The best guitar shop in the world

OK, so I've never been there, but Ed Roman Guitars in Las Vegas appears to be the best shop in the world. Why? That's Ed himself, and his website has pages on Novelty Guitars, Sexy Guitars, (hint - it's not the guitars...), Weird Guitars, more Weird Guitars, and Expensive Guitars, which features a crazy hand-carved Lemmy signature-edition Rickenbacker.


Comments:
I have been there, and his Vegas shop is more museum than store.

First off, it's eerily quiet in there, especially for a guitar shop.

Secondly, every guitar in the shop that's priced at more than $300 (which is 98% of them) has a sign wedged through the strings that says something to the effect of "DON'T TOUCH! ASK FOR ASSISTANCE!"

Thirdly, as a museum, it's great. There are tons of super-boutique axes in there, and there is a glass-walled room (that you're not allowed to enter) that contains "Guitars Owned By." I saw some George Lynch ESP's in there, and some old EVH Kramers.

Finally, what bugged me the most was that in the entire store, they only had like two amplifiers! One was a Vox modeling amp, and the other was an old Fender. Only the Vox looked like it had been plugged in anytime recently.

Overall, the vibe I got from the store was that if you're there to buy, they'll take care of you. If you're there to look, well....DON'T TOUCH!
 
anyone who has dealt with ed roman will remember how... unclean they felt afterwards.
 
I came in there with a blank check. I could have bought anything. He was such an asshole I walked out within 5 minutes. The post about feeling "...unclean" is hilariously accurate.
 
I'm going to Vegas soon, googled and found his shop. I thought I'd go and look for yet another guitar for my collection UNTIL I read some of his rants on his website. Seems like he hates everyone, including anyone hapless enough to venture into his store. I'm not going to waste my time...
 
It's funny how the big guns end up with that same 'unclean' feeling - like they lose touch with reality. Same thing here in Australia. Refreshingly different is a new web-based trader here, Grouse Guitars (www.grouseguitars.com.au)
 
Bad Company vocals by Ed Roman
http://www.edromanguitars.com/rant/album.htm

http://www.edromanguitars.com/mp3/mastered/BAD-COMPANY-6-25-06.mp3

keep on rockin' eddie r.
 
I was in the store early this year and although Ed is rather dismissive and abrupt, his employees tell me he is more "bark than bite". Sure he rants a lot, but there's actually a point to most of his postings on his web site. It's not Guitar Center, but if you are a serious buyer and in vegas, it's worth stopping in.

BTW, I would be curious what other guitar shops folks recommend. I visited LA Music (www.lamusic.ca) in Toronto last week, and found it had a great selection and the staff was very helpful. But it's still a fraction of the size of Ed Romans.

--Zack
 
Tom here: I had to edit this post from an anonymous poster to get past UK libel laws:


I tried to buy a guitar from Ed Roman. [I found that] His staff dont return MY emails or phone calls.

... snip...

I decided I'd rather give my money to a big cahin who at least realizes they are young retards and give a low price to make up for it. Thats all Ed ROman is, same guys you'll find at Guitar Center - low wage dumbass musicians who think they are on the edge of making it but really play two gigs a month for free beer - if that. As for Ed himself watch out - he thinks he knows everything and not just about guitars. Give him any time and he'll rant on about everything to do with life and how everyone is stupid but him.

I've been to the Vegas shop several times. The old location was a "look but do not touch" place where you were escorted thru. YOu couldnt touch anything. THats fine but makes it hard to wet the appetite. THe new location is just a big guitar store. Its open to the public and yes is large. THey have some cool stuff. But the staff are silly looking 80's rejects with zero knowledge.

... snip ....

I've never bought from them but

.... SNIP...


I can understand Ed's approach of not wanting to be yet another big box store full of filthy out of tune guitars with greasy kids playing Mettalica riffs all day for free - as I hate that too. But all he's done is achieve a clean, quiet Guitar Center. As a serious buyer with many high end guitars I couldnt stomach it. My money is king and thoe little zitty faced SNIP! at Ed Roman are not getting my cash. You serve me to get my money - no exceptions.
 
You can say what you like about Ed, He can be a dick or a cool generous guy. The fact remains that he's probably hooked more guys up with there dream guitars than anyone else on the planet! I don't think
you have to be someones pal to sell them something.
Something to be said for just being kind though.
So something gets lost when you make it big, Ed knows
his time is money, and lord knows guitar players are a dime a dozen!!
Show me the money, or go somewhere else, it's a free country baby! another satisfied customer....
 
