The trio grew up together in Fort Atkinson and pay their bills with jobs like pizza delivery and taking care of the flock at a local chicken farm.
Their focus, however, is on making a standard from the past better for the future by improving the way musicians use their amplifiers.
Brennon Garthwait, David Hartwig and Evan Preston formed their company, Renwig Custom, to build tube amplifiers that operate like a digitally controlled amplifier, only without the loss of the full, rich sound that many musicians prefer.
The founders of Renwig have added robotics to a tube amplifier that allows guitar, bass and piano players to change the volume, tone, gain and equalization of their amps with the press of a foot switch. An initial design features four switches allowing four preset sounds to be used. Future designs could allow for dozens of preset sound changes.
The design means greater control for the musician, who can now be more creative and, for some, may no longer have to rely on someone backstage to make the desired adjustments.
“I think there is a serious niche available in the market that we can (fill), providing things musicians want that other companies don’t offer,” said Hartwig, a UW-Whitewater graduate with a background in robotics. “We’re not compromising a single thing in regards to the tube amp.”