Although Britain is renowned for its contribution to rock, pop and the amplification for it; the manufacture of it's guitars has been somewhat obscured by US giants like Gibson, Fender, Rickenbacker, Martin and PRS.
Although designing and producing some fantastic guitars, the sheer demand for U.S. instruments has lead to the inevitable sacrifices in quality associated with mass production. To overcome this many professionals seek vintage originals from the fifties that can cost thousands at auction or have special relationships with small, dedicated custom shops that charge an arm and a leg to mere ordinary punters. Hence, there is a vacuum between low quality mass produced guitars and unaffordable custom made guitars. Some British companies fill the vacuum by offering quality, handmade instruments without forcing customers to 'pay for a name'. Personally I don't see the kudos of owning an obligatory 'Strat' or 'Les Paul’, which are these days very much features of a conservative and stayed rock establishment. Over the years my opinion of many classic guitars has changed from much dreamed of objects of desire to just overpriced musical instruments.
Its OK for him, he gets his Gibsons free
Although undeniably most of the world’s nicest guitars come from the U.S. (I’d give my right arm for a vintage ES335 if that didn’t stop me from playing it), many British manufacturers are worthy of the attention of both the ordinary amateur guitarists who want something handmade without sacrificing a holiday and professionals who want guitars that are both credible and different from standard rock gear.