By Jules E. Beuck
Photos by Jules E. Beuck
Not all things associated with NAMM happen
in Anaheim. Out in the Inland Empire of Southern California in the
town of Lake Elsinore is the factory for Suhr guitars.
Suhr makes high-end custom guitars,
amplifiers and effects. All are made to fine detail and
often to buyer’s specifications.
On January 22nd and 23rd Suhr opened their
factory for a tour and accompanying concert. Of course they also
talked about new equipment that they are producing such as the
Rufus Fuzz and the Koko Boost reloaded effects boxes.
The tour of the factory showed how guitars
are put together, from the wood that is picked to the pickups that
are hand wired. Each instrument is rigorously tested before it is
allowed to leave the factory and, if found wanting, is sent back
for more work to make sure it meets their standards. Each
instrument is photographed before sending it out. We were told
that the effects boxes are built like tanks.
The concert featured performers that use
Suhr equipment. This included the Journey tribute band Lights and
the band Friday Nights, which includes two Suhr employees.
James Ivanyi came all the way
from Australia to show off his talent with an instrumental set
that had many in awe. Pete Thorn performed with his band and then
brought up Ian Thornley to perform some of his music with Pete’s
band. Both Thorn and Thornley are from Canada, so Suhr was showing
off its international reach. Andy Wood demonstrated his Suhr
signature guitar, as did virtuoso Scott Henderson. Most of the
performers would bring these large boards to the stage filled with
Suhr effects boxes. Some of the effects used on bass guitars were
We got to try out one of the Suhr basses
and were impressed with the action and feel of the instrument. As
of yet they are not making bass amplifiers but we were assured
that they are definitely on the drawing board.
Between the factory tour, concerts and red
velvet cake pops Suhr definitely knows how to throw a party.