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I'm back!

It's been a few years since I had a proper semester so I'm very happy to say I am recharged after a 5 week long trip to New York & Boston.

As a music retailer, of course I was seeking inspiration and was very impressed how they do things in the US. This guitar shop in the village, Manhattan, NYC was a real treat. Impeccably kept for a start but you get an immediate sense of the value of the product they present. It's very easy to find what you want, test it yourself in great bespoke playing rooms and the staff are super attentive. The differentiation between the discount internet shopping best price hunt and what you get from this shop more than justifies the 'list' price tags.

''we play every guitar that comes in, our experts trim and adjust them perfectly with our specialist set-up equipment .. it's tuned ready to play. You can hear the difference. This is a great shop with good people, we are successful and we do what we love. The people making our high end guitars are the same ... they made them with their hands ... it's a tradition, craftsmanship and the way they are sold must reflect that. We have some cheaper stuff as people must start somewhere but if it's discount you want, buy on the internet ... lose the experience, the expert sales and the after-sales and pray your guitar wasn't badly stored, needs adjustment after transit or just wasn't what you wanted ... ''

Tough talking and a tough stance but I heard similar comments in NYC, Boston, & Maine. They are really putting value on where things are made and how they are made ... whether it was guitars, cars or even food. HiFi shops were the same where surprisingly European brands seemed to overshadow the US heavyweights in the branch. Like here the shift was definitely toward ''less is more'', multi-room or straight off retro with vinyl. It's either ''I want the best sound, it must look great and as few boxes as possible with multi room'' or ''I'm a retro guy and want to show it''. You can buy a record player and almost any 'Hip' vinyl album from the 'Urban Outfitters' clothing shop on Broadway and one HiFi shop that impressed me had a similar combined approach with of course vinyl and systems.

The guy in the top picture with the outrageous jacket on was really funny ... lovely guy, very open and very interesting to talk to and literally smelled of money. Having just secured the purchase of a very rare and fantastically expensive guitar He was dragged off to - and I quote ''Treat his Wife to some diamonds''.

Please take time to watch this video ...


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