FRETS.COM Field Trip

Uncommon Accessories from an Uncommon Name
The Shubb Company
© Frank Ford, 11/18/00; Photos by FF, 11/17/00

Rick Shubb describes Valley Ford as a "wide spot in the road near Sebastopol." Here, not far from the Russian River, 50 miles north of San Francisco, Rick Shubb established the western headquarters of his company. There is another headquarters, that of his partner, Dave Coontz, in Missouri. Dave is responsible for all the actual component manufacturing.

I first met Rick Shubb in 1966, if memory serves (I hope) at a jam session in "Berdoo" (San Bernardino, California.) Later, in 1970, Rick was the artist who sketched the first Gryphon logo. But this was the first opportunity I've had to visit him in his business habitat. In fact, I brought along a young product designer with a hot new item for Rick's consideration, so it was a business trip for one of us at least.

As with many manufacturing companies, the plant is a modest building, with no prominent identification:

I had to include this photo:

Inside, the warehouse is a clean, well lighted place for capos:

The main product is the well-known cam-action capo. From the comfortable pace of the staff, you wouldn't guess that the world's supply of capos is assembled, packaged and shipped from here:

Capos arrive as an assortment of finished metal, plastic and rubber parts, and are assembled in batches of 50:

After assembly and inspection, the capos are packaged in the familiar "clamshell" plastic holders:

If you'd like a good view of the finished products, take a hike over to the company website,

Rick is a banjo player, and his first product was a fifth string banjo capo. Cindy models the latest gold plated model:

Rick showed us the beginnings of a new layout for his trade show booth:

Notice the guitar on a stand at the far left.

Around the warehouse and office, instruments are stashed for easy access:

This is a music business, after all.

At the back of the front office, there's an assortment of recording gear, too:

The office manager:

Somebody has to keep this place organized!

Chris Hawker of
Trident Designs gave a product presentation to Rick. That blue box under his left hand contains the prototype of a new accessory that's likely to become part of the Shubb family:

Nope, I won't tell you what it is. Code of silence, you understand. . .

If you enjoy a fresh look at some jazz standards, check out Rick's new CD. In fact, click on it, and you can get one directly from him:

Say the magic words, and I'll bet he'll autograph one for you. . .

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