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RIP Riff City, We barely got to know ya!

I personally liked them a lot and I thought Joe was a stand-up guy. Met Chappers and some of the others at their big to-do in the location that was in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis and their hours were a bit strange I felt. They had stuff I've never seen in Guitar Center like Kemper profiling amps, Victory amps, those velcro guitar mutes all the metal guys use just about every model of guitar you could imagine and quite a lot of cool effects. But it seemed like as they were ascendant my wallet was going flat - it was just a time I didn't have a lot of cash to spend on gear and I was hoping I'd eventually be able to buy something from them at some point.

The real bummer was a guitar shop in St. Paul which was Groove City guitars (no relation) - the owner had a serious illness (cancer) and the store closed before they could develop a huge following. That guy was amazing, he opened the store on a day they were normally closed so I could buy something (maybe my last big gear hurrah a few years back). I won't ever forget that guy.
 

ArtDecade

Member
Unless I find a place owned by specific human beings (as opposed to anonymous shareholders), I guess that's where I'm gonna have to go.
Oh, and the independent owners also have to fit your particular politics, because the family-owned Ludlows was deemed far too hipsterish for your tastes. Ever think you might just be impossible to please?
 

T Dizz

Member
More from Joe:


Thank you all for the incredible outpouring and support when we announced our closing. Its been a very emotional week for all of us and it feels so good to read the letters and messages and listen to the voice mails! Our hearts are full. We are ever so grateful.

But let's not forget that there’s a bittersweet ending to any “going out of business” sale and that is…DEALS. There is still a lot of great gear at discounts up to 50% off. We hope you’ll take advantage of them this weekend. One note- we have not added these deals to our Reverb store yet, but have now, so if you have your eye on something- grab it before the deal price goes out to the masses!

Thank you so much, again, and again,

Joe & the Riff City Crew
 

Vhailor

Supporting Member
Oh, and the independent owners also have to fit your particular politics, because the family-owned Ludlows was deemed far too hipsterish for your tastes. Ever think you might just be impossible to please?
1) That's my prerogative.

2) You've not quite understood my post. Read it again, carefully.

3) I consider being subjected to any store's politics to be an imposition.
 

ArtDecade

Member
1) That's my prerogative.

2) You've not quite understood my post. Read it again, carefully.

3) I consider being subjected to any store's politics to be an imposition.
You don't like Ludlows because they are too individualistic. You don't like corporate stores because they are corporate. You don't like catalog shipping because it is too Old West. I get it. You want guy just like you that owns a guitar store.

Or, you could just stop being an edge lord about everything.
 

Vhailor

Supporting Member
You don't like Ludlows because they are too individualistic. You don't like corporate stores because they are corporate. You don't like catalog shipping because it is too Old West. I get it. You want guy just like you that owns a guitar store.

Or, you could just stop being an edge lord about everything.
Apparently you've decided to comment, not on what I posted, but on how you've decided to misinterpret it.
 

lizardking

Member
Went to the website...didn't see many "deals". Possibly everything sold already?

Watched them on Youtube. Seemed like cool peeps. Like what you'd want your local music store to be if there were any actually left, lol. Too bad.
 

Mr_Derp

Member
They were really the only place around that sold Tone City that I know of, got a couple. Sad to see them go, they seemed like stand-up folks.
 

HERSCHEL

Member
"GC" as in "Guitar Center"? Considering some of the crap that Guitar Center has pulled on its employees in recent years, this would cause me to dislike Anderton's... if I didn't already dislike them.
Why would Chapman pass up the opportunity to be sold by the biggest vendor in the market to stick with a store piggybacking on their marketing? They made the best business decision.
 

Vhailor

Supporting Member
Why would Chapman pass up the opportunity to be sold by the biggest vendor in the market to stick with a store piggybacking on their marketing? They made the best business decision.
I didn't say they shouldn't pass up such an opportunity. On the other hand, their bottom line is not my bottom line, and just as they can make such a decision, I can have my own opinion of that decision, based on any kind of reasons that appeal to me.

And I don't know if you've read this whole thread, but one comment opined as to how it would be better to be one of fewer number of guitar brands sold by Riff City but really pushed by them, than to be one of a far larger number of guitar brands sold by Guitar Center, and get very little actual attention from them. Got any thoughts about that?

Additionally, for me, as a consumer and end-user, I would like more retail competition, not less. Your thoughts...?

And, of course, it is far too early to know if this is the "best decision" that they could have made. It might, right now, look like it will turn out to be the best decision, but really, we are a long way from being able to actually call it that. Is it really impossible that they will sell fewer guitars via Guitar Center than they were selling via Riff City?

But is Riff City really closing up shop because Chapman is going elsewhere? This might not be the case. Riff City would have to be moving an awful lot of Chapman guitars for that to have been the only thing keeping them in business. Could they really not have pushed Fenders or Reverends or any one of number of brands just as successfully? If Chapman mounted any big ad campaigns, I haven't seen them.
 
I doubt Chapman Guitars has anything to do with Riff City closing. A business failure usually has a lot to do with the way the business is run or by just not getting any customers, which could be the case. There was little incentive to shop at Riff City over other stores.

As for Chapman Guitars, they may or may not be good guitars, but not only do they fail to stand out among countless guitar brands, some of their design choices are unappealing. Does the average person want a reverse headstock or a fretboard that has no dot inlays except a big 8 on the 12th fret? I doubt it. Resale value is another issue.
 

Produktsumme

Funkensprühender Feuerregen
Gold Supporting Member
I think you are spot on, plus they boosted the price which doesn’t help any. I suspect they will hang around for awhile but it is really hard to compete with established brands unless you can make the value argument. I think they made a major error when they tried to move upscale and raised their prices. Just my opinion.
I don't think it is hard to compete with the established brands wrt quality, as when it comes to the value or mid-price field they order from the same factories in Asia anyway (which is not a bad thing, I love my Washburns that were made by Matsumoku) . But for a smaller brand like Chapman, I don't think the volume that is needed to drive business is there, simply because many beginners want major brands. So they go major brand even if the guitar they eventually buy comes from the same factory. Bad for smaller brands.
 

AXXA

Supporting Member
I bought a pedal from them over the weekend at full price. First time buying form them. I guess the last time too
 


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