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Is your guitar center like this?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by KablesP, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. KablesP

    KablesP

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    Okay, the Guitar Center nearby isn't a major/huge Guitar Center but they had no new Markbass gear (A used LM800 Tube which was just bleh though the Ampeg cab hooked up) No tube heads, and the 1,000$ Fender P bass I played was set up terribly, the pickups were pushing together in the middle almost hitting the string and it sounded bad as well.

    Is it just my store?
  2. mjac28

    mjac28 50th Anniversary Ed Sullivan February 9, 1964 Gold Supporting Member

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    No it's my store also the name Guitar Center is a great name for this chain. I also love how big the drum section is.
  3. Kmonk

    Kmonk

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    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Fender and Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    I have 3 Guitar Center stores within an hour drive from my house. They rarely if ever, have any MIA Fenders. Most of the basses are in the $300 to $700 range and the set ups are usually ok but not great. They also do carry much in terms of decent combo amps, heads or cabs. They occasionally have a new SVT tube head and an 810 cab. I primarily go there to buy strings or cables.
  4. kleinenenten

    kleinenenten

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    There aren't any places closer for strings? I'm hoping one is well within that hour away.

    My GC is usually good with bass. They don't have tons of high end stuff, but a decent selection of mid level basses (Ibanez mostly, but that's my preference, only lower Fenders usually). I really like my GC, the staff are always great and I've gotten some awesome deals.
  5. KablesP

    KablesP

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    I think Guitar Center is the best large store in terms of a friendly staff who let you do what you want. I hate when salespeople try to bug me and ask about what im interested in and try to sell me on something I don't want.

    I have also noticed an improvement in trying out pedals, they now have a section basically like a pedalboard plugged into a pretty decent Fender tube amp for guitar or something decent for bass. I hated trying out pedals into a 5 watt solid state pos. I usually asked to go plug into a tube amp but sometimes was a hassle looking for power spots not being used.

    They also have a pretty good priced used section. You can find some great deals and can often haggle. I just wish they would have someone set up their basses and guitars before putting them out. I bet they would have more sales if someone actually liked the way the instrument played and didnt have to think about how they wish it played better.
  6. Immigrant

    Immigrant Supporting Member

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    That's the business model. I'm starting to think that place is a tax write-off designed to not make much and constantly owe creditors huge balances.

    I haven't been to one in a long time because I could feel my blood pressure rise every time I walked in, but I still love them and their incestuous business spouse, Musicians Friend. Before their rise, music stores charged MSRP and you could negotiate from there, but you'd never get down to the price point GC charges. Even local stores match online prices now. 🎸
  7. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Non Serviam Supporting Member

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    My biggest gripe about my local GC is the setups. Not that I would pay someone else to set up my bass. But I've fixed several incompetent GC setups for friends.

    Also, they tend to have one or two graybeards who actually know what they're talking about, and a bunch of high school kids who'd be better suited to flipping hamburgers. But what can you expect from a corporate chain?

    AND, I can remember one time going in to try out amps. I brought my main bass, a beautiful Carvin LB76W. Those of you familiar with Carvins know that they don't have model numbers on them, they just say "Carvin". The kid at the door had to "check in" my bass, which involved writing down the make and model. Now, I'm pretty sure this was a good kid, and he handled my bass carefully, but DO NOT take my $1600 bass out of the case and start turning it this way and that looking for a model number. I will kill you.

    Actually, I was cool about it, I just gave the kid the model number and told him (nicely) to put my bass back in the case. But I was chatting with him later, and he wasn't even a musician. He said he was interested in getting a setup to DJ for hip-hop type stuff. Why is this kid touching my bass? My local mom-and-pop doesn't make me go through a "checkpoint", and everyone who works there is a musician.
  8. Papersen

    Papersen Gold Supporting Member

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    Well, that makes me feel lucky I don´t have a GC nearby.
  9. WretchedExcess

    WretchedExcess

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    My local GC is pretty disappointing. They have some American Fender P and J basses, maybe 5 or 6, but they're hung so high that you have to ask the sales gal to grab a ladder to pull them down. They obviously don't want you playing them. When you do get them pulled down, they have horrible high actions and you just want to put them back.

    They have virtually nothing in the way of Mexi basses, definitely no signature basses. Plenty of the cheeap skwier stuff though.

