This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (March 2019)
|Products||Bass guitars, guitars|
The company was started in Brooklyn in 1976 as Spector Guitars, Inc. by Stuart Spector and Alan Charney. Originally both were members of the Brooklyn Woodworkers Coop that shared a shop in an old factory building at 444 12th Street in the Park Slope area. Stuart was originally taught machine woodworking by Billy Thomas a friend and founder of the co-op. The first guitar was made totally by hand in Stuart’s apartment in 1974. Business started in 1976 with sales to Gracin Music on 48th St in Manhattan. Both G-1 electric guitars and SB-1 basses designed by Stuart were in the original product line.
Among the other members of the coop was Ned Steinberger, who had recently competed training in furniture design at Cooper Hewitt museum. He became interested in the work Spector was doing and offered to design an instrument. The result was the NS bass guitar with an elegant ergonomically curved design and the neck thru body construction that Spector was already utilizing. The first NS-1 bass was handcrafted in March 1977. The two pickup model, NS-2, debuted in 1979.
By 1977 Spector had expanded to renting an entire floor just below the coop encompassing 4000 square feet. The cost of the space including rent, heat and electricity was $450 per month. The first full-time employee was Vinny Fodera who eventually went on to start his own highly esteemed line of Fodera basses. Among the resources available in the area were hardwood importers nearby on the docks of the Brooklyn waterfront as well as metal wholesalers.
The first venture into mass production techniques was fostered by a contract to supply replacement guitar necks for sale by the DiMarzio Company on Staten Island. This led to the development of equipment to sand the finished shape of the neck and advances in mounting frets. Involvement in OEM operations were curtailed in late 1982 in order to concentrate on Spector bass production. 1982 also saw the addition of Harold "Hap" Kuffner as the domestic and international sales manager for Spector. This resulted in a significant increase in the number of both domestic and foreign dealers and distributors.
In 1983 a white Spector NS-2 bass was sold to Sting by Dan Martin (owner of the St. Charles Guitar Exchange) at the start of the Synchronicity tour and was played and filmed for the rest of the worldwide tour. Years later that bass was donated to the museum of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio where it has been on display.
In late 1985 the Spector brand was sold to Kramer Guitars of Neptune New Jersey and all equipment and production were moved to the new Kramer facility. Stuart and Alan remained on as supervisors and consultants and production was greatly expanded reaching a maximum of 100 pcs per month. During this period, production was started in Korea of the NS-2A model, enabling sales of the instruments to enter the mass market. By 1990 Kramer was forced into bankruptcy and all Spector production ceased.
After a two-year hiatus Stuart started a new company as Stuart Spector Designs Ltd near Woodstock, New York and introduced the SD bass which debuted at a NAMM Show in Atlantic City, New Jersey. A work space was rented just outside of Woodstock which is still in use today. With the addition of business partner PJ Rubal, Stuart and PJ continued to grow the company’s instrument model offerings, sales, and artist roster.
A consulting visit to Czechoslovakia in 1987 led eventually to a long term relationship with a factory there that is now known as NBE Corp and produces the Euro line of Spector basses which are sold worldwide.
By 1998 Stuart was finally able to purchase back the rights to the Spector trademark and resume producing basses in their complete original format.
Production of the USA basses and guitars continues near Woodstock, New York. 2006 saw the introduction of CNC machining technology and a subsequent expansion of models and features. Among the new items were the ARC6 and Kenmare electric guitars and the CTB carved top bass.
- "History". Spector. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
- Jim Roberts (May 2003). American Basses (First ed.). Backbeat Books. ISBN 0-87930-721-8.
- Tony Bacon, Barry Moorhouse (June 1995). The Bass Book. Backbeat Books. ISBN 0-87930-368-9.