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The Guitar Shop/Was Relocating to Wash DC

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Jcarp

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May 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/9/00
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Several folks commented on the Guitar Shop in Wash DC under a
thread on relocating to DC. I thought it might be better to make
a new thread on the Guitar Shop.

I no longer go to the Guitar Shop for exactly the reasons stated
by other posters. Example: I was shopping for a new acoustic and
found a beautiful Taylor 414 KCE. It was already a year old, and
although it was Koa it was lower grade Koa with the lack of
appointments one would find on a lower priced guitar. Steve, the
owner of the Guitar Shop gave me his usual song and dance about
selling his guitars for 30% or more below list. I was interested
in the guitar, but something about Steve's used car salesman
style sent my radar into overdrive. I called Taylor and asked
them what list had been for this guitar and they told me.
Steve's price was about $500 over list! I told Taylor that I had
found a dealer with one of those guitars and told them the price
and they advised me not to buy it at that price. I returned to
the store thinking I could bargain with Steve. Instead I got
this song and dance about how it was Koa, which made it a
collector's item and when I said that a 1 year old guitar is not
a collector's item he told me how he must charge for keeping
instruments in stock. I made him a more than reasonable offer
and he refused me saying that someone would pay his price. I
then went to Washington Music and bought a brand new Taylor
K-14-CE for $400 over what Steve wanted for his low end Koa
Taylor.

It is sad that a store with such an old history and in such a
wonderful location and with a good selection can be so impossible
to deal with.

* Sent from RemarQ http://www.remarq.com The Internet's Discussion Network *
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pcovers

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May 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/9/00
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I too had a problem with the guy that runs the store. I called
and indicated I was a serious buyer, I had the interest and the
money for a particular guitar. He had absolutely no phone
manner. After indicating that he had a particular guitar that I
was seriously interested in, I said I would like to come down
and play it. I said I was 45 minutes outside the city and I
needed to know what a good day and time was. It was a thursday
and he said how about tomorrow, Friday, at 11:00. I said I'd see
him then. I arrived when we agreed to find his "helper". His
helper apologized but said that he was not authorized to show
the "good" guitars. After expressing my frustration is no
uncertain terms, he admitted that the good guitars were locked
up and he did not have a key to them.

Needless to say, I never called or went back again.

Paul C.

John Sorell

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May 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/9/00
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pcovers wrote:

Didn't someone post a glowing report on a visit to The Guitar Shop about a year
ago? Can't remember who! The post mentioned he showed up at closing time but the
owner let him in, turned him loose in the room where the "good" guitars were and
was a most gracious host. Could that have been the same store?

John Sorell

PickandGrin

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May 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/9/00
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Glad to hear this information. I was seriously considering two Huss and
Daltons in stock at Guitar Center, but felt the quoted price was exceptionally
high. Now I know why. I had planned to stop by tomorrow. You saved me a
trip.

Pick

pcovers

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May 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/9/00
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Coincidentaly, it was a Huss and Dalton I was interested in at
the time. Too many other retailers out there willing to work for
your business to give up your monery to someone that doesn't
understand the "customer" concept.

Dave&Ceil

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May 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/9/00
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Well now...Although I do not like Steve's sales techniques I have to say I
have NEVER!! been denied a chance to play any guitar he has. He has
personally spent hours with me on different instruments, including his
personal '56 D-18 that he gave me a great price (well very fair) on. He has
strange tactics and a weird shop, but he does have the best collection of
guitars I have ever seen. He is also a musician and for those of use that
play professionally, well enough said. Musicians are a strange bread. I
guess all I can say is be careful and check the other dealers.


Dave (I think I opened a Pandora's box)

Jcarp <jcarpente...@usuhs.mil.invalid> wrote in message
news:20b7aff8...@usw-ex0107-055.remarq.com...

Larry Sprigg

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May 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/9/00
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Sounds like a 2 hour ride to Acoustic Roots and Larry Boido is worth it for a
Huss and Dalton.


