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Wildwood, Fullers, Other


uncle fester

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Hi Folks,

 

I'm looking for the best shops in the US to make a trip to try out a bunch of guitars. Wildwood in Denver, and Fuller's in Houston are the two that keep coming up. Does anyone have experience with both of these? if you had to pick just one you could get to over the other, which would it be?

 

Appreciate any input - rgds billroy

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I would normally say Dave's Guitars in La Cross, WI but I would call first as I am not sure if they are simply not advertising Gibsons on their web site or have dropped the entire Gibson line. Maybe somebody else here knows. Back in the 1960s when I stared haunting music shops, I could walk down 48th Street in NYC and you could find new Gibsons in every store lining the block. These days only the big sexy stores seem to be able to carry the line.

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I would normally say Dave's Guitars in La Cross, WI but I would call first as I am not sure if they are simply not advertising Gibsons on their web site or have dropped the entire Gibson line. Maybe somebody else here knows. Back in the 1960s when I stared haunting music shops, I could walk down 48th Street in NYC and you could find new Gibsons in every store lining the block. These days only the big sexy stores seem to be able to carry the line.

 

I bought my first and second Gibson out on Long Gisland and never had to go into The City. First at a Mom&Popper, and the 2nd at Sam Ash. I think the change in the availability of Gibson Acoustics (in proportion to the population) was negatively impacted by imports from the Far East. Sort of like the auto industry - but different.

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.

I’ve made purchases from both Wildwood and Fullers. Of those mentioned so far (except SamAsh), IMO Wildwood is the best choice. For the traveler, You can easily check/VIEW their Gibson stock on their website. Not seeing what you like or depleated stock might cause a change in your choice. The other shops can’t display their Gibson stock online so you would have to rely on emails regarding stock, pics and prices.

 

 

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I would normally say Dave's Guitars in La Cross, WI but I would call first as I am not sure if they are simply not advertising Gibsons on their web site or have dropped the entire Gibson line. Maybe somebody else here knows. Back in the 1960s when I stared haunting music shops, I could walk down 48th Street in NYC and you could find new Gibsons in every store lining the block. These days only the big sexy stores seem to be able to carry the line.

 

I thought someone on this forum told us Dave’s stopped carrying Gibsons. Because I recall saying I see them at a number of vintage guitar shows and they always would have a ton of new Gibsons at their booth which I would always make sure I stopped by and saw, but that if they weren’t going to carry new Gibsons any longer, I would simply skip their booth at the shows.

 

So for sure call them first before trekking to their store in case that is true.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

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I bought my first and second Gibson out on Long Gisland and never had to go into The City. First at a Mom&Popper, and the 2nd at Sam Ash. I think the change in the availability of Gibson Acoustics (in proportion to the population) was negatively impacted by imports from the Far East. Sort of like the auto industry - but different.

 

 

Too bad because in its day 48th Street was a Guitar Mecca. I do not think the flood of MIJ guitars in the mid- to late-1960s caused Martin or Gibson to lose any sleep The MIJ guitars were initially looked at as being cheap instruments. So while they killed off Kay first and then Harmony, they initially had very little impact on the upper end guitar market. What did impact availability though was bad timing. Gibson expanded the plant in 1965 in a booming market only to get caught up in the "Great Society Recession" of 1966 to 1968. Orders for new guitars dropped as the market did.

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I would call ahead to see how many guitars are in stock, based on my experience with Fuller's (which is a great shop, no doubt). On some occasions, you can walk in there and see sixty Gibson acoustics. On other occasions, stock might be limited to a couple of dozen. I suppose it all depends on when they get supplied. Remember, Gibson Acoustic doesn't really make that many guitars a year, and they have to spread them around to their big online retailers and big brick and mortar dealers.

 

Also, I wonder what the status of the Fuller's/Gibson relationship is right now. Fuller's brought no Gibson acoustics to the Arlington, TX guitar show in October, Gibson did not send Don R there to support them, nor did they have their Custom Model rolling showroom adjacent to the Fuller's area, which has been a fixture there for as long as I remember. When I visited Fuller's in November, they had only a small number of new Gibsons (acoustic or electric) in stock, which seemed weird to me before the holidays. Hopefully, this was just a reflection of Fuller's temporary in-stock position, and not an indication of their position as a Gibson dealer.

 

Red 333

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Thank you all, definitely food for thought.

 

I still may be able to get a trip down to Texas out of work, but it's not guaranteed. If I can finagle that, the trip to Fuller's is free, so I feel it is my obligatory duty to spend at least 1/2 day there. Thinking that may not happen too soon, it looks like I can get a trip from boston to Denver for about $160 if I schedule out 90 days or so - so I figure for $350 I can cover all costs for a trip to Wildwoods.

 

$350 on top of the price of a new guitar seems like a lot, $350 for the chance to try out all those guitars side by side, and form a real opinion - not quite as bad. not sure when that will happen though. maybe i'll talk about it online for the next 4 months and see what you all think :) (not really - i'll be quiet about it... until a plane ticket is in hand)

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