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I'm wondering if there is any information about Wieler guitars, for instance, where they were/are made and by whom?

For context, my brother bought a used Wieler guitar for about $3, and despite the price and condition, it sounds quite good and is easy to play. I've never heard of the brand, so was quite curious where this guitar might have come from. Searching online though, I only found second-hand listings in Singapore and Hong Kong and no information about the maker.

Also, in case it helps, it seems to be sort of non-standard - I've only seen its style of tuning pegs on acoustics, but the instrument has a rosette and a classical bridge.

Wieler guitar head stock

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TL;DR

Wieler guitars may have been made sometime between the 1960s and 1984 by various manufacturers using the Wieler name for distribution by the North American Music company.


The Wieler name is primarily associated with pianos. The following is from Pierce's Piano Atlas (2008 Edition) by way of a post on PianoWorld:

Wieler, name used by Sangler & Sohne

Sangler & Sohne, name used by Belarus Piano Co.

Belarus Piano Co., est. 1935. From the Borisov factory in Belarus, Russia. In mid-1996 Belarus Piano, Inc. changed their name to Tri-Con Music Group, Inc. At the publication of this Pierce edition, Tri-Con Music Group was located in Milwaukee, WI. Belarus also used the following names on their pianos: Charles Albrecht, J. Becker (verticals), Maddison, Schubert, Sangler & Sohne, and Wieler. Serial numbers are published only to 1990, the s/n's starting with 670437 for that year.

Tri-Con Music Group, Inc., est. 1996. Formerly Belarus Piano, Inc. Tri-Con imports pianos from the Borisov factory in Belarus, Russia and the Guangzhou Piano factory in China. Tri-Con uses the names Belarus & Schubert on their pianos. Tri-Con was the United States distributor for Pearl River Pianos in 1996.

I couldn't find a Tri-Con Music Group website anywhere, at least under this name. Didn't find any information to confirm the SMC is using the Wieler name, either.

This is more or less corroborated by Larry Fine's The Piano Book, 4th edition (Brookside Press, 2006, page 135), but the reference given is for North American Music (www.namusic.com).

North American Music currently distributes only pianos and organs; however, according to their website's About page

In the 1960’s with the rise of the guitar and rock bands ... the company shifted ... to [manufacturing] a multitude of musical instruments including guitars.

However,

In 1981, North American Music Inc. was founded by Gary Galanti, fourth generation. His goal was to distribute home organs built by his extended family in Italy.

Over the next several years, North American Music Inc. distributed many of the products built by the Galanti family and still does to this day. By 1984, Gary Galanti saw a need to expand and entered into the acoustic piano business, distributing various piano brands in North America.

From the combination of these quotations, I'm inferring that North American Music manufactured guitars under the Wieler name sometime beginning in the 1960 until the company switch exclusively to pianos, seemingly by 1984.

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  • One other path to add to this is that Wieler piano was seems to have taken a detour to Dongbei piano. That could explain why the brand name appears in South East Asia these days. zhidao.baidu.com/question/364287604.html
    – Russell
    Commented Dec 21, 2023 at 5:43

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