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GOOD Guitar Center experiences?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by rapturebass, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. rapturebass


    Dec 6, 2008
    Hi. Is this in the right section? Sorry if it's not. Anyhow, with all of these stories about Guitar Center being the harbinger of doom and the pariah that will destroy the universe...has anyone ever had a good Guitar Center experience/store they can trust? For me personally it's the Orange, CT Guitar Center. I often browse the whole store, even though I'm only a bass player simply becuase I like gear. (Who dosen't?) Anyhow, whnever i look at guitars/basses/drums/etc., i never find a single scratch or missing knob. All the basses have (relatively) clean strings. The only real con is there is this old man that works the bass booth (spends most of his time in the guitar section, though) and he always givesw me the evil eye. It's probably because I'm a 12 year old and he expects me to be playing Stairway To Heaven on a death metal distortion while playing the guitar behind my head.:smug::scowl::D;) Another pro...There's only ever like 3 guitarists there. I came in on a Friday mid-afternoon and there were no Stairway To Heaven kids! It's a sharp contrast to Manchester, CT Guitar Center, where there are always slews of STH kids and STH men playing there guitars cranked to ten in there giant expanse of guitar while the bassists are playing at like volume: 2 in a cramped little room. One more thing, is that the Manchester store is very crowded and poorly laid out with easily 200 guitars on the wall and probably not even 45 basses in the whole store. The Manchester store is about 80 guitars and 60 basses. Much more controlled. Anyhow, now that I'm done with my mini-rant, please share any Good experiences you've had at Guitar Centers. Have a good day! ;)
  2. TL5


    Jun 27, 2005
    Overall, I think the GC in Nashville is really good.

    yes, it can be loud and crowded. I can only think of one instance where information I got there was suspect. I was doing something a little off the beaten path with an audio signal and the salesperson, "wasn't sure that it'd work."

    I was certain, and it did.
  3. sax4blues


    Mar 7, 2009
    San Jose, CA
    The GC in San Jose, CA is fine by me, I've never had a bad experience there. The sales people have always been the right kind of helpful, ask if I need help then leave me alone. As for selection and condition it is what it is, a big box store with major brands.

    In the San Francisco Bay Area we have such a range of stores; mom-n-pop selling band instruments and Cort guitars next to the high school, boutique stores with the high end, solid 40 year establishments with vintage collections and pro help, large used instrument stores, and .... Guitar Center. So I don't need GC to fulfill every expectation/need I have and therefore I'm not disappointed when I shop there.
  4. PBass101


    Jul 3, 2008
    Two days ago, had a very interesting and surprisingly good Guitar Center experience.

    Guitar Center #1 tells us that a certain pair of PA loudspeakers will cost $725 after tax, that they aren't willing to negotiate a 'deal', and that we're never going to find them cheaper.

    A nearby Sam Ash has the same speakers and tells us that they will beat Guitar Center's price, and offers us out the door $693.

    We call Guitar Center #2 about ten miles away, who tells us that they will beat Sam Ash's price and give us both speakers for $660 out the door.

    So, Guitar Center #2 was pretty good to us. We figure we're going to take this route of hopping stores trying to get the lowest possible deals we can from now on.
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    The only good experience I've had with GC was dealing directly with a TB'er who works at GC.
  6. Godbody


    May 27, 2008
    And my best experiences have been with a friend who worked at GC and became one of my best friends and my most prolific musical partner.

    Its definitely good to have a friend there; from what I've heard, there's bands that'll sponsor a member to work there just to get discounts. Worked for me!
  7. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I've never had issues with Guitar Center. They are generally friendly and try to be helpful. They will price match without much question.

    Musician's Friend, on the other hand....
  8. rapturebass


    Dec 6, 2008

    Share your tales of the pariah of bassdom! ;)
  9. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Orange keeps their basses nice cuz they hang 'em 6 feet off the floor ... I had a grand in my pocket and hung around for 30 minutes waiting to try out a particular bass. Left the store without it, and bought it from Joe's Guitars in Wallingford. Now there's a store that ALL the equipment is pristine!

