About Zemaitis Guitars
Tony Zemaitis is arguably the creator of the boutique guitar. He started building in the 1950s because he was a player who was unsatisfied with the guitars available at that time. Tony built his reputation as an innovator, a designer and a master builder… creating guitars known for their playability, great tone and stunning use of beautiful materials. When he designed his Metal Front™ to shield the guitar and reduce hum, he not only made a tonal improvement in his guitars, but transformed them into individually hand-engraved works of art. He continued to innovate and designed his Pearl Front TM, using an incredible mosaic of abalone to create yet another signature model in the Zemaitis line.
By the 1980’s, Tony’s innovations and his reputation for building high-end, beautiful signature pieces earned him living legend status. Although he only produced a few guitars each year, he continued to work with pros and amateurs alike. He always applied traditional luthier techniques such as 3-piece necks and 3-piece bodies for strength and stability.
Tony retired in 2000 after 40 years of handcrafting the finest guitars. He passed away on August 17, 2002.
The folks at Zemaitis are now carrying-on Tony’s tradition of building boutique guitars. Discussions started with Tony upon his retirement, and with the support of Tony’s wife and son, Ann and Tony Zemaitis Jr., the rebirth of Zemaitis Guitars is now a reality with Generation 2.
The Zemaitis master craftsmen and luthiers have carefully studied Tony’s original drawings, specifications and guitars, and are faithfully reproducing Zemaitis instruments with the same superior quality as those crafted by Tony himself.
And Danny O’Brien is a major part of this! Danny is the master engraver who worked with Tony for many years and his unique skills have helped to ensure the continued authenticity and craftsmanship of these instruments.
Danny designs the unique and beautiful engravings for Zemaitis Metal Front™ guitars as well as all the other Zemaitis Guitar metal components including the badge, truss rod cover, pickup mounting rings, tailpiece, jackplate and rear plate. The work is then completed by the Zemaitis engravers, who have been schooled in the same techniques as Danny.
We couldn’t be more thrilled to work with the original boutique guitar brand, as they carry the legacy of Zemaitis to future generations.