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Let us now praise Chuck Levin's

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frrobert

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May 17, 2002, 11:29:48 AM5/17/02
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For those of you who don't know Chuck Levin's Washington Music Center
in suburban DC (Wheaton, MD), let me tell you about it. It has the
inventory of a guitar center, but is a long time independently owned
Washington institution without any of the GC attitude. Their prices
are as low as I've seen on new Martins, Guilds, Taylors, Gibsons, etc.
Many of the employees have been there for years-- always a good sign.
I recently bought two guitars there and found the salesman (Paul
Schein) to be a delight to work with.

Everybody, from the guy at the door, to the other salesmen, to the
tech guy who does the free set ups, are class acts, friendly and go
out of their way to be helpful. I even got a free t-shirt.

Well, I just wanted to give this place two thumbs up. I will
definitely buy there again. If you are ever in DC, this is the place
to be for new stuff. (for used, check out atomic music in College
Park)

Bob

Steve

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May 17, 2002, 12:10:58 PM5/17/02
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Bob>>

The guy to talk to there is Brian Meader.

SEFSTRAT
music webpage: http://members.aol.com/sefstrat/index.html/sefpage.html

Michael A. Wong

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May 17, 2002, 12:13:28 PM5/17/02
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I bought my very first "real" guitar from Chuck Levins
in the early 70's. A Yamaha FG110 steel string.
Still have it.
It's mind boggling that WMC is still there after all these
decades and has been assimilated by the chainstores.

MW-


"frrobert" <gretsc...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
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Dick Thaxter

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May 17, 2002, 2:54:47 PM5/17/02
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Chuck's is a unique institution in the DC area, that's for sure.

I think they might be highly insulted to say that "it's got the inventory
of a Guitar Center," though. Last time I asked they had over 200 Taylors
in stock. And they also said they sold as much as five or six Guitar
Centers or MARS's. It's also far and away the place to buy band
instruments. I got first class treatment buying a decent clarinet for my
daughter this winter.

Couple of quirky things I don't like though, but that's what makes it
Chuck's--hours never seem to fit my schedule, parking lot's tiny, etc.
Also it can be a real zoo any time other than a weekday morning, but
that's part of the charm. Wish it was less than 45 minutes from my house,
too.

I talked to a colleague at work today who left his guitar there for repair
last weekend and got a lot of attitude from the guy who filled out the
paperwork. He stewed about it and then went back and took the guitar back
and got the work done at Atomic.

Dick Thaxter

Terry H. Parker

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May 17, 2002, 5:58:53 PM5/17/02
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1st class all the way!

Parker

"frrobert" <gretsc...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
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JD Blackwell

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May 17, 2002, 6:46:19 PM5/17/02
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I got my first electric (a Hagstrom I) from Chuck Himself in '67 before the
race riots chased him off H Street.

JD

"Michael A. Wong" <mwo...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
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Jim's Mail

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May 17, 2002, 7:57:57 PM5/17/02
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I've been to Chuck's many times. I bought one guitar there and tried to buy
another. The second guitar had been damaged between my first playing it and
coming by to try it out again to decide on a purchase. They have always
been great. They carry mostly Taylor and Martin as their upper end brands,
plus a few Guild. They used to carry Larrivee until Guitar Center got ahold
of them. I haven't been to Chuck's in awhile. Mostly because I'm more
interested in experimenting with brands other than Taylor and Martin (no
knock on either brand intended.

Chuck's is an institution in this area and have a well deserved solid
reputation.

By the way, when I bought my Taylor there the salesman gave me a t-shirt
that was way too small. I mentioned the size problem and he said, "it's not
for you, it's for your wife." Smart, very smart indeed!

Jcarp

Jim's Mail

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May 17, 2002, 7:59:43 PM5/17/02
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I disagree. All of the guitar salesmen are knowledgeable. I usually deal
with Tim, I've spoken with Paul and Brian many times. They all know their
stuff and will go out of their way to help you.

