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Stock a music store: which guitars?

wilco 21 Dec 05 - 07:12 PM
leftydee 21 Dec 05 - 07:15 PM
open mike 21 Dec 05 - 08:54 PM
Bobert 21 Dec 05 - 09:04 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 21 Dec 05 - 09:23 PM
Once Famous 21 Dec 05 - 09:40 PM
number 6 21 Dec 05 - 10:20 PM
Bobert 21 Dec 05 - 10:34 PM
number 6 21 Dec 05 - 10:43 PM
GUEST,AR282 21 Dec 05 - 10:50 PM
harpmolly 21 Dec 05 - 11:16 PM
GUEST 22 Dec 05 - 12:01 AM
Grab 22 Dec 05 - 08:03 AM
Roger in Baltimore 22 Dec 05 - 09:16 AM
wilco 22 Dec 05 - 03:16 PM
skarpi 22 Dec 05 - 03:47 PM
GUEST,Martin gibson 22 Dec 05 - 04:09 PM
number 6 22 Dec 05 - 04:25 PM
GUEST,Martin gibson 22 Dec 05 - 04:29 PM
Guy Wolff 22 Dec 05 - 04:59 PM
Uncle_DaveO 22 Dec 05 - 05:06 PM
mandotim 22 Dec 05 - 05:07 PM
GUEST,Martin gibson 22 Dec 05 - 05:12 PM
number 6 22 Dec 05 - 06:30 PM
Don Firth 22 Dec 05 - 07:40 PM
Once Famous 22 Dec 05 - 08:48 PM
Don Firth 22 Dec 05 - 09:31 PM
harpmolly 22 Dec 05 - 10:47 PM
wilco 22 Dec 05 - 10:47 PM
number 6 22 Dec 05 - 11:07 PM
GUEST,AMC 23 Dec 05 - 04:35 AM
Mooh 23 Dec 05 - 10:51 AM
GUEST 23 Dec 05 - 11:35 AM
Guy Wolff 23 Dec 05 - 12:33 PM
Guy Wolff 23 Dec 05 - 12:36 PM
Once Famous 23 Dec 05 - 12:51 PM
GUEST 23 Dec 05 - 03:59 PM
GUEST,Berserker Nordstrom 23 Dec 05 - 04:09 PM
Bert 23 Dec 05 - 06:26 PM
Auggie 23 Dec 05 - 06:44 PM
Mark Ross 23 Dec 05 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,Wesley S 23 Dec 05 - 08:26 PM
wilco 23 Dec 05 - 08:31 PM
Ebbie 26 Dec 05 - 12:58 PM
kendall 26 Dec 05 - 04:34 PM
wilco 26 Dec 05 - 05:33 PM
GUEST,guest, in Kansas 26 Dec 05 - 06:28 PM
Once Famous 26 Dec 05 - 09:19 PM
DonMeixner 27 Dec 05 - 12:47 AM
John P 27 Dec 05 - 09:20 AM
kendall 27 Dec 05 - 10:20 AM
GUEST,Berserker Nordstrom 27 Dec 05 - 12:59 PM
Once Famous 27 Dec 05 - 05:25 PM
wilco 27 Dec 05 - 05:42 PM
DonMeixner 27 Dec 05 - 08:33 PM
Once Famous 27 Dec 05 - 09:23 PM
DonMeixner 28 Dec 05 - 12:09 AM
wilco 28 Dec 05 - 10:30 AM
number 6 28 Dec 05 - 10:36 AM
Richard Bridge 29 Dec 05 - 04:18 AM
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Subject: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: wilco
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 07:12 PM

I want some advice form the good folks at MudCat.
About a year ago, I opened an acosutic music store in east Tennessee. I don't do any internet sales. My question to the mudcatters are these, concerning lines of guitars. I don't do any electric guitars.
1. Which line of entry level guitars? Johnson, Washburn, Jasmine, Ovation, Epiphone, etc.
2. Which line of guitars that have a wide range of price points? Alvarez, Yamaha, Takamini, etc.
3. What premium line of guitars: Taylor, SanatCruz, martin, Larivee, etc.
4. I would like aa manufacturer for the premium line that actually supports the dealers, and that would have consistent quality control.

