Best Musical Instrument Store - 2008
The saxophone is an instrument that oozes cool: The sexy curves, the glistening metal and that soul-stirring tone all add up to one defiant, hard-to-ignore piece of equipment. And while it might seem strange to have a music store that only specializes in saxophones, such niche expertise has made Saxquest one of the best-known horn shops worldwide. Husband-and-wife duo Mark and Elke Overton founded Saxquest as a Web-only store in 2000, buying and selling horns at home and abroad and focusing on rare and vintage saxes. (Mark's a biologist, Elke a music instructor. And yes, they both play sax.) This year the Overtons opened a storefront in the heart of the Cherokee antique district, and the location is fitting. While Saxquest sells new saxophones and various sax supplies, it also houses a museum on the second floor, full of antique saxes — from tiny sopraninos to man-size bass saxophones. The museum is free and open during store hours, but be warned: You may walk in a casual fan, but you'll leave with aspirations of becoming the next Coltrane. Lucky for you, Saxquest can help you take your first (giant) step toward sax stardom.