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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Egmond guitars

Egmond guitars, this years news

egmond guitar
egmond guitar
This week I read an interesting article regarding the famous Dutch guitar builder Egmond. This company passed away some time ago, but still has a lot of fans, especially among the older generation guitar players who's first guitar often was an Egmond.

The article wasn't hot from the press, actually Egmond guitars was in the news in february this year, but as the Egmond guitar factory doesn't exist anymore, what news can you expect?

Egmond guitars, some history

In 1940 , former railroad station-chief Uilke Egmond and his three sons Gerard, Dick and Jaap started to build guitars in a small workshop in Best, Holland. This workshop burned down two or three times, but despite of that, production and selling of the Egmond guitars went up, and in 1961 the Egmond guitar factory was established. Beside of the Egmond guitar factory, the family also ran the Musica music store.

Guitar building and selling expanded, and after 1960 more than 200 guitar builders were employed by the Egmond guitar factory, resulting in the build of more than 125.000 Egmond guitars a year. At some point, Egmond guitars was the largest guitar builder in  Europe.

egmond guitar
egmond guitar

The popularity of the Egmond guitar started with the introduction of Leo Fender's Stratocaster. The Stratocaster was the dream of every young guitar player but the price made the guitar unreachable. For a fraction of the price Egmond produced guitars, within the reach of young guitar players. The popularity of the Egmond guitar exploded. Egmond built electric guitars, acoustic and semi-hollowbody guitars, and amps.

Egmond not only built guitars under their own  name, but Egmond also produced other labels like Wilson, Miller, Manhattan, Lion, Caladonie, Lido, Frima, Rosetti, Orpheum,  Royal, Royalist, Alpha, Vega and Roderich Paesold; a long list. Most guitars were exported, and especially the Rosetti Lucky 7 was a hit, due to the fact it came in all kind of "hip"colors.

With the worldwide competition of very cheap, well built guitars from the asian countries, Egmond guitars hit rough weather, and it all came to an end in 1976.

Martin guitars bought the Egmond factory in Best, Holland and, for a while, produced the Vega and Alpha brands, copies of the Martin best sellers, which ended in 1983. It's all history now.

egmond guitar
egmond guitar

Playing the Egmond guitar, what about the quality?

As mentioned, lot's of young guitar players in the 70's started with playing guitar on an Egmond, as they only could effort a cheap guitar. Among them some big names: Keith Richard, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Paul McCartney, Brian May, Trini Lopez and Dutch players Andy Tielman and the famous Jan Akkerman.

The quality of the Egmond guitars is questioned. Some more expensive Egmond guitars were well built, but most of them were described "crappy". I read stories about paper sticking to the body as Egmond shipped the guitars with the paint still wet, Egmond guitars pulled crooked in the shop, and some even called the Egmond guitar "among the worst they have ever seen".

Despite of the supposed lousy quality, older guitarists remember their first Egmond guitar, and now the Egmond guitar is considered "vintage".

egmond guitar
egmond guitar

This years "news" about Egmond guitars

Early this year news came out that Canadian company Audio One Corporation, musical instruments builders, worked in silence for already four years on the re-introduction of the legendary Egmond guitars. The plan was to build a serie of six of the Egmond top models in a limited edition. A lot of time and money were invested before the project came to an end, with the passing away of engineer Yuri Dmitrievski september last year. The project is in "the fridge", and there the story ends, much to my regret.

More about Egmond guitars

All about Egmond guitars can be found on the website  from Wim Markenhof, who obviously is an expert on the Dutch Egmond guitars. Wim wrote a book about Egmond guitars (also in English) which can be ordered on the website. Among the information in the book is an article about the Paul McCArtney Rosetti Lucky 7 guitar.


  1. Yes,my first guitar was an Egmond,it was the little acoustic(Toledo?not written on mine)Very difficult to tune and out of tune all over the instrument,no wonder I had problems learning!This was in '56 and years later(1966 I worked for Rosetti and London and they were still selling them to the shops.I checked and tuned hundreds of them(or did my best)but they were still rubbish.I'd forgotten the dreaded Lucky 7 but I hope it was bit better,don't remember but I doubt it.The later more expensive models look better but what naff colours and designs,thank goodness for the makes from the Far East.Gave me a laugh seeing these pics tho' Chris Haskins,Karlsruhe,Germany(late of Bath,GB.

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