The Die is Cast
Since his childhood, Tim’s first love has always been music. From the age of 6 years old, he recalls hearing music and endless guitar riffs in his head. It was also at this age that he became fascinated by the technology used to make and listen to music. He recalls digging out his mother's reel-to-reel tape deck and microphones every chance he got. At the age of 10 he took up the violin and started to play in the school band. Playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with the other kids didn’t turn him on, but the sound of the bow dragging across the strings, the plucked pings, the horrible scraping sounds, locked him into a life long endeavor; to make unorthodox music, push boundaries and to make it sound GOOD!
On into the teen years, music became an obsession. "Hundreds of hours were now spent playing, listening to, recording onto 4 track tape machines, analyzing gear and wires and different pressings of the same albums. It's all I ever wanted to do! It's still all I ever want to do 20 plus years later!" After a couple of years in college studying Audio Engineering, Tim focused on his main interest, building instruments and equipment. Tim’s quest for knowledge took him to The Apprentice Shop (a Gibson factory warrantee facility) in Spring Hill, Tennessee where he took intensive training courses in everything pertaining to building and maintaining a guitar. After graduating from The Apprentice Shop he continued his training under master repairman, Gary Brawer, in San Francisco, California. The Brawer Shop serviced clientele such as The Grateful Dead, Joe Satriani, Albert Collins and Carlos Santana to name a few. From there his desire to further perfect his building skills brought Tim to the studio of master luthier Robert Benedetto where he studied the nuances of fine archtop guitar building. Everything from wood selection and carving, to finishing and setup was absorbed. No leaf was left unturned.
In 1991 Tim opened his own shop, Schroeder Guitar Repair, in the Chicagoland area where he began building archtops as well as taking on guitar and amplifier repairs for his more upscale clients. After 12 years of business, Tim moved locations to the Fine Arts Building in Chicago, an historic artist's oasis since 1898. There he earned a reputation for his fine fretwork and amplifier designs.
Sonically Transparent Amplifiers
His first amplifier designs were born out of the necessity to have an amplifier that could be sonically transparent enough to do justice to the stunning archtop guitars he was devoting hundreds of hours to build. His hand-built, hand-wired amps caught the eyes and ears of novices and pros alike and soon Tim was filling back orders for his amps. Tim's amplifiers, speaker cabs and electronics can now be seen on large stages and in recording studios across the globe.
From designing and selling custom vibration control racks for high end audiophile gear to making custom electronics for 1940s Hammond organs Tim has done a lot of everything. All of this experience plays a huge part in understanding "the big picture" in terms of sound production. "Everything makes a difference, from the brand of electrical outlet you plug into, the pick in your hand, the wire inside your guitar, the feet on your amp! It's important to have a broad understanding of this. It can be a rewarding journey if you just listen…"