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Portland, OR

|        stephen@mcswainguitars.com        | 

(503) 852-1621

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December 2017

In addition to showcasing the new Fear and Loathing series, the company plans to provide a hands-on display of its latest models and designs as an exhibitor in NAMM’s newly introduced Boutique Guitar Showcase, including its signature Red, White & Bullets model that Guitarist Magazine describes as “a genuine piece of guitar craft...

Fall 2017 - In-Depth Interview with Stephen McSwain, McSwain Guitars

Once you see and hold these in person you realize these up to the moment player’s instruments with amazing feel, precision and that cutting edge usability wrapped up in a beautiful patina that extends...

October 2017

Everyone Loves Guitar Podcast: Stephen talks about his unique designs and how using metal in his guitar builds increases sustain and strengthens tone.  How he first got started and how he hustled to build his business once the initial flood of new business was gone.

August 2017

 Today on LET THERE BE TALK is our guest Stephen McSwain Head designer and luthier of McSwain Guitars out of Portland Oregon. Stephen and I sit down and talk about what it's like to build handmade guitars in America for the last 20 years.

May 2017

 That’s where we find Stephen McSwain, of McSwain Guitars, whose instruments, in the abstract, are basic, straightforward electric guitars, but in the particular they are wildly divergent creations, incorporating metal and wood components in a way that are a step or two away from the work of Travis Bean and the like.

April 2017

Empresa de Los Angeles, fundada há duas décadas com o propósito de construir guitarras apenas para uso privado, até que receberam a sua primeira encomenda, de um tal de Steve Vai. As guitarras inspiram-se nos grandes construtores Gibson, Fender e PRS, mas com detalhes de circuito diferentes e muita extravagância no design.

Janusry 2017

New to NAMM this year at the Boutique Guitar Showcase area was custom guitar maker McSwain Guitars of Portland, Oregon. Founder, Head Designer and Luthier, Stephen McSwain, explained how he started his guitar business and his approach to building his custom guitars.

January 2017

I was lucky to catch Steve McSwain when I did as we both had immediate plans – McSwain was heading up to Hollywood to perform on stage with Steve Ferlazzo at the Soundcheck Live NAMM Night gig at Lucky Strike – the weekly showcase of local and national talents. McSwain took the time to show SonicMag readers some of his amazing custom works, and to share stories of the Rock Stars’ guitars he’s had the privilege to create.

January 2017

Mostly, it was great to see all the details on this uber-high-end instruments up close… creations like those of McSwain Guitars aren’t often found at the typical lutherie shows but they sure were stunning.

January 2017

This year, NAMM has provided one central showcase for smaller, more 'independent minded' luthiers to showcase their wares.  The results, happily, are as idiosyncratic, beautiful and occasionally startling as you you'd hope.  Here then, are our own personal faves from the many guitars on display...

February 2017

For the last few years, I chronicled my favorite guitars of NAMM. Every year I walk the NAMM show floor and marvel at the gorgeous artwork that some of these guitars happen to be.

January 2017

Stephen McSwain had a spot on the NAMM floor to introduce his Boutique Guitar Showcase, an impressive display of customized axes.

January 2017

Given the limited production of many high-end builders, NAMM’s new Boutique Guitar Showcase is the perfect new forum to exhibit our latest models alongside a select community of luthiers and designers,” said Stephen McSwain, Founder of McSwain Guitars.  

November 26, 2017

Join Luthierist Podcast host Sully of Sully Guitars for an in-depth interview with builder Stephen McSwain. 

September 2016

Stephen McSwain is a powerhouse.  He designs his instruments, creates the artwork, hand-fashions the aircraft aluminium fronts, then ages and assembles these fascinating beasts in his Oregon workshop.


McSwain offers a range of show- stopping instruments, our Red, White & Bullets model being one of his most arresting - pun only half intended. His customers number Steve Vai (who owns the very first), Jerry Cantrell, Vernon Reid, Jared Leto, Slash and many more.

August 2016

Bass Musician Magazine’s Year of the Luthier – Stephen McSwain

May 2016

While performing live, Leto only uses one of two custom made McSwain guitars. His two guitars are named Artemis and Pythagoras and are both engraved with a gryphon that Leto illustrated himself. 

December 2015

What you heard was custom guitar designer Stephen McSwain picking away at his latest creation, the Cragar Wheels Cragar S/S 50th Anniversary custom guitar. The build of a Cragar S/S wheel inspired guitar, complete with a special edition 50th anniversary chrome Cragar S/S cap was revealed in the Cragar Wheel booth during the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.aved with a gryphon that Leto illustrated himself. 

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