15 Lafayette St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9410337.773275 -122.417626
Neighborhoods: Central East, SoMa, SoMa (South of Market)
great work if you are a pro – I left a mint strat there for 2 weeks to have some mods done. 5 weeks later, I did not have all the mods done and he had broke the neck at the nut trying to replace it. If you are a pro guitar player, this is the place to go. If not, you are treated pretty poorly. And yes, customer service sucks. John Jordan was a great one to take your guitars to in the EastBay, but he has gone to making violins, etc.. full time now. Good Luck
Great work, great service. – I had a wonderful experience with Gary and his staff. I am relatively new to the guitar, but I was treated with patience and respect. His staff did a great set-up, (which was confirmed by some of my "pro" friends), delivered on exactly what we discussed, completed the work within a week (as promised), and even took the time to give me some tips about care and maintenance. I'm happy to have found them and they now are my "go to" guys.
Tossing in my two cents – First, after reading the other reviews, it would seem they were written while emotions were hot. I am not going to dispute these reviews as these are the experiences these people had and I have to respect that. I am a pro guitar tech (last tour American Idol 2006 live) and there have never been much more than two shops in the bay area I would trust either my clients instruments or my own to. Gary's is definitely one of those and has been for many years. Yes the location and shop itself is funky but I like that. This is a REAL music place and I feel much more at home here than say the Target of music stores, Guitar Center ~gag~. Like Starbucks, when you are out of town and need to buy something you know in a pinch, Guitar Center suffices. However for repairs that can't be done on the road, or you if you don't have the time or confidence, this is the place in the Bay Area BAR NONE, especially since Hideo Kamamoto closed shop. I am always welcomed wamly (no they don't really know me) and if I have to wait there is plently to look at, play with and cool people to talk to while I am doing so. Yes, this is a VERY busy shop (as I said only one of two reputable shops in the whole Bay Area) and at times the customer service lacks and the return time can be long. Hey! This isn't some corporate franchise this is a small, private workshop. If you really need your axe in hurry for a gig or session I assure you these guys will work with you but you gotta say something. Prices are reasonable (remember, I tour all over the country) and the work is top notch.
There is no place better in SF – I've played custom made sticks for 18 years, in LA and SF. Gary and his crew are consistantly the only real game in SF. I understand he takes longer than anyone to keep up with his immense request for upgrades and mods, but that is why he is always slow to get you your gear back. I dropped off my J for a shielding and new pots. Gary said 2 weeks, and it ended up taking a month. Did I care, No. He did a better job than anyone in town could have done, with extremey clean professionaly work. And my stick sounds better than ever. If you aren't in a rush, he is the best.
Horrible customer service – Brawers put a strap peg on my guitar. They said they'd do it in a week. I waited 3 weeks, they said wait another week. It still wasn't finished. They said, "Ok, this peg only takes 15 minutes, come by now, we'll have it finished."
After I arrived, and they STILL didn't finish it. They wasted another 20 minutes of my time while I waited. Finally I said, "I rarely complain, but you guys made me wait a month for a job that takes only 15 minutes, and then you only started the job once I was in the store waiting for you to do it." He didn't care.
Another time, they finished a job but they guitar sat in the store 2 weeks before anyone called to tell me to pick it up.
I've spent thousands in that store, but I they
I don't like to complain... – ...but I really feel like I should.
Let me start by saying that I have no problem at all with the work these guys did on my quitar. It plays beautifully.
However, their customer service SUCKS! When I dropped my guitar off I was told it would be finished in 7-10 days. When I called them after 2 weeks I had to leave 2 unreturned messages before finally catching someone there. I was told it would be 3 more days. When I called again after 6 days they couldn't decide whether they hadn't started on it or if it had been done for a week!
Worse yet, I get the feeling I'm bugging them when I call to see if the replacements for the parts THEY lost have come in yet.
Hey, I'm not a rock star, but my money's green too, right?
Good service – I took my bass in for minor repair and adjustments. I was very pleased with the prompt service and the quality of the work.
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