Skip to content
Notifications
Clear all

Buying a Strat

13 Posts
8 Users
0 Reactions
1,086 Views
(@jimscafe)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 119
Topic starter  

I have decided I would like to by a Strat (Left Handed) and I am visiting the USA in June for a short business trip. As I am looking for a left handed guitar the options are as always fewere than for a right hander (though I never regret playing LH).

My options :-

1. Order from the internet (Musiciansfriend or similar) and have it delivered to our office in Virginia where I will be for about one week.

2. Hope that I can find one in New York, I am there for two days only and they are Sunday and the holiday on June 30th - so some shops may not be open.

3. I have a free weekend, I could fly to Texas to Southpaw and spend Saturday choosing a guitar - but extra cost of flight etc.

Presumably for option 1 I don't pay sales tax, but I would for the others.

Any other options? I saw a Strat in London on another brief trip but the price in the UK is very high...

My preference would be for an American Strat though the version with silent pups might be worth the extra cost - any thoughts.
(I 'try' to play Eric Clapton, Dire Straits etc..)


   
Quote
(@metaellihead)
Honorable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 653
 

I wouldn't order over the internet unless I was buying high end and I could be assured of quality.

On Saturday I went to the local GC (pretty much the only option) and tried every Mexi strat they had on display. I pick up a guitar, bang a few chords on it and listen. If it rang out real nice when unplugged I would plug in and try it out. I tried 8 Mexi strats and only one made it past the first test. They had a USA Strat on the floor to test effects with and it didn't even sound nice unplugged. The standard Tele's were even worse. Neck pickup on one didn't even work, another had grounding problems, a third had some bad static sound...

I put this through a marshall stack, blues Jr. and a VOX Valvetronics 15. Sounded great through each of them.

It's a midnight wine standard that I'm having them hold onto untill Thursday. I'm still deliberating, I'll probably end up messing around with it in the shop before deciding. I just hope they don't just put it back on the floor and sell it to some other yahoo.

Sort of a tangent, but yeah, I would want to play it before buying.

-Metaellihead


   
ReplyQuote
(@moonrider)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1305
 

Jim, you might want to check out some of the local stores near where you're going to be in Virginia. Richmond, where I'm located, has several excellent music stores, as well as Guitar Center and Sam Ash. You may want to name the city you're visiting and see if anyone has any recommendations.

Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

Moondawgs on Reverbnation


   
ReplyQuote
(@artlutherie)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1157
 

I'm almost positive you'll be able to find one. Check the net for stores where your staying.

Chuck Norris invented Kentucky Fried Chicken's famous secret recipe, with eleven herbs and spices. But nobody ever mentions the twelfth ingredient: Fear!
ChuckNorrisFactsdotCom


   
ReplyQuote
(@teleplayer324)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1506
 

In New York city you have:
Sam Ash,
Rudy's Music http://www.rudysmusic.com/
w.48th st in NY is a row of guitar shops
Guitar Center on Union Square. Tons more also. I am not aware of a holiday on June 30th, so the shops should be open

Immature? Of course I'm immature Einstein, I'm 50 and in a Rock and ROll band.

New Band site http://www.myspace.com/guidedbymonkeys


   
ReplyQuote
(@hawken)
Trusted Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 66
 

I live in Virginia....right outside DC. Are you gonna be in that area? It's a big state so you'll have to narrow it down a little.

As long as you're close to a decent size city then you shouldn't have any trouble finding a music store with some US Strats. If you plan in advance you could probably contact them and get an idea of their inventory then plan which ones you want to visit based on what they have.


   
ReplyQuote
(@jimscafe)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 119
Topic starter  

Got the dates wrong, will be in NY on May 30th and 31st - which is memorial day so Ruddy's is not possible.

I will be in Richmond Virginia.

I just called Sam Ash, they have one American Strat which if I pay 20% they will reserve for me and repay me if I don't like it.

Guitar Center do not have an American Strat but say they have quite a few lefties in stock.

Sounds good - any other places in Richmond I might try...

Thanks for the comments guys.


   
ReplyQuote
(@moonrider)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1305
 

I will be in Richmond Virginia.

Sounds good - any other places in Richmond I might try...

There's a couple of places you might want to try.

RICHMOND MUSIC CENTER
7804 MIDLOTHIAN TNPK.
RICHMOND, VA 23235
(804)330-7875
http://www.richmondmusic.com/

If you call, ask for Dave. He's their guitar tech, and he does a great setup! Don't hesitate to negotiate for a better price.

GUITAR WORKS
3335 West Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23221
Voice (local): 804-358-0855
Voice (toll-free): 877-358-0855
Fax and Voicemail: 804-353-4753
E-mail: [email protected]
http://www.guitarworksinc.com/

If you want to dicker, Brian Medas is the guy to talk to. He's the owner, and also an all-round super nice guy.

I noticed you've already called Sam Ash and Guitar Center. The Sam Ash in town has service I'll politely describe as lackadaisical. The last three times I've walked in there, I've walked out again with the impression that my desire to ask about and try various things was an imposition on the salespersons' time they could be spending socializing with each other.

In contrast, the Guitar Center (which is literally next door to the Sam Ash! ) has an excellent staff. In the guitar area, look for the short balding guy (can't remember his name :( ). Once again, don't hesitate to negotiate the price. I just bought my Hot Rod Deluxe there, and the discount they were willing to offer from the sticker price impressed me enough to seal the deal on the spot.

Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

Moondawgs on Reverbnation


   
ReplyQuote
(@teleplayer324)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1506
 

Don't sweat about it being a holiday this is America the land where holidays were created to host "Store Wide SALES" on expensive items. Most big stores will be open.

Immature? Of course I'm immature Einstein, I'm 50 and in a Rock and ROll band.

New Band site http://www.myspace.com/guidedbymonkeys


   
ReplyQuote
(@rpryor)
Active Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5
 

I definitely would not buy over the internet unless you are willing to risk quality issues.

My $0.02 worth:

Play plenty of guitars - there can be a very big difference in the sound from different examples of the same model;

Try to play through the same amp/set-up you will use or something similar;

Allow plenty of time and go to the shop when it is not too busy (first thing in the morning)

Check the strings - I swapped the strings out on my new Deluxe for slightly heavier ones and it made a significant difference to the tone


   
ReplyQuote
(@jimscafe)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 119
Topic starter  

Wow great advice - am now really looking forward to the trip...


   
ReplyQuote
(@jimscafe)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 119
Topic starter  

Just wanted to thank you guys for the good advice.

I went to New York and tried an American Strat - it just didn't feel good like the one I tried in London.

So I went to Guitar Center where they do not have American only Mexican Strats. I have tried these before and never found them satisfactory, but the one I tried at Guitar Center was perfect - it just felt right, played really easily. I fell in love immediately.

So instead of paying $950 I paid $350 + $100 for the case.

Now I am back home in the Philippines and really loving this guitar - so easy to play..and it sounds great.


   
ReplyQuote
 Taso
(@taso)
Famed Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 2811
 

*Throws advice I was about to give after reading all the posts out the window*

Congrats on the new guitar, glad you're enjoying it.

http://taso.dmusic.com/music/


   
ReplyQuote