December 2009

CS / Chicago Social

Innovators Among Us
by Emma Aubry Roberts

Ian Schneller
Sculpture artist-turned-audiophile Ian Schneller has repaired guitars for the likes of Franz Ferdinand and Death Cab for Cutie. But his company, Specimen Products, turns out instruments and accessories that aim to mix some old with the new – including the just-released Little Horn speakers, a smaller version of his hand-built horns that have been used at Carnegie Hall; and his 1930s-era tube amplifiers that plug into an iPod. The guitar player also runs the Chicago School of Guitar Making out of his West Side studio.

“I want to empower artists to take a hand in their own interests,” he says.