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Best Place to Buy Vintage Music Gear San Francisco 2011 - Real Guitars

Real Guitars

Real Guitars

15 Lafayette

San Francisco, CA 94103

415-552-3310

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When it comes to the tools of rock 'n' roll, it's sadly true that they just don't make 'em like they used to. A Fender amp that comes factory-sealed in the box will rarely sound as sweet and juicy as an old Silverface. But old gear is unreliable and fussy — and it's hard to know if you're getting something that actually works, right? Maybe if you're hunting on Craigslist, but not if you shop at Real Guitars. The experts here have filled their narrow space with the choicest noisemaking equipment from decades gone. Any given day here, you'll find a hearty selection of old Fender and Marshall amps — the ones made back in the day when they were wired with actual wire, instead of printed circuit boards, and assembled by craftsmen in the U.S. and Britain. And since this is a pro-friendly shop, and not a garage sale, you can rest assured that if you buy an amp here, it'll work as reliably as you can expect for a 40-year-old device whose operation depends upon getting very hot. Amps aren't it: The walls of Real Guitars are a veritable gallery of vintage electric and acoustic six-strings and basses, including both the rare and coveted (your mid-20th-century Stratocasters and Les Pauls) and the neglected and obscure (there are even pointy Japanese guitars from the '80s!). With expert guitar tuner and luthier Gary Brawer running a repair shop in the back, you know that the instruments at Real Guitars have seen inspection from an expert eye. Nothing here is cheap, but if you want the sweet joy of playing on vintage gear, this is the place to buy it.

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