Visiting a new store coming to the R Street corridor will be like stepping into a wayback machine for music. Stone Vintage Music Boutique is expected to open in April, alongside such neighbors at 14th and R streets as Ace of Spades and Shady Lady. The store will specialize in electric guitars, classic amplifiers and other instruments from eras gone by, along with a selection of effects pedals and other accessories that are normally hard to find around Sacramento.
The 700-square-foot shop will take over part of the space used by MUSE ArtHaus, a boutique hair salon run by Marci Landgraf. In 2014, Landgraf expanded the salon to accommodate seminars and other educational events for visiting stylists in a space at the back of the building. Muse will now keep all its salon operations in the back, while Stone Vintage Music Boutique will move into the storefront that directly faces R Street.
Stone Vintage Music Boutique is the kind of store that’s meant for musical gearheads, the kind who obsess over the original solid ash body of an early Fender Stratocaster and forever sworn to amplifiers that are loaded with vacuum tubes, not that solid state or digital stuff from more recent times. Customers and lookie-loos are welcome to play the shop’s vintage instruments from Fender, Gibson and other time-honored brands through a variety of amplifiers, including a 50-watt 1973 Marshall and Fender Super Six Silverface from 1972.
Owner Brendan Stone, 27, is modeling the shop after similar music boutiques he’s visited in Austin, Texas, and Portland. He’s also a former employee of Skip’s Music in Sacramento, where Stone was fond of helping customers dial in the guitar tones found on Pink Floyd records and other rock classics. He expects that Stone Vintage Music Boutique will not only appeal to veteran musicians and fans, but a younger generation of listeners who are just brushing up on their Black Sabbath albums.
“I love the idea of an older crowd that’s reclaiming its youth, and the younger kids experiencing something that wasn’t tangible for them,” said Stone. “It’s not their fault they were born in another generation. It’ll be a home away from home for musicians so they can hone their sound in a comfortable atmosphere.”
Though the shop emphasizes vintage music gear, including turntables and other hi-fi stereo equipment, some of its stock will include items from the current day. Stone Vintage Music Boutique will carry lines of hand-built guitar effects pedals that aren’t normally found in the greater Sacramento area, with such brands as Walrus Audio, Old Blood Noise Endeavors, EarthQauker and other small-production gadgets favored by guitarists who are fairly obsessive about tone.
For those of drinking age who want to hang out and test their best Jimmy Page guitar licks, a complimentary local beer will be offered.
Stone, who cashed out his 401k savings to fund his business, was initially going to open a shop in Old Sacramento. He was swayed instead to look at the R Street space by Garrett Van Vleck, a member of the ownership team behind Shady Lady, B-Side, Amaro Bistro and Bar and West Sacramento’s Sail Inn.
Stone, who also plays in the band Blue Oaks, plans to give his store a full vintage vibe, with a couch that was built in Sacramento during the 1960s, an old school soda machine, a Rock-ola jukebox from the 1960s and a classic candy machine that dispenses guitar picks.
“It’s modeled after a 1960s shop but with a more modern angle,” said Stone. “If you want to try a guitar, you can pull it off the wall and jam for as long as you like. It’s all about helping people find the tone that’s inside their heads.”