STARR GUITARS SPECIALIZES IN GUITAR REPAIRS (ELECTRIC GUITARS, ACOUSTIC GUITARS & BASS GUITARS), GUITAR MAINTENANCE (SETUPS, INTONATION, RE-FRETTING), GUITAR REFINISHING AND ANTIQUING, GUITAR UPGRADES (PICKUPS, TREMOLOS AND MORE) AND BUILDING HEIRLOOM QUALITY CUSTOM GUITARS.
Kip Elder – President / Luthier
Even with my experience and reputation for expert, detailed craftsmanship, I don’t call myself a “Master Luthier” because I am constantly amazed that, no matter how much I learn, there is still so much I still have to learn!
I started tinkering with guitars many, many, many years ago when I was a mere lad. I would buy “kit” parts and assemble them, paint them in the garage and rock out.
I learned a lot and thank those guitars for their sacrifice! Things got a little more serious as a full-time musician, on the road in the bars. I basically couldn’t afford to send my guitar to the shop every time it needed a tweak, so I learned from anyone who could teach me how to keep them up and running. As time progressed, I dove more deeply and got into actual construction methods.
I had a great teacher, Chris Lukasik, who bestowed most of his secrets onto me. The biggest trick he passed on was how to finish guitars with the old-school nitrocellulose lacquers. That has become something I am very proud of and glad to show off! Unfortunately, Chris passed away in 2005 before we could get this company fully off the ground. He was meant to be a huge part of this, so we strive to make him proud everyday.
I have been a guitar repairman for many years now. The experience that I have gained has been put into the engineering and design of all Starr Guitars. I still play and have a tremendous love for performing. Luckily I can make my own guitars!
In addition to owning and operating Starr Guitars Kip Elder also handles repairs for a number of repair shops, lending his services and expertise to places such as Sam Ash Music in Orlando, Florida.
Ken Hountz – Sales and Marketing / Vice President
Ken is my right-hand man. He made it possible to take a simple idea and turn it into a real company. He has been involved with the music business for over 30 years.
Ken started in New York in the 70’s working for major record labels and spent many years knocking around in band after band. He eventually took to the financial world and became a major player in the investment community handling millions of dollars on a daily basis. He’s a guitarist at heart and has a real knack for combining business with guitars and guitar building. He also has a no-nonsense approach to getting things done! Ken still plays locally and has a real passion for guitars. He also has his own sound and lighting company.