Good Guitar Stores near Irvine, CA?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by MonstaTone, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. MonstaTone

    MonstaTone Member

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    I'll be in Irvine for a few days next month.
    Anybody have any advice on where to go for good deals on used gear?
    I'll probably only be able to go after class (5pm or so) or on a Sunday. Must a short distance away from my hotel, Wyndham Irvine Orange County Airport.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated! Living on Maui has it's perks. It's 75 degrees at 10AM in January! But.....there isn't a decent music store on the island and I'm simply not interested in cheap imports for over inflated prices.

    I'm thinking that I'd like to pick up a used Carvin, ESP, etc..

    Also, I'd like to pick up a nice deer rifle and some ammo while I'm there, so help in that arena would be appreciated as well!
     
  2. WoodenDuckMaker

    WoodenDuckMaker Member

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    Guitar Center. Even though people call them the Walmart of guitar stores, the facts are, they get in a lot of used gear, and it's often priced lower than what owners sell them for on Craigslist. You can find some great deals, and there are half a dozen GC's within a 30 minute drive of Irvine. I'd hit up 2 or 3 of them.

    Because aside from that you have your pawn shops, which have a small selection, very hit or miss as far as good stuff. And then you have the small privately owned mom & pop guitar stores which typically only carry $200 no name brands aimed at beginners. And the few small stores that have good gear, they typically price it at the higher end of the retail market.

    As far as the rifle, just check Yelp for the largest pawn shops closest to the hotel.
     
  3. MonstaTone

    MonstaTone Member

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    Right on, thanks!
    Have you had better luck with a certain Guitar Center over other ones?
    I order a lot of used stuff from GC because they have decent online prices and the shipping is half of what I pay on flea bay. Plus, if it's broken, they pay for shipping back!
     
  4. T92780

    T92780 Silver Supporting Member

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    GC in Fountain Valley is your best bet by far. About 5-7 miles north on 405 from OC Airport.

    GC Lake Forrest is further away and smaller store, don't waste your time. Guitar Shoppe in Laguna Beach won't meet your needs. Jim's Music in Tustin is close, but Mom and Pop shop...won't meet your needs.

    Guitar Center- Fountain Valley. Don't waste your time at other stores....good luck and welcome to OC!
     
  5. WoodenDuckMaker

    WoodenDuckMaker Member

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    In my experience, the best stores in the area for used gear are:

    Cerritos
    Torrance
    Fountain Valley
    Orange
    Brea
    Laguna Woods
    Lake Forest


    Also, the hollywood guitar center is fun to visit just as an attraction. They have the most incredible collection of vintage gear of any store I know of, and some cool memorabilia displays, but probably too far from you.

    And you probably know this, but try to avoid driving between 4-7pm if possible.
     
  6. MonstaTone

    MonstaTone Member

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    Thanks guys! I really appreciate it.
    I won't be driving. I'll have to use the hotel shuttle or a cab.
    I have 3 days of training, but have to leave here on Saturday to make sure I'm there on time. Have to leave the day after the training as well because it ends after the last flights to Maui are long gone. No direct flights to Irvine from here, I have to go to Phoenix and then back to Irvine. Any other flight was over 10 hours! My ass can't handle sitting that long.......
     
  7. VCuomo

    VCuomo Member

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    I agree - GC in Fountain Valley would be your best bet, followed by GC Lake Forest and then GC Brea.
     
  8. chichi

    chichi Member

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  9. MartinPiana

    MartinPiana Supporting Member

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    Being a fan of independent stores of all kinds, I patronize Jim's Music in Tustin whenever possible. I prefer it over Neal's (I live near Neal's, work near Jim's). Seems like mostly journeymen musicians working there, a lot more knowledgeable than your average GC hack. http://jimsmusic.com/

    I've also had good experiences at Sam Ash in Westminster. Good customer service, usually not a bunch of wankers playing loud. http://locations.samashmusic.com/ca/westminster/37/
     
  10. airportbar

    airportbar Member

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    GC Fountain Valley has a great used selection, as does GC Cerritos which is a ways north in LA County.

    I live near GC Brea and it's a pit. Nothing but Squiers and Epiphones for the most part, with the occasional random higher end showing up and then being bought up the second the police hold ends.

    And FYI, you can look up the used selection for each store ahead of time on the GC and Sam Ash websites.
     
  11. Lava Lamp

    Lava Lamp Member

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    Another fan of Jim's Music.
     
  12. Tahitijack

    Tahitijack Member

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    Another Jim's Music fan. Be careful Jim's is open seven days but only open Noon to 5 on Sundays.

    Fountain Valley GC is probably your best bet for used gear. My guy there, Allen Clarke was promoted to Hollywood Platinum Room. He was excellent.

    Jim's and FV GC are not close to each other.

    The Guitar Shoppe in Laguna Beach leans more to acoustic guitars, electric room is loaded with Fender guitars and amps, with the occasional "I can't believe you have this". Closed on Sunday. Its one block from the beach. You can usually finding someone bracing their board at the door as the go inside to buy a bag of pics or a box of strings.

    Sam Ash in Westminster and Neal's Music are probably too far to make it worth the cost of a cab.

    Hotel Shuttle might take you to GC in Fountain Valley since is a quick run up The 405 everywhere else is probably too far.

    Good luck, hope this helps.
     
  13. MonstaTone

    MonstaTone Member

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    Thanks guys! This is a lot of good information!
    I bought a guitar from Neal a long time ago. I didn't know much about gear and he took complete advantage of my dumb ass. Probably won't ever give him money again, but you never know.
    He didn't have a store then, but he had tons of guitars in his house!
     
  14. VCuomo

    VCuomo Member

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    Wow, that's too bad. I used to frequent GC Brea a number of years ago (it was somewhat near to where I worked at the time) and they used to carry quite a bit of higher-end stuff, both new and used.
     
  15. T92780

    T92780 Silver Supporting Member

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    Doubtful Irvine/OC Airport hotel will take you to any of the guitar stores mentioned, unless really slow and $20.00 tip each way. Taxi will be at least that each way if no traffic. Focus on GC Fountain Valley. I own more quality electrics than Jim's, Guitar Shoppe, etc.
     
  16. srlank

    srlank Member

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    +1 for GC Fountain Valley!!
     
  17. jb's 52

    jb's 52 Member

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    So 'cuz, Bounty Music junk? :p
    GC Fountain Valley is your closest bet, but may I suggest
    hitting people up on Craigslists. Might find something specific
    and you can ask to meet up somewhere closer to you. Good luck.

    PS. My parent's live up Haiku.
     
  18. landru64

    landru64 Member

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    i think neals is closing. check craiglist for their ad.
     
  19. MonstaTone

    MonstaTone Member

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    Right on, small world!

    I wouldn't say "Junk," but man they are just a shadow of what they used to be 20 years ago. Now....just the fact that they are still in business is phenomenal in this day and age!
    I just wish they sold higher end gear like they used to.


    I'll check out the GC Fountain Valley tomorrow!
     
  20. MonstaTone

    MonstaTone Member

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    Thanks guys!
    I checked out the Fountain Valley GC when I was in CA.
    They had a really sweet Al DiMeola PRS! If I needed another guitar......I would have brought it home.
    I was so jet lagged when I got there that I just lumbered around like a zombie for an hour, then went to the hotel.

    Thanks again, I appreciate it!
     

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