About Us

PROTO Guitars, pickups, pedals and parts are designed and built in Orange County CA by Howard Ulyate and Matt Chait. We joined forces to combine our nearly four decades of playing, repairing, tweaking, designing, recording, buying, selling and perfecting every aspect of the electric guitar and bass to churn out high quality pro-level parts and instruments that we would be proud to call our own. Along the way we’ve met and worked with other passionate builders and thinkers to add new products to the PROTO line and hope to continue expanding our offerings as we grow. 

The name “PROTO” is inspired by the prototype instruments found in garages and luthier shops around the world. Every builder and repairman has their own proto… the franken-guitar, the half-built hare-brained experiment leaning in corner of the shop. The raw, unfinished, BS-free dream of what they wish existed but had to build for themselves. And, of course, the proto is never for sale. Now it is!

The goal of our PROTO pickups is to channel the no-holds-barred attitude and experimental spirit that only an endless tinkerer can imbue in to their pet projects. Your crazy pickup dream is our new obsession. We don’t bother trying to make perfect copies of PAFs or traditional Fender pickups – there are enough of those out there already, some really great. We’ll happily rewind your vintage stuff and keep things simple and clean, but we like getting our hands dirty. Let’s make something that doesn’t exist!

Our PROTO parts are designed to fill the voids that standard parts suppliers wouldn’t even think of. Custom covers, shells, inserts and nuts that aren’t available anywhere but here. Does changing the color of your p90 cover have any effect on the sound or playability of your guitar? No. Does it look way cooler? Yes. Every single cover is mixed, poured, cured, cut, cleaned, laser cut and shipped by hand.. one .. at .. a .. time.  Our red bone nuts take months to slowly take color and don’t do anything but look and sound awesome. What else could you want?

The PROTO fuzz is the result of more than 3 years work to perfect the dream of a pedal that is both classic and unique among sea of current boutique fuzz offerings. We partnered up with legendary fuzz guru Joe Gagan to make sure that the man himself had a heavy hand in making sure that this pedal was as authentic and pure as possible. After endless tweaks and twists, the schematic was processed and perfected by Greenhouse Roy, the best in the world (in our opinion) for bulletproofing guitar effects and ensuring their functionality and build-quality is top notch. The look and components are modeled after classic Neve studio gear – another inspiration for no-nonsense utilitarian music equipment design. We are currently sold out of Proto Fuzzes but do hope to make another batch of them in 2018.