in partnership withLocal 12 News
Oakley's DHR Guitar Experience is the guitar store Cincinnati deserves. It features mid- and high-end products, has exclusive deals with top brands, hosts great local teachers, and even has a massage chair so you can play in comfort for hours. ADDRESS: 3092 Madison Road (45208) / Image: Brian Planalp

The Guitar Boutique That's Returning Cincy To Its Musical Roots

Rows of gleaming guitars adorn the walls of Dale Rabiner’s Oakley boutique, DHR Guitar Experience. It’s an impressive sight, whether you play the instrument or not.

Even if you do, you might not know DHR is considered among the finest guitar boutiques in the country. You also might not know it’s unique in the landscape of Cincinnati guitar store—and not just because it has a massage chair.

What else sets it apart? Let's break it down.


DHR is the premier dealer for Preston Thompson and K-Line guitars. They also offer guitars from Benedetto, B&G, Koll, and Comins.

Those are big names, if you didn’t know. Especially Thompson and K-Line. But it gets more impressive: DHR isn’t just any dealer of K-Line guitars, it’s the largest dealer of K-Line guitars in the world—and the exclusive dealer of K-Line’s left-handed guitars.


There’s plenty for beginners too. That includes lessons, in which Rabiner takes a considerable amount of pride. He speaks at length about the limitations of pattern playing—i.e. playing from memory.

So-called pattern players account for the vast majority of guitarists out there. And that’s fine. But if you want to get the most out of your guitar, you have to learn to read music.

Thankfully, reading music is what DHR’s three guitar teachers focus on. They wouldn’t consider themselves good teachers if they didn’t, nor would they be doing any favors to Cincinnati’s growing music scene.


Rabiner gushes about the importance of Cincinnati in the development of bluegrass. This is a music town, he says. At least, it used to be.

“It’s amazing how few people know how significant Cincinnati was in the history of music,” Rabiner says. “Most people don’t even know James Brown recorded in Cincinnati, or that King Records was once the fifth-largest record company in the country.”

Hence Rabiner’s commitment to selling quality guitars and hosting quality guitar teachers at DHR. The boutique exists, in part, to remind the city of its musical heyday, so that a new generation of musicians can usher in an era of great local music.

And that is music to our ears.

- -

DHR Guitar Experience is located in Oakley at 3092 Madison Road.