Tom’s first encounter with the guitar was at the age of 14 when he purchased his first guitar. His interest led him on a passionate journey toward becoming a self taught musician, luthier, and eventually, pickup maker. Tom’s success as a pickup maker stems from his incredible ear for tone.
Tom’s interest in the Filter’Tron™ pickup arose from his association with guitarist Brian Setzer, whose guitars Tom has worked on since 1993. His first close encounter with a Filter’Tron pickup was on Brian’s 1959 Gretsch 6120.
In 1998, custom pickups were needed for the newly designed Gretsch Hot Rod guitar line. Brian chose Tom’s Hot Rod pickup design in a blind test of many different pickups. Several months later, Tom became an independent consultant for the Gretsch Guitar Company. In addition to pickup and guitar design, he worked directly with many Gretsch artists to accurately translate their musical needs to the factory. Tom was also an integral part of the field Guitar Service Program.
While working with Gretsch, Tom continued to make and design guitars and his interest in guitar pickups grew. He realized that slight changes to a pickup could vastly affect the feel and tone of a guitar. This sent him on a quest to design and manufacture the ultimate guitar pickup. He became obsessed with finding the perfect tone and creating the best personality possible for each guitar he designed. Tom’s expertise and passion for guitar pickups soon earned him the trust and admiration of many leading guitar players. His dedication and ingenuity has attracted the highest caliber of players seeking to perfect their own special tone and style.