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NYC guitar stores = wildly disappointing
Old 3rd July 2009
  #1
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kyle barton's Avatar
 

NYC guitar stores = wildly disappointing

So i googled the guitar stores in NYC, as i'm killing two weeks here this summer. i arranged them in order and headed out this morning...

First Flight music at 11th and 1 Ave - nice guy, small store

Mojo - allegedly on 8th between 1 Ave and Ave A - couldn't find it.

East Village - on 3rd street between 2nd ave and bowery - i was there at 11am and they didn't open till noon, so i moved on.

Russo Audio - allegedly at 2st and Ave A - couldn't find it

Ludlow - on Ludlow between Houston and Stanton - these dudes let me fool around on their Moog stuff a LOT, but when i asked if i could pull out the MoogerFoogers, they couldn't be bothered. so i bailed. i like to give money to people who act like they want it. i mean, i know i'm "old" and that i don't have "tats" and that i just "showered" and "shaved lately" and "wear clothes that fit" but comeon... really?

i've already been to the SamAsh/Manny's/Rudy's area a bunch of times on other trips to NYC. those are interesting stores with lots of inventory.

i just figured that with 8gillion people in the city that there would be LOTS of gear to paw over here. Killeen Texas has about a million times the guitar stores and inventory that NYC has so far....

so what did i miss? i'm looking for pro audio and boutique guitars/amps and crazy synth stuff.
Old 3rd July 2009
  #2
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BOWIE's Avatar
I haven't been to NY in a few years but I think the situation all over is that most of the cool shops just can't survive anymore. A few years ago, I remember being able to find just about guitar I wanted within a half hour drive. When I wanted a new axe, I'd spend a week going to all the local stores and trying out all kinds of incredible stuff. Now, my only option is GC.
Old 3rd July 2009
  #3
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Soul Finger's Avatar
 

30th St Guitars on 30th St btwn 7th and 8th Aves IMO best guitar store in Manhattan.

Mojo is long gone.
Old 3rd July 2009
  #4
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kyle barton's Avatar
 

thanks soul finger. thats actually real close to where i'm staying, and didn't see that one in my google search.

any other ideas?
Old 3rd July 2009
  #5
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sahiaman's Avatar
 

Chelsea guitars is nice also. Small, but a lot of fun instruments. On 23rd and 7th.
Old 3rd July 2009
  #6
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tombak's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soul Finger View Post
30th St Guitars on 30th St btwn 7th and 8th Aves IMO best guitar store in Manhattan.
Agreed!
Welcome to 30th Street Guitars

South Side Guitars and Main Drag are both worth the short ride.
Southside Guitars
http://www.maindragmusic.com/md/

They are both just one stop on the L train in from Manhattan.

Rivington Guitars is worth a visit.
Rivington Guitars: NYC’s Best Little Guitar Store

Sorry to say but the shops that you visited are all my least favorite.
Old 3rd July 2009
  #7
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dhiltonlittle's Avatar
 

main drag in williamsburg is pretty cool.
Old 3rd July 2009
  #8
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see Mat at 30th street. GC on 14th is their flagship store, bought a custom shop strat and 2 les pauls out of there.
Old 3rd July 2009
  #9
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dpianomn's Avatar
 

+1 for Rivington...a lot of nice acoustics.
Old 3rd July 2009
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
Eskimo Brain's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhiltonlittle View Post
main drag in williamsburg is pretty cool.
+1 -- that's where I go to get work done on my guitars as well.
Old 3rd July 2009
  #11
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kyle barton's Avatar
 

thanks for the feedback everyone. gonna try Rivington and 30th street on Monday and Brooklyn stores on Wednesday if i can get over there.
Old 3rd July 2009
  #12
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Jim Kerr's Avatar
 

If you hit 30st gtrs check out Rogue music. I think its on the same block across the street, bet broadway and 7th ave. Its in a "music rehearsal bulding" on like the 10th flr or something. Mostly second hand stuff. Always fun going in there. Just look up the address.

edit: oh...and..Armond???.... Armond music I think, is also on the same block as 30st. PRETTY SHADY place actually but he has orig LA2A's 1176's and crazy amounts of synth stuff. Its all hoarded and stacked to ceiling and thats if its open. Ground floor on the street. I hear he's a rip off repair guy though.
Old 3rd July 2009
  #13
Engagement Manager
 
