Defunct Musical Instrument Manufacturers - Sa to Sr

Defunct Musical Instrument Manufacturers - Sa to Sr

Schoenberg Guitars Inc.
Company founded in Concord, Massachusetts, USA in 1990 and took over the building of the Schoenberg Soloist guitar from The Music Emporium. The Soloist was basically a copy of an 1920ís CF Martin but features a cutaway below the neck, but in addition to that model the company started to make straight copies of other 1920ís and 30ís Martin models but with appropriate sound board strengthening for use with steel strings.

While the manufacturing followed the same pattern as with the guitars built under the Music Emporium, i.e. the basic work was done by Schoenberg and the guitar was then shipped off to Martin Guitar Co. for finishing, however the companyís main luthier, T. J. Thompson did a much larger part of the process in house leaving only the finishing off to Martin. Schoenberg Guitars was closed down in 1994 due to increased costs and other friction with the Martin Co. and was de-listed in 1995. Eric Schoenberg continued the manufacture of similar guitars in California but now with all manufacture performed either in-house or contracted out to independent guitar builders.

Scruggs-Ruben See --> Jim Faulkner (Capos - USA)

Seiko (Organs, home keyboards and additive synthesisers - 70's & 80's) See --> Seiko Epson Corp.

Serrano (Classical guitars) See --> Enrique Keller

Shadow Electronics of America Inc.
Company founded in 1992 and based in, Jupiter, Florida, USA. SEoA was owned by Joe Marinic who also owns German company Shadow Electronics and primarily acted as the distributor of their products in North America. In 2003 or thereabouts the company introduced a line of acoustic guitars under the trademark Zoller Guitars, these appear to have been named in honour of Hungarian jazz guitarist Attilla Zoller that had a long association with Shadow.

In fact the guitars appear to have been distributed via the same distribution network as Shadow products were and seem for all intents and purposes to have been a Shadow Electronics product but no trademarks have been have been found, the Zoller guitars never appear on the company's homepage or in their catalogues and all email requests for info at the time were redirected to the USA company.

Shadow Electronics of America initially announced 4 basic models that were available with different electronics and finishes, an American/German style steel string guitar, a Classical/Spanish style guitar, a variant of the classical model called the "Bosanova" and a jazz style guitar called the "Attilla Zoller". The company only published info on the web for the variants of the steel string guitar and I have in actuality only been able to find owners of that model, implying that either the other three models were never shipped or if they were then in very limited numbers.

What is unusual about them was that they all came with pickups and electronics from shadow already installed, they were very keenly priced especially considering the bundled electronics, and the guitars were in general thought to be excellent for the price, user reviews were generally very favourable but they saw limited promotion and disappeared off the market by 2005. The company itself disappears a couple of years later and the NA distribution of Shadow products has been moved to a more traditional distribution network.

Given how well the guitars were initially received one can only speculate as to why the line was not continued, but one problem might have been trademark issues in regards to the use of the Zoller name, but Framus have had guitar with that name in production and might have objected.

Sho-Bud Pedal Steel Guitar Company

Company founded in 1957 in Madison, Tennessee, USA by Harold "Shot" Jackson and Buddie Gene Emmons (Buddy Emmons) to manufacture pedal steel-guitars with the trademark Sho-Bud, but that brand is simply the first three letters from each founders name. The company initially operated from the garage of Mr. Jacksons house but moved to a new premises in Nesbitt Lane in the same town in late 1958.

The Sho-Bud company made pedal steel guitars with improvements that the 2 partners had been working on independently for years before the company formation and incorporated innovations that had been appearing on other pedal steels during the 50's, but as demand for pedal steels was not all that great the shop was as much a generic guitar repair, upgrade and eventually retail operation as it was a factory. Sho-Bud were even better know initially for making custom guitars and mandolins for Nashville musicians than the steel guitars the company was founded to manufacture, amongst others the notorious Ira Lonnie Loudermilk (aka Ira Louvin of the Louvin Brothers) worked for the company in its early years as a guitar repairman and custom instrument builder and he made some interesting instruments including an electric guitar shaped like a cowboy pistol.

After disagreements between the two partners on further development of the steel guitar Buddy Emmons left in 1962 to found the Emmons Guitar Company and one of their best steel guitar builders Zane Beck left to form his own ZB Guitar company, in 1963 the Sho-Bud company reached an agreement with the Baldwin Piano and Organ Company to distribute their steel guitars nationally and the need for bigger premises meant that in 1964 the company moved operations to Nashville and opened up a store and factory located in prime "Music City" retail space at 416 Broadway, sandwiched in between a host of other musical instrument dealers and the Roy Acuff Museum, while the instrument manufacture part of the operation had an entrance at the back of the building, directly opposite the artists entrance at the Grand Ole Opry, this made the instrument manufacturing part of the company a natural hangout for guitar and steel guitar musicians.