I have visted his store in vegas. I'm not a big on gambling, so visiting Ed Roman's was a good portion of my reason for my trip. I actually had cash in my pocket with the intent of buying a guitar!

So we arrive in vegas, and after checking into our hotel, we go to Ed Roman's right away! The place is MASSIVE! But the awesome prices that he brags about online, you know the prices that he says he won't list in fear that competing vendors might see and lowball him?....A MYTH! The prices absolutely suck! Some of the worst I have seen! Any and every guitar center and Sam Ash that i have been in was WAY cheaper.

The place had such a cold vibe. Sure he has thousands of guitars, but EVERY SINGLE ONE has a card attached saying you are not allowed to touch unless there is a salesperson present. Um...yeah, that's what I wan't, a sales guy to be at my side to pitch me everytime I want to simply strum a G chord to hear if a guitar has a decent tone. No Thanks!!!

The acoustic section sucked! Not a lot of high end acoustics. When I was there I saw no Gibsons, no Taylors, and one Martin 12 string. The rest were mid range, or lower end!

Then to top it all off, while we were all there we finally see Ed come out. OMG it was like the fucking King arrived to address his court. What an attitude (and all the salespeople running up to kiss his ass didn't help). If you didn't know who Ed Roman was, and needed to find the guy who owned the place, no problem. Just look for the guy who is walking around acting like he owns the place. That simple!

The whole experience left such a bad taste in my mouth that my money stayed in my pocket. Besides it made no sense to buy something there that I could get for at least a few hundred dollars cheaper back home.
 
I have visted his store in vegas. I'm not a big on gambling, so visiting Ed Roman's was a good portion of my reason for my trip. I actually had cash in my pocket with the intent of buying a guitar!

So we arrive in vegas, and after checking into our hotel, we go to Ed Roman's right away! The place is MASSIVE! But the awesome prices that he brags about online, you know the prices that he says he won't list in fear that competing vendors might see and lowball him?....A MYTH! The prices absolutely suck! Some of the worst I have seen! Any and every guitar center and Sam Ash that i have been in was WAY cheaper.

The place had such a cold vibe. Sure he has thousands of guitars, but EVERY SINGLE ONE has a card attached saying we are not allowed to touch unless there is a salesperson present. Um...yeah, that's what I wan't, a sales guy to be at my side to pitch me everytime I want to simply strum a G chord to hear if a guitar has a decent tone. No Thanks!!!

The acoustic section sucked! Not a lot of high end acoustics. When I was there I saw no Gibsons, no Taylors, and one Martin 12 string. The rest were mid range, or lower end!

Then to top it all off, while we were all there we finally see Ed come out. OMG it was like the f***ing King arrived to address his court. What an attitude (and all the salespeople running up to kiss his ass didn't help). If you didn't know who Ed Roman was, and needed to find the guy who owned the place, no problem. Just look for the guy who is walking around acting like he owns the place. That simple.

The whole experience left such a bad taste in my mouth that my money stayed in my pocket. Besides it made no sense to buy something there that I could get for at least a few hundred dollars cheaper back home.
 
Check this out referring to my personal guitar hero with probably one of the most iconic guitars in rock history Brian May and the Red Special: Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks for your informative letter, I have scanned it and sooner or later I will read and study the whole thing...

Brian himself told me his guitar would not hold tune and a close personal friend of Brian's who shall remain nameless pretty much said the guitar was a POS.....

I applaud Brian and his father for building the original guitar, I also applaud his amazing playing,,,

MY GUITARS ARE NOT INTENDED TO BE DIRECT REPLICAS !!!!!

My guitars are intended to be better (Much Better) and there is still room for improvement.... I intend to build a better, faster, lighter, instrument that will stay in tune and sound and look like Brians Original guitar enough to satisfy the fans who want him to always use that guitar....

I could build an exact replica.... Especially now with your kind help. I just don't see any point in it. I'm sure guyton does a great job...

I have a Guild, I have a Burns and I have a Brian May import model and they are all crap !!!! but I collect things like that... Brian signed all three of them for me..

In talking to Brian it seems to me that you may actually know more about his guitar than he does. He is the one who told me Rosewood !!!!!

