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A brief history of Kent Armstrong:

In the early 1970's, Kent got his start rewinding pickups in his father, Dan Armstrong's New York City repair shop. Eventually, Kent took over the repair shop and added a partner: pickup designer Bill Lawrence. With Bill's help, Kent continued his accumulation of pickup knowledge, and it was at this time that he started building his first pickups. After moving to England to attend college, Kent opened a rewind and repair shop and started designing new ways to manufacture his own line of pickups. Today, Kent is one of the foremost pickup designers in the industry, and years of listening to what the customer wanted to hear has culminated in the WD pickup line. With his designs for WD, as well as his handmade pickups, Kent still has one goal in mind: To give every player their dream sound.



Interview

Q: How did you get started working with pickups?
 
A: "I was born in Lakewood, OH in 1953. At the age of 11, I moved to Florida. In 1967 my brother and I moved to NYC to live with my father, Dan Armstrong, and my stepmother. My father had a repair shop on 48th street. After a couple of years Dan opened a retail and repair shop on Laguardia Place, Greenwich Village, NYC. At this time Dan and Ampeg were designing the Plexiglas guitars and basses along with Bill Lawrence, who was helping with the pickup designs. Bill also taught Dan how to rewind pickups. In 1970 Dan moved to LA to do some writing and recording work. Dan had to teach me how to do the shop's rudimentary rewind and repair work. I went to High School during the day and did the repair work in the afternoons and evenings. In late 1970 I took over the repair department. A few months later Dan called to tell me that I had a new partner in the repair shop - Bill Lawrence. Bill taught me just about all he knew about pickups and rewinds."
 
Q: After studying with Lawrence, you ended up in England. How did that change affect you?

A: "Late summer 1971 saw a total change of everything. Dan closed the shop in New York and moved to London. I had just graduated from High School and Dan offered to put my brother and I through college in England, so off we set. I went to college for three years and during this period I continued my work on pickups. When I finished college I started a courier service riding motorcycles. I was going in and out of London two or three times a day so I was able to offer a 24 hour turn around time for the London shops on pickup repairs. In the courier business there is a lot of sitting around waiting for work so I started to design my own pickups. My first design was known as the "Z+". I started custom work and designs and due to my unique production methods I am able to produce a personal design and sound for my customers without the need for excessive tooling costs."