On Alvarado Street, Monterey's main shopping drag, you will find this got-it-all music store. The place buys, rents, ... More
On Alvarado Street, Monterey's main shopping drag, you will find this got-it-all music store. The place buys, rents, sells, and repairs musical instruments. Electric guitars, amps, mixers, drums, keyboards, effects, PA systems, sheet music, microphones and accessories can be found here. The front room has a wide selection of electric guitars, and in the far back, you will find a decent selection of sheet music, new and old. The store has all the top name brands at very affordable prices and the service is top notch.
Since there isn't much compitition in the area, Monterey Music feels they can pretty much do what they want. In the last three years, I've bought three guitars from this place including all my extras. I bought a Taylor, Yamaha and a Fender. Of course, when there selling something, they bring out the phony charm and try to act like they have customer service. When I tried to sell two of my guiitars, They tried to low ball me into selling. The guitars I have are a Yairi Alvarez retails at 1999 and a Ovation New England Sunburst that retails at 799.00. Between both guitars they barely offered 200.00 a piece. I understand that they have to mark up the price to make some money on them, but seriousely, 200.00 for a Yairi. The manager whom I called three times to make an appointment, failed to show up for the first two visits. On the third, I was treated as though I was interrupting his day and was quickly delt with and pretty much "take it or leave it" Needless to say, I will not be returning back tro this store for even a guitar pick. I will either buy on line or make the trip to Gilroy to visit the Guiter Center. I agree, leave the dog home.
These guys want our business. It sucks that they take advantage of the uninformed. However, if you go in and let them know what things are selling for at big box (GC) they will match and in some ways do better. If you are driving to Gilroy just to save a buck tell them. On a recent $200.00 purchase they matched Guitar Center and honored their $30.00 coupon.
The uninformed will always pay more. I just wish they would keep the dog home
They started off treating me like I was an idiot, and showing me guitars at the higher price ranges rather than something my age bracket can usually afford. Fortunately, the guys got better after they had to liquidate stock and almost close. They still feel stiff as hell around the younger crowd to me and seem to watch me play at first until I get a feel for the guitar and get a groove out.
Th prices are pretty high, but the guys are local, so it's hard to compete with the franchises. Got a decent stock and an alright variety, but overall you're better off checking somewhere else out for supplies and a good sale.
They are good to get some advice on whatever you may need, and they've helped me plenty with informational jazz. Just make sure you're ready to combat a slightly uncomfortable vibe.
Oh, and online is always cheaper if unless you got a good eye, can haggle, or know the staff.
I often visit this store because it's the only place to get a bit more hands on research. I like the variety but boy! if you don't know something and have a question, you are in for it! Let me tell you, the customer service could not be worse. You may think I'm exaggerating but I kid you not. These people do not like to be asked about anything other than your bill. First you need to be waving benjamins to get the time of day from anyone and to top it off you'll get looks that would get you on the stretcher back in the day. I recommend you shop anywhere but here. Yet, if I cannot convince you, please do you research because you'll walk in asking for directions and leave with torn soul and one hell of a review to write.
I shopped that lousy store for years...since the Abinante days. I bought way more stuff there than I care to remember and rarely got a good deal but I shopped there because I wanted to support local businesses. It's not like Musicians Friend needs my money.
You know that something is wrong when they are routinely out of Ernie Ball strings. You know that they are jerks when they try to sell you Fender strings. A few of the sales guys are alright, but the management is clearly not competent.
I remember wanting to punch their 'bass expert' who told me that the Fender Bassman is not really a bass amp a few years ago. They wanted to sell me $4000 worth of Glockenklang or some such craziness. Someone looking at a 50watt tube amp clearly wants 2000watts of solid state bass power, right?
I have seen things there marked above list and marked as new when they were clearly used.
My girlfriend almost paid retail for an amp she bought me many years ago - I went in and told them that if they sold it for that price they would never sell me anything again and they did reduce the price, but you should not do that to people if you want to stay in business. That was back when they were still Abinante - these days they would probably tell you that sales are final. Oh, you can get store credit on all returns, yippeee!
If you go in with an online price they will grumble and try and get a little more and then ask if they can tax you.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
Someday not so soon they will probably close and blame it on the economy.
They will not be missed.
i found brian to be very helpful and he really knows about but the gear
the manager john was lots of fun i bought a guitar there in dec 08
and it had a problem they took care of fast and were very nice about it
i will be back also the price was just as good as on line
Know what you're going for and how much its normal retail price is before making a trip here. The staff know a sucker when they see one and won't lose any sleep over selling you stuff you don't need, or that they would never buy themselves. If you don't know what you're in the market for, here's my advice: go, check out what they have, but make it clear to whoever greets you that you're not there to buy today, just to look around. If you find something you like, look up the prices online and compare it to what they're asking for it. I bought an ESP guitar from them one time, and their asking price was $1275. I found out before I paid for it, though, that its street value was only $850, and when I called them out on it, they sold it to me for $750... nearly half off of what they were going to charge me for it in the first place. The bottom line is, they have good merchandise, but keep in mind that Monterey has a very tourist-oriented side and these guys know how to get double their money when they want to.
Completely untrained staff, angry management, horrible prices, and no interest in return customers...all reasons to not go here.
Drive to Salinas and go to Wise Music, or drive to Santa Cruz and visit any of the music stores up there.
I grew up in Monterey, and every incarnation of that business (even back when it was Abinante's) has had prices much too high.
The last time I questioned their prices and showed them a catalog price, they took a measly 10% of their already over-inflated prices...and when I pushed them to match (or at least get closer to) the catalog price, the manager threw me out of the store and said "we can't match those prices...who do you think you are??!!"
I think Music Unlimited did ok by me. Like any shopping experience, you have to know what you want and how much you are willing to spend. The staff was easy going and never pushed a sale. I had to visit a few times to decide on a bass guitar purchase. Once I did, we worked out a deal. They did seem to know what they are talking about. I am very satisfied as to the price I paid and the service. I would definately buy from them again.
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