Music Store Blues - Jemsite
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Dublin
Posts: 385
Reviews: 6
Music Store Blues

A decision I face everytime I buy a new axe (not that often) is new vs used. I usually start by seeing what's on the web, what's new out there and what really turns me on. Then I hit the reviews and forums such as this to see what the "word on the street is".

I always start with the altruistic ideal of supporting a store, particularly those who are not chains, but always find I'm disappointed. Before I get started, here are my criteria. I consider 50 to 400 entry level, 400 to 900 mid range, 900 to 2,200 high end and anything above 2,200 to be in the collector/professional range. You may disagree with my criteria and it is possible to find as many guitars in the high to professional/collector ranges that are sub standard as it is to find excellent axes in the mid range.

I am generally shopping for mid and high end guitars and here's my problem. I see an Ibby, Jackson or ESP, it looks cool, the fretboard is well finished, the finish on the whole guitar is great, I've even found a colour I can live with and then comes the moment. I plug it in, put my fingers on it and the action is like a violin, the strings are rusted to **** like Yngwie Malmsteen's exercise bike. Here's the deal, if I'm paying 500 or over on something I want to know it suits my needs, I don't want the hassle of returning something, dealing with fault lists etc., I want a good indication that it's a keeper. In the end I always find what I'm looking for by trawling adds for pristine used guitars which have been well taken care of and I have never been disappointed.

Here's my gripe. Why can't the people at music stores do at least a basic setup on their mid and high range guitars, not a super pro setup (flying Rich over would kill their profits), just get it playing well. I'm not going to risk my cash on it being a dud because the store staff are not motivated enough to give a rats arse. I walk in, take it off the wall, if it plays like **** or has the action of a suspension bridge I put it back. I've picked up 2,000 plus Jems with excitement only to discover the 300 LTD down the rack plays better. I understand that there is time involved in doing this, so it's simple, build it into the price. I will buy the same model guitar for 100 more if the one at X store plays better than the one at Y store, because guitars are individuals.

I'd like to see what Rich and other dealers think, maybe I'm talking out my arse, maybe I'm alone in this view. However, if you were buying a car, went to a dealership and test drove a few cars where the seatbelts didn't quite click, the doors didn't quite close and the brakes didn't work you'd quickly find another dealership. I feel that the stores could sell a lot more mid to high end guitars if they put a little effort into checking the quality and resolving minor issues.

Please let me know what you think.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 05:12 PM
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Re: Music Store Blues

The problem with stores is the vast amount of inventory that has to be maintained. I can honestly tell you if I had a store, I'd tell you when you picked something up "if it's not setup well bring it over and I'll adjust it" because even I have no desire to constantly maintain 50-100 guitars on even a weekly basis. What I do works because I only have to do 1 guitar at a time
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Dublin
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Re: Music Store Blues

Thanks Rich, I understand your point. My issue is that in many cases here the stores are smaller, there will be maybe 50 entry level guitars, but only 10 to 15 mid to high end ones. Even if the assistants offered to adjust it I'd be happy, if they gave me the allen keys I'd even do it myself, the tekkie in me means I often find myself having to consciously resist fixing things that are none of my concern. Here the assistant either stays at the counter surfing porn or stands over you like impending doom repeating what it says in the brochure. If the US and Japan are guitar heaven, Ireland is guitar hell.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 06:21 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: The FTL, Florida
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Re: Music Store Blues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
The problem with stores is the vast amount of inventory that has to be maintained. I can honestly tell you if I had a store, I'd tell you when you picked something up "if it's not setup well bring it over and I'll adjust it" because even I have no desire to constantly maintain 50-100 guitars on even a weekly basis. What I do works because I only have to do 1 guitar at a time
S**t! I own seven and can't keep up with them sometimes.

I always wondered, though. Can't Ibanez have local reps go around and do a basic tuning and/or string change setup? Don't know if it's economically viable or how vast their rep's territory is.
Or maybe some local volunteers in exchange for free gear?
Meh! The abuse some of those guitars get off the rack I don't know if I'd wish that job on anyone.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 05:26 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Australia
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Re: Music Store Blues

In general, I hate music stores.

In Sydney there are not many decent guitar stores, but there is one that stood out for me. Not sure if I am allowed to but I will mention them by name. I had a very positive experience with the Guitar Factory at Gladesville where I bought my PRS last year.

I called ahead and spoke with one of the guys to confirm that they had what I was after. When I got there the guys welcomed me in the store, asked about my guitar history so that they could best meet my needs and didn't shy away from letting me grab and feel the guitars I was after. They set up a range of amps for me, made sure I was happy with the setup on the guitars that I was trying out and didn't bug me every 5 minutes to push the sale. When I made my decision they immediately started talking setup needs, replaced the strings, cleaned and serviced the guitar in front of me and explained some tips and trips along the way that I could use for later on when I needed to do some work on it myself. It was such a positive experience, I can't wait to go back to get another one (which should be October all going well )

A local store in the Sutherland Shire is a very different story all together. Everything is an effort. The set ups they do are rubbish, they try to BS you - do they not realise that there is such a thing as the internet, - and people can access the internet via their mobile phone to check specs! Small tip Store Manager, If you don't know, don't make it up!

