History: Duesenberg Guitars

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

History: Duesenberg Guitars

Dieter Gölsdorf: 1978 to present

Gölsdorf establishes Rockinger Guitars in Hannover, Germany. Featured was the world’s first E-Guitar kit, combined with a selection of mostly self-invented replacement parts. This was a great success since almost all musicians of the 70’s era began to tinker with their instruments. Gölsdorf and his company were at the right place at the right time. That would repeat itself throughout Gölsdorf’s curriculum vitae.


The first self-locking Trem-System is invented – thanks to the help of such guitarists as Matthias Jabs of the Scorpions. The Rockinger Tru Tune Tremolo is released in Europe, shortly after, a licensed version by Kramer Guitars, known as the Edward van Halen Tremolo, is released in the US. Gölsdorf’s vast collection of old American instruments, equipped with P90 pickups allows him to precisely analyze them which ends up in Gölsdorf’s own version of the P90 in an authentic design. Since 1980, this is the world’s first P90 with standard Humbucker measurements.


Grand opening of the Rockinger USA sales company in Asbury Park, New Jersey. A boldfaced article in the Guitar Player magazine stirs up industry expert’s conversations worldwide. The Tellybrator, a tremolo for Tele-styled guitars and the Les-Trem for Les Paul’s and their likes is introduced.


For the first time, Gölsdorf re-creates a mint-green-, commonly known as an “aged” pickguard, made of celluloid material. The Black Box is invented and turns out to be very popular. A system that keeps tension on the Trem-System when strings break. The market explodes with the export of products in countries anywhere from New Zealand to South Africa where are in high demand.


A paint shop is set up and an entire line of guitar bodies and necks are produced. Rockinger now employs 16 people.


The Duesberg brand has been established and delivers futuristic designs for Heavy Metal guitarists. Gölsdorf is writing articles for major guitar magazines under the name of “Atze Rockinger”.


With a partner, Gölsdorf establishes Formentera Guitars on the balearic island of Formentera and offers, with great success, vacation courses in guitar building under the hot Mediterranean sun.


The crash! Major differences within Rockinger cause a new owner of the company, while Gölsdorf sells his shares of Formentera Guitars. Reorientation is inevitable and starts in the same year: Gölsdorf establishes a company called Göldo. Göldo is a wholesaling and production company that distributes and exports guitar parts to foreign markets, specialized shops and guitar makers.


Development of the new Duesberg Starplayer guitar in the now-known retro-style. Even without endorsement deals, German artists like Carl Carlton or the internationally acclaimed musician Keb Mo jump on the band wagon because they understand the extraordinary quality and appreciate the sheer look of the guitars.


Gölsdorf and his band Rockinger are still musically active and perform a third time on stage with B.B. King!


The DIEGO brand, known for its first-class bolt-on neck replicas, is brought to life.


Gölsdorf is writing his first book. “Angst and Panic on Formentera” describes the partly autobiographical, internal twist and collapse of Rockinger along with the funny and stressful days of Formentera Guitars.


The KLUSON brand is registered at a patent office in Europe, Gölsdorf underwriting it. New Trem-Systems and Duesenberg models are in the works.


Duesberg sales are sky-rocketing, especially to Japan. No less than 850 Starplayer TV models, most of them in mint-green color, have been shipped from Hannover to Asia after Sheena Ringo, a Japanese pop star with lots of chart hits, is seen with a mint-green Starplayer TV on stage.


After never ending stresses and pains and a new computer system: The “Göldo” catalog arrives. Sitarizer Saddles and Super Tremolas are only part of the highlights that excited the music press. “Morrison & More”, a CD made by Gölsdorf’s band “Duesenberg” is published by Panama Publications.


Duesenberg builds Ron Wood’s spectacular “Ron Wood Signature” guitar with a pearloid top. New Duesenberg users include John Platania, Robbie McIntosh, Larry Garner and Chris Spedding.


Duesenberg’s “Starplayer TV” receives the “Guitar of the Year” award in England. Billy Gibbons of ZZ-Top and Chris Whitley are new Duesenberg players. Gölsdorf writes his second book “Formentera Fever” and his daughter Jule presents, live on stage, a brand new V-Caster to German’s “TV Total” host Stefan Raab.


Under the supervision of Nathan Fawley, Duesenberg USA calls L.A. a second home. New in the program is the Duesenberg IMPERIAL, a Jazz and Rockabilly guitar, as well as the Flying-V adaption called ROCKET. New pickup frames that allow the pickups to be adjusted three dimensionally and the Tunómatic Bridge are introduced. Colin Hay (Men At Work), the Herbert Grönemeier band, Laurie Wisefield (Toto) and Alan Darby love their new Duesenbergs.


