Does Your Town Still Have A Guitar Shop ????

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  • SNAKEBITESNAKEBITE Frets: 1053

    Where I used to live in Burgess Hill (about 12 miles North of Brighton) you had "The Rock Shop" which seems to have gone now, I drove past it a week or so ago and it looked closed up.

    The bloke used to own A shop in Crawley "Badlands" (?) but that went years ago.

    Where I am now, in Worthing you have "We Have Sounds" in the town centre which is a great shop, recently downsized, but still good. Lots of secondhand guitars and good selection of accessories.

    Also you have "Audio House" which is out of town a bit, does audio equipment and guitars. Used to go in there too when I lived nearer.

    Anything they don't have then it's off to Brighton where you have a plethora of establishments to frequent.

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  • slackerslacker Frets: 1106
    axisus said:
    We lost Coda from Luton a few years ago, also I had the superb Machinehead in Hitchin just down the road. Well, Machinehead was great whilst Jeff Pumfrett was running it, it was never as good after he left.

    I spent a fair old whack in those shops over the years, bought loads of guitars, amps and countless strings/extras. Coda is still in Stevenage but it's just too much hassle going over there most of the time.
    I live in Stopsley coda and machine head were convenient. It was a shame coda closed  the Luton shop.

    I go to the stevenage one but not as much and not when I need a pick and strings. I stock that stuff now. 
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  • DaintyDainty Frets: 14
    crunchman said:
    In Chiswick, West London.  Nothing nearby.

    A long list of those that have closed that were reasonably local
    Chandlers
    Peter Cooks
    Unplugged
    Flying Pig
    ABC Music
    Digital Village Acton branch
    One in Hammersmith I can't remember the name of
    One in Chiswick - but it was rubbish and not missed.  That one went well before the internet.

    Those were all within 4 miles of me.  There were probably one or two more that I' forgotten.

    I do have repairers within reach.  Richmond Guitar Workshop and Monty's Guitars are both local.
    Also a Chiswickian- there was a shop under the Kew arches that shut as well.  Really miss Peter Cooks it was quality


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  • DaintyDainty Frets: 14
    If your looking for an honest reliable acoustic guitar try us. Thanks www.treeoflifeguitars.co.uk
    we are in SW London nr Hampton Court. 
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  • LewyLewy Frets: 1296
    edited July 2019
    prowla said:
    sev112 said:
    Reading we have Dawson’s and Hickies  - pretty much corporate 
    Lost Amen Corner last month (owner died )
    Apex music - nice non- corporate, some interesting used electric stock, and range of acoustics,  also drums, and other bits and pieces including amps 


    TBH, I don't know how Amen Corner survived anyway - they were hidden away and never advertised. I went there and they were paving the small car park, next time I went it was closed, and then last time it was closed down.

    There's also The Music Man in Reading (Oxford Road) who deals in s/h stuff and vinyl & CDs, and of course Cash Converters.

    It's a shame the bass shop by Twyford railway station closed down; I only happened across them in their final year.
    Without wishing to speak ill, Amen Corner would be a classic case study of why local music shops aren't surviving - very lowest common denominator stock, poor advice (not through malice but through generally being in a Bert Weedon-esque time warp) and (based on personal experience) some very shonky repairs (I got the most incompetent fret dress I've ever seen done to a Squier JV there). The kind of place where the bread and butter is Mum bringing in little Johnny's knackered Spanish (unplayable and probably bought there) to have a new string put on it. Sad, but there it is.
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  • VibetronicVibetronic Frets: 503
    The one in Stroud closed ages ago...they opened another branch in Cheltenham and then found they couldn't keep either going. None left in Cheltenham now  - Aroundaboutsound eventually closed when the owner sadly passed away, the other two closed years ago. There's a couple in Gloucester...one is a basic but decent one (more beginner stuff), the other is a really old-school shop absolutely rammed with all sorts of interesting stuff (Aremus Sounds). Well worth a look. Best local one is Intersound in Dursley - has some nice guitars and the guys who own it are really friendly. The one nearest to me is World Guitars which is brilliant, but not really somewhere to pop in for strings and plectrums!
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  • SlopeSoarerSlopeSoarer Frets: 236
    Toms_Dad said:
    In Bolton we have HW Audio, from whom I have bought before and who also run an excellent repair service for amps. We also have Rimmer’s, a chain of shops round Lancashire. I bought my last guitar and amp there. The latter have been busy expanding their guitar section to include some new new big brands. Both have helpful and friendly staff.
    Only a small selection but there is also Booths Music in Bolton
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  • LuttiSLuttiS Frets: 1929
    I live in Colwyn Bay (that's North Wales to everyone else ;) ) - not a large town but has two guitar shops, one that's been there for years and another that only opened last year. 

