Mansons Guitar Shop

Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,044Member
edited May 2017 in Guitar Chat
Mansons have stripped out the acoustic room, where I used to delight in playing vintages and rare pieces and also a variety of makers (In return I had bought/traded around 13 big ticket items)

The acoustic room is now dedicated to Taylor (I'm not a fan - except for the GS mini)

All the Martins/Gibsons/Faiths are now crowded into a room with Epiphones, Vintage and all manner of Krappo guitars. My beloved Sigmas are relegated to hooks three guitars off the floor - way beyond reach. It looks like a jumble sale at the moment. And no old guitars !

I said to the sales rep "So Taylor have taken over then ?"

"Err - no. Taylor have gone into partnership with us so we've set up a room for them."

I said to the sales rep "So... Taylor have taken over then."

Time for another beer.


  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
    Hmmm. Another example of being marketed to without knowing it! How many people would go there knowing that Taylor paid for that room? They are clearly getting an unfair advantage when it comes to a purchasing decision.
  • Richards GuitarsRichards Guitars Posts: 589Member, Administrator
    Guys.... this is the world we live in and why you cannot believe word you hear in a shop these days. You cannot believe the news you watch on TV let alone the word of a guy running a guitar shop. Its really sad.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
    So true, Richard. It's a loss of trust. Unless you can see people's motives you can't take anything at face value. But I do believe in being the change you want to see in the world, and I think you are doing that. Start a trend!
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,301Member
    Sad world! Everything comes down to money and the marketing men. In all walks of life.

    Cherish any guitar shops left that give most consideration to the needs of the customer.
  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,663Member
    Cherish all shops! Guitar, fishing, cycling... Once they're gone etc etc. I must say I dislike those shops where there are guitars way up high on walls. But there again, I rarely go into a shop (any shop, not just guitar shops) unless I'm thinking of buying something so I guess were I in the market for a guitar it wouldn't be too much effort for the salesman to get them all down whilst I tried them.

    The only Taylor I ever played was a Baby Taylor and it was lovely! So easy to play, and a lovely tone.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
    Therein lies the problem, I think Derek. It shouldn't be too much trouble for any salesperson to get a guitar/amp/piece of gear for you, no matter the level of seriousness of the purchaser. So what if you're just curious about how something sounds! If those things don't get dusted off and used, nobody will know how they sound, and nobody will talk about how good they are. It's forums like this one where people will spread the word about something they have played/used and others will have their interest piqued.
    This is also how people connect and how communities build. At the end of the day, that's what we are here for.

    Dear Music Shops Owners,
    Please make your shop a comfortable place for the casual player and curious passer by to try out your gear and experience it. They may be the best sales people you never employ. And you may even get some sales out of it. Unless of course you prefer your potential customers to buy online with a No Quibble Easy To Return Guarantee where they don't have to meet another person.
    Humble Guitar Player.
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 779Member
    I guess there comes a point in the life-cycle of any brand where they become more interested in the selling than the creating. Sad
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,601Member, Moderator
    Gibson (guitars) and Warwick (basses) spring to mind as examples of Dave's point. Both makes gained great respect for their instrument designs and quality. Nowadays, both brands insist on shops holding a certain amount of stock which, from what I hear, is beyond the affordability of independent music shops. As Dave says, they have gone beyond their original success, forgotten why they are successful and are now focus more on selling than creating.
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 779Member
    A friend of mine's brother was a reasonably famous artist, and he was very close friends with a (now) extremely famous artist. My mate described going to the studio they shared, and he said that if he admired a piece of art the now extremely famous artist had created, he always immediately tried to sell it to him. My mate's brother, tragically, killed himself because he didn't feel he had the success he should have had (ironically he'd just had the most successful exhibition he'd ever had). I think the trouble was he measured his success against the artist who was more interested in selling his art than creating it. For what it's worth, I think my mate's brother was ten times the artist the other guy is.

    I guess my point is that you can get famous and make money being more interesting in selling than creating, but you lose something in the process.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
    One of my wife's sayings is "Comparison is the thief of joy."

