A Trip To Brian's Guitars (Cheshire, CT)


New Member
Feb 14, 2022
My son is about to graduate from middle school and I foolishly cut a deal with him that I'd get him a new guitar for graduation if he made high honors all year. Well, we're two months out from my bluff being painfully called. As it turns out, the place is more or less on the way between his school and NYC, so I figured let's make a stop and he can try out a few fiddles (I hope he gives up on the Music Man Majesty because a $4k guitar is NOT happening, to say nothing of the fact they are just plain butt-fugly).

This is literally just one wall that is toes-to-nose PRS.

That's all the McCarty's / PG's / Customs. There's a whole separate room of Korean models, plus a good dozen or so Wood Library and Private Stocks just out of reach. I played this Replicant Purple Private Stock through the Tremonti 15w head and a 112 cab and it felt downright god-like. Like, if the price tag said "your left kidney" I'd have cut it out with my bare hands.

I actually found Brian's looking for a Mayones dealer and once I saw their PRS collection I knew we'd have to make the trip. (btw, not super impressed with the Mayones. First of all, I don't want a guitar named after a condiment and it just felt like a nice Ibanez. But not $6000 worth. And I don't really like Ibbies.)

This is my little demon seed ripping it up on a BEAUTIFUL Custom 24 10-Top.

If you're within striking distance, I can't talk up this shop enough. @Brian G has an incredible place for musicians, by musicians. No $229 Ibanez Jam Packs that are bound for a lifetime of warping in a closet. Really great, knowledgable staff who actually let you play the guitars instead of staring down the end of their nose, letting you know they don't think you can afford it. It's like the cosmic opposite of a Guitar Center. The selection is beyond words. It's simply absurd. Never seen so many amazing guitars, amps and pedals under one roof (Make'N Music in Chicago might be close).

Oh, I think my son found his guitar (let's see that final report card first) and though I could probably get it $100 cheaper, I'm going to absolutely give them the business. And that red Custom 24 is whispering sweet nothings at me.
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“Just driving through CT” last year… and this happened to me at Brian’s ;)

We all love Brian, he’s fam.
Troof. And even though I'm sure I could shop around and save $100 on something there I liked, I'll most definitely give them the business.

It got me thinking more about how the Mom n Pop music shops many of us grew up with are all but a thing of the past. Go to any city in search of a good selection and a knowledgable staff and they're either closed up or so beaten down they can't compete with the big box stores and the internet. And we're all guilty to a point - if I need strings ASAP Amazon has every last possible gauge and will get them here same day. Guitar Center is the absolute worst though, they're going all in on a vertical model where they're producing more and more of what they sell. VHT amps. OCDP drums. Those "Mitchell" abortions they're trying to pass off as guitars. All being slapped together somewhere in Indonesia at the absolute lowest possible price, quality be damned.

Sorry. /rant. TL;DR - was good on the soul to be in such a nice store with quality gear and people. They'll be intimate with my credit card number in the future.
Hats off to you brother, that’s some true Dad encouragement in the good interests of a son, educationally and otherwise. A true “show me your best” opportunity where your faith in him turned into some real pride in himself. That’s learning something he’ll remember.

And he’ll remember that guitar, too! Bravo to you both. And to Brian’s.
I used to take my son to a great mom and pop store that introduced me to PRS, Mesa, and a bunch of synthesizers over the years. Bought a lot of stuff there, not only for myself, but for him when he was learning.

He used to go with me when he was two or three, and never stopped until the shop finally closed. They simply couldn't compete with the big box stores any more, though part of it was that they changed locations to a far suburb where most of their previous clientele didn't want to drive.

We still hit guitar shops together when he comes into town, but there aren't many left. Neither of us is interested in GC.