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  • guitars4youguitars4you Frets: 6462
    tFB Trader
    Dainty said:
    I have a guitar shop that specialise in quality acoustic guitars. The Fender, Marshall, Gibson dealerships are no longer possible to maintain and offer ZERO margin. I sell Martin, Larrivee, Guild USA, Furch, Lakewood and many other quality brands that don’t support the trash from China that all the big manufacturers  make us take. Not taking anything away from the big brands but the Far East soulless cheap range is just not what this is about! Thanks for reading.

    www.treeoflifeguitars.co.uk

    Dainty 
    As a fellow independent, I agree that some specialization is required, to attract a wider audience than just that on your door step

    Nice with acoustic guitars that you are not dependent on the Fender/Gibson dealership and can support the Martin dealership with quality 'boutique' models - Good luck
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  • guitars4youguitars4you Frets: 6462
    tFB Trader
    Surprised how many of you are near a good store like GG, Peach, Andertons etc etc

    I'm surprised we have not had more replies along the lines that I live in Harrogate, Yeovil, Hunslet or Kilmarnock etc etc and we have no guitar/music shop now - Our last shop closed 12 months ago 

    Even many of the old traditional family orientated stores, that are far more general stockists, have now closed - The shop that had a selection of brass + woodwind along side guitars etc - Some of the big names in the past like McCormacks in Glasgow, Kitchens in Leeds, Eddie Moors in Bournemouth, Greenall's Exeter etc have closed down long ago
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  • JAYJOJAYJO Frets: 1168
    Alnico said:
    Liverpool.

    We've got Dawsons in the city centre which is quite a cool shop and the staff are great.
    We've also got Curly Music / Pro Tone who sell used gear and they're great too, I've known them since my teens in the 80's.
    I think Rimmer Music is still open but I honestly don't know, I don't think I've ever been in there. As far as I remember it's on West Derby Road on the way into Tuebrook, which is nowhere near the city centre.

    There's Harmonics Music in Crosby, roughly 7 miles north of the City and then I think the next closest is Sound Affects in Ormskirk, which is about 45 minutes drive from here and they are excellent.

    There may or may not be a Music shop in Southport, I don't know.
    I haven't been there since the 90's.
    There was a Rimmer Music shop n Southport but i dont think ive been there for about 10 years. It was on the bridge opposite the station by the Motorbike shop not far from harveys i think lol my memory has had its day.
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  • JonathangusJonathangus Frets: 518
    sev112 said:
    Reading we have Dawson’s and Hickies  - pretty much corporate 
    Lost Amen Corner last month (owner died :( )
    Apex music - nice non- corporate, some interesting used electric stock, and range of acoustics,  also drums, and other bits and pieces including amps 


    Is Hickie's corporate?  They're an independent that's been there since 1864!  Their main thing is pianos, though.

