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Mystery Shopper: Rikaxxe Music in Bristol

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Mystery Shopper: Rikaxxe Music in Bristol

This week I find myself working in sunny Bristol again which ultimately means I can conduct another Guitar Jar Mystery Shopper review. This report features Rikaxxe Music, based on Bond Street, Bristol.

After my previous work assignment to Bristol, I was ready to take a long walk off a short pier. My week (so far) hasn’t been that bad and seeing that I’m actually based on Bond Street, it’s more than convenient to choose Rikaxxe Music as the focus of this feature.

Rikaxxe Music is literally just a 2 minute walk from the Cabot Circus shopping centre in Bristol and fortunately for me is situated just a couple of doors down from a fantastic comic book shop. If you’ve read my Wunjo Guitars Mystery Shopper review you’d know I’m a fan of old Marvel/DC comics and I can’t praise Excelsior Comics enough for their range of comics, enthusiasm and knowledge.

The first impression you get from Rikaxxe Music is how big the shop is. To enter the store you need to press the bell and wait for the staff to buzz you in, which is a bit unusual but fair enough if they are doing this for security reasons etc.

The shop has some tasty guitars on display in the windows; most noticeably a Dean Razorback, a PRS, and Gibson Les Paul just to name a few. On entering, I was taken aback by the appearance of the shop – it’s a large store but the floor & walls look like they could do with a serious lick of paint. It’s not a problem though, but in my mind, often first impressions count. However, when walking around the shop, the quirky range of amps, guitars and effects for sale overshadows the lack of paint on the floor.

It was nice to see an old Marshall head, a 70’s looking Strat & the Razorback, but it was the Hiwatt Studio/Stage head that really caught my eye – I had the opportunity to play through one of these a couple of years back and they are fantastic amplifiers, but very expensive.

A positive aspect to Rikaxxe Music is that I was instantly greeted by a very upbeat gentleman who I think is the owner (I heard the name “Richard” from another customer but I could be wrong). He welcomed me straight away, left me to browse around, then approached me asking if he can be of any assistance. It turns out I’m actually on the lookout for a hard case for my Ovation Celebrity Deluxe and it has to be said “Richard” bent over backwards to help me out. Firstly, he advised me that not all deep-bowl Ovation cases fit all deep-bowl Ovation guitars which was really interesting and secondly, he emerged with a lovely looking Ovation case which I was really surprised at, as a couple of shops close to where I live don’t stock these items by default.

“Richard” was fantastic and he didn’t try to push a sale – he engaged with me 100% and ultimately advised me to come back with my actual guitar to “try before I buy”. I really appreciated his honesty and direct approach, as he could have so easily sold me the case, giving me the impression that the case would be fine for my Ovation model.


Rikaxxe Music is quite an interesting shop. It’s big, could do with a lick of paint and is a bit unusual to be buzzed into the store – but there’re some really nice guitar items tucked away in the store and the customer service was 110%.

It’s probably not the type of guitar shop I would travel a fair distance to visit, but if you’re ever passing through or shopping in the nearby Cabot Circus, it’s well worth a visit. Next time I’m here I’ll have my Ovation in hand…

Update: 27th August 2010

Rikaxxe Music has moved since I last visited. They’re still situated in Bond Street, in fact they’ve just moved a few doors down to a smaller, much cleaner and well presented shop. It’s very cosy compared to the previous store and has a nice feel to it. The new shop looks nice and is a significant improvement on the previous store. It’s nice to easily browse their interesting range of electric guitars… and I’m still loving their selection of HiWatts!

Have you visited Rikaxxe Music in Bristol? If so, please give your Mystery Shopper comments below.

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About the author:

Sam is passionate about talking all things guitar related and started GuitarJar.co.uk to help encourage all guitarists in their guitar playing journey.


  • I stumbled across Rikkaxe in much the same way as you did looking to buy a new more playable guitar. The owner (Richard) suggested that I bring my existing instrument in, a Hohner J 200, to let him look at it. He did a set up and it now plays superbly. Your report on the shop is totally accurate. It gives honest straightforward advice. The shop does not seem to have any advertising. I suspect it is not necessary.

  • Rikaxxe made my old guitars like new. This small guitar shop in Bristol is a little treasure.

    I brought in my Ovation Celeb for advice about it not staying in tune and generally sounding lousy. They said they’d have a look, but when the guy heard I was just passing through he said I should go for a coffee and give him half an hour and he’d see what he could do.

    You have no idea what a good technician can do. The instrument I picked up less than an hour later was like a new guitar. Just brilliant.

    I’d recommend anybody have their guitar set-up regularly. Don’t try it yourself though; I knackered one of mine trying a DIY. But I get all mine done regularly.

    Find a guy who knows what he’s doing and you won’t regret it.

  • Great shop. I have had good advice several times and no “hard sell”. I have bought a guitar from this shop and it was really well set up and won’t hesitate to go back.

  • I have to say that Rikaxxe is the weirdest music shop I have ever been to. I visited the other day just to remind myself of why I thought it was so strange the last time I had been in(which had been at their shop just down the road). Sure enough – super weird. Not unfriendly, just very peculiar. I remember having the impression last time that he just didn’t want to sell me anything and it was the same this time. I said I was interested in buying a bass and was asked if I’d ever played one and answered yes. He then asked if I actually had one and I replied that I had three.He then asked if I wanted to buy another one because I didn’t like the ones I had to which I answered no. This peculiar line of questioning continued for a bit until I’d had enough. I went down the road and spent a couple of grand at PMT instead.

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