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Suhr Guitars

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A Brief History of Suhr

Prior to founding Suhr, John Suhr worked at Rudy's Music Stop in New York City doing guitar repair. He created the first Suhr Custom guitar in 1984. Teaming up with Rudy Pensa they started selling guitars under the Pensa-Suhr brand and the signature model they built for former Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler is perhaps the most famous Pensa-Suhr guitar.

John Suhr moved from NYC to Los Angeles in the early 90's to work with guitar rig builder Bob Bradshaw. Before leaving NYC, the two collaborated on the design of a preamplifier called the Custom Audio Electronic 3+, which was used by Steve Lukather. They also designed a 100 watt amplifier head, the Custom Audio Amplifiers OD-100. From 1995 to 1997, John Suhr worked as Senior Master Builder at Fender's Custom Shop and then left to form his own company with Steve Smith. Suhr had the knowledge about building guitars, Smith knew about management, software and CNC programming. Combining their efforts, they had total control of the manufacturing process and used the CNC routers to efficiently produce guitar necks and bodies, rather than doing it by hand. Suhr also made a name for himself making pickups, such as the custom-made single coils for Scott Henderson and other players like Mike Landau and Doug Aldrich.

During their first years the company built high-end guitars to customer specifications, introducing a new model about once a year. In 2004 they expanded into guitar amplifiers when they re-introduced the CAA OD-100, which had earlier only been available in very limited numbers. In addition to the OD-100, which still bears the Custom Audio Amplifiers brand, they now also manufacture the Badger line of amplifiers bearing the Suhr name. 2005 saw the introduction of the Silent Single Coil system, which uses a secondary coil for noise cancellation to enable guitars with single coil pickups to function without picking up noise. Later years have also seen introduction of various other electronic accessories like single-coil, humbucker and electric bass pickups, mixers, and now also effect pedals. This included a collaboration with Doug Aldrich to create high-output humbucking pickups for an aggressive rock style of playing. In addition to receiving attention for their instruments, the company has also received some attention for their usage of modern technology in the design and manufacturing process in what might be regarded as a hand-crafted niche of the guitar industry.

Current Suhr models include the Classic, T, Standard, Modern, Carve Top and Setneck Modern, they also produce a bass guitar. Suhr is well known for using only the highest quality tone woods, paint and hardware. They hand wind their own pickups. Suhr owns several Plek machines, which are computer guided machines that handle fret crowning and levelling. Many well known guitarists play Suhr guitars and amps including: Doug Aldrich, Andy Wood, Scott Henderson, Mike Landau, Pete Thorn and Guthrie Govan.

Pro Series Guitars by Suhr®

Our Pro Series guitars represent our most popular custom configurations. These
instruments feature custom appointments such as: roasted maple neck, ...


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