    For a brief while there was Guitarworks in the town centre.  And there was Hamer's on the Oxford Road, although they closed years ago.
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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 14650
    edited July 2019
    I live in Stopsley ...
    That's where I live as well! (actually slightly outside technically speaking) Best bit of Luton. Let's face it, there are plenty of bad bits
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  • StefBStefB Frets: 685
    edited July 2019
    I live in Kendal, Cumbria, a town with a population of around 30,000, and the most recent music shop (Mad Monks) closed 3 or 4 years ago through lack of use. 

    Prior to that there was The Sound of Music, which was terrible.  In fact most of the stock was that shit that it was affectionately known locally as The Smell of Music.  The odd other independent operated from the '70s to '90s, but the nearest decent shop now is Promenade Music in Morecambe, a 30 minute drive away.  Quite well stocked with the usual brands, but nothing wow factor.
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  • AlnicoAlnico Frets: 4547
    JAYJO said:
    Alnico said:
    Liverpool.

    We've got Dawsons in the city centre which is quite a cool shop and the staff are great.
    We've also got Curly Music / Pro Tone who sell used gear and they're great too, I've known them since my teens in the 80's.
    I think Rimmer Music is still open but I honestly don't know, I don't think I've ever been in there. As far as I remember it's on West Derby Road on the way into Tuebrook, which is nowhere near the city centre.

    There's Harmonics Music in Crosby, roughly 7 miles north of the City and then I think the next closest is Sound Affects in Ormskirk, which is about 45 minutes drive from here and they are excellent.

    There may or may not be a Music shop in Southport, I don't know.
    I haven't been there since the 90's.
    There was a Rimmer Music shop n Southport but i dont think ive been there for about 10 years. It was on the bridge opposite the station by the Motorbike shop not far from harveys i think lol my memory has had its day.
    It was.
    It might still be there, I've no idea.
    Used to be next door to the Harley Davidson Dealer, almost opposite Southport Superbikes.
    I remember it and the black/maple Strat they had in the window seemingly permanently.

    'Frets old and New' is still very sorely missed around here.
    THAT place was an institution.
    Learn the riff, but learn from the riff.
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  • I live in Sunderland. There are no shops that stock new guitars. However, there is one shop that buys and sells 2nd hand guitars/basses/amps. He's really more a guitar tech than a salesman to be honest, I suspect the majority of his income is from repairs, set-ups and modifications as he's the "go to" guy for all the gigging musos in the area. Visit on a Monday evening and there'll generally be a stack of battle-scarred guitars/basses queueing up to be fixed after being wounded on the weekend gigging circuit!

    He does get some weird and wonderful things for sale though. He often picks up obscure, battered old obscure 70s/80s guitars and basses at auctions and car boot sales and then fixes them and gives them a new lease of life. Harry Seven would be in his element!

    I think his survival has come down to combining forces and sharing the premises with his mate Willy's Drum Shop. He does basically the exact same sort of thing with drums.

    https://www.facebook.com/Riff-Raff-Guitars-Sunderland-995023967190730/?ti=as
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 45000
    gringopig said:
    In Edinburgh there used to be:

    Gordon Simpson's
    Sound Control
    Scayles
    Live Music
    Varsity Music
    Rikki's Music 
    Grant's
    Monkey Business

    and probably others I have forgotten
    Rainbow Music, Mev Taylor's - which was last seen sharing a shop with Drum Central - and going back a long way, Axis Guitars and before that Mel's Music. And Guitarville in Portobello, briefly.

    Guitar Guitar is good, but it's still a bit shocking that it and Scayles are really the only proper guitar shops left in a capital city of over half a million people. Varsity Music doesn't really count, and I'm surprised Rikki's is still (barely) there...

