Best Of 2005

Best Store for Musical Instruments: Guitar Center Cleveland

Mushroomhead and Ringworm come here when they need gear. Peabody's, the nexus for rock in Cleveland, went here for its sound system. When ace guitarist Steve Vai and glam punks My Chemical Romance came through town, they stopped here to get strings. And it's where tomorrow's rockers go for their first guitars. Guitar Center Cleveland treats up-and-comers like they're already rock stars. The staff features knowledgeable pros like 13 Faces/Beyond Fear guitarist John Comprix, who can tell you not only what kind of gear Slipknot uses, but also how you can play it like they do. The size of a warehouse, Guitar Center has everything that a touring eight-man metal combo needs - but if you're a teenager who just wants to get started, $200 can get you out the door with a guitar, amp, strap, gig bag, cable, strings, tuner, and the phone number of a local pro for one-on-one lessons. It's everything you need, minus the groupies.