What is a Gryphon?
The Gryphon (pronounced Griffin) is an imaginary beast with the body of a lion and the head, wings, and talons of an eagle. Dating back to several centuries B.C., the Gryphon was said to rule both air and land, watchful, loyal, strong, and swift--all those qualities politicians promise but never deliver. In remnants of ancient cultures Gryphons still silently toil, pulling chariots, guarding temples and treasure, and just generally being nice guys while always looking majestic.
We're lousy at looking majestic, and fortunately our chariot-pulling and temple-guarding abilities have never been tested, but the nice guys stuff has been our specialty for over 40 years. We first chose the Gryphon as a logo, but maybe a bit of those noble qualities have rubbed off, who knows? The "watchful" part is reflected in the wide and varied inventory you'll see here, with far more to be found in the store, and most of our new customers are referred to us by old customers, suggesting that the loyalty factor works both ways.
Gryphon Stringed Instruments has always been known as a source of information. We're famous for talking at length about the instruments and other goods we've chosen to sell, but often that's not enough and we wind up writing magazine articles and even books about the universe of fretted instruments. Another topic given lots of wind is the services we offer, for oftentimes they make the difference between an instrument that seems to work against you and one that is your best ally in making music, and having fun doing it.
This site has been designed to present as much of those traditions as we can online, so along with lists of instruments for sale are articles we've written for magazines both past and present, as well as lots of articles from our house newsletter, the Gryphon eGazette, which morphed from paper to email several years ago and now goes out to almost 10,000 people.
We'd be disappointed if all this stuff didn't provoke some questions, and we invite you to send us email. Oftentimes the telephone allows us to answer dozens of questions in less time than it takes to type out a few lines, so feel free to use our toll-free number, 888-493-2131
If we can inspire you to visit Gryphon in person, so much the better. We love to talk about this stuff, perhaps because all those ancient Gryphons are silent, and we're trying to make up for it. Of course we hope to sell you something eventually, as that's our business, but for now we hope this website gives you some sense of what Gryphon Stringed Instruments is about.
-Richard Johnston, editor.