Dan Kent Armstrong was born in Lakewood, Ohio - a surburb of Cleveland, on October 7th 1934 - the son of Harry & Ruth Armstrong. Harry was an engineer responsible for heat treating equipment at the Lee Wilson Engineering Co., of Rocky River, Ohio while Ruth, (maiden name Frost) was a registered nurse working at Grant Hospital, then the Berea Community Hospital, and finally for Dr. William Bond all of which were located in Berea, Ohio.
While his fathers engineering skills would help serve Dan later on, his interests at the time was music, and at the age of 11 he began playing guitar. Years later he moved to New York and was soon involved doing studio recordings as a session guitarist.
He was quickly in demand, making one record a week while working with big name bands and it wasn't long before the music would take Dan on the road, and often he would rent, or borrow equipment from a music shop called Caroll's. The owner, Caroll Bratman, soon noticed that his rental instruments were coming back in better shape than when they went out, and eventually asked Dan to repair guitars for him. Dan agreed and was soon taken to a warehouse chock full of instruments - Gibsons, Fenders, Guilds, and many others. Dan recalls, "I have never seen so many instruments in one building before."
In 1965, Dan Armstrong opened his own luthier/repair shop on 48th Street across from Manny's Music, called Dan Armstrong's Guitar Service and one of his first customers was John Sebastian (Loving Spoonful). Dan still continued his session work and as his new business grew, his studio calls for standby work also had him working with numerous artists. By this time things had gotten so busy that Dan had 3 employees working for him. Dan's shop was open until 1968 when it was demolished to make room for the Rockefeller building, and he relocated to a shop in Laguardia Place in Greenwich Village which Dan liked better anyway, as it was "more relaxed".