I asked him before we built him his guitar if he would rather have ebony and he said that he would much rather have ebony.... He eluded to the fact that ebony was originally too expensive (Back then maybe 2 Dollars Today it's $20.00. But my opinion is they probably simply couldn't find any ebony at the time.. Just an opinion, I have much more important things to talk to Brian about whenever i get the chance and I am not going to waste time on minutia and trivia from days gone by....


Thanks again for your information, It is impressive and I will enjoy reading it when I get the time !!!

Ed

I hate this ass!!
 
My girlfriend and I went in there on a whim last week. The place has a sick selection. I asked for Roman personally and he came out. I was expecting him to be an ass but he was actually pretty cool. At least his sales people know their shit, which is more than I can say for GC.
 
I went to Eds shop a month ago
and bought a Fernandes Dragonfly
although I kinda dont really want the guitar anymore I will say that I do like his shop because of the fact when i bought the guitar I didnt have to sterilize the guitar!
Although it was dusty and after completing the sale I asked for a set of strings (any strings) thinking I could get a set for free to replace the rusty ones they charged me FULL PRICE!!!
I like the fact these guitars are not previously used by whom ever but I will say you could get a better deal and sometimes a coupon or special from Guitar Center but I hate a slimy abused NEW guitar!!!

Also it should be noted that the first guitar I picked up other Fernandes Dragonfly the neck so so badly bowed even the sales guy said he would have to fix that before it could leave the shop!

So overall I dont think they personally inspect and play them before they put out on display like i could have sworn i read
but at least you have to ask to touch a guitar they are not bounced around by slobs and people who have no interest in buying them!!!
Overall would buy again simply because of the fact that the guitars are not abused on showroom floor!
P.S. fernandes fret jobs suck, razer sharp past the 14th fret!!! and action just will not even out!
 
subway guitars kicks way more ass, hundreds of times over. if you can deal with phat dawg.
 
Some people don't like the "don't touch" signs but if you go to the Gibson Store in Nashville you'll see signs that say that if you scratch or dent a guitar, you buy it. I prefer stores where you can't just play any guitar. Go to Sam Ash and try to find a guitar that isn't damaged. Most good boutique shops have the same policy. I don't want to buy a guitar that may have been dropped. If you are not seriously considering buying a guitar you shouldn't be playing it. It doesn't belong to you. The car dealer takes your license and goes with you when you test drive. Deal with it.
 
I would like to respond to the anonymous ranters. First I will agree with you in part I am a GC mgr and I feel like you do about E-duh Roman we may not have the brightest bulbs but we're not pricks who hide behind gutless screennames. Ed sucks so what get a life,stop writing about pointless B.S pick up a guitar thats not plugged into an XBOX or computer get out of the house and come on in to your local GC talk some shit who knows ,you may even run into me.Then we will see if the pen is indeed mightier than the sword
 
I have done some personal work for Ed Roman (i.e. artwork, airbrushing, custom stuff). I can agree that he can be a bit "coarse". In my opinion, when you are as knowledgeable as Ed and you have hundreds of people coming into the store on a daily basis, asking the same ol' questions and telling the same ol' stories, I can see where he just wants to get to the point and sell you a guitar - thats why he has a staff, but you can talk to him personally if he is there. I have referred people his way and they have always been please with 1) the quality in workmanship 2) the knowledge of their product 3) their warranty and 4) you get what you pay for. Now Ed is not the P.R. guy and he probably could take a few lessons in common etiquette or "ed"-iquette...but it is what it is...he is the Guitar King and he stands behind his product. As for the eerily quiet showroom, you can only allow so many people come in and jam on the guitars...instead of a building full of random riffs going on, I think he opts to allow a serious buyer to plug in and demo the guitar when they are ready to deal. As for the cards on the guitars, nobody wants a guitar that is scratched and dinged...

Well, all in all I think he's a good guy. I have no problem with him, in fact I have some respect for him. He personally knows and has had some well known guests in his shop and I don't know any other guitar shop that has big names dropping in to say hi. He is The King!
 
