Drum shops in NYC or San Fran

Galadrm

Senior Member
Going on a trip to New York and San Francisco in a couple of days. Just wondering if there are any great drum shops in these cities that you guys would personally recommend to check out? Wouldn't mind taking home a souvenir!
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Went to the GC in San Fran as well. It's Ok. There are few other drum shops there, surprisingly.
 

geezer

Senior Member
There are no drum shops in San Francisco anymore - if you go across the bay to Marin County you'll find A Drummer's Tradition which is worth a visit, lots of vintage stuff. And over in the East Bay, Berkeley to be exact, there is Starving Musician, which has a decent selection of used drum kits and new and used cymbals.
 

Galadrm

Senior Member
There are no drum shops in San Francisco anymore - if you go across the bay to Marin County you'll find A Drummer's Tradition which is worth a visit, lots of vintage stuff. And over in the East Bay, Berkeley to be exact, there is Starving Musician, which has a decent selection of used drum kits and new and used cymbals.
Thanks for the tips guys.

Interesting to hear that a city as large as San Francisco could be without a drum shop. Obviously not enough drummers living there!
 

geezer

Senior Member
Thanks for the tips guys.

Interesting to hear that a city as large as San Francisco could be without a drum shop. Obviously not enough drummers living there!
It's more to do with the fact that SF is being re-populated with young tech millionaires so evictions and ridiculous rent increases are the norm - I heard of one woman who's rent for a 2 bedroom apartment was raised from $2100 to $8900 per month! Because of this situation I do think that it's made SF a less attractive city for musicians and artists in general, so many of them are moving across the bay to Oakland, where rents were cheaper, but now due to the exodus of people crossing the bay rents there are also starting to soar too. Sam Adato's shop closed a few years ago and he relocated up to Eugene, OR and reopened up there. Of course there is a bit of a vicious circle type of thing going on here where, because there are no drum shops you buy stuff online, and because you buy stuff online there isn't demand for a drum shop. I'd love to open a drum shop, but I probably wouldn't open it here, I'd do it in Oakland because I think there'd be more demand.
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
As was mentioned ,everything has been closing up because of the tech boom.
Addato's is now a mattress shop,Drum World in San Mateo is vacant.

The best place variety and piecewise, is Starving Musician in Santa Clara .
Micah has a pretty good selection down there at decent prices.
Gelb in San Mateo is another place to look.
Lot's of high end drum gear at OK prices.

Drummers tradition in San Raphael has some very unique used stuff.
Just down the street is Bananas at Large ,a general music store ,but decent equipment.

Check out my Yelp list:

http://www.yelp.com/list/music-music-music-redwood-city
 

geezer

Senior Member
I'll be your first customer.

As for Adato, I'm sure economics had something to do with the move, but the "last straw" was an SUV crashing into his store. I think he was done with the city at that point.



True, I remember that! But he also completely rebuilt afterwards and reopened - still I'm sure he took a financial hit in it all what with loss of income and lost stock.
 

boomstick

Silver Member
True, I remember that! But he also completely rebuilt afterwards and reopened - still I'm sure he took a financial hit in it all what with loss of income and lost stock.
Ah, you're right about that. The crash happened longer ago than I remembered. Perhaps it was more of a "first straw." Judging from his words in this article, it sounds like city life (like the crash) was a factor, but economics was the main driver:

Explaining why he's closing the shop, Adato said, "I've reached a crossroads in my life where I can either go straight or make a turn. I decided to make a turn, have a change of pace, get out of the city."

He said the decision was largely based on changing market conditions. "Business changes; I'm selling less drum sets," he continued. "We're almost at Christmas Eve — I've had no parents coming in to buy their kids a beginner's drum set. There's no Christmas rush. Amazon, online — everything's changing, not just in San Francisco; it's everywhere."


http://www.eastbayexpress.com/CultureSpyBlog/archives/2012/12/21/the-world-really-is-ending-sam-adatos-drum-shop-is-closing
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
Ah, you're right about that. The crash happened longer ago than I remembered. Perhaps it was more of a "first straw." Judging from his words in this article, it sounds like city life (like the crash) was a factor, but economics was the main driver:

Explaining why he's closing the shop, Adato said, "I've reached a crossroads in my life where I can either go straight or make a turn. I decided to make a turn, have a change of pace, get out of the city."