Your suggestions? This is a small store, about 1200 square feet, in an old house. I'm talking about a total of about 30 to 40 guitars in stock.

Thanks in advance!!!


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: leftydee
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 07:15 PM

If you can get the Seagull line , you won't be sorry. They are priced like an entry level or intermediate guitar and play and sound fantastic. Check 'em out.

Lefty


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: open mike
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 08:54 PM

i have heard good things about blue ridge guitars too.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Bobert
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 09:04 PM

Well, I'm, gonna factor in East Tennessee variable...

I know folks in East Tennessee....

Ummmm, fir cheapies I'd look at Hohners

Mid levels, Yamaha and...

high end, Martins...

Hey, it is East Tennessee...

BTW, you know Saprky Rucker??? He lives in Maryville, Tn....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 09:23 PM

Epiphone and Seagull with Taylor as the Premium, you cant go wrong with them.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Once Famous
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 09:40 PM

Many acoustic players are into bluegrass so definately Martins

Epipones are Asian low to mid priced Gibsons.

I have to ask, how are you possibly going to compete with the big volume dealers such as Guitar Center and Sam Ash, who can discount more than you can because of the volume cost that they get and you won't?

I know that you will say service, and that is a factor, for sure, but is it worth possibly as much as a 35% higher price?


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: number 6
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 10:20 PM

Blueridges for the low priced guitars ... I bought a BR60 for a knockabout last February and this guitar blows me away (even though it's Chinese) .. I have to admit, it's becoming my main axe. They are excellent guitars for the price.

Nice to see a store selling pre-driven guitars (Martins, Gibsons, Old U.S. Guilds) .. these are rather hard to find here in New Brunswick. I'm currently looking for an early model Guild F30. Used to have one, regret not having it now.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Bobert
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 10:34 PM

I agree with Martin...

Fir $200 you can sell a decent HBwhatever blond Hohner (with gig bag) to yer beginners....

Mid-priced??? Ah, it's really a toss up... Lotta guitars in that price range are the same guitars with different names...

As fir high end, East Tenn is Martin country....

E#ven my buddy, Sparky, plays a Martin... Forget the Taylors and Seagulls... They won't cut in in yer neighborhood... Martins!!!!

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: number 6
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 10:43 PM

Even my buddy Kevin, plays a Martin d-28 ... but I still like my Taylor.

sorry, but I just had to throw this in.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 10:50 PM

Martin, Seagull, Takamine, Taylor, Gibson, Dean, Larrivee--no particular order.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: harpmolly
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 11:16 PM

Seagull is part of a larger family of guitars under the Canadian company Godin--the others include Art & Lutherie and SImon & Patrick. They're excellent quality, and really reasonably priced--we sell scads of them at Dusty Strings. I mean, you can get a solid-top guitar with nice tone for about $250 (retail) which is just terrific--they've been flying off the wall this Christmas. (They also have a classical guitar line--I think it's La Patrie).

For the higher-end stuff, Martin and Taylor are great (and have some good entry-level models too) and we love Collings and Goodall. Yum yum.

That's my $.02. Of course, I play the harp, so I'm not sure how useful my advice is *grin*

Good luck! Keep the independent music store flame alive!

Molly


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 12:01 AM

Crafter are worth considering for consistent quality control
starter / mid range


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Grab
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 08:03 AM

Entry level, Guest's right - Crafters aren't bad. Not brilliant either, but a credible beginner's instrument. For anything above that, Art & Lutherie or Simon & Patrick are generally nicer instruments.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 09:16 AM

Wilco,

Martin Gibson asked "How are you gonna compete with the big box stores?"

I live in a suburb of Baltimore by the name of Catonsville. Within three blocks there are three stores selling guitars. One is a large music store that covers most instruments, keyboards, drums, horns, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, etc. Another is a "buy, sell, trade" store. Another is a small store specializing in steel stringed instruments. They all do well. About one-half mile away there was also a Guitar Center (one of three at that time in Baltimore). It has gone out of business.

