BEST USED INSTRUMENTS (1999)
Of this national chain's 12 Minnesota locations, its Uptown Minneapolis haunt stands out in the hearts of wanna-be rockers due to its unique emphasis on guitars, keyboards, and drums. Music Go Round, owned by the same folks behind Computer Renaissance, offers a 15 percent consignment on select items, a twentysomething staff of enthusiastic noodlers ("We all play and we're all hacks," jokes manager Kelly Gruis), and a vibe more akin to those quaint, out-of-the-way shops with loads of integrity but often a lesser, more expensive inventory. There's also an in-store bulletin board where musicians can trade info about lessons or search for tuneful soul mates. If you're looking for something special (a vintage guitar, those one-of-a-kind congas) the staff will throw your name on a wish list and call you when it comes in. Best of all, they've got hard-to-beat prices on everything from student-model horns to dance-hall amplifiers to the tiniest of timbals. But visit early and come back often, because the inventory changes quicker than a bebop solo. "If you snooze," Gruis warns, "you lose."