Is it just me????

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by musicman100, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. musicman100

    musicman100 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2008
    is just me or do others on here that get disappointed with guitar shops in general when visiting a new city.
    Maybe I’m just spoilt but still!!!!!
    My last day in the beautiful city of Helsinki today so I thought I’d do a bit of guitar window shopping, what a load of crap.

    Not much choice n ridiculous prices??

    That said i did play a lovely 5420 in gretsch orange which played great but not a €1100 guitar!!!!
    Charlie westside likes this.
  2. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    I try to stay out of shops, it's getting ridiculous in my house (too much stuff). We have some very nice shops within driving distance though, they just opened a great 2nd hand shop the next town over, it's where i got my Strat.
    Charlie westside and pmac11 like this.
  3. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013
    It just depends on what cities you are in. I’ve got some pretty incredible music cities within driving distance for me, so I’m fortunate in that respect. Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis......
    Charlie westside, pmac11 and Waxhead like this.
  4. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    There are 2 million fewer people in all of Fjnland than in London alone (I don't think you're in London, but just for comparison), spread out over a large area. Economics tells us you should expect less variety and higher prices for a market that much smaller. And much like at home, many people may choose to sell used direct to another consumer in the hope of a better price over selling to a store.
  5. Jockabilly

    Jockabilly Synchromatic

    Sep 15, 2018
    I have to say that I have become rather jaded about what is on offer with guitars, particularly on the high street anywhere. I can go through all the guitar stores in Glasgow or Edinburgh, there are two large(ish) stores in Glasgow and a handful of smaller ones, but it has got to the point where I am blind to the 'usual' fare. How many Strats, Les Pauls, even Gretsches can you look at before they all start to look like 'just another guitar'. I am amazed that, in this day and age of very fancy finish possibilities and new materials to play with, that an instrument designed for flamboyant artists to use on stage to get noticed is, in general, so very dull.

    Of course the High street stores can't even come close to competing with online prices either. There was a large, old music store in Glasgow that had stood for over 100 years that closed down some years back. I was talking to one of their sales staff shortly before the closure and he was saying that, having to pay local taxes, electricity bills, insurance, staff etc. etc. there was just no way on Earth they could compete with the online sellers and they were very frustrated that many of the customers merely came in to have a try at a particular instrument before going away home to buy it cheaper from an online vendor.
    Charlie westside and reverb11 like this.
  6. Charlie westside

    Charlie westside Synchromatic

    Jul 27, 2018
    Sylmar Califirnia
    I always try to visit the mom/pop shops. Only problem is MajorBrands don't supply these small shops. I have just about stopped shopping at the Big Brick and Mortar stores. It is so impersonal. Most of my gear purchases are from on line stores. Traditionally I would have never purchased a guitar on line which is what I now do except for acoustic guitars. If i don't like the feel I can return it. This saddens me because a trip to the music store was something that I used to look foreward to. It excited me and got my spirits up and my blood flowing. It was an adventure. So much has changed.
    LivingMyDream and TW4990 like this.
  7. panhead6zero

    panhead6zero Synchromatic

    Jan 17, 2015
    The Motor City
    I like to visit the smaller shops. I visited Corner Music in the 12 South area in Nashville. Great stock of Gretsch and other guitars, really nice staff. I bought some strings, shoulda got a T shirt! Also visited The Grateful Guitar in Key West. Nice little shop. Cool Tshirts too. I bought one there! Verde Valley Music in Cottonwood AZ was an ok shop. No t shirts!
    Charlie westside likes this.
  8. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    I'm usually never disappointed : most of the shops that I visited have virtually nothing in Left-Hand guitars, or sometimes a few basic models (I wrote basic, not bad, OK ? :D)

    I must mention my short stay in London in last August, where I could cross via Denmark Street - I guess that you certainly know that street, Musicman100... ;)

    In one of the music shops (don't ask me which, I forgot the name), I saw a Lefty VOX Teardrop guitar at circa 1200 euros. I've been told by the shopkeeper that these were RI made with 60's leftover parts as far as possible. He kindly offered me to test it, but I was too in a hurry for that. A nice and unusual model in LH...

