Richie's Guitar shop in East Villiage

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by OpiateoftheBass, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. OpiateoftheBass

    OpiateoftheBass Guest

    Dec 24, 2007
    Anybody have any complaints about getting basses set up from him??
  2. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    Unless your bass is already there, I'd go with Norio Imai on W. 22nd. He's put time in at ESP in Japan, Fodera, and 13 years or so at Sadowsky before opening his own place, and his work is the best.
  3. contakt321


    Jul 31, 2006
    New York, NY
    I can also recommend 30th Street Guitars. They did great work on my Rickenbacker.

    I have no experience w/ Richies, where is his store located?
  4. EBBassMan

    EBBassMan Guest

    Mar 18, 2007
    Kew Gardens, New York
    Been a while since I've been there, but what about NY Bass and Guitar Boutique on W 59th? Jimmy Coppolo used to have some really excellent guys working there. I realize we're all pushing you further uptown, but have a metro card, right?
  5. tekkmo

    tekkmo Guest

    Sep 16, 2011
    I know the thread is _really_ old BUT I came across searching online so most likely other people will too and here is my experience from today:

    BS…. extremely unhelpful. Called today since I have a bass neck that needs a new thruss rod (Washburn XB500 Bantam). Nevermind that the girl that answers the phones is totally clueless and the fact that he was standing right next to her answering the questions and tell her what to say (as if I couldn’t hear), which was extremely RUDE!!! But then he is trying to tell me the neck cannot be fixed and that I should just buy a new neck?!!?!? Really?!!?!? ***?!!? The only reason I was going to him is coz I don’t have the tools right now and can’t plane that long surface, and I just needed them to do the seem separation… ***?!?! And they do custom made guitars and basses?!!?!? Ohhh yea and he was saying he can install the neck I get for me?!!?!?! Really?!?!?! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaha. He is gonna charge me for screwing four screws and _may-be_/possibly having to put a shim under… really?!?!?!

    .. total BS …. As far as I am concerned he doesn’t have a clue and the people paying him should really think twice what they are spending their money on……
  6. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    And now the thread is even older...

    Yes, I happen to have come across this thread in a Google search as well, and since I also have some experience with Richie, I thought I'd share:

    He's a very eccentric fellow. What? An eccentric guitar tech? In NYC? Who would have thought?

    I was referred to Richie by a bass-playing neighbor of mine. Richie, at least at that time, would take new customers by personal referral only. First contact was by telephone. Richie had to screen me, to see if I was "qualified" to do business with him. Apparently I passed the test.

    When I arrived for my first visit, he gave me a mimeographed sheet of strict instructions. I could not share Richie's phone number or address with anyone without his prior permission. Visits were to be by appointment only - no walk-ins. I had to be punctual - no tardiness. Payment to be in cash only - no checks, no plastic. Turnaround is generally within two to three days, so once Richie phoned me to tell me my instrument was ready for pick-up, I had to get there within a day or so, two at the most. (Richie has an extremely tiny workspace, with absolutely no room to store anything for any length of time.)

    On the upside, Richie's rates were (are?) very affordable - you're not paying for any overhead here. He gets the job done fast, he's a straight talker, and there's no B.S.

    On the downside, Richie's skills For simple jobs like set-ups or minor repairs - especially repairs to the body of the instrument - he's fine. Set-ups are like the perfect task for him - they're cheap, fast, effective...and they require minimal skill.

    When it comes to electronics, I would look elsewhere. On a particular pre-amp installation, I had to provide him with the written instructions, because he didn't know how to do it. On another occasion, an installation of a set of new pickups, he botched the job, creating an electrical and structural problem that made the instrument unplayable. I soon brought that instrument to Jeremy, one of the guitar techs at Rudy's Music in midtown, who diagnosed the problem and corrected it - for a fee of course. In that case, Richie didn't save me any money. He actually cost me additional money.

    OK, that's it, boys & girls. Proceed at your own risk.

    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  7. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    Astoria, NY
    I've never dealt with Richie, but I will add that I've had Jeremy at Rudy's work on my gear for a dozen years. Work is always the highest quality, from set-up to re-fret to any electronic configuration. I trust him with all of my basses, boutique thru vintage, with good cause. He is one of the best techs in NYC. It is Rudy's Music Stop, not bargain stop, but you will always get what you paid for.
    Mystic Michael likes this.
  8. doykinbass

    doykinbass Guest

    Dec 4, 2012
    New York City
    Going to Richie's guitar 'shop', which an old apartment living room, drew the line for me and I am never going to a guitar/bass setup guy again, unless I need serious repair.

    The door opened and Richie handed me a list of rules, since it was my first time there. I felt like his son that has has just spilled milk on his custom made guitar. Horrible way to treat a customer. Did I do something bad to you? Don't treat me like I did, I'm here to give you my money.

    I went to Richie for a very simple job, to change the nut and to repair a single wire in the electronics. Richie asked me 'why do you want to change the nut''. We are talking about a 30+ years old nut that has been completely eaten out causing serious buzzing on A and D strings. I should have left when he asked me this. I could tell that he has absolutely no idea about basic bass setup, I can imagine he was a horrible bass player.

    Then he did 'intonation', magically without using the screws on the bridge, using a cheap old boss tuner.

    But the most annoying part was me having to listen to his advices, like 'don't switch to heavy gauge strings',
    'It will put a lot of tension on the neck'' Yes, and so what?

    He prices are relatively cheap, I will give him that, but the experience is absolutely horrible. I'd seriously would like to see people like that going out of business. Very jive and perky attitude.

  9. guestOU812

    guestOU812 Inactive

    Jul 30, 2011
    Ahh Richie's Guitar Shop in the East Village. How old school New York can you get? I'm a long time East Villager, been playing bass (OMG) for 35 years. Richie's Guitars has and is one of the greatest places I've been in this town. If you are looking to be coddled (like some of the guys above) go somewhere else where they charge over 100 bucks for a setup. Richie makes/builds affordable guitars and basses for locals. He's not high end but all things considered his work is marvelous and seems to be getting better every day. His former landlord Steve Croman (google that SOB) is a great reason why Richie hands you a sheet of "what-to-do's." He's also old school from a time when the EV wasn't a playground for boys and girls looking to be coddled. So if you're looking for your hand to be held with a fake smile Richie ain't your man. No. If you are looking for a killer bargain (and quite collectable nowadays) locally built guitar or bass get Richie's phone number, visit him and be shaging cool. You are visiting his home. I have to be honest he's worth it especially if you are looking for a quality bargain.