What’s Your Local Guitar Store Like?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Kelleycaster, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. Rev Rhythm

    Rev Rhythm Tele-Meister

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    I used to work at Werlein's Music, which was before it closed, the oldest continually operating music store in the country.

    They closed... Twenty years ago, maybe? The smaller shops were never as nice and haven't seemed to step up their game. GC is currently the best game in town, as far as I am aware.
     
  2. fishermike

    fishermike TDPRI Member

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    Just plain sad is how I'd describe mine. There are actually two in town. One is old, dark, and has very little inventory, mostly just cheap MIC student guitars, and some decent consignment stuff with pricing that is all over the place (not their fault, of course). Not really set up so you can grab a guitar and play.

    The other one is more modern, better selection, but still nothing to write home about. I'm honestly surprised that either of them is able to stay in business. I try to spend some $$$ at each of them, just on principle, but neither one is much inspiration. Fortunately, there are plenty of better shops available if I head south a bit.
     
  3. ClashCityTele

    ClashCityTele Tele-Afflicted

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    I'll have that one, no not that one, yes that one...top row 35th from the left.
     
    dented likes this.
  4. ClashCityTele

    ClashCityTele Tele-Afflicted

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    Small family store. One man operation. Swears like a trooper. 5 mins away
    I wanted a 2x12 cab. He said he doesn't stock them, no-one uses them, there's no demand.
    Everyone plugs direct into PA just like him & his son. I said I don't!!!!!
    He hangs his own guitars on the wall so when you ask 'How much?' he says sorry it's not for sale.
    He has a 68 LP, weighs half a ton & a Squier Tele VM Custom. Has a few Epiphones.
    It's handy for strings & plectrums. He opens when he feels like it.
     
    gwjensen and Kelleycaster like this.
  5. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Holic

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    Awesome. In the last couple years we got a Dave’s location in Madison about 10 minutes from my house. Great service, gear, and prices. I’m in there a lot and have bought and traded/sold a lot there.

    There’s a decent guitar store on the east side about half hour drive. Otherwise it’s a super crappy Guitar Center (I’ve been to good GCs, but the Madison one has gone down the tubes the last few years) and a store that focuses mostly on band instruments with an occasional nice guitar here or there.

    If I’m feeling ambitious, the original Dave’s is about 2 hours away, Cream City is an excellent Milwaukee store about 1.5 hours away, and Chicago Music Exchange about 3 hours away. Great experiences with them all. Been meaning to check out Rock n Roll Vintage in Chicago, too.

    Not too shabby options within reasonable driving distance.
     
  6. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    The only place near here of any note is the Guitar Center in Athens. The other places nearby that sell new guitars tend to be more high school band instrument rental operations with a meager supply of overpriced cheap guitars. Pawn shops are usually overpriced and sell their guitars for 25% or more over what the same thing sells for on Ebay or Reverb.

    40+ miles away (2hrs+ in typical Atlanta traffic) are some hoity-toity shops like Righteous Guitars and Maple Street Guitars. Nice, but too rich for me. I used to shop often at Atlanta Discount Music but they hit a slump a few years ago and treated me rather rudely, causing them to permanently lose me as a customer.
     
  7. rad1

    rad1 Tele-Afflicted

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    I got here in 71’. Both daughters went to Bayview, Mission Hill and Santa Cruz High. Those schools did well by my girls. As a matter of fact, they are doing so well my grandkids go to Westlake, not Bayview:D
     
  8. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    Like any other Guitar Center...
     
  9. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I’ve lived in the Tampa area for a little over two and a half years now. There are a couple of places I haven’t been yet, including a vintage store that @gridlock is apparently very fond of.

    The two Guitar Centers are pretty lousy, especially the one closest to me, in Clearwater.

    There are also two Sam Ash stores. The Tampa one is decent, but the Clearwater one is ALMOST as bad as the GCs.

    If I had to pick a place to buy new nearby, I’d go with Replay Guitar Exchange in Tampa.

    I lived in Louisville Kentucky for over five years before moving here, and they definitely had better music stores there.