Jcarp

> From: sefs...@aol.comnospam (Steve)
> Organization: AOL http://www.aol.com
> Newsgroups: rec.music.makers.guitar.acoustic

Jim Page

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May 17, 2002, 9:24:04 PM5/17/02
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Hey, DC-ers--

Chuck's is Chuck's. Good place.

My favorite salesperson there is Paul Schein, but everyone there is most
helpful, although they can get frazzled at times. I know that I would, too, in
that hectic atmosphere!

It's unusual to go there and not have a good choice of whatever it is that you
are looking for, although it has happened to me a couple of times.

The DC area has a good group of guitar stores, although they are spread out all
over the place.

JD mentioned that he bought his first electric at Chuck's. Mine was from
Sear's catalog, and the second was from Ace Music in Miami. Anyone ever go
there? I have very fond memories of that store.

A pal and I just missed bumping into Eric Clapton when he was in that store
during the recording of Derick and the Dominoes. I think that he bought that
red acoustic he's holding inside the album sleeve at Ace.

--Jim

To e-mail, remove "FRAMUS" from e-mail address shown

frrobert

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May 17, 2002, 9:38:36 PM5/17/02
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> and got the work done at Atomic.

Danny, the tech at atomic in College park, is another great guy who
does great work. Plus, he's another Gretsch head!

They have a pretty nice HD-28 there right now for around $1500... I
bet he'd go lower too....

Bob

Twangchief

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May 18, 2002, 12:23:36 AM5/18/02
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Wasn't Danny Gatton a guitar tech there?

----------------------------
Bill Smith (aka twangchief)
----------------------------

"frrobert" <gretsc...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
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JD Blackwell

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May 18, 2002, 2:07:08 AM5/18/02
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Danny was more into wrenching on Fords. He did have a shop in Berwyn though.
He put the Barcus Berry HotDot in a Nagoya dred I had. I never knew him to
work for Chuck's.

JD


"Twangchief" <twang...@charter.net> wrote in message
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frrobert

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May 18, 2002, 7:59:01 AM5/18/02
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> Wasn't Danny Gatton a guitar tech there?

That, I don't know. But, the last time I was there, I saw Nils
Lofgren buy a new Gretsch 6120. That was cool.

Bob

Twangchief

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May 18, 2002, 9:51:41 AM5/18/02
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I knew he had a shop somewhere. I thought maybe it was there.

----------------------------
Bill Smith (aka twangchief)
----------------------------

"JD Blackwell" <jdb...@blarg.net> wrote in message
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Jim's Mail

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May 18, 2002, 11:51:51 AM5/18/02
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As far as I know Gatton didn't work there. Paul Reed Smith worked there
though. I know, not acoustic, but he makes some damn fine electrics.

Jcarp

> From: "JD Blackwell" <jdb...@blarg.net>
> Organization: Giganews.Com - Premium News Outsourcing
> Newsgroups: rec.music.makers.guitar.acoustic
> Date: Sat, 18 May 2002 06:07:08 GMT
> Subject: Re: Let us now praise Chuck Levin's
>

JD Blackwell

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May 18, 2002, 12:16:21 PM5/18/02
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"Jim's Mail" <jca...@starpower.net> wrote in message
news:B90BF0D7.F0A0%jca...@starpower.net...

> As far as I know Gatton didn't work there. Paul Reed Smith worked there
> though. I know, not acoustic, but he makes some damn fine electrics.
>
> Jcarp
>
In high school I worked in a local music store in Bowie, MD where an 11 year
old Paul Reed Smith used to come in and asked questions ad infinitum. He was
an obnoxious little brat at times.

JD


Michael A. Wong

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May 18, 2002, 1:27:25 PM5/18/02
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JD,

If you were from that area (and era) then you must also
know, or know of Stanley Whitaker and the (now reformed)
prog rock band "Happy the Man"? Used to play at the Cellar Door
in Geo-town regularly?
The aforementioned bratty little punk named PRS sold
his first coupla commissions to Stanley and the bass player Rick
Kennell....shortly thereafter he managed to get one of his
guitars into the hands of his highness, Carlos and the rest is
history.