He said the decision was largely based on changing market conditions. "Business changes; I'm selling less drum sets," he continued. "We're almost at Christmas Eve — I've had no parents coming in to buy their kids a beginner's drum set. There's no Christmas rush. Amazon, online — everything's changing, not just in San Francisco; it's everywhere."


http://www.eastbayexpress.com/CultureSpyBlog/archives/2012/12/21/the-world-really-is-ending-sam-adatos-drum-shop-is-closing
Speaking of closed ,California Percussion was just just down the street from Addato's and had some really nice stuff.
Lasted for about two years.

Ah,the fallout from the Adderall crowd and their lifestyle choices.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Pretty much no.

GC sucks. Starving musician doesn't have all that much, but it's where I buy stuff.
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
Pretty much no.

GC sucks. Starving musician doesn't have all that much, but it's where I buy stuff.
SM has a warehouse in South San Jose ,so asking Micah what they have down there is always a good idea.

In terms of variety,they are way bigger than the other two stores.

Berk is a cubby hole and Santa Cruz ain't much bigger.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
SM has a warehouse in South San Jose ,so asking Micah what they have down there is always a good idea.

In terms of variety,they are way bigger than the other two stores.

Berk is a cubby hole and Santa Cruz ain't much bigger.
Yea, I'm going to berk. Found some good stuff there and they usually haggle a bit on the used stuff. Nobody ever mentioned the warehouse inventory. I just don't like buying stuff online and SM usually gets me the consumables I need at a decent price.
 

boomstick

Silver Member
Not impressed with Starving Musician Berkeley. I recently went in there looking for a part and won't be returning. I was simply looking for a memory lock. I even brought the piece for it to fit on so there would be no sizing issues. It was a Saturday, so there were other customers in the store, so I did not expect to be helped right away, but there were two guys working the front counter so I asked where I could find a memory lock. One guy seemed to be working on something and said he'd be with me in a minute. The other guy just sat there. So, I just stood there up front and waited, and waited. After being ignored for a while, I wandered back to where the drums were. The small drum hardware parts were behind another counter in back. There were new parts on a wall display and a couple bins filled with miscellaneous spare parts. The counter was not attended by anyone, and there was a chain blocking off the area behind it with a sign that said "do not enter / employees only" or something of that nature. I knew that if I could just dig through the bins, I could probably find what I wanted on my own, but I obeyed the sign and waited, and waited. Finally the guy comes back, pulls up one if the bins I had been looking at and digs out some locks. I see one and say, "That one looks promising." It was the right size, but it didn't have a tightening screw. So he took a screw from a different sized lock, but I could see that it was too short. I pointed this out, but the sales guy insisted that it was fine. I held them up next to each other to show that the screw won't make it through to the other end, much less tighten, and he got all annoyed and started looking for another screw. He pulled out another one that was longer, but I could tell by sight of it that it had the wrong threading. It wouldn't screw in easily, so he pulled out a wrench and started to try to force it in. I told him it was the wrong threading, and he got testy with me and insisted it was the right screw. At that point, I told him I would just take the lock without the screw. So he gave me the lock with the wrong screw still in it. I couldn't remove it by hand, even though it had only been screwed in a short way, so I asked to borrow his wrench to remove it, and he let out this exasperated sigh and chucked the wrench on the counter toward me. Fortunately, he did not screw it in too far (because I stopped him), so the lock threads were not damaged. When i got home, I put in a correctly sized screw and it went in easily, just like it's supposed to. So, I was not robbed or anything, but it's clear that one employee, at least, has a bad attitude and lacks basic mechanical skills.
 
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Galadrm

Senior Member
Interesting to hear peoples opinions. Anything in particular that makes a place like guitar centre so average? I guess based on their online presence I have assumed them to be one of the biggest music store chains in america and you would think with that comes consistency and good stock range. Maybe not so and my assumptions are flawed. Either way I wouldn't mind someone giving some insight to this.

In regards to the san fran issue, well it is just simple economics and it is a shame that such a boom can completely remove certain business/people from a city.

