Goldfinch is a company.

And a philosophy about guitars.

And a great new electric guitar.

The Goldfinch 550  is its first instrument to be offered publicly. The 550 sets the stage for an array of imaginative guitars, currently in R&D, that combine USA-built handicraft with affordability.

Central to the Goldfinch design ethos is the belief that the player experience should be like that of an inspired musical composition: blend the comfort of the familiar with the invigoration of the great creative unknown.



Philip Smith and Ryan Compton (answers to "Compton") have been pals for as long as they can remember. 

As teens they caught “guitar fever” together…bad…so bad that it almost killed their friendship. One day Compton showed Philip a Craigslist ad for a Harmony Sovereign that he was about to purchase, only to find out later that night that someone had bought it out from under him. The buyer turned out to be his friend Philip.  

Philip now explains with a hint of sheepishness, “Well I did end up giving it to Compton…later.”

Ryan Compton and Phillip Smith at high school graduation, 1990.

Most friendships would have been strained, if not broken by the transgression. But in this case any effrontery was overshadowed by the mutually understood passion for guitars.

Over several years the pair’s guitar wanderlust manifested in the form of hundreds of instruments bought and sold—turning them over at a dizzying rate. Many a guitar was carefully dissected by the duo, which set their course toward their own design and construction.

An interlude found Compton in Nashville studying audio engineering at SAE, spending as almost much time in George Gruhn’s legendary guitar shop as he did in class.

Back home in the New Jersey, Philip’s quest for guitar knowledge continued unabated, using the internet to develop relationships with like minded builders and designers. One such was Nate DeMont of DeMont Guitars, with whom Philip found similarly guitar obsessed brother-in-arms.

 Also Philip’s talents both a guitarist and a visual artist were getting him notice in the Philadelphia scene. He married his high school sweetheart.

And then life happens: After the birth of his son, Philip’s marriage collapsed, leaving him devastated. Seeing their friend in what seemed to be irretrievable despair, Nate DeMont and Compton offered Philip the only lifeline that made sense—to any of them…

Let’s build a new guitar.

And so Goldfinch Guitars was born.