Don't forget to build in some instruction.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: wilco
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 03:16 PM

Thanks fo input. I can't compete with the discounters, but they don't stock the following: full line of harmonicas, full line of autoharps, lap and hammer dulcimers, 150 fiddles (old and new), upright 3/4 and 1/2 basses, full lines of imported mandolines, dobros, and banjos. I sll lots of fiddles, mandos, and banjos (about 50% of which are open back); and, people jam in the store all day long. There are no electric instruements and its all old time, string band, and bluegrass.
Right now, it's Johnson, Epiphone, Blueridge, some limited Takamini, used martins, and used Gibsons. Blueridge are great guitars, but the company is poorly run.
    The Gibson line is too expensive for me to get, and quality control is a issue. Ditto for martin.
    I've had some rade-ins of larivee, which sold very well.
    Please send more suggestions.
Thanks!!!


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: skarpi
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 03:47 PM

it´s not a big store so what market group are you looking at ?
low, middle or rich ? how high in price want you to go ?
the range of guitars is big, I saw when I was in the state´s
that many use Martin guitars,seagull and taylors , takamine
but I was supprise I saw no fenders? gipson and epiphone are
great to .
I have one seagull a duo type (sterio) six strings and 12 strings
taylor both very high in price, but I also like Martin guitars
I have played fender and yamaha and epiphone and they are
alright , but if I would get me a new guitar again I would listen to the sound how it feel in my hand and so on so what type ? I don´t know
it does not mean a high prise guitar is a good one .I had to try six seagulls till I found the right one , but only one taylor.

Country and blues music is your area? what kind a guitars
are betters than other in that kind of music? Gipson, martin ?
I know a guitarist who are also a teacher and play jazz and blues
and use seagull?

Well good luck Wilco 48
and Merry christmas
from Skarpi Iceland.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: GUEST,Martin gibson
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 04:09 PM

The Guitar Center in baltimore closing was probably an isolated incident. the chain is very successful.

I would count on guitar Center being in business much longer and giving better deals than a Ma and Pa store. even in Baltimore.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: number 6
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 04:25 PM

I've heard a few negative reports on the Guitar Centre MG. Then again these 'reports' are probably due to the fact of it being a big business.

The problem with Mom and Pop outlets in the music business is lack of brand variation, i.e. they usually stock only the low to mid range lines and limited range of lines at that. They also lack the quality used higher end instruments.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: GUEST,Martin gibson
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 04:29 PM

Usually true, 6. However, there are some exceptions that I know of and that I frequest. However, these stores have been around for a long time and have proven themselves for decades with good sevice. starting a store in this day and age would seem extremely risky to me.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 04:59 PM

When you said people are jamming in the store . Thats a great way of figuring what your audience is after.. Blues guys may want National Resonophonic ( I have never heard one I didnt like !! ) Gibson and Epaphone .. Blue Grass guys mostly ; Martins ( mostly DH 28 ) .. Folk and modern contemporary .. Martin Gibson Taylors Santa Crews Froggy Bottom ..... . I like the instruments from Gibson - Montana ( LOO) . Im sorry youve found them lacking in quality control . Taylors are very very popular as you have seen at Mudcat .They are great on stage because of the great electrics in thier acoustic line . I own two Martins for the studio and just love them . O18 & OOO18MC. All the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 05:06 PM

Martin Gibson (now THERE's a recommendation in itself!) said:

how are you possibly going to compete with the big volume dealers such as Guitar Center and Sam Ash, who can discount more than you can because of the volume cost that they get and you won't?

I know that you will say service, and that is a factor, for sure, but is it worth possibly as much as a 35% higher price?


Service is one, sure.

There's also the hands-on, ears-on shopping factor.

Then there's the take-it-home-today factor.

And then the we-give-lessons-right-here factor. You might throw in say three lessons free, for a beginner, just to get 'em started (from their point of view) and hooked (from your point of view).

