Guitars for the working musician, built by a pro.
John McGuire Guitars is a company bred to make the absolute finest guitars. Hand crafted and finished in the USA, John McGuire Guitars are over the top in looks, feel, and sound and are also very easy to personalize with a wide range of custom options to choose from.
After designing and building some of the most unique and beautiful guitars for several artists and companies, John felt it would be best to start his own brand of guitars in order to incorporate all that he felt was missing in the guitar world today. Today, with an incredible eye, the finest materials, and the experience of two generations John McGuire makes guitars in which you can just feel the difference.
John McGuire has over 30 years of experience in the guitar business. He was pretty much raised in a guitar manufacturing shop and music retail store, Valley Arts Guitars, in Southern California. His father, famed Luthier Mike McGuire, built Valley Arts’ reputation through catering to LA’s finest studio guitar players. These players included Larry Carlton, Steve Lukather, Steve Ferris, Lee Rittenour, and Leland Sklar to name a few. Learning the family trade with clients like these guys, John definitely learned a trick or two and developed a serious eye for detail. It was at Valley Arts, at the age of 12, where John built his first guitar.
John would always get to see some of the most amazing players come in and order the coolest guitars, plus have his dad set up, and/or repair their existing guitars. It was that, plus the drive to be creative and work with his hands that made John decide he wanted follow in his father's footsteps. John would constantly draw guitars and show his dad in hopes that he would maybe get him to start a line, but he was young and the guitars were too "pointy."
In 1993 after some unfortunate events which affected business at Valley Arts, Mike McGuire decided to move John and the rest of his family to Nashville, TN as he was starting a new career with the Gibson Custom Shop. John turned sixteen the next year, and after a very brief job at McDonald's, he started to work at Gibson's Custom Shop after school sweeping floors, cleaning toilets, and doing odd jobs throughout.
John wanted to stay in the career path he had chosen and thought that the best way to get into a more substantial role was to go to school. He wanted to stay within a field where he would be able to be creative and productive so he chose an associates course in CAD and applied sciences from ITT. While John was going for his associates he helped in almost every department at Gibson Custom including sanding, fret filing, final assembly, and packing. After he was finished with his course work he was finally able to start working full-time and was put into engineering at Gibson Custom Shop. There he learned the ins and outs of the entire guitar building process, developed a sharper eye for details and better problem-solving skills in all guitar related processes.
At Gibson’s Custom Shop John was the youngest person to ever create models that are still doing well and selling to this day. These models were the Flying V Custom and the Flying V standard flame top. He also moved his way through engineering and became the special projects manager, where he was in charge of all runs of guitars deemed to be special projects. Whether they were for an artist, trophies, or for fortune 500 companies, he was in charge of them from concept to completion.
Even though John’s career was going well at Gibson, he always felt it could be going better. John made the decision in early 2004 to take a job at First Act Inc. as a production manager for their custom shop in Somerville, MA. First Act Inc was a music lifestyle company dealing with mass merchants. John took over the lead position of the shop in 2007. John had changed a lot of things and had the shop’s reputation moving in a positive direction on guitar forums, which was definitely a large task as the guitar world really didn’t like the fact that First Act was a mass merchant dealer to begin with.
Today, John is building some of the finest instruments you can get your hands on at his home near Boston Massachusetts.