Minerva Fretworks

Isaac Stroupe
Rossville, Georgia

Minerva Fretworks' vintage-inspired guitars are made by Isaac Stroupe in Rossville, GA just across the state line from Chattanooga, TN. 

With experience in the violin-making world and with knowledge acquired through careful study and repair of early 20th century Golden Era guitars, Isaac crafts his own instruments using traditional techniques. He minimizes the use of power tools, preferring to work by hand, and constructs using hot hide glue and applies a hand-rubbed, home-brewed spirit varnish finish.

Isaac's guitars are an instant favorite at TNAG. By taking the templates of the vintage greats and filtering them through a hand-made approach with a strong violin-making background, he's cracked the code to achieve an incredibly lightweight, warm, and responsive guitar, no matter which model he builds.

Isaac Stroupe worked and apprenticed at Atlanta Violins for eight years before starting Minerva Guitars. With his inspiration rooted in the great American makers of the 1920’s and 1930’s, he puts a particular focus on the more obscure models from those eras, as well as taking pride in primarily using sustainably harvested, non-endangered North American tonewoods. Each Minerva guitar is handcrafted, avoiding power tools and jigs wherever possible, in addition to being constructed with 100% hot hide glue, and finished with a homemade, hand rubbed spirit varnish.

My aim is to take classic 20th century steel string guitar designs and build them the way a traditional Violin or Classical Guitar maker would, ensuring the finest possible tone and playability and an instrument that with proper care and repair should outlive the maker and player several times over.

Isaac Stroupe

The Guitars

Isaac currently offers three models


The "L"

12- 13- or 14-fret classic 1930’s small body

Isaac's Notes

"The Minerva “L” is heavily influenced by my personal 1930 Kel Kroydon and 1931 L-1 guitars; lightly built 12 fret models. They are some of the best fingerstyle guitars out there. If you need a guitar that can stand up to a heavier attack, you can also opt for the slightly stouter bracing ca. 1933."

The "De Luxe"

12- 13- or 14-fret mid 1930’s jumbo

Isaac's Notes

"The De Luxe is my take on the classic Kalamazoo-made slope shoulder dreadnought. This pattern can make for wonderful guitars in 12, 13, or 14 fret variations. Bracing can follow my 1935 Roy Smeck Stage Deluxe (tapered braces), or a 1936 AJ (Scalloped braces)."

The Minerva Tone

The Minerva Tone is based on the little seen but often talked of 1930 Regal Marvel Tone. Available in 0, 00, or OM patterns.

Isaac's Notes

The Minerva Tone is braced exactly like the Marvel Tone in my collection with delicately scalloped X and tone bars and barely there double finger braces. I bump the plate thicknesses slightly in the interest of stability and longevity but the tone is all there. A bit less refined than the typical Martin 00, with just the right honk for playing fingerstyle blues and old time.

Why Buy From The North American Guitar

Secure payment methods

We accept all major credit and debit cards as well as PayPal or bank and wire transfers

Flexible finance options

We offer an array of flexible finance options so that you can secure your dream guitar

Safe and secure packaging

All instruments ship in triple-layered guitar boxes stuffed with packing peanuts

Global shipping

We use the most trustworthy couriers to give peace of mind no matter the location

No hidden fees or taxes

What you see at checkout is what you pay so there are no surprises at your door

72-hour appraisal period

All our guitars come with an appraisal period meaning easy returns if you’re not satisfied