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: mandotim
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 05:07 PM

A quick thought; I use a couple of small guitar retailers in the UK; I know, different business conditions etc., but they seem to have managed the difficult trick of being small and big at the same time. They carry a range of beginner/intermediate guitars, plus occasional high-end used instruments in their bricks-and-mortar store, but offer a different range on the internet; this range consists of low price/high volume beginner stuff from the Far East, plus mid to high end US and European instruments such as Taylor, Martin, Lakewood and so on. The two markets seem to complement each other well, as the internet volume sales keep the cash flow healthy enough to support experimentation with the ranges. Worth a thought?
Tim from Bit on the Side


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: GUEST,Martin gibson
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 05:12 PM

Dave O. the big stores are not at all oblivious to what you are looking for. They have to also compete with each other to do a better job. but if you feel better shelling out more money, that's your deal.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: number 6
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 06:30 PM

I know what you mean about the Mom and Pop Legacy stores MG ... one of the finest I know of here in Canada is the Twelfth Fret .. It's in my old neighbourhood in Toronto .. they are unique in that they carry only mid to high end intruments and also one of the finest used/vintage lines around. I miss not being near that store now that I don't live in TO. There is one fairly large Maritime Canadian chain opening up here in Saint John called The Music Stop. It's been successful, carries a large line of instraments from low to high end. One reason they are successful(carries the weight financially) is that the owner also has a thriving across Canada IT business.

The markup being low as it is, it is gamble (were the odds are against you) in opening up a small shop. Sad, but that is the way it is in retail these days.

The best of luck to you Wilco (sincerely). It would be wise to sell at least one line of high end brand. I also suggest you also setup a good website

sIx


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 07:40 PM

There is a small music store here in Seattle that specializes in guitars. Not only do they specialize in guitars, they specialize in one type of guitar:   classics. Not only do they specialize in classic guitars, they specialize in expensive, top-of-the-line classic guitars. From a few thousand on up to "How much have you got?" THIS will give you an idea of the kind of instruments they sell. Accessories, method books, and sheet music are also available there, along with some selected CDs. If you want a guitar from a particular luthier, they can handle it for you. They also maintain a line of carefully selected, lower priced "student" guitars.

And the teaching staff is mind-boggling.

The store does quite well. It opened in 1975 in the University District. Recently it moved to larger quarters in the Greenwood District.

Pick a niche and do it better than anyone else can.

Good luck!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Once Famous
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 08:48 PM

Well, I won't be going to that store when I need picks or strings.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 09:31 PM

Probably wouldn't be too productive. I don't think there's a guitar pick within ten blocks of the place. And they have miles and miles of all kinds of guitar strings, but they're all nylon. But it's this kind of specialization--chose one thing and do it extremely well--that can make a small shop a success, even when surrounded by mega-music stores.

Works for book stores as well. I know of several great small, specialized book stores that offer services that Border's, Barnes & Noble, and the other biggies can't be bothered with.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: harpmolly
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 10:47 PM

Don--

Rosewood Guitar! That is a seriously cool store. :) We used to send all our classical guitar customers there before we beefed up our nylon-strung section a bit. Still do, of course, if we don't have what a customer is looking for.

Go Mom and Pop! :) I understand people wanting to get the best deal possible, but people who come into Dusty Strings overwhelmingly tell us how great it is to find such a diverse independent store.

Wilco, sounds like you've got a similar groove going on--folk-based, with a really wide selection of instruments. It's that kind of diversity that helps smaller businesses keep that competitive edge with Guitar Center.

Molly


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: wilco
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 10:47 PM

About 2 1/2 years ago, before I even thought of opening a music store, several of us started a "traditional acosutic music club," primarily to have open jams for all comers. Our metropolitan area has a population of about 400,000 people. We have open jams two or three nighta a week, in different parts of town. We've had over 1,000 people come through the jams. They get bigger, and split, every week
    What led me to open the store is that no one within 100 miles stocked fiddles, open-backed banjos, autoharps or dulcimers. Later, i found that their were very few resonator banjos, resonator guitars or up-right basses avaviable. i added them. People really appreciate the store. I have people drive from NASHVILLE, because there isn't a decent acoustic music store there, esprcially for fiddles, mandolins, or dobros. The music world is musch bigger than guitars.
      We recently got a "guitar center" in our area. It's loud, primarily electric, and our types of musicians don't like to go in the place. One wag said that, " It was like walking through the gates of auditory hell."   They had hundreds of guitars for rock and roll, two cheap mandolines, no fiddles, no upright bases, two cheap dobros, and three banjos. Most of them were fener products.
    I feel very badly about being the music store that sends Guitar Center out of the county, with their accursed tail between their legs. I don't want their instruments or their clietelle.
    What we retailers need is a quality manufacturer, taht would honor their territories and support their independent dealers. Marin, Gibson, Taylor, and Takamini don't measure up.
      I suspect that we dealers could almost make it with acosutic instruments other than guitars.

