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Guitars, guitars, guitars!
DeLoachs has more than 800 on display at store on Northside
W DELOACH MUSIC 02
Wendell DeLoach - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff
      In an unassuming building on Northside Drive near the intersection of Northside Drive and Lee Street is the largest selection of new guitars for sale south of Atlanta. Among other instruments, DeLoach's Music Store has over 800 new guitars displayed including acoustic, electric, and bass guitars.
       Founded in 1989 by owner Wendell DeLoach, the store was designed to elicit delight from customers as they entered.
       "I wanted there to be a wow factor," DeLoach said. "When you come in the door, there is a big wall of acoustic guitars, followed by room of electric guitars, followed by a room of drums. I really want people to be amazed at the selection that we have. It is fun just to come and look."
       John Lucinski of Sylvania is a long-time customer of DeLoach's. "I call this place a drool store," he said. "Just look around, if you stand in here for five minutes you are going to be drooling."
       With a constant stream of customers, DeLoach easily slides from one to the other, assessing repairs that need to be made to an amplifier, helping another with a guitar selection, and finally discussing the custom assembly of a drum set that he just finished.
       "We do some things here that other music stores, like the big ones in Savannah, don't do," he said. "Not only can you buy a new guitar here, you can also have one built to your specifications, or we have the parts that you can build one yourself. Our parts and our inventory is so extensive, that manufacturers representatives have told us that we clearly carry the largest inventory outside of Atlanta, and that makes me very proud. And, we have a big selection for left-handed guitar players."
       DeLoach's customers are truly grateful that they have that kind of variety and selection right here in Statesboro.
       "I have done business with him since I moved to Statesboro in 1995," said Cynthia Burcham, an avid guitar collector. "It isn't that I am the best guitarist, I just love guitars, and I love to collect them. I have also bought amplifiers, tuners, sheet music, and accessories. I always feel welcome, and they are so accommodating there."
       Pladd Dot Music on North Main Street has its own legion of fans and also sells guitars and drums. Owner Chris Mitchell said this Thursday his signature line of guitars is scheduled to hit the shelves. Mitchell said his instrument selection is geared towards music students.
       "I wanted to make sure that we could provide quality instruments at very reasonable prices," Mitchell said. "I want our students to be able to afford a good, sound instrument. In addition to the other brands that we represent, I developed my own brand with my specifications. I know that they will be quality instruments, and I am proud to have my name on them."
       In addition to guitars, Mitchell sells drums and keyboards. Even though his operation includes several rooms for music lessons as well as a recording studio, Mitchell is surprised at how well instrument sales have gone.
       "We grew 44 percent this year in retail sales," he said. "People love to play music in good times and bad, and we are delighted to give them an affordable product. I think that both of the music stores here provide a great selection, and I am just glad that a town of our size can do that."
       DeLoach also provides music lessons, sound and video system installation, outdoor sound maintenance and installation, as well as band rental instruments.
       "I know that a lot of people take their children to Savannah to rent instruments, but there is no need to do that," he said. "We have a wonderful selection here, at less cost. And further, you can have the instrument serviced right here where you live without getting in the car and driving to Savannah."
       DeLoach's is known regionally for its inventory and selection. "A lot of our customers come from out of town," he said. "We have something in everyone's price range. Our guitars range from $100 to $10,000 dollars. From drums to guitars to amplifiers and keyboards, you can spend as much or as little as you want, but regardless, you will get a quality instrument that we guarantee."