A behind-the-scenes look at our repository of exceptional instruments
My first experience with Musician’s Friend Private Reserve was as a customer. I purchased a PRS Hollowbody II and was really impressed when I got a handwritten letter in the box thanking me for my purchase. Then in 2013 I had a good friend come through Kansas City on tour and on a day off we made a visit to the Private Reserve to play some Gibson Custom Shop SGs. We played a whole bunch of guitars that day! (This was also the day the ball got rolling leading to my playing and curating the Private Reserve collection on video.)
By the way, you can come in and select the perfect guitar from among thousands in stock! Just give us a call at 866-926-1923 to set up a time. Customers fly in from all over, drawn by the chance to audition instruments from a vast inventory of great guitars, all in one location.
Although we are part of Musician’s Friend, the Private Reserve has its own office and staff of nine. We aim to offer the experience of browsing in a boutique guitar shop.
Derek White is our resident expert Guitar Advisor. He answers the phones and provides callers with unparalleled customer service and immense product knowledge. Derek also travels to factories where he receives training and collaborates in the development of new, exclusive guitar models that reflect a serious player’s input. When he’s not on the road, Derek’s on hand where he and the team can evaluate and compare instruments on-the-spot for you.
At the Private Reserve every guitar gets a meticulous inspection when it arrives, and its weight is logged into the database. Each instrument is then photographed from six or seven angles by our skilled photography team. They use top-notch lighting and camera equipment to ensure you can see every detail of these fine instruments. We then carefully re-box each guitar and place them in the climate- and humidity-controlled Private Reserve area. Controlling the instruments’ environment helps ensure they arrive at your door in optimal condition.
Once you select a guitar, it goes to our head Guitar Technician, Byron Collum for final setup. This includes the strings of your choice on phone orders placed with Derek. We then double-box your instrument using a method that’s been refined over many years to guarantee it arrives safely.
Our entire Private Reserve team lives and breathes guitars. Let’s take a quick look at two of the key behind-the-scenes” players:
Brian Collum, Head Guitar Technician
Favorite guitar: Les Paul Custom
Favorite band: Led Zeppelin
Brian “Byron” Collum played in touring bands and worked at retail music stores before joining Musician’s Friend Private Reserve in 2008. Byron will be the last Private Reserve team member to touch your new guitar before it ships. His goal is to make sure instruments are as close to perfect as possible before they go out the door. Byron is also my on-call guitar doctor for guitar setup during Private Reserve video shoots.
David Buller, Operations Lead
Favorite guitar: PRS Custom 24
Favorite Band: Rush
Dave has been at Musician’s Friend for 14 years, and a member of the Private Reserve team for nearly ten years now. Maintaining inventory integrity and ensuring every order ships on-time and error-free is Dave’s job…and he does it well. In addition to being a bona fide gear geek always searching for a new toy, Dave is also a fine guitarist. He attended GIT in Los Angeles and has played in a variety of bands for the last 30 years. He digs minimalist, textural players like Andy Summers, the Edge and Jamie West-Oram of The Fixx, but says Alex Lifeson, David Gilmour, Eddie Van Halen and George Lynch have ultimately had the biggest impact on his sound.
Special thanks to Dave and Byron for being a part of Guitar Notes. Until next time…keep playing!