Thanks!!!


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: number 6
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 11:07 PM

Wilco... in regards to Blueridge you mentioned that the company is poorly run ... since Saga is 'the company' I'm quite surprised to hear you say it ... I thought they ran a pretty successful tight ship. The other brands they slog are Regal resonators, Kentucky mandos, and Goldstar banjos ... these are rather impressive lines for the price. Is it the customer service at issue here?

I was unaware you specialize mainly in mandos, fiddles and banjos ... you have a niche that is can certainly fill a void. It's hard to find an outlet that has a wide range of these instruments.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: GUEST,AMC
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 04:35 AM

My husband plays a lovely Takamine. But what he hankers to own is a Maton - beautiful
sounding Australian made guitars, well crafted, range from modest priced to higher priced. Try stocking something different, I'm sure you will be very impressed with Matons.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Mooh
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 10:51 AM

One angle is to get decent mid level axes and hot rod them a bit. One store I know of did that with imported resonator guitars, equiping them with better cones and hardware.

I'd try getting something like the Godin/Seagul/A&L/Norman/S&P lines and upgrading the saddle, pickup, nut, string pins, tuning machines, pickguard, and set-up, all of which are adequate to start with but might be used to push the sale. Optional to the customer of course.

Doing the same with pre-owned guitars is a good idea too.

If you're left with lots of spare parts, they can easily be sold to folks like me who rehab guitars on the side.

Scour those pawn shops too.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 11:35 AM

Whats the situation with exports to the UK. We get screwed here on all the major brands on price. We pay almost GBP for US$ for the same instrument ($1500 U.S. costs 1500 GBP). If you can get the logistics of delivery and price right I would guess there may be a market here.

Spot.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 12:33 PM

There are so many different kinds of audiences to work twards.. I have found that if you deal in what you really love and respect yourself , you will pull like minded custimers in the door.This method dose take some time to pull off so a little investment is needed.Even one great box that you love on the wall can be a focal point .. It sounds like you are in a great place and have a wonderful audience .
          I started a thread on diferent peoples favorite banjos and modern makers . I think its called "Your Favorite bankjo maker " . We did links so everyone could have a look .. see what you think.. If I have the title wrong Ill be back .. All the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 12:36 PM

Heres the link to Your favorite Banjo Maker : thread.cfm?threadid=85947



Enjoy !! Guy


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Once Famous
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 12:51 PM

The specialty store can work in the case that Don was describing, but only because the mega stores do not solicit that market. If you se a couple classical guitars of quality at a Sam Ash or Guitar Center, that's it. So a niche thihing will work. However, competing with some unkown brands in a store type setting against the big guys or long established, with an overhead, has just got to be tough to do.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 03:59 PM


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: GUEST,Berserker Nordstrom
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 04:09 PM

(Sorry, that was me. Don't click >>Submit Message<< before writing the post.)

"If you se[e] a couple classical guitars of quality at a Sam Ash or Guitar Center, that's it."

Sorry, I can't agree with that. I'm familiar with the store that Don Firth and Molly are talking about, and the services they offer far exceed just the obtainability of quality classic guitars. A Guitar Center or a Guitars Etc., probably wouldn't even keep a concert Ramirez, Velasquez, or Kohno in stock, definitely not all three, and much less the couple dozen that the Rosewood Guitar keeps in their inventory. Most people who patronize a Guitar Center probably wouldn't even know what one of these instruments is. Someone who is in the market for a quality guitar like these wouldn't be looking for one in a Guitar Center anyway.

