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Best Place to Buy a Musical Instrument

1) Brian's Guitars

Brian's Guitars is one of the few places in Connecticut to buy high-end musical gear, and in greater New Haven, readers have voted it the best. "I've been handpicking most of the stuff in my shop, and I get kind of deep into the boutique thing as far as brands and instruments that other shops don't carry," says owner Brian Giampietro. "I think that's the main thing." As far as guitars go, these brands include the likes of Paul Reed Smith, Nash, Alembic and Don Grosh. For stomp boxes, there are brands like Fulltone, Jetter and Wampler. Victoria, ENGL, PRS and Matchless are some of the top amp producers. Giampietro majored in jazz guitar performance at WCSU and then was a manager at G Guitars (RIP) before opening his own shop just a year and a half ago. He knows what good gear is supposed to sound like and is determined to provide it to his customers. "Bringing all this stuff in means that I can try it all out too, he says. "When a customer calls and they see that I'm carrying a Swart amp or 3 Monkeys amp… you normally can't buy them in Connecticut. You've got to order them and keep your fingers crossed that you'll like them, or you've got to buy them out of state." Brian's Guitars also does repairs, trades, consignments and lessons, but selling top-of-the-line gear is their specialty. "It's something I'm really passionate about," he says. "I've gotten a lot of local business. I'm still shipping all around the world, but it's really nice to sell instruments to the local folks."

3000 Whitney Avenue
(877) 726-0756

2) Sam Ash Music Stores

95 Amity Road
New Haven
(203) 389-0500

3) Goldie & Libro Music Center

380 Washington Ave.
North Haven
(203) 239-2263

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