Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

Custom Guitar Specialty Shops

Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

Custom Guitar Specialty Shops

Article excerpt

SO YOU'VE DECIDED to leave factory-made guitars behind and are about to make the leap into the universe of individually Grafted instruments. If you're lucky, you've already picked out a luthier whose shop is within driving distance-a wonderful perk that allows you to work out details in person. However, not everyone has a guitar maker living nearby. Luckily, specialized guitar boutiques have sprung up throughout North America. Some of these are much like regular guitar stores that focus exclusively on high-end instruments. Others are small operations where you need an appointment to check out their wares. All share a common goal: To find the perfect guitar for you.

Stepping into the Guitar Gallery outside of Nashville, Tennessee, illustrates the value of these specialty stores. Chock-full of luthier-made instruments, Guitar Gallery allows customers to check out and compare guitars by many of today's top luthiers just as you would factory-made guitars in ordinary shops. "We are an authorized dealer for over 50 builders, with approximately 175 instruments in stock," says owner Robin Weber. "This provides a unique opportunity not only to see and play, but to actually purchase a high-end, handmade acoustic without the excessive wait time often associated with such an endeavor." Terry Ruby, of Different City Guitars, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, agrees that having an inventory of difficult-to-find instruments is what makes his specialty shop tick. Besides letting you try before you buy, Different City offers other benefits: "We provide our clients a sure thing by absorbing the risk of nondelivery, late delivery, and the once-in-a-blue-moon product defect. …

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