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Discussion Starter #1
I get to Vancouver Island about once a year. I live in BC's interior. The last couple of years I've been to Victoria I found and visited "Classic Guitars" on Fort Street. The folks there seemed friendly. I saw some pretty decent vintage guitars and some nice vintage amps. Cleanest ever Drip Edge Bandmaster head I saw was there. As though it just left the factory.

Sadly, I dropped by today to see they had to close up shop. I loved going there to check out old gear. I never bought anything though. I assume that might be a common problem.

I think maybe Kijiji, Craigslist, Reverb, E-Bay and even Facebook groups are killing stores like this everywhere.

With the info and help available on the internet you can find almost anything to buy, then teach yourself how how to fix and maintain it.

Classic Guitars sold amps at retail prices. They had to. They have high operating costs. I can only guess how expensive rent is in a prime downtown Victoria location.

I like to buy vintage amps that need service and repairs. At low prices. I scour the net to find them. I used said methods to teach myself how to do my own amp maintenance and repair.

It's sad to see another store gone. I'm probably an example of where a good chunk of the market is going today. Times they are a'changin.

The luxury of walking into a store and admiring a Tweed or Brown Deluxe, or a BF Bassman. Maybe a Princeton Reverb, all in one location are drying up. L&M has no vintage gear ever it seems. It's a luxury maybe nobody can afford anymore.
 

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We only have one good used shop here in Ottawa and i buy 90% of my stuff there. I also bring my friends over to buy. Its important to keep these small indy shops open for obvious reasons. I refuse to buy anything new unless i have to so i have been a loyal customer since the late 80's. Sorry to hear about the BC shop closing up.
 

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Too bad, I liked that shop. Downtown Victoria rent has claimed more than one place I frequented when I would visit.
 

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I seem to recall visiting a music store on Fort St. when we lived in Victoria in the late 80's, but don't have a clear memory of it to know if it was the same one. About halfway between Blanshard and Cook on the south side of Fort?
 

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I seem to recall visiting a music store on Fort St. when we lived in Victoria in the late 80's, but don't have a clear memory of it to know if it was the same one. About halfway between Blanshard and Cook on the south side of Fort?
That was Ward Music. They've been gone 20 years iirc. Classic closed a couple weeks ago. I bought a nice Marshall 4010 there. They embraced the web way to late. Also suffered a couple serious thefts during their close out sale. They will be missed.
 

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The last couple of times I was in Victoria I stopped in there--as well as another store within a couple of blocks (Guitars Plus--on Blanchard St)
Cool stuff to even just look at.
If I lived there I would probably have bought something from them over the years.
But always sad to hear of a store closing--especially one that isn't part of a big chain.
 

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That was Ward Music. They've been gone 20 years iirc. Classic closed a couple weeks ago. I bought a nice Marshall 4010 there. They embraced the web way to late. Also suffered a couple serious thefts during their close out sale. They will be missed.
On the stompbox forum, we regularly see posts from kids who are convinced that their fuzzbox design is going to make them money. I hasten to remind them that one will only become affluent from such things if one is first a good businessperson who just happens to make fuzzboxes. The other missing ingredient is often having enough patience and commitment to the vision to see it through, and a spouse/partner with dependable employment and an equal (or possibly greater) degree of patience.

I suspect the same thing is true of music stores. So many of us would love to be able to own and manage a music store with great gear passing through our doors; selling stuff we are proud of to people who will love it. But, like the person who wants to sell their fuzzboxes, what will allow that business to survive and thrive is not how much one loves music, gear, musicians, and the music business, but rather how good a business mind one has in the first place, that just happens to be channeled into music gear.

Loving the stuff one's business is about IS important, but it is rarely enough. That's not a diss at those who attempt it and don't survive. I applaud their enthusiasm and willingness to take a risk. But it's a bit like romance, marriage or parenthood. It's not enough just to love someone or something deeply. You gotta know how to work at it effectively and sustainably.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Any local info on any decent guitar shops in Victoria any more? Guitars Plus on Blanchard seems to be all I can find.

Scoured the Pawn and Thift stores today. Man the weed around here must be really good. The prices on the junk they are selling is incredibly out to lunch.

Found an old hi-fi vintage stereo repair shop, that was cool.

Did the L&M thing. Same stuff there as always. I did see my first Fender RI Tweed Bandmaster there. That was cool.

Man I'm leaving this town pretty bummed out it seems. Nothing I would consider Vintage, Amp-wise, left in stores around here. Bummer. Such a great city otherwise.
 

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You got it. L&M has some great deals but they're hit and miss. And you need to grab them when you see them or else they're gone the same day. Mail order is your friend.
 
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