Rocketfire Guitars began as the funding agent for a poor
college student earning a degree in Electrical Engineering. Towards the
I was on a search for a set of pickups for a Strat that I was playing. I was looking for a vintage type tone and stumbled across
someone who was building SRV #1's from Fender 60's and 62 Re Issue
Stratocasters. I saw it and thought... "Hey! I think
I could do that". My first attempt sold for more than I had expected
and one after another brought
a quick sale and very good reviews to my surprise.
How did I learn what I'm doing today? I've always been an electronics junky. When I was a kid, I was a tinkerer. I broke everything I could find to figure out how it worked and usually just ended up with a pile of wires and speakers when I was done. Long story short, in High School my church's soundman happened to own a Tube Guitar and Bass Amp Shop in the Chicago area town I grew up in. I was playing bass in church one day and asked him about it. A week later I had one of the best jobs, I've ever had (to this day). I learned more than any high school student deserved to learn. My boss and friend, Henry Kern spent hours teaching me about electronics, tubes, guitars, and business. He was a walking book on Tone. He could tell in 30 seconds of an audio recording what guitar, pedal, and amp were used. As time went on, I developed an ear and taste for classic tones.
I stopped by my old boss's business shortly after starting Rocketfire Guitars and told him what I was doing. At that point I was using the RI Fender guitars as the basis for my SRV. He gave me a good challenge. He said, why not do this yourself? I said, "What?" And he said it again. I knew electronics and how to solder etc. but didn't know much about guitar work or being a luthier. So I went out, bought a set of nut files and a pack of 15 bone nuts. I went to town and destroyed most of the pack. But as time went on things got easier and easier. Today, I'm still learning a bit at a time.
Why the name Rocketfire??? Silly name but my original thought for a name involved the desire to have a vintage/retro vibe to attach to my guitars. Back in the early 60's people were pretty nuts about the space age and aircrafts etc (e.g. the Jetsons, amp names like Ampeg's Reverb-a-Rocket, Jet, etc.) So a brainstorm or two after eating too many ice cream cones and out came Rocketfire. If you don't like the name shoot me an email:) lol!
That's it. Thanks for reading!
Enjoy a quick picture of my yongest son Benett who knows a good amp when he finds one! This kid is going to have a great ear I can tell already!