Acapella Harmony Central:
Lots of cool amps and guitars. Some weird stuff as well. They also have good coffee for the customers.
Have you been out to the new [Maple Grove] location? I went out there for the first time yesterday, and WOW. It's a huge upgrade from the old location space-wise, and they had some KILLER stuff in the boutique area.
Seriously, American Guitar & Band is one of the best stores I've ever been in, and I've been in a lot. I even work in a guitar store, and we don't even compare to those guys. Call them, they're great. Top notch shopping experience (and the best bathroom I've ever seen in a store).
Check out our Comcast on Demand Best of the City Video!
. . . When [I] went there, it was like a ray of sunshine through the clouds. The associates were genuinely friendly! They gave the right amount of attention/time to play on your own and were very accommodating. And there was no excessive pressure to buy right on the spot. The selection of gear is impressive--especially since much of it is top of the line/rare/custom equipment. And yet the prices are very reasonable.
. . . The store is drawing national attention as a destination for professional musicians as well as becoming a local favorite for lessons and instrument rentals. AG&B is also known for its service and individualized attention to each client.
. . . I got to say I had no idea there were guitars, basses and amps that played like this out there. This store has everything! Nothing but high quality gear all around and definitely something for everyone.
The Best Music Store in the country. They have everything you could ever want! I see something new every timethey have a great mix of exclusive boutique gear and big name basics (Fender, Gibson, etc.) and accessories. The staff is incredibly cool to work with . . . They are certainly giving the older stores a run for their money and we are SO LUCKY to have this place in the Twin Cities
I take my lessons at American Guitar & Band. It is a great store w/ great knowledgeable people. The high priced items are in excellent condition and priced competitively (usually the same) as GC. They also have everything down to Squier bullets (which I bought there). Anyone can use any gear and everyone is really friendly. Highly recommended.
The Gear Page:
On American Guitar Boutique . . . Now moved to a much larger store with much, much larger inventory. It's all about the gear, right?? Well their new store was something of a revelation.
That place is great. Dr Z, Fuchs, Two Rock, Marshall, Matchless, 65 amps, Suhr, etc.... And the prices are great. You can still get fenders there for a few hundred dollars all the way up to the high end stuff too. Funny thing is that no matter what the price point, the gear they have is very musical. They are always very professional and knowledgeable too. It's kind of funny to see that little pug run around the store too.
I also really dig the new American Guitar and Band store . . . the new store has a TON more character than the old store.
Yeah I like the new American Guitar and Band. . . . traded in my old amp and upgraded to a Fuchs ODS . . . Gave me all the space I needed to try out the Fuchs. When I took my guitar out there for the final time before I bought, they set me up in a practice room and left me alone to spend some quality time with the Fuchs before I decided to buy.
Just got back from playing a Goodsell Super 17 Mark Two with reverb at American Guitar & Band in Maple Grove, Minnesota. . . . By the way, this is an excellent store with lots of boutique amps. While I was there I also played amps by: Two-Rock, Fuchs, Matchless, Savage, Top Hat, 65 Amps, Dr. Z, OBrien. My kind of store with very friendly service by the store manager, Jerry Grote.
They have been so unbelievably cool I don't even know what to say.
American Guitar and Band is awesome. Great folks. Bought my Dr. Z there. Very helpful. I had all the Z models and a few others cranked up in the boutique room. Fun day!!
. . . the customer service at American Guitar & Band . . . was first rate . . . If you live in the Twin Cities, I'd recommend checking them out . . . they will take care of you until you're happy.
. . . The owner is about as nice as you will ever find. I'm a scraggly schmuck who almost certainly isn't going to buy anything, yet the customer service is insane. I doubt you'll find another shop who will offer you coffee or coke.
. . . AG&B is great for high end stuff, the people are top notch too.
. . . I like AG&B - nice folks working there . . . Good Coffee, too. :) I like the inventory of Grosh, Suhr, Dr. Z, Two Rock, Matchless, etc...
