Stringed Instrument Technologies is a specialty company aimed at bringing our high level of expertise and knowledge in the building and manufacturing of stringed musical instruments to those who can use it best.

Our primary focus is directed at the production manufacturing of guitars (acoustic or electric), basses, banjos, and mandolins. All of our services are offered exclusively by us. No other company offers the personalized attention of experienced engineers to you to help with your specific needs. Our specialties include manufacturing engineering, quality control inspection, quality control engineering, production trouble shooting of all types, instrument design and Asian market analysis.

Company Biography

Stringed Instrument Technologies consists of a core team of highly skilled experts, each with over twenty five years of job experience in the musical instrument industry, and their related fields. The achievements of individual members of this team can be seen in the important achievements of some of the major musical instrument brands of the past thirty years. In addition to this core team, Stringed Instrument Technologies (S.I. Tech) has assembled a network of experts world-wide, ready to help when requested with their individual areas of specialization. These experts bring to you knowledge ranging from Specialty Wood Brokers with seemingly endless connections for beautiful wood, Master pearl inlay designers and artists, instrument electronics engineers, a master mandolin maker and a variety of Chinese market experts. These people and more are prepared to assist you with your individual needs and projects to insure success.

S.I. Tech Staff Biography

Nick Sugimoto

Nick has been working in the stringed instrument industry for almost thirty years. In 1976 after graduating from the university, he went to the United States for one year and studied guitar repair from Kunio Sugai, owner of Performance Guitar Co., and also at Hoshino USA (Ibanez Guitars). After this, he came back to Japan and joined Fujigen Inc. He worked for Fujigen from 1978 until 2002. During this time he worked in R&D, custom guitar building and engineering. He has been the main force at Fujigen in the creation and engineering of all Fujigen's design and manufacturing for twenty years. His designs and abilities have been indispensable to customers like FENDER , IBANEZ, EPIPHONE, YAMAHA, GRECO, ROLAND, FERNANDES, CASIO, TOBIAS, and many other OEM customers and of course Fujigen's own brands Heartfield and FgN. He worked at the Fender Custom Shop in 1990 to jointly design the Heartfield line of instruments, a joint venture with Fender Musical Instruments and Fujigen Inc. In his years at Fujigen he has written up more than 1,500 engineering spec. sheets, blue print packages and engineering packages for manufacturing of new models. You can see a lot of his ideas in the catalogs of the brands listed above.

Nick has worked for three different Custom Shops during his years in the music industry. First he worked for the "GRECO Order Made section" for two years. Second, he established the "Fender Japan Order Made section" where he made or produced more than 500 guitars. Third he established the "Fujigen Custom Shop". He was the General Director of Fujigens Custom Shop for the last five years of his work there. During his years of R&D and custom building he has had the opportunity to consult with or build for many leading artists including Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Geoge Benson, Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Steve Miller, Bob Weir, Sting, Paul Gilbert, Paul Stanley, Joe Pass, Billy Sheehan, Allan Holdsworth, Phil Collen, Jaco Pastorius, Jimmy Page, ZZTop, Victor Bailey, Adrian Belew, Yngwie J, Malmsteen, Air Supply, Kenny Loggins, Allman Brothers, Stanley Jordan and many others.

Scott Zimmerman

Scott has been working in the stringed instrument industry for thirty years. He studied acoustic instrument construction and repair formally for three years at McCabes Guitar Shop in California. During this time he learned the craft of acoustic stringed instrument restoration and repair. From the beginning he repaired Martin guitars, and Gibson banjos and mandolins belonging to very critical owners.

He began working at CBS Fender Musical Instruments in 1977. During this time he worked for three years in the woodshop leading a team building the top of the line necks in Fenders catalog. Following that, in 1980 he was promoted to the job of Senior Master Builder in Research and Development. Scott was the sole Master builder at the Fender factory at this time. His job was to make all engineering samples and production samples of guitars, basses and components for the factory and to make countless custom guitars for the leading artists in the world playing Fender instruments. Producing prototype samples often required consulting with the production engineers to work out details of mass producing new ideas from Scott's handmade samples. Throughout this time he continued to repair acoustic instruments in his own shop and he began building his own instruments.

Leaving Fender in late 1984 Scott then worked as a Factory Supervisor for the Jackson Charvel factory where his job was to solve numerous production problems causing quality and production flow situations. He also set up the Charvel quality control system and did factory warrantee repairs. He came to Japan in 1986 to set up production of the Charvel Brand and oversee the three factories that made the instruments.

In 1990 He began working for the Fujigen factory in Japan where he again worked in Engineering and Development. He custom made instruments in development and artist guitars for many leading brands including Fender, Ibanez, Casio, Epiphone and Yamaha. In 1994 He began working as a Quality Control Engineer and Inspector at Fujigen.

