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Valencia History

VALENCIA GUITARS – ESTABLISHED 1972

When the Valencia Guitars brand was first established in Melbourne, Australia in 1972, our first instruments reflected OUR VISION:

To provide student guitarists with instruments that are easy to play and of excellent quality.
Valencia guitars are great value for money and are made to the highest possible standards.

After nearly five decades these four distinct attributes remain at the heart of the Valencia culture.

Valencia is now the No. 1 selling guitar brand in many countries and, arguably, the world. Thousands of music stores around the world stock Valencia Guitars as their main classical guitar line. These guitar experts do this because Valencia guitars represent the very best value for money on the market! It’s for this reason alone that millions of guitarists around the world have started their musical journeys on a Valencia guitar.

At Valencia we are committed to the highest standards of production, ethics and integrity. We care for our employees and their families, our customers and users of our products and the society in which we all live.

1972 – The birth of Valencia Guitars in Melbourne Australia

The Valencia brand name was conceived by Australian Musicians & Music Industry Legends Lou Toppano & Geoff (Dutchy) Turner. They sourced some classic guitars from Taiwan & South Korea under their new brand name and began selling these in Toppano’s Music store in downtown Melbourne, Australia.

1974-1977 – Introduction of the Valencia brand to some Retailers around Australia

Due to the popularity of the brand within schools and colleges, distribution of the Valencia brand was broadened to a number of retailers around Australia through Toppano’s Music Wholesale division. A store Kevin Hague managed at that time was one of those retailers and this was his introduction to Valencia.

1978 – AMS established and Toppano Music Wholesale closes

Kevin Hague establishes his own distribution company Australasian Music Supplies (AMS). Toppano Music Wholesale closes and a new company established by Brian Metcalf named Metcalf Wholesale (MW) purchases Toppano’s Music stock including Valencia Guitars.

1979 – AMS and MW co-distribute Valencia Guitars

Kevin (AMS) and Brian (MW) decide to co-distribute Valencia Guitars through their respective distribution companies and begin working together in experimenting with different woods and specifications to ensure that Valencia Guitars were a higher level than any other entry level guitar brand.

1980-1981 – Valencia experiences enormous growth Australia wide

The design and specification changes implemented by Kevin & Brian were a major step forward for entry level guitars and as a result Valencia experienced enormous growth Australia wide.

1982 – Production moves to Samick Musical instruments, south korea; the largest guitar manufacturing plant in the world

Kevin & Brian undertook an extensive trip through Taiwan and South Korea and visited many guitar manufacturers. As a result of this trip they decided to re-design all Valencia models and move all the production to the largest and best guitar manufacturing plant in the world at that time, Samick Musical Instruments. Samick manufactured Valencia exclusively for the next 7 years.

1984 – AMS becomes the sole Australian Distributor and full owner of Valencia

Kevin (AMS) purchases the controlling interests of MW and amalgamates it into his company. As a result, AMS becomes the sole Australian distributor and sole owner of the Valencia Guitar brand. Kevin & Brian continue working together until 1986 when Brian and Dutchy retire from the music products industry.

1985-1990 – Valencia expands into a number of models of Acoustic Guitars and a small range of Electric & Bass Guitars

Given the huge success of the Valencia Guitars around Australia, the range is expanded to include a number of models of acoustic guitars, along with a small range of electric & bass guitars. In 1990 Kevin decided to cease using the Valencia name on these style of guitars and maintain the Valencia name exclusively as a classical guitar brand.

1987 – Major Fire at the Samick factory and an additional Supplier added from Taiwan

Following a major fire at Samick in 1987, which severely impacted supply, Kevin added an additional Taiwanese guitar manufacturer to produce Valencia’s designs and supplement supply.

1989 – Valencia Production moved to Taiwan

Demand for Valencia Guitars now exceeded available capacity of the two guitar manufacturers used. Kevin contacted his good friend C.C. Tsai in Taiwan, son of one of the largest guitar manufacturers in Taiwan at that time and nephew of 5 other independent Tsai family/guitar manufacturers. C.C. drove Kevin the entire length of Taiwan and they visited many factories. C.C.’s expertise in manufacturing and extensive knowledge of each Taiwanese guitar manufacturer provides Kevin with a powerful insight and the impetus to establish two more guitar manufacturers of Valencia in Taiwan and cease production in South Korea.

1990 – Team International established as a Distributor in Taiwan

C.C. Tsai, establishes his own distribution company Team International in Taiwan.

1993-1994 – Team International (HK) Ltd. is established

C.C., along with his brother C.J. Tsai, establish Team International (HK) Ltd. and open an office in Guangzhou, China to investigate the emerging market and manufacturing opportunities in China.