    GC in Manchester is a place I avoid unless I need something, and happen to be passing through on I-84. There's a few good folks working there, but the incessant guitar, bass, and drum wanking and the barking of the dogs at the pet shop next door aren't conducive to shopping for expensive gear.

    I'm a small shop kinda guy. Pros who know the gear, keep their stock out of the snotty hands of every kid who plays Guitar Hero, and who know that good customers will pay just a little more if they get a little more.
  10. rapturebass


    Dec 6, 2008

    Hey! I'm a kid that plays Guitar Hero! And I must say my hands are quite snot-clean! GRR! :mad:

  11. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    So sorry! I didn't mean YOU ... of course ... :)

    (What about your friends, though?)
  12. GC North Houston and Clear Lake are not-so-bad.GC Westheimer however.........:eyebrow:

    Pretty good experience with North store,maybe because I have a bass playing bud that I deal with there.When my tweeter in my Markbass 2-10's cab started making strange noises,all I had to do was bring it back to the store.

    They took care of the shipping(and charges)back to the GC warehouse and had a new one sent out the same week.

    Too bad my bud wasn't working the day(a few years ago) I needed ONE bass string and was charged TEN dollars for it.

    The great thing about that is every time I go to North GC now,the same guy who charged me ten bucks for the string always tries to wait on me.
    It felt great the day I told him I was just looking,then went over to my friend and bought $1,600.00 worth of Markbass equipment!

    Westheimer store is a zoo,will never buy there.Clear Lake store is small enough that its not a huge noisefest every time I walk in.

    (Sorry for the gratuitous use of the word "Markbass")
  13. I don't find them any worse than any other retailer - be educated, know what you want and what you are willing to pay for it.

    I go there to buy stuff I need right away and look around - if I see something interesting - never had any issues trying it with no pressure to buy and I have gotten good pricing on the items I have purchased. They always have a smaller Bass Section than Guitar - but that is the norm.

    The Boston Store is moving or just moved to a much larger store across from Fenway Park - going to head in and check the new store out soon.
  14. Limpingbass


    Sep 19, 2008
    Thanks for starting this thread. We need some positive threads.

    I stopped by GC in highland park near Chicago. It was my day off and I probably spent the whole morning just trying out different basses and amps. The guy who was in charge of bass section at that time was friendly, helpful, and not too intrusive. I didn't buy anything on that day, but if I am in a market for a new bass, I will definitely give him my business.

    I think we give GC less credit than they deserve. I appreciate it for what they are. Sure, some of their employees may be ignorant when it comes to basses and their basses may be horribly set-up. But where else can you go and try out such different brands of basses for hours w/o feeling pressured to buy anything? Buying online is now cheap and safe ever but I don't like buying basses that I haven't played.
  15. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    I really only go to the GCs in Boston and Natick. Sometimes Attleboro, and if I'm in the area Danvers, Millbury, or Warwick. With the exception of Boston (and the few times I've been there Warwick) none of these store every have ANYTHING worth checking out.

    That being said, my good experience came out of a bad experience. I had my pedal board stolen, some homeless guy pulled the smash and grab on the back door of my car (my own fault for leaving it there). The next day I was in GC to replace my pedals and what do I see sitting in the case? My DL4 and BMS, complete with my settings marked in sharpie on sale for 150 each! Those ended up being the only pedals I got back, but since they took the pedals in they had the guy's ID, and since I caught it early they were able to put a stop payment on the check. I had the serials (I keep all my serial numbers on file) so I had proof they were mine. The detective on the case kept me updated, the guy never showed for court and was eventually picked up on some other charges and the larceny got added in.

    The downside was I think the dude who took in my pedals got fired. I never saw him at the store again, and in his report to the police he said that the guys "looked shady" to which the manager was like "***? You took them in even though the guys looked shady?" while the cops were standing right there. I think he knew at that moment he was going to catch some serious flack over the whole thing.

