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Bass shops in Montreal?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Wild_Cat, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. Wild_Cat


    Feb 14, 2009
    Montréal, QC
    (admins: feel free to move this thread if it doesn't belong in this sub-section of the forum)

    Hi people, in two days I'm moving to Montreal, Canada from my dear old France, and I need information/opinions on the various bass shops I can find there. What are the good places? Those I should avoid?

    I'm planning to buy a 6-string EBMM Bongo, so stores that stock that kind of instruments would be appreciated.

    While we're at it, are there any good Canadian online stores (I'd prefer a physical shop where I can try the bass before buying it, but lacking that...)? And if I were to order from an US store (MF, Basscentral...), how much can I expect to pay for customs?

    Thanks in advance, TB'ers!
  2. capnjim


    Mar 13, 2008
    Howdy and welcome. France? Do you speak french? Because if you speak France french you will need to learn Kebecquoise. Kind of slim pickings in Montreal, the biggest is Steve's music store, but they are kind of expensive. The best place for basses is probably Italmelodie. There's a great smaller store called Kitts music, some vintage stuff, but a good small store with used stuff.
    Kijiji Montreal has good deals on used stuff..but you have to sift through a ton of dealer ads and idiot who price their stuff double what it would sell for on eBay. Craigslist Montreal is useless for gear, but pretty decent for finding bands.
    If you order on-line from the US make sure you use USPS as Fedex and UPS have insane brokerage fees. You just pay sales tax.
  3. DanHibiki


    Apr 16, 2008
    I think your best bet is Italmelodie. You won't find Fender there, but they do have EBMM, Lakland, G&L...

    Steve's has a good selection of basses but the service is terrible and it is horribly organized. There's almost no space for you to test some basses comfortably and they don't like you to do so.

    If you want to try some Fenders you might want to take a look at Archambault (but not every store carry instruments) and there is a small shop called Diplomate Musique... Those were my options for trying out Fender since I hated Steve's.

    There's also a couple of stores at St-Laurent where you can find some nice pedals and some boutique basses. Can't remember their names though.

    If you're going for the online route, I think you can try for L.A. Music and Long & McQuade... Never bought from them, though.

    I think those were the shops I looked for when I stayed in Montreal... If you go to Québec City you can find some good stores too, there were like three stores in the same block or so there and if you call them they'll probably ship things to Montreal...
  4. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"...

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I think the shops on St-Laurent that Dan (above) is referring to are Moog Audio and Boutique Tone - both great shops for effects pedals (though I think Moog's selection is better). For Musicman basses you're pretty much looking at either Steve's or Italmelodie. I've found that the prices at Steve's can be a bit better than at Italmelodie but Italmelodie can be a more pleasant environment to try basses out in. I've bought instruments at both shops and would probably be more inclined to head to Italmelodie first. Also, in my experience it's rare for stores here to stock much in the way of six string basses, so don't be surprised if you have some difficulty finding a Bongo sixer to try out. You might just have to order one and keep your fingers crossed that you like what the distributor sends.
  5. I think I remember seeing a 6 string bongo at Italmelody the last time I was there. They have a better selection and service than steve's does. Leon is the Bass sales guy, and is a pleasure to talk with, and very accomodating to let you try whatever you like. I f you get a chance to leave the city, here is a nice little music shop in St-hyacinthe (about 40 minutes from montreal) called CMvictor music, they have a suprisingly good selection of Musicman instruments.

    Boutique tone and moog audio are also great stops, no EBMM but lots of toys to see and try, and while you're there take a few minutes to grab the best smoked meat sandwich in town at Schwart's.

    Enjoy your stay in Montreal.
  6. BassGen


    Mar 15, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    For online LA Music seems to have pretty good pricing that is comparable with US online retailers as long as they carry what you are looking for.
  7. MakoMan


    Oct 17, 2011
    Ottawa, Canada
    Diplomate Music had a very good selection of basses when I was in there last week to pick up my Gretsch Junior Jet. Also was very impressed with the service and prices.
    Italmelodie is a very good store, as is Archambeault. Can't comment on Steve's, as I have only been there once.
  8. + 1 on this.
    For MM basses i would also recommend itale mélodie.
    They have a wide range of MM basses.

    Don't forget to bring your winter jacket.
    It's like minus 14 celcius today :)
  9. I live a block away from Italmelodie, I can walk in and see if they have a Bongo sixer. I remember seeing a 5 string last time I checked in, but not sure about a 6. I'll check this week, maybe on thursday since they close at 9.

    Italmelodie is great, employes are a lot more friendly than Steve's IMO. I think they're a little more expensive though but service is way better.

