No.1 Guitar Center, Hamburg

- a gold mine for the guitar enthusiast


From time to time, I get the chance to visit music stores in other cities and other countries. In Spetember I happened to be in Hamburg, Germany and this city does not suffer a shortage of music stores. So I figured I should look into one of Europe's most talked about guitar stores, No.1 Guitar Center. There's a lot to talk about. No.1 has a reputation as a trustworthy vintage dealer. They sell great new guitars, starting at affordable and then up not not quite as affordable unless you're Keith Richards, who's reputedly a customer. Then No.1 has a B-stock department where they sell B-stock from the likes of Fender, Gibson and many more. Here you can find new guitars with nothing wrong with them except for the fact that they may have been in a TV show with a famous musician or something similar. And they are up to 40% off.

So, one misty overcast Monday morning I took the U-bahn to the station closest to No.1 and got a brief walk. One cool thing about taking public transport when visiting stores that aren't in the middle of the city is that you get to see parts of the city you wouldn't otherwise see. I like that.

It doesn't take a genius to see that you are close to a music store.

A fiesta red Stratocaster with gold hardware in size XXXL. For the giants among us who like Hank Marvin.

The Beatles had a run in the S:t Pauli district at the Star Club. No. 1 is trying to kkep the image alive with memorabilia and marchandise.

A wall of arch top guitars for those of us who like to jazz it up once in a while.

Turn the corner and see this Vox stack in excellent condition. I just love the way it looks.

This is an unusual sighting. A Fender amp on top of two 4x12 cabinets. Looks massive.

FGN Guitars from the Fuji-Gen factory in Japan makes very nice guitars. And yes, the black guitar with cream pickguard on the right is also an FGN instrument.

The model name on the truss rod cover is hard to dechipher. At least to this Swede. It may not even be a model name.

Turning yet another corner we are confronted with Fender guitar from the ordinary Fender series from all over the world including the American Series from Corona, USA. The gold sparkle strat down left is definitely an eye catcher. Not a finish for the timid. I'd love to have it!

An assortment of appetizing teles. One for every taste or inclination.


Vintage reissues of a lot of well known amps.

These Supro amps are new but difinitely take their design cues from an earlier era.

These two cool looking guitars comes from Gregor Worktools. The one to the left is called Stormy Monday and the one to the right bears the moniker Wild Thing.

Looking upwards you can catch a glimpse of what's on offer on the upper floor.

For a relaxing discussion, there's the Marshall bar. As you can see they have almost as wide an assortment of beverages as they do guitars.

A Coke served in a Fender glass. The dedication to detail leaves nothing to be desired.

The owner of No.1 Guitar Center, Thomas Weilbier, sat down to talk to me about guitar in general, the problems surrounding present legislation about Brazilian rosewood and the MI business in general. A most informative discussion. Here's Thomas, sitting in the Vintage Room.

These are actual vintage instruments, not modern days relics. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the real deal!

Here's a Gibson 1057 Les Paul. As it is an early 1957 which originally had P90 pickups, this guitar sells for "only" €35.000:-. You can see the guitar mirrored in the safe to the right. This safe is where they keep the good stuff. No, we didn't look into it. I stated quite clearly that I did not have that kind of puchasing power. :-)


A Collings Eastside is on top of my Christmas wish list every year. Will probably still be on the list 2+years from now. This is a truly remarkable instrument and even if the amount initially can seem high, comparing it to other arch top jazz guitars of high quality it is really not that expensive.


I've wanted a BC Rich Mockingbird since I saw the first ad in Guitar Player way back. It was so far removed from the norm at the time, that I found it very attractive. And I still do.

I think the controls look really intriguing. I still haven't had the chance to put it though its paces, so I have no idea of what these controls do or how it sounds. It just looks great in a retro-futuristic way. If I win the lottery on Saturday, I'm calling Thomas about this one.

Got Fender G.A.S.? The this gas station is for you.

Outside the Vintage Room, you will find the Fender Custom Shop No.1 Collection.

Strat plus Pro Junior in matching Dakota Red.


This Custom Shop Fender Stratocaster in Inca Silver is one of the nicest Strats I have ever played and it's haunting my dreams.

I found some really nice pieces among these Custom Shop guitars from Gibson.


So Ladies and Gentlemen, this concludes our tour of what can olny be described as a gold mine for the guitar enthusiast. I would like to say thank you to Thomas Weilbier and his friendly and knowledgeable staff for making the visit such a pleasure.

Unfortunately, I don't get to visit Hamburg that often, or even pass it by, but when I next do, rest assured I will visit No,1 Guitar Center again for a dose of almost magic guitars.

Your host,

Mats Nermark