Shop Talk: The Guitar Sanctuary in McKinney, Texas
The Guitar Sanctuary isn’t your typical guitar shop. From the outside, it looks like a museum—and the inside is simply incredible. Every wall of the shop is covered with fine instruments. The owners of the Guitar Sanctuary have a longterm goal to create a community around music in McKinney, Texas. To do so, the shop also operates the Performance Academy, complete with state-of-the-art facilities for private lessons and an intimate 300-seat concert venue.
NUMBER OF INSTRUMENTS CURRENTLY IN STOCK
Brian Meader (Sales Manager): At any given moment we usually have about 500 guitars and basses on hand, with new things arriving daily.
COOLEST INSTRUMENT CURRENTLY IN THE SHOP
That’s a tough one since our specialty is custom instruments, but I’d probably say the McSwain Texas Flag SM-1 guitar.
FAVORITE INSTRUMENT YOU’VE EVER SOLD
The McPherson Nautical acoustic is one of the most exquisite and unique guitars we’ve ever had through. We sold it to one of our regular customers in Dallas.
MOST EXPENSIVE INSTRUMENT YOU’VE EVER SOLD
$50,000 (the McPherson Nautical mentioned above).
MOST SOUGHT-AFTER INSTRUMENT BY CUSTOMERS
We’re fortunate that with the guitars we handle, all of them are sought after, but some of our biggest guitar brands would include PRS Guitars, Tom Anderson and Suhr.
BIGGEST PET PEEVE AS A SHOP OWNER
The internet can be a great resource, but there’s certainly a lot of misinformation out there, and it amazes me how a customer often will trust the opinion of a person in an online forum over their own ears and hands.
FAVORITE CELEBRITY ENCOUNTER
Having the Aristocrats [featuring Guthrie Govan] at our store and venue for a series of performances has certainly been a highlight.
STRANGEST REQUEST FROM A CUSTOMER
At our one-year anniversary celebration we had a customer get very upset with us because we didn’t give his kid a helium-filled balloon we had just gotten to decorate the store for the event.
MOST COMMON SONG OR RIFF WHEN TRYING GUITARS
Worship guitar is huge here in Dallas-Fort Worth, so we hear a lot of U2 licks for testing overdrives and delay pedals. I think playing some selected riffs to actually test out the different tones that a guitar, amp or pedal produces is better than playing through whole songs. Sometimes people lose sight of the fact that they are testing gear and not doing an audition for the other people in the store.
THE ONE PIECE OF GEAR EVERY PLAYER SHOULD HAVE
A great tuner.
ADVICE FOR SOMEONE LOOKING TO BUY A GUITAR
We’re in a golden age of great gear, so sometimes the temptation to get the ultimate Swiss Army knife is always there. In most cases, you’re better off getting something that does two or three tones exceptionally well rather than something that does 10 to 12 tones reasonably well.
The Guitar Sanctuary, 6633 Virginia Parkway, McKinney, Texas 75071 | theguitarsanctuary.com | Established 2010