A serious buyer can come into the Rosewood Guitar and spend hours playing a variety of top quality classic guitars, any one of which he or she could walk out on the stage of a major concert hall with and feel well equipped, and then choose the one that they, for reasons of purely personal taste, really like the most.

And as has been mentioned, the services don't just end with selling guitars. Places like Sam Ash, a Guitar Center, or Guitars Etc., as big as they are (BECAUSE they are as big as they are), CAN'T offer the kind of service that a place like the Rosewood Guitar, or for that matter, Dusty Strings, can offer.

Berserker


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Bert
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 06:26 PM

If you can't beat 'em, join em. I think Sam Ash offer a special rate to dealer and their Carlo Robelli range are not too bad for low end guitars.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Auggie
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 06:44 PM

Like others, I would love to see my local Mom and Pa dealer stock Martins. Like you, however, they found it too expensive a proposition to undertake.

Are Collings or Santa Cruz as financially daunting to carry if they were your top of the line brand? If dealing with Richard Hoover (which I have done) is anything like dealing with his company, that should be a pleasant experience.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 06:47 PM

Check out the Morgan Monroe line(they also make instruments in Asia under the name Bean Blossom). I got one of the BB resonator square necks and it is wonderful. I asked my repairman(who trained with Jon Lundberg if I should upgrade the cone and nut, he said not to bother it sounds fine(he's also a dobro and pedal steel player). Gold Tone is making some fine banjos, as is Deering. Of course, don't neglect Martin & Gibson, there's alsways a market for those.Also, instruments made in China under the name Eastman seem to be quality.
By the way, I used to sell instruments 30 years ago at the Folklore Center in New York and have tried to keep up with the changes in sales. Good Luck!

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: GUEST,Wesley S
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 08:26 PM

Of course the best way to find out what your clients want is to ask them. One thing that disappoints me about most stores I go into { here in Texas }is that the majority of the stock I see are D sized guitars. There are very few OM's or 000's. And forget about 00's. Not everyone wants or needs to play a dreadnought.

And - in my opinion - Collings guitars or some of the best available anywhere. Cotten Music in Cashville - I mean Nashville - stocks a lot of them.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: wilco
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 08:31 PM

To answer the questions or respond to observations listed so far:
1. SAGA is very poorly run. The various departments (sales, shipping, receiving, billing, repair, etc.) don't work with each other. No one seems to be in charge, what's in inventory, when it will shipped or was shipped, how warenties are handled, etc. This is all across the lines, including kentucky mandos, regal dobros, and all the guitars.
Quality control is the biggest issue.
2. Goldtone products are consistently first class, with a very well-managed company. Set-ups are always very good. Unfortunately, they don't have line of guitars. They do have a tenor guitar.
3. Morgan Monroe is definitely a lower tier in terms of product quality and quality control. The instruments need lots of work when you receive them, and they are full of problems.
4. Eastman violins and mandos are great values, great set-ups, etc.
5. Michael kelly mandolins are well built and a good value. I've sold a bunch of them with very few problems. The company needs to be a little better organized.

Guitars are almost a commodity now, and you can't compete wth the big stores. You need a line that is too small for the big store, and that wants to stay small, for the local dealers.

Thanks to all, and Happy Holidays.

PS: I want to have the best acosutic music store that I could provide. Keep the sggestions coming!!


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Ebbie
Date: 26 Dec 05 - 12:58 PM

wilco48, I love your attitude. Your dream is well thought out and implemented. Glad to hear that you're doing well, and loving it.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: kendall
Date: 26 Dec 05 - 04:34 PM

Wuddayamean Taylors wont sell in your neighborhood? Where do you live, Dogpatch? Surely they can't ALL be tone deaf!


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: wilco
Date: 26 Dec 05 - 05:33 PM

It's not that taylor won't sell; but, you can get a lot more for your money with othewr brands. . Bear in mind that my market is bluegrass and string-band musicians. They don't want to have a $2000.00 guitar jamming at a festival all night long. You've got food on yor hands, there is moisture in the air, you lay it down when you swap for a mando or fiddle, etc.

