Fret House Now Carrying Orange Amplifiers May 23, 2018 14:35

We are happy to announce that the Fret House is now selling Orange Amplifiers. This iconic British company has been helping some of the greatest artists get the tone they want for fifty years. From small combos to gig-worthy heads and cabs, we have a nice selection in stock and ready for you to come try out. We also have a lot of oranges (the citrus fruit), free while they last.

In stock as of this writing: Rocker 15 Head, Rocker 15 1x10, Rocker 32 2x10, OR15 Head, Dark Terror Head, Brent Hinds Terror Head, Micro Dark Head, Crush Mini, 12, 20 and 35, Crush Bass 25 and 50, 1x12, 2x10 and 2x12 cabs.

Guitar Photography 101 October 7, 2017 13:51

When we put together the latest version of our website, we decided that getting good product photos was an important feature which we should put some work into. A quick review of other sites revealed a wide range of photographic efforts, from quick smart phone pics to full on professional studio shots. Some small independent stores do really impressive work and some big companies don't always nail it. Our hope is to match the best of them, though we've still got some room for improvement. Our intention is to show the cleanest, most accurate representation of the actual instrument you will get if you buy from The Fret House. We always take a standard set of shots (top,back, headstock, etc.) then throw in a few creative or specific shots. We always take a shot of the serial number and in the case of used instruments, we try catch any significant dings or wear. Here's a few things we have learned:

Taking good pictures of guitars is hard! They have many curved and reflective

frethouse photo studio
surfaces. Getting them properly lighted without showing a reflection of your lights can be challenging, particularly with arch-top guitars. Using soft-boxes is crucial for us; usually from the side. There doesn't seem to be any way around moving the lights frequently. We use as many lights for back lighting as we put on the instrument. Our shots are all taken in front of a sheet of white vinyl. Though we reserve the right to cut and paste onto an artificial background, we haven't done so yet. It would be fun to try working with natural light from a big window, alas, our basement doesn't have one.

Camera and Settings
Though we have seen some great shots taken with an iphone, we feel a digital SLR camera on a tripod is the best way to get consistent, and consistently good, shots. We have a Canon Rebel EOS T5. There is much you can learn, whether by reading, pestering photographers or trial and error, but the beauty of the digital age is that pictures don't cost anything, and you can bracket the heck out of everything (bracketing is the practice of deciding what setting you want then taking that shot and one on either side of it, so if you're a bit off, one of the other ones might be right). We constantly bracket the shutter speed, less often the ISO and aperture. We've settled into ISO 400 and F11 aperture as default setting, though experimenting with shallower depth of field can be interesting.

It's amazing how much a little fleck of dust that you don't even see will will jump out of a photo when you have a good camera. Ditto fingerprints. Brand new guitars fresh out of the box are not immune to this. This is one of the biggest challenges in guitar photography, particularly with chrome pickup covers and headstock closeups. We don't necessarily want to spread guitar polish all over a brand new instrument, and we've probably at least touched the tuning machines. It's time consuming to clean everything but it has to be done. Humans leave gunk all over everything they touch! We've taken to wearing cotton gloves.

Post Processing
We don't want to “photoshop” anything out of our shots, but we have found that adjusting brightness and contrast in post is much easier than getting the settings exactly right on the camera and produces the same result. It is possible to remove those pesky dust flecks, but that's very time consuming and we haven't done so; behold our dust flecks!

Still Reading? Win a Free Fret House T-shirt
If you can find a reflection of the photographer in one of the photos on our website, we'll send you a free Fret House T-shirt. E-mail us the URL. While supplies last. We may have planted one.

Fret House 2017 NAMM Show Report January 25, 2017 13:26

We just got back from our 45th NAMM Show (the huge music merchant's trade show in Anaheim). As usual, Tom walked the floor all four days, and our staff came down to meet our suppliers and check out new merchandise. Here are some of the highlights:


The Fret House will be now carrying Takamine guitars, which are distributed in the US by our friends at ESP. They'll help us serve our customers in the important $200-$500 price range. We may also stock some of their higher-end models in the future.


Rich and Tom with Jean GoodallWe had a great meeting with Jean Goodall, of Goodall Guitars. We scheduled three guitars for the year; a Rosewood Standard, a Concert Jumbo and a Parlor. This level of craftsmanship takes time, so one should arrive every few months, starting with the Rosewood Standard.


Tom and Brian with Greg DeLorto of Heritage GuitarsMore good news: we are stocking up on Heritage Guitars! The company has new owners, and we were impressed by their commitment to the brand. We ordered an H-535, and a series of their awesome new H-155s. Here is Tom and Brian meeting with Greg DeLorto of Heritage and two of the guitars we have coming.


Art and Luthierie GuitarsLastly, Godin Guitars of Canada has redesigned their Art and Luthierie line. It is certain to be the same great quality and value, with a fantastic new look. We will be getting at least eight of them right away, as well as some selections from their other great brands, Seagull and Godin.

There are also exciting new developments from Taylor, like the Academy Series and the GS-Mini Bass. More info on these as they they start to arrive.

Martin Guitars has new models in the 16 series, an exclusive Fishman Enhaced pickup system and new titanium strings.

The new Fender Pro Series will be in store soon, and much more.

Tom with huge skull




We wanted to get one of these, but where would we put it?





Welcome To Our New Website November 10, 2016 14:12

Fret House LogoThe Fret House is pleased to introduce our new online store. The new site presents our repair shops, lesson program and concert series, as well as a selection of our inventory for sale online.  We are late to the game of e-commerce (we've been really busy running a full service brick and mortar operation), but we hope that, whether you prefer to shop online or in-store, the site will be a helpful guide to our large and impressive inventory. More inventory and additional categories will be added in coming months. We'd like to thank Roxxio Studios for their help with the site's design and set-up. So make yourself at home, virtually, we would love to hear any feedback that you have.