Week 18 – Class Axe Guitars


I love music – all kinds – but I can’t really play anything, unless you count an out-of-tune trumpet {in which case, I rock pretty hard}, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I visited Class Axe Guitars.  I had nothing to worry about: Assistant Manager Shamus Stoodley {aka: my tour guide for the day}, was nothing but nice.  His passion for music and playing shone through as he lead me through the store, explaining what makes the different brands and models of guitars special.


The vault beckons…

We started in The Vault, where Class Axe stores it’s oldest guitars, including one from the 1820s!  Shamus showed me the Gretsch guitars, the Fenders, the Gibsons, which fall within an impressive range of colours, styles and prices.  As we made our way through the store, Shamus mentioned that they are authorized Gretsch and Fender dealers, as well as certified technicians for those brands and Peavey Electronics.

Class Axe first opened on Highway 44 about 12 years ago when owner Bob Beshara converted a tiny burger shack the saloon-style store we know today. Music pours out into the parking lot, beckoning customers and drawing them in.

With every inch of the store covered in posters, guitars and guitar paraphernalia, Class Axe sells everything from vintage to modern, with stops at retro and funky along the way.  They also sell other stringed instruments like ukuleles, violins, banjos, and fiddles, as well as woodwinds and brass instruments.


Colourful ukes line one wall.

The shop’s online presence is great, with an engaging website that includes an origins story, helpful Q&A about caring for your instrument, and a support forum for music lessons.  The website is authoritative but witty, and evokes the feeling of talking to a friendly, road-weary rock star who knows his stuff and is happy to share.

You know who else is happy?  Class Axe customers.  When I was there, I chatted with Doug, a repeat customer, who said he never left the store empty-handed.  I asked him what kept bringing him back and he told me it was the quality, the selection, and the excellent customer service.  “Class Axe is in the middle of everywhere,” Shamus quipped.  “Our customers come from Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal – it’s so easy to get to Kemptville from each of those cities.”


Certified technicians for Fender, Gretsch, Peavey, and more!

There is so much to say about Class Axe guitars.  The Class Axe School of Music is galvanizing the creativity of kids and adults of all ages.  They rent audio equipment for special events {including our wedding in 2007!}.  But I think the final word should go to the epic Mount Rockmore mural on the outside of the building.  Like the last lingering notes at a summer concert, the hazy image of Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and other legends will stay with you long after you’ve left the store…and you’re daydreaming about your first sold-out show.  🙂

Whether you’re starting out playing shaky scales or nailing a searing hot solo, Class Axe Guitars has an axe for you.  Check it out.


Class Axe Guitars

288 Highway 44

Kemptville, ON K0G 1J0






Monday – Thursday: 10:00am – 9:00pm

Friday: 10:00am – 6:00pm

Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm

Sunday: Closed.


Mount Rockmore in all its glory.

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5 Responses to Week 18 – Class Axe Guitars

  1. Bruce Enloe says:

    Great write-up! Hope you don’t mind, I borrowed your vault pic for the Kemptville and Area musician’s page on FB…

  2. J. Bertram says:

    Rock on…..Class Axe………

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