This page last updated June 4, 2023.
Kustom was founded in 1964 by Charles ‘Bud’ Ross, in Chanute, Kansas, initially manufacturing amplifiers with a unique upholstered finish. The company later diversified into other electronic/musical products. During the 1960s, the company produced a range of semi-solid guitars and basses.
Seven different pickup models were used and they are as follows:
A slight variation on the standard DeArmond Model 2000, B and T versions, with black coil former and chrome metalwork, as shown below:
Model K 200A Guitar: Apart from the sloping short sides in the top of this pickup, creating a trapezoidal ope, it is identical to the DeArmond model 2000 pickup, with different heights for Bridge and Neck positions.
This pickup uses the metalwork as the first photo above, but with the individually adjustable slotted pole-pieces centrally located. As with the standard DeArmond Model 2000 pickups, the B and T versions are different heights.
The Kustom bass pickups are the same dimensions as their guitar pickups, but with four centrally located adjustable slotted pole-pieces. As with the standard Model 2000 pickups, the bridge and neck-mounting pickups are different heights. The view of the underside of the Bass pickup above reveals a baseplate used in many other DeArmond Bass and guitar pickups.
Two DeArmond pickups factory-fitted in a very early Kustom K200 guitar. The pickups are similar in appearance to the four-slot Model 41, but larger, measuring 4″ x 1 11/16″ (101.6 x 43mm.). The rough cut-out in the pickguard at the bridge and no cut-out at the neck pickup, requiring the bezel to be tucked under the pickguard, suggest that this particular instrument may be a pre-production version. One pickup is rubber-stamped ‘Rowe Ind. 1967’. Note that this instrument is signed by Bud Ross (photos above copyright John Lai of GuitarGizmos).
This gold-plated Model 2000 version of the Kustom guitar pickup is from an as yet unidentified guitar.
B0485E 1967 Kustom K200 Guitar pickups. The only difference between these pickups and the standard version of the Model 2000 is the sloping short sides on the top ope.
B0485E 1967 Kustom K200 Guitar with a Neck and Bridge version of the Model 2000 pickup.
B0319 Kustom K200 Guitar with a pair of centre-pole pickups. The metal frames for these pickups is the same as those for Kustom’s version of the Model 2000 pickup.
B0271 1958 Kustom Bass Guitar with a pair of centre-pole pickups. The metal frames for these pickups is the same as those for Kustom’s version of the Model 2000 pickup.