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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Any unique music stores in your area? What makes them so?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by 4pickupguy, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Is there a unique music store near you?
    There is a guitar store near me called The Guitar Sanctuary that is quite different than most. It carries lots of (ok, only) high-end stuff and offers discounts (no screamin' deals that I saw) on most everything. But, what I like about it is its connection to the local musicians. The store itself is very nice and although it comes across as a bit of a "corksniffer's paradise", it does fully support local music aggressively. It is the anti 'big box' of music stores IMHO. They comitted valuable floor space (although they have lots of inventory) to build a concert hall and maintain an impressive concert calendar throughout the year. Being able to hear a Neo Vent II in a quiet pedal testing room, for example, without being pressured, is worth the price of addmission to me. When I buy one, I will get from there for that service. I wish more music stores followed this model because I feel like they are not just there to take my money while looking over my shoulder for their next mark. I am in no way connected to this store and I am not shilling for them, I just like what they do. I have heard rumours of new locations of this store opening. I hope so. From a non shilling, customers perspective, what other unique stores are out there? Post them for us to visit and support!

    The "show room" if you will...

    The concert/clinic calendar:

    A link:

    Another unique music store experience for me was in Korea a couple of years ago. A store (collection of stores) so big, it is mind blowing to see.
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  2. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 11, 2006
    Near Athens GA USA
    There's an aging rich blooze dad store over in Alpharetta GA kind of like this although not quite as fancy. It was way too hoighty-toity for my tastes and budget. Visiting there wasn't a good shopping experience for me. I guess I didn't have the appropriate attire of expensive Polo shirt and cargo shorts. I felt like Julia Roberts character when she first visited the snooty clothes store. They do have some nice custom shop models there though as well as some custom luither builds.
    4pickupguy likes this.
  3. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Feb 14, 2011
    Annapolis, MD
    We have a store here that sells a lot of vintage gear but it’s not really much different than a store without a vintage inventory. All the expensive guitars are in one room. But otherwise it’s much the same as any other independent store.
    4pickupguy likes this.
  4. Tomm Williams

    Tomm Williams Tele-Holic

    Jun 11, 2016
    image.jpeg It's not near me but definitely a pair of favorites. Emerald City Guitars in Seattle and Thunder Road Guitars in Portland. Portland has several weird fantastic guitar stores that are a joy to dig around in.

    Here's a pic of two original '59 and one '60 Les Paul for sale at ECG. Yes those are the prices on the necks !!!
    4pickupguy, brookdalebill and matrix like this.
  5. matrix

    matrix Tele-Meister

    Apr 13, 2016
    Vancouver, BC
    Man, I love Rufus guitar in Vancouver. Not a ginormous place, but they have a really nice selection of new and used gear, with a good balance of acoustic and electric.

    It has been around forever, but a few years back the ownership changed, and what I love about the place now is the vibe. Relaxed and friendly to everyone. Help is there, you never feel ignored, but you never feel any pressure, or any upselling. I always feel like the staff are trying to help me find what I need, and are way more interested my happiness than sales.

    Which maybe should not be such a big deal, but in so many guitar stores I really get the vibe from the staff that I am not cool enough or important enough to shop there, and they would really rather I go away.

    It has got to the point now that if I see gear that I want online or at another store, I just ask Rufus to bring it in for me, because I want them to keep going.
    DavidP likes this.
  6. Artslap

    Artslap Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2014
    Sydney, Australia
    Wow. $1M in the window.

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  7. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    There’s a great store here in San Jose called Guitar Showcase that is a lot like the store you first described... it has a huge inventory, with some nice listening areas, but the unique feature is rows of vintage high-end guitars behind glass, with high-end prices, several of which are noted as being from famous / well-known musicians, like Steve Miller etc. I’m definitely like a kid in a candy store in that place.

    If you scroll down and click some of the display pics, they are 3D pan views that you can rotate and look around.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
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  8. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    In Austin, I like my old haunt (employer) South Austin Music.
    It's smaller, but not small, and they always have interesting new, used and vintage stuff.
    In the last few years I have purchased 1 bass, 3 guitars, and 2 amps.
    In San Antonio, I like Spacetone Music.
    Not surprisingly, it's a lot like SAM.
    Both shops are "Mom & Pop" type shops.
    Both have knowledgable and capable staff.
    Both are what I used to call "pro shops".
  9. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Holic

    Apr 3, 2018
    The house of guitars in Rochester New York.
    MisterZ, Crowcaster and 4pickupguy like this.
  10. Stefanovich

    Stefanovich Tele-Holic

    Jan 27, 2010
    Kingston, Ontario
    When I lived in Vancouver, Rufus' was my favourite. I left the city before it changed owners, but have been in since. The vibe has definitely changed. The previous owner (I won't mention his name) could be a bit abrasive at times. My best guitars were bought at Rufus, including a screaming deal on my 1943 D-18.