MW-

"JD Blackwell" <jdb...@blarg.net> wrote in message

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JD Blackwell

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May 18, 2002, 2:03:44 PM5/18/02
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I remember "Happy the Man" well but never knew Whitaker by name. I spent
alot of time at the Crossroads in Bladensburg back when Danny Gatton and Roy
Buchanon were pretty much the 2 house bands there. I used to see Nils
Lofgren's band "Grin" at the Crazy Horse in GT alot and the Nighthawks at
the Bayou. Wednesday was Seldom Scene at the Birchmere. Dc was a hell of a
music town in those days.

JD

"Michael A. Wong" <mwo...@yahoo.com> wrote in message

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Steve

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May 18, 2002, 2:59:26 PM5/18/02
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I said, of Washington Music:

>> The guy to talk to there is Brian Meader.

JCarp then said:

>I disagree. All of the guitar salesmen are knowledgeable. I usually deal
>with Tim, I've spoken with Paul and Brian many times. They all know their
>stuff and will go out of their way to help you.

So you don't like Brian?

What the hell's with you? I recommend a guiy there and you disagree, then name
everyone else in the shop? Did I say anything bad about the rest of the staff?

What color is the s\ky on the planet where you live?

Jim's Mail

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May 18, 2002, 3:27:34 PM5/18/02
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Paul Reed Smith just donated one electric guitar to every high school in the
state of Maryland. Not bad, I guess that obnoxiousness paid off.

Jcarp

> From: "JD Blackwell" <jdb...@blarg.net>
> Organization: Giganews.Com - Premium News Outsourcing
> Newsgroups: rec.music.makers.guitar.acoustic
> Date: Sat, 18 May 2002 16:16:21 GMT
> Subject: Re: Let us now praise Chuck Levin's
>
>

Jim's Mail

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May 18, 2002, 3:34:26 PM5/18/02
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You misunderstood my intention. I said "all of the guitar salesmen are
knowledgeable" I also said, "they all know their stuff". I also said "they
will go out of their way to help you." Brian is fine and I said nothing
negative about him. I was only trying to say that it is not a "go see this
one guy" kind of place. Relax a bit and don't take it all so personal.

Jcarp

> From: sefs...@aol.comnospam (Steve)
> Organization: AOL http://www.aol.com
> Newsgroups: rec.music.makers.guitar.acoustic
> Date: 18 May 2002 18:59:26 GMT
> Subject: Re: Let us now praise Chuck Levin's
>

Steve

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May 18, 2002, 4:03:05 PM5/18/02
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<<You misunderstood my intention. I said "all of the guitar salesmen are
knowledgeable" I also said, "they all know their stuff". I also said "they
will go out of their way to help you." Brian is fine and I said nothing
negative about him. I was only trying to say that it is not a "go see this
one guy" kind of place. Relax a bit and don't take it all so personal.

Jcarp
>>

Sorry. Didn;t mean to, but when I recommend someone by name and you say "I
disagree", I don't think that my interpretation of whatyou wrote was especially
a stretch.

FWIW, I have dealt with others there, and found Brian to be best at getting
back to me, following up, and so on.

Gorblimey

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May 18, 2002, 8:27:59 PM5/18/02
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On Sat, 18 May 2002 15:27:34 -0400, Jim's Mail <jca...@starpower.net>
wrote:

>Paul Reed Smith just donated one electric guitar to every high school in the
>state of Maryland. Not bad, I guess that obnoxiousness paid off.
>

That's a nice gesture.

I've never played an off the shelf PRS that seemed worth the money.
Suspect that has as much to do with the lousy pre-sales service in
most UK guitar shops as anything else.

They always LOOK nice though.

Pete

--
Pete

Steve

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May 18, 2002, 9:21:08 PM5/18/02
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<<I've never played an off the shelf PRS that seemed worth the money.
Suspect that has as much to do with the lousy pre-sales service in
most UK guitar shops as anything else.>>

You ought to try my PRS Swamp Ash Special. Whew. Plays like butter, BIG sound.
Pix and review from my site, BTW.

Nebuchadnezzar

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May 19, 2002, 10:35:25 PM5/19/02
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"Gorblimey" <persisten...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
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> I've never played an off the shelf PRS that seemed worth the money.