1995-1996 – Extensive research undertaken around emergence of China as a potential guitar manufacturing country

Kevin (AMS), whilst enjoying strong business growth in guitar accessory items sourced from Chinese manufacturers and always looking to advance Valencia, begins preliminary investigations into China guitar manufacturing. C.C. (Team) also begins evaluation of many guitar manufacturers in Southern China to decide which of these have potential to become good guitar manufacturers. Some Taiwanese & South Korean owned and controlled guitar manufacturers start opening facilities in China.

1997 – Some Valencia production moved to factories in Southern China

After a few years of exhaustive research and work with guitar manufacturers, C.C. & C.J. selected 3 manufacturers to begin the process of manufacturing guitars in China. Satisfied with the progress of these guitar manufacturers, C.C. invites Kevin to tour these facilities. Kevin, happy with the vast improvement in the quality of the product from these guitar manufacturers, decides to move some of the substantial Valencia production from Taiwan to China.

1998 – All Valencia production moved to guitar Manufacturers across Southern China and decision made on taking Valencia Guitars to the World

Very happy with the quality of Chinese made Valencia Guitars, Kevin decides to move all Valencia manufacturing to China. C.C. invites Kevin to become a Shareholder in Team International and on acceptance Team also begins distributing Valencia Guitars to Taiwan. At a subsequent meeting a brief discussion led to an almost immediate decision that Team would begin to offer the Valencia brand to the World.

1999 – Valencia introduced to the World Stage

Valencia Guitars debut to the world at the Frankfurt Musikmesse, the World’s premier music products & trade show exhibition at that time. 16 distributors are appointed at this show to introduce Valencia Guitars into their countries.

2000-2001 – Very rapid expansion of Distributors and Countries selling Valencia

News of Valencia Guitars travelled very fast and following on from trade shows in Los Angeles, Frankfurt & Shanghai all major guitar markets in the world are now selling Valencia Guitars – via 58 Distributors in over 70 countries.

2001-2010 – Valencia experiences huge worldwide market growth

Valencia enjoys unprecedented sales growth as its quality is widely recognised Worldwide within the industry and the education sector. As a result of this acceptance into the education market, Valencia enters the violins and bowed instrument market. Team takes responsibility for manufacture of Valencia Guitars for the entire World market, while Kevin and C.C. along with personnel at both AMS and Team work on designs and modifications which Team implements.

2011-2013 – Fully owned, purpose-built Manufacturing facility in Indonesia

Foreseeing potential issues with China manufacturing, C.C. extensively researched 4 different countries and numerous locations to establish Team’s own manufacturing facility. Ultimately it was decided that Indonesia was the country and Surabaya (Indonesia’s 2nd largest city) the location and a division of Team International established – PT AKT Indonesia. Land was purchased and a state of the art manufacturing facility was designed and purpose-built to produce classic guitars & ukuleles. This facility is “exclusively” producing their brands of instruments – Valencia Guitars & Mahalo Ukuleles.
As a result, Valencia became the only brand of entry level guitars in the World with their own 100% owned and controlled, purpose-built manufacturing facility, thereby allowing Valencia to build and develop instruments with specifications and features superior to those of their competitors at unprecedented entry level price points.

2014 – designing the new range and production facility

Kevin and C.C., along with personnel from AMS and Team, begin designing the new range. Throughout the year, skilled craftsmen were employed, machinery commissioned, production lines established and test samples manufactured.

2015 – Valencia production begins in new Indonesian factory

Production of the new, finalised range begins in Surabaya in mid-2015 and samples shown to select distributors at the Shanghai Show in October 2015.

2016 – Worldwide Release of 200 to 400 Series

Indonesian made Valencia Guitars are released to the World at the NAMM Show to great acclaim, further strengthening the Valencia name in the World market.

2018 – Worldwide demand exceeded factory capacity

The increased success of Valencia Guitars in most markets due to the new models and quality from its dedicated manufacturing facility exceeded all expectations and the production capacity was full extending delivery times to distributors. As a result another facility on their site was designed to expand capacity.

2019 – Expansion of manufacturing facility completed

Construction of the new facility was completed in June 2019, effectively increasing production capacity by 50%.

2022 & Beyond – Valencia: Creating Musicians for more than 50 Years

One of the longest surviving brand names in the World for this price level (if not the longest surviving brand), Valencia is the biggest selling brand of nylon/classic guitar in the Australian market for decades and now in other markets and arguably the World. Many thousands of music stores around the world stock Valencia Guitars as their main classical guitar range because Valencia Guitars represent the very best value for money on the market. Valencia Guitars are sold in over 85 countries around the World and are distributed by many of the best distributors in their respective markets.