High Street Music
Preston’s High Street Music have built their reputation on both selling a range of high quality products and through the strength of their knowledge about the instruments’ workings, both inside and out.
One of the things that really sets the store apart from their competitors is their custom shop. They’re able to take many of the electric guitars that come in and modify them, thereby putting their specialist’s understanding and taking a hands-on approach to improving the instruments. In this way they’re able to offer unique custom versions of many guitars that'll be unable to be found anywhere else.
“There’s a lot that’s available on the market that are good instruments with a lot of things that let them down,” says Peter from High Street Music. “Every instrument that we get in, we give them a real look over. After checking that everything works to its optimal standard and cleaning pots and fret dressing, we look at what we can improve. We turn good guitars into unbelievable guitars.”
Every single instrument will have its wiring and electronics examined, its fretwork looked at, though a lot of the time the key to improving the tone lies in changing or reconfiguring the pickups. “We use an array of different pickups, Seymour Duncan, Kinmen, the British Tonerider pickups, which are vastly underrated, and anything else we consider of high quality ,” said Peter.
The custom options don’t stop with the inner workings, as the staff at High Street Music understand that aesthetics are also very important to musicians. “People buy guitars for three reasons — they like the sound, they like the feel, and they like the look. For most people it’s an expression of who they are, it’s the image that they want to project,” says Peter.
To that end, Peter has gone to a lot of trouble to source genuine mother of pearl to use for making new pick guards and scratch plates. “It looks stunning,” says Peter. “If you compare it to the Pearloide imitation that a lot of places use, it’s far superior.”
As one of the largest dealers of Cole Clark guitars in the country, the guitar company has authorised High Street Music to customise their range of electrics. As Cole Clark have now discontinued their electric guitar line, this is a rare opportunity to snap up some high quality instruments that have been customised by experts. “They were magnificent instruments, we have about 20 odd left, the Hollow Baby, the Guardian, the Culprit 3s and Culprit 1s” says Peter. “We spunk them up a bit. It’s usually the pickup configurations, [for example] sometimes we use P90s instead of three single coils or humbuckers.”
If you are interested in getting your hands on a rare customised guitar or have an instrument you would like worked on head along to High Street Music located at 442 High Street, Preston.