When you want a certain musical instrument, where do you go? It's a simple question, but the answer might be a little more complicated than you bargained for. As it turns out, there are all sorts of different types of musical instruments, with different outlets and chains that supply them. If you want a guitar, you might head to Guitar Center. If you want a specific bass guitar that they don't carry, you might have to head elsewhere. So how do you really figure out the best music gear outlet to shop at? Here are some tips.
First, if you have an interest in a type of musical instrument, try to find a good outlet like the aforementioned Guitar Center. Guitar Center features a low price guarantee. So even if you do find the same guitar for cheaper elsewhere, you can enjoy that low price with the service and promptness of a larger outlet. Make sure, however, that you read the fine print when it comes to these low price guarantees before you go off searching the web. You'll want to make sure you can really pay them the lowest price.
Next, you'll have to consider specialty items, such as musical studio recording gear. You won't be able to find sophisticated recording gear at your neighborhood music retailer, but if you head online, you should be able to find a number of online stores that carry it. Start off by searching for the product you're looking for in quotes. For example, enter a search for a "DigiTech Vocalist Live 2 Harmony Processor." Then take a look at the places that carry it, looking for the best deal and the company that appears to have the most reliable service.
If you're still stuck, you can always try finding a used instrument forum. eBay is one of the world's largest marketplaces for just about anything, and all the items on this site are fetched directly from eBay. Enter in a direct search (in the above box on the right) for the product you're looking for. You can also browse individual categories on the left sidebar or at the top menu to view similar products to the one you want.
If you're not sure about what exact musical equipment or instrument you want, start off by simply browsing some of the larger outlets to see what's available. Don't take the first price you see - instead, search further until you find something that you can afford.