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Bananas at Large?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by SmelltheGlove, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. SmelltheGlove

    SmelltheGlove Member

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    Anybody have any experiences (good or bad) buying from this place? I've never heard of it before. But I'm tempted to buy through them rather than some other places I'm more familiar with because they offer a Musicians Friend - like 45 day return policy, but stock a bunch of brands that places like MF don't. That'd give me a chance to actually try out some boutique pedals risk-free, rather than buying on sound clips and blind faith as is often the case.

    Something tells me that there's a reason I haven't heard about them more and that they may not have a great reputation.

    P.S. the name is a strike one against them.
     
  2. Last Nerve

    Last Nerve Supporting Member

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    Mile High
    I haven't heard anything bad about them.
    A forumite who makes the PHI Scion only sells them from Bananas.
     
  3. This is the Edg

    This is the Edg Member

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    Oct 2, 2005
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    SF Bay Area
    I live in the Bay Area and visited their store. They have a large selection of pedals in stock and let me try them out with any amp or guitar they had available.

    It sounds like you are ordering from them online so I cannot speak to that. The employees in the store were pleasant and helpful so I would expect your internet experience would be acceptable as well.

    This is the Edge
     
  4. NewOldCokeDave

    NewOldCokeDave Member

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    West Coast
    They've been in business since 1978 (as I remember) in Marin County..
    (I was there on the day they opened...) They used to be THE music store in the Bay Area IMHO.. They have since gone more mail order from what I've seen and heard..

    I NEVER had a problem with them, and last time I checked they were still a brick and mortar place on 4th St. in San Rafael.. I haven't bought anything in years tho..

    Used to be quite the wild place to hang.. :) Met MANY of the local Marin musicians thru there..
     
  5. googoobaby

    googoobaby Member

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    Seattle, WA
    I've bought pedals from them online before. Quick shipment, every thing as described. I'd buy from them again.
     
  6. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    There is a great TGP member named Brad Fee (UnkleSlam) who runs http://www.tonefactor.com ... they have lots of great boutique pedals, some of which are made just for them and competitive prices.

    However, Brad is a real person who runs a real shop and not a stockholder-run evil business machine, so if there is a return policy (I'm sure there is, but I've never had to use it), please don't abuse it!

    Musictoyz.com is a site that I won't use again... shipped me the wrong pedal, took a while to get the order fixed, I think the operation has gotten too big for one guy!
     
  7. Play by Tone

    Play by Tone Member

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    Location:
    Depends on the day.
    I liked Bananas at Large,

    until they stored my Credit Card info, got hacked, and I had a $213 charge to some gold exchange account overseas.

    And for that order I got a Lehle Dual that had apparently been opened way too many times...the screws were completely stripped so I couldn't take it apart to mount it...
     
  8. rhythmrocker

    rhythmrocker 1966 Battle of the Bands Supporting Member

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    Location:
    City by the Bay, CA
    Hi - I just went to Bananas 2 days ago and picked up a few things. They have tons of effects and are very helpful. Great selection of Bass guitars/amps too; they even had a Peavey Classic 30 amp for demo.
    I went there to A/B a Demeter, Barber, and Diamond Compressor(s). They had the Demeter, but the Barber and Diamond were empty spots in their case because they are so popular theses days. The place reminds me of South Austin Music (I was in Austin last week, born there).
    Very helpful folks. I can't speak to their online service, but before you order anything, make sure they have it in stock.

    Another place to check out is Guitar Rez. http://www.guitarrez.com/
    Tons of stuff, very friendly and ship. Guitar Rez was the only place I have ever been where I could try out a Fender Deluse RI, Bad Cat TremCat, Dr.Z Extra Strength Prescription 2x12 Combo, and a Bogner Shiva, all with a G&L ASAT Classic Bluesboy Semi-Hollow. They actually gave me the guitar and left the room so I try things out! FYI - If anone is ever in Austin, check out Eric Tessmer. Young guitarist in the tradition of SRV.
    Good luck with Bananas.
     
  9. JD411

    JD411 Member

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    I've purchased from their website 2 different times and have had good experiences. I've spoken to them over the phone as well and they've always been pleasant.
     
  10. kaseri

    kaseri Member

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    I purchased from them via web one time & the transaction went smoothly.
     
  11. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    I like Bananas. My friend Keith Murphy works there and has bent over backwards to be helpful.

    jon
     
  12. JKoeth

    JKoeth Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    I can't believe you're saying this!! The same happened to me except they bought merchandise in CA. There are fradulent dealings with credit cards there. Beware.
     
  13. zenfreud

    zenfreud Member

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    Location:
    Portland OR
    In my former life as a sales rep, Bananas was one of the cooler places to call on. Intelligent, friendly folks back in the day, they had a very well-informed sales staff in contrast to the hapless clerks at the big chain. I'll probably buy a zvex BOR from Bananas once the Vexter series is shipping.
     
  14. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Bananas is a legit store, I grew up 5 minutes from the actual store, so I've never bought anything off the site directly. They've been good about ordering things for me before, I'd definitely recommend them. Some of my favorite guys are Rick in guitars and Sean C. in Pro Audio...both know their stuff and have bent over backwards for me.
     
  15. BananAlan

    BananAlan Member

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    Hi Smell...

    Someone forwarded this to me and I thought I'd respond. Bananas at Large has been in business over 35 years. We are based in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are independently owned and operated. Our staff consists only of working professional musicians. We do not hire clerks. They cost a little more but they are worth it.

    Your right.... we don't blast your emails weekly, we don't advertise everywhere to sour your eyes, we don't have a million stores everywhere killing all the small independent stores....

    What we are is great service.

    We are a full line store that also has some really cool "boutique" things too. Including brands and products you can't get anywhere else.
    We stand behind everything we sell and deal with you on a personal basis.

    Sorry you don't like the name... but it has a rather cool long history. If you ever get a chance to check out our partial client list you will see that a lot of "pro's" and profile clients like the name just fine.

    Give us a shot! We aren't perfect, but will will work our ass off to make you happy!
     
  16. SmelltheGlove

    SmelltheGlove Member

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    Alan - thanks for the response - and based on the many positive comments above, I'll definitely give you guys a shot my next purchase! :AOK
     
  17. Blues Wail

    Blues Wail Member

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    SF BayArea
    alan, this is your friend Aldo...always parkin my rig outside your store. just a word to say, i have been dealin with you guys for the 35 years and it's just gettin better!
    Aldo............
     
  18. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Hey Alan, expect to (if you haven't already) hear from Michael Ibrahim of MI Audio - killer pedals. He's making the journey from Australia to the states to check out potential dealers. I tried to connect the two of you.

    jon
     
  19. Blues Wail

    Blues Wail Member

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    SF BayArea
    man that would be awesome!!
     
  20. BananAlan

    BananAlan Member

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    Aldo - you da MAN!
    Jon - Thank you. I have been looking at them for a awhile but it is so difficult to build a relationship with manufacturers far away. We have been in touch and are planning a visit when he gets to town. Thanks for that!

    -Alan
     

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