Sniperschool's Avatar
+2 for brooklyn
southside and main drag for sure
and if you feel like a walk then mazzotti music on i think 3rd Ave is worth a visit
S/.
Old 3rd July 2009
  #14
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dhiltonlittle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kerr View Post
If you hit 30st gtrs check out Rogue music. I think its on the same block across the street, bet broadway and 7th ave. Its in a "music rehearsal bulding" on like the 10th flr or something. Mostly second hand stuff. Always fun going in there. Just look up the address.

edit: oh...and..Armond???.... Armond music I think, is also on the same block as 30st. PRETTY SHADY place actually but he has orig LA2A's 1176's and crazy amounts of synth stuff. Its all hoarded and stacked to ceiling and thats if its open. Ground floor on the street. I hear he's a rip off repair guy though.
armons repair shop! defintiely an "interesting" place. just hard to actually move around in there!
Old 3rd July 2009
  #15
If it's still around try Carmine Street Guitars
Old 3rd July 2009
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Mojo has been gone for years.
East village music always sucked.
First flight is cute, I used to buy strings and stuff when I lived a block away.

Main Drag and Southside in Brooklyn are nice, as mentioned above.
Also Ludlow Music. Rivington has some nice pieces but I can't imagine ever buying anything there since the prices are way off.

Don't forget GuitarMan on Orchard between stanton and rivington. Very small but everything in the store is pretty nice (not amps tho).

Of 48th st only rudy's has nice stuff, but again, super duper expensive, would never purchase anything there.
Old 3rd July 2009
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhiltonlittle View Post
main drag in williamsburg is pretty cool.
Old 3rd July 2009
  #18
Lives for gear
 

as already mentioned:

30th st for lots of cool used guitars and amps....and a bit of space and time to check them out.

main drag in brooklyn for lots of fender amps (and many others) plus a great repair shop for amps.
Old 3rd July 2009
  #19
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la grange's Avatar
 

Hi Kyle
I have spent a lot of time in NYC and there for ended up buying some guitars.
But only once did I do that in manhatan. All the other purchases I did where either at Guitar Bar or Hoboken vintage, in Hoboken.
It is a 10 ride with Jersey transit under the river, they are both on the same street and are really cool bunch.
Always great instuments there. Depends what you are looking for off course. but check out there website.
And taxes are lower than DTNY.
best of luck

Oli
Old 4th July 2009
  #20
Gear Head
 
Soul Finger's Avatar
 

+1 Guitar Bar!!!

Worth the trip to Hoboken: 10 min from Manhattan to NJ on the PATH train, 5 min walk from the station...
Old 6th July 2009
  #21
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kyle barton's Avatar
 

So i made the loop through the east side of town today and chelsea...

B&H Showroom - CRAZY! this is what a gadget store SHOULD be. Worth the trip for the video cameras and cameras alone. the pro audio section was a little ho-hum but who cares? highly recommended...

30th St Guitars - they had a few nice pieces. had lots and lots of pedals. if thats your thing, you'll probably like this a lot more than i did. still i was expecting more. this is an average to small place when compared to places back home

Rogue Music - maybe 6 guitars? whatev

Armen's - okay this place was across the street on 30th and i just happened to see it and walk in. crazy place. about the size of a broom closet stuffed with god-knows-what. i saw a rack mount mini-moog and some pultecs amid the MILLIONS of pieces stacked to the ceiling before the guy said i wasn't supposed to be there (where, in the store?) and left. again, the new york attitude rubs my southern sensibilities all wrong. cool place if you can squeeze past the front door, and don't mind feeling like your intruding. i did mind.

Chelsea Guitars - allegedly at the corner of 23rd and 7th ave. - couldn't find it

Dale Pro Shop - AWESOME. the first thing that greeted me was a Toft ATB which i have never pawed in real life. they had lots and lots of high-end gearsluttery all tastely presented in "demo rooms". open and light and roomy and groovy. loved it.

so i'm still wondering where the disneyland type stores are that serve NYC's umpteen million residents. surely they don't all shop at 30th street i guess music really IS dead.

may go to Brooklyn on Wednesday to see Main Drag and SouthSide. gotta go to Jersey for work tomorrow
Old 6th July 2009
  #22
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hazelmossobrien's Avatar
 

people say the same thing about pizza when they go to NY...it's hard to find the good stuff, because its hiding among the thousands of bad pizza shops...

