About us

Westend Guitars

The idea of a “Westend” brand started in 2008 from a casual conversation between serial entrepreneur Heikki “Hessu” Holvikari and Juha Lottonen, the best guitar luthier in Finland. Hessu started sourcing guitar prototypes and Juha gave his valuable advice on what parts he thought would make a good sounding guitar. Hessu spent time in testing, specifying new prototypes and sourcing new parts. The idea was to develop a guitar line that had a really good sound for home use and studios. After 3 years of product development Hessu and Juha were able to develop guitars that not only looked good but sounded even better. All guitar bodies are made in well known guitar factories and electronics as well as final setup are made in Finland.

Starting from 2012 Westend Musical Instrument had a strong focus in developing small size wireless audio technology and therefore the guitar business was on hold. However, as from 2024 we are back in business. Stronger than before.

20200129_165049

See also:

Heikki Holvikari

Heikki “Hessu” Holvikari is the founder of Westend Musical Instruments comes from a musical family. His mother was an operette diva, father a member of the most famous Finnish choire called YL.  He had two sisters that were dreaming about a music career. Hessu´s great-uncle Matti Jurva was a famous singer in contemporary music after the second world war and is still the most recorded artist in the Finnish music history. Hessu learned classical singing from the age of 5, played piano under supervision of Marja Oja until changed into guitar. From Hessu´s mother side, all relatives were more or less artists and musicians. Hessu plays Bossa Nova.

Hessu has developed the signature sound of all Westend products. The sound is based on subjective evaluation of a “good” sound and has nothing to do with frequency curves or what is “right” and what is “wrong”. Hessu does not have perfect pitch but a very good relatively pitch. (So much that it is very hard to get a guitar in tune… just because it basically IS impossible.)

Hessu has a master´s degree in economics (Helsinki School of Economics) and he was the first professional badminton player in Finland and has won 4 Finnish championships. He plays golf and loves road cycling.

Juha Lottonen

Master Luthier Juha Lottonen, owner of Lottonen Guitars (lottonen.com) has been a great help for Westend Guitars with his valuable advice and his endless knowledge of guitars. Juha is the most experienced and in our opinion, the best luthier in our country. In fact, Juha inspired Hessu to start up Westend Musical Instruments. Juha makes his own hand made guitars and has a repair shop, too. Every Westend guitar has gone through Juha´s skillfull hands. He assembles the electronics and makes the final setup. Juha is not only a very nice man but also has a good ear for sound and is a perfectionist when it comes to guitars. Needless to say that all guitars that we deliver are top quality. Juha is very much into road cycling, too.

See also:

Our guitars

We manufacture all our guitars in well known factories in the Far East. All archtops are hand made in one of the best factories in China based on our own specs. The carving quality of Westend guitars is second to none. Guitar bodies arrive in Finland unasssembled and then finished at Lottonen.com to the final specifications. The hardware and electronics are coming from all over the world. Hessu is responsible for the sound and sourcing of all parts.

IMGP2132