As a side note I love sweetwater for my audio gear buys. Drum Centre of Portsmouth also great for their range and price, always lovely to deal with. Wouldn't mind a trip there if I was a bit closer or had time for a longer trip.
 

geezer

Senior Member
Not impressed with Starving Musician Berkeley. I recently went in there looking for a part and won't be returning. I was simply looking for a memory lock. I even brought the piece for it to fit on so there would be no sizing issues. It was a Saturday, so there were other customers in the store, so I did not expect to be helped right away, but there were two guys working the front counter so I asked where I could find a memory lock. One guy seemed to be working on something and said he'd be with me in a minute. The other guy just sat there. So, I just stood there up front and waited, and waited. After being ignored for a while, I wandered back to where the drums were. The small drum hardware parts were behind another counter in back. There were new parts on a wall display and a couple bins filled with miscellaneous spare parts. The counter was not attended by anyone, and there was a chain blocking off the area behind it with a sign that said "do not enter / employees only" or something of that nature. I knew that if I could just dig through the bins, I could probably find what I wanted on my own, but I obeyed the sign and waited, and waited. Finally the guy comes back, pulls up one if the bins I had been looking at and digs out some locks. I see one and say, "That one looks promising." It was the right size, but it didn't have a tightening screw. So he took a screw from a different sized lock, but I could see that it was too short. I pointed this out, but the sales guy insisted that it was fine. I held them up next to each other to show that the screw won't make it through to the other end, much less tighten, and he got all annoyed and started looking for another screw. He pulled out another one that was longer, but I could tell by sight of it that it had the wrong threading. It wouldn't screw in easily, so he pulled out a wrench and started to try to force it in. I told him it was the wrong threading, and he got testy with me and insisted it was the right screw. At that point, I told him I would just take the lock without the screw. So he gave me the lock with the wrong screw still in it. I couldn't remove it by hand, even though it had only been screwed in a short way, so I asked to borrow his wrench to remove it, and he let out this exasperated sigh and chucked the wrench on the counter toward me. Fortunately, he did not screw it in too far (because I stopped him), so the lock threads were not damaged. When i got home, I put in a correctly sized screw and it went in easily, just like it's supposed to. So, I was not robbed or anything, but it's clear that one employee, at least, has a bad attitude and lacks basic mechanical skills.
That's a shame that guy had such a "whatever" attitude towards helping a customer. In my experience going in there the only guy who is helpful is the one guy with drum knowledge, an older guy. All the other guys in the shop seem to be guitar players that are long on hipster attitude and short on customer service.
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
Interesting to hear peoples opinions. Anything in particular that makes a place like guitar centre so average? I guess based on their online presence I have assumed them to be one of the biggest music store chains in america and you would think with that comes consistency and good stock range. Maybe not so and my assumptions are flawed. Either way I wouldn't mind someone giving some insight to this.

In regards to the san fran issue, well it is just simple economics and it is a shame that such a boom can completely remove certain business/people from a city.

As a side note I love sweetwater for my audio gear buys. Drum Centre of Portsmouth also great for their range and price, always lovely to deal with. Wouldn't mind a trip there if I was a bit closer or had time for a longer trip.
Part of the reason why there are no super groups coming area any more.

Metallica ,Green Day, Journey, Santana are things of the past.
New and interesting stuff is coming out of the hipper ,cheaper venues like Austin
SF is a recorded music town (DJ's) with the jazz lounges like Yoshi's,Kimbells and Pearls going tits up.

Still lot's of world class musicians,but definitely a more plastic hip place due to the new tech bubble (and when it goes again).

As for GC,they are the Wal Mart of music stores with folks there just for a paycheck.
Some bargains to be had ,but varies from stote to store.
The SF GC is average at best, with a so so drum dept.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
That's a shame that guy had such a "whatever" attitude towards helping a customer. In my experience going in there the only guy who is helpful is the one guy with drum knowledge, an older guy. All the other guys in the shop seem to be guitar players that are long on hipster attitude and short on customer service.
Yea, I know who you're talking about and I always seek him out if I have a question or need. Glasses, kinda thin, right? He's helped me fill out my dream of having a full vintage A set without resorting to online blind cymbal buys.
 

moxman

Silver Member
I went to Sam Ash's (relatively close to the Empire State building).. pretty good selection and new stuff to try out. As far as used stuff.. I didn't find any stores on the island except one in the village.. but it was small and not worth the trip.
 
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