Mansons Guitar Shop
Celebrating their 20th year of retail this year, Mansons Guitar Shop in Exeter is a very special shop. Headed up by master luthier Hugh Manson and bass expert Adrian Ashton, the shop boasts a client list that reads like a who's who of Rock and Roll. Muse, Led Zeppelin, Oasis, and Arctic Monkeys amongst many others have used Mansons' services.
We caught up with Adrian from the shop and asked him a few questions. Here's what he had to say.
Can you tell us a bit about your store?
We are guitar specialists so thatâ€™s the only product youâ€™ll find here. What we believe sets us apart is the depth of experience at Mansons and the ability to properly cater for the guitarist looking for a sub 100 classical or needing to be satisfied of the originality of a 1960 Gibson Les Paul Custom before parting with 70,000. We stock all the major brands such as Fender, Gibson, Marshall, Orange, Taylor, Music Man plus some more exotic special import brands such as Diezel, Pedulla, Zon and Bad Cat.
Have you got any exciting projects or events coming up?
Thereâ€™s always something happening here! Right now we are in full swing for our Mansons Guitar Show which takes place at the Corn Exchange in Exeter on 17-18 November, a weekend of guitar product and demo heaven. Prior to that we have a Taylor Guitars Road Show on the 15 November, some new Manson Guitars being prepped for launch and, if we can fit it all in, weâ€™re hoping to have some Open Days at our Guitar Works operation.
Do you play a musical instrument? What sort of music are you in to?
Everybody at Mansons plays. We are guitar players that sell guitars and not sales people that happen to be in the music industry. My instrument is bass and I went from being a hobbyist to a great deal more serious when I went to Bass Institute at The Musicians Institute in Los Angeles back in 1991. When I graduated I returned to the UK and opened the shop and a music school. It wasnâ€™t long before the shop business took over the school business though. Musically I like two extremes â€“ one side is into punk/new wave bands such as The Stranglers, Siouxsie and the Banshees and the CocteauTwins â€“ the bands that got me playing bass in the first place - and after M.I. I went the other way listening to Weather Report, Level 42 and a ton of fusion. Completing an inability to select suitable music for a party from my collection I have a soft spot for early Genesis and would probably have to cite â€˜The Lamb Lies Down On Broadwayâ€™ as my first Desert Island Disc. My band plays 70s funk, so thereâ€™s plenty of variety on the shelf now!
Whatâ€™s the most popular instrument in your shop?
Tough one! Despite our reputation for many high-end fantastic guitars I think the 200 solid top acoustic guitar is never a fashion victim, sells well any time of year and irrespective of what band is â€˜inâ€™ or â€˜outâ€™ at the time. For us this business is normally shared between Yamaha, Freshman, Tanglewood and Vintage.