Goat Peak Strings in Easthampton, Massachusetts specializes in vintage, rare and collectable stringed instruments, as well as new custom instruments from local builders. The shop also offers expert repairs and restorations, offering personalized service to players of any caliber. Jane Hamel and Alex Gray are veteran luthiers and collectors with over 75 years of experience between them. They consider themselves caretakers of these fine instruments, and keepers of history, continuing traditions that are generations old.
Vintage instruments are works of art that are great to play, as well as attractive to display. A vintage instrument, kept in good condition, will often maintain or increase in value over time. The value of any vintage instrument depends on its condition, how rare or interesting the model is, and its sound quality. Other factors which may influence the value are whether the model is or was associated with an influential musician, whether the particular instrument was produced in limited quantities, and whether the ‘label’ is now only found on vintage instruments. But any instrument has more value when loved and played regularly. If your instrument is not a joy to play, perhaps some attention from a skilled and caring luthier will increase the intrinsic value it holds for you.
At Goat Peak Strings we offer a large selection of fine instruments. If you are looking for something specific, please let us know (we keep a “wish” list). If you do not find what you are looking for in our current inventory, please be sure to check back again, since our listings are always changing and growing.
Jane is the head luthier here at Goat Peak Strings. She began in the early 1970’s working with guitar-maker and later with a violin maker.
“I believe that a luthier should at least be an adequate player of all the instruments they work on to really understand a proper set up. When I get to know a player’s subtleties then the set ups I do for them become very personal and I usually establish a relationship with that client for many years.”
Jane plays out professionally on occasion on guitar, banjo, fiddle, dobro and pedal steel.
I have an ongoing, 30 plus year love affair with vintage instruments. After all these years, I still get excited when an old case walks in.
I have performed numerous restorations on all types of instruments, from 1800’s Martin parlor guitars, Archtops from the golden era, to 1960’s electrics. Always with the utmost attention to originality.
Stringed instruments are never just a vocation. They must be your passion.
My goal is to give our clients, both old & new, the best experience possible.
Louis Freilicher, a Berklee Music School alum, began his journey in luthiery with Brad Nickerson and Ivon Schmuckler in 1995. He later worked at Fretted Musical Instruments where he met Jane in 2006. Louis has continued to work with Jane at Luthier’s Co-op and now at Goat Peak Strings. He has developed an expertise over the years in both acoustic and electric instruments. He also builds custom guitars and banjos.
Shop Manager at Goat Peak Strings, Ian Hamel has been involved with and playing music of one sort or another for over 40 years. He is the man behind the look and operation of both our Easthampton, MA shop and our virtual sites. He is always here to help with customer service and working with the outstanding luthiers to continue to grow the shops reputation as being second to none.
Hazel, a fine dog of many heritages, was born on a rare cloudy day in the Outback of Australia. She was left alone to fend for herself but was soon adopted by a pack of dingos who taught her the ways of the wild. She later sought out her fortunes in America where she met Louis, who was at the time in great need of a dog and the two have been inseparable since. Hazel is in charge of PR and customer greetings.