. . . I was over at American Guitar & Band today and received great service. . . . I was looking at small watt amps for not much cash but still treated like customers meant something to them.
. . . I was just in American Guitar & Band this week dropping off a few amps for them. That was my first trip to the store since they moved, it is a nice place. The store has an amazing selection of amps right now. TopHat Emplexador, 65 amps, Sans Amps, Goodsell, New Frontier bassman, Fuchs, Two Rock....all kinds of cool stuff to play. Now they have one of our 50 watt Cantus and 12 watts Twisted Triodes in the mix.
In case you haven't noticed, Minneapolis/St. Paul just happens to be THE place to go and shop for new guitars. American Guitar & Band sells top of the line handmade guitars and amps. There are guitars in every price range and the staff is very knowledgeable and helpful.
[AG&B] is filled with gorgeous, hand-crafted (custom) instruments and amps that any capable hands can try out and play on! AMAZING guitars and amps that they actually let you play!
Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine:
American Guitar Boutique moved from its St.Paul location to become a store within a store at owner Cory Lake's new Maple Grove concept, American Guitar & Band. The enormous space offers an impressive selection of new and vintage guitars, basses, amplifiers, percussion instruments and band equipment, plus a service and repair shop and ten classrooms for music lessons.
Top Store Design (North America 2008) Its clean and homey for moms bringing their kids in for music lessons, yet posh and gear-packed for pros and collectors seeking an upscale shoppingexperience.
I got my "baby" aka my G&L ASAT Special from these guys when they were in St. Paul. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about any of my experiences there, which is a pretty rare thing for me.
Place is friggin cool! . . . Lots of sweet equipment!! . . . Kind of reminded me of Knut Koupee in uptown way back but without the bad attitude the staff had. They were so nice here. I will return!
My daughter actually takes Violin lessons there . . . they have a ton of awesome guitar and bass stuff. Usually a few nice keyboards and a theremin on the floor too. The staff there is really cool, very knowledgeable, but if you don't need help, they won't bug you. . . . If you have kids that want to learn to play or sing (or want to take lessons yourself), check them out . . Bonus: While you wait for people to finish their lessons, there is usually a pot of coffee on and either a movie or Guitar hero on the big screen.
The Musical Candy Store That Appeals to a Broad Demographic: Guitar Enthusiast Cory Lake and his museum curator wife Stephanie have transformed Minneapolis-based American Guitar & Band into an elegant showplace designed to serve the entire spectrum of musicians. . .
Reps tell Cory and Stephanie Lake they might be the only people who ever started a music store with a business plan. They say it wasnt as methodical as it might appear. I think because of our backgrounds it was actually very organic, says Stephanie. Cory is the guitar guru who started the original American Guitar Boutique in St. Paul, Minnesota, in the year 2000. Three years later he married Stephanie, a museum curator with a background in fashion and design, and together they opened the new American Guitar & Band in August 2007. Its fair to say that without their combined talents, there wouldnt be a store quite like it.
The main showroom, stocked with band rentals, reasonably-priced guitars and amps, accessories, and fun gear, is actually a prelude to the room at the center of the store. This one-of-a-kind boutique showcase once constituted all of the old American Guitar Boutique and made a name for Cory Lake in the industry. Packed with high end instruments from the Fender and Gibson custom shops, Taylor, Breedlove, and Marshall, as well as boutique brands like Suhr, G&L, Gadow, Dr. Z, Valve Train, and Don Grosh, Corys store was the first to seek out the best in small, innovative, sometimes off-beat brands and stock them all under one roof. It's like putting a whole bunch of high performance sports cars in one placea Ferrari, a Lamborghini, a Porsche, a Bentleyand being able to try them all out at the same time, says Cory.
With his first shop Cory set out to change the face of music retail, but this was an opportunity to build a dream music store from the ground up, says Stephanie. When we started the building process, we surveyed all of the clientsteachers, students, parents, professional musicians, collectorseveryone we could think of. We just asked, What is your dream music store? and that became our template for this shop. A lot of research went into it, and the reputation that Cory established in the first seven years of business made it a fantastic transition.