They're all built well and such, but sound wise you have to go through about
twenty PRS to find one that is really excellent, and for the money they
charge, they have to be really excellent to be worth it. Thing is, there are
those few that are really excellent.

It's not unlike acoustics, but the hit rate is lower mainly because electric
builders don't do as much to control the sound as acoustic builders. The
first eight Goodalls I came across were nothing special sound-wise, but the
next two were super, and then the next three after that were again just OK.
I've only played four Thompsons, but three were exceptionally good sounding
and the fourth was almost that good. Just luck or superior luthiering? Who
knows? You can't really tell that much from a sample of four.

Later,
Andrew Mullhaupt

Jim's Mail

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May 19, 2002, 10:45:32 PM5/19/02
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Damn you are picky.

Jcarp

Jay Brown

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May 20, 2002, 9:59:42 AM5/20/02
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Geepers willickers, I didn't realize that many of you lived so close - cool!
We should do a DC-gathering.... Chuck Levin's has been a guitar mecca of
sorts since I was a kid. Its about a 25 minuted drive down Route 29. It
ain't recommended for those who suffer from uncontrolable GAS. Parking can
be insane if you go at the wrong time, but otherwise I really like the
place.

peace,

jb

Jim's Mail

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May 20, 2002, 1:16:43 PM5/20/02
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Jay,

We've had DC gatherings the past two summers and will probably do one again
this year. We also have fairly regular jam sessions. Drop me an email and
I can put you "on the list".

Jcarp

jca...@starpower.net

Dick Thaxter

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May 20, 2002, 1:43:50 PM5/20/02
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Jay,

Some of us DC area folks do get together from time to time. There's the Music
Masters Jams one Saturday night each month in Tysons area--there's usually about
half a dozen RMMGA regulars (and others) at one of these--Jim Carpenter, Chuck
Boyer, Dick Thaxter, Jim Page, Dale "Big Daddy" Gardner, Hank Alinger. Also Ron
Lipps, Jeremy Shanahan, Marsha Allen, Bob Hampton, Roger Hamel, Phil Kane, Jeff
Bernstein, Mark Kinniburgh who may not post on RMMGA, much but perhaps on other
forums like the 13th Fret.

We've had other gatherings that have been more-or-less open houses in the last
couple of years.

Dick Thaxter

JD Blackwell

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May 20, 2002, 9:04:03 PM5/20/02
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Sign me up. I need more of an excuse than family to go back to DC.

JD


"Jim's Mail" <jca...@starpower.net> wrote in message
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hickok

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May 20, 2002, 11:10:43 PM5/20/02
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Can I get on this list to be informed of such events? I just acquired
a HD28 and would love to learn how to play it better. I had to give
up my Gibson J50 (circa 1967 edition) before moving recently to the DC
area and I just fullfilled my lifelong ambition of owning a Martin.


Dick Thaxter <rt...@loc.gov> wrote in message news:<3CE935D6...@loc.gov>...

Al Schlimm

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May 22, 2002, 7:59:06 PM5/22/02
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There isn't a more flexible store around. Bill Brooks has been great to me.
I bought a Taylor jumbo there, had some problems with it and they took it
back a month later. Then I bought an 814, decided it wasn't for me two
weeks later, and they took it back with a smile. I ended up going to
Acoustic Roots for a Collings. The only thing I'd say negatively is that
their guitar tech screwed up an acoustic of mine royally one time -- I'd
never let him touch another -- and their guitar room has a humidity
problem. There are a bunch of high end guitars in there with cracks in the
front. You've got to just get an idea what you want, and they'll bring
fresh ones out for you. God forbid anyone would buy out of that room.
Great store though.


frrobert

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May 23, 2002, 10:03:25 PM5/23/02
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> There isn't a more flexible store around. Bill Brooks has been great to me.

I agree. I haven't bought anything from Bill (I've used Paul Schein),
but Bill seems like a great guy and is fun to shoot the bull with.
And a pretty fine guitar player, by the way!

Bob

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