    I only bought from Steve's once and I'm glad I did since I got a sweet deal on a Squier 51' CV P-Bass for 300$ tax inc. with a hs case. What turned me off is that I was buying it in a hurry 20 minutes before closing time. I was looking at straps while the tech guy was setting the guitar and one other employee nearly kicked me out of the store, thinking I was there only to buy a strap and they were closing soon, telling me "Come later for a strap will ya" What a f****n douche. I took my bass and got out straight.

    Diplomat is also a great alternative, they've got pretty much nothing but Fenders, but hey is that such a bad thing? In my knowledge, you won't find a MM over there. They've got a backroom filled with pretty much any Fender or Squier models you'll want. Great deals on those for the most part.

    Archambault either, no MM over there. Mainly Fender, Yamaha and Schecter. Prices are average.
  10. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Everything they said.

    Get a hot medium fat smoked meat sandwich with fries and a Cott black cherry soda at Schwartz after going to Tone and Moog on the Main.

    Ask for Andrew at Moog, I think he's Droskobass here on TB. Great guy and he'll talk gear with you forever. They also have some Bergantino and Phil Jones rigs to try basses out on, and have or will soon have Mike Lull basses for sale.

    Tone is cool and gets a lot if visiting musicians, have some top gear including Sandberg, Suhr, and Dingwall basses. They don't have any decent amps to rehearse stuff, though, really weird, I think they are all guitarists! They did drag out a nice consignment B-15 for me last time, sounded amazing, but I don't think they were very happy to, heh heh. Nice guys, really cool shop.

    Italmelodie is great for trying stuff out, nice guys as well, and tons of amps and cabs including Ampeg, Mesa, and GB. Lots of Music Man and even some Laklands.

    Steve's is kind of yesterday's store, very little in the way of newer brands, and hard to try stuff out. For too long they were the only game in town, and it shows. They are much better for sound reinforcement and such, and have a good drum shop and lots of acoustic guitars.

    If you want a laugh, and to be treated worse than you ever have, go next door to Steve's and wander into Jack's. It's a relic from decades ago, nothing but crappy vintage amps at ridiculous prices and some lousy starter packs for bewildered parents who somehow wander into that den of iniquity.

    Enjoy Montreal, it's one if the coolest cities in the world: best food, women, shopping, and the summer is just full of live music and various festivals, and is one of the last places left where just hanging out is still an art form.
  11. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"...

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Very accurate post. :) Andrew (droskobass) is, indeed, the guy to talk to at Moog. He's very knowledgeable and easy going (he actually told me that he'd talked to you a little while ago, One Drop - said you were really cool).
  12. Wild_Cat


    Feb 14, 2009
    Montréal, QC
    Awesome advice, thanks everyone. It appears Italmelodie will be the main place for me to check out -- plus, since my new apartment is on Avenue Coloniale, it's not a very long walk according to Google Maps. I'll probably have a look at Moog and Tone (maybe Diplomat too, but Fenders aren't really my thing), and stay away from Steve's.

    @altamont: If you happen to drop by Italmelodie, I'll gladly accept info regarding the availability of a Bongo 6. But otherwise, don't sweat it, I'm planning to go have a look in the days following my arrival anyway -- probably this weekend, or maybe next Monday. Thanks again!

    @alxi: Yeah, I expect canadian winter is going to be an... Interesting experience for the southern frenchman I am (southern France has roughly the same kind of weather as California -- with the surprisingly warm winter we're having right now, temperatures tomorrow are expected to be around 10 degrees (Celsius, of course)). I've got my ski jacket and pants in my suitcase. :D
  13. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"...

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    So yeah, you're just a hop and a skip away from Saint-Laurent street. And Italmelodie is very close to the Jean Talon metro station, so no worries there. The winters here can be cold but don't fret, you'll be fine. :)
  14. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    By "the Main" do you mean St. Laurent, or something else? Being in Burlington I go to Montreal often, and can agree with comments about Steves (you should at least go there for the visual experience, even if you don't linger) and Italmelodie, but have not visited Tone or Moog's. Are they on "the strip" by Schwartz's? Thanks, Montrealers ...one of the world's great cities!
  15. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"...

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Yes, "the Main" refers to St-Laurent and those two shops (Moog Audio and Boutique Tone) are basically just across the street from Schwartz's. If you're into pedals, Moog has the best selection I've ever seen in a shop.
  16. msb


    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    Poutine , and French girls . Why would you look for a bass in Montreal ?
  17. 4001

    4001 Inactive

    Sep 29, 2004
    Lake County, IL
    I went to Montreal in 2008 to see Rush. What a beautiful city!
    Had some of this:
    Montréal Poutine

    And Montreal has some of the most beautiful women I've ever seen in one city.
  18. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    To play enough to afford Poutine and attract 'ta blonde', of course!

    So nice to hear everyone digs my hometown, I really miss it sometimes.

    Thanks for the kind words, Bass12, say hi to Andrew for me!
  19. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"...

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Will do! :)

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