    The only interesting guitar shop where I live now just shut down. The owner explained that he sold a lot of the cool stuff through Reverb. This combined with the rent increase his landlord was demanding, made it an easy decision to close up shop and become an online only dealer. Too bad, but I suspect this will happen to quite a few independent shops that deal in vintage and interesting gear.
    4pickupguy likes this.
  11. gypsy jim

    gypsy jim Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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  12. Jamie_h

    Jamie_h TDPRI Member

    Jun 6, 2017
    Hey 4pickup, the wife and I travelled over to guitar sanctuary last year to watch Texas Flood at their concert venue. We got there too late to visit the store, but the concert venue rocked!
    4pickupguy likes this.
  13. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Jan 15, 2010
    Southpaw Guitars is pretty near where I live. Carries a lot of left handed guitars as the name suggests.
    Rockin Robin is a fun place to visit, has some nice vintage instruments hanging along the rafters.
    For high end new and vintage we have Fuller's Guitars.
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  14. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I have not caught a show there yet but, Andy Timmons plays there quite a bit and I will catch him next time he's in town. He lives near there. He mentions them quite a bit in interviews. Really small world, found out Shane Frame of GS is a former band mate from about 23 years ago and he replaced me in one of my favorite bands called Reatta when my son got sick. Great musician. BTW, Texas Flood is playing Tolberts on Sept 5th.

    I like local businesses that are active in their communities like GS.

    This may come close to shilling, but, I used to work for a unique music store until 1990. It is still there and run by my former boss's (and GREAT guitar player) son Bruce Lee. Yes, he did name his son after the martial arts Bruce Lee.
    You never knew what you would find in that place. Lots of great memories and stories about that place.

    Jamie_h likes this.
  15. Crowcaster

    Crowcaster Tele-Holic

    Jan 10, 2010
    North Dakota
    I use to live in northeast New York state and along a quiet highway a little east of Churubusco, NY is Dick's Country Store and Music Oasis. Stop in and get your Gas, Groceries, Guns and Guitars!!! An unassuming place with an inventory of over 1000 guns and 800 guitars. High end brands....Gibson, Fender, Gretsch, and Martin. I bought my first Martin there and more importantly, my first telecaster there! Awesome place, that I took anyone that ever visited me while I was living nearby. Check out the link.

    Dicks Country Store.jpg
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  16. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2009
    That is one cool store,
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  17. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2009
  18. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 30, 2011
    Grayson's Tune Town.

    You'd probably not guess it, or even realize it, unless you spent some time there. It's a small ma-n-pa shop without a lot of room for inventory, in a kind of snooty/yuppie area.

    But the key lies in what they choose to fill that space with. It's such a great variety of the Fender line, from top to bottom. If there's a special model, a signature model, a limited edition color, or something like that that comes out, they'll probably order one...and have them in stock a few weeks before places like Sweetwater, Guitar Center, etc. get them. With some lines, they'll get one in every color. They really cover such great amount of ground with their inventory selections. As such, they carry a better representation of the Fender range than any Guitar Center I've ever been into...but using 1/20 the square footage.

    They used to be similarly great with Gibson products, but Gibson screwed them at some point, and they either quit being a dealer or were fired as a dealer. Good riddance. More room for Fenders.

    And they hire young, energetic, smart kids who know their stuff.

    It's a great shop.
    4pickupguy likes this.
  19. MrGibbly

    MrGibbly Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 19, 2014
    +1. I like Spacetone a lot. Bought my Boogie from them. Always interesting stuff to look at, all the help you might want but zero pressure.
    4pickupguy likes this.
  20. Solaris moon

    Solaris moon Tele-Meister

    Nov 12, 2017
    Fort Wayne
    We don't have any unique stores in town if ever! I guess that the only you could call unique is Sweetwater. A lot of displays like the ZZ top '34 Ford that Billy Gibbons built and painted himself. They HAD the '56 Precision bass that Stevie Ray Vaughn gave to Billy Shannon that had "Soul to Soul" inscribed by Stevie himself during the '84 - '85 sessions of the album. And of course they also had the Gibson Les Paul that Joe Walsh wrote "Rocky Mountain high" on - that guitar was obliterated with no logo (sanded off), broken, and replaced parts, and finish damage all over it! Other than that - no more shops other than Guitar Center. Maybe I'll try to get a few photos of Sweetwater's entrance display.
    4pickupguy likes this.
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