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • BeardyAndyBeardyAndy Frets: 397
    We've got a couple in Southampton but surprisingly few given the catchment, if you want to compare a good range of guitars or amps in 1 store you've really got to drive all the way to Guildford or Brighton.
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  • zepp76zepp76 Frets: 856
    We've got a couple in Southampton but surprisingly few given the catchment, if you want to compare a good range of guitars or amps in 1 store you've really got to drive all the way to Guildford or Brighton.
    I live in Southampton too, is Frets in Shirley still going? I haven't been up there for years! I mainly use the guitar store down by the train station or a trip out to PMT in Portsmouth could be on the cards.
    Now when the day goes to sleep and the full moon looks
    And the night is so black that the darkness cooks
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  • ChuckManualChuckManual Frets: 642
    merlin said:
    I live in Brighton and there is a plethora (but never enough) music instruments shops here...

    GAK
    Brighton Guitars
    Mudpie Music
    Badlands Guitars
    Hobgoblin
    The Acoustic Music Co

    to name a few ....  

    I love Mudpie. It has (and has always had) the most eclectic stock of any guitar shop within 50 miles of me.
    Not much of the gear, even less idea.
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  • joetelejoetele Frets: 500
    I live in a tiny little town called Risca, 9 miles north of Newport. Newport itself, as far as I know, doesn't actually have any guitar shops - they're all in Cardiff now. Risca is a very small little town along the Ebbw valley which has a few little towns, but while the rest of them might have a pub, a school and a rugby club, Risca actually has a park, a nice street full of little shops and cafes etc, as well as an Aldi and Tesco just outside the main drag, and a LIDL along the high street. And amazingly, just over 5 years ago, a new guitar shop appeared just before the car park of LIDL. It's called 'Band Box'. 

    When it first started it was very much your budget stuff, cheap guitars and amps with the odd interesting preowned item. But now Pete who runs the shop is an official Boss and Fender stockist, as well as a good number of other brands, and he's actually downscaled much of the 'cheap' stuff and stocks Mexican and American Fenders, Chinese and Japanese Ibanez, the latest Boss stuff, and is expanding his range of pedals to include more brands and more boutique stuff. 

    I don't think he makes a huge killing like a bigger shop in a bigger town, but he supplements this by working as a function musician during weekends, and he's actually got quite a few famous customers/contacts - Chris Buck always comes in to stock up when passing through as he's from a village a few miles up the road (where I used to live, in fact), and they had a competition to win a rig donated by the bassist from Thin Lizzy last year. There are always guys popping in there who have travelled from far and wide, or they'll 'pop in' on their way home as it's only about 5 miles off the M4. 

    He seems to supply a lot of working musicians and does 'web price or lower' deals for his regulars like me. I'm still pinching myself that we have a really good music shop about three quarters of a mile from my house. I can walk there in about five minutes. 

    He's got a decent guitar tech too, so it's basically an ideal solution for me. I only tend to buy stuff elsewhere if he can't order it in, or it's not the kind of thing he'd stock (like some of the really obscure pedals I like). 

    So he must be doing alright with the sheer quality of stuff he's getting in now, and the deals he gives to regulars. In five years it's really transformed. 


    Pedals. 
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  • Grocer_JackGrocer_Jack Frets: 255
    crunchman said:
    In Chiswick, West London.  Nothing nearby.

    A long list of those that have closed that were reasonably local
    Chandlers
    Peter Cooks
    Unplugged
    Flying Pig
    ABC Music
    Digital Village Acton branch
    One in Hammersmith I can't remember the name of
    One in Chiswick - but it was rubbish and not missed.  That one went well before the internet.

    Those were all within 4 miles of me.  There were probably one or two more that I' forgotten.

    I do have repairers within reach.  Richmond Guitar Workshop and Monty's Guitars are both local.
    Also a Chiswickian- there was a shop under the Kew arches that shut as well.  Really miss Peter Cooks it was quality

    Twickenham- so as above.

