Best Music Stores in the USA, 10 Best Music Stores in the USA—Ranked Based on popularity among musicians

10 Best Music Stores in the USA—Ranked Based on popularity among musicians

It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s not as easy as you think to shop for the best music instruments— especially if you take your music career seriously. You’ve got to buy or order them from a music store that sells only the good stuff.

Not only that, we want a reliable place to shop for our other music needs, like vinyl storage. If you’re a record collector, you know the importance of vinyl record storage to prolong the life of your collection. You don’t want to mess that up!

According to Statista (2022), the revenue of the musical instrument US market in 2020 amounts to $4.3 billion with annual growth rate of 4.42%. There is an expected revenue of around $4.7 billion by the end of 2022.

Best Music Stores in the USA, 10 Best Music Stores in the USA—Ranked Based on popularity among musicians

You might be wondering where your fellow musicians are buying their instruments and equipment.

Well, we’ve compiled 10 of the best music stores based on how popular they are to musicians. There are more specific stores as well as general ones. So you don’t have to worry about not finding a music store that you need.

NOTE:

Before we start the list, we would like to inform you that the ranking is based on the 2021 total revenue of the stores. 

More revenue means that there are more customers. Since their usual customers are musicians, it means that they are popular to them. We would also be enumerating some pros and cons to help you compare.

Alright, on we go!

#1 SWEETWATER

Best Music Stores in the USA, 10 Best Music Stores in the USA—Ranked Based on popularity among musicians

Sweetwater was founded in 1979 and is the largest retailer for music instruments and pro audio equipment in the United States. Due to the pandemic, Sweetwater’s 2020 revenue was low.

However, last year saw a 25% increase in revenue when compared to the year it succeeded. The music store saw a total of $1.43 billion of net sales last year.

WHY MUSICIANS LOVE THEM:

  • You can choose from the expansive list of different products for each category.
  • There is a 2-year warranty for all products.
  • You have access to engineering services and technical support.
  • The store has partnerships with reputable manufacturers and brands like Yamaha, JBL, and Audio Technica.

Visit their online website here.

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#2 GUITAR CENTER

Best Music Stores in the USA, 10 Best Music Stores in the USA—Ranked Based on popularity among musicians

If you’re a guitarist and want to save time looking through stalls or webpages of other unrelated supplies, you can go here.

This store is one that specializes in guitar sales and is apparently, the largest. It had a $448.9 million net sale last year making it one of the most trusted guitar stores.

WHY MUSICIANS LOVE THEM:

  • The store has a wide selection of guitars from different brands.
  • They offer great deals and discounts to customers.
  • They also offer repair services for clients at a reasonable price.
  • They give additional support through physical stores.

Visit their online website here.

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#3 SAM ASH MUSIC STORE

Best Music Stores in the USA, 10 Best Music Stores in the USA—Ranked Based on popularity among musicians

The company is owned by the Sam Ash family which they established in 1924. It is one of the oldest music stores in the United States and is present in 45 different places in the country. For last year, 2021, the company had a total revenue of $400 million.

WHY MUSICIANS LOVE THEM:

  • The products they offer are provided by major brands.
  • They provide new books and audio services to support and help clients in learning or improving their skills in playing an instrument.
  • They give additional support through physical stores.

Visit their Facebook here.

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#4 B&H PHOTO & VIDEO

Best Music Stores in the USA, 10 Best Music Stores in the USA—Ranked Based on popularity among musicians

This company has reported an $854 million revenue and should have been at #2 on this list. However, we had to put it at #4 because the company is mostly known for their wide array of professional videography and photography equipment. This means that its revenue is not only due to the musical instruments they offer. Still, they’re more than $800 million revenue cannot be disregarded.

WHY MUSICIANS LOVE THEM:

  • They deliver fast and offer products at a cheap price.
  • They also have consistently maintained a 5-star rating in all seven key categories, some of them are, Overall Satisfaction, Product Satisfaction, Delivery Satisfaction, Customer Service and more.

Visit their online website here.

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#5 MUSICIAN’S FRIEND

Best Music Stores in the USA, 10 Best Music Stores in the USA—Ranked Based on popularity among musicians

Musician’s Friend may be the only store in this list without a physical store. It is a well known international online music store and had a total revenue of $188.1 million last year. If you’re into guitars then this is a good store to visit since they have an extensive list of it. They also have a variety of musical instruments they offer.

WHY MUSICIANS LOVE THEM:

  • They have an excellent reputation.
  • High quality guitars are guaranteed.
  • They allow a 2-year warranty for guitars and percussion instruments.

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#6 FULL COMPASS SYSTEMS

Best Music Stores in the USA, 10 Best Music Stores in the USA—Ranked Based on popularity among musicians

This has been the go to store for most professional musicians. They are a retail store offering around 1,000 products from over 800 brands. For the sales last year, they generated a revenue of $150 million.

If you choose to order from this store, here are the pros and cons:

WHY MUSICIANS LOVE THEM:

  • Customers are happy with their products’ prices.

Visit their online website here.

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#7 ZZOUNDS

Best Music Stores in the USA, 10 Best Music Stores in the USA—Ranked Based on popularity among musicians

Zzounds is a general online music store with a variety of musical instruments and equipment available in their warehouse. They had a net sale of $48.4 million for 2021 and they are continuing to grow.

WHY MUSICIANS LOVE THEM:

  • They have an extensive list of products for many categories that you won’t need to look for another shop to order from.
  • They are a certified supplier for big brands and guarantee the lowest price for their products.
  • They have more transparency for pricing and shipping.
  • They deliver within two business days and even have a lenient return policy (45 days).

Visit their online website here.

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#8 J.W. PEPPER

Best Music Stores in the USA, 10 Best Music Stores in the USA—Ranked Based on popularity among musicians

This is another one of the country’s oldest music stores. It has been serving its customers since 1876 and continues to do so until now in 2022. Their total revenue for 2022 is not as astounding as it is during its previous years. Its sales started declining in 2018 and has continued on in 2022 with only $34 million as total revenue.

WHY MUSICIANS LOVE THEM:

  • Their wide selection of products are very organized making it easy to look for what you’re looking for.
  • They have great customer service.

CONS

  • Customers had problems with their orders not arriving to them.

Visit their online website here.

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#9 AMERICAN MUSICAL SUPPLY

Best Music Stores in the USA, 10 Best Music Stores in the USA—Ranked Based on popularity among musicians

This may have been due to the pandemic but AMS, apparently, was third in place in the store rankings in 2019. However, in 2022 they fell five steps back and placed on #8 on this list with a total revenue of $30.5 million.

WHY MUSICIANS LOVE THEM:

  • They give great discount offers.

Visit their online website here.

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#10 ALTO MUSIC

Best Music Stores in the USA, 10 Best Music Stores in the USA—Ranked Based on popularity among musicians

Alto music is a music store that offers a sizable selection of musical instruments to their customers. They have guitars, recording equipment, keyboards, drums, and gadgets for orchestras and bands. It has three physical stores, one is located in New York, and it boasts a professional audio showroom. It generated $25 million last year making it to this list.

WHY MUSICIANS LOVE THEM:

  • Their staff provide great assistance.
  • Product delivery was always fast.

Visit their online website here.

 

What music store caught your eyes?

Or have you been a patron of one of them?

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James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD, custom vinyl records and merch company in LA.

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