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Bass shopping in L.A.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by LeftyJack, May 9, 2006.

  1. LeftyJack


    Feb 23, 2006
    San Carlos, CA
    I'm heading down to L.A. this weekend for some additional ink work on my arm and I was hoping to do a little bass shopping while in L.A. Does anyone have any suggestions for a store that would be worth a visit? Just to throw a curve, I'm a lefty:meh:
    Thanks for any help you can give!
  2. Voltage, Future, and the used guitar store (sorry the name escapes me), at Sunset and Gardner, kitty corner from the Messa Boogie shop. They're all primarily guitar shops, but there's usually a few amusing basses, They're all with in one block of each other on Sunset.
  3. LeftyJack


    Feb 23, 2006
    San Carlos, CA
    I know exactly where that is. I'll be at the Shamrock Social Club on Sunset across from the Key Club on Saturday. I appreciate your help.
  4. steveb98

    steveb98 [acct disabled - multiple aliases]

    Mar 15, 2006
    Venice, CA
    L.A. isn't a great play for bass gear, I wish it was better. I would say two main places to go. "Guitar Gulch" on Sunset. That's the area around Guitar Center on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. In a couple block area lots of guitar stores new and vintage. Park at Guitar Center and all are in walking distance. Then for some high in gear the Amp Shop/Bass Exchange (two names, but one store) in the valley. They are on the corner of Woodman and Ventura. Warning parking sucks around there.
  5. If you go to Norm's Vintage and Rare, be prepared to be treat like crap unless you're dripping with gold.. :-/
  6. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA
    IF you want to check out the selection at guitar center sherman oaks (in The Valley), come on in and ask for dave (i'm the only "dave" in the store, so i'm easy to find. and mention TB, so i know where you're from). i actually work in accessories, but i'll hook you up with a sweet deal anywhere in the store, provided you find something you like. i'll be there friday in the morning/afternoon, saturday in the afternoon/evening, and sunday in the afternoon. 818.990.8332
    (and hey.... if you don't see any lefty basses you like, i'll hook up a sweet deal on whatever other goodies you might be interested in/need. stop on by!)

  7. BigMikeW

    BigMikeW Banned

    May 25, 2005
    Nashville, TN.
    Banned by TB Administration for refusal to account for funds

    +1 for the most part. You could go just over the hill into Sherman Oaks (just take Laurel Canyon off Sunset up and over the hills) and go to The Amp Shop/Bass Emporium. Pretty decent guys. More highend stuff. But, it'll be hard to plug into anything. They have a tiny amp room and they do their lessonin there on weekends. :confused: Just stupid if you ask me.

    I f I weren't busy as hell this weekend I'd have you come by and play a couple nice Sadowsky's but I am swmaped all weekend.
  8. steveb98

    steveb98 [acct disabled - multiple aliases]

    Mar 15, 2006
    Venice, CA
    Way back when I was a aspiring recording engineer I recorded Norm's group he played keyboards in. This was before he had his store, but the begining. Norm used to have some deal with the printer of the local newspaper known for great classified ads. During the session he would send his wife over to the printer to get the paper hours before it would hit the streets.

    His wife and Norm would scan the classified's for deal. What would freak all of us out is if he saw a good deal he would call the people no matter what time it was. One night we were recording late and Norm called some guy at 1AM selling a Gibson SG Special. Needless to say the guy was pissed at the early call, but he said Norm could come over. Since Norm is recording he sends his wife at 3AM over to this guys house a with cash. We were amazed. She comes back with the SG and small amp. Norm gets ticked because he didn't want the amp. She's tired and frustred telling Norm the guy wouldn't sell the guitar without the amp. Norm still got a killer deal. He asks if anyone in the session wanted a small amp. No, so he chucks it in the trash. None of could believe he would send his wife out to a strangers house in the middle of the night with cash, but that's how he got started selling vintage instruments.
  9. steveb98

    steveb98 [acct disabled - multiple aliases]

    Mar 15, 2006
    Venice, CA
    I know the pain I got a bass from them and had to wait for a lesson to finish so I could plug it in. They do have a lot of gear in a small store, but when it comes to bass they know their stuff.
  10. LeftyJack


    Feb 23, 2006
    San Carlos, CA
    Thanks everyone for the great information. I will try to get to as many places as I can depending on my schedule. This is one of the great things about TB'ers and the local knowledge you all can share with everyone. Thanks!
  11. This town is crap for bass shopping, but if you want to buy used gear it's absolute heaven. I think the second verse of Pavement's "Cut Your Hair" sums up why that's the case. :D
  12. If you really want to check out a cool/strange stuff stop by the Jammin Jersey on Tampa ave in the SFV. Its just south of the Northridge fashion mall.
    They have some cool basses and alot more.
  13. LarryR


    Feb 2, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Hey Lefty, my grandfather was "Lefty Jack" from Detroit.
    You are in good company.

    Don't pass up Truetone Music in Santa Monica, Tel 310-393-8232: Santa Monica Blvd. between 7th street & Lincoln (7 blocks from the beach).
    They cater to all players, but, alot of Pro's goto Truetone. You won't find a POS bass on their wall, plus they've got a great selection of pedals. I picked up a Prunes & Custard their last week. Not an easy pedal to find.

    Bass Exchange in the Valley is cool too.
  14. tunesmith


    May 3, 2006
    I have recently made transactions at both Norms, and Guitar Center in Sherman Oaks, and I can tell you that I was treated well at both places. I also paid a visit to Bass Exchange / Amp shop on Woodman and Ventrua, and was pretty stuned by their selection of high end basses. I ALMOST picked up a G&L 2500 there, but was wooed away. The parking does indeed suck, but I was nice to the valet for the Italian joint in the back and he let me park there without hassle.

    I have never checked out their guitar department, as I am only (in the past 18 months) playing bass, but more often the not when it comes to pro audio gear, the best selection and most helpful sales staff are over at West L.A. music in Universal and Santa Monica. In my other life, as a producer / engineer / session singer, they are often the people whom have earned my trust and business.

    Good luck... rent a car! It's big here.

  15. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    Excellent. I am going to have to check this place out.

    I also recommend True Tone Music on Santa Monica Blvd. in Santa Monica (almost all the way to the ocean.) It is heavy on guitars but they also stock Dipintos and Italias which are fun to check out. I get a little of the snotty vibe like you do at Norm's but it's still a great store.
  16. Go talk to William, Justin, or the Russian guy that is either a ninja or a former hockey star on the National team, at the Bass X-Change: http://www.bassexchange.com/catalog/index.php

    Lots of cool high-end gear there and a quiet, isolated amp room to demo them in. Metered parking all over the side streets, but yes, it's quite busy around there. ;)

    There's some Foderas, Ritters, Sadowskys, Zons, and lots of Fender-style Jazzes there.

  17. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    ... the russion guy (Gary), LOL... Amp Shop/Bass Xchange is a great place, one of my favorite shops. Justin is on the road at the moment with Taproot, but I think that William is there. Parking in back is bi@tch and in front on Ventura is no day at the beach either...

    Ken at Truetone is another good shop (cool cat too), mostly guitar gear, but I saw a Park Fly bass there last time I was in Santa Monica.
  18. Another vote for the Amp Shop/LA Bass Exchange - extremely friendly and helpful guys.
  19. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    Amp Shop/Bass Exchange seems like a cool place, I wanna boogie on over once.

    I'm heading over to hollywood (guitar center/sam ash/carvin/mesa) this weekend most likely.
  20. +1 to the Guitar Center on Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks; it's just down the street from the Bass Exchange.

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