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Ibanez JEM, UV, JS & Other Signature Models For discussion of Ibanez JEM, Universe and JS (Satriani) guitars only.

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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-03-2002, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Guitar Center

Is it just me, or are all of Guitar Center's JEMs in need of a good set up. I have played three 7vwh's in the past couple weeks at two different Guitar Centers and they all played like sh!t!!!!! Two of them had a slight back bow in the neck so they buzzed while playing open strings. The other's volume pot was not secured tightly by its nut, thus the entire pot spun. It also played like poop!

I know this is not the result of the guitar, but the lack of attention the store gives to their inventory. As my username suggests, I do not own a JEM. However, I am obsessing about them, so I am sure in the not too distant future I will buy one. But where? I do not want to shell out that kind of money to have to turn around and have sharp fret ends dressed and a professional set up done.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-03-2002, 09:44 PM
 
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-03-2002, 09:46 PM
 
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Agreed on both accounts. Guitar Center is the McDonalds of guitar stores,
and Rich over at Ibanez Rules (swirled banner at the top) is a top notch
guy that give each customer and each instrument the attention and care
they deserve.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 12:05 AM
 
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What do you expect? Most GC's have 300+ guitars in stock at any given time, adn maybe 5 or 6 employees in the guitar department. While its true that Ibanez arrive from the factoy with very decent setups, a weeks worth of 15 year olds banging on the whammy bar and turing the machine heads with the nut locked and etc...

Give the guys there a break. If they were to make sure every guitar was setup perfectly everytime you came in... ****, there arent enough hours in a the day.

If making sure the guitar is perfectly set up before you buy it is a must, then ask the salesman if they will send it out for a professional setup and include that in the price of the instrument.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 12:08 AM
 
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i agree not all guitars can be setup, but we're talking about a ~1200-1400 dollars instrument, you should get some quality service.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 12:15 AM
 
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GC

I am thrilled to say that I worked at GC for a short while, and agree that there just aren't enough people working there to set up all the guitars. To be honest, I did spend a lot of time setting up the Jems (as well as JS, Jackson USA, etc.) because I liked them best. Really, only me and one other guy in the whole store would even touch a Floyd setup. As I'm sure you can imagine, it breaks your heart to spend time on a guitar and have some hacker come in and abuse it!

The McDonald's reference is right on-if you buy from GC, you probably will have to do a full setup yourself or take it to a pro...or hope you get a Jem-fan salesman who did a full setup on your guitar and put it way up high so no one could touch it!
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 12:20 AM
 
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Re: GC

Quote:
Really, only me and one other guy in the whole store would even touch a Floyd setup
At this point you have to understand that most guitarists out there (including jem players) have no idea how to setup a floyd properly, and the GC salesman is no exception. Not to mention how long it takes if you're not *really good at it.

Having worked at GC... Im sure you understand the time consumed doing setups.... how many sales did you miss out on working on those?
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 12:56 AM
 
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Re: GC

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonrayl
At this point you have to understand that most guitarists out there (including jem players) have no idea how to setup a floyd properly
I've played Floyd / Edge guitars for 20 years. I've played in 6 bands and jammed with dozens of guitar players. Only 1 other dude i've met has played a guitar with a locking trem. It was a Charvel with an original Kahler :yuk:

The lead vocalist / rhythm guitarist in my current band has a Parker Nightfly and can't comprehend the way a floating trem works.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 04:09 AM
 
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What's amazing to me is that when I checkd out and bought a EBMM JPM from Guitar Center, one of the two that they had in stock was setup perfectly. The other was 90%.

Could it be that occasionally a bad setup gets beyond Ibanez QC?
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 04:25 AM
 
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nah...

It's a bit tighter I think at Music Man...Ibanez is kinda a cookie cutter approach to setups when they go out to stores I think. Music Man is fun to deal with because they set up each guitar individually. At the store I work at, we have a guy that has nerve damage and has to play .008 strings. Music Man is a very friendly group of people to work with. He has ordered 2 Albert Lee models, and Music Man has them intonated and setup with 8's! Cool experience with them... Ibanez is a severe pain in the ass. I constantly get the wrong parts shipped to me (we don't sell the guitars, but we do repairs on them) and getting someone friendly on the phone is rare...