    In fact, I was hoping secretly to find a Lefty Shergold Masquerader in Green Sunburst, just like this RH one below :

    I saw one in the early 80's locally, along with a matching Modulator bass, in a showcase of a music shop in Lyon (France) : I remember that I was dazzled by their classy beauty...

    I found none - whether LH or RH... The only Shergold-related guitar that I saw was a RH Hayman like above, but in pale green instead of cream.

    Charlie westside likes this.
  9. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    If you're ever in S.F. Bay area check out Gryphon in Palo Alto.
    Charlie westside likes this.
  10. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    I think I have that on 8 track.

    Sent from my SM-T560NU using Tapatalk
    Charlie westside likes this.
  11. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    I was absolutely floored by the offerings of local pawn-shops in Vegas and LA during my visit there in the 90ies.
    You could buy the most unbelieveable guitars and amps there for a song.
    It was a buyer`s paradise.
    I will never forget that.
    Charlie westside likes this.
  12. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    I’ve noticed the big box stores in my neck of the woods are cutting back on inventory of guitars and amplifiers and really ramping up on pedal inventory. That said I live in a small City but plenty of other options a couple of hours away.
    Charlie westside likes this.
  13. Flouswa

    Flouswa Country Gent

    I have two local stores I deal with on a regular basis and both have been really awesome in terms of customer service. Both carry different lines of guitars too, so that's a plus. And there's a GC about 20 minutes away that I go to once in a while. It's okay, not horrible. It really depends on who is working that day.

    That said, I recently had a bizarre experience. I had a trip into Pittsburgh, and I decided to stop at a guitar store there that I'd driven past many times. I was floored by the fact that I walked in, was the only customer in there, and not one of the three employees there even bothered to acknowledge my presence. For one thing, that's bad from a professional standpoint, you always at least say "Hello". The other side to it is studies have shown that if an employee makes eye contact and acknowledges someone, there is a significantly reduced chance of that person stealing something! (I learned that little tidbit when I worked in retail). I walked around, looked at their selection, and then walked out. Their loss. I'll keep driving past. Believe it or not, I ended up going to a Guitar Center in that area which was a much better experience.

    Pricing around here is pretty competitive, I think probably because we have several GC locations. My biggest complaint is no one around here sells Takamine guitars and the ones in Pittsburgh have an extremely limited selection. I did recently find a Gretsch dealer in Pittsburgh I want to check out, they have several models and aren't afraid to carry the pro lines either.
    Charlie westside likes this.
  14. LA Miles

    LA Miles Country Gent

    Dec 6, 2012
    I rarely travel to cities and live in a rural area. I can't fault my 2 local stores but their electric offerings aren't my cup-o-tea, one sells Gretsch but not Prolines. The one time I inquired about a specific ProJet and he made no effort to see if he could order one for me - my wife forbade me to shop there again.

    It's just easier to order online - why drive 25 miles round-trip to find out the strings I want my local store doesn't carry.
    Bertotti and Charlie westside like this.
  15. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Country Gent

    Yep, this is my story, too. I love hanging out in my local music store, and talking with the sales staff and the customers. Unfortunately, in the last year I see the inventory changing. Unless they've gotten an electric guitar in that's used, there just not much new inventory. They've got a nice Taylor acoustic section, but I have the one that I want, so I get strings, swap stories, generally relax, and kill a little time. Only deal with GC if I don't have another option, or if I want something specific, and I want to put my hands on it. Otherwise, I am dealing online - free shipping and a good return policy. Of course, my guitar purchases are going to be few, because I have all that I could need/want, and I really do have to downsize (I've been saying that for quite a while, but actually doing it is a whole other thing ;)).
    Charlie westside likes this.
  16. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Apr 5, 2014
    Pawn shops trolling eBay for prices has made bargain hunting much more difficult today. Pawn shops tend to be just like low end guitar stores populated by Jay Turser Strat copies and the like. If they do get a gem it's normally way overpriced.
    Charlie westside and loudnlousy like this.
  17. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    Yes, exact same phenomenon in France, but with even less offer and choice. I could buy a couple of lost SolaSound pedals for 15 Euros in the early 2000, now the price tag would be 150 Euros.


