Our story is one of a great guitar-making tradition, stretching back 150 years. It starts in 1870’s Madrid, in the workshop of master builder Francisco Gonzalez, who takes on a 12-yr-old apprentice named Jose Ramirez.
Ramirez quickly excels in his craft and perfects his own technique and develops a means of efficiently producing high quality guitars. This leads to the founding of the great Ramirez guitar making dynasty.
His son, Jose Ramirez the second, is born with his father’s love of the instrument and spends his youth touring South America with his guitar.
Returning to Spain, he too learns to build and passes his knowledge, experience, innovations and love of the art to Marcello Barbero.
Soon after WWII, Barbero accepts Edgar Moench from Germany as an apprentice .
Moench eventually moves to Canada and settles in Toronto. It’s there he meets and trains a young French Canadian man, Jean Larrivee, who becomes a seminal figure in the Canadian guitar building industry.
In the late 70s, wishing to have a shop near the large Sitka spruce forests of BC, Jean moves to Victoria, where a couple years later, he meets David Iannone, who becomes his last traditional apprentice.
In 1985, David begins to design and build his own guitars and Morgan Guitars is born. He names his company after his first child, after the sleek beauty of the Morgan thoroughbred horse, and true to the locale of the workshop, in Welsh, Morgan means ‘works by the sea’.
The wood that David sources for each guitar comes from all over the world. From wet sorting grounds in British Columbia to mills in India, Japan, Spain and from suppliers in California. Each piece of wood is unique. Each piece of wood is old and seasoned which, tells a wise story that comes out in the guitar's sound. Morgan Guitars are built from carefully sourced wood purchased from suppliers that we personally know and trust. The wood is stored, cured and seasoned with all possible care.
Each Morgan is handcrafted by David in his shop on the edge of the north shore mountains not far from downtown Vancouver. He works surrounded by a garden of native plants and in the company of Stoney, the shop dog.
morgan in the news
Why He Can’t Part With His $40k Guitar
"It took David Iannone 200 saws and incalculable patience to cut through the pearl and mammoth tusk ivory that bedeck his masterpiece, the $40,000 “M2K.” And it’s for sale. I think."
A story by Michael Hingston for THE DAILY BEAST
Morgan Guitars strings centuries of craftsmanship together
A photo essay by Jenelle Schneider for THE PROVINCE