BEST MUSIC STORE - 2010
Sure, the notion of whiling away an afternoon at your neighborhood consignment shop might harbor a certain nostalgic charm. But if you're actually looking to buy an instrument, price and/or selection almost surely dominate your agenda. Specialty stores aside, with music, bigger pretty much always equals better on both counts. Hence the appeal of local indie colossus Groth Music and the metro's four Guitar Center locations. All are huge, and often graced with the kind of cacophony that's inevitable when dozens of people simultaneously test gear in big, open spaces. But the racket comes in handy as a homing mechanism: If you're at all unsure of the store's layout, just let the sound of your department—guitars, keyboards, drums, DJ gear, whatever—be your guide. Granted, you could ask, too. Staff members tend to be friendly, accommodating, and well informed. Prices on both new and used equipment range from handsomely discounted to low enough to make you question the 214-store chain's sanity. The Edina outlet recently offered a sweet, pre-owned 10-inch Zildjian splash cymbal for $17.95—part of a massive drum-related acquisition priced to vanish faster than free pizza.