The company started selling acoustic guitars and Banjos in the late 60's that were made for them in Japan through a company that also made guitars for the Gretsch subsidiary of Baldwin, these are quite good all things considered but later models of the guitars and especially the banjos are better than the earlier models and have become quite collectible in their own right. The company also sold resonator guitars under the name Sho-Bro from 1970 but these were not actually made by the company but rather manufactured in Balwin's Gretsch plant, but sho-bro is a soundalike and a play on the words of Dobro and indeed the introduction of the resonator guitar was a direct responce to the restart of Dobro manufacture in the late 60's, they did not sell well and were discontinued in 1973 although they still show up in later catalogues, but there was a very limited manufacture of custom resonator guitars models after that in the Sho-Bud repair workshop that utilised Gretsch parts, now these may be interesting because one of the gentlemen that worked on those hand made models was no other than Japanese shokunin Yas Kamiya who later founded guitar manufacturer Canopus, but he worked for the Sho-Bud store as a custom builder from 1971 to 1983.

Shot Jackson sons Harry and David had begun taking part in the running of the company in the early 60's and when Mr. Jackson had a near fatal car accident in 1965 they took over the day to day running of the business and continued to do so until the company's demise. The store on Broadway was successful enough to warrant the splitting of the manufacturing and retail parts of the operation into independent entities with the manufacturing part being known as Music City Manufacturing Co. that was managed by David Jackson with the assistance of Duane Marrs and Paul Franklin senior, the name for the retail and brand operations was shortened to Sho-Bud Guitar Company to reflect that the company was no longer making just pedal-steels, the company also moved most of the manufacturing part of the operation back to premises in Madison in 1968 with the store and the repair/modification & custom build workshop taking over the entire floorspace of the Broadway building.

In the mid 1970's the company manufactured 3 models of steel guitars for the Fender Corporation including the low budget 3+1 10 string Fender Artist Student 10 that is for all intents and purposes a Sho-Bud Maverick model with a fender headstock/tuners, pickups and logo, and a professional level instruments that were called Fender Artist Pro Series that were available in 2 versions, the Fender Artist Single 10 with 3 pedals and 4 knees and a Fender Artist Dual 10 with 8 pedals and 4 knees, these were bases on classic Sho-Bud mechanics but featured a new frame designed in co-operation with Fender that later was used in the Sho-Bud Super Pro.

This Fender deal was a one off, with a pre-determined number of 4400 units manufactured by Music City Mnf., allegedly against the wishes of Shot Jackson, and Music City Manufacturing also issued a few demo and instructional LP's and 7" 33rpm EP's and printed educational material relating to pedal steel guitars during the 70's.

The steel guitar factory was moved back into Nashville to be closer to the store in 1974 but in 1979 the steel guitar designs and trademarks were sold to Baldwin which meant that the retail operation had to be renamed "Shot" Jacksons Guitar & Service Center, however the shop only survived on its own until 1983, the homebase of the Grand Ole Opry had been moved to a theme park just outside of town in 1974 which meant that Lower Broadway was no longer a centre of music and musical instrument retail that it had been in the fifties and sixties, it was not just the traffic of musicians going to the show that stopped but more importantly to the businesses nearby had been the constant flow of Country & Western fans/music tourists that had flocked to the site had kept record and musical instruments stores supplied with customers.

By the 1980's they were all long gone and the Lower Broadway area had become better known as almost a red light district with strip joints and bars replacing music related businesses, and when the store was shut down it was replaced by a alcohol store, in fact even though the area has been in a upswing in the last few years with a partial return of the Grand Ole Opry to its original location only one very specialised musical instrument store had survived in the meantime.

Harry and David Jackson ran Music City Manufacturing Co. for a few years, until 1981 they made Sho-Bud steel guitars for Baldwin but then Baldwin moved all pedal steel production to their piano plant in Trumann, Arkansas, the Sho-Bud range of pedal steel strings was taken over by Rayline Steel Guitars. After PSG manufacture shut down MCM started a business modifying buses to make them more suitable for the needs of touring musicians, after that venture closed down the brothers went on to form the Sho-Bud Music Inc. company that manufactures steel guitars designs descended from the old Sho-Bud guitars.

Spares & service : Due to the closeness of the design of the Jackson Steel Guitars to the Sho-Bud guitars many parts are interchangeable. Rayline Steel Guitars has parts for the Sho-Bud guitars, this company was an official service point for the company as early as the 60's and was the last authorised service when production was shut down in 2001 by then owner Gretsch, see http://www.rlpsg.com/shobudparts.shtml.

Resources : Sho-Bud homepage - Official homepage, by Gretch, note that there are no Sho-Bud branded guitars being made today and have not since 2001.
Sho-Bud guitars - A page featuring the acoustic guitars the company made or had made for them
Asia Banjo site - Has more info on one model of A Sho-Bud banjo.

Shur Custom See --> John Shur

Skylark (Whistles) See --> Grover-Trophy Music Company

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The site was last compiled on Sun Nov 10 2013 at 9:15:00am