- May 4th, 2015
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If you've read my archives, then you know I love guitar shops. I worked in a small full line shop for years and when I was not in that shop, I was in every other guitar shop in town. The older I get the more I appreciate a small shop with a knowledgeable staff and a nice varied selection. I do shop online for some gear, but most gear sites are lacking in personality. The only site I shop that is more than just a digital catalog is Sweetwater. Sweetwater has always done its best to be more and they never disappoint. But how cool would it be to to find boutique shops, small scale builders and and cool used gear all in one place?
Thanks to reverb.com such a place now exists. Reverb is the brainchild of David Kalt, the owner of Chicago Music Exchange. He purchased Chicago Music Exchange more out of necessity at first. After a successful run as a computer programmer (and I mean crazy successful, he wrote a program for options trading that was bought by Charles Schwab), he sold his company and wanted to get back into music. After buying reverb.com, he realized that is was very difficult to get all the dealerships he wanted and that led to the purchase of Chicago Music Exchange.
I read about David a couple years back in the Music trades (where I learned all this) and did not give the “reverb.com’ site a second thought. Then one day I saw an add for it. On the surface it seemed like another eBay copy or a commercialized “Craig’s List”. But after spending some time on the site I realized he did what no other “auction” site had been able to do. He created a cool online community where musicians can hang out, learn about gear, and easily peddle their own hand built gear.
One of the things that struck me when I read the article in Music trades is that David was not trying to start a chain and compete with the big box guys. Instead he wanted to create a “destination” store. A cool place to hang out with the best selection of the coolest gear. Well, he took that same philosophy and applied it to reverb.com. It’s not like other sale and auction sites. Individuals and shops can set up their own “shops” which users can then follow in their feed. He managed to take the cool parts of twitter, Facebook, eBay and Craig’s list, and eliminated the stuff about those site that annoy me.
If I may suggest try starting on the “Handmade Gear” Section. I love the interesting things I have found there. In fact my next post will feature a recent purchase from that section.