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Friendly guitar stores in New York?


(@rich_halford)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 225
Topic starter  

I turned 40 recently and my fabulous wife has bought me (us!) a weekend in New York next April.

So, in between a cycle tour in Central Park, a ride on the Staten island ferry and back, a look from the top of the Rockerfella(sp?) Center, seeing Ground Zero and an evening in the 'Living Room', I would also like to visit a friendly (accoustic) guitar store. I'm not 'really' planning on buying anything, but you never know, so I am looking for somewhere that will let me have a play for a bit and indulge myself.

So, any tips on friendly stores would be appreciated. And if there's a better venue for a decent Saturday nights live acoustic music than the 'Living Room', well that would be a good tip too. And any other 'site seeing' tips also appreciated.

Thanks all,

Rich.


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(@slejhamer)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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Lol, you want 'friendly' and "New York" at the same time?

j/k, I'm a New Yorker by birth ...

If you have time while in Staten Island, "Mandolin Brothers" is the place for you. Much more than mandos.

In the city you've got the usual GC and Sam Ash, and lots of places that specialize in rare/vintage gear (read: expensive.) But I'd probably go to Matt Umanov's and, for fun, Manny's, even though it's owned by Sam Ash now, it's still a landmark in NYC..

Not sure about live music, but I bet the folks at Umanov's would have some ideas.

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


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(@trguitar)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3711
 

Travel 6 hours north til you almost reach the Canadian border in a small village called Potsdam. Find a place called Northern Music & Video. I can promise you the owner will greet you and shake your hand. New York City? Can't help you.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@gnease)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

Manny's, even though it's owned by Sam Ash now, it's still a landmark in NYC..

Manny's is no longer, slej. Sam Ash closed it in late spring.

Rudy's is on 48th (near S-A and the late Manny's). A pretty good store, if not "friendly".

-=tension & release=-


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 cnev
(@cnev)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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The Knitting Factory is always a good place for live music. They have about 5-6 rooms where there is always something going on. You can check the schedule out online.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


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(@slejhamer)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3297
 

Manny's is no longer, slej. Sam Ash closed it in late spring.

Oh that stinks! The appeal of Manny's was that Sam Ash was letting Manny's grandson run it like Manny's, not like a Sam Ash. I just read that they converted it into a regular Sam Ash (or merged it with the one that was on the same block); not sure if that's right, but either way it ain't Manny's no more.

I believe Larry Hartke's Bass Lounge is in that same building where Manny's was, so I'd still go there to check that out!

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


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(@gnease)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

heard about the bass lounge, but haven't been yet -- last summer gave up a chance on that to visit Sadowsky's shop in Brooklyn instead. -- Sadowsky is near the Brooklyn bridge. a cool place if one is interested in high end basses, guitars and esp jazz boxes. very friendly.

-=tension & release=-


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(@rich_halford)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 225
Topic starter  

Well, we got back from New York this morning. What a city! Had a great time doing all the touristy' things and on Saturday when we were walking back from the Brooklyn Bridge we came across J&R Music World on Park Row. Cath wanted a sit down, so we went in there hoping I could play a few acoustics. Have to say that the guy upstairs was really friendly, and when I said I was looking for a good dreadnought for around $500 he handed me a Seagull. It was nice to play, but I wasn't really looking to buy and it didn't shake me, so I just enjoyed it. He also handed me an Epiphone Masterbilt, don't know which one, but I quite liked it but again not enought to buy it. Caths feet recovered before I picked up anything expensive so on we went.

On Monday, as we'd packed in so much in on Fri/Sat/Sun and had ticked everything off our to do list, Cath suggested we try some guitar stores so I could indulge myself.

Went to Guitar Centre, 14th Street off 5th Ave and have to say that the sales guy was really happy to help (Dave was it?). He was pretty pushy, really wanted to make a sale, but that was okay with me. I asked for the 'best dreadnought' he had for around $500 and he handed me a Seagull. It was also lovely, I can see why they are so popular. I played around 7 or 8 guitars I guess. An Epiphone SJ200 for around £400 was really nice to my ears too. The salesguy put a £3799 Gibson SJ200 in my hands. It was nice, but not 10 times better than the Epi (to me). I also played another Epi Masterbilt, an AJ-500 RE, which was really nice, but at over $800 all in, a bit out of the imaginary $500 budget I'd invented!

From there we went to 30th Street guitars, who only had a few acoustics, then to Chelsea Guitars, which was small and the sales guy didn't seem overly interested - perhaps he could see right through me? We went up to Sam Ash and I thought that the selection of guitars in the $500 range was poor and the sales guy didn't even approach me. I think it would have been okay to pick something up and play it, but nothing grabbed my eye and I didn't feel particularly welcomed - probably just me. In the back room they had some fantastic looking acoustics ranging from $1000 upwards, so I didn't stop there long.

We had another hour to kill before we needed to head to JFK, so we went back to Guitar Centre, where I knew I could indulge - you all know where this is going, right? Yeah, I bought the Epi Masterbilt. Got a bit of money off, not much, but don't care. I've liked the idea of having a rosewood dreadnought, to go with the Grand Autitorium and Jumbo that I have, but can't really justify it. However, my wife, who is fantastic by the way, suggested that I buy it if I really like it because it will be a great keepsake of our trip and if worst comes to worst I could always sell it. Luckily I had received a bonus at work that I wasn't expecting, so it wasn't that I couldn't afford it as such, more so that I planned to do other 'house type' things with the money.

Ah well, this GAS is just something that I am going to have to live with I guess. If its any consolation, I played the Epi for an hour tonight and really do like it. Its very 'full and boomy' for want of a better description. Big thumbs up to Delta Airlines too, who let me take it onboard and found space for it in a cupboard by the cockpit.

Okay, I'll stop boring you now. I think posting here might be some form of therapy for me, you might be better placed to understand the desease I suffer from.

Goodnight!
:D


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

OK, it's picture time, or is that in another thread I've missed? :D It's an Epi Master Built AJ-500 RE? (going to look online to see what you snagged)

I can understand spending a few extra hundred. A $500 guitar is a great guitar unless there's an $800 guitar in the back of your mind that will distract you from liking the $500 unit. The "pain" of the extra $300 is soon forgotten, unless you do it 5 times a year.

edit: congrats, btw. HNGD!

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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 cnev
(@cnev)
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Roy you got that right whenever I go buy something I usually have a price range in mind, but everytime I go to buy the thing I see something just a little more expensive and get distracted and rarely buy in the price range I originally intended whether it be guitar gear or something else.

I guess I have the mentality if I'm going to pay X dollars for some thing then the one priced at X + $100 has got to be better.

It's a vicious cycle until I get to the top of the line and realize I can't afford that..

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

It's a vicious cycle until I get to the top of the line and realize I can't afford that..
I hear ya, brotha!

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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