Fred Stuart founded Stuart Custom Guitars in 2004, in Riverside, California. This was just after his partnership with Alan Hamel (A&F Guitars) ended in 2003. Stuart was a master builder in the Fender Custom Shop working there from 1987 to 2001, before establishing A&F with Hamel in 2001. Stuart winds and makes pickups, as well as building and restoring guitars.
A&F guitars was a short-lived partnership started in 2001 in Riverside, California by Fred Stuart and Alan Hamel previously of the Fender Custom Shop. A&F made a boutique electric guitar model called the Rock-it-tone based on a Stuart design done for the Fender Custom Shop - but rejected by them. They also sold A&F brand pickups designed by Hamel and made custom electric guitars to order. In 2003 they went their separate ways and founded Stuart Custom Guitars and Alan Hamel, both continuing to make basically the same products that A&F had been making.
Kepma was founded in 2009 by Jack Peng & Kevin Liu. Jack and Kevin invested in high tech machinery including an array of CNC machines to cut, mill and fabricate consistent components of their first guitar design, the A1. By 2015, Kepma was the number one acoustic guitar brand in all of China. Kepma also make acoustic guitar pickups, preamps and effects
Mark Rinder makes electric guitars and pickups in Orange County, California. He previously worked for G&L and Rickenbacker and launched Rinder Guitars in 2007. The staple Rinder model is a telecaster style electric guitar.
Göldo has its origins in 1978 when German guitar designer Dieter Gölsdorf created Rockinger Guitars as a parts sales company. He then launched the guitar brand Duesenberg in 1986 and Formentera Guitars in 1987. In 1991 internal differences led to a sale of Formentera shares and change of ownership at Rockinger. The Göldo was launched in 1991 as company focused on wholesale, production, import, distribution and export of its own and outsourced components to dealers and guitar manufacturers. Göldo is a wholesaler only and does not sell directly to customers.
Michael Reilander founded Reilander Pickups in 2007 to produce hand wound guitar pickups and electronics. Reilander's interest in guitar electronics started with a guitar building course taught by Mike Kinal where he made his first electric guitar in 1995.
Reflex Reds pickups were introduced in 1988 - they were premium active pickups made in the UK. They were sold in sets (SSH or HH) along with a separate "black box" preamp essential to their correct operation.
Neville Marten reviewed Reflex Reds soon after their launch in the May 1988 issue of Guitarist magazine as follows:
Designed by Andras Szalay in 1986-1987 the Shadow SH-075 is a quick mount guitar-to-midi convertor. The SH-075 comprises four parts: a six-pole, thin pickup which picks up all six strings separately, the converter, which is also the control unit, a small junction box with a MIDI output socket, and an external power supply which provides the low voltage to drive the system. The pickup attaches to the guitar as close to the bridge as possible, while the converter can normally be fixed via the strap peg on the end of the guitar body.
Joe Marinic founded Shadow Electronics in 1971 in Erlangen, Germany as an electric guitar and pickup maker, but initially Joe decided to focus solely on pickups. Soon Shadow invented a ground breaking undersaddle piezo pickup (called the “Shadow 1”) for acoustic and classical guitars. The 1970s saw further innovations from Shadow including the first endpin output jack for acoustic guitar and the first dual magnetic and piezo pickup system. During the late 1970s and early 1980s Shadow invented the first piezo bridge for electric guitars and the first active humbucker with a built-in equalizer. In 1987 Shadow began making electric guitars in Germany and released several guitar-to-midi converters and guitar synths. More recently, Shadow developed the NanoFlex transducer and NanoMAG magnetic pickup systems.
Perri Ink was founded by NickPerri (guitarist with Silvertide and other bands) in 2009 and his early models (Prostar and Solostar) were made in Nick's home town of Philadelphia. The Perri Ink Cartel store opened in 2011 on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, California and offered custom guitars, custom motorcycles, clothes, tattoos, haircuts and piercings. In 2012 the company revamped its operations and launched new instrument and hardware lines - including cabinets, pickups and pick guards. The Perri Ink Cartel store closed in 2013, and Nick went back to working on original music, returning to the stage in 2014.
This is part of an interview given by Dan Armstrong to Jeffery Pike back in 1973:
Dan Armstrong is a man of ideas. Inventor, designer, maker, musician, he’s constantly expanding what you can do with the electric guitar. I called on him to get up to date on his latest guitars and gadgets, but he just had to tell me first about a new tuning he’s been working on!
Ibanez Super 80 humbucking pickups were launched in 1976. They were available with chrome plated (model #2680-80) or gold-plated (model #2680-81) covers which were stamped with a hand/butterfly "Flying Finger" logo.These pickups came with either 2 or four wires and were variously potted with wax or with epoxy (clear or opaque).
The Super 80s were developed to have high ouput, with bright punchy tone and were fitted as standard to Ibanez Artist and Professional guitars. Specifications were:
Carey Nordstrand began instrument making with Traveler Guitars in 1993, and designed several guitars while working there. Nordstrand then trained with Steve Azola in 1996, then going on to work with Suhr Guitars in 1998. He started making Nordstrand basses in 2002, and word spread of the Nordy-J model via the talkbass.com forum. Carey Nordstrand started winding his own pickups to use with his own basses, but soon began selling them to other luthiers and began making guitar pickups in 2004. By 2017 Nordstrand Audio were also offering guitar and bass pedals.
Moollon Musical Instruments is a Korean company that makes boutique guitar & bass effects as well guitars and basses. Moollon was founded in 2002 by Young Joon Park and CG Ji, guitar builders who studied sculpture at the same art school in the 1980s. Their first product was the Moollon Overdrive pedal soon followed by a few custom guitars. Moollon pedals often have metal cases etched with designs from traditional Korean art. By 2010 they had a workforce of 5.
Mojotone is a supplier of vintage electronics and maker of custom and vintage reproduction speaker cabinets, and pickups. Mojotone also provide OEM services to boutique amp and guitar brands but also supply hobbyists & DIY buidlers. Mojotone was founded in part by Andy Turner who started out with a small repair shop in Winston-Salem, NC.
Mighty Mite was founded in 1974 by Randy Zacuto in Camarillo, California as a supplier of replacement pickups and bridges for guitars and basses. The Mighty Mite brand was bought by Jack Westheimer in 1982 and it was reintroduced by Westheimer Corporation in 1991 as a supplier of replacement guitar necks, bodies and other parts.
Darkmoon Pickups was established in 2010 by the current master winder and owner Mark V. For the first six years the company released products solely for independent guitar builders and luthiers. Following an expansion in 2016, Darkmoon began selling to the public and released their signature humbuckers. Divided into Vintage and Black Arts series, the signature line covers a very wide range of music styles from blues and jazz to heavy metal. Aside from guitar pickups, Darkmoon also offers guitar wiring harnesses, instrument cables, and custom pickguards. The company has introduced a large variety of custom cosmetic options such as real mother of pearl or celluloid inlays, gold foils and engraved humbucker covers.