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January 20, 2023 4 min read

If you have ordered from us, you know there is almost always a wait. Resident Tone Concierge, Stew McKinsey, explains our business: a manufacturer, who happens to sell retail. Stew explains it best.

This may seem an obvious statement but Nordstrand is a manufacturer. We sell the things that we make, but we are not a storefront. While we do everything we can to accommodate our customers, here are a few things to keep in mind before you order anything directly from us.


We keep almost no stock on hand. This means if you are shopping for something you need immediately, it is always better to contact one of our dealers who keep items on hand. You will find a list of our domestic and overseas builders on the website:


As a manufacturer we build orders for the aforementioned dealers, builders and of course our roster of artists in addition to all the people who place retail orders through our website. This does not mean your order is less important to us than any other order, but please know that we have thousands of pickups and preamps on the books at any given time. We value everyone who chooses to use our creations but we still need to make them all, which takes time. Our team is hard working and very good at what we do, but we are human and can only operate so many hours in the course of a day. That written, we are always looking to increase our efficiency and productivity, just as we are looking to expand our team and the scope of our operations. We hope that you will want to come along for that ride as we work to grow the business.

stack of pickups with angled poles


If you do choose to order from us, please keep in mind that we, like a car company or an electronics firm, have to make everything. We do not have a giant warehouse full of stock. We are building your order for you. So to make this clear, we have put a system in place to let you know what to expect when you make a purchase. Before you finalize an order, a window will pop up on your screen which requires you to acknowledge that you understand there will be a wait of approximately 3-4 weeks to build most items. Once you have placed an order, our system will send an automated email to let you know that we have received it and will start building it shortly, including a second reminder that the wait will be 3-4 weeks. Responding to this email by asking how long you will have to wait to receive your order will result in us having to write you an email pointing out that you have already been given this information twice. Similarly if you call to ask about your order status and it is within that 3-4 week window, we will let you know that the build is in progress. 


But we are constantly working to improve the system. Things occasionally go wrong. Sometimes a pickup or preamp is made incorrectly and must be remade. Sometimes a ticket slips through the cracks. These things do not happen often but they do happen. If an order is delayed for whatever reason, we will do everything within our power to make it right without compromising the quality of the build. If you have not received notification of your order shipping by the 4 week mark, we are more than happy to let you know about the status of the order but please do not call or write us multiple times a day or every day after that until it ships. When something goes wrong in our small shop, everyone here knows about it and we work collectively to get it back on track.


If an order takes 5 weeks to complete, it is a week late. It is not 5 weeks late.


By the same token, not everyone here is involved in direct sales. We have a dedicated point of contact for orders placed through our website:


Every email is answered, but we get a lot of email and we like to be thorough. So if you do not receive a reply immediately, please give us time to answer as there are generally dozens of emails ahead of yours in the same way there are several dozen orders ahead of yours.


You can always call the shop but remember that we have one line. If that line is in use, you will be send to voicemail. We ask you to leave a message so that we know you called. If you leave a message, please include your name, number and ideally the reason you are calling. And remember that we are located in California, putting us in Pacific Standard Time, so if you are reaching out from another time zone, factor that into things. Calls made on weekends and during hours that the shop is closed means that you will have to wait until someone hears your message and get back to you. 


We want your experience with Nordstrand to be great and we will do everything we can to ensure that will happen. But if you think of us as a factory and not a store, you are putting things in a more realistic light. We have an extensive network of dealers and we also work with a number of repair shops who can help put our gear into your instrument, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them as well! You can find us on most social media platforms. We want to help you find the sound of your dreams if we can, but always remember we are a small, dedicated group of people working to build things for you, not a gargantuan company with offices all over the planet.

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