After completing an apprenticeship in violin manufacturing in which he learnt the finer details of building wooden instruments and became a qualified luthier, Merv Cargill turned his hand to his own custom guitar-making business in 1956 - and, since then, there's been no looking back.

Merv's attention to detail and immense passion for producing instruments of the optimum tonality and finish made the Cargill name one that is now synonymous with the guitar industry. From his backyard garage, Merv attracted some of the biggest music names with his reputation in guitars travelling far and wide, well beyond his base in Melbourne's coastal suburb of Seaford.


As fate would have it, Merv's son, James, caught the guitar bug, and decided to carry on Merv's legacy, armed with the tricks of the trade as passed down by his father over the years. James is now approaching almost 30 years of experience in manufacturing and repairing guitars - an enviable reputation himself - and has managed to capitalise on the foundation his father solidly built.

At Cargill Custom Guitars, tradition stands the test of time - James still operates from his father's original garage workshop at the back of the family home, although these days, he admits a change of scenery would be nice. Regardless, the Cargill garage has become something of a music icon itself - an unassuming and intimate workshop packed with the paraphernalia of over 50 years of music and guitar history.



Taking a hands-on, one-on-one approach to guitars, James continues the type of 'old-fashioned' service that was expected in the 1950s, but rarely applies to businesses of the new millennium. Considering the unique nature of this trade, taking a personal interest in each guitar is what helps keep Cargill at the forefront of the music industry.

As well as hand-building guitars, Cargill equally concentrates on the maintenance of instruments - both new and vintage - and welcomes any of enquiries regarding the ongoing repair and care of your guitar.