Guitar Manufacturer Warranties

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by stettoman, Dec 6, 2003.

  1. My Spector NS-2A is way out of warranty, but the neck is irreverseably twisting (due to a cross-grained neck stock) and will be unplayable in the next few years.

    I love this bass, had it since new in 1988, but the flaw in the neck stock wasn't pointed out to me until recently. I never paid any attention, just loved playing the thing. Spector's suggestion is "Sorry for the bad instrument, must be time to buy another bass"...Nothing against them, though they are ultimately responsible for allowing a defective unit out of the factory...

    In my search for a possible Spector replacement, I chatted with a friend who is manager of a major music store chain. He relayed the following;
    "Yeah, we carry Spector, but we tell our customers up front that we won't do any warranty work on them because Spector won't pay qualified outside shops to do the work. In other words, if you need warranty work done, you pay to send it back to the factory and eat the down time..."

    This bothers me. Has anyone here had similar warranty hassles with their instrument manufacturers? I love my Spector, but that kind of customer service seems petty to me, especially considering the price of quality instruments...I'm inclined to 1)scutinize my future purchases right down to the smallest detail, and 2)avoid companies that make life difficult when it comes to service.

    Anyone opinions on other manufacturers' record of cust. service?
  2. NV43345


    Apr 1, 2003
    The only time I ever had to use a warranty was
    when I bought my RIC4003 I thought it was a crappy cable in the store that caused the static
    but it turned out to be a solder connection at the
    jack, the local store (Mars) had a really good
    Luthier on staff and he fixed it, and they billed
    RIC for the charges. On the other hand a local Bas
    playin buddy of mine bought a Fodera at L.A .Bass
    exchange when he was in L.A. they went out of biz
    shortly after and he had problems with the pickups
    and called Fodera and they told him they would not
    authorize payment for a local luthier to repair it
    that he would have to send it to them and pay the
    freight to get it there, but they would pay the return freight.He only had the ohsc and even boxed
    up did not want to ship it, so he checked the price of 2 local road case companies Armadillo
    and Viking and I dont remember the amount, but it
    was going to cost him a small fortune to do the whole thing.Between the cost of the case,shipping
    and insurance charges it was more that buying
    a whole new pickup system. so that is what he
    wound up doing.
  3. I wonder if this isn't the reason that some manufacturers work their warranties that way...It may seen like bad business to us, but to them it's great way to fend off warranty claims...

    In another thread here I read where resale value is or is not a consideration. I think that research into a company's warranty record and policy is paramount.

    I'm considering making a purchase from Carvin, and looked into their warranty policy--They want you to send the unit back to the factory, but will make exceptions when a justifiable reason is given. That sounds pretty good to me. Of course you have to get into just what would be considered justifiable...
  4. berklee46

    berklee46 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2000
    Wouldn't Spector's warranty cover this if it was a defect from the beginning?

  5. Yee-up, the NS-2A was Spector/Kramer's first import series...Out of Korea, I believe.

    I emailed them and explained the situation, maybe hoping that Stuart might not want a bad advertisement with his name on it out amongst the population...But I expected nothing, because they owe me nothing. That model of bass carried a one year warranty, and at the time I was so excited about having a Spector that I never took the initiative to take it to a knowledgeable tech to have it checked out. That was MY bad.

    Sure, I'd love to get a call from Spector asking me if I'd like to replace it for a minimal fee, but that's not being realistic. I still believe that Stuart Spector puts out one of the best basses made. I'm not sure I want another one (new, at any rate), for the reasons stated above. In this age when there are countless companies producing quality instruments, and some stand behind their products with less red tape than others.

    So are there companies out there who cover their products above and beyond? That kind of info will go a long way with me when shopping time comes along...
  6. berklee46

    berklee46 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2000
    Sorry, I didn't read the original post clearly enough to see that it was an NS-2A model.

    Mea culpa.
  7. Hey Josh, an extra mile would have been cool in my situation. Such is not the case, so far. But I realize that the guitar is 15 years old and that I didn't correspond until now. A lot of guitars are put through the ringer over the span of years and builders can't be expected to go out of their way whenever a customer declares a defect in an old axe.

    I love my NS-2A, it's my main axe and will be until the day my fretting hand is on the wrong side of the neck...
  8. Josh, Kramer wasn't owner of Spector then, it was a partner. That was told to me BY the guys at Spector. So yes, Stuart & crew were still involved with the company at that time.

    When Kramer went bankrupt Stuart protected his company by changing the name and taking sole possession.

    I started this thread NOT to trash Spector. I don't think I gave anyone that impression. My inquiry had to do with guitar company warranties--ANY & ALL guitar companies. I won't allow this to be turned into anything else...

    As far as SS's responsibility goes, the only comment I made was that I found it surprising that he would allow QC to let cross-grained neck stock pass muster. I recognise the complexities of the times and distance to go to oversee such operations. I don't hold Spector responsible for the condition of my guitar...If I had been on the ball 15 years ago, this thread would never had come up now...
  9. Naw, not unhappy--I'd never consciously give that impression. Sorry if you misunderstood.

    Yes, I said what I said, but I meant something less legally binding by "responsible". And yes, Kramer was the major partner, tying Stuart's hands in many ways, I'm sure. Sorry if I led you away from my point.

    ...And remember, I expected nothing from Spector. I'm sure that Kramer built those basses as close to Stuart's expectations as they had legally agreed. I have no less respect for the company...

    The first Spector I ever played, which sold me on the brand in the first place, had serial # 00017 stamped on the back of the headstock...That guitar almost played itself, it was so smooth...