Good deals and dealers
MUSIC HOUSE (also known as Southeastern Entertainments) is really three shops in one. Located on Lewisham High Street, it boast three separate showrooms: one each for electric instruments, organs and acoustic instruments.
When I.M. spoke to Eric Lindsey of the Music House, they had just attained the London and southern region agency for Rose-Morris' recently acquired MXR range of pedals. "We have a wide variety of accessories," Lindsey told I.M., "and we hope to broaden it even further, if we can meet every need of the musician, right down to cabinet corners and feet, and switches for amps, then we can reduce the number of repairs that they'll need."
A Fender Soundhouse and a Gibson Dealer as well, the Music House also flog up-market copies such as the Antoria range. Their keyboards include Mini Korgs and Moogs (they are agents for Moog), and their amps number among them Marshall, HH, Acoustic and Fender. Percussion means Ludwig, Maxwin and Pearl at Music House, and they offer an astonishingly extensive repair service.
Recent customers have included T. Rex and Status Quo, and Eric Lindsey reckons that between the three showrooms, the Music House catches a fair cross-section of the public, with of course a special emphasis on the needs ot the pro and semi-pro. As Lindsey says, "We try to concern ourselves with the real needs of the musician – not the latest or most expensive equipment, but whatever the musician needs. Whether it's picks or gold-plated pickups for a Les Paul, we hope to provide it."
CHATFIFLDS MUSIC STORE in Hanley, Stoke-On-Trent, have been a music shop for over one hundred years. Operating under their present name and owner for the past 28 years, their admirable philosophy goes a long way towards explaining their longevity. As Mr. Chatfield says, "I'm not out to make a lot of money. I can only wear one suit of clothes, eat one meal and drive one car at a time. We're out to provide everything we can for our customers, under one roof."
Chatfield's guitars include Fenders, Gibsons (they are a Star Dealer), and a selection of CSL, Antoria and other copies-right down to the cheap acoustics at £8. Their amps include HH, Ampeg and Fender, with the occasional secondhand Selmer, as well as other brands. They hold a Premier agency, and their ranges include ARP and Korg.
NORTHERN SOUNDS of Workington, in Cumbria, are a diamond in the rough for musicians, both in the North and the country at large. Manager Brian Holmes told me that "We can offer better terms in part exchange than just about anyone, because of our small overhead.
"A shop on Shaftesbury Avenue," he continued, "must have 20 or 30 times the overhead that we have. We've had some Southern bands in who were absolutely amazed at the part exchange we could offer them, sometimes double what they would expect in London."
Northern Sounds is a group orientated shop, which offers a broad segment of the total spectrum of group gear. Both a Fender Soundhouse and a Gibson Star Dealer, they also stock Guilds and Rickenbackers, and a selection of CSL and Ibanez models, as well holding the West Cumberland Yamaha agency.
Amplification stocks include such major names as Fender, Peavey, Marshall and Carlsbro. Northern Sounds have been retailing some of their own NS cabinets for some time now.
Rogers, Ludwig and Hay man kits are all on sale, as well as a selection of Paiste, Zildjian and Zyn Cymbals.
The shop also includes an organ studio which includes keyboards from Haven, Bentley, Yamaha, and Diamond. This area of the shop is looked after by Michael Milner. An organist himself, Michael has held the residency at the Seaton British Legion Club for the past three years.
The hallmark of Northern Sounds is the careful attention they pay to after sales service. Brian Holmes reckons that no musician who has bought a piece of equipment from him in the three years the shop has been open has any complaints about the service he subsequently received, if it takes awhile to repair then Brian will always loan them equipment to complete their engagements.
POWER MUSIC of Leicester specialise heavily in guitars and amplifiers, providing a specialist's selection of both for musician in the Leicester area. Shop Manager Steve Brown reckons that he stocks over 300 instruments, a third of which are second-hand. The emphasis is on the older, American made Fender Strats and Telecasters, and the Gibsons with cheaper acoustics also available.
In amplification, most of the better known makes stalk the shop - Fender, Marshall, Carlsbro and WEM – while their own P.A. bins, marketed under the Power Music name, are selling well. They have recently been joined by a 100 watt, four-channel P.A. system with reverb, the first in the P.M. amp range.
Another part of Power Music's service to guitarists is their full time repair service. In this section of the shop, guitarists can have their instruments refretted, resprayed or customised. Another aspect of Power Music's service is their willingness to lend musicians equipment while the repairs are completed on their own gear. They stock most spares for amplifiers, and their accessory department includes bits and pieces for most guitars.
The shop also stocks Fender-Rhodes, Vox, Hohner, Wurlitzer and Hohner pianos, and Pearl drums. Power Music also hire P.A. systems.
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