    The used section is a joke. I went in to check out a G&L L2000 that had a 4 star rating on the GC used web site and was priced pretty high. The bass was a POS. Neck was OK, but the body had a dozen large chunks of paint missing -- it looked like it had been dragged on a chain behind a pickup truck, and then somebody tried to use nail polish to fill in the chips without bothering to get the color matched. I complained to the staff that the bass had a 4-star rating on the web site and that it was such a POS that it would need a refinish. I told them that I'd give them half of what they were asking for it because of the finish problems. The manager agreed that it wasn't a 4-star bass, but they didn't bother to fix the listing. They still list that POS as a 4-star bass, just to get you to come in, and then you end up leaving pissed-off.

    I had the same thing happen when going to check out an American Std Jazz. 4-star rating and a high price on a 2011 bass. In one or 2 years somebody gigged the life out of that bass. All the frets were worn down and the pickups, bridge and strings were rusty. WTH?

    I haven't seen any significant turnover of their inventory in several months. Everything is always the same when I go in there.

    My local GC doesn't even stock enough strings for me to take advantage of the deals that get advertised in the mailers. They're totally without a clue. I keep going in there hoping that things will be different the next time, but nothing ever changes.
  10. G-MonRV5

    G-MonRV5

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    I find it to be a mixed bag. I live in a small town with two small music gear shops, neither of which has much to offer (although one is a Fender and Mesa dealer.) So it's sort of a treat when I get to make the 45 minute drive to the nearest GC.

    However, it is frustrating to make that rare drive only to find mostly low end basses (low-end price-wise, no pun intended) and second rate amps.

    That being said, I have been able to score the occasional gem of a bass there and it's nearly impossible to beat the prices and availability of accessories and electronics, effects pedals, etc.

    So, I understand the gripes against GC, but try to keep it all in perspective. It's probably a good thing I don't live within 30 minutes of a boutique bass shop... If I did, I'd probably be bankrupt!
  11. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

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    I know the three you're talking about and yes, they usually suck. Natick usually has good used gear at the very least.

    You should head up to Boston if you want decent gear. I was in the other day, two SVT-CLs and an Orange AD200B, good selection of higher end basses (pedulla, fender, ebmm, gibson), great selection of used gear, plus the platinum room.
  12. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp Supporting Member

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    The two I frequent in suburban Chicago are both decent. One is a bit larger and well stocked with basses, the other usually has some interesting stuff if you don't go too often and is very convenient to get to for things you know they have in stock. I've never seen any high school kids working at either one but they have a lot of twenty-somethings who are generally helpful, friendly, interested in what they sell, and more often than not have something intelligent to say. Sure, I know mom and pops that are better and the local Sam Ash often stocks stuff the GC's don't but that goes both ways. Chicago proper has some very nice large, independent stores too so its a great place for a bassist to live but GC has its place here.
  13. rolandm

    rolandm Supporting Member

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    If you can get past the fact that most of the people working at the one closest to me are incapable of dressing for a retail environment (skinny jeans hanging halfway down your butt with boxers sticking out the top does not make me want to buy anything from you), and a few smell like they either bathed in body spray or haven't bathed at all, then there is an occasional score.

    But yeah, the setups are marginal at best, and I've fixed quite a few from there myself. That being said, I've also picked up some cast offs super cheap and set them up to be really nice players.
  14. spz8

    spz8

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    There's a reason why it's called "guitar" center, and not bass center. :rolleyes:
  15. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Non Serviam Supporting Member

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    This is perhaps worthy of its own thread, and probably already has had its own thread, but: WHY oh WHY do so many instrument shops, corporate or otherwise, have such LOUSY setups on their merchandise? Don't they realize that these instruments are more likely to sell if they're set up properly? :meh:
  16. malthumb

    malthumb Supporting Member

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    I have four within a half hour drive of my house....2 of them are within 15 minutes. All four have a pretty decent selection of MarkBass, GK, and Ampeg amps and cabs. The two closest ones, where I tend to split my time, almost always have a good selection of Music Man basses, including 4 & 5-string Rays, Big Als, and even a couple Sabres. Oddly, there are rarely any Bongo basses there. They always have MIM and USA Fenders and a healthy supply of Squiers.

