About Fretco

A Brief History

Fretco has a long history of passion for guitars. It’s founder, Brian West, began playing at age ten and was soon bashing it out in the obligatory teenage manner in the Aussie pub scene. There many a story has ended, but during the mid 70’s, years of experience in the furniture trade led Brian to guitar making as a hobby and a lifelong quest for innovation and quality guitar building was begun.

Brian’s dedication and ability was confirmed in London where he spent time repairing at Andy’s Guitars in 1982. Upon return to Adelaide, he was straight into it, starting as Brian West Guitar Repairs from a spare room but demand quickly evolving into a business on Rundle Street in 1985 – Fretco was born. Today Fretco offers parts and services across the whole spectrum of guitar interests – players, enthusiasts and builders alike.

Over the next fifteen years and several locations, always in the heart of Adelaide, Brian collected a small team of like minded professionals who share his commitment to quality and innovation. He has around him today a couple of fellas who repair, play, build, and talk guitars in and out of work. People who, like Brian, started their careers young, organically, by just working on guitars and improving their knowledge without regard to the cost (bye bye disposable income, movies with the girlfriend, hello spray shops, buffing arbors and hand tools). This has meant that between them, Brian and his team bring years of experience from the craftsman’s and the musicians’ point of view. It takes playing a guitar to understand the joy of a properly crafted instrument, and it takes being on stage to understand the importance of reliability and quality, but most importantly, playability and outrageously good tone!

Having experienced himself years of suffering a never ending thirst for knowledge on guitars and guitar building, Brian also understands those who tread the well worn road of do-it-yourself maintenance, repair and building. He understands the need to play something that sets you apart, that expresses you properly, and he has accumulated a vast range of parts, kits, specialist tools and knowledge to help you achieve that satisfaction of having done it yourself.

He has also earned the approval from the industry, being the sole authorized warranty repairer in South Australia for Fender, Martin, Maton, and Takamine.

Over the years Brian has accumulated a huge array of building skills and acquired (and handmade) many specialist tools. He has custom built many different guitars and basses including innovative designs – it would take far too long to tell you of them all! He has never stopped keeping life interesting by taking on a new challenge and the results are impressive. Check out the photo library in the custom shop – and yes that is Jeff Beck holding one of Brian’s creations – he admired it and was given it by an ardent fan!

Now in 122 Gilbert Street, Fretco is evolving again, with a new focus not only on repairs and custom builds but vintage and second hand guitars for sale, music tuition, guitar kits for all budgets and a never ending quest to be the one stop for guitarists.