Dragonfire - TNT Guitars - guitarpartsonline.com - Ken Aguilar

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bssist, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. bssist


    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    After reading through some of the posts about the quality-cost ratio of dragonfire pickups I decided to give them a shot in one of my project basses.

    Payment was made over the weekend, but today when I went to check the status of my order the website was unaccessable. I sent an email asking if the company was still alive and received the following response:

    "Are you serious? Out of business, really? Delivery?
    Do you want the pickups or not? I can cancel this if you want."

    I don't know about the quality of the parts this guy sells but a potential source for many parts for future projects turned out to be a less than enjoyable interpersonal experience.

    If anyone asks my opinion I will tell them to spend their money with someone who cares if his customers are happy or not. Avoid Ken Aguilar, Dragonfire Guitars, guitarpartsonline.com, TNT Custom Guitars, and eBay seller guitarpartsonline1 and eBay store guitarpartsonline.
  2. Jo6Pak


    May 2, 2007
    sounds like a plan to me...
  3. Mudcat35


    Feb 21, 2009
    Austin, TX
    I'm a little surprised to hear that. Maybe you caught him on a bad day. I ordered one of his telecaster guitars from him a few years ago, and the service was great, order was processed immediately, and the guitar arrived before it was promised. Once I did a setup on it, that turned out to be a pretty nice little axe.
  4. bssist


    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    Maybe he did ok for you, maybe I did catch him on a bad day. I just got another email from him refusing the refund I requested immediately after receiving the email with the above quote.

    I hope the pups are more tolerable than his rapport building skills because he's got my $$ and refuses to give it back. He says hell send them out today, no refund!

    That's another vote to spend $$ someplace else from me.
  5. Jo6Pak


    May 2, 2007
    i bought a pair of the white cover p pickups from him awhile back. i never got a chance to give them a real workout, so can't comment reliably on the sound. i do recall, however, the covers were a bit larger than the the cutouts in the pickguard would allow. i ended up tearing the covers off with pliers (they're glued on) and used some fender covers i had in my parts bin, which fit with no problem, both on the pups and in the pickguard.
  6. KayXero


    Apr 3, 2007
    Trust me OP, you are not the first to complain about the lack of professionalism and poor customer service from this company. After reading a number of things online regarding this company, i decided to give them a call myself to be fair and give it a chance. He did not come off as a friendly dude, and was very quick to get off the phone. So he lost me as a customer and I went with Guitar fetish GFS pups instead.

    Also what hurts them is their return policy. Basically once you buy anything thats it. And Ive read exchanges and getting odds/ends(screws and such) that were mistakenly not in included with the items, can be a pain.

    Ive read nothing but good things about GFS and their great customer service. Hell, one of the guys on the Telecaster forum was talking about how one time he got a faulty pup and one was sent in the mail after he sent them an email about it. They even sent what hed need for a prepaid ship back of the faulty pup.

    If you want low prices, with great quality and customer service...gfs baby

    EDIT: just wanted to reply to the fit issue Jo6 had. I have also read a number of reviews complaining about Dragonfires stuff not fitting properly on fender products. This worried me esp after I read this of their bass pickups and hearing how these people were just told they are made to spec, and had to mod the issues away and swallow the cash they gave to this company. Only reason I am writing this is because as a college student on a budget, you need to make every dollar you have count, so customer service means a hell of a lot.
  7. krovx


    Mar 11, 2003
    Michigan, USA
    Sorry to hear about your experience with Ken. I have had great experience with him and DF pickups. He has been more than willing to chat with me on the phone about things. Granted, I have only used their guitar stuff but still, your CS is measured by your rep, and it only takes a few bad sales to hurt you when you are a small shop like his.
  8. markanini


    Jun 25, 2008
    Some merchants don't seem to care much about customer service as long as some volume of orders keep comng in.
    Thanks for letting us know about you experiences, bssist.
  9. TNTGuitars


    Nov 18, 2010
    And of course, there is always another side to the story.
    Your email was rude and sounded like we were fly by night thiefs. Not like a company that has been on the web for 10 years. And you only posted my response, not your intial comments in your email.
    The site was down for about 5 minutes that day( server hiccup).

    Look, here is the deal. There is three of us, that is it. We process and ship anywhere from 300 to 500 orders a day. Our product is good, our prices are better, and we bust our tails to make it work. Personally, I get about 800 emails a day. And you would not believe some of the pieces of work I read. Yours was just one of many. Maybe you were trying to be funny or cute, but really, it was not. It sounded like you were trying to cause a problem. Honestly, when people come across like that, we do not want to deal with them. We do not have the time for headaches. The reason I offered to cancel your order was because of that. It is not that we do not want your business and for you to be happy, but we do not have the time for problems. And after 10 years, your email screamed problem.And if you had used a credit card, you would not have been charged at that point in time so I could have cancelled. But you paid with PAYPAL, so your order was already charged and being shipped. So that being said, we cannot control everything, the server does hiccup, and we are one of the FEW companies that offer a toll free customer service #. Someone said "GFS", they do not even give you a phone numberat all. It is all email.