  18. kjmac

    kjmac Gretschie

    Mar 7, 2018
    Omaha, NE
    Local is the way to go. I went into GC in Lincoln, NE a couple weeks ago to look at a Squier Jaguar VM. It was a beautiful instrument in perfect condition with some upgraded pickups. However, when I asked the salesperson for an allen wrench to adjust the action, she brought me a 4mm wrench for the truss rod. I had to explain to her that it was a little tiny wrench to raise and lower the strings at the bridge. Then I asked to borrow a #1 Phillips screwdriver to adjust intonation and she was nearly as perplexed. She suggested I use the tuner and adjust the intonation with the tuning pegs. I showed her the screws on the bottom of the bridge and she finally brought me the appropriate tool. After I was done, there was no string buzz and it was perfectly in tune at the 12th fret. She was amazed that she had never seen anything like that before. I think all guitar salespeople should spend a full week working with the in house tech just so they understand the basic functions of a guitar and it's various adjustments.

    By the way, I bought the Jag and told them I wouldn't charge them for setting it up. :)

    Charlie westside and new6659 like this.
  19. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    When I got a job teaching at a small dealer whom sold both Gibson and Fender, the first thing they told me was that they made their money on low end instruments. The LPs, Strats, Teles, etc. attracted people into the store, but their bread and butter were the $100 flattops. They sold little Hondo student sized guitars for about $40 back then and sold a lot of them. If they retained that customer for a few years, they could sell them a dreadnaught for $100-$200, not to mention making money on SPA (strings, picks and accessories) along the way. They got a piece of each lesson I taught and it all added up. If I did my job well, they might sell a handful of those same students a Les Paul, perhaps as a graduation present from a parent or when the student got their first job, but the point was simple; the low end stuffed kept the lights on.

    Our localality is blessed, because we have Rainbow Guitars, a dealer that has learned to adapt and makes a decent profit by selling both online and through walk-in sales. They have some great gear, and an impressive selection of vintage instruments as well. It’s refreshing to walk into a store, be treated with a modicum of respect, and see that they have a selection of nice gear. I certainly prefer that over the sterile experience of online buying.

    Just a few weeks ago, I went in and found a pedal I had never known existed. Just like the olde days, I discovered a new, and much needed, product by walking into a brick and mortar store. I bought it without haggling over the price. They more than earned the modest profit from that sale.

    I don’t know how many times I’ve had to do a simple setup before I could meaningfully test play a guitar. IIRC, that happened during my most recent GC visit and the brat behind the counter insulted me by telling me how “everyone else” had commented on how well setup that guitar was. Perhaps so, but as I first saw it, the bridge was way out of adjustment. Fixing it took mere seconds, but I was disappointed that GC would have done so poor a job of setting up a guitar, or more likely, not doing any setup whatsoever and just putting a guitar on display without even giving it a ten second-long inspection.
    Charlie westside likes this.
  20. Winterwind

    Winterwind Gretschie

    Dec 17, 2018
    London, Ontario
    Ironically I'm completely done with mom/pop shops. Got my 5420 from one in the fall, same store I got my very first guitar from 32 years ago. A month after buying it he announces he's retiring and closing and then Friday that nasty flaw in the finish popped up... on a brand new, three month old guitar... and I'm getting hummed and ha'd on the warranty coverage.

    As much as I hate to say it all my guitars in the future will be from the big boys and not the independent shops.
    Charlie westside likes this.
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