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About Us

Our History

My name is Rudi Bults and I established TFOA from scratch in 2001. The seed, however, had been planted years before…

The older I get, the more I look back into my family history and realize that if my grandfather hadn’t decided to learn to play the organ around 1930, and if my father wouldn’t have joined him in the same choir years later (first as a singer and later as the director of that choir), neither I nor my youngest brother or my kids would have been involved in music these days.

The awareness of the historically important decision my grandfather made — perhaps taken instantaneously and spontaneously within just a crucial minute — made me realize how one simple decision can change the course of history.

Due to his decision, the Bults family’s history changed and continues to change faster and faster in a tsunami-like way. It did not only affect my life and that of my youngest brother, but it also changed the lives of our sons and daughters.

Not only are our children full-time engaged in the shop, but also a good number of my three younger brothers’ kids are involved in music these days. Even the lives of some of our foster kids changed significantly by getting infected with the guitar playing virus. And it all started with my grandfather somewhere around 1930!

Specializing From The Start

Running a shop in Bergentheim, of all places, was quite difficult to get started with. There is no history or heritage to live up to, and there are no major cities in the area to attract customers from.

So we decided to use a different approach and started out in the ‘American Way’. We imagined the world to be a place without borders and advertised in English so, hopefully, every guitar player would understand our offerings and philosophy.

One more thing that truly sets us apart is that, from the start, we concentrate on quality handcrafted guitars only. From the first day onward, we set out to meet master luthiers, invested in vintage guitars, and deepen and expanded our knowledge on subjects such as the history and technology related to guitar designing and all details that affect tone.

Today, TFOA is a highly specialized guitar shop where you can find a wide selection of the world’s finest acoustic guitars from both this century and eras gone by. We offer not only steel-string guitars, but also a fine selection of classical guitars, bass guitars, mandolins, ukuleles, and banjos.

Our Mission

TFOA’s goals are to be a knowledgeable partner for all customers looking for that one special guitar that has everything they need, to provide top-notch Customer-  First Service, and to be always on the lookout for further improvement of our services.

Knowledgeable Partner – Everyone who knows about TFOA understands why we chose our motto ‘Life’s too short to play a shitty guitar’. We embraced this motto because it perfectly explains who we are, what we stand for, and what we aim to do.

Our experience is one of a kind, and the value of our wide experience lies in understanding our customers’ individual needs combined with a comprehensive knowledge of each and every guitar we sell.

Customer-First Service – It is our goal to match your needs with the instrument that fits your needs and expectations best. Knowledge is the utmost important factor in our job, and we aim to support every customer to the best of our ability.

These are precisely the things that set us apart from other guitar shops. You are welcome to contact us anytime if you have questions that involve tone, technical issues, which pickup to install, or what amp to choose. Our advice is for free, anytime!

Who We Represent

We represent a strong mix of European and American guitar brands such as Gibson, Collings, Fender, Taylor, Music Man, Bourgeois, Goodall, Santa Cruz, Lowden, Martin, Mcilroy, Rozawood, Avalon, BSG (Jan Stovicek), Maton, Guild, Alister Atkin, National Reso-Phonic, Haar, Rebelrelic, and Furch.

These are our core brands, but we believe in the principle of Quality For Every Budget. Essential is, however, that quality is guaranteed! And that’s why we also represent brands like Blueridge and Eastman, companies that have proven to produce quality instruments that allow us to include TFOA’s unique 5-year warranty.