|Founder||Abel and Samuel Tonante|
|Products||Electric and acoustic guitars, banjos, cavaquinhos|
Tonante, initially called Ao Rei dos Violões Limitada (To the King of Acoustic Guitars in English), is a Brazilian guitar manufacturing company founded in 1954 by the Portuguese brothers Abel and Samuel Tonante, who artisanelly built musical instruments, thirteen years after their arrival in the country.
Tonante is well known for making highly affordable stringed instruments in Brazil, together with companies such as Giannini, Del Vecchio and Di Giorgio. Tonante's range of products include electric and acoustic guitars, banjos and cavaquinhos.
During the Military dictatorship in Brazil in the 1970s, there was a policy of import substitution that forbade or restricted imports. Because of that, local products (like Tonante guitars) offered to cheaper values and this helped the company to increase its sells. Tonante guitars cost even less than local competitors such as Giannini, Snake or Finch electric guitars. Therefore Tonante was one of the manufacturing companies which helped popularize stringed instruments in Brazil.
Guitar models manufactured by Tonante includes:
- Finder –a cheap mix between a Fender Stratocaster and a Fender Jazzmaster
- Various cavaquinhos, mandolins and acoustic guitars.
- Erton –a Fender Stratocaster copy
- Starlight –a heavy metal guitars with a vibrola system derived from the Floyd Rose and three single coil pickups. Body similar to Finder
- Les Paul –a flat top Gibson Les Paul copy
- Banjos, acoustic guitars and cavaquinhos
Although early Tonante instruments were often plagued by low quality electronics, relatively rough and uncomfortable shapes, bad finish, they have attained a somewhat cult status because they are historically significant. A vintage Tonante guitar can be worth as much as R$ 170,00 (roughly USD 33,00).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tonante.|
- Tonante Guitars on Music Minder.com
- O Rei dos Violões Rare vintage Brazilian nylon-string guitar! on Reverb.com