Lollar settles into new Tacoma HQ
THE TOUR OF Lollar’s newest headquarters starts with an impressive floor inlay proudly announcing the company’s two-decades plus of bringing high quality guitar pickups to throngs of tone-starved players worldwide — both pro and hobbyist. The building on A Street once housed a candy manufacturer, a coffee roaster and at least one hair salon. The crew not-too-fondly remembers the renovation chore of digging out years of hair and coffee that had become impacted in the grooves of the plank wood floors, and that wasn’t the only job that needed doing ahead of moving into the new digs in 2014.
“We had to have this place all completely rebuilt,” says Jason Lollar. “All new wiring. Refinished the floors and stuff. All new windows. Everything. Heat. I think it was built in 1911. It was the probably the first building on this street because there are windows that were bricked over from the building next to it.”
The ground floor of the shop houses offices, the customer service department, shipping, parts storage and perhaps the building’s most drool-worthy space — the test-drive lounge. This impressive space towards the back houses at least a couple of dozen guitars and a least a dozen top-flight amplifiers to give interested parties a place to put all that Lollar offers through its proper paces.
Guitars from the likes of Collings, Agile, Teisco, Greg Bennett, Godin, Fender (and Squire) and more line the walls, all equipped with a variety of Lollar pickups. Classic Fender amps dominate the main wall, but other brands such as 65amps also make an appearance.
“A lot of the models of pickups we make are installed in these guitars so people can come in and check them out,” explained Lollar. “We do a lot of listening and comparing, with our own and other people’s pickups, while we’re developing new products. So all the amps here have different frequency responses so you can tell if a pickup sounds great with a Tweed, but not so great with a Super Reverb and so on. It gives us a good perspective.”