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Author Topic: Shopping Experiences In Houston  (Read 718 times)
rustychicken
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« on: September 24, 2004, 10:24:25 PM »

i was in Houston recently and had a chance to go by two shops. both of them are great places and legendary Houston stores, Rockin' Robins and Fuller's Vintage Guitar. i sort of had completely different experiences though. i bought a slide at Rockin' Robins back in the acoustic room. i didn't have enough time to go through their guitars, but the sales guy could not have been more nice and enthusiastic, offering tips on slide playing, and just general banter about loving guitars. he thought very highly of Larrivees and thought i made a good choice of guitar. it was a fun 30 minutes. he did try to sale me a Johnson resonator, which actually sounded pretty good, as far as i know.
next day i went into Fuller's. they are really well known in Houston as a great music store, luthiers, and are the biggest Gibson dealer around. they had a ton of great guitars. i picked up a couple of BlueRidge guitars, that yes, they surprised me. the om was very nice sounding, a dread had some serious quality control issues, another dread sounded great.
i was in the back room with the National resonators and the sales guy came back and answered some questions i had about Nationals and other brands. i  asked him about Johnson since they used to sell them. he told me they were crap, although about 2 years before he tried to sell me one, saying it was a good guitar. might be crap compared to those Nationals, i don't know. he then asked me what i played, of which i said my main axe was a larrivee L-09. he then went on to say that Larrivee only got popular because they were selling cheap satin finish guitars at Guitar Center, of which i politely corrected him and told him what i knew about that. then he told me what Larrivee was missing, was the forward shifted bracing of the Blueridges. i told him i wished the nut width on the blueridges was 1 3/4, of which he replied "you can pay someone to build you what you want." the guy had an attitude, but for some reason i thought it was funny instead of getting mad. a friend of mine was with me, and he said it was like dealing with a computer geek at Radio Shack. your on his turf and he has to let you know he knows more than you. i would hope that was the case, because i don't know too much.  i went on to ask him what the tonal differences between a tricone and single cone were. his sarcastic remark was "tricones have 3 cones and single cones have 1."  i finally jabbed back at him that i knew that, that was why they were called TRI-cones. i told him a resonator would be what i would like next, but i just got an om and would have to wait. he asked what kind and where did i get it. i told him it was a Larrivee mahagony top, and i got it from a small online dealer, since my local store could not get one. he asked if i had any trepidations about buying online, and i said i trusted the dealer and Larrivee, and if i had any problems, they would take care of it. he then left curtly and never came back.
i thought this was a bit unusual, since this is such a great store, and it really is. i'm not a very hostile consumer, i like to ask questions and learn about guitars. maybe his dog bit him earlier, or he was having a bad day, but he seemed more angry that i had bought two guitars from somewhere else,,,i guess he assumed Guitar Center and some mega-lo outlet online. i was pretty disappointed at the experience, because they have some great guitars, and are one of Houston's highlights from what i hear.  i would still buy something from them, maybe not him, but had he acted like the first salesman, i wouldn't think twice if i had the money.
anyway, thought i would share that long ramble of a story. at least one of the other employees waved and said have a good day as i left...and the tricones sure sounded sweet.
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2004, 12:52:38 AM »

So you know those Johnsom are really nice resonators,they also make a tri cone.The main thing is getting a good cone.
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rustychicken
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2004, 02:09:59 AM »

you know, i kind of figured from playing one, that they would be a good introduction to the instrument, particularly if you didn't have $1800 to spend on a National. i've heard of people putting in a Quarterman or National cone and liking the result. they seem to be built pretty well. i did try a tricone model Johnson once and thought it sounded puney. the single cones, i havent noticed that. however, with the Nationals, i liked the tricones much better,,,they sounded smooth and sweet. the single cones were too reverberant, like playing inside a metal tank. much more harsh.
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MarkB
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2004, 01:19:48 PM »

I bought my Collings D2H at Rockin' Robins, and I agree with you totally regarding how nice that place is.  I walked in cold off the street and asked about Collings guitars and the sales guy I got couldn't have been nicer.  Took me to the room in the back with all the Collings and turned me loose to play them till my hearts content.  Extrememly nice and very knowledgable.  
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