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Spector Guitars was founded in Brooklyn, New York in 1976 by Stuart Spector and Alan Charney, both of whom were members of the Brooklyn Woodworkers Co-op that shared space in an old factory building. It was there that Stuart learned machine woodworking from Billy Thomas, a friend and founder of the co-op. Business started in 1976 with sales to Gracin Music on 48th St in NYC. Both G-1 electric guitars and SB-1 basses, designed by Stuart, were in the original product line.

Among the other members of the co-op was Ned Steinberger, who had recently completed training in furniture design at Cooper Hewitt museum. He became interested in the work Spector was doing and offered to design a bass. Ned had learned that “form follows function,” and used that philosophy in designing the NS bass guitar, with an elegant, ergonomically-curved design and the neck-thru body construction that Spector was already utilizing. The first NS-1 bass was built in March, 1977, and was later followed by the two-pickup model, the NS-2, in 1979.

By 1977, Spector had expanded to renting an entire floor just below the co-op, with the first full-time employee being Vinny Fodera, who eventually went on to start his own highly-esteemed line of Fodera basses. Fodera would be one of many legendary luthiers that came out of that Brooklyn era of instruments. The first venture into mass production techniques was fostered by a contract to supply replacement guitar necks for sale by the DiMarzio Company, best known today for their world-class pickups. This led to the development of equipment to sand the finished shape of the neck and advances in mounting frets.

Involvement in OEM operations were curtailed in late 1982 in order to concentrate on Spector bass production. In addition to Spector’s increasing public awareness through the broader worldwide dealer network, the brand struck pop-culture gold in 1983, when a white Spector NS-2 bass was sold to Sting, at the start of The Police’s Synchronicity tour. At the peak of their popularity, The Police and Sting introduced the brand to a mainstream audience as that white NS-2 was played, photographed and filmed for the rest of the worldwide tour. Years later, that bass was donated to the museum of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio where it has been on display. At one point, it was displayed as one of four instruments in the Welcome Center, and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with one of Leo Fender’s earliest guitars.

The Spector Musical Instruments is headquartered on Long Island, NY, with USA basses still coming out of the same Woodstock, NY woodshop that Stuart moved into decades ago. Today, the design, craftsmanship and history of Spector Basses have made them one of the top choices of the world’s top bassists.


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