Also in the case of the Petrucci from Music Man, the setup is a bit easier due to the bridge, and non-locking nut to deal with...a very convenient and wonderful guitar. I love my jems and Uni's to death, but MM did good too!
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 04:26 AM
 
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Quote:
What do you expect? Most GC's have 300+ guitars in stock at any given time, adn maybe 5 or 6 employees in the guitar department.
What I expect is to have my Jem arrive with a proper set-up if I am spending almost $1800.00 for it. IMHO, if they don't have the staffing to ensure this, Maybe they should hire people solely for that purpose and give the customer their money's worth. Next time I will be shopping with Rich at Ibanez Rules for sure!
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 04:28 AM
 
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not only possible, it happens. Usually the higher end ibanez (jems, JS, presteige) are setup pretty well right out of the box, but not always. Might be because of the QC at ibanez, quite possibly its due to pressure changes that happen in transit... Point is, most guitars arent set up properly when they arrive at the GC docks.. fenders are always detuned korn style.. Les pauls are broken nearly half the time (ok, I exagerate)... we tune them up so they are playable, but full setups arent always possible, and when they are, the setup doesnt last very long.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 09:40 AM
 
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I've purchased guitars off the wall and used before but I usually, and preferrably only get them out of the box. I'm still picky that way. I want my hands to be the first (except obviously for the ones beloning to Ibanez employees) to touch the instrument. Even with set-ups or whatever, I'd rather tear into the guitar first and re-adjust something later.

From working at SA for so long, I have to defend GC in the fact that there are more guitars than they can realistically keep up with (sort of). Businesses this size are so focused on the dollar that they lost sight of "spending money to make money". If you are a salesperson, you're not making much at all so your not going to be off the salesfloor much to go set up a guitar-ESPECIALLY a Floyd-style guitar. Second, these stores don't invest enough into in-house techs. If these places had enough techs to service the guitars on display more frequently, they'd see that money they've invested come back-they guitars would be more playable to buy!

As a customer, you may always request that the guitar has been set up. If the tech isn't there, make an appointment for another time. Don't assume that among the salespeople, one of them is necessarily going to be enough of an expert that you'd want him/her to start tinkering around on you new axe-even if they say they've been playing forever. Remember: expert players aren't necessarily experts of the instruments themselves. I've seen plenty of people that have played as long as I've been alive and don't even know half of the things I feel they SHOULD know.

Mike 777

Last edited by mike777; 01-12-2011 at 07:00 PM.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 11:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike777
Second, these stores don't invest enough into in-house techs. If these places had enough techs to service the guitars on display more frequently, they'd see that money they've invested come back-they guitars would be more playable to buy!
I have to disagree with you here. The thing you have to understand is that we jemsiters are a severe minority in the world of music. And an even bigger minority is those of thus that can pick up a guitar and know if it is set up well or not. The simple fact is, most guitar players have guitars right now that I would consider nearly unplayable (look at how many people are playing LP's LOL) and they think its just fine. Granted, a poorly setup gibson is a far cry from a poorly setup jem, but again, we jem players are the minority.

If you look at the demographics of the sales that gc makes (or sam ash, mars, or anyone else, not counting "specialty dealers" like Rich Harris or even Ed Roman), you'll find that the majority of the buisness is *not from high end instruments, but from middle of the road fenders and epiphones.

Face it, musicians are broke, and most of us simply cant afford $1400+ for a guitar. Hiring a full time tech to setup the guitars (while it may result in a few more sales) is not going to change this fact, and is not going to be cost effective.
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-04-2002, 01:19 PM
rvj
 
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Sharp frets and poor set-ups are usually right out of the box from the manufacturer. Also, humidity and temperatures changes during shipping will also affect the overall set-up. Stores with large inventories cannot possibly set-up every single guitar. Besides, the sales people are paid to SELL guitars. Here in the Chicago area, I've noticed a huge difference between certain GC locations. The one I visit regularly, tends to keep the more expensive guitars out of reach. They also have a more mature staff who keep an eye on customers to make sure instruments are'nt being abused. The other location is a joke. They have so many damaged "new" guitars it's pathetic. Also the employees at this particular location are a bunch of careless airheads. (Yo' Dude) These stores also have tons of floor traffic. Sam Ash has decent employees, but nowhere near the amount of customers flowing through the aisles.
Smaller dealers in this area make better efforts to keep guitars properly set-up. They have less customers, thus resulting in more time to focus on the issue. They also have way less stock, limited selection, and tend to charge more. The customer service usually exceeds the larger chains. GC does however give a 50% discount on new guitar set-ups through their local tech that visit the stores twice weekly. This is also negotiable and can be worked into the price.
So, the bottom line is if you want great customer service and a good instrument, buy from a reputable dealer such as Rich Harris or a smaller local shop. You may pay a wee bit more, but it's well worth it.
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