Born in New York in 1905, the oldest of four children, John D'Angelico began working as an apprentice under his great uncle Raphael Ciana who was an expert violin and mandolin maker when he was just 9 years old. His first job was cleaning and sweeping, then step by step, he started to learn the basics of woodworks such as cutting, property of wood which became his fundamental to build excellent archtop guitars. He began building guitars independently by the age of 27. Following the death of his great uncle, D'Angelico became the supervisor of Ciani's shop. His historical guitars which he has did most process on his own were advertised by words of mouth, and increased his customers. He was friendly, and always cherished friends, family and customers. In the result, he had offers from larger companies but he refused since he was disinterested in making money during this period, he instead focused on creating impressive designs and constructed customized and hand-built guitars for many musicians. under his own name in his workshop in New York in 1932. Throughout the course of several years, Because each guitar was uniquely crafted for each of his clients, D'Angelico's shop rarely produced more than 30 guitars per year. By 1964, his shop had assembled and customized a total 1,164 guitars. In his works, New Yorker model was the highest perfection as sophisticated Jazz guitars and 1988 which the reproduction began in, Barberine(See below) had his daughter Carol take the original New Yorker model which he preserved to Hidesato Shiino(See below) to analyze and inspect for new design models.
Following the passing of D'Angelico, D'Merle Guitars, Inc. began managing the D'Angelico guitar brand by manufacturing and selling guitar strings bearing the D'Angelico brand name. Before he later acquired D'Merle Guitars, Inc., Jerry Barberine worked under John D'Angelico alongside another former colleague. Mr. Barberine was determined to revive the D'Angelico guitar, which was no longer being manufactured after the passing of D'Angelico. Regarding his strings, he was highly evaluated by professional harpists and violinists. However, due to a lack in resources for skillful guitar manufacturing as well as considerable financial limitations, Mr. Barberine was unable to realize this ambition at the time. In addition, he had problems of brand and selling by many merchants and difficult days.
In the 1970s, a Japanese businessman named Hidesato Shiino was visiting New York in search of materials suitable for guitar string production. While there, one of them who Mr.Shiino talked at the meeting with American Italian string manufactures was Jerry Barberine. They clicked with each other and since then, they had conversations of strings sales and business, and Mr. Barberine regularly liked to drop by booths held by Mr. Shiino in NAMM show and Messe Frankfurt and they developed a great friendship over the years. As a representative of both D'Merle Guitars, Inc. and the D'Angelico guitar brand, Mr. Barberine eventually not only asked Hidesato Shiino to oversee the production of replica D'Angelico guitars, but also handed over all global brand and design rights pertaining to D'Angelico guitars to him. Mr.Shiino first acquired the trademark and the design right in Japan, and applied in the U.S.
Born in 1947, Hidesato Shiino has participated in the instrument designs, manufacture and a lots of task related musical instruments for over 40 years since he started to work in Yamaha in 1969. His passion for the musical instrument does not remain only to guitars and goes over to violins, pianos, audio equipment, and many others including DJ apparatus and has been associated with over 50 brands (Vestax, ESP, Yamaha, Fernandes, Greco, Morris Guitar, H.S. Anderson (Designer), Vesta Graham, Bossaxe, Argus, Campbell, Mashroom Guitar, Mashroom II, Akai, and D'Angelico) including inspection of Gibson and Fender. By experiences and knowledges which he acquired by visiting many well-known Luthiers by himself, the guitars which he designed or manufactured have been played and cherished by well-known musicians such as Prince, George Benson, Joe Perry and so on. Since he was fascinated by musical instrument sounds, He has been traveling all over the world to investigate the history of stringed instruments as putting unique products out in the world. He has always loved music, and been pursuing his thought of which products are always for musicians. As John D’Angelico’s thought, creating genuine instruments are his consuming passion rather than expanding the brands and he keep producing beautiful high quality products.
Under the supervision of Jerry Barberine, Hidesato Shiino began manufacturing replica model D'Angelico guitars and began display sell in NAMM show andMesse Frankfurt in 1989. Since then, over 1,230 replica model D'Angelico guitars have been manufactured and sold outside of Japan—900 being sold in the US and Canada, with the remaining 330 being sold in Germany, England, Sweden, France, Italy, and the Netherlands. Due to their exceptional quality, his replica model D'Angelico guitars have gained an extremely high reputation among many famous professionals, jazz musicians, and guitar enthusiasts across the globe. Following his passing, Jerry Barberine's wife signed the D'Angelico trademark over to Hidesato Shiino in 1993. Hidesato Shiino's extensive experience and knowledge has allowed him to successfully carry D'Angelico's legacy of high quality guitars on into a new era. (The photo is Phil Upchurch playing at Messe Frankfurt on 14th in March, 1998.)
"TRAD" stands for tradition. Because he enjoyed the private and intimate process of customizing guitars according to the needs and desires of his customers, John D'Angelico remained committed to crafting guitars on an individual basis and never sought to expand the brand further. Jerry Barberine continued with this tradition. Our current mission is to share our lifetime-quality guitars which can become reliable tools for musicians with customers who are eager to play these distinct, high-quality guitars. Unfortunately, the American distributor which Mr.Shiino allowed it to use the name of D’Angelico USA violated Paris convention and submitted brand application. After that, they started to manufacture products which are made in Korea, China and other OEM factories. For avoiding the confusion between copy products and ours, we paused to produce our products and filed a lawsuit for compensation for damages for several years. However, we start to sell our products in website for real guitar lovers in abroad so please don’t miss our satisfactory products made in Japan.