Diaz Musical Products
is co-owned by two life long friends, Peter McMahon and Maggie Clare-Diaz. Maggie is the widow of the late guitar amp guru, Cesar Diaz. Peter's involvement started from the very beginning, when Cesar began the company in Washington D.C. in the late 1970's.
Cesar was without transportation, new to the D.C. area, and Peter would drive him around to the music stores begging for amplifiers to repair. The very early days were the two of them sitting at Maggie's dining room table dismantling musical equipment, essentially performing reverse engineering to figure out the intricacies of guitars and amps while watching reruns of Lancelot Link Secret Chimp and Fred Sanford (Cesar did an impeccable impersonation of Fred Sanford). Around this time Cesar met Stevie Ray Vaughan and Bob Dylan, opening the doors for his fledgling business.
Fast forward to 1982 when the three of them wound up back in the Pocono Mountains, PA, where they had all originated. Cesar spent nearly 15 years on the road until becoming more interested with the idea of starting a legitimate amplifier company. He called on the talent of his inner circle to help him in his endeavors: Erik Cartwright (ex Foghat guitarist and Johnny Lang tech), Linwood Taylor (D.C. blues guitarist), Bobby Kyle (of the Johnny Copeland band), and Peter McMahon. They all did stints at one time or another, assisting Cesar with the production of amplifiers and effect pedals. In 2002 Cesar passed, and Maggie was left to decide where to go next with the company. She called on Peter, a long time friend to both Cesar and Maggie.
From here the story becomes that of a very unique one. During Cesar's illness he had essentially alienated himself from the industry and by the time he passed, there was very little left other than the Diaz name and few prototypes of his work. Peter reassembled the original team, and borrowed back what they all knew to be the best examples of his amps and pedals. Coupling those with the original schematics, the Diaz line was reborn.
Peter began to reestablish connections with names previously associated with the unmistakable Diaz tone, such as Warren Haynes of the Allman Brothers Band, Philip Sayce of the Melissa Etheridge Band, and ZZ Top. As well as exploring new directions with the Nashville scene such as Michael Britt of Lonestar and Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts. Along with working with individual artists, the company began wholesale distributions with Musician's Friend and Fender wholesale. Today we have expanded to distribution on all continents.
Diaz Musical Products is the dictionary definition of boutique equipment. Everything is handcrafted in house by the original team of artists. Often, many of the components come from the stock of parts that Cesar purchased in the early 90's. Having the same stock of vintage parts guarantees that we can manufacture the exact same product today that Cesar was building in the 1980's; however, the only difference now is that we have a much higher standard of build quality. "Any attempt we've made at outsourcing labor won't be repeated, because I'm so demanding about quality. It really does get personal," explains Peter. All Diaz equipment is built to withstand the extreme stresses of touring.
Peter has been able to not only uphold, but also improve the Texas tone that became synonymous between the Diaz name and Stevie Ray Vaughan. The biggest challenge in the beginning was being undermined by people claiming to be Diaz equipment experts, not knowing that Peter was involved with Diaz since its inception. Peter tells us, "Strangers were anonymously challenging me left and right. It was almost like some sort of cyberspace attack of the faceless geeks." It has been of the utmost importance to Peter to ensure that he maintains the quality of the work that his close friend Cesar started. It is for that reason alone that he does the vast majority of the builds. Rigorous testing is done on each piece by Peter, Mike Cauley, and Bobby Kyle before shipment, "I mean, we really do play the crap out of everything."
"We are really proud of the progress we've made, and even more excited for what is in store for Diaz Musical Products. New opportunities present themselves to us on a regular basis. We're constantly looking for new and innovative ways to get our name and products out there," tells Peter, who is currently in the process of putting together an amplifier-building course near our headquarters in Pennsylvania. Any inquiries can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the shop at (570) 426-1417.
Visit Diaz Musical Products at:
All Diaz Musical Products effect pedals are individually hand-constructed, wired, tested and actually played by our in-house guitar gods before we ship! All the pedals are now powder coated inside and out instead of painted, which is stronger, looks better and will not corrode. Order now and receive FREE shipping! (continental US addresses)