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Ah, sweet sweet Guitar Center

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by TrooperFarva, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. TrooperFarva


    Nov 25, 2004
    New City, NY
    I went into Guitar Center in Paramus last weekend, just to putz around. They usually have some all right stuff. So I grab a sterling off the wall, and go to their ampeg rack. I dial in the SVT-CL and an 8X10. So I turn the amp on, and let it warm up while I find an instrument cable. So I come back, plug it in, and take it off standby. It instantly makes this 'gurgling' noise, and the fault light starts flashing. At this point, one of the employees comes over. So I shut everything off, and switch over to an SVT-4, and he asks me "Don't like the SVT Classic?" and I tell him "No, this one here is messed up" so he insists on taking a look, and he plugs my bass back in to the SVT CL, switches over to that, and turns everything on. The noise is still there, and I'm like "yeah, it was making that noise" and he says "oh, that. yeah, don't worry about that, it always does that" Man, I like trips to guitar center to look at/play stuff, but I wouldn't buy anything more complex than a guitar strap from them.
  2. ElephantTalk


    Jan 20, 2005
    "I'd like a LITRE of cola.."

    GC is funny like that. I went in once and picked up 3 separate basses. Each one had major wiring problems behind the panel.

    It was like a gremlin had walked in before me and worked his magic on all 3 of the ones I wanted to play.

  3. pfft, some people, you obviously turned up the inbuilt gurgling effect and never noticed :rolleyes:
  4. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    As a former retail store manager I can vouch that when hiring retail sales help, who seldom make much more than minimum wage to start, all you can realistically hope for is a pulse. EEGs would be nice, but you don't have the luxury.
  5. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    This explains a lot about why it took 90 minutes to balance *one tire* with me being the only customer at Big O tires this morning.

    Imagine the horror of sitting thru all six tires on my dually with the flat liners working there...errrrrr.
  6. loendmaestro


    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA
    Guitar Center sucks. I only go there to try out gear that I then buy elsewhere.
  7. Happy MurphDay

    Happy MurphDay

    Mar 9, 2004
  8. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    12 months no payments.

    oh yeah

    i bet i know which gc guy it was.

    big ed

    he is a tool

    good guy, but a tool.

    i played that same svt cl, and heard the same sound.
  9. TrooperFarva


    Nov 25, 2004
    New City, NY
    Is that the bald guy with the glasses and goatee? I've interacted with him a few times, like when he told me I'd need a cabinet that can handle 1500 watts to play my 400+. But this time, it wasn't him, it was some other guy, I didn't catch his name.
  10. K Dubbs

    K Dubbs Just graduated from OSU, Go Bucks!

    Mar 16, 2002
    Toledo, Ohio
    Is it just me, or has anybody else noticed the pattern of "customer" visitation with guitar center? I people complain all the time about how guitar center is full of broken, dented, scratched, etc stuff. Then I hear them say how they only go there to try things out, and then they make their purchases elsewhere from a place that doesn't allow anybody to touch anything.

    I seriously hope I'm not the only one that sees the problem here...

    The REASON why such a percentage of guitar center's inventory is busted or blemished in some way is BECAUSE they let people try things out. I give the company a heck of a lot of credit for touting the return policy they have and letting people try gear before they buy it. Yeah a lot of the employees are desensitized to the fact that some of the equipment/instruments are busted, but that's because they're trained to guide a "customer's" purchase and not to repair broken equipment. These employees are usually just highschool or college kids trying to make some money on the side.

    But back to the point...the cycle goes as follows. People are drawn to guitar center because they're allowed to try out instruments and equipment at will. Some people know what they're doing. Other people are idiots/jerks that would rather perform their "tone experiments" on the store's equipment than on their own stuff at home. So some of the stuff gets broken. And then a day/week/month/ later someone else comes in for the same reason, tries something out, and finds that it's busted. Then this person complains about the broken equipment and vows "never to buy any of Guitar Center's equipment" because they don't want to chance getting something that's busted.

    Look, folks, appreciate the great service GC performs with allowing its clientelle to try equipment, and based on that appreciation, do your purchasing there. If you do your purchasing elsewhere after experimenting at GC, GC and similar businesses will have to close their doors. With a little foresight, you'll see that this sort of behavior is only going to lead back to where most of us were before GC opened doors in our towns. The place I'm referring to is quietly sitting in quaint music stores with lesser inventory and variety with a burnt out hippie musician breathing down the back of our necks as we wipe our fingerprints off of the guitar they so generously allowed us to take off of the wall rack.
  11. K Dubbs

    K Dubbs Just graduated from OSU, Go Bucks!

    Mar 16, 2002
    Toledo, Ohio
    It only takes one person taking advantage of someone else to ruin a great privilege for everyone else. That is what you are doing when you experiment at GC and buy elsewhere.

