Tuesday, 06 January 2015 16:33
TimberCraft Custom Speaker Cabinets Handcrafted in the USAWritten by Krach Werke
Custom Speaker Cabinets Handcrafted in the USA!
"TimberCraft Cabinets started in a two car garage in April of 2013 by Morgan Hopfensperger. It was founded on the idea that the mass production of musical equipment had taken the heart out of the industry and disregarded the uniqueness of every player as an individual. It was based on the hope that guitar players valued craftsmanship over cost, quality over quantity. Just as guitar players carefully choose a guitar that reflects their style, so should all of their equipment." - TimberCraft , Read More about them HERE
Name: Morgan Hopfensperger
Company Name: TimberCraft Cabinets
A quick introduction please, name, company, location:
Hi! My name is Morgan Hopfensperger, and I am the owner/founder of TimberCraft Cabinets, based in Lake Mary, FL.
What got you started making gear?
I more or less got into this by accident. I was tired of lugging around a 4x12 cab and a 100 watt tube amp, especially for smaller gigs. After searching and searching, all of the cabs started to look the same. I wanted something unique, so I decided to build one myself. At the time, I had absolutely no woodworking experience. The first one was horrible. The second one was a little better, but by my fourth attempt, I landed on something I was proud of. That was The "Butcher". I posted it on Instagram and people really seemed to like it. I had some folks asking if I was going to make others, and where they could buy one. There seemed to be a demand for this kind of thing. So I came up with a few more designs, each one getting a better response than the last. I think it was other people's excitement that encouraged me to dive into this line of work.
What gear do you make?
Mostly speaker cabinets, but I've done some re-housings for amp heads and combos as well. Probably the coolest thing I've built so far was a faux piano that house a Nord 88 electric piano. It was for the pianist in a local band. He wanted the look of a real piano on stage, but the versatility of an electric piano. It did just that, and weighed in around just 80 pounds.
Cabs are my main focus, but I'm always happy to take on other custom projects.
Where do you operate from?
We officially launched in March, just 10 months ago. Being so new, this is still a small enough operation to be able to work out of my garage. However, things have picked up and I expect to outgrow the garage within the year. When that time comes, we'll be moving into a proper warehouse.
What about making gear do you like the most?: This is going to sound cheesy, but my favorite part about building gear is the customers. My customers are like me. They want something unique - something all their own. When someone contacts me, they have something specific in mind, and are excited to see it come together. Giving the customers what they want the best part of what I do.
Is this a hobby or full time operation?
It started out as a hobby, but in order for TimberCraft to be successful, I took the plunge and went full time with it. Building cabs is just a small part. Running a business requires my undivided attention.
Who inspires you/who do you look up to musically, IE what gear do you admire?
I would be remiss to narrow it down to one person or company. The guys who spend countless hours tinkering in the shed, modifying guitars and amps, building effects and pedalboards, hellbent on achieving the perfect tone - that's who I look up to. There are lots of people working to make gear more personal. These people are passionate about their craft. That is what inspires me.
What pisses you off/what do you like; about the boutique audio gear building industry?
My only qualm with the boutique gear industry comes down to accessibility. Boutique gear isn't as accessible to average players, simply because it's more difficult for small manufacturers to get their products into stores. Large retail chains order inventory through distributors, and distributors typically only work with large manufacturers. Large manufacturers are able to produce more, at a lower cost, making them more attractive to dealers.
Boutique gear is made by craftsmen, not machines in big factories. The time and care that goes into boutique gear makes it more expensive to produce. To get our products into retail stores, we are forced to either set the price high (which is prohibitive to average players), or take a big hit to remain competitive with the "big guys".
The thing I love most about the boutique gear industry, is that it is a small, tight-knit community. We exhibited at Summer NAMM in July, and we met all kinds of small manufacturers. They were very encouraging, supportive, and always willing to help each other along. Perhaps that's because we're in this business for the right reasons. We are passionate about what we do, and we honor quality over quantity.
Are you still in a band or play music and do you use your own gear?
I was in a band while TimberCraft was in its earliest stages. Actually, my very first woodworking project was a pair of road cases for myself and the other guitarist. These cases housed our half stacks, and incorporated a built-in, midi controlled lighting system. They brought our stage performance to a whole new level.
The band has since broken up, but I continue to play my own gear at home. I've been writing, and plan to start a new project once I have more time on my hands. I have no desire to be a touring musician, or "make it", as they say. The goal is just to get back out there to connect with other musicians for inspiration, and potentially, some new customers!
Favourite Guitar Maker? Fender
Favourite Guitar Effect? Delay
Favourite Amp Maker? Orange
Favourite Music Genre? Either really chill post-rock, or really HEAVY, not much in between
Favourite Band / Artist? Depends on the mood. Mellow: Explosions in the Sky. Not mellow: Underoath
Favourite Guitarist? Herman Li, obviously
Favourite Instrument? Guitar
Favourite Drink? Weekdays: sweet tea // Weekends: scotch
Favourite Place? Hometown - St Augustine, FL
Favourite Food? Red meat in all its glorious forms
Social Media Channels:
Just a collage of some of the fancy speaker cabinets I make.
This is a start-to-finish of the faux piano
This is the road case/lighting rig I built for my band. It was my first woodworking project - the one that got me hooked on building gear.