Pete Roe

My name is Pete Roe. I am a musician. I have worn many hats over the years: singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist, session player, producer and touring guitar tech. 

I spent a number years as a studio and touring musician for the critically acclaimed,  BRIT award winner Laura Marling. I've also toured with the GRAMMY nominated Nathaniel Rateliff, BRIT award winner Ben Howard and Mercury Music Prize winner Michael Kiwanuka.

Alongside this gong-tastic activity I've always written and recorded my own music. 

from songwriting to inventing

I would be often be asked to open shows and tours for my more successful pals with a solo set. I love playing solo and these were often great opportunities to present my songs to a wider audience.

Then as now songs my songs massively benefit from bass. Whether electric or upright, it is this instrument and the low frequencies that don’t naturally emanate from an acoustic guitar, that really bring life to my songs. I had experimented with various octave guitar pedals in an effort to augment my guitar sound and found the results disappointing.

I was somewhat aware how a guitar pickup worked and I decided that I would try and figure out how to make one small enough to just capture the sound from one string, and then feed that into a sub-octave poedal. On tour I started experimenting with this idea and in various dressing rooms up and down the country - I would wind the smallest pickups I could manage, sometimes by hands sometimes with a drill. They were not very pretty but the results were encouraging enough to pursue the idea.


tinkering, tailoring and soldering

I started winding a one-string pickup using a magnet and some enamelled wire – one wrapped around the other. 3000 times. Once fitted to my guitar under the low E, I plugged it into an octave pedal. The idea was to pick out the signal from just one string and make it an octave lower. Did it work? No. No it did not.

But it was a start, and the next attempt fared better. I conducted one experiment, then another, and another.  And it's fair to say I was hooked. I spent a year locked away in a makeshift workshop surrounded by bits of guitars, magnets, and spools of wire. Propelled by a dream to design and manufacture a device that anyone could use.


setting sail

After many, many prototypes utilising the latest techniques in 3D printing and CNC coil winding the design was finalised. A successful crowdfunding campaign in June 2015 raised enough funds to pay for the expensive tooling costs like die casting, as well as many of the custom manufactured magnets and coils that can be found in a Submarine. With some elements of the design requiring accuracy of up to 1/100th of a millimeter the Submarine is a piece of precision engineering.

Now, our pickups are sold all over the world. They are used on the road, and in studios big and small. Singer-songwriters, small bands, big bands, one man/woman bands, leftfield experimentalists, noise rock, indie, folk, electronica musicians have all found a use for it. 

I can't wait to hear what sounds you'll make.



Pete Roe

Stroud,  2024