Situated in Shotton Colliery are two businesses making waves in the North East, Worldwide Guitars Ltd (WWG) and Lamaq Guitars Ltd – a combination that is proving to be a big hit with local musicians.
WWG, under the guidance of Sue Scott, was created to offer guitarists and bassists something a little different; catering for all levels of ability, they stocked the standard array of guitars and some handmade specials but this all changed in 2015.
Marc Lamaq has over 30 years of guitar production experience. Having worked in the USA supplying materials to Fender, Breedlove & Martin Guitars and also working as a production specialist & luthier for the likes of Lowden, Wechter, Santander and various other big name brands, Marc ended up in Asia overseeing the production of over 100,000 guitars a year for the likes of Tanglewood, Ortega, Monterey, Alvarez and Gold Tone, to name just a few.
His knowledge and skill-set in the guitar building industry is unique. From aerospace technology to luthiery, he even makes his own pickups and hardware and designs his own cnc machines to boot.
In 2015, Marc decided to come back home to England and as a co-director of WWG with Sue, the choice of destination was obvious and setting up a small production facility beside WWG seemed like a good idea. It’s only then that they realised the full potential of harnessing both businesses.
Walking into WWG’s showroom you’ll find guitars that are available in most music stores alongside their own exciting UK brands which, in some cases, are cheaper than some higher end Chinese imports.
Their Aura range offers classics such as strats and teles as well as some other unique designs such as the Mojave. They are also currently designing a range of retro style guitars that will be available from £400+ – that’s incredible pricing for UK made instruments.
Another unique brand they stock is Earthwood with each guitar including no coloured finish, just the natural beauty of the wood itself: “The more unusual the better”, Sue says. “Each guitar will be different and sometimes it’s the wood that dictates the end result. It’s a true custom guitar or bass,” she added.
Sue, one of only a few female luthiers in Europe, has been developing her own brand of electric guitars with her unique touch: “I started playing at 8 years old and have always struggled due my small stature. Taking this into consideration, and blending it with my love of retro classic guitars, I adopted the iconic 24 ¾” scale length as the foundation for some of my new work; with a new, slim neck profile it’s very comfortable to play”.
Marc’s recently been building orders for Burns guitars in the workshop alongside fulfilling orders from Europe and the USA. Marc is also making time to develop the Lamaq brand with new designs that are not only eye-catching but innovative – as a builder of acoustic, classical and electric guitars this is someone to keep an eye on.
WWG do cater for a wider audience too: the ‘Kids Korner’ is aimed at getting youngsters into music as, without them, where will the music business be in the future?
They also stock brands such as Vintage, Gretsch and Danelectro. And if you just need a set of strings or a new lead, well, they have those too.
With a real working knowledge and understanding of guitars it means they can offer something that no other shops can – a full, bespoke guitar building service.
With 2018 in sight, the little village of Shotton is likely to become the destination for anyone into stringed instruments as these guys are creating something rather interesting in the Durham countryside.
For further information about Worldwide Guitars Ltd and the products they have available please head to worldwide-guitars.com.