Alas, another new section for ROW – “Shops.” Boutique guitar shops are some of the most unique and interesting stores. Often owned by passionate enthusiasts, each shop has its own niche specialty, and the few authentic guitar shops that remain are quickly becoming historic icons in their given communities. From vintage rarities to custom builds to quirky items, boutique shops offer refuge for the true guitar aficionado, fed up with the mass cookie-cutter production of chains like Guitar Center and Sam Ash. So, in the “shops” section, I’ll highlight some of my favorite authentic guitar shops from around the nation.
First up is one of the finest modern guitar shops, geared towards helping the contemporary professional – Mesa Boogie Hollywood. As many of you know, Mesa Boogie is an American amplification company. Started by repair man Randall Smith, the company has its roots in the San Francisco Bay Area, with original clientele including Carlos Santana, The Grateful Dead and Keith Richards. What initially started as “hot-rodding” Fender amps turned into the development of an entirely new amp company, MESA/Boogie. Today, Mesa Boogie is one the premier amp manufacturers, and has a wide range of products, from classic rock tubes to modern heavy metal rectifiers. One thing that’s unique about Mesa Boogie is their authenticity. Although equally popular as some of the name brand amp companies, (Marshall, Vox, Fender) Mesa Boogie operates like a boutique manufacturer, not supplying mass-produced gear to Guitar Center or Sam Ash. That is one of the very reasons for the Mesa Boogie Shop Hollywood. Directly across the street from a booming Guitar Center, this store is an understated showroom for a refined company, stocking only the finest gear for the true aficionado.
Primarily, the Mesa Boogie Store is an outlet for Mesa Boogie amps. They keep a great selection of new and used MB amps that exemplify their entire range of product. Mesa Boogie is a custom shop – they take custom orders, and build custom amps one at a time – so this store is sort of showroom to give you all of the potential options in person. Aside from testing out all of the amps, they are also swatches from all of the custom finish options and great examples of all the possible customizations you could order.
But aside from being a custom shop, the Mesa Boogie Hollywood store is just one of the best guitar shops in the world. Their pedal selection is immense. This photo features one of about 7 cases filled with boutique pedals from Xotic to Suhr to Maxon and beyond. As for guitars, they have a huge selection of amazing axes from some of the finest boutique builders. Nash, Suhr, Collings, Mike Lull, and Sadowksy are just a few of the great brands they always have in stock. They also have a massive selection of accessories, featuring tubes, pick ups, picks, and a custom-length cable station. And did I mention they also have dozens of Mesa Boogie Amps? Basically, this store is a dream come true for any modern guitar player looking for cutting edge gear. You can walk in, grab a great axe, a fine pedal, and plug into a world-class amp – it’s a must visit.
So if you’re in Los Angeles, make sure to check out the Mesa Boogie Hollywood Store @ 7426 W Sunset Blvd. Also, for inventory and a list of suppliers, check out the Mesa Boogie Hollywood website – you’ll be impressed!