The story begins with one Bob Crooks, an electronics engineer and music fan from Temple City, California, who was approached by none other than Paul Bigsby to make an amplifier to go with his then famous Bigsby solidbody guitars. Bigsby advanced Bob 50 dollars to build an amp. So Bob developed his first amplifier by playing Les Paul's recording of "Lover" through the amp over and over again until it sounded just right. Only problem was, when Paul Bigsby brought over one of his steel guitars to play through the amp, it sounded terrible! Bob quickly realized that building a musical instrument amp and a hi-fi amplifier were two different things. He borrowed one of the steel guitars from Bigsby and went back to work.
Eventually Paul Bigsby lost interest in marketing a Bigsby amp, but Bob persevered. After many months and hundreds of hours of trial and error, Bob finally came up with a design he thought was a real winner (he was right--more on the design later.) He had a local upholsterer make a custom cabinet for the amp with padded naugahyde, aluminum guards across the top, a lighted control panel, and many other "custom" features to make the amp visually appealing as well as (he hoped) sounding great as well. He used the name "Standel," which stood for Stand ard El ectronics, the name of his backyard repair shop in Temple City.more