GEOFF BENGE’S GUITAR SHOP in North Center has a loyal following among professional musicians (see profile). Terry Straker, the owner of THE GUITAR WORKS LTD. (Evanston), repairs acoustic and electric guitars, banjos, basses, mandolins, sitars, speakers, back pedals, amplifiers, and high-end and collectible guitars in his full-service shop. Repairs are $60 an hour plus parts, billed in 15-minute increments.
THE MUSIC STORE, at the Lincoln Square location of the Old Town School of Folk Music, repairs most stringed instruments, including guitars, banjos, basses, violins, and mandolins. For larger repairs, Old Town sends musicians to relative newcomer CHICAGO FRET WORKS, which opened about a year and a half ago in Lincoln Square. The co-owners, Steve Baker and Dan Wolf, can fix the usual gamut of stringed instruments, from restringing to repairing fretwork, cracks, and structural damage. “We do some pretty dramatic woodworking and finish work restorations,” Baker says.
MUSIC OF THE SPHERES PIANOWORKS tunes pianos and restores vintage pianos, including baby grands and parlor grands. Piano tuning is an in-home service, says the owner, Paul Revenko-Jones, but restoration is done on-site. His West Town shop takes charge of the musical aspects of restoration and oversees the cosmetic refinishing through a subcontractor. AL BAR-WILMETTE PLATERS (Wilmette) replates and finishes the metal on pianos. To find piano tuners nearby, visit the website of the Kansas City–based PIANO TECHNICIANS GUILD at ptg.org and search by Zip Code.
For band and orchestra instruments, TREBLE CLEF (Palos Hills) has a loyal following, and THE SAXOPHONE SHOP (Skokie) repairs woodwinds, brass instruments, and stringed instruments such as violins and cellos. FRITZ REUTER AND SONS (Lincolnwood) repairs and restores violins, cellos, and other stringed instruments; BEIN AND FUSHI in the Loop repairs violins, violas, and cellos; and A440 VIOLIN SHOP in Roscoe Village repairs and restores violins, violas, cellos, and basses.
Illustration: Charles Wilkin