It was a pretty great lazy Saturday to get out and enjoy some guitars, so I called up Drew this morning and we headed down to Matt's Music this afternoon.
The place is AWESOME. First and foremost, the sales guy who was working (whose name I can't remember) was absolutely cool as hell and perfectly willing to let us try out everything. We probably spent about 45 minutes there playing Suhrs, Andersons, Jacksons - you name it.
The place is spotless, the gear is all top notch, and unlike every single other music shop I've ever been in, everything that you pick up has a great setup on it, is in tune and ready to go. I've played $3500 Les Pauls at Guitar Center that had mile high action, dead strings and completely shit setups, and it was SUCH a nice change to walk into a place that actually gives a shit about the instruments they sell.
Unfortunately Matt wasn't around, but if you read this, I did leave you a lightly used MG pick! (I meant to bring a bunch with me for you, but completely forgot..)
Anyway, in short - Matt's is AWESOME. If you are local, go there and check it out. If you aren't, and you're looking to buy a high end guitar/amp, the gear there is maintained as though it's part of their own collection.
All that said - here's a bunch of lousy iPhone pics:
Drew, missing the "hey, look here and throw the horns" cue:
Wall of awesome:
Some headstocks. The jackson is the Phil Collen model, a Suhr (that I'll get to..) and an Anderson 7, along with some PRS:
Drew with a seven string Suhr Modern, this one I believe:
Me with an "antique" Govan. I'm not the biggest fan of relicing, but it still looked cool as hell:
Chris Broderick Jackson on the left, Suhr Reb Beach, some more PRS (PRSs? PRSii?). That blue quilt was absurdly gorgeous.
Drew with the Govan, though a Splawn that sounded fantastic:
Drew with the koa Reb Beach sig. They actually had both the active and passive version of this in, and we played them both. The thing weighs a ton and feels great. Naturally, the passives sounded better, but that's just this guy's opinion. Beautiful guitar in person, I hadn't played a pau ferro neck before and it's a great looking/feeling/sounding wood.
The antique'd Govan again. This is actually a brand new guitar, and those chips/scratches are intentional. To each their own - silliness aside, this thing was awesome.
Here's that Tom Anderson drop top. (this one) Look at that quilt!
PRS with a sick flame:
Me with the Broderick Jackson sig. Pretty nice guitar, but honestly (IMO of course) the Suhrs just smoke it. It plays exactly like you'd expect a really high end Jackson to play. Glossy, big, heavy. It kind of feels like a really high end Hellraiser.
And the guitar that completely stole the show for me... Here I am with the most unassuming looking Suhr in the universe. (Man, I really need to lay off the nachos.. The camera adds 10 pounds, I swear! )
That ho-him plain jane oil finish Suhr is honestly the first guitar in 10 years that made me feel like a 13 year old kid in my first music shop again. It sounds fucking FANTASTIC. Remember a few years back when I bitched that these things weren't worth the money because they're boring? Look at this thing. One knob. H-S, oil finish. It has nothing flashy on it whatsoever. It doesn't need it.
I couldn't put it down. I honestly couldn't stop smiling for about 20 minutes while Drew and I passed the thing back and forth with our jaws on the floor. We talked about it pretty much the entire ride home, and the entire time we ate dinner.
It's unbelievable. I haven't been that impressed by a guitar in ages, and I'm a relatively big gear snob these days. Everything we played on it sounded great. Hands down the best sounding guitar that I played today and the setup on it was spot-on perfect.
That aside, here's the Jackson Collen again:
And one of those Jackson X series. That color rocks in person.
That's about it! I could have easily spent about 3 more hours there, because there are ESPs, Andersons, Warwicks and a billion other things to empty your bank account on there as well. Great place to go, and again I can't say enough about how well cared for all of the instruments are and how cool the staff was to us. If you're in the market for one of these, Matt's is the place to go.
Wow. Looks like a top notch place. I would never hesitate to order from there.
The top on the Anderson is incredible.
One of the main reasons I don't even bother with music stores anymore is because of exactly what you described above. I was at a GC a while back, and a $7k PRS McCarty had a huge gash under the strings in between the pickups.
If I lived near Matt's Music, I would probably be in there every chance I got!