The Story so Far…

Authentic Vintage Tone Hand Built in the USA

Curtis has been tinkering with pickups and restoring vintage guitars since 1983. His life-long pursuit and pleasure is to help you find that elusive tone you are searching for, rather than selling off-the-shelf pickups that everyone plays.

Working directly with musicians, hearing your frustrations, desires and needs has helped invent new designs, reimagine vintage gems and has evolved the way he thinks about tone.

Constantly the explorer, Curtis continues to experiment with new ways to give you the perfect tone. Keep up to date with his latest creations on Instagram at @curtis_novak_pickups 

About Our Process

New Designs…

When making pickups, we feel it is very important to first truly understand why a certain pickup has stood the test of time: why it works, and of course why something does not work. Once we fully understand the original pickup and how it was made, we faithfully recreate the pickup and begin to modify the design. This allows us to preserve the great qualities of a pickup and change the parts that might need to be improved upon.

Winding Process…

With the wealth of information collected over the years researching pickups, and help from his mentor; Curtis built his first winder modeled after Leo Fender’s original design. We hand wind every pickup, just like the old days, to reproduce that magic vintage tone. Hand winding gives a warmer, more consistent tone than auto winding. We think it’s the reason our pickups have that special something that has thrilled musicians around the world.

Meet Our Team

Curtis Novak

Curtis Novak

Chief Mad Scientist

Originally hails from New Mexico, Land of Enchantment. Since escaping government employment Curt has spent his days deconstructing and restoring electric guitars in order to unravel the mystery of great tone. Now residing in the Mojave desert of Southern California he continues to spend countless hours experimenting in order to develop new sonic palettes for players around the world. Along the way he has demonstrated strong abilities in hot-tubbing and makes a killer 505 chile sauce.

Sheri Novak

Sheri Novak

CFO and Bisonic Wizard

Wife, partner and Boss-of-It-All, Sheri runs the ship round here. Beyond crafting the crowd favorite Bisonics and keeping daily business running smooth, this North Carolinian loves to hike, explore the West Coast and Southwest, and catch live music.

Brian McKinney

Brian McKinney

Resident Aphishcianado

Brian runs our satellite workshop nestled in the Appalachian mountains. Aside from an epic fashion sense he's also truly the Master of Humbuckers.

Dana Longuevan

Dana Longuevan

Chief Winder

In 2016 this wanderlust Utah-native found her way to the desert and into the inner workings of the guitar. When she’s not building your pickups you can find her in her art studio head banging to The Stooges.

Jonathan Hischke

Jonathan Hischke

Executive of Power Tools

Besides being the baddest cat on bass performing with the likes of The Shins, Dothacker, Hella and EV Kain; Jonathan is also the master of the bobbin. Custom cover? He’s got you covered. When he’s not rocking on stage or buffing your bisonic you can find Jonathan tending to his amazing cactus garden.

Charlotte & Rico

Charlotte & Rico

Productivity Team Leaders

These two are the real shop bosses around here. Continually checking to make sure everyone is on task, Charlotte keeps us on our toes. Rico, on the other hand, much prefers lunch time and frisbee breaks.

Hi Curtis, they sound fantastic mate! I played the Tele through a Fender Princeton Blackface and it rocks!! – Fred Fairbrass

Right Said Fred

Using this pickup in my Fender it feels like every element of the tone is simply there — clear, well-defined low end, robust mids and highs that have a wonderfully smooth presence — all unhindered, immediate and full. Thanks Curtis for building my dream Precision pickup!” – Byron

Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Robert Plant

Get in Touch

Have a question about windings, covers or just want to shoot the breeze? Pick up the phone and call 760.820.4434 or just hit us up here!

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© 2018 Curtis Novak Custom Pickups. All rights reserved.

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