Specialising in all kinds of new and used gear, Echo Tone has quickly ascended to become known as one of the best stores of its kind in Melbourne. The Northcote shopfront, which opened back in 2016, plays host to an ever-rotating inventory of vintage guitars, amps and pedals, while their range of new gear and accessories makes them a store for all musicians to enjoy. Today, we're putting the spotlight on Echo Tone, chatting to staff members Matthew and Chris to find out all about the shop and what they offer to the Aussie music scene.
Tell us about Echo Tone. What’s the history of the shop? Who works there?
Matthew (Owner): Put simply, Echo Tone is a guitar store in Northcote, Victoria which specialises in vintage, second hand and select new gear. We also have a comprehensive guitar repair workshop!
While our physical store has only existed since 2016, I spent over a decade working in various stores across Melbourne, trading vintage guitars online and playing in local bands. It was only a matter of time until I took the plunge into the world of bricks and mortar!
We have a small, yet dedicated team here at Echo Tone. Chris Frangou is a vintage specialist and also heads our online and social media presence, Eileen Hodgkins is our sales manager as well as the booker for all our events, Rick Steward is our guitar doctor, and Justin Garner and Rob Andrews are the two members of our sales team.
Chris (Vintage Specialist & Media): The great thing about our location is we are bang in the middle of one of the biggest communities of musicians in Australia! Servicing this community is a super rewarding experience and one of the highlights of the shop is being able to host regular Sunday night in-store performances for local bands and artists.
Matthew: Totally! Since opening our doors, we’ve seen many incredible instruments flow through our store, hosted some incredible in-stores, made some great friends and have been humbled by the on-going support of the local music community!
On top of stocking some of the latest products and accessories, Echo Tone has quite the reputation for boasting one of Melbourne’s best vintage inventories. Tell us a bit about some of the vintage gear in your shop, and briefly explain how your consignment process works.
Matthew: We do our best to source the best vintage and second-hand instruments we can offer. Some instruments are shop owned, others are with us on consignment and sometimes I’ll even pull something out of my personal collection to spice things up!
Chris: Everything we have on the wall is carefully selected and curated, whether it be more affordable ‘60s Japanese instruments from brands such as Teisco to highly desirable golden-era Fenders, Gibsons, and Martins. So there is really something for everyone at any price range.
Matthew: As for our consignments, the process will typically begin with an appraisal of your instrument by one of our specialists, we’ll establish a price with you, give the instrument a service, advertise your item and upon sale there is a 20% fee on the sale price. We take in consignments from across the country and even offer a pickup service for high value rarities! (who doesn’t love a road trip!).
Chris: Yay, road trips!
Aside from vintage gear, are there any other brands or items that Echo Tone specialises in? What about products like merch, vinyl or books?
Matthew: We have a nice selection of second hand vinyl, which includes new releases from local bands and labels, as well as a solid inventory of song books & chord charts too. Having an in-house repair shop means we have an extensive range of guitar parts and care products on hand too! Some brands of new stock we hold include Martin, Guild, Dunlop, MXR, Danelectro, Marshall, Sigma and more!
Are there any other services that Echo Tone offers that helps you stand out from the rest? What about shipping/delivery?
Matthew: Totally! We have a great in-house instrument technician and workshop for everyone’s guitar repair, modification and servicing needs, we pride ourselves on offering musician friendly turn around times too.
Chris: As for shipping, we offer super affordable (yet fast and safe!) world-wide shipping, as well as instrument appraisals and a crazy amount of payment options across our entire range including Afterpay, ZipMoney, and traditional layby.
Echo Tone is also known for having one of the best social media feeds in all of Australia. Tell us a bit about what you’re aiming for with your social media presence.
Chris: Why thank you! We definitely do take pride in our social media presence. I feel social media is one of the most important channels for getting our products out there in the world these days. Also, all of us really love to peruse social media for amazing photos of guitars and other instruments we would love to own someday, so we really wanted to give everyone else that same experience. Our customers span the globe, so we also see it as a great way to let everyone experience what it’s like coming into Echo Tone, even if you’re unable to.
Where do you see Echo Tone’s place in the Australian music retail industry? How do you uphold that presence when customers visit your shop?
Chris: We love providing a unique experience to our customers. Some of this uniqueness comes from our curated vintage and second-hand instruments, many of which are rare and hard to find anywhere else in the country, or even the world! We also ensure Echo Tone is a friendly and inclusive space where everyone can feel welcome and at home.
How can customers find Echo Tone when visiting Melbourne, and how can we get in contact with you guys if we have any questions?
Matthew: We are located at 497 High St, Northcote (right across from the intersection of Dennis St), and super close to Croxton Station! You can also catch the tram down High Street too, so it’s a very accessible location. If anyone has any questions please feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on (03) 9939 0752. You can of course check us out on our website and social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook!
Check out Echo Tone's website to view their full range of products today.