Mass Street Music has been selling fine instruments down the street and worldwide for over 25 years. Founded in 1978 by Jim Baggett, and soon after joined by John Flynn, we have specialized in quality instruments, repairs and exceptional service from the very beginning. We still give you a free set up from our expert repair shop on any new guitar that goes out our door.
Customers like you have an easier time today finding great products at great prices from a number of different stores. Mass Street Music is set apart by our commitment to outstanding customer service and to providing instruments at all price points that play as well as possible. Our least expensive instruments get the same attention to detail in our repair shop before they leave our store as those that cost ten times as much. We realize that you didn't have to buy your instrument here, but we're sure thankful that you did. We look forward to serving our local and worldwide customers as part of the extended Mass Street Music family for years to come. For information about our beginnings, read on. (Click on any image to see a larger version).
Mass Street Music actually started as Michigan Street Music in 1978. This image shows our founder Jim Baggett (left) with Rick Dishinger. Together with Greg Smith, they founded Michigan Street Music as a local shop dedicated to the crafting and repairing of acoustic instruments. Jim had studied lutherie and repair in Kansas City from 1971 to 1978, and the other members of the Michigan Street team brought similar skills to the business.
As the saying goes, one thing leads to another. Building and repairing instruments naturally led Michigan Street Music to begin carrying accessories and parts. Soon, the store was equally dedicated to both sides of the equation - retail and repair. The growing demands of the business led Jim to purchase the store's current property at 1347 Massachusetts Street. After selling the Michigan Street property and doing some heavy-duty cleaning in the new building, Mass Street Music officially opened its doors in 1983.
Mass Street Music started as a small-staffed affair, but it didn't stay that way for long. Part-time employees were hired until 1986 when husband and wife duo Leo Posch and Susan Willits joined the Mass Street force. Leo was the first full-time repairman at Mass Street Music besides Jim, and he repaired thousands of instruments before embarking on his own adventure, Leo Posch Guitars, in 2000. Susan has done everything that can be done at our store, and she is still serving as our bookkeeper (read: she still does everything).
In 1987, John Flynn joined the staff. John has sold guitars, designed PA systems, and managed the store for over 20 years. He is now part-owner, and though his title might lead you to believe that he sits in a secluded office all day, his passion is still for selling gear. He lives his passion, too, and can tell you about the gear that was too good to sell - the gear that ended up in his personal collection.
Around the turn of the millennium, a 3,000 square foot addition was made to the existing store, effectively doubling its size. In keeping with our personal philosophy, the addition was the first building in Lawrence to utilize ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms) - an efficient, environmentally-friendly construction technique. The building addition provided the space for two things to happen: 1) the repair shop was enlarged so that it could house up to three full-time repair people, and 2) the retail space was expanded to include a separate, specialized acoustic room. If you've ever been upstairs in our store, you'll understand how precious this area is to us - and to many of our customers!
In 2003, Jim Bagget was asked to appear on the PBS television series Antiques Roadshow. His vast knowledge of vintage instruments was an invaluable asset to the program. Since then, he has continued to provide people all over the country with professional advice through this broadcast each year.
Jim's knowledge of instruments doesn't just help the hobbyist, though. He has always shared what he knows with up and coming builders, pulling "the best of the best" from his personal collection as examples of what to strive for. Most recently, he helped one of the largest and oldest guitar companies - Martin Guitars - refine the design of their ultra-nostalgic D-18 Authentic 1937 and D-28 Authentic 1937 guitars. Since Jim has owned several of these instruments throughout the years (the ones that were actually made in 1937), his advice helped Martin produce two of the most accurate, authentic, and splendid guitars made today.
We made our worldwide presence known around 1998 when the domain massstreetmusic.com was first purchased. An extensive rewrite of our site in 2002 made it possible for customers to browse our online inventory and purchase items without ever visiting our store. The current site takes this one step further and tries to bring the "in-store experience" to everybody who visits us at www.massstreetmusic.com.
|2.||Collings OM2H VN Custom|
|4.||Tungsten Mosaic 8" Combo Amp|
|5.||Helweg Custom Pedalboard|
|6.||Gibson 1982 Les Paul Standard|
|7.||Weber Yellowstone Custom A Style Mandolin|
|8.||Dr. Z M12 112 Combo Amp|
|9.||Gretsch G9210 Boxcar Square Neck|
|10.||Gretsch Custom Junior Jet I with Grosh G90|