Desert Rose Musical Instruments began in 1998 in my home workshop, building bluegrass banjos, acoustic guitars and doing vintage restoration work. The roots of Desert Rose go back thirty years to my first exposure to bluegrass music and my chance discovery of my life's passion and craft, luthiery.
I began repairing and building acoustic instruments in 1974. My first instruments were five string banjos, and from the beginning my repair work focused on the instruments of Gibson and Martin. For the training and chance to develop my skill I will forever be grateful to the great people at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, California.
This passion for acoustic stringed instruments has continued and has survived over a quarter century of work in the industry mass producing electric guitars. I began working full time in the production of electric guitars in 1977. My carrier began in the woodshop of CBS Fender making guitar necks. What has followed has been a wild ride. After three years in the woodshop I rose to the position of Senior Master Builder of the Fender company working in Research and Development. I built prototypes for factory production as well as all the guitars for the super stars of the music industry. Following this I was a Factory Supervisor for the famous Charvel/Jackson company and relocated to Japan to act as project engineer and supervisor of Charvel production. Following this was eleven years at the well known Fujigen factory where I again did engineering work and custom guitar building for Fender, Ibanez, Epiphone and numerous other brands and their artists. During this time I also spent four years as a Quality Control Engineer for the company.
During all these years, I continued to repair and build acoustic instruments in my home shop "after" work. I have spent my life, five, six and sometimes seven days a week and eight, ten, twelve hours a day or more totally occupied with this passion.
In 2002 I left the corporate world of stringed instrument making, joining with my long time colleague Nick Sugimoto. We formed Stringed Instrument Technologies Ltd. Our company focuses our unique specialties into one dynamic company.
We do extensive consulting work with American and Asian factories. At the same time we now have our own factory and build electric guitars under the SUGI brand name under the leadership of Nick Sugimoto, and banjos and other acoustic instruments under the Desert Rose brand name under my direction. I work with Nick to assist the Sugi brand and Nick works to help me with Desert Rose instruments. In addition we have a small staff of highly skilled builders.
As director of Desert Rose I have numerous research projects that I am involved in both within our company and in combination with others all over the world.
Two projects that have borne fruit for the banjo community are the famous Tony Pass Lost Timber. banjo rims made from submerged old growth timber, and my own Desert Rose Z bridge. The Elite series of Z bridge uses a proprietary aerospace technology and is proving to have a real place in the professional banjo arsenal of parts.
Desert Rose banjos are now being made in two standard models as well as custom shop one of a kind banjos. I will continue to allow these instruments to evolve as new projects provide advances in performance of value to the musician.
Scott Zimmerman

   © 2002-2004 by Scott Zimmerman
   Revised 1-22-04