from 13 countries exhibited their wares at the fifth annual Montreal Guitar Show, an invitation-only event showcasing the world’s most accomplished luthiers. In addition to all of the wondrous wood and metal on display, there were 60 mini-concerts, numerous seminars and classes, Guitarissimo concerts—featuring artists such as Kaki King, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Laurence Juber, and the California Guitar Trio—and other events running concurrently. Visit the Video and Gear pages at to see additional photos and video of builders and artists. Here’s just a tiny taste of the extraordinary fare that was on offer.

Along with several models of his acoustic steel-string guitars, Hubert Soumis- Pilon (Canada) displayed the 21-string Saradip harp guitar, a tribute to 19th Century luthier Friedrich Schenck.


Fernando Bernardo (Brazil) builds acoustic and classical instruments from select and often exotic Brazilian tone woods. Check out the truly exquisite top and rosette on this beautiful Gávea model classical guitar.


Craig Anderson (United States) built this instrument specifically for the Montreal Guitar Show. The soundboard was made from a spruce beam that came from a building constructed in the 1850s, the back is cocobolo, the rosette is spalted maple, and the fretboard inlay is of a maple leaf.


Linda Manzer (Canada) showed several guitars, including this freshly made 36-string Pikasso archtop, which is similar in design to the instrument made famous by Pat Metheny, but with an arched top and strings that extend far beyond the bridges, allowing them to be played on either side.


James Trussart (United States) is arguably the master of steel guitars—meaning constructed of steel, not played with a steel. He brought a nice selection of instruments of all types and configurations, including these three highly decorated beauties.


Edward Klein (Canada), who builds classical and acoustic guitars (sometimes out of very unusual materials, including metals), brought the avant-garde Ellipse Negra to the MGS, as well as this very interesting non-linear nylonstring model.
Among the many types of guitars built by Michael Spalt (United States) are his “Resin Top” models, created by applying a clear resin coating to a tone wood back—which supplies the basic tonal characteristics and structural stability—and then inserting various decorative objects and images, resulting in a 3-D effect.
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