Musicians often ask me where I get my pedals. Fortunately, I live Los Angeles where there are so many music stores that sell great gear. However, there are only a few locations that sell great used and vintage pedals. I won’t hesitate to drive pretty damn far to get a specific pedal or bass, but if I’m just shopping locally there are a few stores that never fail to carry something interesting and rare. Here’s a list of my favorite used pedal stops:
Future Music – I love this place for two reasons. One, it’s located less than a mile away from my studio or house, and two, Jack, the owner of Future Music, is the most knowledgable guy I know when it comes to rare and unusual pedals and is very generous with his information. If you want to know what year a certain fuzz pedal was made, Jack is going to know. If you want to know what effect is on what record, Jack is going to know. Future Music’s pedal inventory fluctuates, but they carry great new pedal lines like Way Huge, while also holding to used gems like the mysterious Russian Distortion I reviewed earlier.
Go to Future Music first whenever you’re in Los Angeles because no one is as informed as Jack. He can stock anything from crazy synths to drum machines and won’t hesitate to carry a used church pipe organ. There’s no bargaining here; what Jack charges is always fair so you just pay it. $
Timewarp Music – Shane is the owner of this giant store. He’s got a lot of guitars, basses, amps, keys and other instruments, but also carries a an extensive variety of used pedals. Shane knows his stuff and is pretty reasonable when it comes to bargaining. Shane is also a bass player, and can steer you into the right direction when it comes to basses and pedals used on a bass. Always test the gear before buying!! I can’t stress this enough. Timewarp Music has so much gear, and I’m not sure if they always have the time to go through thorough inspections. $$
Marina Music – This store is so crazy. It has pawn shop qualities, but it does carry some weird pedals. Stores like these tend to buy off of musicians and can hold either gems or duds. Regardless, they carry several odd instruments and Alex, the owner, is such a character. Make sure to go in with cash and to know your price range well because you can always negotiate with Alex, but he won’t hesitate to walk away from a ridiculous offer. $$
Jammin Jersey – This store is located deep in the San Fernando Valley and I have been going there since the 80’s. It is probably the biggest used music gear store in Los Angeles. They have everything a rock band would need. They’re stocked with PAs, drums, sheet music, tons of guitars and basses, and of course, pedals! They can be hard on customers when it comes to negotiating, so know your market value. This store has such an abundance of music, that you’re almost guaranteed to find something you need. $$1/2
Old Style Guitar Shop – This is a small store that sits in a house in Silverlake. They hold great, rare and unusual guitars and basses. The owner, Reuben, has impeccable taste in gear. While they stock plenty of vintage and used pedals, they also carry newer lines like EarthQuaker Devices. $$
Here are four more stores that, in my opinion, can be pricey, but if you know you need something that may no longer be in production or is rare or boutique, I would give these spots a shot.
Caveman Music – This is downtown LA’s vintage music store. They have great gear and vinyl too! $$$
Imperial Vintage Guitars – Burbank’s cool shop with great guitars and basses. They also supply some used parts for your instruments and have a few pedals. $$$
Alva’s Music – Located in San Pedro, they are the south bay’s source for guitars and basses. They carry pedals, and occasionally hold in-store garage sales $$$
Truetone Music – This is a pricey store that has a ton of pedals with a nice and knowledgable staff. They occasionally offer used pedals and have huge selection of great vintage guitars and basses too. $$$$
“$” = Price range – $=inexpensive/$$$$=very pricey
If I missed your favorite store, be sure to let us know about it on the comment section below.