Dealer Spotlight: Mandolin Brothers

Mandolin Brothers is aptly described as an American institution. This Staten Island, New York store is not only a home where high quality and vintage instruments are sold but where a passion for music still reigns supreme in the heart of founder Stan Jay. “We are passionate about the music that results when a fretted instrument is played in a facile and melodious manner. If there is anything prettier than a soloist who performs instrumental or self accompanies, it is the sound of two guitars played in harmony”, says Jay. It’s this type of intimate connection to the music as both art and expression that sets aside Mandolin Brothers as an international destination for musicians.

Described by many as a kind of mecca for players of everything from guitars to ukuleles, dobros to, of course mandolins. Mandolin Brothers has been a source of instruments for a literal Hall of Fame of musicians the likes of Joni Mitchell, George Harrison, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Bela Fleck and Paul McCartney too name a handful. So much has been said and written about Mandolin Brothers that to describing its singular importance is impossible. And to list its significance would be a considerably lengthy exercise. One thing is clear – as one of the most discerning experts in acoustic instruments, Mandolin Brothers counts Guild Guitars as one of its stalwart residents. The Guild’s live in a room called the “G” room. A room reserved for Gretsch, Gibson and Guild.

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Since 1972, the Southern California beach population has been lucky to have a true guitar haven right in its backyard. The rare distinction of a guitar–only store is apropos of The Guitar Shoppe in Laguna Beach. With an address on Highway 1, just yards away from some of the finest coastlines, you won’t find keyboards, PA’s or drums. What you will find is some of the finest collections of great brands and one of the most extensive collections of Guild Guitars. “People love seeing how many Guild’s we have. From the big jumbo 12’s to the full line of dread’s, orchestra’s and more, there’s nothing quite like a Guild. The unique personality of Guild guitars have maintained their popularity for decades. This personality is very special to Guild owners which is why you will rarely find someone parting ways with their Guild,” says Ben Wagner, manager of The Guitar Shoppe.

There are a few other important reasons why so many people visit The Guitar Shoppe. “If you work at The Guitar Shoppe, there are some requirements. You either have to be a player, a builder or a teacher” Ben adds. When you walk into this rustic, living room–type setting, someone who is all three will likely greet you. There´s no big sales hype, no pressure and no attitude. “We´re here to help if you need it. The rest of the time, we hope you just enjoy playing the guitars,” he adds.

Owned and operated by long time partners Kirk Sand and Jim Matthews, The Guitar Shoppe is recognized as the home of some of the finest custom designed guitars and instruments on the planet. Their skill as guitar builders and restoration experts set this group of people apart from most guitar stores. Top pros continue to rely on Sand and Matthews, along with their fine crew of craftsmen, players and teachers to provide them the highest quality workmanship and service ever assembled.

Because The Guitar Shoppe has an active teaching staff (many of them local college teachers and top pros), they’re likely to have a 12–year old and a 72–year old beginner walking through their door. But at the core of the customer base are serious hobbyists or touring professionals who often travel from quite a distance just for the chance to be a part of The Guitar Shoppe experience. “That´s where our experience as builders and players really shine. We understand the nuances of what our customers are looking for because we know what we want in our own instruments,” adds Ben.

Guild guitars are amply and proudly displayed at The Guitar Shoppe. “We only carry instruments we know our customers want and need. Guild´s are perfect for that player looking for that ‘one’ guitar that will deliver night after night, gig after gig,” says Ben. “People love seeing all the Guild´s on the wall and it´s clearly one of the guitars that people pick up and play.”

So if you´re lucky enough to visit Southern California, and should you want to be a part of the Disneyland of all things guitar, don´t miss a trip to The Guitar Shoppe.

The Guitar Shoppe 1027B North Coast Highway Laguna Beach, CA 92651