Downtown Lancaster music shop moving to Rock Lititz

Tone Tailors will be one of the next tenants of Rock Lititz’s Pod 2.

The two-man music equipment and repair shop opened in downtown Lancaster in 2015, offering a boutique alternative to big-box brands like Guitar Center.

But the shop’s location on West King Street, which is less than 2,000 square feet, doesn’t have space for lesson rooms, co-owner John LeClair said, and has no off-street parking. When a silent partner in the business told LeClair and fellow co-owner Jon Paul Painton about an opportunity to move to Rock Lititz’s recently built Pod 2 building, the opportunity was too good to pass up.

What better place to open a music store than next to a space where big-name musicians rehearse their acts?

Pod 2 is a 250,000-square-foot business hub on the sprawling Rock Lititz campus in Warwick Township. It holds work space for more than 20 companies, many of whom cater to the live-entertainment industry. Pod 2 sits next to Rock Lititz’s 30,000-square-foot rehearsal studio, where crews hold practice runs for major concerts.

Tone Tailors is still finalizing details for the new location and has yet to set a move-in date. The owners know, though, that their home in Pod 2 will be about triple the size of their current store.

LeClair and Painton plan to fill the space with equipment from brands like guitar makers Fender and Martin and effects pedal manufacturers Strymon and EarthQuaker, among others. They will also continue offering repairs on musicians’ gear.

New to Tone Tailors will be five lesson rooms, where musicians can learn guitar, bass, piano, drums, vocals and audio recording. Parents dropping off young students will be able to take advantage of Pod 2’s other offerings, like a coffee shop and brewery.

Gear systems designer Bob Bradshaw, whom LeClair described as “the most legendary guitar rig builder in the world,” also plans to have space in the shop. Bradshaw runs a company called Custom Audio Electronics and has designed gear for a long list of big-name musicians, from Metallica to Madonna.

LeClair and Painton both come to the shop from years of music-making experience. LeClair has been tearing guitars apart to see how they work since he was 13 years old, he said, and went to college to become a guitar technician. Painton has a background in audio recording.

The pair worked for years at Guitar Center but left to open a business they hoped would offer a more personal customer experience. Mom-and-pop music shops took a hit in the 1990s with the rise of big-box brands, LeClair said, but LeClair believes they’re making a comeback – even as some of the big-box stores see declining sales.

“The little man’s been pushing forward,” LeClair said.

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