WECHTER GUITARS
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WECHTER GUITARS
Instruments curently built in Fort Wayne, IN since 2008 and in China. Previously produced in Paw Paw, MI between 1997 and 2008. Distributed by Wechter Guitars in Fort Wayne, IN. Distributed in Japan by Okada International, Inc. of Tokyo, Japan.
Luthier Abraham Wechter began his guitar building career in the early 1970s by making dulcimers and repairing guitars in Seattle, Washington. Shortly thereafter he started looking for a mentor to apprentice with. In December of 1974, he moved to Detroit to begin an apprenticeship with Richard Schneider. He was captivated by Schneider´s art, along with the scientific work Schneider was doing with Dr. Kasha.
Wechter worked with Schneider developing prototypes for what later became the "Mark" project at Gibson Guitars. Schneider was working regularly for Gibson developing prototypes, and as a result Wechter started working for Gibson as a model (prototype) builder. Schneider and Wechter moved to Kalamazoo in December 1976. After a few years, Wechter was given the opportunity to work as an independent consultant to Gibson. He continued on until June of 1984, performing prototype work on many of the guitars Gibson produced during that time period.
While at Gibson, Wechter continued his apprenticeship with Schneider, building handmade, world-class guitars. He actually rented space from Schneider during this time and started building his own models. In 1984, when Gibson moved to Nashville, Wechter decided to remain in Michigan. Wechter moved to Paw Paw, Michigan, a rural town about twenty miles west of Kalamazoo, where he set up shop and started designing and building his own guitars.
Wechter built handmade classical, jazz-nylon, bass, and steel-string acoustic guitars. He did a tremendous amount of research into how and why guitars perform. As a result, he became sought after by many high profile people in the industry. Between 1985 and 1995, Wechter designed and hand built guitars for artists like John McLaughlin, Steve Howe, Al DiMeola, Giovanni, John Denver, Earl Klugh, and Jonas Hellborg. During this time period he developed a reputation as one of the world´s finest craftsman and guitar designers.
In November of 1994, Wechter built a prototype of an innovative new design, and realized that it would have applications far beyond the high price range he was working in. This was the birth of the Pathmaker guitar. The Pathmaker model is a revolutionary acoustic guitar. The double cutaway construction provides a full nineteen frets clear of the body in a design that is both inherently stable and visually striking.
Wechter then laid out the groundwork for mass production and distribution of the Pathmaker - the first production models were scheduled for January, 1997. A limited number of handmade premier models are being built, along with a small number of classical and jazz-nylon guitars. Wechter has since expanded to offer a full line of Pathmaker-style guitars along with traditional acoustic guitars, resonators, and a budget line known as Maple Lake.
In 2000, Wechter began offering resonator instruments that are designed by Tim Scheerhorn. In 2004, Wechter began importing guitars from Asia and Wechter regularly travels to Asia to oversee production and quality. In 2008, Wechter relocated to Fort Wayne, IN. Wechter is also one of the few guitar manufacturers that owns a Plek Pro that levels the frets on fingerboards for all Wechter instruments. In 2010, Wechter introduced a line of solidbody electric guitars.
For more information on availability and pricing, contact Wechter Guitars directly. Biography courtesy Abraham Wechter and Michael Davidson, August 2, 1996.

From Blue Book Publications:


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