To reply via E-Mail, please remove the "nojunk" from my address

Jcarp

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May 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/9/00
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Well you may have opened a Pandora's box, but obviously many of
us have had similar experiences. I have to agree, however, that
I have always been able to play the guitars. When I was looking
at Taylors, I played several, managing to A and B several models,
styles, woods, etc. before choosing the 414 KCE. However, when
the Guitar company itself tells you that the item is overpriced,
there is definately something wrong with the picture.

If you are looking for Huss & Dalton guitars you might check out
Picker's Supply in Fredricksburg. Definately closer than a 2
hour drive. Call them first to see what they have in stock.
Here's the info from their web site:

Picker's Supply
902 Caroline St.
Fredericksburg, Va.
22401
Monday through Thursday:
10am -
8pm
Friday: 10am - 7pm
Saturday: 10am - 5:30pm
Sunday: Closed

(540) 371-4669

(800) 830-4669

fax: (540) 371-0045

email:

pic...@pickerssupply.com

Dick Thaxter

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May 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/9/00
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It's worth it, but not just for the one H&D Larry Broido has.
In fact Larry said that he gave Steve Spelman credit for keeping H&D in
business by buying so many of their output.

I think Jim Grainger in Sparta, TN is probably one of the best H&D
dealers. Folks on the 13th Fret website will attest to that. Also
another sort of DC area store--Picker's Supply in Fredericksburg.
I almost ordered one through them when I found the Collings C100.
They had four in the Fall and were down to one last time I was in.
They should have more in the pipeline and Picker's is a good store.
Prices aren't super low but aren't list either.

Dick Thaxter

George4908

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May 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/9/00
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Unfortunately, I have had a bad experience almost every time I have been to the
Guitar Shop in D.C., and I have been going there (intermittently, because I
can't stand it) for over 25 years. The last time I was there, Steve Spellman
put a Huss & Dalton in my hands that was a spectacular instrument, however his
price was more than $1000 over list. He preys on the ignorant and hustles like
a used car salesman. Sad, because the inventory is fantastic. Most of the
other guys in the shop are actually very nice, but as someone indicated, they
don't get the keys to the kingdom. I also played one of the new Breedlove
nylon strings. Spellman said it was the prototype -- I don't necessarily
believe him, but it was a very nice instrument , at least in the few minutes I
had with it. If this were any other dealer I'd have spent some time really
checking it out, but if you don't indicate within two minutes that you're going
to buy it, he plucks it out of your hands and puts it back in the secret
closet. Just a shame -- I keep hoping that someone will buy him out someday
and create a place that one can actually look forward to visiting.

Jim Page

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May 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/9/00
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Damn, I just can't resist jumping into this thread about the fabled Steve
Spellman and his obnoxious sales techniques.

What grinds me about this chump is that he is so arrogant about it. He treats
his clientele like they are blithering idiots and he's the guru of guitars.

I can't tell you how many horror stories I have been told about this man, and
every time I have dealt with him I have come away ready to spit fire.

--Jim

Jim Page • To reply by e-mail, remove FRAMUS from e-mail address
Print Production & Mac Support
Serving the Washington, DC-metropolitan area

gr...@my-deja.com

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May 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/9/00
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In article <20000509164033...@ng-mb1.aol.com>,

Could be he really doesn't want your business. Maybe his day is made
when that diplo tagged, platinum amex buyer shows up with a laundry
list.