    Most of the instruments, in my experience at least, are fairly well set up. Some of the used gear is a bit sketchy on setup, but I tend to think they come in that way and don't get touched. I sometimes have to adjust the tuning a bit, but action and intonation tend to be pretty much spot on. I tend to think that a lot of the re-tuning I wind up doing is because some folks come in and drop tune some of the basses they have an interest in. When I re-tune I am almost always tuning up, not down.
  17. G-MonRV5

    G-MonRV5

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    "WHY oh WHY do so many instrument shops, corporate or otherwise, have such LOUSY setups on their merchandise? Don't they realize that these instruments are*more likely to sell*if they're set up properly?"

    I have often wondered the same thing. I would think the merchandise would move much faster if the fret buzzes were eliminated and the action wasn't an inch off the neck.
  18. Reddog01

    Reddog01

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    I have three within 30 minutes of my house (I live in the Austin area). I have dealt mainly with the Round Rock store. Because I am retired, I am able to go into the store during school hours, and the folks working there are basically full-timers. Many of them are also working musicians. I have found them to be very helpful, and they have a pretty good inventory of new basses, and some inventory of used basses. They have no problem giving me a patch cord and letting me play through one of their amps.

    They also have a decent supply of fake books, instruction books, scale books, etc. I have played other musical instruments, and I have found that it is very helpful to establish some kind of a relationship with folks who can sell you what you need and service what they sell. Luckily, so far, I have not had to have any service done on my bass yet (it's brand new), but the day will come when I may want to have some things tweaked.
  19. bassbenj

    bassbenj

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    Nope, not lucky. Unlucky because you don't have a GC that actually has a real manager. The one in my town is killer and amazingly getting better all the time. Sure there is the usual wall of midrange Ibanez etc. basses. but this is the store where I bought my fretless G&L L2500. It's the store where I bought my Bass Mods 7 string. It's the store where I bought my MIM Fender deluxe Jazz V ($300) and it's the store where I bought my OLP 'Ray ($100). Eat your heart out. And forget teen burger flippers. the FIRST thing this GC did when opening up was hire away all the coolest sales guys from Sam Ash down the street! And as I said it only gets better, They've now opened a "platinum" guitar room which is not only filled with many K-buck Les Pauls, but also usually has about 5 or 6 vintage Fender basses in the 4-6 grand range. This is the kind of stuff that TBers whine about never having even seen one in their town and here it is just sitting around GC of all places just waiting for your credit card!

    Drum section is decent too (though not that it matters as this town already has one of the best drum shops in the country). And the electronics stuff is not bad either though in my opinion they are a bit sparce on bass amps and cabs (unlike guitar amps stacked everywhere). And best of all is when they have one of their "manager special" sales where you find things like really decent used bass gig bags stacked in a huge pile at $10 each or all kinds of pedals at a fraction of original cost.

    Now if ONLY I can talk them into stocking more than just one set of 6 string bass strings (even though d'Addario is my favorite brand).
  20. leftinkowloon

    leftinkowloon Supporting Member

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    {\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252
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    \f0\fs26 \cf2 \cb3 \expnd0\expndtw0\kerning0
    \outl0\strokewidth0 \strokec2 Let me start off by saying I absolutely hate the way guitar center is ran and that I am not an English major trying to beat you to death with big words nor am I trying to outsmart you. I'm just a dude who happens to make a living buliding and fixing stringed instruments. I've worked in guitar center and for a few differnt guitar companies as a builder. NOW back to my rant about guitar center! So I'm gonna answer a few questions I've seen people comment on, first I've seen a couple people say there is little to no MIA fender basses in your store here are a few reasons why. Fender has a extremely huge back order on all MIA instruments and they build in runs, guitar center being the biggest music retailer in the world gets almost all of these but they still have to wait to get them just like everyone else. So fender being the first reason why you have no basses in those bass rooms. Next reason you don't have any is allocation, once a GC. Receives their orders at there distorbution center the inventory computer pretty much decides which Gc will get which guitars based on what has sold in the past. The next thing is set ups, most of the basses do have terrible set ups there is no to ways about that. This is because mass manufactures do terrible set ups and then those Poorly set up instrument are shipped to Kansas I believe where they sit in a wearhouse for months or years until they are shipped out to your local Gc where they sit in another wearhouse until there is space for them on the floor, by that time the necks have moved. So to combat this Gc has hired techs that are required to set up tier 1 class instrument that are 1000$ and up and there is not enough time in the day to set up all the bad instruments and fix customer guiTars. I think I lost sight in what point I was making but hey hopefully that gives you some answers. BURN ALL GUITAR CENTERS! Lol support your local luthier and get your basses set up right!\cell \lastrow\row}

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