    Peter Cook’s is especially missed - great shop. 
    CCGX is 3 miles away and that covers most of my needs. If I feel like a trip (maaan) I like Mudpie in Brighton, Wunjos in town and Guitar Village isn’t far away down the M3. 
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  • WazmeisterWazmeister Frets: 5360
    Black Country

    Very few left now, and none of any real merit. A small 'beginners' kinda shop, which is really friendly, in Sedgley.
    I tend to head to Birmingham, although Coda is 'my' shop - some 3 hours away :)

    That Wazmeister Towers ought to be a shop (to quote the wife)... "as it's got enough bloody guitars and pedals in it..."
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  • guitars4youguitars4you Frets: 6462
    tFB Trader
    Manchester and Great Manchester - Closures from over the years

     Stock and Chapman(All Saints)

    Barrats (used to have 3 locations)

     A1 music-then Academy,then Sound Control in this location.

    Highway Music (Deansgate)

    Muir Music (Chester Road)

    Sounds Acoustic(Next door to Muir)

    Swanns(Oldham Street)

    Highams Harmony House

    Renos

    Mamelok

    Mayer Harrison (Hulme)

    Nield and Hardy (Gorton and Stockport)

    Rhythm House (Stockport)

    Music Exchange (Stockport)

    Reynolds (Salford)

    Soundland (Salford-may not be correct name)

    Tony Savile

    Gary Sharpes Shop in Ancoats (I  cannot remember the name)

    North Greater Manchester--

    Rock Island (Oldham)

    Prince Music (Oldham)

    Spectrum Sound(Bury)

    Dr Rock (Bury and Rochdale)

    Tractor Sound (Rochdale)

    Shorrock and Shorrock (Rochdale)

    Accordion Shop (Rochdale)

    Guitar Player (Rochdale)

    Beats (Rochdale)

    Twangs (Rochdale).


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  • SnagsSnags Frets: 1892
    Hertford.

    There's Hertford Guitar Studio (was going to say website is a waste of time because it never changes, but it's changed!). They're more about lessons and tuition, but have a small shop front selling random guitars, amps and consumables. Also a drop off/pick up point for getting gear to techs if you don't know them directly. Seems to be run by nice people, always friendly and interested in what I might be up to/where playing etc. when I go in.

    20 minutes down the road in Harlow there's https://www.giggear.co.uk/ - they used to have a shop in Hertford, but closed it and merged it with the Harlow store, which is a big warehouse affair. Decidedly less personal service, but much larger range of stock (although often with shit strings/bad setup etc. on the wall).

    And of course 20 minutes up the road the other way is Coda.

    Used to have a shop in Ware too (next town along) but that has long since converted into a "music college" (and was originally mostly piano/keyboard rather than guitar).
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  • Essex

    PMT in Romford and Giggear in Harlow are about 20 mins away. 

    Allegro Music in Chelmsford is a general music shop but has a reasonable guitar section upstairs...again this is about 20 mins away.  
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  • KevSKevS Frets: 12
    edited July 2019
    ICBM said:
    gringopig said:
    In Edinburgh there used to be:

    Gordon Simpson's
    Sound Control
    Scayles
    Live Music
    Varsity Music
    Rikki's Music 
    Grant's
    Monkey Business

    and probably others I have forgotten
    Rainbow Music, Mev Taylor's - which was last seen sharing a shop with Drum Central - and going back a long way, Axis Guitars and before that Mel's Music. And Guitarville in Portobello, briefly.

    Guitar Guitar is good, but it's still a bit shocking that it and Scayles are really the only proper guitar shops left in a capital city of over half a million people. Varsity Music doesn't really count, and I'm surprised Rikki's is still (barely) there...
    Varsity Music..Oh!! Dear!!..

    Although do you remember the guy who was shopkeeper for "The Music Shop"..
    In Grindlay Street beside the Usher Hall..He was a bit of an erm character..
    I went in to buy strings and never actually managed to do it,
    an older guy..Really bizarre,I went in quite innocently..
    Other friends experienced similar..
    It was like. a Monty Python Surrealist shop..
    i don't know if he actually managed to sell the things..
    I remember Axis Guitar ran by Davie May..
    The same premises got taken over by someone else then closed..
    I knew the bunch at Rainbow quite well..
    A more recent closure is Imported Instruments in Ocean Terminal..

