The Origin of Gatekeeper Pickups

When it came down to designing our new line of guitars, we realized the electronics would make or break our vision. Import guitars are notorious for having their electronics swapped out by customers especially when it comes to pickups. We wanted to change that norm. We wanted to design an import guitar where the pickups were not only a highlight but a standout. That is how the idea of Gatekeeper Pickups was started.

First we had to start with the right designs.  We wanted to find someone who knew pickups inside and out. Not as a product to mass produce, but as an art form that has as much subtlety and nuance as guitar making itself. This led us to Brian Porter from Porter Pickups. Brian’s passion for tone was evident the moment we played through his pickups. Porter has separated himself from a crowded market to make pickups that excel at finding a guitar’s true tonal characteristics and accentuating them rather than alter them. We knew Porter would be a perfect match for our Globally Crafted approach and once Brian heard about our new ideas to building an import guitar, he was on board.

Next we sought out for the perfect workshop to build our new pickup designs. Rather than call a large guitar factory that was doing guitar bodies, paint, neck work and assembly, we wanted to find a shop that only excelled at electronics. This led us to Scott. Scott runs a one man shop near Seoul South Korea where he only builds small batch guitar electronics. No woodworking, no painting-just electronics. Once we got the prototypes, we knew Scott was the man to make our vision a reality. All we needed now was a name.

In brainstorming with Brian from Porter Pickups, he told us that a Porter is historically a Gatekeeper; someone who is charged with maintaining the entrance to a kingdom. It didn’t take long for us to get excited since the name so perfectly fit what the pickups represented to the guitar. The pickups are the key to unlocking a guitars true tone. They give the guitar it’s voice and character. As the Gatekeeper for Sublime Guitars, our pickups have one of the biggest responsibilities in conveying our vision to our customers and in turn our pickup line was created. Gatekeeper Pickups.