Anyway, I could go on about others and how they are just intent on getting you in and then out the door no matter what, as long as they have made some form of sale.

-Wolfram
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 08:07 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: hereford, uk
Posts: 212
Re: Music Store Blues

I have a general dislike for all music shops, i have never found a good one, guitars are always set up badly, the ones you really want to try are in a glass case and you have to take out a 2nd morgage just to get them to open the case. Then theres the real bad atmosphere, theres usually 2 maybe 3 people in the shop that are good friends and are always in the shop drinking coffee and stuff and talking to the owner, then you walk in and straight away you get the stink eye from them all cus you interupted their conversation, you start to walk round the shop and you can feel their eyes boring into the back of your neck, then you go to touch a guitar and you can hear a sharp intake of breath. finally you ask a question about a particular guitar and all the owner wants to do is try and sell you a different one, not because its better or suits your needs more but because he makes more money from it.
then theres the big chain guitar shops, the employees havent got a clue but still do the stink eye thing when you walk in.

So now i do my research, figure out what i want then buy online, brought 2 guitars this way, one was setup perfect the other wasnt but only took me 30mins to sort out. I dont even go into guitar shops now, just dont see the point in them the owners of these shops really need to change their atitudes towards their potential customers overwise they may become extinct.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 11:35 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Re: Music Store Blues

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Originally Posted by newblues View Post
I have a general dislike for all music shops, i have never found a good one, guitars are always set up badly, the ones you really want to try are in a glass case and you have to take out a 2nd morgage just to get them to open the case. Then theres the real bad atmosphere, theres usually 2 maybe 3 people in the shop that are good friends and are always in the shop drinking coffee and stuff and talking to the owner, then you walk in and straight away you get the stink eye from them all cus you interupted their conversation, you start to walk round the shop and you can feel their eyes boring into the back of your neck, then you go to touch a guitar and you can hear a sharp intake of breath. finally you ask a question about a particular guitar and all the owner wants to do is try and sell you a different one, not because its better or suits your needs more but because he makes more money from it.
then theres the big chain guitar shops, the employees havent got a clue but still do the stink eye thing when you walk in.

So now i do my research, figure out what i want then buy online, brought 2 guitars this way, one was setup perfect the other wasnt but only took me 30mins to sort out. I dont even go into guitar shops now, just dont see the point in them the owners of these shops really need to change their atitudes towards their potential customers overwise they may become extinct.
Ohh so true. We must be going to some of the same places

-Wolfram
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 11:56 AM
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Somerville, MA
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Re: Music Store Blues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laobi View Post
Here's my gripe. Why can't the people at music stores do at least a basic setup on their mid and high range guitars, not a super pro setup (flying Rich over would kill their profits), just get it playing well. I'm not going to risk my cash on it being a dud because the store staff are not motivated enough to give a rats arse.
First, some do - Guitar Center is always hit or miss, obviously, but I go down to Matt's Music (who I believe is still a site sponsor here) periodically, and not only does he stock a very high quality inventory, but everything I've played there had a good setup.

Second, if you're about to spend serious money on a guitar, say, $1k-1500 or above maybe, I don't think it's at all unreasonable to ask a store to throw on a fresh set of strings and give it a quick setup. If you're serious about buying it, it's a small investment for them to make for a sale. It helps to have a relationship with the store, and if you to this twice and then at the last second decide not to buy then I wouldn't ask a third time, but for a good quality shop you lose nothing by asking, and if it isn't a good quality, reputable shop, you shouldn't be spending your money there.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 12:38 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Posts: 2,646
Re: Music Store Blues

I find sometimes when I sit at a guitar shop I freeze up and can't play very well.. kind of like standing at the trough and not being able to pee : / I have been playing live for 10 yrs so don't know what that is about, anyway, the way these guitars are set up doesn't help. I could just hold the guitar and tell if I want it, it wouldn't even need strings on it. Nice frets, straight neck, stability... good to go : )
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 04:26 AM
 
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Re: Music Store Blues

Quote:
Originally Posted by GUITARMAGEDDON View Post
I find sometimes when I sit at a guitar shop I freeze up and can't play very well.. kind of like standing at the trough and not being able to pee : / I have been playing live for 10 yrs so don't know what that is about, anyway, the way these guitars are set up doesn't help. I could just hold the guitar and tell if I want it, it wouldn't even need strings on it. Nice frets, straight neck, stability... good to go : )
Lol, that's how I get sometimes too - such expectation from the sales attendants. Its like auditioning to prove you're good enough to buy the guitar

-Wolfram
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-16-2014, 07:32 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: hereford, uk
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Re: Music Store Blues

Quote:
Originally Posted by GUITARMAGEDDON View Post
I find sometimes when I sit at a guitar shop I freeze up and can't play very well.. kind of like standing at the trough and not being able to pee : / I have been playing live for 10 yrs so don't know what that is about, anyway, the way these guitars are set up doesn't help. I could just hold the guitar and tell if I want it, it wouldn't even need strings on it. Nice frets, straight neck, stability... good to go : )
I always forget the cool stuff that i normally play and just end up playing basic blues licks or worse still enter sandman or something like that
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-16-2014, 08:46 AM
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Re: Music Store Blues

I'm glad I'm not the only one! thanks guys : D
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