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Harp Oriented Vendors

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:58 am
by jawbone60
as little as i've bought in the past couple of years, it's mostly been with Rockin' Ron's Music. unbeatable service and not once has he not had what i ordered!!

Re: Harp Oriented Vendors

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:43 pm
by jeffl
I've always tried to buy locally, even if I had to wait a coupla weeks for a harp. It might cost me a few bucks extra per harp, but I get it back in free technical advice and I keep the local guy in business. He also appreciates the fact that I deal with him and I think he takes that into consideration when I make harp gear purchases.. like amps/speakers/stands, etc.
I'm not sayin' that it's wrong to buy online, but I think it's worthwhile to try to keep the Ma & Pa stores around.
I'm fortunate that the local store I patronize is owned by a guy who's a good guitar/amp /sound system tech as well.
I've always felt that online sellers have an advantage, in that they generally don't have to demonstrate the product or support a bricks & mortar facility... and they generally don't collect state sales taxes, which gives them a 6.5% price advantage in my locale. I just wonder what would happen if the local guys ceased to exist.

Re: Harp Oriented Vendors

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:36 pm
by jawbone60
you make a very good point Bubba, and for big stuff we do use local businesses. but i think that the limited selection of harps locally has cost a lot of music stores a lot of business. nobody carries anything but hohner and maybe lee oskar around here. these are 2 brands i will use in a pinch, but bad for them and good for me, i have found a harp i like tremendously for both acoustic and amped gigs, and as far as i can tell, nobody carries it in a brick and mortar store.

i was at GC last week in fact, and the harp selection was depressing to say the least. and nobody wants to mess with a special order. since GC is about 20 miles away i don't want to make a lot of trips there just to get a harp ordered and then pick it up- at higher prices, esp if it's not what i ordered. i had experiences like this in the past.

reason we were at GC was to buy a keyboard for Jolene. whilst there, she fell in love with a guitar, Epi Emperor Swingster, which is a sort of evolved version of her first electric hollowbody. we laid the guitar away and she sold off 2 guitars she wasn't using, and we got that guitar as well. unfortunately she opted to return the keyboard. but still, when a case becomes available for the guitar we plan to buy it right there at GC. getting a case via mail order for the Emperor Regent was a real pain. so face to face on this next one and local business will get a piece.

i occasionally do business with the music store here in town. smaller but still a very cool place with good choices on new, used, amps, guitars, and accessories. we get all our strings and picks there as well as stands and other stuff. in fact i have bought a harp or 2 there. sp20 is still a good work horse harp. we've bought an amp or 2 and a nice lil fender p.a. there and these guys have been very good to do business with.

i'm a working stiff and gigs here don't pay really very well most of the time, so i have to find ways to stretch the dollar as far as i can. an online vendor offers a deal on reed plates or harps and free shipping, that's the way i have to go. i do always hope to win the lotto.

Re: Harp Oriented Vendors

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:17 pm
by gheumann

You're right that buying local is a Good Thing. Unfortunately the harp market is so small and geographically distributed that we would have terribly limited choices. Walk into the local Guitar Center. What harp mics do you see? Junk! Ask them if that XLR to 1/4" cable is Pin 2 hot or Pin 3 hot. Ask them whether that hohner blues blaster has a crystal or a dynamic element. You'll get a deer in the headlights look.

The goal of "buy local" is to support your community's economy for the advantage of the entire community. In this case, your community is harp players. Avoiding the big stores and buying your gear from people who cater specifically to harp players, like Rockin' Ron's for harps, Lone Wolf Blues for pedals and BlowsMeAway Productions for mics/adapters/volume controls/cables/wireless ... DOES benefit the harp playing community. And it is where you will get personal service from people who actually know harp!

Re: Harp Oriented Vendors

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:24 pm
by jawbone60
guess i started something here guys. i can definitely vouch for Gregg's service, he took very good care of me a while back and i hope to do more business again sooner or later. he has some products i would love to have in my hot little hands.

i know smaller music stores can order things i need occasionally, and they don't tack on much, so i do go that route here and there. but the temptation is big to go with a harp vendor who has a lot of choices and 2 day turnaround shipping. i think these are the guys- who provide quality, service, and promptness- who will be with us over years to come.

funny though, we were at a big box music store yesterday and i needed fuses for a vintage amp. did they have any? nope. did they want to sell me another tube amp? of course, but they did point me to a smaller electronics jobber- who did not have the fuses either. on a hunch i went to a local Kraftco hardware store,one of those places that's been there for decades and has 2 of nearly everything ever made. and guess what- they had my fuses for under $3 a 5 pack.

so on both sides of the topic there is definite room to do business.

Re: Harp Oriented Vendors

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:28 pm
by jeffl
Points are well taken Greg & jawbone, and I certainly wasn't making any statement about the quality of online vendors, esp. given the reputations of both Greg & Rockin' Ron's.
Regarding the speed of harp delivery, I guess the only time I order a harp is when I don't have a backup in my bag, so I can usually afford to wait a little 'cuz I've rotated the backup into the case.

I am fortunate to have a guy here who is a good tech. The first time I took my BluesBlaster (which I hardly ever use) into him, I gave him a link to an article about the wiring, and that's all he needed.

And, Greg, your services are of course not available at any stores. Nobody builds stuff like yours, and then backs it with the quality attitude about workmanship.

Re: Harp Oriented Vendors

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:41 pm
by allanlummox
I haven't stocked up on harp supplies in a couple of years - the switch to Special 20's with Turbo Lids has, if nothing else, accompanied my not having blown a harp in a long time - but when I did, I shopped prices at a few places and wound up placing a few orders with Pappy at Coast To Coast Music - a former host of this very forum. They stocked everything I was looking for including oddball Echo harps. When I need to replace a sp20, I'll look at them first.

Re: Harp Oriented Vendors

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:42 am
by jawbone60
i have done business with c2c as well. never any complaints but ron's came along even better stocked and quicker!

Re: Harp Oriented Vendors

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:40 am
by bottleneck
well i do have a complaint about a well known vendor,that i won't name ,but it has been named in this thread. ordered a whole 12 key set from them and when i received it the important keys were not in the set.yes,it had twelve harmonicas ,many of which were F#,B,C# etc. it was straightened out eventually but it was a Pain in the *^&^. and there was no apology,no make up gift.why am i so bitter?i suspect it was not an accident.i believe i've said enough about this.

i usually use rockin rons now.although i do buy some harps from amazon. since i use suzuki manjis the most i can go two years before replacing a harp,that is with atleast two shows a week.

i scour the web for reed plates and get some here and there.

i also sometimes deal with john from bushman directly.

i also buy from eezy reeder on ebay.

i wish there was a MOM and POP store i could patronize .the problem is they only carry hohner,and i avoid that brand unless it is the only brand available.