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#1
What's your experience with high street guitar shops?

America has that "guitar center" but it seems here all the guitar shops suck.

Feels like they're aimed at newbies that are just starting out. They never let me try any guitars. I've been in a few and when I ask "Can I try this guitar" they all say "not unless you are buying it." I'm thinking "How do I know if I want to buy it if I can't try it!?"
I know they have to be weary of kids coming in and playing all the guitars with no intention of buying, but they know I'm not one of those. Especially if I ask for a specific guitar.

Also the prices are ridiculous, I went in today and asked for a specific guitar and they said they could order it in, and RRP is £1400. They then said there was a special offer for £1100. I've found that guitar on websites for $1400 (~£700)

But I got my first guitar from a small private store, they were pretty nice, small shop but had lots of stuff and let me try anything. But that kind of shop is rare

What are your closest guitar shops like?
#2
Living in London, I usually go to Denmark street. They let u play most things there.
#3
I'm down in Brighton, so I have the main GAK shop. Really good. There are one or two others I haven't been in, but I have a voucher for 15% off in one, so I need to have a look.
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#4
There's a guitar shop near me which is pretty cool, and sells stuff kinda cheaply. I went to GAK in brighton and played a razorback, and was told that it was £3,500 and I got it from my local shop for £700, reduced from £1,000.
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#5
There's a guitar shop about a 15 minute walk from me that's very good indeed, specialise in PRS's and they accomadte for very experiecned technical guitarists too.

They're also all pretty cool in there and they give me discount so it's all good

There's a few very good guitar shops dotted around here and there.
#6
I'm Newcastle and I have a good few options. Guitar Guitar, Sounds Live, JG Windows, and some shop I've never been to that sells boutique type products apparently. All the shops near mine have okay staff, some helpful, some can get on your nerves occasionally. I just hate the people who come out with smartarse remarks.
#7
The only decent one near me is Mansons in exeter, but its brilliant if a little pricey
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#8
I have one local music shop and its 20 minutes from me, it's tiny and your not allowed to try instruments.
I was Edinburgh last week and there's a music shop at the bottom of the Castle Hill (Red Dog Music maybe?) And it was great - Guitars lying about just for you to try, same with drums and keyboards.
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#9
Quote by chimpinatux
The only decent one near me is Mansons in exeter, but its brilliant if a little pricey


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#10
Quote by Joeval
I'm down in Brighton, so I have the main GAK shop. Really good. There are one or two others I haven't been in, but I have a voucher for 15% off in one, so I need to have a look.

GAK ftw man. Buy all my stuff from there (online of course, i live nowhere near Brighton )
#11
My one's really cool. The people are really nice, and you can try guitars if you ask... also you can get individual strings. They don't stock big names, like Gibson or Fender, or even Epiphone, preferring brands like Tanglewood and Hofner. But it's still really cool. Great prices.
#12
Sound Control and Turnkey use to be pretty good until they got closed down.i managed to knock £30 from both guitars i got there. Though one guy did try to persuade me to get a Line 6 Spider over my valveking..
#13
Have one in my town, overcharged, ignorant staff, about the only decent thing is that if I go in with this guy I know who used to work there I can use his 15% discount..Other than that they mainly accomodate for newer guitarists, and don't have any new guitars over about £600, they buy them used at a rediculous price then make a huge profit on them
#14
Where I live there are very few guitar shops and only one seems any good, but it is always shut . If I want I decent shop I have to go to Coventry and Birmingham. I went to a guitar centre when I went to America and I can't believe how much better they are than the UK shops.
#15
Quote by EJD
My one's really cool. The people are really nice, and you can try guitars if you ask... also you can get individual strings. They don't stock big names, like Gibson or Fender, or even Epiphone, preferring brands like Tanglewood and Hofner. But it's still really cool. Great prices.

Where's that? I only know of a couple of guitar shops in Dorset...
#16
Quote by Sixp0under
GAK ftw man. Buy all my stuff from there (online of course, i live nowhere near Brighton )



lol I think is point was he needs somewhere he can try before he buys.

Dawsons is pretty good for letting you try guitars although the staff can get a bit snotty. Curly music in Liverpool and Morans are the best though, in both of them you can try out any guitar by just pulling them of the wall, although it does help if your regulars in there. Doplhin music are also good, the prices are a little less competitive than everywhere else but if you show a genuine interest in a particular guitar there fine with you playin it.
#17
There's a very small local one near me, and I know the guy who runs it, so he can get things in for me. But as for big shops, there's nothing for miles and miles around.
#18
I've found most of the high street, chain guitar stores to be trash i.e. Sound Control.

You're better off with local, exclusive stores. We have one down here called Electro Music, and whilst it's the biggest monopoly in the town on musical wares, it's not a high-street chain and the people who work there are all down to earth and willing to help you out with anything you need. So, you have a very good selection of qualty instruments whilst at the same time recieving a very high level of service and respect.

I've spent well over £1000 there, and I don't regret that at all.