George Wilson


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

Dave&Ceil

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May 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/9/00
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That was well put....he can be arrogant. Perhaps someone should let him
know about this thread. Maybe he will sell me his business and you all can
come over and try all the guitars you want.(I think I would need to sell a
few at that point, but hey) Hell if they need new strings I will even let
you put them on yourself. My treat

Dave

Steven Dillon

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May 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/9/00
to
Jcarp wrote:
I no longer go to the Guitar Shop for exactly the reasons stated
by other posters.  Example: I was shopping for a new acoustic and
found a beautiful Taylor 414 KCE.  It was already a year old, and
although it was Koa it was lower grade Koa with the lack of
appointments one would find on a lower priced guitar.  Steve, the
owner of the Guitar Shop gave me his usual song and dance about
selling his guitars for 30% or more below list.  I was interested
in the guitar, but something about Steve's used car salesman
style sent my radar into overdrive.
All,
From my experience, you either love him or hate him.  I had heard
all of the horror stories posted here in the past and I admit that
talking to him on the phone the first time wasn't that great, but
I have to say I had a good time while there!  He was very pleasant
in person.  He was also extremely knowledgeable.  He has worked as
a guitar designer and actually helped design the Huss And Dalton
guitar that I play.  He comes across a little arrogant, but then
again he probably has that right considering who he is.  The man
knows everyone who is anyone in the Acoustic Guitar world.  He
traveled with David Crosby for a while (I guess he was his set up
man).
Anyway, I just wanted to say, that he's not all bad!  Even though
it may sound that way from all the posts and everything you hear.
His reputation is well known in the D.C. area.  But I can't even
remember how many high end guitars he let me play on (we closed
the place down - must have been almost 50 different guitars from
nearly every luthier you hear about in this group).
He also gave me a good deal and worked with me on everything I
needed that was custom (even threw in some extras).  I hate to go
against the grain here, but give him a chance if you find the
guitar that talks to you.
Keep picking,
Steven Dillon

Jim Page

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May 10, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/10/00
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George Wilson opined:

>>Could be he really doesn't want your business. Maybe his
>>day is made when that diplo tagged, platinum amex buyer
>>shows up with a laundry list.

Could be, George. Still, I'd be willing to bet that I've spent way more money
in guitar shops over the last 35 years than the vast majority of embassy row
types.

Jcarp

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May 10, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/10/00
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Steve I'm sure you had a great experience with Mr. Spellman.
I've heard others say the same thing. However, all that crap
about the great things he's done in the guitar world is just
that, crap. When I was in there and mentioned that I owned a
Martin he told me that at one time he used to be the head
designer and luthier for Martin. When I was looking at Taylors
he made statements like, "Bob Taylor called me the other day and
asked me what I thought about. . ." I'm sorry, I just don't
believe these statements, or that he helped design a Huss and
Dalton model, or that he knows anybody and everybody in the
acoustic guitar world or worked for David Crosby, etc., etc.

Steve is knowledgeable about guitars. He knows a good guitar
when he finds one and usually buys alot of them. However the
hyperbole and self agrandisement always make me feel suspicious.
Then when he tells me he is charging 30%-40% below list and
instead is 50% over list (as he was in my case) I just have to
walk out and cross them off my list.

I would gladly print out this thread and send it to them.
However I won't if anyone objects. I'm sure Steve has heard this
stuff before and he would probably just get pissed off. But it
never hurts to try. What do y'all think?

Dick Thaxter

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May 10, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/10/00
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even more observations about a noted DC institution snipped ...

>
>I would gladly print out this thread and send it to them.
>However I won't if anyone objects. I'm sure Steve has heard this
>stuff before and he would probably just get pissed off. But it
>never hurts to try. What do y'all think?
>
>* Sent from RemarQ http://www.remarq.com The Internet's Discussion Network *
>The fastest and easiest way to search and participate in Usenet - Free!
>

When I post on usenet I do so understanding that it is out there for anyone
to see now and on Dejanews. But I still wouldn't want anyone forwarding
my comments about the Guitar Shop (and I was very mild in my comments)
to them. Kind of rubbing it in their noses.

I think those of us who have chosen not to do business with the store are
letting our actions speak for themselves.

Dick Thaxter

Jcarp

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May 11, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/11/00
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You are very right Dick. I will leave it and that and hopefully
yours will be the last words on the subject. At least until
someone else goes in there and gets the used car salesman act.
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