Incredible guitar design able to transcend time and maker; that’s Frank Brothers Guitars, a history in the making. For 3 generations, the Frank family has uplifted music for the better of all; now proving daily that, in the infinite wisdom of Vin Diesel, nothing is more powerful than ‘Family’. As with their father, and as with his father before that, when luthiery runs in your blood, excellence is a sure thing. So, for today’s installment in our Topshelf Luthier Series, we’re exploring Frank Brother’s Guitar Company and the quality that a heritage of craftsmanship can compose.
Frank Brothers – History Every Day
Fast and The Furious references aside, the Frank Brothers have harnessed an incredible wealth of skill, dedication, and business acumen as a team bound by brotherly love and fueled by a long line of musicality dating back almost a century. For this Toronto-based trio, the first signs of their indomitable skill started with their grandfather Philip, who was first violinist for the NBC Symphony Orchestra during the interbellum days of 1930’s peacetime performance. From so-called child prodigy to eventual concertmaster, Philip Frank was revered as a maestro of music for his era. Meanwhile, his brother, Bernard, was a respected pianist who often accompanied Philip during recordings and performances.
Jim Frank, the Frank brother’s father, was an award-winning recording engineer who worked with celebrated talent like Peter Gabriel, Alice Cooper, and The Guess Who. From a place of love, both for music and for his boys, Jim nurtured a reverence for high fidelity and innovation that would define their style and drive for the rest of their lives.
The Frank Brothers company was founded in 2014 by luthiers Nick and Tim Frank and eventually was managed by their oldest brother Tom in Toronto’s artsy Studio District. Aligned with lifelong family friend Warren Spitz, the quartet is focused on creations they’re proud of, and “deliver exceptional quality and service to customers around the world.”
Today, they build instruments that fuse vintage and modern influences with exacting attention to detail:
“We are all about customisation and getting to the root of what a customer is trying to achieve with their guitar,”
“We offer custom colours, neck shapes, and a variety of hardware, pickups, and wiring options…”
Frank Brothers – Guitars and Greatness
It can be difficult to stand out when you have a twin brother and an older brother to contend with. Fortunately, this is exactly what drives these talented luthiers to the heights they excel in most. Every guitar that leaves the shop is another testament to one luthier’s skill and another check to a brotherly sense of competition. This natural escalation has driven the Frank line of guitars to an exciting array of custom services as well as iterations of 3 distinctive guitars as iconic and indelible as the history their heritage has thus far laid.
The Signature model utilizes a unique, semi-chambered core to lend it a voice that harmonizes semi-hollow and solid body tones. The remarkably balanced EQ makes this guitar incredibly versatile all the while framed in a stunning combination of design and material. Put simply, these guitars are celebrated as a work of art as much as an instrument.
The Arcade model is their solid-body take on the Frank Brothers flagship Signature Model. Direct and bold like other featured models, but with more mid-range and attack than their remaining line-up.
Finally, the Ultra Light features a deeper body and chambered core that, in combination with f-holes, provides a resonant projection-loaded acoustic charm.
But they don’t just create their own guitars; the Frank brothers have worked diligently to remind their fan base that, first and foremost, they are a service and excited to collaborate with guitarists from all walks of life:
“We want to offer more than just a guitar, but also an interactive custom experience. We provide customers with weekly photo updates that show their guitar’s construction. By the time it’s complete they’ll have over 100 photos that show the entire build process, as well as detailed glamour shots of the finished instrument.”
Brotherly Love and Luthiery
As with all luthiers we have featured in this series, talent is a skill earned, learned, and somewhat innate. For the Frank family, it would seem fate was written for them many generations before the Frank brothers were born. Now, as a line of musicians vested in the quality that comes with their namesake, the future is destined to be a bright one for these exceptional luthiers.