Also, you cannot undersell the chains, and they push taylors and martins. The economics of the guitar business is that you can sell a martin for $1700.00, and make a net profit of $100.00. Or, you can sell a $200.00 johnson or epiphone and make a $100.00. But, you tie-up $1600.00 in the taylor or martin, but only $100.00 in the budget lines.

    I noticed that the latest musicians friend is pushing alvarez now. Alvarez used to make an attempt to protect the independent small music store.

    The Blueridge line has largely displaced the martin, taylor, and takamini lines in my marketplace.

Thanks, and keep the suggestions coming.

PS: I keep lots of 000 guitars, 3/4 and 1/2 size guitars. etc. They sell well, and the other stores don't want them.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: GUEST,guest, in Kansas
Date: 26 Dec 05 - 06:28 PM

Maton.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Once Famous
Date: 26 Dec 05 - 09:19 PM

Wilco48, I don't know about the bluegrass jammers where you are, but at the bluegrass jams I frequent, the mediocre players mostly play the mediocre guitars and the better pickers play the Collings, Santa Cruz's, and the Martin standard series from the D-18 on up.

Guest, Berserker Nordstrom, you missed my point. A Sam Ash or a Guitar Center would not be the place to find a decent classical guitar. And this Rosewood place you are raving about would not be the place to find a Martin D-45 or a Santa Cruz Tony Rice model. Or a Gibson J-200.

Wilco48, you can carry all of the mediocre brands you want. You will appeal to mostly mediocre players. With few exceptions Asian imports are not often found in the hands of most discriminating pro musicians.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 12:47 AM

Hi Wilco,

I think this is about as tough an assignment as I have heard. Since I don't live anywhere near you I'll tell you what I'd do here in central New York.

I am going to strongly consider your space, more space and I'd pick differently.

Good quality entry level instruments are usually a big concern. I'd pick a max of three guitars to sell as a beginner. I like the Blueridge Guitars, The Epiphone by Gibson line, and The Taylor 110.

For mid priced lines I think I'd stick to High quality used instruments and new Bluridge Guitars and the Taylor 213.

For top end I'd stick with the High End Blueridge Guitars, The Martin and Taylor lines. The last two being the best names about just now. I doubt you could get new Gibsons as a product line just now.

Years ago these companies all were floor planned. A retailer had to buy x number of each style to be a dealer. Now most stores can order in the Martins or Taylors they want. Gibson is another issue entirely.

The reason I'd stick with the Blueridge and the Taylor in all the levels is it shows the customer continuity of product at all levels and consistancy of quality across the spectrum.

Have the Blueridge Guitars got the legs to last in the market? Who knows? I never thought the Taks would out last the Tama's but they are here. I never thought we'd see the end of a quality Guild guitar but we have.

Your bread and butter will be in picks, strings and tuner/accessories.
Give someone lesson space and take a cut of the studio fee.

Regards Don

By the way, I bought a Blueridge 43 for my son. I am pleased and impressed.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: John P
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 09:20 AM

Hi,
I work for Dusty Strings too (hi Molly!)
Anyone who thinks they want a Martin really wants a Collings. Anyone who thinks they want a Taylor really wants a Goodall. If you carry one high-end line, I'd go with Collings. They are very popular with the bluegrass folks. Avoid Gibson like the plague, as much for the bizarre corporate decisions as for the spotty quality control. Low end Martins and high end La-Si-Do guitars might work well for the mid-priced instruments. La-Si-Do is the company that makes Seagull, Simon and Patrick, La Petrie, and Art and Lutherie. The guitars are great, consistently playing and sounding like instruments that are $200-$300 more. The Simon and Patrick is a great mid-priced dreadnaught, and the Art and Lutherie is an amazingly good $200 guitar. My favorite in the line is the Seagull. Lower-mid priced, smaller body, very easy to play, sounds nice.

