bay area(san francisco) store recommendations anyone?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Scamp, Jul 20, 2003.

  1. Scamp


    Jul 18, 2003
    I'm fixing to start playing bass again and am looking for a store with a decent selection. I'm leaning torwards a plain old mim jazz bass, but would kind of like a five string but don't really need one. I dropped into the guitar center in el cerrito and san jose as well as music unlimited in san leandro. I was less then impressed with the selection of basses they had. I am not totally sold on the fender and would like to try out the peavey grind ntb and the yamaha bb605. All the stores seemed to stock a ton of cheap yamaha, ibanez, and squire basses and a lot of nice basses that are out of my range but nothing around the 4 or 500 range other then the mim fenders. The fenders sound fine and I would be happy with one I would just like to try out one or 2 others in the same price range before I buy one. I'm open to other brands but really am just looking for a store with a good selection so I can make a choice.

    On an unrelated question is the price of MIM Fender Jazz basses fixed at 419 all of a sudden? I started to look about a year ago but didn't have the time and the prices varried quite a bit now I looked at several online stores and they all sell for the exact same price. I'm not keen on buying online but looking through the online stores was my method for narrowing down my choices.

    If you do respond my job takes me pretty much all over the bay area from san jose all the way up to Sacramento so no store is to far if they have a good selection.
  2. todd 4ta

    todd 4ta

    Apr 3, 2003
    For lots of high end beauties, check out Gelb Music in Redwood City.
  3. Hman


    Jan 8, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    Yup...Gelb in Redwood City is the place to try all the good stuff. They usually have all the Fenders available. In stock most of the time are MTD 535 - Zon - Lakland - Spector - Modulus and others you can try. Just don't play too loud, or else you'll be out the door!
  4. Skips and GC in Sacramento seem to have a fair amount of basses. GC probably has more Fenders. I bought a brand new 62 strat from Music Unlimited. They have different owners now, but they were very helpful when I was purchasing a new wireless a few years ago. It seem like you have narrowed your search to a mexi fender. You are correct in wanting to try as many as possible. I still wouldn't rule out a Yamaha. They have several models in your price range.
  5. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I agree on Gelb in Redwood City, but also look at Guitar Showcase in San Jose.

    Starving Musician in San Jose and Santa Clara are hit and miss. Usually they don't have much of interest, but once in a while you find something nice.

    Also on the smaller side is Haight-Ashbury Music in Sunnyvale. They sometimes have something worth looking at.

    Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto is mostly guitars, but does have a few basses. Last time I visited there, they had a Martin acoustic and some high-end semi-acoustic (Rob Allen if I remember correctly)

    That's all I can remember at the moment. I'm sure there are others, but those are my regulaar haunts.
  6. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Inactive

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
  7. What about fatdawg impressed you? All I saw there was a bunch of junk, definately not many fenders. YMMV
  8. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Inactive

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    Yah, its deffinetly not boutique nor even average its just a funky shop with cool people that I visited and I like.

  9. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    There's actually a good shop about 2 stores down from the Haight-Asbury intersection (on Haight, I think). I had good experiences there. They seem to have a nice selection and good prices.
  10. Hman


    Jan 8, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    Yup, that would be Haight Ashbury Music. I think their website is I also check out Real Guitars Got some vintage Fenders and other off brand too.
  11. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Is Univibe still there in Berzerkly? They use to have stuff show up every once in a while.

    Black Market Music closed up shop didn't they? They were pretty cool.

    I'm really surprised that San Fran doesn't have a bass only store, like BassNW or Bass Central.

    Oh yeah, Fatdawg is a trip. All those cases that are on the floor have pre-CBS guitars in them. They really aren't too much into bass.
  12. It's been said, but Gelb is really the only place worth checking out. They have a great stock of all levels of basses. The staff there is top notch, and they'll help you find the right bass without trying to tear into your pocketbook. Talk to Ed when you go over there.
  13. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Ummmmm, although I agree that Gelb is worth checking out. It is not the only place. Guitar Showcase is definitely worth stopping at. Guitar Showcase has a cool room with vintage Fenders and their stock of Alembics. Wanna see a pair of Alembic Spyders? Guitar Showcase has a pair (a 4-string and an 8-string). Guitar Showcase is a dealer of Alembic, Fender, MusicMan and Rickenbacker.

    So, yea, go to Gelb. It is a great shop with great basses, but also visit Guitar Showcase. Both stores are worth stopping in.
  14. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I really like Real Guitars. They dont have much new stuff but worth a trip. They had a really nice G and L when I was there.

    Don't know where it is ask Blackbird.
  15. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    this fits better in miscellaneous, and so away it goes.... :)
  16. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    All of the previous recommendations are good, but they left out Rocker Guitars in SF at, I think, 9th and Howard. They have a fair selection, but specialize in what I call benign neglect (the staff pretty much ignores you, but they are nice about it). I must, must, recommend that you stay away, far away from Fatdog and Subway Guitars! Check out the review of Subway Guitars on Harmony Central for the Gibson EB-2 Copy. That is a typical response to a Subway experience. Good luck!
  17. Starrchild


    Nov 10, 2000
    The Bay.
    Ditto on everything stated about Gelb.

    Geld rules as far as prices go.

    Ed's the man.
  18. Yeah, Showcase can be decent at times, especially if you are into Alembic's. Aside from that, the only other basses they really carry are Fenders and MM's. That's really not a great selection. The prices on their Alembic's are a bit high too. I used to live about 2 minutes away from Showcase, and even though I would go check out what they had every so often, I would rather take the drive out to Gelb to see a much better selection and a much more knowledgable and helpfull staff. If you can only go to one place, go to Gelb. If you have time to kill, and would like to check out some nice vintage stuff and some hard to find Alembics, go to Showcase as well.:D
  19. Scamp


    Jul 18, 2003
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm headed down to Redwood City tonight since Gelb is open late on thursday's and checking it out. I've been to several stores now and still no sign of a peavey grind or the yamaha that i'm interested in but after reading around on here the MTD Kingston seems to be calling my name as well. So far have only tried out Fender and Ibanez as they were all that the stores I've been to stock in my price range.