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Recommended online vendors for audio gear?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Nick Driver, Apr 15, 2002.

  1. Nick Driver

    Nick Driver Guest

    Since we all seem to agree that newegg and mwave are the desireable places to buy computer parts online, what about places to buy audio and music gear online?

    Any favorite places (musiciansfriend, sweetwater, samash, etc) that are as recommendable for buying music and studio hardware online as newegg and mwave are for buying computer hardware online?

    Prefer to hear about places that have good customer service practices / return policy in case I get either defective or unsatisfying merchandise. Also any horror stories or warnings would be appreciated too.

    I'm ready now to buy my audio / midi interface(s) and probably also a few cheap mics to get phase one of the home studio into operational status.
  2. jscott

    jscott Guest

    For run of the mill stuff:

    http://www.sweetwater.com David Klausner is the guy I've talked to. Not best prices by any means, but this guy has given me some advice that;s proven to be good.

    http://www.fullcompass.com has had some good prices off and on. Other than those, just guitar center (musiciansfriend) and Mars. For certain mics and stuff, its a different story.

    The problem is, so much of the top notch stuff isn't really coming from the "discount" sources that I've found.
  3. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Personally...I dont like ordering audio gear online or thru mail...I like to see what I am buying and actually try it first to make sure the unit I am buying actually works right there and then. I hate getting a piece of gear and having it DOA!! Otherwise if you are going to buy online..Sweetwater for it's support service and very knowledgeable sales staff...having worked at Sweetwater I can tell you first hand that "most" of the staff is great. Dave Klausner is a great guy too! Always hit it off well with him! Other people to go to are Robert Dorion, Matthew Craig, Clay Stahlka, Kenny Bergle and Nika Aldredge.
    Musician's friend is owned by Guitar Center so you might as well just go to a store at that point! lol
  4. Nick Driver

    Nick Driver Guest

    The nearest GC is over 3 hours drive from me, and I'd have to pay sales tax on whatever I bought there, which would be about the same as shipping cost, plus the expense of driving all day to/from the D/FW area from WF. I'm so broke right now from buying all the computer parts (and feeding my other expensive hobby - my little Piper Cherokee airplane) that I'm having to penny-pinch as much as possible to finish the home studio. I'm glad I like Ramen noodle soup.
  5. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Yeah...when you start to say Ahh So every morning than you know you're in too deep.....
  6. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Sep 10, 2000
    Nick, you've missed part of the equation.
    When you buy from Musician's Friend, you pay the minimum advertised price which is allowed by the manufacturer. When you go into a GC, you have power to bargain. If you're buying a $1000 retail item, you'll probably pay $700-$800 from Musician's Friend. At GC, there's a good chance that you can get them down to $500-$600! I think that's worth the $25 worth of gas!
  7. Nick Driver

    Nick Driver Guest

    I was unable to bargain for new items at either of the two GC stores in the D/FW area (Dallas or Arlington) that I used to frequent when I lived down there... they had set prices on all new items and wouldn't budge an inch... of course that was a few years ago and things might have changed by now. I did manage to get a fantastic deal on a rare used tube type guitar amp at the Dallas GC store back then. I might try to see if one of my old computer buddies down in Arlington will scope things out for me and see if the GC store there will now dicker on their prices.
  8. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    I've bought stuff mail order from Musician's Fiend (sic) American Musical Supply, Interstate Musician Supply, Music Emporium, Sam Ash, MarsMusic, and probably a couple others I missed. The only "glitch" I ever encountered was an order mix-up at Interstate, which was due to a new employee's mistake and was straightened out totally to my satisfaction. I have yet to recieve anything that was DOA or other than I expected. This seems like incredibly good luck to me, but there it is - Maybe this is karma for all the crappy luck I seem to attract elsewhere.

    I won't tempt fate by buying any stringed instrument or cymbals, etc. by remote, but electronic stuff either works or not, and if it works out of the box it will likely work til long past obsolescence if you keep the beer, coffee, cigarettes, children and idiots out of the studio (idiots can sometimes be un-avoidable - it's my contention that Duct tape was invented for this. Just speak soothingly and duct-tape said idiot to a non-treated wall where he can still see what's going on)

    Nick, I think most of us either have been or are still there with you on cost vs. want vs. need - I don't know of an easy solution other than patience, research, and serious examination of cost/benefits for each piece of gear considered. I have looked some for a ProAudio version of Pricewatch, and not come up with anything other than shoot all the usual suspects and buy from the winner. I live about 90 miles from the nearest GC, which is also the nearest non-Mom/Pop/full retail music store. Do-able, but not optimal.

    One of my favorite "multi-million$ lottery" fantasies is to just call Lorenz Rychner, Dave Moulton, Roger Nichols, and half a dozen of their closest friends, book the next 6 months of their free time, and have them tell me when my new $5 million dollar studio is finished (what, you never had those fantasies? Pervert...)
  9. teddancin

    teddancin Guest

    HAHA, that's sooo true! I also wanted to add that bhphotovideo.com and of course are great. Mercenary has da customer service. Remember, musicians friend will usually price match, so there's your price watch (a google search on the wanted item. Find the best price, and if you don't feel comfortable with the vendor, it looks like musicians friend will be receiving a call.).
  10. ellmorej

    ellmorej Guest

    My apologies for the previos post. I was trying to link to 8TH SREET MUSIC. ECHO LAYLA 24 on sale.
  11. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    CompuView in Houston TX

    You cant get prices on the site but if you enter in for a price quote they will autmoatically generate an email to you with the price...
    they quoted me 719.00 for the Layla24...
    That is definately the card I will get when I upgrade...
  12. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2001
    Los Angeles, CA
    Home Page:
    It really depends upon what I'm looking to get, but I've had stellar service and prices from Bayview pro Audio in Washington state. http://www.bayviewproaudio.com

    Being from LA, I also use a bunch of stores here in LA that I can walk into...


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