Bass Store in NYC?
I'm heading to NYC for a couple days. Is there a music store that has a deep or different set of basses that I could check out? Not necessarily high end or eclectic basses in the $6k range. Just a good store that has good selection of basses other than Fender or Ibanez.
You MUST hit the Hartke Bass Lounge (pretty much the bass department at Sam Ash).
333 West 34th St
Here's a rundown of some of the better spots:Here's the NYC gear spot rundown:
Rudy's Music (48th street)
It's the last store left on what had been "Music Row". And one of the few locations where you're going to find some really high end instruments in stock.
Sam Ash (34th street & 9th Ave)
The Hartke Bass lounge is effectively Sam Ash NYC's bass department. You can expect to see some Sadowsky's and Fender Custom Shop instruments here, along with a few other high end offerings that you won't see in a run of the mill Sam Ash store.
30th Street Guitars (30th btwn 7th & 8th Ave).
Great vintage/used gear, albeit a bit pricey
Dan's Chelsea Guitars (West 23rd street).
More of a guitar spot, but also good for some cool vintage gear
Guitar Center (14th street btwn 5th & 6th Ave).
The best bass inventory I've ever seen at any Guitar Center, and they've got a vintage room.
Matt Umanov Guitars (Bleecker Street).
Cool vintage & new stock, and awesome pizza right across the street at John's.
LOWER EAST SIDE
Rivington Street Guitars (East 4th st, NOT RIVINGTON ST).
I've only ever seen these guys at some guitar shows, but I've never been in the store. They're much more about vintage than modern instruments.
Ludlow Street Guitars (Ludlow btwn Houston & Stanton St.)
Effects pedal heaven. Some modern Fenders, but this store is geared more towards guitar players. Also an Aguilar dealer.
Sadowsky shop (Long Island City).
I haven't actually paid the Sadowsky shop a visit since they were still in Midtown Manhattan in the late 90's. But Roger & crew are very accomodating, even if you're just there to get one of their awesome preamps.
Main Drag Music (Williamsburg).
It's pretty much all vintage stock here, with some very cool/oddball offerings.
Southside Guitars (Williamsburg).
Great vintage offerings. They also deal in some modern gear (Nash). Very cool guys to deal with.
A little out of the way, but these guys know acoustic instruments & vintage, too.
Wow! Great list.
Also, if you do hit Sam Ash, you'll most likely meet Larry Hartke. Nice guy and awesome selection
go to rivington! great store, i got a bass from there. if you go and say that "the 13 y/o kid who lives in england who bought the 70 p bass" sent you they might give you a discount
The Manhattan offerings provided by ShoeManiac - many great options. Skip Williamsburg - it's so unrepresentative of Brooklyn these days with all the hipsters. Yuck. You should come to real Brooklyn where we can get you some good food.
We also have Sam Ashes and Guitar Centers in Brooklyn and Queens too. The Brooklyn GC has a decent Bass section sometimes, and the Queens Sam Ash is a decent music store, though I haven't found anything there that's completely different as of yet. Brooklyn Sam Ash is decent for strings and once in a while you find a cool used bass, but the selection isn't too good. Queens GC I wouldn't set foot in ever again.
J&R Music/Computer world also used to have instruments before they started renovating the store to be more "leveled".
I'd also like to add that while Rudy's is a great place with plenty of things to try, they too are kinda overpriced - specifically on old Fenders.
I live in Williamsburg, and Main Drag is pretty cool. I really would not skip this place.
And I'm not a hipster. I've lived here all my life. Don't get me started about food....
I would highly recommend a trip to Mandolin Brothers - simply to look in awe at the highest forms of guitar art. They have some amazing guitars in that store. Simply amazing!
Let be fair though, anytime anyone is not familiar with Brooklyn always brings up "Williamsburg" because of how much it has transformed in the past 10 or so years with the hipster scene. For Pete's sake, there is elsewhere in the borough, and once you leave Williamsburg, there's nothing else in the borough that is even close culturally, for better and for worse. Again, mainly due to the recent developments. I'm definitely not into the Williamsburg scene, and many, many other native Brooklyn residents aren't either. Personally, its a very touchy subject. Nothing against you personally though.
Ultimately, it's up to the OP to decide what he wants to do as always.
For food? Oh, PM me and let's talk. :)
Great list!! Here's my two cents in addition...
Mandolin Brothers is truly an incredible place to visit. It's actually not that inaccessible from Manhattan, even though it's in Staten Island. It's about a 35 minute drive and there are trains that go there.
Rudy's has the best selection of basses like Zon, MTD, Ritter, F Bass, NSD, Hofner, Kydd, none of which are cheap anywhere. The Fenders are indeed probably a bit overpriced. Occasionally they'll have a few really esoteric basses. I bought an Atlansia there and I've never seen one of those ever in any other US store. Great place with a really nice acoustic guitar/mandolin room. Totally worth a visit.
The vintage department at Guitar Center is very very cool. It's also worth visiting for sure.
Matti Umanov is also a fun place to visit but I think most things there are also overpriced.
I actually really like trying out things at 30th street guitars, overpriced or not. It's like walking into some dude's lumber yard, except they turned it into a guitar store. The basses upstairs are certainly very interesting. Plenty of oddballs, actually more Rickenbackers than you usually find.
Sam Ash at 34th street will always be my favorite... even though it was at 48th street last year, right across from Rudy's :p Honestly, I think it got better with the move, though there were office noise complaints during the day. I'm going there after work with a few friends, I'll find out from Larry if they got that taken care of.
Of course by purchasing through any bricks-and-mortar retail store, you'll be paying a premium. By purchasing through a bricks-and-mortar retail store in NYC, you'll be paying a premium premium. Make sure your credit card is fully recharged... :hmm:
This place is in Edison, NJ and has a very nice selection of basses, not particularly overpriced. Worth a short trip, IMHO.
Thanks for all the feedback. Just to be clear I'm not trying to find the best price at the store I'm trying to physically check out basses that I'd never see at my local GC.
And you're just as likely to run into hipsters at any of the downtown shops I mentioned as anything in Brooklyn. They're just a part of life in certain parts of NYC.
Certain stores carry certain brands, and may or may not have the particular model you'd be looking for.
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