“If you walk through a Guitar Center, you see an awful lot of $300 guitars. If I’m a serious musician, it doesn’t feel like the right place for me anymore”: Guitar Center’s new CEO explains why the firm’s future must prioritize premium guitars

Guitar Center storefront
(Image credit: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

Guitar Center’s new CEO Gabe Dalporto believes “the world needs” the instrument superstore – but has conceded it needs to “evolve and execute better” in order to survive.

Dalporto was named CEO in October, and recently spoke to Music Inc Magazine about his vision for what he hopes will be a brighter future for the firm – one that must place a greater emphasis on high-end gear.

Guitar Center: Up to 30% off Guitar-A-Thon sale

Guitar Center: Up to 30% off Guitar-A-Thon sale
There's big money to be saved on everything from beginner gear to premium brands like Gibson, Fender and Martin in the Guitar-A-Thon sale, until 1 May. Offers include a cool $100 off the stunning Fender Player Saturday Night Special Strat, loaded with custom Seymour Duncan pickups. This model and finish is exclusive to Guitar Center, too.

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Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to Prog, Guitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.