Links to stuff and folks I like, use and recommend: I get asked all the time about what I like and what I use, so here it is, enjoy!
Guitar Care Products:
Ed Boyle makes and sells Fret Doctor, my favorite fingerboard oil/conditioner
Oasis Humidifiers are my favorite humidifiers, they work very well and are reasonably priced, made by a father & son team here in Columbia, MD
Virtuoso Premium Polish for nitro finished guitars
Amp repair, tubes and related stuff – you want to know these guys:
High Voltage local amp/audio repairman Leroy Fitch can fix just about anything, PA, keyboards, guitar amps, PCB, solid state, tube, no fear and many warranty affiliations
AudioCage’s Pete Cage is one of my favorite amp guys, a great builder and repairman, Pete is excellent at voicing amps and did my beloved shop and gig modified 1965 Princeton Reverb, 18 watts of 6V6 bliss
KCA NOS Tubes’ Mike Kropotkin, he’s honest and accurate, this is where I get all my tubes.
Crusty Cabs makes and restores amp cabs in Columbia, MD. Crusty did up my beloved Princeton in a killer custom “Waylex” cab, bigger for a 12’ speaker to breath and with tilt back legs so I get more of that glorious tone!
Barber Electronics makes incredibly good sounding pedals and I own and use several, no affiliation beyond having spoken with Dave once and I pay for them like the average Joe. I like the Direct Drive so much that I have two on my pedalboard – one set for stun and the other set for kill.
Hardware – Very Important:
Sperzel Trimlok and Soundlok tuning machines are some of the very best in the business. Bob and Lorie are great folks and I’ve had custom sets done.
Hipshot makes the excellent Ultralight bass tuners and Style A and Style B bridges as well as a bunch of other cool things, benders etc.
Gotoh makes many different hardware items in Japan and is distributed in the United States by Allparts. I particularly like the Kluson style tuners including the Adjustable Post Magnum locking Kluson style machines; Gotoh also makes the venerable Wilkinson VS100 under license.
Repair Sites I Like:
www.frets.com - Frank Ford’s site, the definitive acoustic repair site, Frank is a fabulous guy and very generous with his knowledge
http://www.bryankimsey.com - a great explanation of 70s Martin repair among other things
Locals – I like to stay local and support my neighbors.
We’ve got a good community here and I’m grateful for it:
BayTunes Guitars, Edgewater, MD owned and operated by the Packett family, super nice folks, very fair, Jeff Packett scores me all my Takamine and Ibanez parts (they can be hard to come by)
Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center is the single largest non chain retail music store in the world (last I checked) was my local neighborhood store growing up, home of my brother Ben at the drum counter for 8 years, Brian Meader is the guy to talk to about guitars
Flowers Guitars specializes in acoustic archtop and flattop building and repairing. Gary is a fantastic carpenter as well and did the set work for the TV show Homicide; he shares shop space with Bavaria Finishing
Appalachian Bluegrass Shoppe is probably the best acoustic shop in the Baltimore/DC metro area, family owned and operated since the 1960.
JK Lutherie has the best selection in books and DVDs about all aspects of guitars. A family run business, I first met John at a Fall Philly guitar show and make it a point to treat myself to books every chance I get.