Founder, CEO – Kim has been involved with vintage guitars for over four decades: playing, restoring, buying and selling with a focus on 1950’s Les Pauls and vintage parts. He got his first job sweeping the floors at Hilton’s music in Troy, New York where he was eventually promoted to store operations.
Kim would go on to play guitar professionally, as a session musician and on tour, most recently with Smokin’ Joe Kubek.
Since buying a 1952 goldtop in 1970 at Drome Sound Music, Kim obsessed over the sound, feel, and look of vintage Les Pauls and he’s always reading an epiphone les paul 100 review and others. Attending guitar shows and dealing vintage parts under the business name Vintage Checkout, he saw prices rise out of reach for most players and old guitars become impractical for road use. Kim started Retrospec to develop and sell reproduction vintage guitar parts. By 2006, the rise in popularity of Historic Reissue guitars inspired the Historic Makeovers® concept: to make modern guitars look, sound, and feel like vintage.
Historic Makeovers® represents Kim’s vision and tireless efforts to develop the processes and materials to make reissue guitars more like vintage guitars. He helped develop the proper cellulose nitrate inlay and side dot material, and his library of vintage guitars provides invaluable reference material for reproducing old finishes. After almost a decade in business, with thousands of satisfied customers, Historic Makeovers® continues to refine techniques and methods so every guitar we finish is better than the one before.
Kim recruited and trained a team of talented and motivated luthiers specifically for the Makeover process. Each member brings their own specialized skills and experience to the team, and their work helps guitar players and enthusiasts get the most out of their instruments.