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Frustrating NBD - G&L Content

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TwoRivers, Feb 3, 2014.


  1. TwoRivers

    TwoRivers Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Location:
    Las Cruces, NM
    Preface: I actually got this bass a week ago today, but hadn't posted a NBD thread because I've been having to make repairs to the bass...

    Alright, so here's the story. Last Monday I found a new, 2008 model, G&L Tribute SB-2 on clearance in a local shop for $399. I like G&L basses, I've found the build quality to be fantastic at the price point, and I'm fond of the MFD pickups. Additionally, the fretwork on this particular SB-2 was fantastic. The finish is black with some faint sparkle (really just looks black in most situations); black pickguard; and rosewood board. I didn't get the G&L bag because the shop "couldn't find it". Maybe they sold it? Either way, I was a dissapointed about that, but liked the bass enough that I wasn't going to pass it up over a bag.

    After getting the bass home and playing for a bit I notice some rattling, so I figured I would just tighten up the screws on the tuning heads and whatnot. It was then, that I realized the head was broken off one of the screws attaching the D string tuner to the headstock. I thought to myself, no biggie, I'll fix it later. As I went around the bass tightening up the screws (by hand, just snugging up any loose ones), I realized that about half of the pickguard screw holes were stripped. I removed my instrument cable without holding the pickguard down with my thumb (sort of a habbit), and sure enough! Half the pickguard came right off the body of the bass (all in one peice, but the screws just slipped right out of the stripped holes). Again, I think...well...time for some toothpicks and wood glue. I remove the whole guard, and guess what? There is a small green polising cloth in the control cavity! By this point I'm getting pretty frustrated.

    I start to think that this bass must have been purchashed, messed with extensively, and then returned. I check the entire body/neck for damage, but I can't find any. There was plastic on the pickguard and the stickers (CE or whatever) were still on the back of the neck/headstock...maybe it really was new? I just can't imagine that G&L quality control, which supposedly happens in the U.S., even for the tributes, would have missed all of this.

    I ended up taking the entire bass apart, and atleast the date on the heel of the neck (May 31 2008) matches the serial number, which indicates the bass was crafted in June 2008. I took off all of the tuners, removed the broken screw (that was a nightmare since it was broken off below the wood and was TINY), drilled bigger holes, and replaced all of the tuners using bigger #4 screws. I then filled all of the pickguard holes with toothpicks and wood glue, re-drilled them, and replaced the pickguard (leaving out my little polishing cloth friend). Hopefully this thing stays put together and I don't uncover anymore shoddiness.

    On a bright note, the bass set up wonderfully when this was all said and done. Hopefully I have a player for years to come. I'm still contemplating contacting G&L or the store I bought it from though...any thoughts on that topic?

    Oh, and I know...pics or no bass. As you can see, I've been a bit busy, but will get a pic up this evening.
     
  2. StuartV

    StuartV Out of GAS!! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Location:
    Bristow, VA
    Well... congratulations! I guess, anyway... :)

    I think I would have taken it back to the store before making ANY repairs or improvements and negotiated a partial refund. But, in the end, you got a got a good bass for a good price plus a little elbow grease.

    My SB-2 is my favorite 4-stringer - particularly after adding a Master Volume and Tone to it.

    Enjoy!
     
  3. Selta

    Selta

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Location:
    Somewhere Far Beyond
    Disclosures:
    Uncompensated endorsing user: EBMM
    Very much sounds like a bought/returned item. I obviously can't say that with any certainty as anything is possible, and lots of things get by QA/QC. I'd start by contacting the store and seeing what they say.
    Did the polishing cloth have any branding or anything?
    Sucks that you have a dud - at least (almost) all of the fixes are pretty easy.
     
  4. TwoRivers

    TwoRivers Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Location:
    Las Cruces, NM
    No branding on the cloth. It had definately been used quite extensively and was a greenish blue color. It was pretty small (about the size of a post-it note), and the edges were all finished, so I don't think it was a scrap that just got left behind or anything.
     
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  6. TwoRivers

    TwoRivers Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Location:
    Las Cruces, NM
    Not fixing it and taking it back definately crossed my mind. Unfortunately, I'm a 1 bass kind of guy with 3 kids and not a ton of cash flow. I had to play out this weekend, and I'm pretty OCD, so gigging with a bunk bass didn't set well with me. That's why I decided to just buck up and fix it all. I really like the bass, other than all of the broken junk it came with, so I would be keeping it anyhow...I guess the only up-side would have been some money back. I'm not so sure about the ethics of the store if they knew about any of this, or sold it as a brand new item after it had been returned. It crossed my mind that they wouldn't work with me at all to make it right...needless to say, I don't think I'll be going back. The "we can't find the bag" didn't quite sit right either.
     
