What's a Mechanical Engineer doing working in a guitar store? By Moocho
Asher Salomon, son number one has been working at Northern Lights Music on and off since he took a gap year between High School and College.
Asher was born an engineer; always interested in the way things work, even designing a space debris fix at age 6 that he sent NASA(he got a reply) and later taking intro to engineering in high school at the vocational department of Littleton High School.
He did his four years of training at Western NE College in Massachusetts then headed to California to work for Solaria(CEO was coincidentally one of his dad's guitar students from White Mountain School in the 80's)He worked in product reliability for Solaria.
The solar energy sector took a hit, as always, back in the late 2010's and the factory reconfigured. Asher headed back to the family business and we happily welcomed an engineer into the store.
Asher is the technician extraordinaire. He does all the Taylor Guitar neck resets, installs L.R.Baggs pick ups in acoustic and after market electric guitars, and does the set ups on electrics, adjusting string height with his caliper and precision ruler in hand. The neck resets are addressed with mathematic calculations on Post Its down to the .001 inch. You know those blackboards that the professor of mathematics stand in front of? That's Asher.
He is the shipping department surrounded with giant rolls of bubble wrap and stacks of cardboard. Asher wraps up guitars like he's diapering a baby and cuts custom box tops to hold the guitar neck in place before it ships.
Asher has set up the photo booth in the back room so that every guitar that comes through the door is shot and loaded onto the website. They are not stock photos that you are looking at on the website, Asher has taken the time to shoot every actual guitar so that if you order a Taylor GS Mini Koa Plus from the website, you will see the grain in the wood that you are buying. The videos for the store are created by Asher whether at the NAAM show in Anaheim or from trips to Bourgeois Guitars in Lewiston, Maine.
Asher along with his brother Ben have been the force that has brought our website and point of sale into the 21st century. During COVID, the entire Northern Lights Music inventory has been put up on the website. Mother Mooch in the meantime relies regularly on Asher to bail her out of computer hell as she has found herself doing data entry.
Asher's snarky wit keeps the family laughing as we navigate this new time we're in, always singing or whistling his way through the day.
I asked a few pertinent questions of Asher as he was sucking some saw dust with the vacuum during a pickup install recently.
How does being a Mechanical Engineer benefit the store?
Being engaged with a lot of manufacturers and having experience in manufacturing has helped this business gain understanding while also being able to communicate with the builders of fine guitars.
What's your favorite tool for working on a guitar?
The micrometer. I like to know what size the strings are.
What cleaver mechanical engineering applications have you used on the job?
Not many, but I use a lot of math.
If you had access to more tools and all the time in the world, what can you envision for Northern Lights Music in the future?
If I had a Bridgeport Milling Machine(an enormous table that moves)I could mill something instead of having to fabricate it with my hands. I'd like an acoustic isolation booth so I could do the same as I do in the photo booth but with sound.
Asher lives with his wife Mai and son Andaman in Littleton, NH