Events Warwick: Meet the Maker – Nicolas Wilfer – Christchurch
Warwick: Meet the Maker – Nicolas Wilfer – Christchurch
Rockshop is proud to present this unique opportunity to meet with Warwick's very own Nicolas Wilfer.
Warwick is one of the world’s most highly respected manufacturers of bass guitars.
In this "meet and greet" you can learn about the following:
• Manufacture processes
• Build options
• Timber selection
• Bring your questions and your Bass!
DATE: Saturday 1 September
VENUE: Christchurch Rockshop – Shop 2 / 1-5 Amyes Road, Hornby, Christchurch 8042
TIME: From 10:00am
Nicolas Wilfer (Germany)
Nicolas Wilfer is the son of Hans Peter Wilfer, the founder of Warwick. As a child Nicolas always worked and helped out in the Warwick factory – he literally grew up playing in the sawdust of the Warwick factories! He learned all aspects of musical instrument manufacturing and distribution.
After finishing school, and completing three years of education in carpentry, Nicolas officially started working for the company. Nicolas works in the custom shop, building hand-crafted Warwick custom guitars. He is responsible for wood selection, wood cutting, preparation of wood, gluing – all the handmade aspects of created the basses.
Nicolas also hosts the factory tours for musicians, and has had the pleasure of meeting the likes of Metallica’s Robert Trujillo and System of a Down’s Shavo Odadjian.
Framus was the beginning....When Fred Wilfer returned to his home town of Walthersgrün at the end of the Second World War he was quick to realise that the Sudetenland, still under American control but soon to be handed over to the Russians, offered no future. With the help of the Americans he succeeded in the somewhat hazardous venture of bringing the first violin makers from Schönbach to Franconia, laying the foundations for their resettlement in the district of Erlangen.
In the early postwar years from 1945 to 1947, Fred Wilfer was primarily occupied in finding new homes and gainful employment for the Schönbach violin makers. Somehow he found lodging for them as well as tools and raw materials at a time when there were really none to be had. He was forever in the offices of the administration in Munich fighting his way through the red tape, obtaining ration coupons, planning permission, arguing the case for this or for that. Meanwhile in 1946 he founded the FRAMUS works... the name being an acronym of FRAnconian MUSical instruments and designed to draw attention to the fact that the celebrated violin makers of Schönbach had made Franconia their new home.
The first workshops were established in a disused community work camp in Möhrendorf near Erlangen. The firm soon grew out of these premises, and Framus moved to a sometime brewery building in Baiersdorf. By dint of hard work, coupled with a talent for getting things done, Fred Wilfer managed to get the firm off the ground in those most trying of times. By 1954, even the Baiersdorf plant was not big enough and Fred Wilfer had to build a new factory. 1955 saw the official opening of the new works in Bubenreuth. By this time there were some 300 employees on the payroll, most of them resettled Schönbachers, but joined now by a fair number of workers from the local area. It was mainly guitars that Framus built and exported all over the world, but the firm also made zithers, basses and banjos By this time the Framus name enjoyed world-wide recognition.
In 1966, a second factory was established in Pretzfeld in the area known as Fränkische Schweiz, as even the Bubenreuth plant was now too small. 100 people were employed in this facility. In 1971 Framus celebrated its 25th Anniversary. Fred Wilfer´s work and commitment to the music industry were honored by statesmen such as Konrad Adenauer, Ludwig Erhard and Theodor Heuss, to name but a few. The next year, the Municipality of Bubenreuth awarded Fred Wilfer an Honorary Citizen Medal for his services to Bubenreuth and in recognition of his role in the resettlement of the violin makers.
In the Seventies, price dumping by companies from the Far East began seriously undercutting the established brands and the market became brutally competitive. The effect was to force a number of firms into bankruptcy, among them Framus in 1975. For Fred Wilfer this must have been a bitter experience. He had the consolation, however, of living to see his youngest son, Hans Peter, make a new start in the business, establishing the firm Warwick in 1982 and ultimately reviving and bringing new honour to the name Framus.
Alfred Andreas Wilfer died in Markneukirchen December 29th, 1996. He was born in Walthersgrün in the Sudetenland on the 2nd of January 1917. He founded Framus and led it to world renown. In the process he made a huge contribution towards the development of the instrument building industry in Germany.
Warwick Continues the Tradition...Warwick was founded in 1982 in Erlangen, in the German state of Bavaria, by Hans Peter Wilfer. As a child Hans Peter learned all aspects of musical instrument manufacturing and distribution. (He literally grew up playing in the sawdust of the Framus factories!) He has turned this intimate knowledge of instrument building, his extraordinary energy and the dedication of the workforce to good effect, establishing Warwick as one of the world´s most highly respected manufacturers of bass guitars. In addition, the company has developed an extensive distribution network throughout Germany and Austria to represent and distribute products from leading companies from Europe and the USA. Names such as Engl amps (not in Austria), Rotosound strings, Rickenbacker, Seymour Duncan, and Heritage are just a few of the premium brand names represented by the Warwick organisation.
In 1995 Warwick moved to Markneukirchen in the Saxon Vogtland to capitalise on the centuries-old tradition of instrument building in the region. As a result, Warwick can count on a level of skill and craftsmanship from its workforce that few other firms can match. The construction of the new plant provided an opportunity to install state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment, giving Warwick a technological edge to go along with its well deserved reputation for fine hand craftsmanship. Today Warwick produces a staggering array of instruments with a quality level and consistency that is matched by few instrument makers world wide.
Since its inception in 1982, Warwick has grown and thrived due to the personal efforts of its workers and esteemed business partners. The company is highly optimistic and is looking forward to a successful future in spite of the current weak German economy. It is the attitude of its employees, its global business partners and a worldwide base of loyal consumers that has made Warwick what it is and insures the future.