    Oh!! Bandparts near the Playhouse..
    Rainbow was near that too till it moved up The Bridges....
    I can remember a couple of others,but can't remember the names..

    I bought my First instrument from Mel's Music in 1986..
    I don't think it lasted much longer than that..
    I remember Duncanson and Edwards was almost next to it,but on the corners and they used to sell
    secondhand guitars in various states..
    Or looking around Bostons in Leith Walk..
    Most of the guitars in there were probably stolen though..
    It made Cash Covertors look like it was ran by Mary Whitehouse..

    Morag from Simpsons told me it was the tram works in Shandwick Place that shut Simpsons because the customers
    couldn't get access easily,so were going elsewhere..Apparently there had been a music shop there since the 1920s.. 

    Yeah!! That's right there was a little music shop in Musselburgh too for a while..
    Opposite the locally famous Ice Cream Cafe at the far end.. 


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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 5845
    crunchman said:
    In Chiswick, West London.  Nothing nearby.

    A long list of those that have closed that were reasonably local
    Chandlers
    Peter Cooks
    Unplugged
    Flying Pig
    ABC Music
    Digital Village Acton branch
    One in Hammersmith I can't remember the name of
    One in Chiswick - but it was rubbish and not missed.  That one went well before the internet.

    Those were all within 4 miles of me.  There were probably one or two more that I' forgotten.

    I do have repairers within reach.  Richmond Guitar Workshop and Monty's Guitars are both local.
    Also a Chiswickian- there was a shop under the Kew arches that shut as well.  Really miss Peter Cooks it was quality

    Twickenham- so as above.

    Peter Cook’s is especially missed - great shop. 
    CCGX is 3 miles away and that covers most of my needs. If I feel like a trip (maaan) I like Mudpie in Brighton, Wunjos in town and Guitar Village isn’t far away down the M3. 


    I use CCGX.  I've got a couple of guitars on consignment sale in there at the moment.  If the traffic is bad though, it can be 40 minutes. 

    I can get to Guitar Village, Andertons, or a couple of Guitar Guitar branches within an hour or so as well.

    It's not quite the same as having Chandler's 2 miles from home though, or Digital Village (pre dodgy administration) 5 minutes walk from my office.  Being able to try out a pedal in my lunch break was good.  Or being able to cycle to Chandlers on a Saturday and have a mooch around.

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  • BeardyAndyBeardyAndy Frets: 397
    edited July 2019
    zepp76 said:
    We've got a couple in Southampton but surprisingly few given the catchment, if you want to compare a good range of guitars or amps in 1 store you've really got to drive all the way to Guildford or Brighton.
    I live in Southampton too, is Frets in Shirley still going? I haven't been up there for years! I mainly use the guitar store down by the train station or a trip out to PMT in Portsmouth could be on the cards.
    I've only been in Southampton 5 years but the outlaws live in Shirley and I think there was a shop up the Sainsbury's end at one point but it's not there now. I too go to the Guitar Store but not tried PMT yet, Portsmouth looks close but takes bloody ages to get to!
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  • prowlaprowla Frets: 2052
    zepp76 said:
    We've got a couple in Southampton but surprisingly few given the catchment, if you want to compare a good range of guitars or amps in 1 store you've really got to drive all the way to Guildford or Brighton.
    I live in Southampton too, is Frets in Shirley still going? I haven't been up there for years! I mainly use the guitar store down by the train station or a trip out to PMT in Portsmouth could be on the cards.
    I've only been in Southampton 5 years but the outlaws live in Shirley and I think there was a shop up the Sainsbury's end at one point but it's not there now. I too go to the Guitar Store but not tried PMT yet, Portsmouth looks close but takes bloody ages to get to!
    If you go to Portsmouth, go to The Guitar Centre and Street Level in Southsea.
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