Pensa Custom Guitars
first experience as a guitar builder was actually an experiment
when at the age of thirteen, he attempted to build a 12-string
guitar, using the broken necks of two 6-string guitars.
In 1974, on Rudy's first visit to New York, he went directly
from JFK airport with suitcase in tow, to the world-renowned
shrine of musical instruments
48th Street. He long dreamed
of visiting this place where musicians congregated to buy, sell,
browse and dream. You might even run into one or more of your
Rudy opened "Rudy's
Music Stop" on 48th Street in New York City in 1978 and
began turning his passions into tangible artistry. It wasn't
long before "Rudy's Music" became a well-known and highly respected
guitar shop to guitarists around the world. Rudy's love and
enthusiasm for what he does is contagious and his long list
of regular customers still grows.
The earliest "Pensa" electric guitar was called the "R
Custom". He built the first "R Custom" in 1982 and sold many
in his shop. Is was in 1985 that Rudy, collaborating with his
then employee, John Suhr, began building many amazing instruments
that are considered classics today.
Rudy met Mark Knopfler in the 1980 during the height
of Dire Straits fame. They shared the same passion for the guitar
and formed a friendship that would endure for many years. In
1987, Rudy and Mark sat down and over a cup of coffee, drew
the blueprints on a napkin for what would become one of the
most sought after custom-made guitars in the world… the Pensa
"MK". In 2000, Rudy and Mark Knopfler teamed up again to design
the "Pensa MK2"
which is rapidly gaining momentum worldwide.
Through the years, other "Pensa" models have emerged
including the introduction of the Pensa
4-String and 5-String basses, the Pensa "Classic" and "Junior"
electric guitars with many endorsers including Victor Bailey.
Numerous studio musicians and professionals all over the world
from Mark Knopfler to Lou Reed to Eric Clapton, to mention a
few, use Pensa guitars. (Please visit our "Pensa
Players" page to see who is playing Pensa Guitars and
Rudy's stellar reputation as a guitar builder, shopkeeper
and gentleman is well deserved. Every person who walks in the
door of "Rudy's Music Stop" is treated with the same respect
no matter if they are a platinum selling artist, a Wall Street
banker or a kid with a dream. Rudy makes no distinction in the
service and quality he provides for his customers. The energy
and passion for the Pensa instruments he creates is fueled by
the earliest visions of Rudy Pensa and his love of the art.