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Thread: Shopping in Nashville

  1. #1
    high strung gfury's Avatar
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    Default Shopping in Nashville

    I'll be visiting Nashville for a few days at the end of July. I've never been there.

    I'd like to take the opportunity to look for a companion (upgrade) for my Collings MT. Carter's will be at the top of the list.

    I'm serious about picking up another mandolin.

    Any other places that I should check out?
    Last edited by gfury; Jul-13-2022 at 9:06am.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    The Mandolin Store: https://themandolinstore.com/
    PLANNING A VISIT?
    We are open by appointment at our store at 907 Rivergate Parkway Suite A4, Goodlettsville TN. . We offer appointments Tuesday – Friday from 11:00 – 4:00.
    -------
    Gruhn Guitars: https://guitars.com/
    Mandolin page: https://guitars.com/inventory/catego...andolin-family

    Gruhn Guitars
    2120 8th Ave S
    Nashville, Tennessee 37204
    Phone 615.256.2033
    -------

    If you have time, visit Carter Vintage, The Mandolin Store and Gruhn Guitars. Those 3 have all the mandolins you could ever dream about. And there are no other stores here that come close to their selection. You can easily spend a couple hours at each store.

    Welcome to Nashville!

    P.S. keep in mind that at Carter Vintage the <$10,000 are in the big front room on the right side wall as you walk in, in the small back corner room are the $10,000+ mandolins where you will find the Gilchrist, Monteleone, Dudenbostel, Lloyd Loar, Gibson Master Models, etc. For you own education, it is valuable experience to play some of the instruments of the great luthiers.
    Last edited by Nashville; Jul-13-2022 at 8:37am. Reason: additional info

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  5. #3
    high strung gfury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    Fantastic! Just what I needed.

    Thank you
    Last edited by gfury; Jul-13-2022 at 9:06am.

  6. #4
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    Mandolins aside (you've got that covered now), make sure you go to Monel's in the Germantown section of Nashville for their fantastic, country-style lunches and dinners! So good...

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  8. #5
    high strung gfury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    Quote Originally Posted by Glassweb View Post
    Mandolins aside (you've got that covered now), make sure you go to Monel's in the Germantown section of Nashville for their fantastic, country-style lunches and dinners! So good...
    Thanks!

    I'll put that on the list. Hopefully my wife has not booked all our free time already

  9. #6
    Registered User Gary Hudson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    The good stuff at Gruhn's is kept upstairs and you have to ask to go. If you meet George Gruhn you will be there at least a couple of hours. It is so worth it.

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  11. #7

    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    Arnold's Restaurant is just across the parking lot next to Carter Vintage and is very good cafeteria style home cooking.

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  13. #8
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    I liked the larger selection at Carters and found a lot of good mandolins there in my price range and a lot of great mandolins out of my price range. Gruhn had a smaller selection, but I found what I wanted there for the price I wanted - so that was nice. I visited the Mandolin Store when they were in Surprise AZ a few times but not since they moved to TN. Hopefully they have a larger shop now - it was really small when I went - but the staff was wonderful. One of the employees (I believe Brian) was nice enough to play some rhythm guitar for me while I tested out some mandolins. Not super common to get that level of help.

    Biscuit Love is a great place for food too BTW - that's in the Glutch. Also check out the Station Inn!
    Information on lessons, gigs, and misc musical stuff: www.mattcbruno.com
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  15. #9
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    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    If it's still there when you arrive, check out the Newson at Gruhn's.
    I have not played that particular one, but I've played half a dozen others, and they were all very good.

    While we've probably got more to look at in Nashville than anywhere else, inventories are quite a bit lower than in the past. I hope you find something.

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  17. #10
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    I got my Newson from there. Love it!

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    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    The sales tax is high, over 9%.

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    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    I don't know how many, ( or if!) they have mandolins but a great tiny music store in Nashville is Cotten Music.

    I was visiting Nashville in 2010 and passed by Cotten Music so I wandered in. A tiny store with a dazzling collection of guitars. Of corse Nashville being Nashville the Postman came in, set down his bag of mail, picked up a 1920's tri-cone resonator and played some of the most beautiful slide I've ever heard. He was a tall-ish skinny guy named Chubby...or Fatty...or ?? ( He said about the name that it was a long story.) Later the merchant said that Chubby was one of the top session players doing his day job.

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    ps, be sure to visit the full size replica of the Parthenon while you're in NV
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  23. #13
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    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    Cotten Music was a great store back in the day when it was actually owned by Richard Cotten, but it's not a great store if you want to be steeped in mandolin heaven. I believe the mother company recently bought Carter Vintage, but that's another story.

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  25. #14
    Registered User Gary Hudson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    Quote Originally Posted by Nashville View Post
    Cotten Music was a great store back in the day when it was actually owned by Richard Cotten, but it's not a great store if you want to be steeped in mandolin heaven. I believe the mother company recently bought Carter Vintage, but that's another story.
    Right on both counts.