During his years of engineering and custom building he has had the opportunity to consult with or build for many leading artists including members of the bands Queen, The Cars, Bad Company, The Blues Brothers, Jerry Donahue, Will Ray, Kurt Cobain, Kiss, Bryan Adams, Jake E. Lee, Vivian Campbell, Ratt and many others. He has built custom instruments for a number of leading Japanese bands as well including the Superstar group Princess Princess, Mad Capsule Market, Tokyo Yankees, Grand Slam, and Marchosias Vamp among many others.

One of Scott's guitars has been placed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, one of the six left handed Fender Mustang guitars he custom built for Rock legend Kurt Cobain.

Scott continues to keep active in the acoustic music business. He is a recognized authority on the five string banjo and has his own column in the respected BANJO NEWSLETTER . He builds professional instruments with the brand name DESERT ROSE and builds custom prototype acoustic instruments for leading instrument manufacturers world wide, in addition to his consulting work at instrument factories through out the world.

Asia Network

Our base of operations is Japan. This puts us in a location to be especially helpful to the dynamic Asian musical instrument industry. Whether you are a Japanese or Korean or Western company with production in China, or a Chinese factory looking for independent Western help from qualified experts to assist you in any way, we have the knowledge and ability to do the job for you. Our design abilities, with decades of success with the major brands is a valuable resource to many Asian manufacturers. For American companies, our experience in factory supervision, quality control and engineering can make your life much easier if you have manufacturing in Asia. We can be in most Asian locations within a few hours. Korea is one and a half hours away and Beijing is a mere three hours traveling from us. Our experienced staff of American, Japanese and Chinese specialists, together with our Asian location make our services invaluable to both Asian and American businesses. With China a new member of the WTO, the music industry has entered a new phase. There will be opportunities available that people only dreamed about a decade ago. Many Korean factories are already producing instruments in China and reaping the benefits. The WTO agreement has smoothed out many difficulties for companies interested in pursuing the possibilities that present themselves. These include the new manufacturing facilities that will be opening up as well as the millions of new customers accessible to the world. For the stringed musical instrument industry, the new dynamic center of the world is again Asia. Our assistance and input can make your life easier and more profitable.

Services Available

The following information will provide details of Stringed Instrument Technologies exclusive services.

With each of our experts having over twenty five years of highly successful experience in all aspects of the industry, our detailed consultation and hands on services are our hallmark and exclusive specialty. Our experts have held important positions at factories in America and Asia. Our focus is to use our knowledge to bridge the distance between these two important centers of the instrument industry. There is NO other person or group that has the well rounded and vast level of experience that our combined team brings to you.

Quality Control Inspection

For the company that has production facilities at extreme distances from your base of operations such as Japan, China, Korea or Taiwan, we will, after consulting with you fully, travel to the place of manufacture to do on site quality control inspection of your instruments to your specifications. This is a service that is proven to save you money. You will experience the immediate effect of having a dramatic reduction in problems and rejects upon receipt of shipments. You have far less need of in house repair, and returned goods due to failed inspections should all but disappear. Not only do your profits increase but your customers and distributors are much happier with improved product and more timely filling of orders. The real key to this is, that this can be achieved with the minimum inconvenience on your part because we will travel to the factory, we will inspect the instruments to your standards while still at the manufacturing facility, and we will do the counseling, then report to you. We often turn these projects into hands on learning sessions for the factory in order to limit the repetition of this kind of work. We teach the factory where the problems are and instruct them on the most cost effective way to achieve their customers (YOU) level of quality. This makes it a win, win situation for all concerned.

Quality Control Engineering

Quality Control Engineering often goes hand in hand with inspection, but it is much more detailed and critical than the basic inspection of instruments. Engineering involves the analysis of problems and the pin pointing of the location in the process where the problem is occurring. Then the decision of where and how the problem will be solved must be made. Engineering problems out of a manufacturing system must be done quickly and carefully. You must fix the problem with the least impact on production in process and limit the negative impact of the factory in general. But you must fully understand that delays in solving the problem are costing money and likely damaging your image. As our customer, we will always keep your interests and priorities foremost through the whole process, while reaching the goals we set out to accomplish. We are very prepared to assist the Asian factory to establish a level of quality control standards to meet the world expectations of your instrument production. Our quality control engineering consultation is of great value to the Asian factory that is aware of the market trends that are demanding higher quality levels at continued Asian pricing ranges. The Asian factories that survive and prosper will be those that understand that high quality and traditional Asian pricing are very easy goals to achieve. Twenty years ago the Japanese factories made a strong impact on the western market when they learned that the market wanted high quality and low price. They delivered and became a force to deal with. The market is now ready for the next generation of Asian factories. These will be led by China and to a smaller extent other Asian centers. It does not cost any more to make a good guitar, built correctly with a marketable design. LET US SHOW YOU HOW EASY IT CAN BE.

