Posts Tagged ‘guitar affair’


I’ve talked about Guitar Affair before, announcing their arrival on the web a couple of months ago. After a few months of testing the service, Guitar Affair recently released a press release announcing the service’s general availability to the public. Folks, this is a VERY cool service in that it allows you to try out high-end mainstream and boutique guitars before you buy them. Or you can just use the service to rent these awesome guitars. Founded by Jim Basara of Guitar Jam Daily, the idea was to help guitarists have a chance to try high-end instruments to assist them in their evaluations, or be able to rent these high-end beauties for a time. The model is interesting because Guitar Affair really helps out business travelers who don’t want to lug a guitar while on trips, but still want to be able to play while away from home. In any case, here’s a copy of the press release:

An innovative online service that provides high-end guitars on a rental basis to customers in their homes or on business trips and vacations.

Dulles, Virginia (PRWEB) May 15, 2009 — Guitar Affair, an innovative online service that provides high-end guitars on a rental basis − shipped to wherever the customer happens to be − today announced general availability of its offering that has been in testing with select customers since January.

The new Guitar Affair service targets guitar enthusiasts who frequently travel for business as well as those who wish to demo limited availability guitars prior to purchasing them. Under the new program, customers can rent a variety of high-end and boutique guitars, and have them shipped to any location in the US; be it their residence, a hotel where they are residing for business, or a vacation location. In addition to well known guitars like Gibson and Fender Custom Shop guitars, Guitar Affair has struck dealer relationships with small and boutique manufacturers whose guitars are seldom seen in stores. For those who are trying a guitar prior to purchase, Guitar Affair rebates the rental fees when the customer elects to purchase a guitar. The new service allows guitar enthusiasts to enjoy high-end instruments wherever they are, and to demo boutique instruments that would often have to be purchased without trying them.

A new Guitar Affair customer recently related his experience with Guitar Affair, stating that “what I received was an exquisite instrument in mint condition, delivered quickly and with no question about its safety in shipping.” ‘It arrived humidity controlled with new strings, the best gig-bag I’ve ever seen and a strap so comfortable I’d like to make blankets out of it. I’m genuinely impressed and I suspect your other customers will be as well.’

‘This is a business that I sought for over 10 years, but could never find,’ states Guitar Affair owner and musician Jim Basara. ‘For over a decade, I managed small technology companies and was on the road constantly. Because of that travel, it was difficult to find time to practice and my playing suffered as a result. I always wanted to find a business that I could call to have a fine guitar waiting for me to get there, along with a headphone amp, cord, headphones and strap.’ This is essentially the business that Guitar Affair has launched, but with an added twist. Basara explains, “Especially in these economic times, it is incredibly challenging to drop $2,000 to $6,000 on a boutique instrument without having played one.” ‘You might have read about the Gigliotti that Joe Bonamassa plays, the Caleb Quaye signature guitar from Brazen, or that Saint Blues has released a line of hand-crafted USA made guitars, and you might hear people talking about how great they are. But pulling the trigger on a multi-thousand dollar order is still difficult because what people love about guitars is such a personal thing.’ With Guitar Affair, such a customer can demo one of their desired guitars in the privacy of their own home, on their own equipment, or try one during a business trip or vacation. ‘For some custom guitars, interested buyers can also get additional necks, each fretted differently with the most popular size fret wire, so that they can feel confident about their choice of neck profile and fret gauge.’

Manufacturers are also excited about the new Guitar Affair service. Brian Halley of St. Blues Guitar Workshop believes that Guitar Affair and its new business model is an invaluable partner for many reasons, most importantly it will allow the company to extend its reach for their new handcrafted Workshop Series guitars. ‘Although we are a brand with history going back 25 plus years, there are still players who will need to feel and hear the instrument prior to making a purchase. Guitar Affair allows interested players who may be on the fence about a brand they haven’t seen every day of their lives to try it for themselves in the comfort of their own home. Our target is the serious and committed player, and we know they take their investment in a new guitar seriously. Now in ’09, as the new St. Blues USA Workshop series guitars are available in very limited quantities, Guitar Affair allows us to reach out to these new St. Blues players by allowing them to play our high-end guitars wherever they want, at virtually no cost should they decide to purchase.’

The rental and demo service is currently available in the United States with plans to expand internationally in 2010.

About Guitar Affair
Founded in 2007, Guitar Affair offers high-end and boutique guitars on a rental basis to customers across the U.S. Using Guitar Affair’s online reservation system, customers can have a complete guitar package, including a top shelf guitar, headphone amp, headphones, cord, strap, and training DVD delivered to them while on business trips, vacations, or at home. Customers can also use the service to demo limited availability guitars before purchasing them, at which time rental fees are rebated.

Jim Basara, Owner

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Guitar AffairActually, GuitarAffair.com has been around for a few months now, but I discovered it when it was still pretty new back in January of this year. GuitarAffair.com is a great take on “try before you buy” with high-end guitars. Owned and operated by Jim Basara (yes, that’s the same Jim Basara who does reviews for Guitar Jam Daily), the site is set up to let people rent high-end guitars for a period of time – but they can keep them if they like them (of course, they have to pay for them). Here’s an excerpt from Jim in an e-mail he sent to me:

There are two parts to my business.  One model is to rent  guitars to business travelers who are guitar enthusiasts and never get to play  because they travel a lot (I used to be one of these guys).  The other  is, of course, to sell guitars.  By targeting business travelers, my goal  is to get boutique instruments into the hands of people with the means to buy  them.  I ship all over the country, so it’s a fairly large pool.  For  the sales piece, if someone rents a guitar and then purchases one, I rebate the rental fee.  This turns the business into kind of a demo program for  those manufacturers I am a dealer for.  And on that note, as a custom  builder, you may be interested in what I’m doing for Gigliotti Guitars…   …for people who are interested in purchasing a Gigliotti,  but want to play one [before buying one outright], I send them a Gigliotti and three  additional necks with the more popular neck profiles.  Each of those  necks is fretted with three different sized fretwire.  This way, the  buyer gets to play the Gigliotti but also feel more comfortable about picking  the neck carve and fret wire…  …I’ve also had interest  from some tier-2 pros who don’t like the hassle of taking their guitars on  commercial planes all the time.

While Jim targets business travelers, the business is pretty much open to anyone who wants to try a guitar out before buying it – or just wants to be able to play some great guitars! Check out the site! It is very cool!

On a personal note, GuitarAffair is one of those ideas I wish I had come up with… I dig it when people latch on to a great idea and expand on it to make living out of their passion. That’s exactly what Jim hopes to do with GuitarAffair.com.

A note about Jim…

Jim BasaraJim has a long history with vintage guitars, having established himself as a vintage gear guru and technician, having learned the ins and outs of guitar tech at Fretworks. He has also been writing reviews for Guitar Jam Daily since day one, which is how I first encountered him. An avid player himself, he has played for several years, and loves to play so much taken guitars with him on trips the world over! The dude knows his stuff!

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