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High end instrument stores

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Drop1, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. TheReceder


    Jul 12, 2010
    Not sure if it's an appointment basis or not, but here's a shot of their "showroom".
    TolerancEJ likes this.
  2. Holdsg

    Holdsg I should be practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Alta Loma, CA
  3. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Location has historically been a key factor in retail, but that has been diminishing with online sales. Add in the BIG online sellers and your local shop no longer stands a chance of survival. A local shop has to rely on a decent stream of everyday stuff to pay the operating costs, but what happens is that buyers tend to get their strings and accessories from online sources that offer great prices and free shipping. There's just not enough business in higher end gear to keep a store front open month after month, and without the day-to-day stuff those struggling shops just die. No matter where they are located. Even what seems to be the walk-in traffic no longer translates into sales. So often people use the bricks-and-mortar shop as a place to try out an instrument, then buy it online from a supplier that has free shipping, an enticing return policy and great pricing. They can do it because of volume purchases that reduce their outlay, great shipping rates not available to the small retailer and reduced processing costs per item from sheer volume of sales.

    Get used to it. Regular retail as we have come to know it is dying - perhaps already dead.
    LBS-bass, mikewalker and TolerancEJ like this.
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    serious cats should have that experience, but given the way things are, per your observations = you might consider a road trip! then you'll have had the experience --- in order to 'move on' --- no matter what that would mean for you!

    i regularly visited an 'alembic shop' (and other high enders) some years back, until i realized that an alembic (as great as they are!) was not really for me. had nothing to do with the money: it was about playing it for a bit --- long enough to realize its 'shortcomings' for me. the only fretlesses they had were not of the right 'feel'. i saved myself some money and the embarrassment of 'unloading' an alembic! :D

    my point: make a big deal out of going where you can play a bunch of 'premium' instruments...just so you know! sometimes the GAS changes to vapor and it's gone!* good luck! :thumbsup:

    * of course sometimes it's the opposite --- either way = you know something!
    TolerancEJ likes this.
  5. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Last time I was there (a couple years ago now) it was by appointment. But he had some *really* nice stuff there.
  6. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    But if you decide to go for it, buy it where you try it. Don't go shopping online for a better price or the next time you want to try something there wont be a place where you can.
    timplog, LBS-bass, JRA and 2 others like this.
  7. This is what debit cards were invented for, no need to carry a boatload of money around.
    Oops, I just realized the intention here.
    BurningSkies and TolerancEJ like this.
  8. Absolutely, but then he won't have the pleasure of opening a briefcase full of cash at the counter. (Never done this before, but it'd be cool to experience at least once.)
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  9. I carried cash when I bought a new automobile.
    Got zero breaks on the price for using cash!

    At least at the pawn-shops they'll knock off tax if I pay in cash.
    TolerancEJ likes this.
  10. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    As others have said, no national Brick-and-Mortar chains doing this.

    Here in Chicago we have Chicago Music Exchange which is always worth the visit. They're also the parent company of Reverb so internet-arily they could be considered "National", but by that definition so could Sweetwater.

    We've also got Bass Club Chicago, I haven't visited their current location but if you're looking for top end Bass Guitars and coming through Chicago, CME and Bass Club should satisfy.

    As long as I'm talking about shops, if you have vintage tastes, stop by "Rock And Roll Vintage" they always have some good stuff. Not like the other two, but it's exactly on the way from one to the other so you can have a great afternoon-of-bass on the Northside of Chicago.
    mikewalker and TolerancEJ like this.
  11. Drop1


    Mar 28, 2019
    I agree with this. I always try my best to purchase from brick and mortar stores if possible. I don't mind paying a premium if the service is there. That goes for anything I buy. Not just music related items.
    Ronzo likes this.
  12. BassManKK

    BassManKK Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2016
    Viggo51 likes this.
  13. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Wise words. Not only to keep these kind of shops in business, but for your own benefit too.

    At the top end such fine distinctions set instruments apart, that if a particular bass speaks to you that's probably the one that you will be most happiest with. Going instead for a savings of a couple hundred bucks going online is liable to bite you in the butt.
  14. This is true. Also consider that some of these stores we've previously referenced also sell their products via Reverb, this making this site a one-stop for checking multiple stores' listings simultaneously. The items I subscribe to in My Feed will sometimes include listings of Bass Central, Bass San Diego, Bass Exchange, The Low End, Bass and Beyond, & many others.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  15. Drop1


    Mar 28, 2019
    It's not only that but the people that own these businesses and homes are my clientele. Spending money outside of the community makes absolutely no sense to me.
  16. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    You'd be surprised at how compact $25,000 actually can be. No need for a briefcase or even a shoebox.

    In all honestly, even with a shop that carries 'really nice' basses only a mile down the road, It's not like I'm visiting all that often. I can spend an our in there every once in a while and be good. Why tease yourself if you're not really going to be spendy all the time.

    Maybe I'm unusual, but once I liked what I had, I wasn't really all into passing my time with basses I have no intention of buying. I once walked into Ish and he handed me a one-off fodera that was a 6 string short scale. I played it for about 5 minutes, it elicited no sense of GAS and I put it back on the wall. I love Ritter basses, they're super nice, eye candy, sound good...but I'm not buying one so sitting and playing one I'm not going to take home becomes a futile move.
  17. If it's coming from me, they're mostly going to be bills in low denominations. Hey, I'm also Canadian and our $1 and $2 are coins, so $25K would require a very strong briefcase. It might also make luggage necessary.
    mikewalker likes this.
  18. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    :thumbsup: agreed!
  19. I bought my first electric bass here, my buddy still has it and has recorded numerous albums with it. Great place and I hope the OP hops on a plane and checks it out.
  20. @Drop1 Maybe you've discovered an opportunity for yourself. If there is no high-end bass shop in your area any longer, maybe you could look into opening one yourself. (Easier said than done, obviously.) I definitely remember The Perfect Bass and was saddened when it closed down.

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