N. Charleston. 7620 Rivers Ave. 572-9063
Music gear megastore chain Guitar Center -- a massive music supply company that originally kicked up in California in 1959 -- celebrated the grand opening of their Charleston-area location just under two years ago with a flurry of discounts and bargains. Located across from Northwoods Mall at 7620 Rivers Ave. (their 152nd store in the U.S.), the well-stocked facility is a "state-of-the-art music complex filled with guitars, amps, drums, keyboards, software, and DJ gear" with good deals on strings, hundreds of acoustic and electric guitars and basses, pianos and keys, drumsticks and heads, P.A. gear, and accessories. Staffed with working musicians and techs like assistant manager Trent Marshall (pictured), they usually know what the hell they're talking about. The readers chose the Guitar Center for the second year in a row.