Locally made guitars land endorsement - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Locally made guitars land endorsement


Barronett (WQOW) - There's a new sound coming from northern Wisconsin these days.

Ron Helstern didn't start out making guitars. He made wood carvings, until one day he had a change of heart, according to his son-in-law Kevin McClain.

"I was in here one day, and Ron had a guitar he had bought from somebody, a homemade guitar and some blueprints and pieces of wood. And he says "I'm thinking about building a guitar," said Kevin McClain of Helstern's Guitar Company.

Ron was a wood carver, and Kevin made cabinets. They're perfectionists, and weren't satisfied with just an alright sounding guitar.

"From the first guitar, they've kind of gone through their own evolution. Every guitar has changed.  As the first one's done, it's like "You know what would be better, if we do this," and  "This didn't work out how I wanted it to, let's change this up," so every guitar has changed a little bit to where it is now," McClain said.

After hearing the sound, another local musician put them in touch with John Beland, a respected musician who had never before endorsed a product.

"He told us that the way this guitar sustains, it's like no other guitar he's ever played before. So that got us very excited," said Ron Helstern, who partner in Helstern's Guitar Company.

They're currently applying for a patent for their unique design.

"If you look at the distance between this string and the fret, that's the action. And it's so critical to get that right to have a guitar that sounds perfect," McClain said.

If you want to know what else makes this guitar stand out, you may have to keep looking and listening. Ron and Kevin are keeping that a secret, but they won't hide their excitement.

"He's playing our guitars and telling us they sound better than any other guitar he's played. You really can't beat that," said McClain.

Those special edition guitars come in a limited supply. There will be fewer than 100 John Beland signature guitars produced.

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