#1
Any time I want to buy a new guitar, I like to go to guitar shops and look around and try a series of guitars through a series of amps and see what I like. The problem is though every guitar shop is the same. There's a Fender corner, theres a gibson/ epiphone corner, theres a wall for more metal style guitars (depending on the shop it tends to be just one line eg. Jackson, LTD, Ibanez) and then they have a budget line kicking about.

These are chains of course, so they never carry a lot of varied guitars because there's only so much stuff you can keep in stock. So you go to a local shop who have . . . . about the same.

Could just be where I am but I was talking a friend of mine who advised denmark street and I asked him what it was like and he said well Fender has it's own shop and there's a gibson shop and then theres . . . other shops like above.

So, does anyone know of any guitar shops in UK that they would describe as excellent places to go and try out a variety of guitars, from makes both respected and not so well known. For example I hear a lot about Michael Kelly, spear, Fernandes, but I have very rarely ever seen a mid priced guitar line like this in a guitar shop by me.


EDIT: Ok, a google search just shows lot's of places that have a good stock of gibsons (guitar guitar) however, I have found one that has a good selection. I just put in anything between 250 and 700 pounds and it came up with loads of guitars.
Last edited by CobenBlack at Dec 28, 2011,
#2
There's a place called MB Music down in Bogner Regis on the south coast that has an amazing selection. Depends on where you are I guess.
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#4
Why don't you search for stockists of the makes that your looking for?
There are shops in Denmark street that stock other makes apart from Fender and Gibson, it is worth a visit.
Rockbottom in Croydon is nice shop, also PMT in Southend on Sea is OK but they are a bit of the type of dealer you described.
#5
Quote by Delboyuk_01
Why don't you search for stockists of the makes that your looking for?
There are shops in Denmark street that stock other makes apart from Fender and Gibson, it is worth a visit.
Rockbottom in Croydon is nice shop, also PMT in Southend on Sea is OK but they are a bit of the type of dealer you described.



True,

but we can get any guitar out there, we just require deposits because, if you havent guessed, lots of the brands your interested in dont sell very well in the UK.

They dont really sell very well anywhere.

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#6
Quote by CobenBlack
Any time I want to buy a new guitar, I like to go to guitar shops and look around and try a series of guitars through a series of amps and see what I like. The problem is though every guitar shop is the same. There's a Fender corner, theres a gibson/ epiphone corner, theres a wall for more metal style guitars (depending on the shop it tends to be just one line eg. Jackson, LTD, Ibanez) and then they have a budget line kicking about.

These are chains of course, so they never carry a lot of varied guitars because there's only so much stuff you can keep in stock. So you go to a local shop who have . . . . about the same.

Could just be where I am but I was talking a friend of mine who advised denmark street and I asked him what it was like and he said well Fender has it's own shop and there's a gibson shop and then theres . . . other shops like above.

So, does anyone know of any guitar shops in UK that they would describe as excellent places to go and try out a variety of guitars, from makes both respected and not so well known. For example I hear a lot about Michael Kelly, spear, Fernandes, but I have very rarely ever seen a mid priced guitar line like this in a guitar shop by me.


EDIT: Ok, a google search just shows lot's of places that have a good stock of gibsons (guitar guitar) however, I have found one that has a good selection. I just put in anything between 250 and 700 pounds and it came up with loads of guitars.

Go to Liverpool, there's three decent shops - Curly's, Dawsons and Dolphin Music, all within chucking distance of Central station.

Check out Frailers in Warrington too, they have some great obscure stuff although it's usually all pretty expensive
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#7
GuitarGuitar are good. As are Peach Guitars, and World Guitars
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#8
You're lucky to have that much choice - in my area (West Wiltshire) all the local guitar shops closed down, now all we're left with is one which is more of a piano shop that also has a few guitars in stock - Stagg are their good make!!
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#9
In my local in aberdeen i was quoted £100 for a setup and pickup installation.. Needless to say i didnt take them up on that.
A new shop has opened its alright not too exciting.. I don't really get excited with guitar shops unless i see lots of boutique stuff
#10
guitar village in farnham, surrey, have an amazing stock of guitars. check out their website.
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#11
Quote by steven seagull
Go to Liverpool, there's three decent shops - Curly's, Dawsons and Dolphin Music, all within chucking distance of Central station.