    Bottom line, sorry you had a bad experience. I am human, I make mistakes. If I made on with you, I am sorry. Not what I intended. I do not walk on water. As for other people, a good indication is our ebay feedback. Over 15 thousand feedbacks, and we are always at 99.6% or better. What is that mean? It says that less then 1 person in 200 is not happy for one reason or another. I do not know of many businesses that have that kind of a rating.

    Look, we offer great gear at great prices. And our stuff is not for everyone. If you like it , great. If not, that is okay too. Thanks for the chance. But please, do not come at me with fire and expect roses in return.

    OWNER, TNT Custom Guitars
  10. bssist


    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    It has been a few months since my unfortunate crossing of paths with dragonfire guitars. The pickups were delivered. Unfortunately, as others have mentioned, they did not fit into the instrument for which they were intended. I have no desire to route the instrument and have not taken the time to file down the pup covers, so I have no idea of the tone.

    I see that Ken posted here a few days after I did. There seems to be an apology in there, but it sounds more like, "I'm sorry you're a trouble maker". He did not own his reaction to my concern that the company may be disappearing, which I still wonder about since their websites no longer has bass pickups listed at all. He sure sounds offended that I have not heard of his long-established company and have concerns that I may have chosen to do business with an unreputable organization. I am a small business owner and when someone raises a concern about the age and/or stability of my company I "do backflips through firey hoops" to help them feel secure in their choice to do business with me. The last thing I would ever do is attack them and/or make them wrong for having a concern.

    It would have been prudent for me to check with the BBB before choosing to do business with this company. The rating it has earned is not good.

    I'm going to check out GFS, thanks for the referral.
  11. Can't really comment on Dragonfire since I've not dealt with them.
    I do think you will be happy with GFS though. I have placed multiple orders with them for parts, pickups, tuner pedal and even a body. Everything was shipped quickly and they provided good communication through emails.
  12. lareamond


    Nov 16, 2010
    The quality's pretty good in my opinion. I ordered a drop in for a Squier Strat before Christmas. It arived within a week. I only needed to widen the neck pocket an eighth of an inch because Squier uses a different neck pocket width than Fender on their strats. The pickups were hot, hot, HOT. I'll be ordering a set of their active pickups for my next build.

    To the OP, sorry you had bad luck with them.
  13. What many people need to remember is that these smaller companies don't have a 24x7 call center to handle your issue.

    OP placed an order over the weekend, checked Monday for delivery info (not even one business day) and sent a possible inflammatory email questioning the business.

    Just looking at the general issue without getting into specifics, sounds like a case of impatience. The business owner could have been less sarcastic in the reply email but can't make that call without seeing the email OP sent. Which reads something to the effect if I am reading correctly that they went out of business, or assumed so for a hosting issue that lasted a couple minutes.

    Just some food for thought.
  14. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Anytime someone orders over the weekend then gets bent out of shape a day or two later, I suspect their assessment of the situation anyway. Not to mention this thread appears to be a smear job.
  15. Still funny that the OP didn't post his email, from the first post that was all I could think "What did he send?"

    OP, what pickup did you order and what bass was it for?
  16. Judy


    Sep 17, 2011
    :hyper:Dear Bass dude and other negative people
    Sometimes I think how stupid or ignorant a person is to knock a fellow musician .

    Throughout the years Ken has alway's done me Great
    See Gang I am a professional musician . :bassist:

    TNT guitars are Fabulous , I know guitars and Played guitars for nearly 40 years and TNT guitars are nice .

    Here is the lowdown Ken makes a good guitar , guitar parts etc....
    Dont knock him . I have bought many guitar bodies , pickups , parts , whole guitars from Ken He is Great

    Basst dude and other mean people !!! Dont knock the Game
    Knock the player !!!!

    Set ups are what it is all about !!!!

    Here is a simple word ------ > ACTION If you can read this and tune or restring your guitar I hope you can Realize that a guitar is only as good as the Player ....

    I have bought bodies , Necks , Pickups from Ken and I can only say this :hyper:

    TNT Dragonfly rocks ...

    Thank you Ken for everything youre really Great IMOP
    I love doing business with you :)

    Sincerely ;
  17. rythman6969


    May 29, 2007
    Im sorry you had trouble but I must say I have ordered from them many times with no problems.

    I have not ordered pups or anything made to be retro-fitted so I cannot comment on that.
  18. rythman6969


    May 29, 2007

    On this note , if the same player is playing 2 guitars and one is better than the other one ,then what happened there ?There are guitars of better quality and of lesser quality. That seems obvious, doesn't it?

    And, when ordering a guitar, especially one that a person built and/or put together, it should come set-up with low action.

    I know there are people who like high action but not too many I think.
  19. I have bought some pickups from his ebay store. They fit PERFECTLY into the bass I wanted to put them in. Also bought a pickguard from him for a squier p-bass. He said it fit American fenders, but it was pretty much a drop in when I got it. Very happy with their products, and they have always answered and shipped very fast. Great company imo.
  20. Tenma4


    Jan 26, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    I ordered a set of P-bass pickups recently. I haven't installed them yet though. If they work out great for me, I'll be ordering more.