Schecter Guitar Research was founded by David Schecter in Van Nuys, CA in 1976. At first, the company only made replacement and aftermarket parts, mainly for hot rodding Fenders.
After a few short years Schecter’s parts inventory was so expansive it only made sense to start building whole guitars. So in 1979 Schecter introduced the first models, a custom Strat and Tele style guitar.
The shop built guitars have become known as “Dream Machines” and signature appointments include brass hardware and one-piece necks.
A key feature on the Strat-style Dream Machines was the (F500T) coil tapped pickups with a three-way mini switch for each one. There was a single volume and tone control and the mini’s eliminated the need for a 5-way switch.
Mark Knopfler was a big fan and regularly played a couple of custom strat Schecters through the 1980s.
In 1983 David sold Schecter to a group of Texans who took it from a custom shop to a production shop. The new ownership struggled, but one of their wins was mass producing a Tele style with two humbuckers based on a Dream Machine version that Pete Townshend started playing in 1979.
After a few short years the brand was sold to Hisatake Shibuya in 1987. Shibuya is the founder of ESP who also got his start manufacturing guitar parts.
Side note: Among many of the notorious craftsmen in the Van Nuys days was Tom Keckler, a luthier in Memphis who did a great setup on one of my acoustics about 11 years ago when living there. Tom also co-founded St. Blues Guitars in the early 70s.