Gear Pioneers

Explore the world of the innovators and craftspeople who help shape the music instruments and equipment on which we all depend. Our Gear Pioneer interviews get up close and personal with some of the most important music industry figures. Learn about what makes them tick and how they arrived at the innovations that have helped transform the way we perform and record music. The Makers interviews are in-depth profiles of the artisans from whose hands and minds come the instruments that define their categories. From master luthiers to brilliant technicians, we ask the questions that bring to life their quest to help musicians make better music.

Jamie Stillman of Earthquaker Devices on-stage with Relaxer (Photo: Nick Garcia)

Fuzz Pedal Design with Jamie Stillman of EarthQuaker Devices

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This restless innovator and his crew of obsessives hand-build astounding guitar effects pedals out of their headquarters in Akron, Ohio.

Fender pickup designer Tim Shaw

Tim Shaw of Fender talks American Professional Pickup Design

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Legendary Fender pickup engineer Tim Shaw goes in-depth on the American Professional series

A Conversation with Bob Heil

A Conversation with Bob Heil—the Master of Game-Changing Microphone Technology

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By Marty Paule

Highly opinionated and fiercely independent in his views about pro sound, Bob Heil builds mics and possesses a professional resume to back up his often out-of-the-box attitude. And speaking of boxes, it was Bob who invented one of the most memorable guitar effects of all time: the Heil Talk Box that made Peter Frampton a fixture on ‘70s album charts.

Master of Pickups: A Conversation with Seymour Duncan

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Seymour Duncan, the innovator behind the aftermarket electric guitar pickup talks about the players, the materials, and the obsession that led him to electromagnetic magnificence.

Dave Clarke of VOX R&D

Dave Clarke of VOX R&D Talks Handwired Guitar Amps

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The British amp builder revisits a legacy that includes far more than just amp building while also returning to UK production.

The Wood Whisperer of DW Drums

The “Wood Whisperer” of DW Drums: John Good

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A Conversation with John Good of DW Drums.

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