Shop Experience Thread

AngryGoldfish

The Pedalz Master
#21
Sounds Great Music

I was on the lookout for a Soldano when a used Hot Rod 50 popped up on ebay. It was reasonably priced at £800 and was being sold by Sounds Great Music in Manchester. I immediately called them up to ask their opinion. They said it was in great condition and was priced to sell.

So I then thought about going over to visit from Ireland, and they said that sounds great (pun not intended :D ). One of the young lads there even kept his eye open for a cheap place to stay for me and managed to find me a little spot nearby (which I didn't up end using incidentally - it was too far away from the airport).

I put down a £200 totally refundable deposit for the amp and it was immediately removed from ebay - although still left on the shop floor. A few weeks later I arrived at Manchester airport on my own and rang Sounds Great to ask whether I should get a taxi or a train/bus. They said taxi. The driver new where the place was, but it cost £10 to get there.

I played the amp for about two hours before I decided that it wasn't for me. I then played the Avenger 50 they had in stock below it for £1199. I loved that, and after another two hours of playing, I thanked them for allowing me to test out any guitar and any effects pedal without too much bother, and left.

When I arrived home again, I bought the Avenger and asked if they'd send it to the Matamp factory where I would have a custom cabinet made (I couldn't afford the Soldano 4x12). They obliged and charged me £10 for shipping.


At a later date I asked if they would order a T-Rex Fuel Tank Junior in, and they said it was fine. Something went wrong, though; I think T-Rex sent the wrong power supply, so it took about two or three weeks to arrive, but these things happen.


The shop itself is pretty well-stocked. It had a few seven string Schecters, a number of Suhr guitars, Godin, G&L, Maverick, PRS, Fender, Vigier, Peerless, Parker, Jackson, Ernie Ball, Collings, etc. And, for the most part, they were all set-up pretty decently. Non of them were missing toggle switches or whammy bars. Everything seemed looked after.

In terms of amplification, it had all the basic practise gear, including a few nice ones (Vox Night Train). And also had some midrange models, such as the Marshall DSL401 and ENGL Thunder. Finally it had the expensive amps, like the Blackstar Series One 200, Mesa Boogie Stiletto and the Bogner Xtc. I was allowed to play them at a good volume and any questions were answered. They also weren't too shy to offer their own opinion, which I appreciate.

The pedal selection they had was immense. They have pretty much all the most unique and rare pedals you can think of. ZVex, Xotic, Fulltone, Moollon, Barber, Crowther, Red Witch, Wampler, Way Huge, etc. They didn't seem overly happy when I asked if I could try some of them out, but that's just typical of a guitar shop, really. The prices were a bit steep, but you don't have very many options.


I will shop again at Sounds Great Music, for sure. Not only because of their service, but because they are also one of the only retailers for boutique gear in the UK, which interests more so than anything else. The prices are high but that's just the way it is.
 

RicardoJr99

Well-Known Member
#23
GAK (i know theres a few reviews)
no ones mentioned in store satisfaction yet,
im in mixed views about the service because normally its very good and if you know the right things to ask (matching online price in store ;) ) then they can give you a very good deal although ive had my bad experiances with them. such as telling me my epiphone is a fake and upon getting a second opinion it was found to be real and a registered guitar made in an official epiphone factory, also purchasing a guitar with a floyd rose only to find that the trem itself is near enough vertical even though i was told it had been "professionaly set up" :mad:
Other than that my dealings with them have been pleasent and i guess due to my clsoe proximity to brighton most of my items do arrive within a day or 2 upon ordering, except for certain times like with my PRS when they neglected to mention to me that i could put a deposit on it to keep it in store so i could buy it instead of letting some other guy buy it and leaving me to wait for 2 weeks! :mad:
id rate 7/10
but due to the lack of any other decent guitar shops around im forced to go there :confused:
 
#24
I went to Frets to try out some acoustics. It's only a small shop, but they had quite a few acoustics. I tried a few and the guy there was quite helpful, he let me try basically everything. Then another guy came in looking a bit peeved off. Apparently the guitar he just had setup from here had a massive scratch on it which wasn't there before the setup, while the owner insisted he didn't scratch it. So I left the shop quickly before a fight broke out. :D

