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  1. #1

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    I went to my old home town La Crosse, WI, yesterday to visit some old friends and my daughter, who still lives there. It was hotter than usual, making walking around outside not so pleasant, so obviously indoor activities were the thing to do.

    Of course when in La Crosse, one MUST visit Dave’s. I have spent many hours there ogling the hardware and trying out a few interesting guitars.

    Just a few comments…inventory seemed down about 20% based on wall space. Tons of PRS’s—Dave is a big friend and supporter of Paul Reed Smith—and Fenders, not so many Gibsons except a couple of dozen LP’s. There was a lone 175 and L5, otherwise no new Gibson archies whatsoever. Not a lot of archies of any variety, except for Gretsch. There was an Epi Joe Pass and Swingster as well.

    Lots of Taylors and Martins and quite a few acoustic Gibsons, which seem very nice if priced high. Also lots of Larivees.

    If you’ve been to Dave’s, you will know there are very few super deals to be had, but the prices are fair and market-based. They will dicker with you a bit if you want to buy a guitar and amp and pedal or 2 as a group.

    The staff was pleasant and generally stayed out of my way. I saw 2 guys who were working there almost 20 years ago when I moved to La Crosse. I did see Dave but didn’t get to chat with him cause he was BUSY doing deals…discussing some sweet high-end Fender sales with his staff. He stays in good shape and obviously gets his exercise walking up and down the stairs from his office to the showroom—must’ve done it 10 times in the hour I was there.

    Now on to the eye candy…Dave’s upstairs collection. Didn’t seem to have changed, at least not that I could see. Oldest Broadcaster was 1950, oldest Strat 1954, oldest 175 1954 and so on. I think he had a Strat and Tele from every year of the 50’s and 60’s, or so it seemed. Virtually all were in reasonable and playable condition, if not minty. Interestingly one older archtop was gassed out from the pickguard. Kind of sad to see it there all tarnished.

    Visited the Mecca—Dave’s Guitar Shop-823616c7-831a-492b-91fb-efffe26d9675-jpeg

    Visited the Mecca—Dave’s Guitar Shop-feeab0d3-e924-4bfa-b037-6b5111d9b6df-jpeg

    Visited the Mecca—Dave’s Guitar Shop-1f192852-35be-4acc-942f-4a11c87467a9-jpeg

    My personal favorite…

    Visited the Mecca—Dave’s Guitar Shop-94b689a9-aed5-4d8c-b5e8-88000056263b-jpeg

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Thank you for the report and pics!

  4. #3

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    It’s an amazing collection, and Dave is so friendly and welcoming. Last time I was there we spent a little time talking in his office and he invited me to play anything in his collection. I didn’t take him up on that.

  5. #4

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    Wow wow wow. Lots of P90s!

  6. #5

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    Wow, imagine working there! You'd permanently have something on lay away

  7. #6

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    Thank for posting the pix!

    I bought a couple of guitars online from Dave’s and have always wanted to visit in person sometime.

    This helps scratch that itch.

  8. #7

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    there's only one guitar I'd like to own that I tried to buy yrs ago to no avail.
    an no, I'm not saying what it is unless he changes his mind

  9. #8

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    WM, is it still on the wall?
    Do you have to be like really tall to reach it?
    JD

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    WM, is it still on the wall?
    Do you have to be like really tall to reach it?
    JD

    Nah Joe, I don't see it any of the shots. Maybe someone made him an offer he couldn't refuse....but probably not, he doesn'tneed the do re me .

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    Nah Joe, I don't see it any of the shots. Maybe someone made him an offer he couldn't refuse....but probably not, he doesn'tneed the do re me .
    My experience with dealers of used stuff is that there is always a price that will make them part with something from their private stash. The problem is that if they don't need the cash, the price is always more than a smart buyer should pay.

  12. #11

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    I worked in La Crosse from 1983 and lived there until 1988; at that time Dave's Guitar Shop was a fraction of its current size and in a different location. At that point he was an enthusiast making a living from selling vintage guitars, which were clearly a passion for him. He was also a regular at the weekly blues night jam and I got to play with him a number of times; he was very Eric Clapton influenced in those days.

    I haven't been to the shop in at least 10 years. The last time I was there he had an original issue Tal Farlow model, which I really coveted. He also had a great collection of early tweed Fender amps.

    Not everybody gets to make their avocation into their vocation. Good for Dave!

  13. #12

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    Dave's is very fair with trade-in. They'll give you in trade what you would have received on consignment with them. I've purchased a number of guitars from them and have been very happy, especially with a Bozeman L-7C I got about 10 years ago.

  14. #13

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    I did a deal recently with Dave and he was excellent to deal with. I’d love to drop by his shop but we’re separated by over 600 miles. Just gonna peer over the pics of his inventory and save the gas money.

  15. #14

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    Couldn't work there. It would be hard to concentrate.

  16. #15

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    I don't live too far from Dave's and it is always a great place to visit. I remember going in there and they has 2 Super 400, blond and sunburst, 3 L-5 CES, 1 L-5 acoustic 2 Tal Farlow's 2 L-4 CES and a few ES-175's all new. I was in there for hours playing guitars while my wife went to a couple antique shops. The guys are always great and let you play anything.
    They must of just got a shipment of sunburst Les Paul's in as they were everywhere, all the hangers and stands were full and they were leaning against the walls and amps. There had to be at least 75 Les Paul's and it made me vary nervous as I would never lean a Les Paul up against an amp, especially a $3000.00-4000.00 one!
    And yes the upstairs is amazing!
    thanks John

  17. #16

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    I had a great experience buying my Collings Eastside Jazz LC Deluxe from Dave's back in 2018.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by powerwagonjohn
    I don't live too far from Dave's and it is always a great place to visit. I remember going in there and they has 2 Super 400, blond and sunburst, 3 L-5 CES, 1 L-5 acoustic 2 Tal Farlow's 2 L-4 CES and a few ES-175's all new. I was in there for hours playing guitars while my wife went to a couple antique shops. The guys are always great and let you play anything.
    They must of just got a shipment of sunburst Les Paul's in as they were everywhere, all the hangers and stands were full and they were leaning against the walls and amps. There had to be at least 75 Les Paul's and it made me vary nervous as I would never lean a Les Paul up against an amp, especially a $3000.00-4000.00 one!
    And yes the upstairs is amazing!
    thanks John
    That sounds like about a decade ago. Dave’s was THE place for Gibson archtops at the time. Sadly, there aren’t too many American-made archtops around these days. Gibson under the waning days of Henry J kind of screwed him (and many other independent shops) over, and they parted ways for a few years. Dave then started carrying Heritage.

    Dave and Gibson came to a new agreement, but there just haven’t been a lot of Gibsons on the floor since then. There were about 50 or so LPs when I was there. Hardly any Epiphones, which was surprising, because back in the day there were almost as many Epis as Gibsons—something for every budget.

    Some of the low inventory may be due to the “supply chain” and shipping issues that have come out of COVID. Hopefully the walls on the shop floor will again be filled to the brim with more guitars.