  26. #15
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Buckingham View Post
    The sales tax is high, over 9%.
    True, but if you ship it from the store to your house, you pay shipping but not their sales tax.
    Information on lessons, gigs, and misc musical stuff: www.mattcbruno.com
    Weekly free Mandolin Lessons: www.mattcbruno.com/weekly-posts/
    My gear and recommendations: www.mattcbruno.com/gear-recommendations/
    Cooking fun: www.mattcbruno.com/quarantine-cookbook/


    Mando's in use
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  28. #16
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    If you go to Carter's Music, quite likely you'll run into a charming, calm old man in a sweater who will treat you like your newest best old friend that will let you play any instrument in the shop; then later you'll find out it was Walter. 'Coolest, nicest shop in the country.


    If you go to Gruhn's, there is a high chance you'll be treated like an ex-girlfriend who gave you the clap. 'Biggest pompous jerks in Nashville...

  29. #17

    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    Quote Originally Posted by j. condino View Post
    If you go to Carter's Music, quite likely you'll run into a charming, calm old man in a sweater who will treat you like your newest best old friend that will let you play any instrument in the shop; then later you'll find out it was Walter. 'Coolest, nicest shop in the country.


    If you go to Gruhn's, there is a high chance you'll be treated like an ex-girlfriend who gave you the clap. 'Biggest pompous jerks in Nashville...
    In an interview with Walter Carter, he mentioned he and Christie worked at Gruhn's, of course, and when they decided to open their own store they felt all they needed to be successful was to be nice to the customers...

    That being said, George Gruhn has knowledge and experience few people have. Almost like a scientist, rather than just a historian or musician. Many times I have shown him an instrument that has stumped all the "guitar show" authorities and with a quick glance he told me exactly what it was. YMMV.

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  31. #18

    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    Can we put in requests for mandos for you to try for us?
    Palatable to a Goat: Music from Gregg Daigle and Don Grieser
    http://HillbillyChamberMusic.bandcamp.com

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  33. #19
    Registered User Marcus CA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    Quote Originally Posted by j. condino View Post
    If you go to Carter's Music, quite likely you'll run into a charming, calm old man in a sweater who will treat you like your newest best old friend that will let you play any instrument in the shop; then later you'll find out it was Walter. 'Coolest, nicest shop in the country.

    If you go to Gruhn's, there is a high chance you'll be treated like an ex-girlfriend who gave you the clap. 'Biggest pompous jerks in Nashville...
    I've only been to those stores once, in 2017, and I had a similar reaction to them --- although not quite as extreme at Gruhn's. At Carter's, they did have signs on the $20+K mandolins to ask for "assistance," but once my friend and I did that for one, the salesman told us to play any of the others that we wanted to. When we asked if we could play any one of the three Loars that were in the locked cabinet, he told us that we really needed to play all three of them, because they didn't all sound the same. Who were we to argue?!

    At Gruhn's, we felt tolerated, but not exactly welcomed. We got to play some great mandolins in the $5-15K range, but we didn't see any Gilchrists or Loars. Since then, we've heard rumors about an upstairs higher-end mando area, which nobody at the store mentioned to us.

    Apparently, though, Gruhn's customer service model has served them well, given their longevity. However, if I only had time in Nashville to visit one store, I absolutely would go to Carter's. The selection is a little better, and the experience is WAY better.
    still trying to turn dreams into memories

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  35. #20
    Registered User Marcus CA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Grieser View Post
    Can we put in requests for mandos for you to try for us?
    I'd love to hear how the two Randy Woods (at $50K and $8.5K) compare!
    still trying to turn dreams into memories

  36. #21
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    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    Someone told me that a few of Roland's and Clarence's notes were still rattling around in there, waiting for someone to pull them out . . . but you have to be really good to figure out how.

  37. #22

    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    Quote Originally Posted by mbruno View Post
    True, but if you ship it from the store to your house, you pay shipping but not their sales tax.
    Slight digression, and I don’t have experience with all of the places listed, but the “rule” generally is that you are responsible for sales tax wherever you buy at. Larger retailers collect your local sales tax and remit it for you, to keep it all legal. Since the laws on how small a retailer can be and avoid that requirement, many are using 3rd party transaction services, and they will pretty uniformly apply the tax. (I get hit with 8 3/4% where I live).

    If you’re in the store and have your mind set on something where the sales tax will make a difference in your purchase, it might not hurt to ask, but if I was spending that much, I’d probably want to take it with me!

  38. #23
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    I purchased an expensive mandolin directly from Gibson/Dave Harvey in 2010. At that time I was not charged any sales tax and received free shipping back to my home in CA. so my price was exactly/only the price of the mandolin.

    Billy
    Billy Packard
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  39. #24

    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    FWIW, about a year ago I bought a guitar from Carter's in person. Since I lived one state away I politely asked if he could send a box (empty) so I could avoid the sales tax and he would still have a "record" of it being shipped as an out-of-state sale. He said they can't do it. I still bought the guitar, but nobody likes paying tax on a major purchase if it can be avoided.

    Evidently, tax law "loopholes" have changed in 25 years since I worked at a vintage guitar shop. We used to do the "box" thing all the time -- but don't quote me on that!

  40. #25

    Default Re: Shopping in Nashville

    I should add that Carter's did give me a complimentary t-shirt and stickers with my purchase!

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