    However, I found a great guitar/amp tech in St. Pete, so at least there’s that.
     
    gridlock likes this.
  10. gridlock

    gridlock Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Yes, my vintage shop (1.5 hour drive) is top notch for vintage and used gear and well worth the drive. Replay Guitar Exchange, in Tampa, is also another good store. Especially for high-end and boutique gear that you normally don’t see in the local franchise stores. I’m lucky to have access to these two great stores and to actually know and trust the people that work there.

    I mainly buy used gear and I’ve found some really good used and vintage gear at my two local Sam Ashes and Guitar Centers over the years. I have noticed that the selection of used gear in these local big box stores have lessened over the past few years. Still, Guitar Center has a nationwide selection of used and vintage gear which is a great resource. A great selection, cheap-quick shipping, and a great refund policy. No complaints here about the big box stores.
     
  11. Buckaroo65

    Buckaroo65 Tele-Meister

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    Does the trussart count? I love going in and looking at that thang!
     
  12. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Tele-Meister

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    This makes me want to move to Savannah. Randy's sounds like a little slice of heaven.
     
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  13. MattyK-USA

    MattyK-USA Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    It's very popular locally, unsurprisingly mostly among musicians (although I really like it too! o_O).
     
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  14. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    What’s it like?
    It’s like, closed for business.

    After a good strong 40 plus year run, the owner retired. The writing had been on the wall though. Fender pulled his franchise about 10 years ago saying he was too small of a shop.
    I have GC NOLA and GC Baton Rouge.
     
  15. Stanford Guitar

    Stanford Guitar TDPRI Member

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    My local store is called Gryphon Strings and it's pretty awesome. Lots of vintage acoustic and electrics coming and going.

    https://www.gryphonstrings.com/
     
  16. idjster

    idjster VERY grateful member Silver Supporter

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    We've got two local Long & McQuade stores in the city. As I don't buy much other than strings now I'm not sure about what it's like. When I was shopping a lot I made some good friends within the sales people, some of whom remain good friends that I see regularly, even though they've moved on from the sales arena. They were always up front and honest with me and gave me some pretty good deals too!
     
    BramptonRob1958 likes this.
  17. Rockinvet

    Rockinvet Tele-Meister

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    We have the usual Guitar Center in Virginia Beach, it is close and the staff is good. We also have a couple locally owned. Alpha music at least has amp repair which I have used numerous times. The tech is good but expensive and he is a great guy to talk to. The guitars are displayed behind a small 3 foot wall so you can’t just pick a guitar off the wall without assistance and they do have some good sound gear. We also have a real small local owned store in an old strip mall that has junky guitars and an occasional used Strat and off brand stuff. This store probably makes more money teaching lessons and the owner is nice but I just don’t ever see anything I would remotely consider buying. There are wood wind brass winds and other small stores in the surrounding cities. I buy most of my gear either used or online.
     
  18. davo8411

    davo8411 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    We have a shiny new Guitar Center which is 5 minutes from my house.

    We have two other stores. Blues Angel Music which has been open for about twenty years. They are friendly, stock a pretty darn good collection of names (Fender, Taylor, Martin, Rainsong, Gretsch, Eastman) and have a pretty good-sized showroom. I almost responded to their recent ad for a guitar sales position because I'm so stressed out in my "career".

    The other store, Leitz Music, has a small space but they pack it pretty tight with Fender, Gibson, Taylor, etc.

    All three stores generally have friendly folks and I frequent all of them.
     
  19. Thorby Bislam

    Thorby Bislam Tele-Afflicted

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    Scarborough (UK, not Ontario). For a small town, we have three music shops. Best one is Knight Music, a one-man operation, it's like Alladin's cave, crammed full with gear. Not just guitars, pretty much anything. Always a good selection of new and used guitars and other intstruments. He'll buy and sell and always gives me a good deal. Don't know how he stays in business though; only open two days a week and no internet presence.

    Then there's Guitar Galleries which is quite the opposite. They cater for expensive, high-end stuff.

    The third is Mancini's. Keeps erratic hours. Never managed to catch him open.
     
  20. Apache Snow

    Apache Snow Tele-Meister

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    I live close to Nashville as well.
     
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