Ruokangas Guitars are a Finland based guitar company who specialise in super high-end, completely handbuilt guitars. This small team of highly skilled luthiers produce roughly 120 guitars per year, which are of the absolute highest quality both in terms of aesthetics and ergonomics.
Ruokangas Guitars was founded in 1995 by luthier Juha Ruokangas, who successfully built upon his company to produce a reputation that is second to none. What makes Ruokangas stand out from the crowd is their outright refusal to utilise modern manufacturing techniques such as CNC machines and outsourced labour. These guitars are all completely handbuilt by Juha and his team of highly skilled craftsmen.
Photo : Ruokangas.com
“Our work is a testimony for the old world values. We have consciously decided not to take part in the ongoing industrial race for cheaper labour and bigger profits. Our ambition is simply to make our living by making the best electric guitars in the world and to cherish the tradition of handcraft. Together we stand strong against the tide of the massive guitar industry that sells more in a day than we are able to build within a year. Their main interest is the shareholders profit, whereas for us this is purely a labour of love.”
– Juha Ruokangas
The website has a fantastic interactive guitar builder for each model that the company produces. Using this you can create the guitar of your dreams and even obtain a rough estimate of what it will cost you. Note that the builder is Flash based, so you will probably need to use a computer to take advantage of this resource.
Left Handed Ruokangas Guitars
From left to right: Hellcat, Mojo, VSOP, Unicorn, Duke, Steambass
Each of the guitars shown above comes in a wide variety of different styles. Check out the list below for the full range, including some example images which I created using the company’s online guitar buider tool! And what about left handed Ruokangas guitars? Every single one of their guitars available as a left handed option at no extra charge!
The Mojo Classic is a no-nonsense twang machine, handcrafted of the finest Alder and Rock Maple. Pick your favourite pickups, colour, fretboard, pickguard, hardware, finish, neck profile – you name it – in the Guitar Builder!
The newest Mojo model! Custom candy colors, trem bar, hot rodded picjguard shape, whole new wiring scheme and more – the Mojo King forges together the hottest features of a classic bolt-on guitar, and then some!
The solid body of the Mojo DeLuxe is crafted of lightweight Spanish Cedar with Figured Arctic Birch top. The striking appearance is completed by dropping off the pickguard and fitting the neck pickup using a unique ‘top float’ method.
Ruokangas craft the superlight semi-hollow body of the Mojo Grande of resonant Spanish Cedar with stunning Arctic Birch top to add brilliance to the tone. Add your personal touch in the Guitar Builder and voilá!
The VSOP Classic is Ruokangas’s reliable Alder/Maple workhorse that won’t let you down under any circumstance. Choice is yours – head to the Guitar Builder to dial in the specs of your very own custombuilt Classic.
The tonal and visual combination of Arctic Birch and Spanish Cedar is simply amazing. The elegant drop top contour with Walnut veneer laminated between the top and body lines out the bodyshape of the Deluxe beautifully.
The bolt-on Hellcat Classic is handcrafted of the finest Alder and Rock Maple. Ruokangas quarantees massive tone, flawless workmanship and effortless playability – you choose the rest in their fantastic online Guitar Builder.
Upgrade the bolt-on Classic with Spanish Cedar body and striking Arctic Birch top and you get the DeLuxe. With handmade metal pickups it’s all there – from the growling dropped lows to the articulated highest notes.
The neck-thru-body Hellcat Artist sets a new standard for the modern soloist style electric guitar, offering unparalleled access to every single note on the fretboard, superb tone, balance and playability.
If you’re after a solid set-neck, stripped down rock’n’roll machine, check out the Duke Sonic – Spanish Cedar slab body and neck, paperthin nitro finish, a muscular sounding P90 or two and cool vintage colours to choose from.
The Duke Classic set-neck / carved top design launched Ruokangas to success in the mid 90’s. The super responsive tonal combination of solid Spanish Cedar and Arctic Birch with all the recognizable design elements are there.
The semi-acoustic Duke Artisan is extremely light, yet perfectly balanced to hold, responding to your touch with exquisitely matured tone with beautiful, piano-like sustaining quality.
The Unicorn Classic is the culmination of Juha’s luthier experience since the early 90’s. Despite the full blooded Ruokangas design elements and unconventional material choices the Unicorn oozes Roots and Tradition.
With the Unicorn Artisan, Juha has stepped outside the box to explore, experience and design the ultimate semi-hollow electric guitar. His trademark tonewood recipe guarantees dynamics and responsivity second to none.
The Steambass Classic bass comes with an Alder body. It also features a bolt-on thermo-treated Maple neck and a choice of any of their well seasoned Rosewood, Ebony, Maple or Arctic Birch fretboards.
The Steambass Deluxe bass comes with a Spanish Cedar body accompanied by an Arctic Birch top. As with the Classic it also features a maple neck and a choice of the finest of fretboard woods.
Ruokangas are clearly a company who take great pride in how they present themselves to the world. Their guitars are stunning, their website is beautifully designed, their photography is spectacular, and their videos are all of a high professional quality. Check out their website below and start building your dream guitar.
Oh, and if you’re wondering how to pronounce Ruokangas – check out this article.
For more information:
Ruokangas Guitars Website