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Best Guitar Store: Feed your six-string lust 

Blue Note Music

The Clearasil generation goes to Guitar Center, but guitarists in the know head for Blue Note Music in Berkeley, across from Buffalo Exchange. It's run by James Canella, a musician and luthier who dispenses crusty (and spot-on) advice to newcomers and guitar vets alike. He'll never lay a hard sell on you, but he and his amiable staff can guide you to just the right instrument, amp, or accessory, and (sometimes gruffly) show you how to get the most of out of it. A big plus: Blue Note often beats Guitar Center prices by a mile. There's a lot of stock on hand to feed your lust. Wander around and you'll find new and vintage acoustic and electric guitars and amps, plus a hefty complement of supplies, including a decent array of electronics. All the big names are here -- Martin, Guild, Gibson, Taylor, Fender, and Heritage. Blue Note also repairs amps and guitars.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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