“Richard Fortus messaged me and said, ‘I’ve shown Slash your guitar and he likes it, too…’ After that, the phones didn’t stop”: How a small UK boutique builder became a Guns N’ Roses favorite and the next big name in retro-inspired electric guitars

Ivison Guitars Dakota
(Image credit: Phil Barker/Future)

In recent years, we’ve seen more than a few canny luthiers – such as Dennis Fano and Patrick James Eggle – blend together elements from classic vintage guitars to create modern electrics that are built to an exacting contemporary spec yet sound and feel as if they were made in the ’50s. Now, another name can be added to the wishlist of anyone who enjoys the blend of usability and vibe such guitars offer: Ivison Guitars. 

Based in Worcestershire, UK, Neil Ivison is its proud founder – but he says it’s almost by accident that he fell into making his high-end, vintage-style electrics. He must be doing something very right, however, because bands such as The Hives and Guns N’ Roses have started using his guitars. 

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Jamie Dickson

Jamie Dickson is Editor-in-Chief of Guitarist magazine, Britain's best-selling and longest-running monthly for guitar players. He started his career at the Daily Telegraph in London, where his first assignment was interviewing blue-eyed soul legend Robert Palmer, going on to become a full-time author on music, writing for benchmark references such as 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Dorling Kindersley's How To Play Guitar Step By Step. He joined Guitarist in 2011 and since then it has been his privilege to interview everyone from B.B. King to St. Vincent for Guitarist's readers, while sharing insights into scores of historic guitars, from Rory Gallagher's '61 Strat to the first Martin D-28 ever made.