  7. Chef

    Chef Moderator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Location:
    Columbia MO
    Disclosures:
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I'd find the owner, not a counter worker, and explain all of that to him, including the part about the bag.
    That's a truckload of BS.
     
  8. TwoRivers

    TwoRivers Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Location:
    Las Cruces, NM
    That's another point...the owner is the one I dealt with. There are only about 3 employees, plus the owner in the store at any given time. I've thought about just going and sitting down with him. Not as a pissed off customer, but with a cool head and share all of my findings with him. As I previously posted, I've already fixed all of the problems, which was probably not the best idea in the world, so it's not like I can take it in and show him. I would just have to tell him and see if he would be willing to make any sort of concession in an effort to make a repreat customer out of me. I should also probably note that this isn't a big store that would have more of these in stock. It's more of a, "we have what's on the walls, and that's it," type of place.
     
  9. Chef

    Chef Moderator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Location:
    Columbia MO
    Disclosures:
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
  10. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Disclosures:
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Agreed that you got a good bass at a good price. Unless it was sold to you as "new" you kinda have to expect that there may be hidden weirdities wrought by previous owners.

    But these issues were very minor, and now remedied. Yeah, you could have taken it back immediately, but I'd bet the people at the store would be just as surprised to see those issues as you were. They MIGHT have negotiated, or they "might" have suddenly found the bag it goes in. Maybe.

    Bout the only thing that's taken a "hit" is your confidence and trust in that store where you bought it.

    Caveat emptor.
     
  11. bkbirge

    bkbirge

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2000
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Yeah I'd go talk to the owner again. It does seem weird and maybe he can remember some things or give you a discount.

    However, you bought the bass because you liked the feel right? And I'm assuming those pickups have all the normal G&L magic?

    So, barring any truss rod issues (and I'd definitely check it out based on the other stuff you found) what you seem to have is a bass that you have spent a weekend completely customizing to make yours. Not a bad thing really, nothing wrong with investing some elbow grease bonding time.
     
  12. Chef

    Chef Moderator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Location:
    Columbia MO
    Disclosures:
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Customizing?
    Nuh-uh.
    Repairing.
     
  13. TwoRivers

    TwoRivers Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Location:
    Las Cruces, NM
    Correct on every point. I love the weight of the bass, the fret work is fantastic, and the neck is fast. The pickups do have the G&L magic and I had to lower them quite a bit. I did move the truss rod when I set the bass up. It moved freely, not close to being maxed out in either direction. I actually had to add neck relief compared to what it came with. I'm all for investing elbow grease and "making things my own"...I just didn't expect to have to do it so soon on a bass that I bought "NEW".
     
  14. TwoRivers

    TwoRivers Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Location:
    Las Cruces, NM
    True. The only thing "custom", I suppose, is the setup. The rest of the things were just repaired, or made right.
     
  15. Chef

    Chef Moderator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Location:
    Columbia MO
    Disclosures:
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    They should be glad to have had you do all that work.
    That's a fair chunk of bench time, to do all that.

    My time has a dollar value on it, when it comes to things like this.
    Figure what your time is worth; a good starting point might be what they charge for bench time.

    Then, perhaps they could give you something like that dollar amount in strings or something.
     
  16. TwoRivers

    TwoRivers Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Location:
    Las Cruces, NM
    That's a really good idea. I could see a small store like this not being agreeable to shelling out cash, but perhaps compensation in terms of strings would be a good thing. That's an unavoidable future cost. I think I'll sugguest that when I go down there.

    Oh, and total time invested, including the setup (which I'm not sure I could include?) was about three or four hours. Two or three hours if you exclude the setup.
     
  17. bkbirge

    bkbirge

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2000
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Sure, totally agree. I'm just saying there are worse things than spending a few hours successfully getting a problem bass up to snuff from the get go. While I'd definitely let the store know and try to get some consideration, at the end of the day the OP got a nice bass that he now knows inside and out (in more detail than expected for sure!), for a decent price.
     
  18. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Location:
    deeper underground
    That sucks. Curious....

    Was it being sold as a brand new bass, or a used bass?
     
  19. TwoRivers

    TwoRivers Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Location:
    Las Cruces, NM
    Being sold as a brand new bass. On clearance because it was a 2008 and they had new models coming in.
     
  20. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Location:
    deeper underground
    Next Q...

    Did you get a warranty form with the bass?

    Is the store an authorized G&L dealer?
     
  21. Chef

    Chef Moderator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Location:
    Columbia MO
    Disclosures:
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    sold as new?

    G&L dealer rep wouldn't be happy to hear of all this.
     

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