Our history started in 1979 in Devin Village with the creation of a violin workshop overlooking the castle. Afterward came the concept of unique guitars, inspired by the violin maker’s know-how, experiences and intuition, each one unique and individual.
We are passionate about exceptional woods
We are passionate about craftsmanship
We are passionate about music
Stanislav Petko MarinovMore about Stan
Stanislav Petko Marinov
“To be honest, I started playing guitar mainly because I found that girls liked it.”
“I’ve always been interested in how things work. I’ve been playing the violin since I was six and nobody was very happy with me when I took one apart to see what was inside. For years, the violin remained my passion. That’s why I worked for free with the best violin maker in the area while I was studying at the Faculty of Civil Engineering at STU, learning the craft. Later, while doing a Ph.D. I had the opportunity to spend time in an acoustic laboratory, where I tested my theoretical knowledge of the properties and qualities of wood and put them into practice. I believe that the basis of a good instrument is good material. That’s why I often travel to Spain, Italy, and Switzerland and choose the best acoustic plates for our guitars.”
“If you find the initials *SPM* inside your guitar, I tuned the top plate myself. I draw inspiration mainly from the old violin masters who knew how to find the balance between stiffness and flexibility, sustain and clarity of sound.”
Family of guitar makers
The love of music and wood is obviously hereditary. Erika followed in her father’s footsteps, and our production began to move even more toward high-end all-solid guitars. And personalised custom orders clearly became the biggest passion. We enjoy turning dreams into reality.
Erika Maťo MarinováMore about Erika
Erika Maťo Marinová
“I probably shouldn’t say this publicly, but we have super much fun at work. I envy myself this job.”
With a diploma in Biomedical Physics, it seemed a far cry to be drawn back to the world of guitars. And yet, perhaps not. My childhood was surrounded by music and musical instruments, so it was a small step to return to them. My father was and is a fine role model, never allowing himself to be discouraged and being true to his instincts. Additionally, I am full of admiration for the creative team here – their craftsmanship and attention to detail is awe-inspiring.
“I get passionate about wood and whenever I can, I go with my father to help in the painstaking work of selection. However, these days, a lot of my time is taken up by production management, but my favourite distraction has always been custom guitars.”
Research and development
What drives Dowina forward is the constant work of our R&D department as well as the ideas and invention of the entire team.
Peter Kičák a Ján SárkányMore about them
“Unfortunately, I have such an obsession that I like to take apart and put things back together”….and also write there that I played in a band…
“I graduated from the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences at the Technical University in Zvolen. During my PhD. studies at the department of Physical and Musical Acoustics of DF TU, I researched the properties of wood in the laboratory of acoustics of musical instruments, while I was fundamentally influenced by my internship in Finland, where I could test my theoretical knowledge in practice. Since childhood, my hobby has been electrical engineering and music, which I combined, and maybe that’s why it led me to a career as a sound engineer and shortly after that to Dowina, where I’ve been since 2011, and I can realize my ideas. “
“Recently, I have been focusing mainly on our unique Aura concept, on which I invented a unique joint between the body and the neck, the so-called false cutout.’
“I believe in guitars.”
“I’ve been playing the guitar since I was fourteen, it was love at first sight. From the beginning, I was fascinated by its sound, expressiveness, but also its design. Along with playing, I started to modify instruments and to build them later. A happy accident brought me to Dowina, where I can work with geeks and enthusiasts like myself.”
“Right now I’m mostly doing final setup of the guitars, but I like to spend time anywhere in production.”
Dowina is created by people. Artists and musicians who understand guitars and the materials they work with.
Zuzana JariabkováMore about the team
Every Dowina guitar has passed through the hands of all of us. We are a small team of luthiers, musicians, artistic carvers, technical engineers, designers… and the list goes on. However, we are united by our enthusiasm for working with wood and the joy of music. Our guitars are special in the truest sense of the word, because behind every detail you can find a person who devoted himself to it. In the Blog section, we will try to introduce us gradually, so that you have the opportunity to look at Dowina and see us, the people who make guitars.
The fall of the Iron Curtain
The fall of the Iron Curtain was the beginning of a new chapter and history of Czechoslovakia. After more than 40 years we were able to breath freely again and the lot of secret ideas could become a reality.
Establishment of Expos music
Expos music was the first company Stan founded with his friends just few months after the Velvet Revolution. As there were no internation brands present on the market it was the ideal time to bring Fender, Taylor and other famous brands and introduce them to people.
Stan´s visit of Japan and China
An unique opportunity to see guitar and bow instruments production on another level provoked the idea of starting an acoustic guitar production under own name.
The origin of Antique series
Stan spent more than two years in Asia working on first Dowina guitars. He personaly did all the top plates and was controling the entire production.
New factory workshop in Bratislava
The distribution activites and growing demand for Dowina allowed us to move to larger property in Bratislava and established guitar production in here, finally.
First exibition at Frankfurt Messe
The first opportunity to present Dowina to European market. The personal selection of wood, unique sound and vision attracted a lot of new business partners and distributors.
Erika joined the company
Stan welcomed with great pleasure Erika´s decision to join the company and help him with the management. Due to severe health problems he was thinking about selling Dowina but Erika – that time mother of two tiny toddlers – persuaded him to continue.
The concept of unique hybrid guitar combining the qualities of acoustic and classical guitar was triggered by constant requests of our clients who were missing a nylon string guitar in our portfolio. We didn´t want to offer just another standard classical guitar with wide nut, for us a comfortable playability is a must, so we came with the hybrid concept of 48 mm nut with rounded freatboard.
Bona Vida concept
Bona Vida is not a parlor style guitar. It is an instrument that makes your life more cheerful. Hence the name. Stan designed a special bracing design for this sweet guitar to make it sound as voluminous and light as possible. It is a true game changer.
People are creative and we love that. It was fantastic to see how authentic and out of the box their design ideas are. It started slowly and unexpectadly. Our friends kept asking: “I love Cabernet design but can I add my initials on freatboard?” or: “How dramatic the Acero with ebony binding will look like, right?” And just after a while we realized third of our production is somehow customized. So why not offer it anybody.
Research and Development
Peter Kičák is our Tech manager and a true whizz. He invented most of the secret hacks, technological improvements and smart design ideas on Dowinas. Together with Stan, former professor at University, they create the base of our R&D team. We were always testing different approaches to lutiership, investigating the effect of thermal treatment, bracing patterns, etc. on the sound and stability of the guitar. In 2020 we decided to cooperate on big project with Slovak Technical University which dispose of profi acoustic laboratory.
Aura concept guitar
Aura is the result of two years effort and work of our R&D team. It brings a completely new approach to body-neck joint. Shiffted X bracing moves the acoustic center in the middle of the top plate and lets sound be spread evenly through the wood. A built – in heal, allows guitarists to go further and beyond the classic reach.
If you can’t stop thinking about your dream guitar… Take a look at this.
Design your own guitarConfigurator
Design your own guitarConfigurator
The Ancient Spirit of WoodOur series