You've heard of Godin, and you've heard of Larrivee ... but have you ever heard of Garrison??
Until last night, I hadn't. Here's a short video of their now defunct factory Garrison Guitar Factory Tour
A guy at open mic was playing something that looked like a cross between a Seagull and a Taylor and I couldn't make out the name on the headstock. Afterwards, I talked with him and it turns out he was playing a Garrison.
He was an excellent player and he was piped through a really nice Bose PA, so I thought the guitar sounded great. I never heard it played unplugged.
Garrison was founded in 1999 in Newfoundland and they had an innovative system of combining a solid wood body with a composite internal bracing system.
It seems that Gibson bought the company and then simply let it go under around 2007.
That's all I know. Anybody ever played or even seen/heard a Garrison guitar??
You Canadian members may be able to provide additional information and fill in some of the gaps in the story.
I've heard of Garrison guitars, but have never seen one...
Garrison was a Canadian Guitar builder from Newfoundland. Garrison Guitars was founded by Newfoundland native Chris Griffiths. He designed an injection mold process to efficiently manufacture his guitars. The company was purchased in 2007 by the Gibson Guitar Corporation and converted to produce the Gibson acoustic Songmaker series.They built guitars with a unique carbon fibre skeleton that include one piece body bracing, top and back, neck block and tail block. the rest of the guitar was built of various woods. This frame provided a strong, light frame work that vibrated as on with the top. Very nice instruments. My icon is me playing one and I have this picture too, you can see some of the black, internal bracing which also serves as the body binding! I occasionally still see Garrisons on sale in Europe and there are probably used ones around. They are excellent guitars. There's information & photos if you Google the name. I sold mine to a friend just because their sound is a bit like a taylor, a little too bright for my taste but he loves it. I bought my Seagull anniversary with the cash.
There a a lot of famous Canadian Luthiers and Companies. Linda Manzer, Marc Beniteau, Grit Laskin, Bucher Guitars (descended from the original Norman guitars), Eastwood Guitars just to name a few. Many of the attendees at the Montreal International Guitar Show are Canadian. If you go to that web site you'll find names and pictures. You can also check http://www.guitarscanada.com/content/ It has a section of Canadian guitar builders.
The earliest Canadian guitar builder I know of is Arthur Hensel. He was Toronto-based small-scale manufacturer of upper-mid grade department store instruments in the 1920's through 1940's. His instruments were; arch-tops, flat-tops, and resonators, all of which were particularly finely built and interestingly designed.
So, there's a little bit of Canada (Newfoundland) in every new Gibson Songwriter Series guitar.
Thanks Reg! Great info!
Back when I had a retail guitar store I sold mainly the godin acoustics and larrivee. I considered selling garrison for a while. I played many and spoke with the company many times. They had sort of a new way to do the braces which involved a single piece synthetic frame inside the guitar. Personally I didn't think they sounded all that great. (Normally I don't like to bad mouth companies but they are no longer around, so...). They had a good marketing concept with their "no laminates" logo and their interesting bracing design. But in the end I thought the solid top godin acoustics sounded much better than the all solid garrisons. Like I always say: Specs are secondary!!!