Check out Frailers in Warrington too, they have some great obscure stuff although it's usually all pretty expensive



I went to Liverpool to buy my amp actually and was dissapointed to find out that Dolphin Music has closed down. Dawsons is one of the shops that I'm complaining about, but Curly's is pretty cool I must admit. They had a used valveking at a great price and a Laney Lionheart which sounded amazing! I really liked it there.

Thanks for the other suggestions guys
#12
Dolphin was about to go bust. They were bought out and continue to run as an online store.

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#13
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#14
Quote by steven seagull
Go to Liverpool, there's three decent shops - Curly's, Dawsons and Dolphin Music, all within chucking distance of Central station.

Check out Frailers in Warrington too, they have some great obscure stuff although it's usually all pretty expensive


I live in Liverpool. Dolphin is defunct (shame. It was a decent shop). Curly's is a bit crappy. But Dawsons is OK, but mostly just Epiphones and Fenders.

PMT in Manchester is the best shop in the northwest. I buy all my gear there purely because of the range they have.

They do your typical Gibsons, Fenders, Ibanez, Jackson, LTD. But i've seen Schecters, Gretsch and Musicman there. Their range of amps is good too.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Dec 29, 2011,
#15
If your ever in the south west mansons is a good shop. It's over an hour for me to get there but locally the only place that even has a stock of gibson's, however it's far better than the likes of guitar guitar in birmingham as far as I'm concerned.
#16
Quote by dr_john
guitar village in farnham, surrey, have an amazing stock of guitars. check out their website.

I love that shop. Bought my Fender Strat there. Amazing selection of guitars. I got my Supreme there. Spent £2599 on it. Didn't like it. Took it back. They said I couldn't, but I could have anything up to £2599 in the shop. I nearly died. But walked out with a limited edition strat, a Hughes and Kettner Tubemiester 18, a few pedals and a pedal board. That was a good day.

I love Manson's in Exeter and Nevada in Portsmouth. Opposite ends of the countries but it's so worth the travelling.
#17
I have friends in Portsmouth. At least when their not on ship. Might have an excuse to visit now. If you can go to thomanns in Germany. My girlfriends family live a couple hours south and I plan on driving over via there in the new year. Look at their website. Think it'll have everything your looking for. Including some stuff you can't buy in the uk. Krank...
#18
Guitarguitar has some really nice service, they almost beg you to try out all the guitars

But I live in Italy, and THIS is my local store



#19
Electrohill and Dv247 in London
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Last edited by BlueIceBox at Dec 29, 2011,
#20
I live in Portsmouth and visit Nevada Music quite often, it's pretty decent, worth a visit.
#21
Quote by Quaned
Andertons?

Oh hell no... The staff there are some of the rudest and ill-informed I've come across.

The best shops I've dealt with:
- Both of Charlie Chandler's stores (CCGX in particular, they're great in that little place)
- Guitar Village
- Peach guitars
- Oxford guitar gallery
- Machinehead
- Wembley Guitar Centre (NB: this was ~4yrs ago, it may be vastly different now)


Apart from the makes you mention (you'll struggle to find them in the UK) what sort of guitars do you like? LPs, strats, teles, RGs? Which store you wish to visit will depend on what you're looking for..
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Last edited by power freak at Dec 30, 2011,
#22
There's a few round near where I live up in Hanley that are pretty cool, Kay's Music and Academy of Sound. There's also another local one called On The Level Music, which is pretty cool too, only a small local shop, but nice folk there.
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#23
Quote by Basti95
Guitarguitar has some really nice service, they almost beg you to try out all the guitars

But I live in Italy, and THIS is my local store






Where in Italy do you live? You are aware I'm now spending the summer at yours right?

EDIT: To power freak - I'm not as such looking for any particular guitar, I just like to go to a shop and be inspired by something. It might just be a strat with some different hardware, but I've been a bit of a gear ***** for the past few years and now when I go into shops nothing ever jumps out at me because I've seen them all a million times before. It just seems a shame that there are amazing guitars all over the world and the only ones you ever seem to see in shops are the same 5 makes, one or two for each broad style.

