The first guitar to appear with the Furch brand name on the headstock was built in 1981 and was the product of a small unofficial ‘garage’ company, in what was then Czechoslovakia. At that time the communist regime disallowed all private enterprise, but founder František Furch’s insatiable desire for all things musical, forced his pursuits underground. His first instrument was made much earlier – while still a teenager – and consisted of an old drum body turned into a banjo.
Later in the ‘80s František Furch was known throughout the Czech music scene as a premium guitar builder and his instruments were the choice of many top musicians. In 1989, the Velvet Revolution and the fall of communism finally allowed František to realise his dreams without fear of persecution, and he set about forming his own manufacturing company. Furch Guitars was officially founded and he took on his first employee in a small 20m2 workshop.
In the early ‘90s the total output from Furch Guitars was sold on the domestic market but as word spread to neighbouring countries, demand increased rapidly, and a decision was undertaken to increase the workshop capacity. In 1999 there were already 25 luthiers working in the company, and the same year also brought about important changes to the product range. A brand new class of guitar was introduced to the Furch line-up – the Millennium Series – which offered a fresh, modern guitar design that nicely complemented the more traditional Vintage Series. Both these model ranges remain at the core of Furch Guitars to this day.
Growing demand at the dawn of the 21st century led František Furch to acquire a 16th century mill complex in the village of Velké Němčice, where he set about transforming the property into a modern factory facility. Over the following years all areas of production were slowly transferred to the new premises, and in 2011 the old mill complex held the 30th anniversary party for Furch Guitars. By this time the company had grown considerably and had a workforce of more than 40 employees.
Nowadays the company is run by both František and his son Petr, and they continue to produce a range of top class instruments. They are constantly experimenting with new design and construction techniques, and applying modern research and technology in their quest to advance the acoustic qualities of their instruments. There is no question about the quality of Furch Guitars as testified by the top musicians using them; names such as Suzanne Vega, David Knopfler, Richard Smith, Glen Hansard and many more.