Guitar Station with Henry Dalkin

Guitars are ultimately as unique and nuanced as those who love playing them. When you're shopping around for a new instrument, it's a highly personal process – we all have our own intricate requirements, those individual quirks that you need to get the best out of your passion. As convenient as our technological landscape has made it to shop, ordering over the web just can't ever compare to the service and fine perusal you can receive in a great store.

“Flicking through guitar porn online can be addictive for guitarists,” Guitar Station Director Henry Dalkin says. “But ultimately, the only real way to know if a guitar is truly going to tick all the boxes for you is to get your hands on it and compare it to some other guitars – because the feel and tone can be so individual and unique from instrument to instrument.”
Dalkin knows his craft. He's been selling guitars to the musos of Melbourne for almost a decade now as the General Manager over at Sky Music in Clayton. He's since established new venture Guitar Station, deciding that opening his own business “just seemed like a natural progression to make”. Guitar Station offers a twist on the guitar-shopping experience, as an independently-owned store with a range of guitars and amps exclusively dedicated to the Fender family of brands.
“It's the focus on giving customers the whole story of an iconic guitar brand,” Dalkin explains. “Rather than having a few guitars each from a dozens of different brands like a lot of guitar shops, we're committed to offering an extensive range of Fender products.
“There's something for everyone, from the early beginner through to seasoned professionals,” Dalkin continues. “No other guitar company has the appeal and reach Fender does through the Fender brand as well as labels it owns, such as Gretsch, Jackson, EVH, Squier and Charvel.”
Kicking things off with a mighty range of Fender guitars and amps, Dalkin's love for the brand is dedicated (“The new Fender American Professional Jazzmasters are unreal,” Dalkin says. “If they ever build a left-handed run of them, I'll be first in line to buy one.”). Dalkin has built tight alliances over the years with some of Melbourne's best guitar techs, and knows who to link a customer up with they have something that requires that specialised attention, offering everything from re-strings and clean ups to serious repairs.
“As a new business we've had the good fortune of being able to start from scratch to create a foundation built around modern retail principles,” Dalkin explains. “It's a small footprint store to keep rent and running costs down. We're a team of only two staff so we don't have the army of mouths to feed like some other stores. I guess logically speaking, our basic setup puts us in a better position than most traditional stores to cut a deal for our customers when it comes to the crunch.”
Technicalities aside, music is all about expression and community. It's about the fire in your stomach that glows as you play, or the thrill of sharing that creative spark with the world. Dalkin can see his new venture both sharing and nurturing that important vibe – becoming an integral beacon of Melbourne's vibrant scene for both the experienced and the fresh-faced.
“I'd like to think Guitar Station will be firmly established (in five years' time) as a sanctuary for all level of guitarists, because there's no dumb questions in here,” Dalkin says. “You won't get looked down on for asking even the most basic things – instead, you'll be met with encouragement and friendly advice.”

Check out Guitar Station at 481 Malvern Rd, South Yarra or go to guitarstation.com.au.