Modern Guitar Builders

Campellone | Buscarino Megas | Unger | Zimnicki | Ribbecke


Mark Campellone is one of the best archtop builders today and is a man whom history will follow!  Mark builds archtop guitars in the same style as the old Gibsons  (L5's and Super 400's). Each instrument is a work of art starting with the wood selection,  the carving of the top and back and ending with the rich nitro cellulose finish.  There are not too many people qualified to make a guitar with this kind of smooth, jazzy sound, and Mark is one of them.

He has agreed to let Murch Music be a dealer of his fine, hand crafted guitars. You can learn more about this man and his many guitars by visiting his web site.

We get 3-4 instruments per year from Mark and very rarely have stock.  Please check our vintage/used page for any available instruments.  If there is nothing available we would be pleased to spec. one out for you at any time.   The waiting time is usually about 6 months.

Campellone Guitars

John Buscarino

A GUITAR'S PRIMARY FUNCTION is usually measured in musical terms: it's ability to produce precise notes, chords and passages on demand. Consistency is the ultimate test of its perfection. But to the master luthier and craftsman John Buscarino, this is only a beginning. dot.jpg (634 bytes) John is one of the few luthiers working today, a solo artisan handcrafting guitars suited to each customer's personal needs. His instruments are prized not just for the beautiful sounds they produce, but also as the cherished possessions they inevitably become. Guitar player Steve Morse considers his Buscarino guitars "treasured works of art," as do many of John's customers. dot.jpg (634 bytes) John is unique among today's guitar builders in that he apprenticed with not one but two master luthiers. The first was Augustine LoPrinzi, from whom John learned the finer points of building classical guitars. John later worked with famed archtop builder Robert Benedetto, spending years perfecting the woodworking skills that today make him a master luthier in his own right. dot.jpg (634 bytes) John has created hundreds of exquisite guitars using proven methods passed down over generations. He is constantly refining these time-tested techniques, taking each to new levels of perfection in mastering the art of lutherie.  We are proud to represent his fine line of guitars at Murch Music !    

Visit John's Website !!


The archtop guitars of Ted Megas are acknowledged as among the finest made today, owned by players and collectors worldwide.  What distinguishes Megas instruments from those of other luthiers and
inspires such fervent loyalty from his customers?

To understand, go back beyond Tedís twenty-plus years of serious guitar making, back to the origins of his passion for fine musicmaking. There was first his fatherís basement workshop, where Ted had unlimited
access to woodworking tools and developed his knack for being able to build just about anything he set his mind to, musical and otherwise.  Close upon this was the teenage discovery that guitars and guitar music were way beyond cool.  It being the sixties, a rebellious spirit illuminated his path, beginning with Hendrix, segueing into McLaughlin, Montgomery and a stint exploring jazz-rock fusion in his own band in Buffalo, New York.

Tedís iconoclastic nature brought him to San Francisco in the early 70ís, where for years he led a double life of custom furniture builder by day, jazz player by night: one put food on the table, the other fed
his soul.  But even then his craftsmanship was beginning to take the turn that would lead to the most rewarding expression of his creative talents: the art of lutherie.  As with all his pursuits an intrepid
spirit of exploration, coupled with a musicianís sense of what a guitar really needs to work and the critical eye of a perfectionist, led the way.  He experimented with designs and concepts that were way ahead of
the 80ís mindset, finally coming to focus his energies on that most demanding, aesthetically beautiful and musically pleasing of instruments: the archtop guitar.  He mined the lutherie tradition for
its relevant lessons, then added his own distinctive touches.  There he resides today, taking on every last aspect in the construction of 12 genuinely handcrafted instruments each year from the finest tonewoods
and building materials available on the planet.

What will you find in a Megas guitar?  A craftsmanís fanatical attention to detail.  An understanding and commitment to superlative materials.  A genius for the nuances of archtop guitar design and
construction.  The knowledge that a great guitar is much more than the simple sum of its parts.                  The vision to put it all together.

The proof is in the playing.  Pick up a Megas guitar: play it, inspect it for all the qualities you expect in a fine instrument.  Read what his customers have to say.  Ask him what he has to say.  It could open up
a whole new world of appreciation for what an archtop guitar can be.

Dale Unger

Dale was born September 16, 1954, raised in Nazareth, PA, home of Martin Guitars. In his teens he became inspired by meeting some of the world's finest guitar builders. This led him to play guitar and become a builder. Visiting the shop of one of Martin's craftsmen encouraged Dale to buy one of his guitars. He was overwhelmed by the craftsmanship and ease of playing. At that point he knew he wanted to build an instrument of that quality. DALE AT WORK

Introducing himself to Dick Boak of Martin Guitar in 1977 provided Dale with the opportunity to build his first guitar. In 1993 Dick introduced him to Robert Benedetto, and a lifetime dream had come true. Working with Bob these past 3 years has been the experience of a lifetime.

Check out Dale's website here!

Gary Zimnicki

Gary has been building custom-made guitars for over 20 years.  His approach to guitar building is to incorporate the features that you desire in your personal handmade instrument.  Although he has found certain elements to always work successfully and will use them when you don't have a strong opinion, he encourages your  involvement in planning the design of your instrument.

The result of this collaboration will be a finely made guitar with exceptional tone, playability and beauty that is perfectly matched to your needs and desires.

As of late 1998 Gary has successfully used this approach to complete over 100 guitars.

Member of A.S.I.A. (Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans)
Member of Guild of American Luthiers

Go to the Zimnicki website for more information.

Tom Ribbecke

We are proud to be able to offer instruments to our customer that are made by mater guitar builder Tom Ribbecke  -- we will be involved in a very interesting project with Tom over the next year.  He will be building a custom one of a kind instrument for us and we will be updating the site on a regular basis showing the progress of this great instrument -- this way you  " the customer" will be able to watch the very exciting process of a custom order instrument unfold on our website and have the opportunity to be able to participate in the excitement anyone has going through this process.   

Tom has been building and repairing guitars and basses for twenty-five years in the San Francisco bay area. He opened his  first lutherie business in 1975 in the Mission district of San Francisco. After ten years (and thousands of repairs and custom building for clients), He  closed the storefront in order to concentrate on commission building.   

For details on the Custom guitar please click here !

Tom's Website


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