Just find it a shame. It couldn't hurt to go into a guitar store and see lot's of new interesting guitars so I was wondering if there were many stores people knew of that had something different. Just a curiosity thing more than anything.
Last edited by CobenBlack at Dec 29, 2011,
#24
[quote="'[Azrael"]']There's a few round near where I live up in Hanley that are pretty cool, Kay's Music and Academy of Sound. There's also another local one called On The Level Music, which is pretty cool too, only a small local shop, but nice folk there.

Brother, the Rhythm House in Hanley is the best shop in the area.

Academy is your typical Fender main dealer sort, though not a bad shop at any rate.
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#25
If I can make a request, does anyone know of any good shops around Southern California? Down here pretty much any and everything is a chain, so I have yet to find an even decent shop. I go to Sam Ash when I can, but the closest one is an hour away from me
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#26
Quote by CobenBlack
Where in Italy do you live? You are aware I'm now spending the summer at yours right?

EDIT: To power freak - I'm not as such looking for any particular guitar, I just like to go to a shop and be inspired by something. It might just be a strat with some different hardware, but I've been a bit of a gear ***** for the past few years and now when I go into shops nothing ever jumps out at me because I've seen them all a million times before. It just seems a shame that there are amazing guitars all over the world and the only ones you ever seem to see in shops are the same 5 makes, one or two for each broad style.

Just find it a shame. It couldn't hurt to go into a guitar store and see lot's of new interesting guitars so I was wondering if there were many stores people knew of that had something different. Just a curiosity thing more than anything.

You'll probably struggle to find many guitar shops that have lots of "odd" things.. Most of the shops I listed are pretty small and tbh if you travelled for a couple of hours to visit you might walk out thinking "wtf was that guy on about?"

If you go to Chandlers (not CCGX) you'll probably see a few decent hollowbodies, japanese tokai's, peerless (well worth a look if you like Gibson styled guitars, the ES335 clone is the best on the market for under £1k) as well as a few Tom Anderson, Suhr etc. There's also a wall at the back that is full of s/h guitars, I've played things there ranging from: a vintage framus hollowbody, Kramer gorky park, One of those blue jems with the "3d" finish and a MM Albert Lee. You don't know what'll be there til you go though... Also if you're there it's probably <30min drive to the smaller CCGX which is absolutely tiny, but you get access to Collings, Mcinturff, etc. and a few vintage guitars.

If you couldn't guess I am a fan of Charlie Chandler. So maybe I'm biased.


As for guitar village: this is more like your typical chain store, however they also have a room dedicated to vintage and rare guitars. I've played some lovely things in that store, a vintage D'Angellico and Benedetto back to back was a highlight. Regarding their "regular" stock you probably won't see much to surprise you. They have a lot of fender, a lot of gibson, lots of PRSi and a lot of Ibanez. Outside that they used to stock Brian Moore but I haven't been back in a while so it may have gone. They also stock the other "fender brands" such as Jackson, Charvel etc. if memory serves as well as Yamaha. It's bigger after the renovation, you'll walk up to the shop and think it's just a cupboard but inside it's plenty big enough.


Regarding Peach: Expect plenty of PRSi. That's my lasting memory guitar wise, they had loads of custom/rare PRSi knocking about. They also had a fair few suhr's last time I was there. Their niche is "high end" so unless you can afford a Suhr maybe only go for window shopping! It's quite a big store and they stock Dr.Z and Cornford amps too.

Oxford guitar gallery: I just googled them to see if they stocked the same as before and it appears they're gone.. That's a shame!

Machinehead: These guys rival Chandlers for the most friendly staff! I sat in their shop for hours once playing around with a THD Univalve and a Steinberger (which I then purchased.) They didn't bat an eyelid, offered me tea/coffee and occasionally just brought in some cool pedals to try! They mostly stock "metal" styled guitars including Ibanez, Dean, Jackson etc. They also have a few Musicmans as well as Suhr and Tom Anderson. The also have a decent collection of s/h stuff, I remember playing a Tyler there once and it was a beaut.


Wembley: This is basically like a large chain store but with good staff. You get sound proofed rooms to test things in and they won't bother you too much if you ask them not to. You will likely only get the typical fender, gibson and ibanez guitars though tbh.


That's a quick overview of each shop I mentioned (including Machinehead which I forgot in my original post.) Take your pick.


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