S.D. Curlee

product types: 

  • bass guitars
  • electric guitars


S.D. Curlee was established by businessman Randy Curlee, instrument designer Randy Dritz and pattern maker Sonny Storbeck in 1975 in Matteson, Illinois. The name S.D Curlee came from the names of the founders (Storbeck, Dritz and Curlee). Production of SD Curlee instruments ran from 1976 until 1982. Dritz left the company in 1977 and was replaced as Denny Rauen who took charge of the workshop. It is unclear how many S.D. Curlee guitars and basses were made in the USA during this period. The S.D. Curlee designs have a typical late 1970s look, using natural oil finished wood often with contrasting wood laminates and brass hardware. There were more affordable import versions. These included the Matsumoku (Japan) made International models and Hondo (Japan) produced Curlee Design and Aspen models. There were also some made in Korea. 

By the early 1980s trends in guitar design were changing and the Curlee natural wood look was out of fashion. Although Curlee began to experiment with colored finishes and pointy designs, by 1982 the company ceased trading. In 2010 S.D. Curlee enthusiast Scott Beckwith of Birdsong guitars resurrected the S.D. Curlee brand, with the blessing of Randy Dritz and Denny Rauen. Birdsong produce a limited number of hand-built S.D. Curlee USA basses each year.

Source: S.D. Curlee USA catalogs 1977 - 1980

Source: Bass Notes: Happy Mediums S.D. Curlee and other Oddballs. Willie G. Moseley. Bass Player Magazine, 9 September, 1999.

Source: Birdsong Guitars Curlee history (7 February 2017)


SD Curlee USA c/o Wingfeather Enterprises
PO Box 1745
Wimberley , TX
United States
Texas US