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*** Items may not be in stock in both shops. PLEASE CHECK INDIVIDUAL PRODUCT LISTING to see where an item is located, either Soho or Scarsdale ***
*** Items may not be in stock in both shops. PLEASE CHECK INDIVIDUAL PRODUCT LISTING to see where an item is located, either Soho or Scarsdale ***

Meet the Team

Store Owner Rudy Pensa

Steph Pensa

Job Title: I do a little bit of everything!

Favorite guitar: Martin 00-18

Favorite music artist/show: Big Thief

I'm from Westchester County, NY and this is my family's business - Rudy is my dad! I've been working here since 2014. Our shop is really beautiful and packed with guitars, so it's great to see people's faces when they walk in for the first time. I also love working with this awesome crew of fellow wacky, guitar-loving New Yorkers. More than anything, I'm proud to be a part of NYC music history and to continue the legacy that my parents started in 1978.

Dave Polakoff

Job Title: SoHo Store Manager

Favorite guitar: Fender 1962 Strat in Daphne Blue

Favorite music artist/show: Tedeschi Trucks Band

I'm from Westchester County, NY and I've been here at Rudy’s since 2018. The most rewarding part of the job is leading a new-ish player to their first really nice guitar. And of course all of the absolutely insane vintage guitars that we get to see are pretty cool, too. Besides playing guitar for the last 20 years I also love studying language and history (specifically Ancient Rome).


Jacob Martin

Job Title: Social Media/Web Sales

Favorite guitar: 1964 Gibson ES-330 in Cherry

Favorite music artist/show: Radiohead

I'm from NYC and grew up downtown. I've been at Rudy’s since early 2021, and I work on getting all the sweet new, used, and vintage gear up on the website for people to check out as well as run our social media. The best part of the job is getting to meet and film all of the great players who stop by to see the store!

Rob Nuovo

Job Title: Sales Expert

Favorite guitar: Gibson Advanced Jumbo, Gibson 1957 ES-175

Favorite music artist/show: Kurt Rosenwinkel

From Boston MA, I've worked for Rudy for 11 years, and I am an expert in archtop guitars, sales, and spec’ing out high end acoustics. Working at Rudy’s has been an amazing journey, meeting and selling to top pro musicians from all different genres of music, which in turn inspires me with my own professional career, playing, arranging and composing my own music.

Ian Faber

Job Title: Taylor Guitars Showroom Manager

Favorite guitar: Pensa MK-1 Plus

Favorite music artist/show: Green Day

I’m from Millstone Township, NJ. I started working at Rudy’s in May of 2022. I've been coming to Rudy’s since I was 15 years old. It was a mandatory stop on trips to the city. From a dedicated customer to a new employee, I now get to share the same joy I had coming into the shop with all of the current Rudy’s customers. If you are in the market for a new guitar, bass, amp, pedal, etc. or just want to see some cool guitars, come on by and I can help point you towards something you like!


Makoto 'Mak' Noguchi

Job Title: Pensa Custom Guitars Builder

Favorite guitar: Fender Jazzmaster

Favorite music artist/show: Roots Music

I’m from Japan, and I've worked at Rudy’s since 2000. I started as a repairman then became the primary Pensa builder in 2002. I’ve built over 900 Pensa Custom guitars and basses, including Mark Knopfler's MK-90.


Joe Wilga

Job Title: Pensa Custom Guitars Builder

Favorite guitar: Telecaster

Favorite music artist/show: Depends on my mood

Originally from Pennsylvania, I have been with Rudy’s for 9 years. I love getting to handle interesting and rare guitars. I also build Pensa Custom guitars as well as repair and write up vintage spec sheets for our used and vintage inventory. 




Zeke Schein

Job Title: C.F. Martin Showroom Manager

Favorite guitar: All of them

Favorite music artist/show: All of them

I’m a native New Yorker. I've been selling guitars for 32 years and have worked at Rudy's for the past 5 years, managing the  C.F. Martin Showroom. My clients range from celebrity musicians to absolute beginners and I enjoy helping them to find the right guitar for their needs. In my spare time I play music and write books.

Howie Scher

Job Title: Guitar Sales

Favorite guitar: 1951 Gibson CF-100

Favorite music artist/show: 1969 Woodstock, 1975 Bruce Springsteen Roxy Theater LA, Paul Simon

I’m from NYC, been with Rudys on and off for 11 years. I like interacting with customers. I also work as a songwriter and guitar teacher at the American Institute of Guitars and as a D’Angelico Group Instructor here in the city.

Jim Joustra

Job Title: Guitar Sales

Favorite guitar: 1964 Fiesta Red Strat

Favorite music artist/show: The Grateful Dead

Born and raised in a small town outside of Buffalo NY. I’ve been at Rudy’s since late August 2022. My favorite part of work is learning more about music & gear everyday.


Zack Garnett

Job Title: Repairs & Restorations

Favorite guitar: 1954 Hardtail Strat

Favorite music artist/show: Hendrix! QOTSA is my favorite that’s still active

I'm from New Rochelle in Westchester County. Coming from a background restoring antique cars, my favorite part of working at Rudy’s is bringing vintage instruments back to life. There’s nothing better than getting a broken down guitar back in action and out in the world again.

Christian Gomez

Job Title: Guitar Sales/Web Sales

Favorite guitar: 1954 Fender Strat Hardtail

Favorite music artist/show: Queen

Born and raised in Scarsdale, NY, I’ve been working at Rudy’s since mid 2022 and I enjoy helping people from all different walks of musical life find their next instrument. I am astounded by the guitars I have had the opportunity to play and care for. It is always a thrill meeting fellow musicians and seeing what surprises they have with them in their cases!


Shop Dog Lucy Pensa