    I'm not saying everybody deserves to or should have to buy broken stuff. I'm saying if GC "experimenters" treated that store and its inventory with the same respect that they would elsewhere, they'd probably find 90% less busted equipment and at least a slightly less apathetic minimum wage staff.
  12. I dont really have a beef with guitar center, I guess the one near where i live is decently maintained. I've bought an effects pedal from them and my SPB-3s for my P bass there, and my brother got a starter electric guitar from there. It also has more of a selection than my local music store. The reason I usually go to my local store is that, despite its smaller inventory, its closer to my house and the prices are usually better. The exact same bass I bought at my local store was $200 cheaper than the one at GC.
  13. TrooperFarva


    Nov 25, 2004
    New City, NY
    I have to address a few points here.

    First, I understand that most of the damaged equipment is the result of potential customers playing it. However, I have seen on a lot more than one occasion, employees breaking it. I once asked if they had a 400+ that I could try out, so they got one out of the back, and plugged it in. While I was picking out a bass, the employee turned it on, and it started to smoke. So I look at it. He didn't plug it into a cab, and he took it off standby. Fried.

    Secondly, I do not expect the employees to be knowledgeable of gear repair. They should however, replace the damaged gear with functional gear. What if I actually wanted to buy an SVT-CL? And I didn't know anything about it? And I suffered blunt force head trauma? I could have bought a busted amp, not because the salesman lied to me, but because he didn't know any better.

    I understand that Guitar Center offers a valuable service. But that's not to say there aren't options. The best music store I was ever in was Parkway Music, near Albany. It looks like it used to be a small house, and the basses/guitars/amps are in what's effectively a basement. But they had a great selection of gear, good prices, and the guys working there actually knew their stuff. Why? Cuz they weren't as concerned with profit as guitar center. There was a problem with one of the basses that I played one of the times that I was there. The output jack wasn't making a connection all the time. So the salesman said, "let me take that, pick out another one" not "oh, it just does that"
  14. Funkengrooven

    Funkengrooven Turn it down? You gotta be nuts!!

    I don't ever go into a GC, I don't buy from Musicians Friend either (their online arm) they are the "for profit only" guys and they really don't give a **** about you. or their employees. I have had SIX friends, knowlegable players from my blues society, work there and quit because of the corporate policies which is why you might get an employee with a pulse and might not. The people with brains have all left. I deal with my local guy who has been in the same store for 50 years, it was his father's before him and if he doesn't have what I want I generally buy it used from E-Bay or do without. I occaisonally will buy from some small online store or go to another small store in my area but rarely. No corporate whores for me.
  15. K Dubbs

    K Dubbs Just graduated from OSU, Go Bucks!

    Mar 16, 2002
    Toledo, Ohio

    All very good points, and I agree with you. I prefer to do my shopping with the little guys, however, because I prefer supporting non-huge corporate monsters.

    I also wouldn't doubt you're right that a lot of GC's equipment is busted because of the employees.

    And finally I'd agree that if something on the floor is broken it should be replaced or fixed.

    Both of my two rambling posts were only meant to contain aggrivation toward the "tone experimenters" that abuse GC's policies. They were an attempt to inform people that might not realize that they are abusers that they're screwing up the system for everybody else. I don't have any beef with people who do indeed like to try out equipment before they buy it, so long as they do it carefully and respectfully.
  16. You forget, then GC would soon have 2 broken amps in their inventory instead of one. Better to just leave the broken one on the floor as a decoy rather than risk another $1000 amp to their salespeople.

  17. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I like Guitar Center. I buy a lot of stuff from them.
  18. bassjigga


    Aug 6, 2003
    I don't think instruments or equipment need to be busted and broken to be played. I've never been to a music store where they won't let you try things out. Gelb Music in Redwood City, CA is known for carrying a lot of high end stuff, and none of it has a scratch or blemish anywhere on it. And I've tried plenty $3000+ instruments there. I don't understand how GC lets everything get as thrashed as they do. Why should you have to buy a new instrument or amp that's already got significant problems?
  19. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I too am completely baffled by this. Do these same people say "I feel like taking a drive in the country, I think I'll go down to the car dealership and pretend to be buying a car so that I can take a 'test drive' wink, wink..." or would they say "I wanted to watch the big game, so I popped some popcorn and went down to Sears and plopped down in front of a big screen and kicked my shoes off…" I just don't get it.
    :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:
  20. Guitar Center stuff is borked because a good majority of the people that either shop there or work there are idiots.

    Case in point: I called a GC looking for a Tele Deluxe, guy says he has it and puts it on hold for me. I go down there, talk to the guy and he grabs the Tele off the holding rack, brings it up to the counter and like nothing, bangs the body on the corner of the counter! Just in case you missed that, the "sales guy" banged the freaking guitar on the counter!!!! I'm looking at the guy in amazement. Dude didn't even care. To top it all off, the setup sucked, the strings were oxidized beyond belief and the toggle switch was busted.

    "Customers" there don't give a crap and neither to the employees, that is why I am BassNW's b!tch. ;)