Virgil Arlo Biography
There has been a lot of interest in the man behind the Virgil Arlo persona. Virgil picked up the nickname, "Arlo" in his younger years, due to his resemblance to a famous musician. When it came time to write his name on the back of pickups, his full name wouldn't fit so he just wrote "Virgil Arlo". He never wanted to be famous, so working under a pseudonym made a lot of sense to him.
Much of the success of Virgil Arlo is due to word of mouth in the session player communities of Nashville and Los Angeles.
Back in 2005, Pat Buchanan, the Nashville session and touring legend won the ACM Guitarist Of The Year Award. Well before then, he established himself as a force in the industry. Pat has been heard on 1000's of recordings and uses Virgil Arlo Pickups in his main working guitars. He's one of the most respected guitarists on the scene so when he endorses a product, many of of peers follow. Pat has been a terrific ambassador for Virgil's work and his endorsement started a ripple effect through the industry.
By 2013, Virgil was still relatively obscure. He had an established following in the session player communities of LA and Nashville, for his amp mods, guitar repairs and pickup designs. During this time a relationship with American Musical Products (AMP) was formed, soon after his first website was launched. That led to a constant workflow.
By 2015 Virgil Arlo had adapted a few new technologies to his time-tested vintage design of using old school techniques. This merger of ideas led to an explosion of orders, by 2016 dozens of video's popped up on youtube of pros playing, which led to more orders. Soon after Virgil Arlo, the man who didn't even know what Facebook was, had a rather large following of over 30,000 guitarists.
The relationship with AMP, proved beneficial in terms of adapting the new technologies of Virtual Stagger Technology (VST), Infinite Bridge Technology (IBT) and Harmonic Sustain Capture (HSC), but that was only half of it. The distribution network of AMP landed Virgil's pickups in some of the most respected guitar shops around the world, including the legendary Rudy Pensa's, New York City guitar shop.
By 2019, his advanced age, along with the wear and tear of such a demanding workload, led to his retirement from winding pickups. There are many rumors and myths surround Virgil and his pickups, some say he used space grade metals in his magnets, while others believe he has a special NOS supply. He was always tight-lipped about the origins of his supplies. As a result, some things will remain a mystery.
One thing that we know is that he was honored to focus on the work of Leo Fender and Seth Lover, as well as being deeply motivated by his experiences in what he called the "George's Sound Chamber", also known as the Integratron.