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Guitar shops in London?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by purfektstranger, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. purfektstranger


    Apr 10, 2003
    I will be in the UK in late March for about a week and was wondering if there were any decent musical instrument shops worth checking out in London. Not really interested in acquiring anything but always on the lookout nonetheless. Last time I was there I think I recall a seeing a few guitar stores off Oxford street but I could be wrong.

  2. The place to go is Denmark Place or Ave or something, short walk from Piccadily Circus off Charing Cross Rd if I remember correctly. A whole (small) street of musical instrument and sheet music shops... At least one is all bass. I had fun there when I was last in the UK. There are also a couple of shops on Charing Cross leading up to it - Turnkey and at least one other...

    Have fun,
  3. :eek: I have to go there very soon!!
  4. Bass_Machine


    Oct 29, 2004
    As far as I know, Denmark Street is off Charing cross road. It has loads of guitar shops. Turnkey is very close nearby, not to mention Macari's. The shop you'd want on Denmark Street is The Bass Cellar.
  5. the bass cellar on denmark street. very cool place
  6. john flipcycle

    john flipcycle

    Oct 13, 2004
    Reading UK
    Partner, The Strat Shack www.thestratshack.co.uk
    I can strongly recomend going a little further afield to www.thebassgallery.com in Camden and also www.basscentre.com off liverpool street. The bass gallery is a bit of a trek away from Denmark street but is really worth the effort if you like to admire some real high end gear. I have always had great service and every visit is enjoyable. The bass centre is absolutely massive and has just about everything I have ever heard of but I prefer the smaller and friendlier bass gallery.

    Also you have to have a peek in vintage and rare guitars in denmark street, always fun to see some truly classic instruments with scary price tags.

    Have fun! Jon.
  7. Stox


    Mar 18, 2005
    London UK
    These are the best places for bass
  8. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    I also advise to visit the bass gallery in camden! great place, got my warwick thumb from there! :)
  9. alanbass1


    Feb 8, 2006
    The Gallery in Camdem is a god place to visit as that is where Sei basses are made (in the basement). Trouble with the Gallery is that it is almost like a junk shop in apearance, making trying stuff a little congested!

    From the Gallery you can take the underground to Liverpool Street and visit the Bass Centre, which is much better laid out than the Gallery and has a wide selection of Warwicks, Edens, Ampegs and all kind of other stuff.

    If you get time (Fridays recommended as late night at Denmark Street), you can get across to Denmark Street from Liverpool Street (by underground). As mentioned, there are a number of places down Charing Cross Road as wel (Macari's, Turnkey and a few others). Also, Virgin Megastore in Oxford Street (Just around the corner from Denmark Street) is establishing quite a nice musical instrument department in the basement and is now the place to go for EB Musicman basses.
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I agree - Denmark Street is basically a rip-off for tourists and I always found the Bass Cellar over-priced and the service very poor. I think it's their location - being so central they are plagued with kids who have no intention of buying - so the staff are very wary...:meh:

    It's much better in the Bass Centre and Gallery - better basses, better service and they will let you try stuff for as long as you need without hassle - plus they are knowledgeable and helpful...:)
  11. If you are going to the Bass Gallery don't be put off if the shop appears to be closed. The door is kept locked. You enter via the intercom. Have fun!
  12. When are we going on a bass gallery road trip (Rail Trip??) Jonno? Any other TB members on the train line from Reading to Paddington are welcome to join. Bass shop crawl followed by a pub crawl!! :bassist:
  13. purfektstranger


    Apr 10, 2003
    Wow...thanks all for the great tips.
  14. john flipcycle

    john flipcycle

    Oct 13, 2004
    Reading UK
    Partner, The Strat Shack www.thestratshack.co.uk
    Hi Chris! Small world! I fancy that sometime. Denmark street, bass gallery, then bass centre with some shoe shopping and great food along the way. Maaaarvelous
  15. AVOID turnkey on Charing Cross Rd at all costs. You'll be lucky to find any basses in there at all now. The staff don't give a stuff about your needs, they just want to sell you what they can. Hideously expensive. It's like being on the floor of the stock exchange.

    Also, be wary of the Bass Cellar on Denmark St. They are very well priced and stock everything, but once again The man in there will talk utter crap to make a sale. I went in there once, wise to his technique, he asked me what I currently played. When I told him (old '79 Precision), he dismissed that as rubbish, told me I wanted one of these! (hands me blue plastic Ibanez)

    "Only one in London mate, I'd have it meself if I could!!"

    ALSO I bought an Ovation acoustic off him, he was currently out of the appropriate gig bag for it but promised to send it on to me - never did, despite repeated phone calls. Consider myself stung.:spit:

    Rant over!
  16. basses55

    basses55 Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 24, 2003
    Endorsing Artist: Alleva Coppolo, FBass.

    Wish I could go on that one too...I always love going to the Gallery when I'm there...Martin is really nice and makes very nice basses too. Great selection.....and for an out of towner Camden Locks is an interesting place to hang for a while.
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I've heard similar things over the years - just talking complete rubbish ! I worked in an office quite near there and used to walk past quite a lot and the staff would be really unhelpful - soemtimes blocking the door or way through the shop while they played instruments, showing off and ignoring you when you tried to get past.

    There was a time when they had the first of the new Yamaha TRB6Ps and I was genuinely interested - but they only grudgingly let me try one and then cut me off after a few minutes with a very rude : "time's up"!!

    I never bother to even ask to try anything anymore, although I stil walk past and see them being rude to other customers, every so often...:meh:
  18. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    Everyone here at TB are seriously telling it, "like it is!" My experiences are the same regarding that place on Denmark st. That is the rudest place I've ever been. Joe Hubbard (Gary Numan etc.) told me soon after I arrived in London to avoid that place and get my Arse over to the Gallery. I'm thankful for that! AVOID DENMARK ST. YOU WILL BE RIPPED OFF.... GUARANTEED! avoid the bass centre as well...

    Martin and the folks at the Gallery are the nicest and most professional bass dealers you will meet here, period.;)
  19. zoran


    May 10, 2002
    yeah, I remember guy there told me "You can try (810ampeg box with svt-cl head) only if you are a serious buyer".

    And believe me, I'm serious, just it's hard to explain that transporting 810 box in a plane is consider as mission impossible. Yes, those damn tourists.:p
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I can't agree with that - the Bass Centre is great - they are very friendly and the peopel who run it are very knowledgeable.

    I bought all my basses there and they have given me free setups and help on numerous occasions.

    They have let me try basses for many hours and given helpful hints and tips - as well as interest-free credit!! :)

    They have alway offered me a cup of coffee and when I was interested in EUBs they got all their stock from their shops in Manchester etc. for me to try...I could go on...

    Oh and they usually have the best stock of basses ...Martin tends to have very high-end stuff and whatever anybody else has traded in for a Sei..;) - great to look at - but not what I would buy..:meh:

    Whereas the Bass Centre always has some basses that I would actually want to buy and just about afford!! ;)