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Help needed finding a bass store in San Francisco

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by hegi, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. hegi


    Mar 27, 2006
    Hey everyone!!

    I will be visiting San Francisco in a few weeks. can anyone recommend me a bass store there?? Thank you :)
  2. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    Your best bet would be Gelb Music in nearby San Mateo, or even better, Guitar Showcase in not-as-nearby San Jose. If anyone knows of a better place to find basses, I'd like to know, too!

    EDIT: If you're willing to travel a couple of hours out of town, the Alembic factory is just up the highway in Santa Rosa, as well.
  3. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    I know of no "bass only" stores in The City. The closest is Juan Ortiz's shop up in Rancho Cordova. The City does have some usual suspects to check out: Rocker Guitars, GC, Gary Brawer's shop on Lafayette Street. Gelb is your best bet. Guitar Showcase in San Jose is a good trek
  4. metalbass.com


    Mar 20, 2006
    If you are looking for a place right there in the city
    drop by Haight Ashbury Music.

    They have alot of decent stuff for you to check out...

  5. pulseczar


    May 7, 2004
    San Jose, CA
    +1. Last time I was there I think the most exotic they got was Tobys and Alembics, but if you explore the shop, they have so much vintage guitars and guitars used by stars etc. A very interesting walkthrough.
  6. JameelRS


    Jan 28, 2006
    Denver, Co.
    You could also just go to good ol' Guitar Center on Van Ness. I can't remember exactly where it is. A little after Lombard though.
  7. unity bass

    unity bass

    Dec 15, 2003
    Modesto, Ca.
    It's not Bass specific, but I always make a stop at the Haight Ashbury Music Center when I'm in SF.
    The Haight also has tons of cool shops, record stores and restaurants. It's close to Golden Gate Park as well.
    If you've never been to San Francisco, it's a part of the city you shouldn't miss and won't soon forget.

    Have fun,


    P.S. welcome to TalkBass
  8. LeftyJack


    Feb 23, 2006
    San Carlos, CA
    Gelb Music is actually on El Camino Real in Redwood City, have been there a long time, nice store.
    I also have bought bass stuff (amp) from B Street Music in San Mateo. They have a nice selection of basses to chose from. They are a little hard to find but worth the trip. Let me know if you'd like more info.
    Have a great trip!
  9. AngryJason


    Feb 23, 2006
    Sacramento CA
    This is definitely "THE" shop to see if you have the time. It's about an hour and a half drive from the city, but worth every mile. Everything in his shop is top-shelf, and he's a really cool guy. Best to call ahead, as he doesn't really cater to a "walk-in" crowd, due to the stock he carries.

    (916) 852-2871

  10. http://www.basses-electric-acoustic.com/pages/1/index.htm

    Dingwall - Elrick - Hill Custom - Jerzy Drozd - Michael Kelly - Mike Kinal -
    Lakland - Modulus - MTD - Pensa - Ritter - Sadowsky (Metro) -
    Simonetti - Skjold Design - Surine - Traben - Rick Turner - Warrior - Pat Wilkins - Zon

    Heck I might have to drive over there myself...:D
  11. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    It's true there are no shops in the city that focus on bass, but the two that regularly have a few cool used basses are Rocker Guitars on Howard St. at 10th, and Real Guitars on Lafayette by Mission and 11th (same shop as Gary Brawer). Real Guitars is generally cooler but has fewer instruments, and Rocker are generally jerks but have a decent selection.
  12. bassjamn

    bassjamn Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    San Francisco
    +1 Millon, Gelb's got the best bass selection i've found. Guitar center's bass section is getting smaller & smaller.

    I was at Gelb about a month ago, They started carrying sadowsky's recently as well :bassist:

  13. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    There's also a GC on 9th and Mission. I'm not familiar with one on Van Ness. Sometmes some nice Pedullas there.
  14. JansenW


    Nov 14, 2005
    Cambridge, MA
    I agree.
    I have not been to Haight Ashbury or Juan Ortiz's shop.
    Has anyone been to the new Carvin dealership in Sacramento?
  15. bassjamn

    bassjamn Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    San Francisco
    The GC on 9th and mission moved to VanNess...their bass selection has gone way way down in terms of variety :meh:
  16. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    Well as long as they still have friendly and well informed service...

  17. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    I would also avoid Peacock guitars. He doesn't have anything in stock and I just went in there to see if I could get a setup and lower action and he told me the action was already too low since it measured 3/32 at the 5th fret.
  18. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    I missed that. Thanks much for the clarification.

    And to echo what others have said, in SF I'd go to Haight-Ashbury Music, Rocker Guitars, Real Guitars, and Guitar Center...outside of SF, Gelb isn't too far away. Basses Electric and Acoustic is great (I got my Ritter and my Phil Jones Bass rig there), but a longer drive.

  19. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    Gelb in Redwood City is the best bass place by the Bay, hands down. It's a short walk from the CalTrain station, so you won't even need to take a car.

    Guitar Showcase in San Jose has some cool stuff, but Gelb is where I'd go first for bass gear.

    Real Guitars/Brawer has a "funky junk" atmosphere to it IMHO. Don't let that disturb you. Brawer does some great work; I had them do a Plek fret level on my Matt Pulcinella Level 6, and it came out wonderful.

    Just say no to Guitar Satan. OTOH their new location on Van Ness is 2 doors down from Ruth's Chris Steak House, which I can highly recommend. :D
  20. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    Oh, do not even drive past Subway/Fat Dog guitars. The stuff in there is not even funny. It's actually surprising how they can mangle so many basses. Using a hammer and chisel to route a pickup cavity for example.

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