Dunlop Manufacturing

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Dunlop Manufacturing, Inc
Type Private
Industry Consumer electronics
Founded 1965
Headquarters Benicia, California
Products Picks, Strings, Straps, Capos, Slides, Electronic Pedals, Maintenance and Accessory products for musical instruments.
Subsidiaries MXR
Website http://www.jimdunlop.com

Dunlop Manufacturing, Inc., known colloquially as Jim Dunlop, is a manufacturer of musical accessories, especially effects units, based in Benicia, California. Originally founded in 1965 by Jim Dunlop, Sr., the company has grown from a small home operation to being a large manufacturer of music gear for over 40 years. Dunlop has acquired several well-known brands of effects pedal, including Cry Baby, MXR and Way Huge.

Background and early history[edit]

Scottish immigrant Jim Dunlop founded the Jim Dunlop Company in 1965 as a part-time business while working as a processing and chemical engineer, first creating the Vibra-Tuner, a small device that attached to a guitar with a suction cup and would display whether the guitar was in tune with the vibration of a small reed in the tuner. While going from music store to music store trying to sell his new product, he was told by someone that what musicians needed was a good capo, pointing out that if anyone ever made a good capo that would securely clamp on a 12-string guitar, that person could make a lot of money.

Using his engineering background, Dunlop created the toggle capo, and then worked with a local machine shop to build his first capo dies, eventually manufacturing what is now called the 1100 series capo. Starting from his living room, Dunlop later moved construction to his garage, and then to a location outside of the house.

On March 19, 1972, he moved into the pick market, reading every issue of Guitar Player magazine and noting musicians’ comments concerning what they liked and didn't like about picks. His first picks were made from nylon, which continue to be produced to this day. That same year, Dunlop left Dymo Industries to focus on his new company full-time, moving his family to Benicia, California and setting up shop in at Benicia Industrial Park. A few years later, they had outgrown that building and moved onto Industrial Way.

Dunlop products now range from the capos and picks to slides, fret wire, strap retainers, and a variety of electronic effects, including the original Crybaby wah-wah pedal, the Univibe, Heil Talkbox, and the MXR and Way Huge lines of stompboxes.

Way Huge Electronics[edit]

Way Huge was launched in 1992 by Jeorge Tripps.[1] In late 1999 the company closed its doors when Tripps went to work for Line 6. In 2008, Tripps and the company moved to Dunlop Manufacturing where the Way Huge line was resurrected, including the Swollen Pickle (a fuzz), Pork Loin (an overdrive), Fat Sandwich (a distortion),[1] and Green Rhino (another overdrive). They have also recently reissued the much sought after and often cloned Red Llama overdrive, notable for its massive volume boost and copious amounts of gain past 2 o'clock and at full gain, a fuzz like texture.[2]

Tortex[edit]

Dunlop offers a Tortex line of guitar picks made from DuPont Delrin, as well as a Delrex series, featuring a different surface coating. Tortex has been influential in replacing tortoiseshell since an international ban was placed on the use of tortoise shells in 1973. While many celluloid picks seek to replicate the look of tortoiseshell, Tortex recreates the texture and sound quality. Tortex picks come in a variety of colors based on thickness, from 0.50 mm to 2.00 mm.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Childs, Zac (May 2009). "Stompbox Flashback: MXR '76 Dyna Comp, Three by Way Huge". Vintage Guitar. pp. 143–44. 
  2. ^ Riario, Paul (27 December 2011). "Guitar World Staff Picks: Paul Riario’s Top 10 Effect Pedals of 2011". Guitar Player. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 

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