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Top Musician’s Shops In Philadelphia

November 18, 2010 3:02 PM

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Superior Guitar Works (credit: www.superiorguitar.com)

Superior Guitar Works (credit: http://www.superiorguitar.com)

For a city full of musicians, Philly is a little sparse on places that sell and repair musical gear. Chain stores, like Guitar Center, are found far outside the city limits, and many local shops are known more for their attitudes than their inventories. What’s a local guitar hero to do? Visit one of the shops on this list to pick up strings or to get your favorite instrument fixed. -  Peter Marinari

bluebond guitars Top Musicians Shops In Philadelphia

Bluebond Guitars (credit: http://www.bluebondguitars.com)

BlueBond Guitars

511 South 4th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 829-1690
http://www.bluebondguitars.com

BlueBond is the go-to guitar shop for Philly’s musicians for many reasons: prime location, selection of used gear, knowledgeable folks behind the counter, sound-proofed sampling room and a built-in school of rock. From capos to distortion pedals, BlueBond either has what you’re looking for or knows where to find it. However, the pluses of BlueBond are also the minor minuses — the wait time for repairs can be lengthy, and it’s often crowded with kids en route to lessons.

DiPinto’s

407 East Girard Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19125-3305
(215) 427-7805
http://www.dipintoguitars.com

DiPinto’s is a guitar shop that’s also a brand name — you can spot their guitars in the hands of guitarists from Dick Dale to Lil’ Wayne to Conan O’Brian. In addition to carrying their own guitars, this Philly shop is a vintage wonderland, which means it’s also a little pricey for the budding instrumentalist. DiPinto’s is also one of the few places in Philly to take your amplifier for repairs.

Todaro’s Music

28 North Lansdowne Avenue, # 1
Lansdowne, PA 19050-1917
(610) 623-3555
http://worldfrets.com

Todaro’s is a small shop that specializes in world music and carries an assortment of stringed instruments and drums. The store still has the gear and lessons you’d expect from a typical guitar shop, and they outsource repairs to a pair of professional luthiers. The best part? Owner Joseph Todaro will drop what he’s doing to say hello to a new customer or a novice guitarist.

classical guitar store Top Musicians Shops In Philadelphia

A guitar rack at The Classical Guitar Store (credit: http://www.classicalguitarstore.com)

The Classical Guitar Store

2038 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-4417
(215) 567-2972
http://www.classicalguitarstore.com

Not every guitarist is a steel string rocker. For classical and finger style guitar players, this tiny Sansom Street shop is a rare resource. It’s packed to the rafters with guitars, but also offers lessons and specialized accessories like footstools and humidifiers.

frederick violins Top Musicians Shops In Philadelphia

Frederick W. Oster Fine Violins (credit: http://www.fredoster.com)

Frederick W. Oster Fine Violins

507 South Broad Street
Philadelphia PA 19147
215-545-1100
http://www.fredoster.com

The name sounds fanciful, but when it comes to the entire violin family — including cello and upright bass — there’s no finer store in the area. Oster is a home to high end vintage instruments, but don’t let the price tags put you off — they still sell strings and cases and perform repairs. If you need help with your stringed instrument, this is the shop to call.

marinelli woodwinds Top Musicians Shops In Philadelphia

Marinelli Woodwinds (credit: http://www.expertwoodwindservice.com)

Marinelli Woodwinds

3612 Silverside Road
Wilmington, DE 19810-5190
(302) 479-0373
http://www.expertwoodwindservice.com

It’s a hike to Wilmington from Center City, but if your clarinet or sax needs some TLC, Marinelli is the best local option. Call ahead before you make the trek — you’ll want to make sure there will be time to chat about the repairs you need before you leave your woodwind behind.

super guitar works Top Musicians Shops In Philadelphia

Superior Guitar Works (credit: http://www.superiorguitar.com)

Superior Guitar Works

810 Bethlehem Pike
Flourtown PA, 19031
(215) 487-3603
http://www.superiorguitar.com

If your guitar needs run more to restoration than restringing, Superior is the shop for you. Luthier Tim Huenke can be trusted with the most delicate of vintage repairs.

Peter Marinari is a Philly-based singer-songwriter and half of the indie-pop duo Arcati Crisis. He is the author of Philadelphia’s longest-running blog, Crushing Krisis.

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