Re: Strange USA made Schecter
I did a lot of research on Schecter and the companies that came out of that era a couple of years ago - unfortunately I lost half of it in a drive failure. Rudy Pensa and John Suhr weren't employees of Schecter, but they are part of the Schecter "family tree".
Tom Anderson was definitely a Schecter employee; he did a lot of R&D including pickup development, and was involved in building some of the guitars from their factory. Tom left circa 1984 after spending time in Japan with their partners, so he never made the move to Dallas where they were assembling the outsourced parts. Tom himself started just making parts (bodies, necks, eventually pickups) with the occasional assembled guitar in this era (circa 1984-1987). By 1988 Tom & company stopped the parts business and focused only on completed guitars.
John Suhr was working for Pensa's store, Rudy's Music Stop in NYC, as their guitar tech in the early 1980s. John started assembling guitars from various parts, including Schecter since Rudy's was a Schecter dealer. It seems most Schecter dealers had staff who assembled completed guitars as well as selling Schecter parts and factory guitars. Pensa and Suhr decided to make their own guitars under the "Pensa-Suhr" name and sought out their own parts suppliers. John got parts from Tom Anderson early on (including the body and neck for Knopfler's carved-top guitar - Anderson cut and glued up the body; Suhr hand-carved the top and had it finished). When Anderson got out of the parts buisness, according to posts John made on his website they used Warmoth parts.
John left Pensa in early 1991 to build amps in California with Bob Bradshaw/Custom Audio Electronics. Pensa of course still builds his own guitars. Suhr moved on to spend time in the Fender Custom Shop before starting his current company.
Some other folks who have Schecter connections are Valley Arts Guitars - Valley Arts Music used to also be a Schecter dealer and, like Pensa-Suhr, started their own line. Right before they were completely bought out by Samick the had hired a guy named Don Grosh to build necks. Of course, Don Grosh has moved on to his own company now as well. I'm not sure, but I think that James Tyler might have been involved with Schecter at some point as well.