Today was the day. Just about every guitarist and music fan that I know in the South East of England turned up in Epsom for the opening of Guitar Guitar.
Not knowing the store opened at 10.00am, we turned up at 9.30am. The “we” being me, my son Harry and his friend Luke. Although we had to hang about for a bit with our faces pressed against the window, it meant that Harry and Luke were the first to enter the store when the doors opened, which they thought was very cool.
The boys were in awe. Very nice store. Lots of space (8000 sq ft), a huge selection of guitars (over 1000) and lots of helpful and attentive staff who couldn’t have been more accommodating. We tried out a few guitars and amps in one of the soundproof rooms and got some excellent advice from an assistant who asked the right questions, listened to our audio requirements was only too happy to help us swap amps and guitars in our search for a particular tone. Harry was very specific about the vibe he was after, and found it when he plugged a PRS into an Egnater Rebel 30. Wow! That amp can sing.
Located on Church Street in the heart of Epsom, the store is bound to draw a lot of custom from London and the South East. It offers:
- guitars in every price bracket, from starters to custom specials
- big brands like Gibson, Fender, Gretsch, PRS and Rickenbacker, alongside boutique exclusives like Sadowsky, Tyler and Suhr
- a zone for bass guitars
- a dedicated acoustic room
- soundproof practice rooms
- guitar and bass amps, including Egnater, Orange, Marshall and Line 6
- an extensive collection of guitar effects
- a Roland Planet – digital drum kits, synthesisers and music production gear all plugged in and ready to demo, with technical assistance on hand.
And there are nice touches, like the red sofa in the Custom Fender area set beside a few Fender amps so you can relax with a few other dudes and get the whole jamming-at-home feel. The only services missing are toilets and a coffee shop – in a perfect world, we’d take our comfort breaks in-store.
In the near future the store will provide a full repair and setup service, supported by a technician and PLEK machine.
The other big players in the area are Andertons in Guildford and Guitar Village in Farnham. I travel to both frequently. But as I live within a mile or two of Guitar Guitar, let’s hope its opening injects some healthy competition and drives down prices, because I’m likely to be there more often than not.