I don't really have any real shop experience because every guitar I've bought has been used from someone on a forum or eBay. :confused:
 

woody77

Preparing To Join Club 40
#25
One Man Band
http://www.ombmusic.co.uk/

I wish I could praise my local music shop in Banbury. It's OK, but it could do with some minor improvements. The shop has the smallest selection of amps I know of, with only a few being valve driven. Which is OK if your looking for a practice amp, but if you're ready for something better it's a bit of a let down. On top of that you only have the selection of mostly Marshall amps (mostly the solid state practice and a couple of Haze models, but sadly no Class 5 or MA series), with a few Line 6 and a couple of Fenders (Champ and Blues Jr I think).

It does have a fairly good electric, acoustic and bass guitar selection, if your right handed. But left handers like myself, then you have to order a guitar which makes you feel obliged to buy it because they ordered it especially for you. Which really pisses me off, just a small selection will do just to get an idea what the different types of guitars are like. Is that a lot to ask.

As for the choice of pedals, not much I'm afraid. Mostly Boss, Line 6 and Marshall. They sometimes have a few other FX companies, but not that often. They have a small selection of straps, picks, cables, and other accessories. In all honesty I guess it's a small music shop, with enough customers to keep them afloat. But if you want a wide selection of equipment at a reasonably price, then you're better off looking at one of the online stores..

But this is MY opinion
 

hughh20

The Heavenly Child
#26
Nevada Music (Portsmouth, Offline)
Brought: Marshall MG30DFX (I know :confused: )
Squier Strat
Roland Electric Piano
Various Bits and Bobs
Really good shop, and they have a really easy to use website. They stock a lot of the major brands but have yet to get in some less-mainstream stuff. Staff are nice, and pretty knowledgeable, they have sound-proof demo rooms that are really good.
The only online experience i've had is buying a mic stand, you can choose to pick it up instore, which is really handy, They also have a few special demo days, and had the bassist from Trivium come in for a signing.
Really good store imo :)
 

SwampAshSpecial

Groove to the metal!
#27
not sure how much use there is for this one but...

Oxford Guitar Gallery:
Items Purcahsed:
PRS Swamp Ash Special
VHT Pitbull 45
Bad Cat "The Leash" Attenuator
Several Hundred picks
Van Halen tab book
Every single set of electric guitar strings I've ever bought! :D

Really top quality small stuff - most of the brands they stop are high end/boutique and the guys really know their stuff and are all nice, helpful and friendly. I've also had my guitar set up by the tech there and it was perfectly done and also well organized and efficient. I've exchanged a few phone calls and emails with them as well, and they reply quickly and with useful replies. They try to avoid Gibson, Fender, Mesa, Marshall and give other brands a chance, but there's usually some used stock from some of them in.

Some of my favourite brands they stock:
Cornell
Diamond
Bad Cat
Budda
Fulltone
PRS
Ovation
Laney
 

bigdaddyJRT

top hatted gorilla
#28
b&b music in camden delaware i only got one thing there but however id did sell some sweet guitars and amps as well as some bad ones like yamaha and line 6
 

BLPAlpha

Math Rock... rocker?
#30
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.musicgalleryinc.com/default.asp">http://www.musicgalleryinc.com/default.asp</a><!-- m -->
The Music Gallery
Bought : Fender Stratocaster (the blue one I have in my avatar), it also came with a Peavey Rage158 for free.

Probably one of the best guitar shops I've ever been to in my life. The one thing I want you guys to note first is that this is a FENDER CUSTOM SHOP. They specialize in selling FENDER guitars so don't expect to find any Squiers, they sell a few other brands of guitars but that's about it (the front page picture basically sums it all up). The stock is SUPER limited so you know what you're getting yourself into some really good stuff there. They also sell some underrated pedals, nothing famous or anything, just really great quality.

