Just days after the announcement that UK amp maker Blackstar had carried out a management buyout, the company has announced a merger with fellow Northampton-based brands Gordon Smith and Auden.
Founded in 1974 in Manchester, Gordon Smith is possibly Britain’s longest running electric guitar brand. In the last 43 years its no-nonsense, hand built guitars have been used by artists such as the Smiths, the Stone Roses, Manic Street Preachers, Iggy Pop band and The Buzzcocks. Blackstar says the merger will see a continued commitment to UK manufacturing with further investment in equipment and premises.
Since its launch in 2013 Auden has carved out a niche for its UK-assembled high quality acoustic guitars and has also built up a useful artist roster which includes Steve Hackett (Genesis), Marillion, the Alarm and Tom Chaplin (Keane).
Doug Sparkes (Director) says: ‘It’s exciting to be working with such a well-respected brand as Blackstar. Their values for innovation and quality are also at the core of what Gordon Smith and Auden stand for. I am committed to continuing to grow our production facilities in the UK and take our great instruments to a global audience.’
Ian Robinson (Blackstar co-Founder and Managing Director) adds: ‘I’ve been a fan of Gordon Smith since visiting the factory back in the 90’s. We are all musicians and serious gear-heads and we relish the opportunity to take all the brands to a global market and get them the recognition they deserve,’
Paul Hayhoe (co-Founder, Sales & Marketing Director) says: ‘This is a great opportunity for us all to continue to grow three fantastic British brands and give musicians the ultimate tools for self-expression.’Blackstar has confirmed that it will continue to distribute Alvarez and G&L products in the UK