    Really sucks for him, I'm sure it was against policy or at least a bad idea to take them in, but at least it worked out for me I guess.

    Oh yeah I forgot I used to have a guy in the Attleboro store who I gave all my business, including my Warwick and my SVT-CL. Really helpful, remembered your name. Good salesman. He got transferred I think, right about the time that store really went to hell and I stopped shopping there.
  16. Jehos

    Jehos Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    DFW, TX
    GC in Fort Worth is good. I've bought enough stuff from them that most of the sales guys know me by name now and I always get treated well. Now granted, I don't go in there asking them tons of questions about all their stuff because frankly I don't need a sales guy educating me--I can research stuff myself. I go there to get my hands on gear and try it out, and the stuff I like I buy.

    I wonder what the people who complain are doing. They're probably the ones that spend all their time woodshedding so they can go play some Wooten piece perfectly in front of a bunch of customers (never actually buying anything) then wonder why the staff treats them bad.
  17. I broke the E string on my '62 Vintage Jazz, which is strung w/ TI flats and is my main bass right now. Normally, I don't shop at GC, but on a fluke I stopped in at the store in El Cerrito, CA, to see if they could order me a set - I know they don't carry them regularly. Lo and behold, they had 2 sets that some other guy had ordered and never picked up. So I bought one, and they only charged me something like 34 bucks, which is less than what I paid for the last set I bought mail-order, (no shipping charge, of course.)

    They're not always a-holes....
  18. Shy Guy

    Shy Guy

    Sep 23, 2008
    Templeton, MA
    Well, my local one is pretty cool, guys from all departments are always willing to help, they're willing to go leaps and bounds within what policy will let them do.
  19. I never had any bad experience with GC, at least the ones I patronize, namely the Tempe, AZ and the Scottsdale, AZ centers. I always get what I am looking for there and always get good advice. These guys are musicians, you can tell, and it's good to speak from musician to musician.

    I buy my guitars and amps used but one day, maybe, I will buy one of them brand new, who knows, and GC will probably be the place.

    They are in business of doing business, therefore it is not abnormal to see them try to sell you stuff you don't really need, overprice a few things and try to upgrade you, but so are electronics salesmen, car salesmen, etc...

    Overall I have seen a rise in customer service in retail, even Home Depot is now putting more folks on the floor, ready to help you.

    Could it be the bad economy and the fact that the other guys are doing it?
  20. LedBelli Bass

    LedBelli Bass Fine, Handmade Custom Bass Guitars

    Dec 25, 2008
    Pasco, WA
    Alright . . . I've heard enough (nothing personal!)

    99 out of 100 GC guys ARE COMPLETE F$$##KING MORONS!

    They're young, <21 years, they have zits, and they think they know more than you do . . . There's nothing worse than talking to some dink pink-hair punk who thinks he knows more than you but -painfully- doesn't.

    If you talk about something they don't know about or haven't heard of they behave like YOU'RE the moron . . .

    They try to come off dressing and acting f$$king cool and hot, but they couldn't play you a meaningful lick if their miserable life depended on it!!!!

    Thus, I object to the, "These guys are musicians, you can tell, and it's good to speak from musician to musician," statement.

    YOU CAN TELL????@@@@!!!! YOU CAN TELL???? HOW IN THE HELL CAN YOU TELL???? GAWDALMIGHTY GIMME A BREAK, B.S.!!! If YOU can tell then criminey, I sure can't!

    I ain't met one yet who could read a 12 bar blues.

    They might pretend to be musicians but . . . they are morons . . . and in nearly 20 years of GC visits, I've only met one guy who I had any respect for . . . and even he was a tad peculiar.

    GC is more like "Zits -R- US", and bring your (illegitimate) kids along for the ride! They are fresh-out-of-high-school (or less) kids who don't know a C# from a Db.

    I've only bought from GC out of necessity . . . it's never been a "good experience",

    whew . . . damn . . . where's the bar? :bassist:

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