This is funny, Maybe some of you guys who are blowing the ED Roman horn Should ask the guy to play a Db in first position. He doesn't now how to play a chord or lick period. Second maybe you should try to find out why he and some former partners parted ways. Ed Can't build a guitar to save his life . He was a business guy for Steinburg not one of the guitar builders as he would have you think. He is a legend in his own mind (only) Most professional Guitarist that I have talked with that know him laugh at him, He kisses their back side like he likes his employees to kiss his. He hires guitar builder some are good some suck. This guy isn't all he is cracked up to be. He doesn't know half as much as he thinks he does, he has a LOT of opinions but that is all they are. Think for yourself don't let Ed tell you anything and if you have to deal with him deal with him in the same manner he is dealing with you. Guys like Ed exist for the amusement of of others who are "REALLY in the KNOW" I have had enough dealings with the guy and know his former partners and such so believe me the "Lil Guy" ain't all dat baby....
Oh yea by the way he talks you'd think he is 10 foot tall opps sorry Ed didn't mean to give aways your secret.
The Idea that everyone that he has help got their dream guitar is nonsense lots of NIGHTMEERS out there also, keep searching google for proof of that. Oh wait Ed says that those are just haters and not true buyer of the ROMAN guitars... Well believe they are true and this guys isn't as bad as he thinks he is. SO swing buy his place in Vegas. The Shop is amazing there are some AWESOME piece there to be seen. Great Place to visit no place to buy.
 
I had Ed's custom shop build me a guitar. They were the only ones that I could find that had the knowledge and experience to build the guitar that I wanted. While the guitar took a year and a half to make, I dropped by their store and was treated very kindly and professionally. I got a tour of the custom shop and met all of the luthiers. Ed's advice, while blunt, was right on. I can understand how he has accumulated so many enemies with his lack of tact but I will take brutal honesty (backed by experience) over a grinning salesman any day.
 
Wow! I haven't been to Ed Romans yet, but I thought that it closed down. He has some really cool guitars that I have never heard of. I cant believe he only has a couple amps in there. how do people try things out. I live in Mississauga and on Lakeshore Rd and Hwy 10, there are two guitars store right beside each other which is really great because I can go there and find what I am looking for. I usually buy my guitars and pedals at L.A. Music Superstore, it is the Store front of www.lamusic.ca and they have more guitars than I have every seen in any guitar store. If you have ever been on the site, you know what I mean, they have probably my favorite site in Canada other than Musicians Friend. Plus the guys that work there know alot about the gear they sell. I bought my Radial Tonebone there too.
Lately I check the site and see what I want then I go in to try it and make sure it is what I want. Other than music stores,which I probably cant go to anyime soon, Who do you think has the best online music store shipping to Canada I would say right now www.lamusic.ca but I dont know maybe if L&M goes online maybe they
may have more gear? what does everyone else think?
 
I've dealt with Ed for over 25 years. The most recent was several weeks ago when I called him from the east coast. He returned my call the next day and gave me great information about a rare guitar I was looking to sell.

Maybe he doesn't know a Db in the first position (I didn't know there was such a thing but then again after numerous platinum albums, no one has ever asked me to play one either!) but Ed is a business man and his business is guitars. I may not agree with him on all subjects, but do as I and others do. Vote with your wallet.
If you don't want to buy from him, no problem. But give the guy a try if you're in the area or go to his web site and drool!!!

CHEETAH
 
CHEETAH, you've been involved in "numberous platinum albums" but don't know whether there is such a thing as a Db in the first position?

So, play guitar much, you poser? Here's a Db in the first position tabbed for you. Learn it. Live it.

-1-
-2-
-1-
-3-
-x-
-x-
 
I bought a Jackson soloist pre Fender from Ed Roman in 2000 at his Connecticut converted mansion/store. He was kind and helpful and gave me a tour of his premises and I never saw so many old Ibanez and Steinbergers in my life. He showed me wood blocks piled to the ceiling which he uses to make his custom guitars and it was quite impressive. When I read the comments from some people I can not agree as I found him to be passionate about guitars and polite. There are some people who think they can play who really can't and maybe those assholes get under his skin.I can't blame him for that. Go to youtube.com and put Ed Fleck in the search grid and go to our cover of machine gun to hear the soloist Ed Roman sold me in action. I wish he stayed in Connecticut as I would have bought more guitars from him.
 
Over twenty years of being in big business I've seen it all and have developed a pretty good judgment of character. It took me all of 20 seconds after meeting Ed to determine he smelled worse than anything I've crapped after a rough night of eating and drinking in Mexico. I was so turned off by this excuse for a person I laugh about it today.
 
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