Founded way back in 1946 in California by Leo Fender, Fender have been making some of the finest electric and acoustic guitars for almost 65 years.
Being the creator of the Fender Stratocaster is one of their most noticeable achievements, with some of the finest guitarist of all time such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and John Mayer adopting this as their main instrument. They also have the Telecaster and Jaguar as well as their exceptional range of basses including the Precision Bass and Jazz Bass. The Fender Stratocaster and Telecaster are famous for their clean and bluesy tones, mainly because of the wood they are made from which is typically alder or ash.
Fender have been making some of the finest guitars and basses for many years now, and will continue to do so for years to come. More and more guitarists everyday are choosing Fender over others for their classic and vintage tones, this company's famous legacy still has many years to live.
With this year year being the company's 25th birthday, Paul Reed Smith has founded a company which makes some of the best instruments in the world, with world famous guitarists such as Carlos Santana and Mark Tremonti both using PRS guitars and even having a signature model dedicated to them.
The Custom is probably Paul Smith's most famous guitar as it showcases everything that PRS guitars are about: The original body shape which resembles both a Les Paul and a Stratocaster; The bird inlays on the fretboard which is a classic detail on the PRS rage of guitars and beautiful craftsmanship which set PRS from the rest.
For their 25th anniversary they have released a limited range of 50 of the McCarty Violin Guitar which is made of Pernambuco wood, it is a truly breathtaking guitar, however, you would have to fork out a hefty £9,999 for the privilege of owning one. PRS guitars boast the wonderful clean tones of a Stratocaster with the thick crunch of a Les Paul, almost a hybrid of the the two guitars, if you like. After 25 years of making some of the finest guitars in the world, Paul Reed Smith shows no signs of stopping the wonderful art he has mastered.
Gibson make some of the most sought after guitars in the world, their vast range of guitars have been embraced by some of the finest guitarists ever. Slash, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck all choosing a Les Paul, Edge going for an Explorer and BB King adopting a ES-335 to name a few.
Gibson's are usually made from mahogany with a maple top, the mahogany is mainly where the thick and heavy sound derives from-put a pair of humbuckers on that and you've got a guitar which will give you all the rock and heavy tones you could ask for.
Although it has been argued that Gibson should release a cheaper, more affordable range of guitars like Fender with its Squier range and PRS with its SE range, it is undeniable that Gibson produces some of the best guitars in the world.