Once upon a time…
A Manne Guitars Timeline.
Once upon a time Mr. Manne played guitar and people went: “Oh my, look at how that little boy can play!” When he was a child, he used to run very fast and somebody started calling him Mennea (like Pietro Mennea, the famous Italian runner): Mennea changed to Mannea (like Andrea) and then the final result was to Manne (pronounced Man-nay).
Once Manne finished his technical studies, he started working as a sales rep with his father. One day in 1986, while hiking up the hills near Schio, he met a bass player who told Manne about his job: this man worked as a bass maker. Manne began helping him occasionally, and over time Manne got more and more involved in this new job. He quit his old sales job, and finally a gentlemen’s agreement was written on a piece of paper: a business partnership, fifty-fifty, between Manne and the bass player, starting on January 1st. That year the two men together sold about 20 basses and had orders for 10 more, while in 4 years the bass player alone could only sell 6! Oh, boy!
End of December. The moment was right to start a real business but, surprise, the famous agreement was nowhere to be found, and Manne’s keys didn’t work anymore to open the workplace door…
Mr. Manne (who wasn’t Mr. Manne yet), was very sad, but then he had an idea: “I can still become Mr. Manne!” So….on the 7th of January 1987 a new brand was added to the big list of stringed instrument makers: MANNE GUITARS
May ’87: The first two prototypes are ready: the bass is now owned by Aldo Tagliapietra and the guitar is actually hanging in our office. The first sales started; God save the Manne.
September ’87: First exhibition at SIM in Milan; Thanks to Giulia, my wife at that time. Exhibition lookup: 16 sm, 6 instruments, 2 of them unfinished. The carpet was luckily provided by the neighbour. In this year I built 23 instruments. This number doubled in the ’90, to double again in ’92, to a maximum in ’97 and ’98 of 160 instruments a year.
February ’88: First bass and guitars with traditional bridges, tuners, headstock.
March ’89: Stopped using ebony for fretboards and started using only resin.
April ’90: Moved to the new 300 sm shop in Via Paraiso. My father Carlo helped me in the never-ending work to set up the shop. Paolo Tonello started to help me in his spare time, meaning a lot.
April ’91: Create GM Model (Gianluca Mosole), the actual Semiacustica, one of the first guitars with a mixable piezo and magnetic.
June ’91: Adoption of Vetronite bars to reinforce the neck. Two way truss rods.
February ’92: Built the first bolt-on neck guitar and the first use of CNC for neck and bodies.
December ’92: Built the first Basic and Pro Model Basses with a one piece neck tongue set into the back of the body.
November ’93: Built the first Taos guitar, a set in model, with a neck tongue set into the body and a wood insert on the back of the body.
January ’94: The first worker start working at Manne: Roberto dalla Vecchia. Soon will follow Chico Sperotto, Paolo Faccioli, our oldest master luthier, working at Manne since ’95, then Andrea Toniolo, Bo Bernabeu, Flavia Filippi, Lorenzo Capozzo, and finally Stefano DeMuro, still working at Manne.
August ’94: First prototype of the Acoustibass and an active circuit for bass named WBS.
April ’95: Presentation of the Acoustibass and the Semiacustica.
February ’96: Manne Website presence under atnet services
March ’96: Introduction of piezos on the MM Bass and fishman Powerbridge.
April ’97: Doubling of the space in the shop to 600sm. Set up the spraying booth.
May ’97: New Basic XLR made in ash body with balanced output.
August ’97: Introduction of the laminate core for necks.
February ’98: Introduction of steel neck/body joint on Taos ’98 and reduced the thickness of resin fretboards.
May ’99: Special Models with high-gloss finish and burl top.
September ’99: Introduction of new guitar pickups with open pole-pieces and 5 way selector on the Basic Bass.
September ’00: Modification of the Acoustibass spruce top.
March ’01: New model – Taos 2001 (later called Taos Standard) the first with a pickguard.
October ’01: New model – Basic Bass with piezo.
April ’02: Steel model for Taos 2001 with metal pickguard and Manne dots.
October ’02: New model of guitar: Semiacustica XXL
November ’02: New bridge – Wilkinson VG 300
January ’03: New bridges for Acoustibass, our own design with individual brass saddles.
October ’03: New bass model with 3 pickups…later named the TREA in the January of ’04
September ’03: Production of a series of Taos Standard in the Czech Republic.
February ’04: New specially calibrated set of Trea pick-ups.
April ’04: New neck laminate using European beech.
May ’04: first 8 strings guitar builded.
June ’04: Instruments made with Sycamore body.
July ’04: Prototype bass for Glenn Hughes
August ’04: Prototype of the first Ventura guitar
August ’04: New Ash bass necks
September ’04: Prototype of Newport and Ventura with flamed top
December ’04: Definitive Soulmover bass
January ’05: First prototypes for the Falcon and Mannedesign instruments
March ’05: Started using Korina (white limba) for guitar and bass bodies.
June ’05: Definitive Ventura and Newport Special models.
August ’05: New Manne bass bridges for 4-string basses.
October ’05: Active Soulmover introduced
November ’05: Multi-chambering on all Ventura and Newport bodies with top overlays.
December ’05: Bass with Italian Yew top.
January ’06: First production in Asia of Mannedesign Acoustic guitars.
March ’06: Taos with an Italian Yew top.
April ’06: Distribution agreement with Esound-Eko
May ’06: Nightaxe series for Taos and Ventura
September ’06: New 5 strings bass bridges
September ’06: New twin blade Manne branded guitar pickups, mini-humbucker and humbucker.
November ’06: New bass humbuckers for 4, 5 and 6 strings
December ’06: ending of Esound distribution.
January ’07: Moab bass model introduced.
February ’07: Mannedesign Acoustic with “Val Di Fiemme” Italian Alpine Spruce top OSR-V
February ’07: Metal trussrod cover.
June ’07: Taos “goldrays” with aged gold leaf pattern.
July ’07: First prototypes of Raven series.
September ’07: first digital printed graphic on top of an instrument.
October ’07: First acoustibass with Poplar top.
November ’07: 4mm hex wrench double action trussrods.
December: 07: New model of a radiused top bass made for Dominique di Piazza, no name assigned yet.
March’08: Raven 5 strings bass introduced. Whisky cask instruments produced.
April ’08: Falcon XR prototype
June ’08: Black Korina raven series
August ’08: First semiacustica with poplar top.
August ’08: First walnut top on a semiacustica.
September ’08: New Showroom at manne Shop in Schio
October ’08: Guitar Model NightHawk
December ’08: blades pick-ups on all guitars
December ’08: Guitar Model Blackbird
December ’08: Manne bridges for 6-7-8 corde
December ’08: scale for bass ’30
February ’09: Guitar Model Redwing
February ’09: Available lazer cut inlays on fretboard
March ’09: available binding on the guitar body (except Taos and Moab)
April ’09: new LP manne bridge with tailpiece laying on the body
August ’09: completed a 10 strings electric guitar.
October: ’09: reintroduced maple as lateral wood for the bass and guitar necks
February ’10: string thru Lp bridge and updated and developed ManneLP bridge with lock of height adjustment.
April ’10: first prototype of Mojave bass with asymmetrical body.
June ’10: Blades Pick-ups for bass. for Moab and Mojave on request on Malibu
September ’10: New bass model Kayenta with asymmetrical body
October ’10: New guitar prototype “Acustica”
April ’11: Complete reorganization of building process with templates and references
October ’11: Taos 25° prototype with thin body, 25.5 scale, base under bridge
January 8th ’12: 25° birthday