They also offer repair and modification services there. So if you want to put in a new pick up, they'll do it. If a pot is broken, they'll replace it. Scallop your guitar neck? No problem! The repair people there are super friendly and super fast, I remember I brought in a broken cable and he took one look at it and told me what was wrong and fixed it right on the spot.

I think they also offer making guitars to people who really want a custom made Fender Stratocaster because there's a huge shelf in the back filled with guitar necks (21-22 frets with different head stocks).

For you RATM fans, Tom Morello drops in every year twice just to say hi because they were the ones to sell him his first guitar and to give him guitar lessons when he was young.
 

Voodoorider

Can spot a twat a mile away.
#32
John Boots Music/ The Complete Guitarist

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.john-bootsmusic.co.uk/">http://www.john-bootsmusic.co.uk/</a><!-- m -->

I've bought more gear from these guys than anyone!
Heritage H-150
Fender Eric Clapton Strat
Encore Strat
Encore Acoustic
Epiphone SG
Kustom 15watt
Traynor YCV 40T
Jim Dunlop Cray Baby
Cheapo Chorus pedal
Various leads, plectrums etc..

Never been unhappy with the stuff i've bought, they've always been helpful if i had concerns! Very small business, although they stock several hundred guitars i'd imagine, and the staff have great experience! The owner is a bit clicky.. he's always changing whos gear he sells depending on which company pissed him off in the last 6 months but still! The only trouble with them, is now my knowledge has grown i realize some of their opinions are pretty selfish and they don't always go along with what you want if they don't agree.. For example, i wanted 10's on my Heritage.. they told me it wasn't worth it because the neck wouldn't cope very well?! Lol so probably best avoided by amateurs, but if you know your shizzle they stock good stuff :)


Frets Music

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.fretmusic.co.uk/">http://www.fretmusic.co.uk/</a><!-- m -->

Bought my Freshman acoustic here! Was impressed with the shop, very large floor space and plenty of guitars! Staff were friendly and helpful and pretty chatty! No snobbery here when i went that's for sure :) They didn't like to haggle prices too much, which pisses me off.. the ability to haggle seems to be taken away just because shops don't like it :D :D no probs with this place though!


Imuso.co.uk

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.imuso.co.uk/">http://www.imuso.co.uk/</a><!-- m -->

Bought the Vox AD60VT from them! Cheapest price i could find, arrived in no time at all! The only downside i found was after about 4 months of owning the amp, in the summer heat, the piping across the front of the amp expanded and the grille cloth slipped out.. now i have a bendy piping bar and a saggy grille cloth, to send it back i had to pay courier charges etc and it's just not worth the hassle in that situation! Great service from Imuso themselves though :cool:


World Guitars

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.imuso.co.uk/">http://www.imuso.co.uk/</a><!-- m -->

What can i say about these guys! Shop is amazing, worth a look around even if you're not going to buy!! Friendly staff! Good Service, up for a bit of haggling too which i love :D They gave me plenty of space to chill in my own time and it was just the nicest guitar buying experience i've ever had! Well recommended these guys!! :D :D :D :D :D


Strings Direct

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.stringsdirect.co.uk/">http://www.stringsdirect.co.uk/</a><!-- m -->

Strings.. odd bits and pieces! Good service, have had a dodgy batch of D'Addarios but that's just one of those things! Everything else has been fine! Fast Delivery, reasonable prices :)
 

moonman

Well-Known Member
#33
Personally, I have never had a good experience in any guitar shop and I hate money grabbing "I know more than you and how much money can I get out of you because I dont really care about what you may want or need" Guitar shop sale assistants.
I'm always uncomfortable in guitar shops.
It's a no win situation.
Either buy online without trying, or try in a shop and put up with some twat who is determined not to save you the money you deserve.

:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: (not mentioning any names.....ahem - Dawsons, Dolphin, Curlys, Frailers.......)
I've actually been sold a couple of "seconds" guitars from Dolphin - which I promptly returned :mad:
 

Voodoorider

Can spot a twat a mile away.
#34
moonman said:
Personally, I have never had a good experience in any guitar shop and I hate money grabbing "I know more than you and how much money can I get out of you because I dont really care about what you may want or need" Guitar shop sale assistants.
I'm always uncomfortable in guitar shops.
It's a no win situation.
Either buy online without trying, or try in a shop and put up with some twat who is determined not to save you the money you deserve.

:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: (not mentioning any names.....ahem - Dawsons, Dolphin, Curlys, Frailers.......)
I've actually been sold a couple of "seconds" guitars from Dolphin - which I promptly returned :mad:
I find that in Guitar "centres" big stack em high sell em cheap places, they just employ idiots.. somewhere respectable will employ older experienced, and probably gigging musicians! You'll find them much more helpful :)
 

britishsligean

serial 1000000 coment thread poster
#35
Voodoorider said:
moonman said:
Personally, I have never had a good experience in any guitar shop and I hate money grabbing "I know more than you and how much money can I get out of you because I dont really care about what you may want or need" Guitar shop sale assistants.
I'm always uncomfortable in guitar shops.
It's a no win situation.
Either buy online without trying, or try in a shop and put up with some twat who is determined not to save you the money you deserve.

:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: (not mentioning any names.....ahem - Dawsons, Dolphin, Curlys, Frailers.......)
I've actually been sold a couple of "seconds" guitars from Dolphin - which I promptly returned :mad:
I find that in Guitar "centres" big stack em high sell em cheap places, they just employ idiots.. somewhere respectable will employ older experienced, and probably gigging musicians! You'll find them much more helpful :)
that's why small stores are the bizz, if they haven't got it they'll get it for you :D but the small chain stores are also good as they have better buying power but have knowledgable people :D
 

Monty888

Djentral Warrior
#38
Captain Shoggoth said:
Anyone here able to recomend a good luthier or shop that does repairs in the Essex or London area?
My guitar needs to be fixed by the weekend :confused:
Andy's on Denmark Street - it's a) the only good shop on denmark street and b) the work they do in the workshop downstairs is fantastic.
 
#39
<!-- w --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.thomann.de">www.thomann.de</a><!-- w --> (european distribution)

i buy all my gear form them, they are cheap, very fast, amazing service, huge website.

highly recommended
 

Cathedral

The Rock 'N Roll Clown.
#40
Mid-Air Music in Chatham.
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.midairmusic.com/">http://www.midairmusic.com/</a><!-- m -->

Bought a bunch of stuff from them over the last two years. Its run by two fellas I've gotten to know since it opened, one who I knew previously through Sharon Music (a small chain of music stores in Kent) when they had a store in Chatham. Really, really great service in there. If you just want to go in and try out some of the gear available without feeling pressured to buy it right then you're welcome to do so. The range available is fantastic as they stock very high quality gear, shop mantra being if the guys working there don't like it, they won't sell it. But if you're nice to them they might be able to order it for you. Also, if you just need some advice on where to go with your playing or if you're trying to find a certain tone, they'll do their best to help you out, even put you in touch with suppliers occasionally to discuss where you go. For instance when I was deciding on new pickups for my RG they put in me touch with someone from DiMarzio and we worked out the best pickup combination for me. Jon and Craig both have a brilliant sense of humour and genuinely like to see people in the store, they don't look at you as a potential sale and nothing else. Sure the sense of monies is there as they're trying to run a business, but they treat everyone with respect and are happy to talk about music and help you find the right gear for you without pressuring you into buying the name brand guitar that's way out of your budget.

Mid-Air also works with a notable luthier (Brian Rogers) so if you need upgrades/repairs made, they'll be able to sort you out by putting you in touch with him. He drops in once a week to pickup/deliver projects, you'll be given his contact details so you can explain what you need doing. Brian's a really cool down to earth and cool guy, did some great work for me in the past and without the guys at Mid-Air I probably wouldn't have been able to find Brian.

The best bit, although I'm not sure if they're doing it anymore as it may have just been for the first year they were open. Buy something, be it a new guitar or a pack of strings, you get a free pouch of flumps! Also I live just round the corner so if you pop in there on a weekend you might bump into me.
 
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