Johnson Guitars U.S.A. is a musical instrument manufacturer in Yuma, Arizona, founded in 1986. Started by Rick Johnson in San Diego, he designs and manufactures solid and semi-acoustic body guitars and basses. While many of their instruments are of their own design, they also manufacture very creditable versions of some of the most famous models produced by the major manufacturers such as Fender and Gibson. While striving for highest quality, and where applicable historical accuracy, he also maintain a priority of affordability, making them a favorite of beginners as well as veteran players.
After the overseas manufacturing "acquired" the Johnson Guitars name (how many Chinese guys do you know named "Johnson"?), Rick changed the design on his guitars to read "Johnson Guitars U.S.A." or "The Original Johnson Guitars"
In addition to the more traditional instruments, Johnson Guitars U.S.A. produces two additional lines with more unique designs. Their "Assault" series is based on modern military aircraft and weapons designs, while their "Exotic" series carries designs such as a shark, a dragon and an Egyptian icon. In addition to their customary emphasis on playability, quality and affordability, these designs are as much artwork as they are superb musical instruments.
The Machine gun guitars used on stage with Alice Cooper's guitar player Kane Roberts, and Kesha where all hand built by Rick Johnson and feature pyrotechnics built into each guitar.
It has been common practice for years among guitar makers to reproduce famous designs such as Fender's Stratocaster and Gibson's Les Paul. Rather than being considered in any way inappropriate, this has always been done respectfully and with full disclosure regarding the original design, and accepted as an homage to those designs and manufacturers. As such, Johnson Guitars U.S.A. has found itself being paid the singular and dubious compliment of having its historic design copies themselves being copied by foreign manufacturers, including copies of the "Johnson" logo.
http://www.yumasun.com/articles/johnson-17987-guitar-guitars.html Rockin' with style: Yuman handcrafts unique guitars
http://www.yumasun.com/articles/guitar-57794-johnson-guitars.html Work of local guitar craftsman will be seen on SNL
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