Miscellaneous Rumbles

Matt Umanov Guitars NYC Closed



Closed yesterday after nearly 50 years in the business.

Luckily it appears to be his own decision not driven by lack of business or hiked rents.

Still, sad to see him go.

Surprised he couldn't sell the business to someone.


It's sad seeing all the old retail places go. No commerce -- no downtown. Death to Amazon.


He was in the biz for 50 years... so I think it was not due to the effect of The Modern World.

Gruhn may retire at some point pretty soon also. He opened in 1970.


My uncle lived very close by on Waverly Pl. I stopped in to drool many times. I never asked to play anything figuring it must be tough having so many people wander in in a place like NYC.


The older guitar shops from the 70s/80s closing up before my first ever visit to New York.

...a bit sad!


I liked going to Umanov's, always a fun day in the Village...

I chatted him up right before we left Manhattan.

Something different but similar happened with Mandolin Brothers on Staten Island...the children couldn't keep it going.

Rudy's always seemed to be "haute collectible", he has a different formula.

I think Gruhn and Carter have a better chance.


I knew about this a few months ago and was saddened by it. He chose to call it quits and left on his own. I'm sad that I never got the chance to stop in one last time. I used to go there at least once/week when I lived in Hoboken and worked way downtown.

After having bought the house in '09, I went there less and probably only made it in there 3 times/year. Another of my favorite haunts in the city is now gone.

I do like Rudy's on Broome St. and Rudy is one heck of a nice guy. I met Fred and Joe there some years ago and saw Paul Pigat play there for a Gretsch celebration. That was a heck of a fun day!


Wow....a veritable institution in Greenwich Village. It was a thrill to go there whenever I visited NY in the 1990s......all those wonderful old archtops that never seemed to make their way up to Canada.....one blond single pickup ES175 with a P90 really had me....feelin' a bit maudlin right now. All the best and a big thank you to Matt.


Oh, bummer! I visited the shop last January and test drove a Vintage Select Tenny. Great store! Great service. It will be sorely missed.


So where is this (closing) all going ?. There were 3 music stores in town here (Norway) 2 years ago, now there all gone . Did I buy any guitars there ? No , well yes , I bought a "new" Guild F512 , that had been hiding in the back room storage for at least 10 years- . yea - I knew about it and made my move at the right time - closing days. I did buy a lot of guitar related stuff though, - strings , Pa ,cables, harps…. These things that can be bought online , a harp is a harp isn't it ? . But Guitars? If you or your parents have no idea ?? , well I guess it can be bought there too. The online stores all have good return policy , but you do have to pay the return freight, and pack the thing again , and deliver it to the post. I had that experience last week . Ordered a 12 string electric. From a photo. I looked at several online shops. Very little information about the guitars online - scale length , materials ect. Asking didn't help either , they didn't know . Got it - What a piece of crap. I spent half the next day + $ 50 getting it out of the house again . Over here the nearest store is now a 100 miles away , in the big city - and I think they are hurting too. There is not much for me to get excited about in there any more, a few US guitars , most of the stuff is copy cat guitars from the far east. I have noticed a lot of the FE guitars ( in the store) are pretty good for what they cost. No used Guitars. Borring ! I don't even go in anymore , unless I need something. The kids haven't completely stoped playing guitars here. But although it's easy enough to buy one , they don't have any support when they need help with small things on their guitars . And they need it . Even the top brands need a little help out of the box. What gauge strings do I need? . Why does it buzz ? Not rocket science , but it can take the fun out of playing. There is no expertise/stores around to help anymore. Some - or their parents- come knocking on my door - I like that - get to bring out the voodoo! Internet made a lot of things related to guitars easier and more interesting . Specially finding this or that or selling something. But the seed started to grow hanging around in the stores - asking questions and getting answers , even if they didn't know what they were talking about! And seeing the good stuff with you own eyes does make a difference ! Anyone know how the Great House of Guitars in Rochester NY is doing ? They have emptied my wallet many times.


This is very sad. I used to hang out in all the NYC guitar stores in the early 80s all the time. 48th street, Umanov etc. They were my second home. All gone. I still visited Umanov regularly after that when on holiday. Last time was 2016. I'll miss it!


Yes if and when I visit NYC again I'll miss Umanov's. Bought 5 guitars there over the years including my 6118T from a wall of Gretsches. Always a pleasure to go there.


This got me thinking about "Buffalo Brothers" down in Carlsbad. They closed a few years back. It was a funky old huge building. With an Electric room downstairs and rare acoustics and mandolins upstairs. I used to spend as much time as I could get away with there, which was considerable at the time and I agree , the "Amazon's" have pushed out so many comfortable old Mom & Pop shops.

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