THE Source for the Vintage Instrument World

The Gruhn Guitars Story

On January 2, 1970, Gruhn Guitars Inc. started life at 111 4th Ave N with an inventory of twenty-two instruments. Our first building has since been demolished and was located in what is now the Ryman Alley. It measured 20 x 60 feet and our office equipment consisted of a telephone and an old-style mechanical adding machine. What I knew about running a business at that time could have fit in a thimble with room to spare. Though what we consider to be vintage instruments now were nowhere near as old then, we were very aware these were classic-era pieces far superior to the new ones of the 1970s.

After spending over 15 years in our second location at 410 Broadway, Gruhn Guitars moved three doors down and became a familiar landmark from 1993-2013 in our four-story location at 400 Broadway. The parking lot behind that shop ran right up to the property line where we started out in 1970. While Gruhn Guitars grew tremendously over the years, the store never physically moved more than 100 feet until June 2013 when we relocated to our current home at 2120 8th Ave S. Our new location is a larger building which we customized to suit our needs. This space allows us to display our full inventory of 1,100+ guitars, basses, mandolins, banjos, ukuleles, and amplifiers and provides a far better setting for visitors and a more pleasant and effective work environment.

While we have come a long way since 1970, the basic foundation of our business principles remains unchanged. Knowledge, integrity, and service are remarkably low-tech. While we now update our website daily and provide color photos of every item in our inventory, the ability to properly identify, describe, and appraise these instruments does not come out of a computer. Although we have power equipment in our repair shop, the vast bulk of the work is done by hand using techniques familiar to craftsmen a century ago. Many on our staff have been with the company for 5, 10, and even 20+ years. Now in our 50th year, George Gruhn, Eric Newell and the rest of the staff of Gruhn Guitars continue to gain knowledge and experience with each passing day and look forward to serving you for many years in the future.

George Gruhn and the Gruhn Guitars staff