Manufacturing Engineering

Our manufacturing engineering services have proven to be of help to the western based company sourcing instruments from Asia as well as the Asian factory building OEM instruments or their own line of products. Asian factories looking to improve their manufacturing abilities with fresh outside input will find we offer a wealth of knowledge from qualified engineers. For the western based company, we can work with you and your Asian OEM factory to see that the factory is producing your instruments using the best balance of technology and cost effectiveness to bring your instruments to you built accurately, on time and within a budget that everybody can live with. It is not uncommon for us to be able to pin point simple changes in jigs or processes that can not only increase the accuracy of a given operation, but save money at the same time. For the Asian factory, our in depth knowledge of manufacturing methods from America and Asia ranging from hand made through to the extreme examples of mass production including CNC technology if needed, mean that we can help pin point places in your production lines where alterations can mean increased accuracy, higher production quantities, and cost savings. We are prepared to assist in the design and planning of complete production facilities including processes, machines, cost analysis, and instrument design. We pride ourselves on being able to work with you as a member of your team to reach the goals you find Important. This includes offering input to those factories wanting to expand their business into areas of building new to you. Such as the acoustic guitar factory that wants to enter the bigger electric guitar market. Or the factory that wants to take on the jobs done by subcontractors and need specialized input to work these operations into your production. Whatever your specialized engineering needs are, we have a wealth of knowledge available nowhere else, and available to you wherever you are.

Instrument Design

S.I. Tech is home to one of the most prolific and successful guitar design engineers in the business. Nick Sugimoto without question has more successful designs in the market place than anyone else. Major brands, from Ibanez, Yamaha, Fender USA and Japan, Epiphone, Fernandes, and more have marketed his efforts successfully for over two decades.

Our design team is led by Nick and can develop exclusive new instrument designs for you, from simple concept sketches to full blueprinted packages. We can conceive completely new ideas or work within your desires and needs as required by your personal situation. We fully understand that the first step in marketing a successful instrument is having a design that attracts the customer and inspires him or her to actually purchase the piece.

Our custom shop can build one off samples of any design and present you with a package that consists of detailed blueprints, parts list and a working sample of the instrument if needed, ready for your engineers to put into production with a working instrument as reference for them as well as your marketing team.

Company Policy

Stringed Instrument Technologies Ltd. understands the sensitive nature of our work with you. We practice a policy of complete confidentiality. Our relationship with you is personal and private and no information of our business will ever be shared with anyone before or after our work with you. We normally advise a potential customer to submit a NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT to us for our signature before any discussions take place.

Blue Sugi/ Route 66 Guitar Shop

Blue Sugi is a company formed in 2003 between the largest music store chain in Shanghai, Blue Hand Music and Stringed Instrument Technologies The main focus of Blue Sugi is the establishment of the Route 66 Music Store on Shanghai's famous Jing Ling Dong Lu. This street is as famous in Asia as 48th Street in New York for its vast variety of music stores, close to thirty at last count.

Route 66 Guitars is the largest store on the street and is reshaping the music industry in this influential area of China. With two floors of space, the store has designated areas dedicated to a variety of electric guitar brands, drums, rock and roll clothing, an environmentally controlled glass enclosed room for acoustic instruments and the FIRST ever stringed instrument repair and custom shop in China! New additions to Route 66 include opening a music school to instruct and teach various styles of playing, and importing foreign music related magazines to allow the Chinese musician improved exposure to the world scene.

Our experience in the music industry for over three decades, combined with the well established Blue Hand network and power, have produced the most dynamic outlet for the musician in this most dynamic of China's cities. Major brands are continually being added to the list of instruments being represented in our store, and through us, by the Blue Hand Chain of music stores. More and more Internationally recognized brands are finding Route 66 the perfect way to enter the very complex Chinese market AND use our skills to evaluate this, the worlds newest and biggest marketplace. Route 66/ Blue Sugi is providing these brands with the ability to expand into what has traditionally been a closed market, tempting but seeded with pitfalls for anyone attempting to enter without someone to blindly follow. We can offer INSTANT access to the grass roots customer, allotting you an exclusive amount of floor space in a fresh new store, with great customer appeal. We follow with detailed consulting on how best to proceed further into the market allowing you an "eyes wide open" path into the future.

Our senior executive of Blue Sugi, Tony Ito, a Shanghai native with Japanese citizenship, has extensive credentials in corporate development and market research in China. Tony is available to assist members of the worlds music industry navigate the route necessary to help you get a firm foothold in this most important part of the world ,and in the process remove the smoke and mirrors most distributors foster to their advantage to make you dependent on their whims.

For anyone visiting Shanghai, or if you have any music industry related questions regarding your particular situation and dreams of doing business in China, please e-mail me at


Stringed Instrument Technologies is an Authorized Worldwide Distributor for Gotoh-Gut tuning machines, bridges and all their fine products.

For large manufacturers to small builders, we would like the opportunity to a price on your needs. Custom options such as your personalized logo are available.

Scott Zimmerman - 6-12-04

Copyright (c) 2002-04 Desert Rose - All rights reserved.
Revised 6-12-04