Shops and Factories worth a visit in CA?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Rexfordbridge, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. Rexfordbridge

    Rexfordbridge Member

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    Next week I'm renting a car and driving up and down the coast of California from San Francisco to San Diego. I'm looking for some guitar shops that would let me try out some excellent vintage and new guitars and also, if there any factories that give tours I'd be up for that too.

    The list so far:
    Santa Cruz Guitar Factory - Santa Cruz
    Taylor Guitar Factory - El Cajon
    Gryphon Strings Store - Palo Alto
    Sylvan Music Store - Santa Cruz
    National Guitar Factory - San Luis Obispo
    Norman's Guitar Store - Tarzana
    McCabe's Guitar Store - Santa Monica
    Steve Swan's Guitar Store -
    The Guitar Shoppe - Laguna Beach
    Guitar Center Store - Hollywood
    Westwood Music Center -
     
  2. Last Nerve

    Last Nerve Supporting Member

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    Visit Brian at Super Sound Music. He's in Escondido.
    I would love to visit the new Suhr factory, but I'm not sure it is accessible.
    GC Hollywood will be fun.

    The Amp Shop and another GC are both on Ventura Blvd in Studio City, if you get that direction.
     
  3. BlackStrat_Fan

    BlackStrat_Fan Member

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    Truetone in Santa Monica. Has everything you can imagine guitar and amp wise. Read about a boutique amp on TGP? They got in stock. They just added a Fender wing as well.

    Prices are insane though - they charge msrp, not map. And a bit of the attitude as well.
     
  4. SlowJoeCrow

    SlowJoeCrow Silver Supporting Member

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    Have you been there? Not the first place I would send somebody.

    The Blue Guitar could be worth looking into while in San Diego. Check out their inventory online to see if it's something that floats your boat.

    john in san diego
     
  5. upfrontguitars

    upfrontguitars Member

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    True Tone Music in Santa Monica is fun too.
     
  6. Green Pro Am

    Green Pro Am Supporting Member

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    Wild West in Riverside
     
  7. msr13

    msr13 Supporting Member

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    if you can make it just north of SF in Tibouron, you can visit Eric Schoenberg's shop. A true treasure chest. Before you go, check out the website. If an of the high, high-end stuff calls your name, call them ahead of time to make sure it is indeed in the shop for you to play. Eric is a giant among giants. A great guy and has great stories.

    Gryphon Strings is always worth a visit, and usually costs me something. And, if you can get a tour at Santa Cruz, well worth the time.
     
  8. Butterscotch

    Butterscotch Member

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    Fender Visitor Center, and factory tour, Corona.
     
  9. Jim S

    Jim S Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Tone Merchants?
     
  10. straycat113

    straycat113 Member

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    I have to agree about the Fender tour after seeing the video of the new layout. It is like going to a musuem and they also have a room where you can assemble your own CS guitar=very cool!
     
  11. mrpinter

    mrpinter Supporting Member

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    Here are a few small luthiers that you might want to check with to see if you can drop in:

    Rick Turner, Turner/Renaissance Guitars - Santa Cruz (used to be in the same basic location as SC Guitars)

    Ervin Somogyi - Oakland (very high end acoustics)

    Kevin Ryan - Westminster (So Cal South Bay area, I think, more high end acoustics)

    Tom Anderson Guitarworks - Newbury (near San Fernando Valley - high end electrics)
     
  12. remy26

    remy26 Member

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    Gelb music in Redwood City might be worth a stop.
     
  13. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    california vintage guitar and amp/

    nice people, sedate store. they let me play for hours. their inventory is online, so you can know ahead of time whether or not its worth a stop.

    the larrivee factory is in oxnard if you're into that. right near the coast.
     
  14. John Hurtt

    John Hurtt Supporting Member

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    Let me add one thing....

    PLEASE....before you drop in on any manufacturers make sure you arrange it ahead of time. These guys are remarkably busy and aren't really setup to give tours to those just showing up at the door.
     
  15. J.H.

    J.H. Member

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  16. SharkAtl

    SharkAtl Member

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    What a fantastic idea! Sounds like a wonderful trip. Although I am not sure I would ever be able to convince my wife that a trip up and down the coast scoping out guitars and amps and such is a better way to spend a vacation than at the beach. Hell, maybe my next wife will be more understanding.

    Enjoy the trip!!
     
  17. Gclef

    Gclef Member

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    Carvin's factory is in San Diego i think.
     
  18. bacchus

    bacchus Member

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    I will second the Larrivee recommendation, if you are in Oxnard, CA. In my eyes one of the most respectable 'big builders' out there. Their bread and butter is acoustic instruments, but they have some fantastic electric guitars coming out of there as well.
     

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