    Another is "Nick, you're talking rubbish again..."*

    But I think that's an artistic thing and really hard to avoid. Why is [successful artist] successful and I'm not? If we knew the answer to that we would all be a lot happier!
    In the case of guitar companies, it's very difficult for them to be truly altruistic. They are businesses probably first and foremost, and have employees who depend on them for their livelihoods. I don't think you can blame them for making hard nosed financial decisions. I think it just makes room for the independent guys to be able to afford values. The small companies have an advantage of being mobile and flexible, giving real customer service and looking after people, whereas the larger companies, by default, have other responsibilities. As far as I can see, that's just the nature of the size of businesses.
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,301Member
    Good point about altruism and guitar companies, and to be fair it applies to a lot of shops that sell instruments / guitars too. It's primarily a business and the priority is to make money for the owners. In doing so and if things go well it means the employees livelihoods are protected. In a lot of cases it's crumbs off the table as far as employees go, but they are not taking as big risks with their money and homes as the owners.

    It does seem that the bigger the operation and the bigger the distance between owners and troops on the ground selling gear in the shop the less quality of service there is and the more the staff are box shifting sales guys rather than having a keen interest in the instruments being sold. I have a feeling with the larger places I go to that the staff in charge of the acoustic section have an expertise only in that they have an acoustic guitar at home and quite like playing it. That's the same model that they keep trying to persuade customers to buy as well.

    I am fortunate in having fairly nearby a really good, if small, shop that specialise in folk and acoustic instruments. The staff have very good product knowledge and despite trying a lot of instruments there I have not played a guitar there yet where I have felt the action is a bit high or the strings need changing. There seems to be no prominence to particular makes on display, but with it being a small shop the choice in the higher price range is rather limited and usually Martins. Again it's the commercial decision for them - they know they will sell and with limited wall space they can't afford slow moving stock.

    I wouldn't fancy trying to run a guitar shop on a purely altruistic basis - I have a feeling the business performance would keep me awake at nights worrying.
    Hang on a minute .... I already am awake at nights worrying!
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 779Member
    I guess there comes a crossover, though, where revenue becomes the driving factor, rather than balancing sales against quality and innovation, especially when the brand has been well established over years, and is now ripe for exploitation. Once the Leos and Orvilles are no longer involved and the suits move in, they take for granted that the quality associated with the brand will magically continue, or they don't care and just exploit the brand loyalty.
  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 876Member
    Music shops can often be staffed by musicians filling thier daylight hours and getting a small (miniscule) wage. The fact that they are surrounded by instruments is a bonus, the fact that many of the sales are to parents or novices can feel like a drag. But it is business and needs to be viewd in that respect. Actual high street shops struggle against the competition from the web and we all are keen to compare prices hence the rise of the big box shifters and low cost goods. On a plus side you can get the gear to gig with on an average mans weekly wage (or two) nowadays whereas decades ago you couldn't get anything playable/usable in that relative price range. Shops get to sell far more accoutriments for guitarists too, cheap electronic tuners that don't last forever, pedals of many makes and flavours, digital allsorts, special straps, picks, guitar stands, bags and cases. there is money to be made but margins are tight and stocking levels critical.
    The out of town specialists like Richard or the like of Peach cater for segments of the market aimed at the discerning buyer.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,044Member
    I get that, ES Blonde. Guitar shops need to make a living. Apparently 70% of their acoustic sales went to Taylors in the acoustic section (at a time when they had only one wall.)

    A guitar shop owner friend of mine rejected Gibson who said he had to lay out a minimum of £16k on stock to sell their brand.

