Scottish immigrant Jim Dunlop founded the Jim Dunlop Company in 1965 as a part-time business while working as a processing and chemical engineer at Barr and Stroud in Glasgow. He was an apprentice of creator of the first hip replacement, William "Bill" Wallace. His first product was the Vibra-Tuner, a small device that attached to a guitar with a suction cup and displayed whether the guitar was in tune with the vibration of a small reed.
While visiting music stores to sell his new product, someone told him that musicians needed a good capo, remarking that anyone who made a good capo that could handle a 12-string guitar would make a lot of money. Using his engineering background, Dunlop created the toggle capo, and then worked with a local machine shop to build the first capo dies, manufacturing what eventually became the long running "1100 series" capo.
Starting from his living room, Dunlop later moved construction to his garage, and then to a location outside the house. On March 19, 1972, he moved into the pick market, after reading every issue of Guitar Player magazine and noting musicians’ comments concerning what they liked and didn't like about picks. He made his first picks from nylon, and continues to produce these.
Dunlop products now range from capos and picks to slides, strings, fret wire, strap retainers, and a variety of electronic effects, including the original Cry Baby wah-wah pedal, the DVP3X Volume (X), Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face, and the MXR and Way Huge lines of stompboxes. Dunlop Manufacturing founder Jim Dunlop Sr died on February 6, 2019, at the age of 82.
From picks to pedals and every accessory in between, Dunlop Manufacturing has been creating world-class gear for musicians for over 40 years. Dunlop has a long list of legendary and current day superstars who all share a passion for Dunlop gear. Whether it’s pushing new innovations with our string line, or tweaking classic sounds with vintage pedals, Dunlop believes performance is everything.
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