If they don't allow you to play the instrument without supervision, or without promise of a purchase, then they have no idea how to sell instruments anyway, so I wouldn't bother with 'em.
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#19
What's with all these places not letting you try them? How are you meant to buy a guitar if you haven't played it? I bet those are the kind of places that wouldn't do refunds or exchanges either.

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#20
Quote by tomadey.
They also said to a boy, the best things to get when your starting is a Squire Strat and a Line 6 Spider. :|




That is good advice.
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#21
Where are you? Go to Denmark St, in London.. and then go to the shops around it, which are actually a bit better.
#22
Birmingham's pretty good for guitars, you've got PMT'S flagship store and there's also fair deal if you want BC Rich's or ESP's.
#23
Quote by Cobain_Is_King
I have one local music shop and its 20 minutes from me, it's tiny and your not allowed to try instruments.
I was Edinburgh last week and there's a music shop at the bottom of the Castle Hill (Red Dog Music maybe?) And it was great - Guitars lying about just for you to try, same with drums and keyboards.

i study underneath that store apparently i get discount too
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#24
I've been in loads of guitar shops in the UK, and I've rarely found the staff to be anything other than friendly, helpful and accommodating. Most guitar shops are happy to let you try out equipment for good lengths of time.
There is poetry in despair.
#25
Quote by Smokey Amp
I've found most of the high street, chain guitar stores to be trash i.e. Sound Control.

You're better off with local, exclusive stores. We have one down here called Electro Music, and whilst it's the biggest monopoly in the town on musical wares, it's not a high-street chain and the people who work there are all down to earth and willing to help you out with anything you need. So, you have a very good selection of qualty instruments whilst at the same time recieving a very high level of service and respect.

I've spent well over £1000 there, and I don't regret that at all.

If they don't allow you to play the instrument without supervision, or without promise of a purchase, then they have no idea how to sell instruments anyway, so I wouldn't bother with 'em.



Another Donny boy lol. Electro is quality.

EDIT: Sorry for double post.
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#26
Quote by irongoat666
i study underneath that store apparently i get discount too

I'd love to have that down here
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#27
I've got two music shops around me both just a short bus ride away. PMT and Musicland. Both good shops let me try stuff as I please basically.
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#28
in croydon we hav rockbottom but it suddenly turned shit theres harly any les pauls now
#29
I have a shop called Nevada music about 10 mins drive away. Pretty good shop, friendly staff, brands from squire to gibson and two practice rooms to try out guitars. they've also got drums.keyboards and bass as well. It's pretty cool except they dont have the guitar i want cos its outta stock
#30
Quote by fridge_raider
Another Donny boy lol. Electro is quality.


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"The end is extremely fucking nigh..."
#31
Quote by dylanfg
in croydon we hav rockbottom but it suddenly turned shit theres harly any les pauls now

Aye, a lack of Les Pauls obviously makes a music shop shit.
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#32
Quote by CTFOD
There's a guitar shop near me which is pretty cool, and sells stuff kinda cheaply. I went to GAK in brighton and played a razorback, and was told that it was £3,500 and I got it from my local shop for £700, reduced from £1,000.


The 3500 quid razorback in GAK is a custom shop limited run, hence the pricetag


Otherwise in Brighton I quite like Badlands down by Preston Circus. Really friendly owner and i've seen used cornfords and traynors in past visits.
#33
oh dear Lord, not Donny love Only place worse is Hull...

There's a pretty good small store near me, and we have a Dawsons. Knowing staff at both helps a ton. I can quite happily walk into both, say hi, and do what one pleases. Except with the '68 jazz bass. I won't touch that.
#34
In Northampton we have PMT which is a big store, but most of the guitars they sell are pretty suck, half the shop is full of their ghey eastcoast brand.

But there is a little local music shop called St. Giles, I got my amp from there for £300 when it was £450 in PMT. They also specialise in Ibanez so they always have a coupla good ones in there.
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#35
Quote by Deliriumbassist
oh dear Lord, not Donny love Only place worse is Hull...


Agreed. Donny is a cesspit, but Electro Music is awesome.
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#36
Quote by Gregoric
In Northampton we have PMT which is a big store, but most of the guitars they sell are pretty suck, half the shop is full of their ghey eastcoast brand.

But there is a little local music shop called St. Giles, I got my amp from there for £300 when it was £450 in PMT. They also specialise in Ibanez so they always have a coupla good ones in there.

PMT?

My local specialises in Fender and PRS's and Taylor acoustics so I tend to get a good deal in there
#37
Reading has Guitar Works, which is great for both guitar and bass. In fact, the owner is primarily a bassist, so the bass section isn't just thrown on as an afterthought.
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#39
I've got 2 local shops within 5 minutes walking distance from me. They're both pretty good, they don't have huge amounts of stock but they're willing to order in and the staff are all very nice people. One even let me take a £200 amp back the other day simply because I'd changed my mind.
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#40
Here in Derby theres shit all since soundcontrol closed, theres this one place called neville brothers with barely any guitars out and you cant try them. Then theres Foulds, oh god the stuck up arses, they dont let you do anything and i'll only say theyre alright because i got my ukelele from there.
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