About Us

Rio Grande Pickups was founded by two legendary characters of Lone Star history, David Wintz and Bart Wittrock.  In 1972 they opened one of the South's first and finest vintage guitar stores, Rockin' Robin, in Houston.  A vintage guitar scene barely existed in those days.  By 1982 David and Bart expanded the shop to introduce their own line of Texas-toned electric guitars, known to folks around the world as Robin Guitars.  In addition to wanting fiery and more toneful pickups for their own guitars, the boys saw a need for a different kind of pickup to go in the guitars they'd been selling and repairing for years.

Both wondered "why aren't we getting enough out of these old Teles and Strats? What's with all this low output bullshit?

By the end of the arena rock era breakout bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and so many others embraced vintage guitars, bringing them back into vogue.  Dave and Bart realized what was missing in these 'old' instruments was that hot sound players of the '90s wanted. 

So, in 1993 Rio Grande was born to deliver Hot Texas Tone for the masses.

Now, some 30 years later, Rio Grande continues to make well over 100 different models for all kinds of guitars, basses, playing styles and attitudes.  Our hot Texas sound still reaches into every corner of the globe, bringing that Texas heat everywhere they go to the delight of countless players.  And while we like it HOT, HOTTER, or HOTTEST around here, we have plenty of models for subtlety too.  We know it is overwhelming to look through dozens of pickup models to find what suits you best - so please, CONTACT US, and we will help you find the right model for your music.