American Guitar & Band maintained its boutique core but added mainstream guitars and amps from Fender, Gibson, Ibanez, Marshall, and Vox, as well percussion, accessories, and band instrument rentals. With student-level instruments in stock, plus tenlesson rooms equipped with state-of-the-art software, a lessons program that had never exceeded 100 students in St. Paul grew to more than 300 students in eight months. We want everyone who walks in to feel like a kid in a candy store, says Stephanie, whether its a touring musician, a collector, or a new music student.
PLAYback: Industry Innovator:
Cory Lake threw out the rule book when he created [his store] . . . a combination of retail
instrument sales, repairs, and music lessons. In addition to its sales staff, Lake employs an expert luthier, a diverse teaching staff with extensive musical backgrounds, and lessons are run a bit differently than at other local music shops. The team records each lesson so that the student with have a CD of the lesson to review at home.
Since its inception in 1998, the store has become a focal point for buyers, players, and collectors of high-end instruments in the Midwest and across the country, and the thousands of players who had been to the shop have witnessed first-hand a service model that is mindblowingly customer-centric.
When Cory and Stephanie Lake began scouting for a location at which to expand their upscale guitar boutique from St. Paul to Maple Grove . . . The couple got to work building . . . asking parents, teachers and students to design their "dream music store," said Stephanie Lake. The result is a 5,000-square-foot store that sells every instrument imaginable, from guitars to drums to horns, as well as amplifiers and accessories. All 10 classrooms are Internet-wired, and there's a coffee lounge and a place for moms to hang out and read fashion magazines if they want. Truffle, the nearly 3-year-old black pug who serves as the store's mascot and icebreaker, is ever present.
. . . If you haven't had a chance to check out the AG&B store in Maple Grove... make the time. It is beautifully designed and the instrument selection is out of this world. To top it off the service is personal and professional, with a very knowledgeable staff. I am a long time customer of AG&B and will continue to call it the ONLY music store in Minnesota.
. . . I dropped by the new store a few weeks ago and was certainly impressed with the breadth of selection and the care to which the store was curated. . . . All of the great small designer guitars that put Cory Lakes original shop on the map are still in the store, but some great new elements are employed here that were not possible in the previous space. Theres a climate-controlled area for all of the acoustic guitars, a boutique room with high-end guitars from James Trussart, Tim Reede, and Gibson; and a coffee bar with a flat screen playing vintage music videos. So why did the Lakes move from the heart of St. Paul to an outer-ring superb? Because they were looking to find a community that would benefit from their commitment to local schools. All lessonsguitar, bass, percussion, and keyboardstake place in state-of-the-art classrooms themed after area music landmarks.
I Love American Guitar Boutique! BTW if you haven't been there lately, America Guitar Boutique moved to Maple Grove and renamed itself . . . [American Guitar & Band]. Nice big store and a separate BASS ROOM! They are top notch, and very polite, no worries (buying from them online).
Telecaster Gear Forum:
They are always very professional and knowledgeable . . . Yes this is a shameless plug for the Store, and I don't even work there. (I'm an RN by trade). I just thought I would post about American Guitar and Band because it has transformed into one of the greatest guitar stores I have been in.
Twin Cities Business Journal:
American Guitar and Band's concept is a full-service, customer-focused music destination, in a time when big-box music stores have cut back on customer-service staff.
American Guitar & Band sells instruments from the usual cadre of big-name manufacturers like Fender and Gibson, repairs instruments, and features 10 classrooms and a small recording studio for teaching music lessons. . . .And then there's the boutique room - "for the big boys." . . . The store can supply both the musical neophyte just looking to make a little entry-level noise and the instrument addict ready to make a big purchase.
U.S. Local Business Association, Washington D.C.:
Best of Osseo / Maple Grove, Excellence in client and community service
This is an amazing music store! By far the most upscale, friendly, and educational shop in the cities. Even though the store has a lot of square footage it is family-owned and it shows - the owner's dog is there most days, and it is designed like a one-of-a-kind boutique. . .