Acoustic guitar shopping in Nashville

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by theprofessor, Jul 22, 2021 at 9:05 AM.

  1. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hi all -

    I'm planning to help a friend go acoustic guitar shopping for a day in Nashville. The goal at this point is for him to gain as much exposure to the different kinds of sounds and to the different price-ranges of various brands and constructions of acoustic guitars -- both used and new. He is accustomed to playing Taylors, and I imagine he'd be happy with another one. But here's the opportunity to play and hear a variety of instruments without prejudice (I hope) and, as I'll encourage him, without first considering country of origin or even price tag.

    The plan at this point is to start up north of town at Corner Music, and then to work our way down to Carter Vintage. Then to Gruhn. We'll also likely hit Rumble Seat, and maybe The North American Guitar and even Guitar Center. So we're basically moving from north to south, which puts us back on I-24 at the end of the day, headed back toward Chattanooga. And of course we'll go to Hattie B's for lunch and hit Jackalope for beers...

    Anyway, I'm wondering if I'm missing a major piece here. Anyone able to pitch in on something I should add to the itinerary, or to point out something I have included that you think is a total waste of time?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    My dream vacation!
     
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  3. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    l know very little about the big, nice, well stocked guitar store scene in Nashville and it sounds like you have a great day planned so I can’t add to it.
    I will say that I drove all the way from my farm to Music World and Drummers den in Murfreesboro last February to buy my Martin HD-28V. It’s a small shop about a half hour from The Opry.
    I found them on Facebook marketplace offering amazing deals on Martin guitars.
    Perhaps check with them before purchasing.
     
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  4. loco gringo

    loco gringo Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Artisan Guitars. Collings, Huss & Dalton and more.
     
  5. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd want to at least drive by and see the Ryman Auditorium unless you've already done that.
     
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  6. Eeeeeagle

    Eeeeeagle TDPRI Member

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    Gibson Garage just opened recently as well. Would be convenient when you hit Gruhn and Carter Vintage.
     
  7. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Afflicted

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    Gruhn's Guitars... good folks there. I've done a few deals with em over the years.
     
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  8. irie

    irie Tele-Holic

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    I would go to Guitar Center, Carter's and Gruhn's. They are all only like 10 minutes apart from each other.

    If you have time I would make a stop at the country music hall of fame.
     
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  9. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    I played the new Taylor AD27e recently. Definitely worth checking out. Also, Corner has the Eastman and Sheeran lines. The Sheerans are designed by Lowden and definitely have their own sound. The Eastmans offer a lot of bang for the buck.
     
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  10. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Take a decent recorder. Turn it on, pick up a guitar, identify it (this is an Acme 101 at XYZ music), play pretty much the same thing each time. My ears go dead after a few different guitars and my memory is totally worthless. I'm also a believer in blind testing - hand guitars back and forth to your friend and see if he/she can hear the differences without seeing them.

    Also obviously, have your friend play but you play each one too so he/she can listen out front. Have fun, that goes without saying.
     
  11. televillian

    televillian Tele-Afflicted

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    sounds like a plan
     
  12. mjcyates

    mjcyates Tele-Holic

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    Sounds like a great trip. The Martin 000-15M that I recently purchased was from Gruhn so I can recommend them. Carters Vintage is very cool. Hattie B's is awesome. I think you have checked all the boxes that I know about.
     
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  13. Bill Ashton

    Bill Ashton Tele-Afflicted

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    Artisan Guitars, definitely! Collings (in Texas) and Huss & Dalton (in Staunton, VA) are just a bit out of your driving radius I would imagine. But he MUST play both those brands, and Artisan which I believe is just a few miles south (Franklin, TN?), is THE place to do it...they will have a good range of pieces from both manufacturers.

    Have fun on this trip! :D
     
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  14. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

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    Really glad to know that Corner Music carries Eastman. I have not been to Corner Music since they were down in 12 South. And even then I wasn’t paying much attention to acoustic guitars. And as for the Sheeran line, anything made by Lowden is worth my attention.
     
  15. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

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    I’m going down to a buddy’s house in Brentwood anyway, so maybe I’ll make the stretch to go as far down south/west as Franklin. Sounds good! Thanks.
     
  16. rockymtnguitar

    rockymtnguitar Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I just did something similar, though I the trip was really a family vacation with stops at lots of guitar stores. Gruhns was huge, so plan to spend some time there. I loved how they had several guitars of the same model, so if you found something you liked, you could try several individual guitars to find just the right one.

    I agree about adding the Gibson Garage to your list - it was very cool, in general. The acoustic room was smaller than I'd hoped, but some great stuff in there.

    Corner Music was very cool and the folks there were super friendly.

    Enjoy! Get to the Grand Ole Opry, too. Well worth it. We also ate at Paula Deen's - very good food.

    I highly recommend the Battle of Franklin Civil War tours, while you're there - particularly Carter House. The story of that battle is stunning.
     
  17. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Tele-Meister

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    I like Carter’s best. They are cool there. They let you go up and see the high ticket items. I haven’t been to Gruhns since they were on Broadway downtown, but I never got an overly friendly vibe there. And I never once got to go see their actual cool stuff.

    Carter is the place I go, every single trip to NSH.

    guitar center is guitar center. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen probably 90 percent of them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021 at 12:38 PM
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  18. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Prof, it does sound like you need to do a trip report
     
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  19. vgallagher

    vgallagher Tele-Meister

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    Make sure they’re not appointment only. I was at Gruhn a few months ago and they said that they might make the appointment only permanent
     
  20. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks so much, everyone. Yes, @Freeman Keller , I'll add a trip report once I return. As for Guitar Center, I agree that they are all quite the same. But I have seen enough nice stuff in that particular Guitar Center that I'd think it might warrant at least a short trip back. I loved Corner Music in its old location, and I look forward to re-visiting it but in its newest location. I have always found Carter Vintage a cool place. That's mandatory for me, every time I go to Nashville. I only went to the Broadway location of Gruhn back in college, but I've visited several times in its current location. The people I have engaged with there are exceptionally kind, and I look forward to seeing them every time I go.
     
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