...it's hard to know about the good gear stores in any area unless you are local. there are dozens of shops all over not just Manhattan, but especially Brooklyn too.
Old 6th July 2009
  #23
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JCRockit's Avatar
 

Wow actually 48th st used to be fun back in the day but its a different story now. Last I was up there, Manny's the landmark/ historic store was going out of business! Weird! However they were having like a yard sale for guitars in there. If they are still trying to unload their inventory you have a great shot at making a good deal but I'm not sure if they are even still open. Sam Ash basically took over the whole block. For guitar its the Guitar Center on 14th between 5th and 6th now. They have tons of guitars and the vintage section is amazing but ridicoulousy overpriced. You could definitely kill an afternoon going there though and hit Manny's on 48th if its still there. It will be the last chance to go to the store that sold stuff to the Stones, Beatles,Hendrix and every other rock band ever to play NYC!
P.S. If you can get to Staten Island ( take the ferry) Mandolin Bros has quite an impressive acoustic room. They also carry vintage electrics and stuff but they are well known for their catalog of pricey/vintage acoustics. Sold stuff to the likes of CSNY... Also if you get to the Island check out Castellano House of music on Richmond Ave. Its a smallish mom and pop place but the guy who started it is a good guitarist and they used to have nice vintage guitars/amps there. Bought a Rickenbacker electric 12 there.
Old 6th July 2009
  #24
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fhames's Avatar
 

Quote:
hell, Killeen Texas has about a million times the guitar stores and inventory that NYC has
Well, hell, I'm headin' for Killeen then! Are there really that many shops there? Do military peeps buy that much musical gear?
Old 6th July 2009
  #25
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tropicalhotdog's Avatar
 

My two favorite guitar shops in NYC are Mandolin Bros. in Staten Island (Mandolin Brothers, Ltd.) and Mazotti Music in Brooklyn (Mazzotti Music : Used and Vintage Guitar Store in Brooklyn New York!). Rudy's on 48th Street has some nice instruments, and Main Drag in Brooklyn is hit-or-miss so you have to get lucky. I got my 1968 Martin D45 (used to be Roger McGuinn's) at 30th Street Guitars and 1968 Gibson SG at Chelsea Guitars - got good deals on both wonderful guitars, but it was some years ago.

Mandolin Bros is a place you can spend all afternoon, esp. if you like acoustic isntruments. But the electrics are pretty choice as well. They have some SERIOUS stuff in there. A must-go.

Mazotti is small and quirky, but always has something mouth watering.
Old 6th July 2009
  #26
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wow remember 'We Buy Guitars" on 48th ? now THAT was a fun store . Nothing but racks and racks of used guitars. From crazy old junk to 50's strats/les Pauls. I bought a Gibson melody maker there cheap. That was a fun store.
Old 6th July 2009
  #27
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Osumosan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCRockit View Post
wow remember 'We Buy Guitars" on 48th ? now THAT was a fun store . Nothing but racks and racks of used guitars. From crazy old junk to 50's strats/les Pauls. I bought a Gibson melody maker there cheap. That was a fun store.
Yup. that's where I got my 69 les paul gold top for $700 back in the day (late 80s). but I can still see the plexiglass entrance in my mind since I was going there since I was 12! They moved upstate somewhere... if I weren't too lazy to use google right now...
Old 6th July 2009
  #28
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kyle barton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fhames View Post
Well, hell, I'm headin' for Killeen then! Are there really that many shops there? Do military peeps buy that much musical gear?
Killeen Tx has the best pawn shops anywhere on earth. the Ft Hood guys go buy stuff like crazy and then pawn it when they leave the base. I went to college in Belton *ahem* a few years ago and we could always kill a good afternoon at the killeen pawn stores, ALL of which had 100 times the inventory of any of the stores i've found in NYC, including the 48th street Sam Ash's etc... i'm not hatin', just stating the obvious
Old 6th July 2009
  #29
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The Thread title should read

"NYC= Wildly Disappointing"

Old 7th July 2009
  #30
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memphisindie's Avatar
 

There used to be a We Buy on 7th ave in the twenties, used to hang out there with the Cherry's, Don, Eagle Eye, and Neneh. They had some really cool stuff!
Kulick's in the village?
Matt Umanov. That's it.
273 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10014

phone: 212-675-2157 fax: 212-727-8404
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