John Suhr set out to prove that he had what it took. He took a job as a repairman at Rudy’s Music Shop, a store on 48th Street in New York that happened to be a Schecter parts dealer (back in the eighties, Shecter was a parts supplier renowned for their high-quality bodies and necks). Pretty soon, on a small workbench in the boiler room, John was assembling these parts into kit guitars to sell in the showroom. Soon, these guitars–branded with John and Rudy’s last names on the headstock–attracted quite a bit of attention. Lou Reed and Mark Knopfler both started gigging with their Pensa-Suhrs, and business was booming.
But, John Suhr grew restless and dove deep into the world of electronics. He did some mad scientist experiments on a Marshall head and talked to the owner of Custom Audio Electronics, Bob Bradshaw, about it. Bob begged him to move to California to design amps for him. There, John designed the legendary OD-100 head and the 3+ preamp, both of which were huge hits.
After wiring racks and building amps for a few years, John got the urge to build guitars again, and he signed on as a Senior Master Builder at the Fender Custom Shop. There, he built countless amps and guitars as he further honed his craft. After a few years, John decided to go his own way and start his own company so he could be responsible for each and every detail of every guitar.
Right about then, John met a CNC programmer and software rep named Steve Smith. Steve told John that if John could draw the guitars he saw in his head on a CAD machine, he could make a CNC machine build it. They forged a partnership, and together they started Suhr.
Over the course of the last twenty-plus years, Steve and John have remained committed to using modern technology to capture the mojo of old instruments and replicate it in new instruments that are easy to play. Their obsessive attention to detail and maniacal drive for excellence have led them to set industry standards for tone, playability, fit, and finish. And, they still have a DIY spirit, literally–up until 2008, John did the finish for every single Suhr himself!
Suhr makes a wide range of inspiring gear, and all of their pedals, amps, and guitars have one thing in common: they are built the right way by a small team of perfectionists who really, really care.
We invite you to browse our selection of Suhrs below and find the one that inspires you. And, Suhr is a true Custom Shop, so if you don’t see what you want, give us a call and we’ll help you spec out your dream guitar. We’re proud to showcase these incredible instruments, and we know they will inspire you to reach new heights on your fretboard journey.