    I think opening up the floor to tryers-not-buyers works in building up loyalty and eventual sales.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,065Member
    edited May 2017
    I occasionally think it'd be not a bad idea for me to get a better acoustic. I doubt I'd go for a Taylor if so - the few I've handled seemed very well finished and made, and attractive looking also, and somewhat devoid of character and sort of bland-sounding. Maybe I'm doing the company an injustice though - I'm not going on a lot of evidence. I'd probably be after an electro-acoustic, with cutaway, but that had a nice acoustic tone as well as being good amplified. Something like a Faith perhaps - I'd find it hard to justify spending the serious money for one of the real top-end brands, so maybe Faith is about the right kind of area for someone like me i.e. a serious guitarist, but only an occasional acoustic player.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,044Member
    I find that about Taylors too, Megi. They just don't turn me on - though they do have a big following among country players and sound good in their hands.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,065Member
    Come to think of it, I have seen Taylors used by country players, and indeed they do seem to do well enough with them. In a way, I wish the sound was more to my liking, as many of the designs look good to me, with a comfortable, streamlined kind of vibe. I have to laugh at myself - just posting on here as got me searching for different electro acoustic guitar options on the net, it doesn't take much with me to get the old GAS going.
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,301Member
    "Bland sounding" rings a bell for me. I think the word that appears most often in my notes when I've tried a Taylor is "clinical". Yet when some people play them they sound very good to me. I think it's one of those instances where a fundamental basic guitar brand characteristic and my playing style just don't match up. I use the word "style" very loosely by the way. :smiley:
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
    Interesting. Acoustics are very much a personal thing, arent they? I have a friend who swears by Larivee, but they leave me cold. I'm actually a big fan of Taylors and having tried just about everything on the market about five years ago decided that they were the brand for me. For the price, Faith are also fantastic. The reason I don't own a Taylor is the price, and for me an acoustic is not a priority as I play electric 99% of the time.
    I bought a Breedlove Discovery Concert SB that sounds great, and actually bought it off a friend who owns a number of Taylors. The nut width of about 41mm is the same as my electric and feels more comfortable than the slightly wider standard necks. It's practical, affordable and not overly pretty such that if I dented it I wouldn't have a breakdown. For me, it's perfect :) Breedlove Discovery Concert SB
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,065Member
    Love the look of that Breedlove Nick - nice guitar! :)
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,301Member
    I had a Breedlove Pursuit Concert Nick (bought cheap as a nearly new) and it played very well and sounded good - just too big for me unfortunately but comfortable for my left hand.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
    Megi said:

    Love the look of that Breedlove Nick - nice guitar! :)

    Thanks Graham:) It's a little bit different, I think. I like that.
    Mark P said:

    I had a Breedlove Pursuit Concert Nick (bought cheap as a nearly new) and it played very well and sounded good - just too big for me unfortunately but comfortable for my left hand.

    Is that also an Asian model? I think their pricing is really good. The US ones are just too dear for me.

    I actually wouldn't mind replacing the preamp at some point for one with an EQ. It just has a contour switch, but sometime I like a bit more control. Anyone know of good options? I'm not keen on cutting holes in it, so it might to be the same size.
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,301Member
    Hi Nick - the Breedlove Pursuit Concert is a Chinese build I think, but is supposed to be set up and inspected in Oregon. It was under £300 because it was ex closing down sale bought by the seller for resale "as new" and apart from one minute blemish was in excellent condition. It was Solid Cedar Top, Sapele laminate back & sides, Nato neck with Rosewood fingerboard, Pinless bridge, Tortoiseshell binding, Satin neck, gloss body, bone nut (1 11/16") and saddle.



    It had Isys+ and I can't say I was bowled over, but I've yet to find a piezo system on an acoustic guitar that I've liked. With proper microphones it could do these sort of sounds (even when played badly!).

    I'm currently investigating the iRig Acoustic Stage system for recording acoustic guitars (and other acoustic instruments). A clip on condenser microphone for the sound hole and a preamp system to clip on your trousers belt or guitar strap. I'll try and put a wee report together on the forum if it's of interest. I'm still working out how to use it best but it's not too bad soundwise - certainly better than piezo!
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 860Member
    That's a good looking Breedlove. I love tortoiseshell binding. And a great deal, too.
    I have that same preamp, and for the convenience, don't really mind piezo pickups. But then I'm not a solo acoustic, fingerpicking kind of guy.

    Canine Pursuit sounds really good. And certainly not played badly! It reminds me of the Firefly theme tune, somewhat. In spirit and in key, perhaps. Very nice!
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