The brand new research shop in Hannover inspires Gölsdorf to a variety of new inventions: smooth operating, patented Trem-System with robust handling, a new saddle and tuning machines that are supposed to make the guitarists life easier.
Göldo Music incorporates, officers are Dieter Gölsdorf and Ingo Renner. The list of Duesberg players becomes more and more colorful: Slash, Elvis Costello, Taj Mahal and Stimulator are now among them.


It has been a very productive year for Duesenberg: New models include Double Cat 6- & 12-string, TV G8, D-Bass 4-string, Duesenberg Tremola, Cam Trem, Z-Tuner, Multibender, Little Toaster Pickup and the 70° Speed Pot. More players are added to the list: Buddy Miller, Brian Ray (Paul McCartney), Stephen Duffy (Robbie Williams Band), Davey Johnstone (Elton John Band), Mark Lizotte (DIESEL), Bob Bandiera (Bon Jovi), Mike Wanchic (John Mellencamp), Dean Parks, Jedd Hughes and many more. Contact has been established with Mike Campbell, guitarist of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. New distribution centers open in Spain and Australia.


New creations seem to flow like a river out of Duesenberg’s headquarters: D-Caster with Swell Pot, 49er Guitar, D-Bass 5-string, Wrap-Around Bridges, Patent-Nut, Bigsby Stop…
Duesenberg announces the Mike Campbell Signature guitar. It’s a spectacularly finished Starplayer TV. Many other guitarists wanted to experience the Duesenberg sound as well: Peter Strout (Sheryl Crow), Joe Walsh (The Eagles), Keith Urban, Chris Rodriguez, Hugh Harris (The Kooks), Tom Bukovac, Andy Powell (Wishbone Ash), Paul Carrack (Mike And The Mechanics), Eddie Vedder & Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), Yogi (The Wallflowers), Clem Clempson (Colosseum), Kenny Loggins, Bela B and many more.
New distributorships open in Italy and Switzerland to handle the local demand of Duesenberg goods.


Gölsdorf, now living in Madrid, Spain, sees no need to stop his innovative process. Gölsdorf, together with Lap- and Pedalsteel-Player Martin Huch develop the Pomona 6, featuring a Multibender and glide capo as well as the Senior Pickup, which offers three sounds and a P90-Dogear-Cap. The Doozy One is Duesenberg´s first tube amp which comes in an attractive Retro-Design. Duesenberg now offers Stomp Boxes that are praised by the industry’s press. A new brand, Roger, is established, through which new versions of various bolt-on models are distributed.
Duesenberg guitars are now spotted with those players: Joe Walsh (playing his Starplayer TV with the Eagles in Germany), Bob Dylan, Barry Fratelli (The Fratellis), James Hetfield (Metallica), Richie Sambora & Hugh “Huey” McDonald (Bon Jovi), Eric Bazilian (The Hooters), Steve Hill, Chris Cornell, Vince Gill, Toby Keith…


It’s another year Duesenberg introduces new guitars: The ’52 Senior (Billy F. Gibbons is especially fond if it). The line of products is enriched with the release of the Fullerton Series, featuring double-cutaway designs of the C.C. and Starplayer TV. The Vibromaster Trem-System is released as well as the Roger Saturn, a unique guitar with an eye-catching body, surrounded by a chrome-plated steel tube. The Plek machine has been purchased at the beginning of the year, a computerized system that guarantees perfect frets and intonation with the saddle. New players include Curt Smith (Tears For Fears) and Peter Fox.
Kluson’s website (www.kluson.de) now features select hardware parts as well as tuning machines and pickups.


New guitars are needed: The Mando Guitar (Eric Brazillian of The Hooters can’t get enough of it), the D6 Baritone, the incredible Dragster (one pickup but three sounds), the Starplayer III (a re-issue of the original Duesenberg model) and the 440 (a large Thinline Archtop) broaden the Duesenberg catalog. Gölsdorf invents the CTT-Trem in Madrid, with which entire chords can be tremoloed, harmonically-correct! In the meantime, Hannover introduces the Doozy Two, a 100 watts head with accompanying speaker. And last but not least: Duesenberg introduces the Jackpot, a molded guitar jack that lets the cable find the jack with ease.


Gölsdorf introduces the Rezobro at the Winter-NAMM- Show in Anaheim, CA. An E-Resonator guitar that is, thanks to a newly patented concept, absolutely suitable for the stage.
New pickups are introduced: The Alnico Blades both as Singlecoil and Humbucker with extraordinary open sound characteristics, the D-Tron Humbucker, reminiscent of shimmering trebles of a Gretsch as well as the G-90, a treble-loving Singlecoil in Humbucker format. Duesenberg’s line of Stomp Boxes is enhanced by three more models. All this and more is reason for Duesenberg to move into a new facility in Hannover, Germany, more than twice the size of the old building.

Duesenberg ®™ is a registered trademark of Dieter Gölsdorf in Germany and in the USA.

Source: Duesenberg.de

Posted by: mgz