John


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: kendall
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 10:20 AM

Taylor guitars sell themselves. They don't depend on an old name to do it.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: GUEST,Berserker Nordstrom
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 12:59 PM

Martin Gibson, I got your point exactly. I think you missed mine. The issue was small, specialty stores, not who sells which popular brands. The suggestion was to find a segment of the business that the big stores don't cover well and build your business around that. I don't think Don Firth was recommending that wilco48 sell classic guitars. That doesn't appear to be the market he's shooting for. I was agreeing with the idea that a specialty store can be highly successful even amid the giants. But leaving it to wilco48 to determine what specialty, based on his own interests and his assessment of the local market.

Dusty Strings would also qualify as a specialty store, although it is bigger than The Rosewood Guitar and covers a somewhat wider range of instruments and services. But you will note that harpmolly said that sometimes Dusty Strings refers people to The Rosewood Guitar. Both stores appear to be doing quite well.

The Dusty Strings web site.

Berserker


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Once Famous
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 05:25 PM

Correct, Berserk. find a niche. Like classical guitars or hammer dulcimers. But a niche is just that. A rather small, specialized market that does not offer much in the way of volume. The guy here wants to sell steel string name brand guitars to mostly bluegrass people it seems. That's hardly a niche. That's bankruptcy against the big stores for a start-up without a reputation that's been around.

And John P. I really do know that I do not want a Collings instead of a Martin. Collings are nice guitars, but I like Martins much better. Obviously you don't sell Martins and have a problem with Gibsons because they just won't let anyone sell them.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: wilco
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 05:42 PM

I appreciate all of the suggestions. For what it's worth, there are many, many great musicians who don't play high-end guitars. I have Blueridge 160 and 180 models in my store, setting side-by-side with D-18 and HD 28 martins. At least 50% of the time, Blueridge wins the "Pepsi Challenge."
   The "niche" in our metro area of 400,000 can be a pretty big one. No one sells, autoharps, lap or hammer dulcimers, open=back banjos, mandos, oddball goldtone instruments, harmonocas, fiddles, dopbros, etc. It doesn't take a lot of these sales to float a small store.
    I think that music stores make a big mistake focusing on guitars.
    Thanks!!!


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 08:33 PM

Hi Wilco,

It is, or atleast it was, easy to become an Oscar Schmidt dealer. I used to be one and I bought them about 6-8 a year. But with Autoharps it is a by guess and by golly adventure. The good ones are pricey, The low to mid range are a toss up as far as quality and tune-a-bility is concerned. The high enders like an Orthey or a Keith Young are not for the beginners price wise altho' their quality is very good.

Regards Hammered and Lap Dulcimers. You might consider two. Dusty Strings Apprentice Models and the best of the nearby local builders.
Specialty builders can't afford to build a "Student Prince" but excell at the upper mid to high end boxes. Dusty Strings builds great affordable beginners as well as upper end stuff. I know nothing of Lap Dulcimers but I think the same logic would follow.

Don


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Once Famous
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 09:23 PM

Don Meixner

I have to say that I have tried Oscar Schmidt guitars and quite frankly, they do no justice to a once proud name.


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 12:09 AM

Hi Martin,

So have I, they suck out loud. But I was an Oscar Schmidt Autoharp dealer. Back then the Harps were still OKish. Tho not great. I was inreference to the harps. Not the guitars.

Don


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: wilco
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 10:30 AM

Oscar Schmidt (U.S. Music, which also has Washburn)has a big problem with quality control. The company is poorly run. On autoharps, you can get a great harp from either Goldtone or Music Link. They're a lot cheaper too. On OS autoharps, plan on some time to do set-up, when you receive the harps.
Thanks!!!


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: number 6
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 10:36 AM

One of the reasons why the higher end guitars are 'higher end' and have a higher price is that they have quality control and customer service up to a good standard.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Stock a music store: which guitars?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Dec 05 - 04:18 AM

Saga suck.

Economy - try Indie.
Economy upwards (quite a long way upwards in some cases) - try Ayers.
Midrange - Try Landola (a very different sound with a icy-cold clean treble on the all-birch ones)
High-range - try Brook, Fylde, Kinkade.
Unlimited - try a commission arrangement with a good small luthier. He uses you as his shop window.

Some Washburns are very good - but only some!

Mandolins, try Hathaway (but don't touch his guitars, and insist on customers doing a blindfold test, I love his understated look but many do not)


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