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MusiciansFriend Bass Guitars

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mmx6, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. mmx6


    Dec 22, 2012
    Anyone our purchased a bass from MusiciansFriend new that cost $500 or more??

    I never knew this, but a rep over the phone told me that MusiciansFriend warehouse unbox and inspect the guitars/basses over $500

    Then MF will re seal it and ship to you

    Is this true?

    I got my new Fender Jazz bass in the mail a few days ago from MF and the factory staples are already opened, and the box was heavily taped when I got it.

    Sorry I am a first time bass buyer

  2. seang15


    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    Why wouldn't they inspect all instruments regardless of cost?
  3. Based on the many QC (quality control) issue threads here on TB stemming from Musicians Friend purchases, I highly doubt this. I am under the distinct impression that MF merely warehouses, pulls, and ships inventory exactly the way they received it from the manufacturer. If there is a dollar amount at which they actually unbox and inspect basses, it's much higher than $500.00.

    If I'm wrong, I challenge someone to prove it.
  4. mmx6


    Dec 22, 2012
    I see, so the customer rep over the phone is BSing

    Great to know thanks

    I will call back for another rep and see how it turns out
  5. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    I believe you may have gotten a returned bass, that or it was opened for some other reason. As far as I know MF does not inspect instruments before they ship, regardless of price.
  6. I bought one of the infamous Midnight Blue Rickenbackers from MF last summer, and it came in the box from the Ric factory without having ever been opened, as far as I can tell.
  7. sgiacomo


    Feb 26, 2012
    My new Ric 4003 was perfect when it arrived earlier this month. I can't tell you for sure if it was checked by MF before shipping because it was simply in the case well packed in a plain cardboard box: no factory seal on the Ric so to speak. I can tell you that the box was only taped once. One could conclude that was done either at the manufacturer or at the MF warehouse, your guess is as good as mine. FWIW this was my first bass mail order, actually first time I ever bought bass without playing it first. I suppose their return guarantee is what gave me a little comfort in proceeding. Good luck, hope this info helps.
  8. There may be others, but AFAIK the only on-line retailers that actually unbox, inspect for QC, and do a basic set-up/trouble-shoot on new guitars and basses are Sweetwater and Wildwood. Not sure about Wildwood, because I live within driving distance and do my business direct with them, but Sweetwater has still let some squirrely stuff slip through the filter. But at least they make the effort.

    If it's Rickenbacker, Pick Of The Rics also does a good job of screening their inventory before they ship.

  9. This is the silver lining with MF and similar on-line warehouse retailers. If you have your heart set on the instrument, just keep sending it back until lightening strikes and they finally send you a keeper.

    IME, it's not much better at Guitar Center, other than returns are much easier if you have a store nearby. Just march it back over there and they will take care of the return and re-order.

    Buying production line consumer items is always a crap shoot under even the best of circumstances.
  10. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Based on my experience, I know that this inspection business positively has NOT been true in the past.

    It may be a new policy since I stopped buying basses last year after my accident, but I am skeptical.

    The opened basses I bought in the past were obviously returns from the disgruntled. :spit:

    I know Sweetwater gives their stuff a pretty thorough once-over, however. If I was still buying, I'd try to get them to price-match MF and go with them.
  11. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Purchased two american Fender Fives costing over $1,000 in the past few years and they each arrived in factory stapled box, no indication of being opened or unstapled. No issues, but definitely factory sealed.
  12. Just got a new Fender classic 50's p from MF the other day...Came in unopened stapled factory Fender box...So my guess is no,they don't...
  13. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I've never known this to be their policy, although they have OFFERED to do so when I ordered. Any time I get a box from MF, which is about monthly :), I actually check to see that the box was unopened. If it has been opened it tells me I bought a product that's been returned. And this has happened a lot of times. It doesn't necessarily mean there's anything wrong with what I bought, just that someone else had it before me, and returned it. When that is the case I immediately call them and they've always been great about either offering me an exchange, or a discount. Recently bought a mandolin that was clearly played for a while by someone else. I liked it aside from the fact that the strings were a little rusted, and I knew it had been returned, but they compensated me and I was happy in the end. Love my mandolin.

    I don't know how many people work the phones at MF, nor how they hire them, but I'm pretty certain of a few things:

    1. They're not always knowledgable about MF policies. I've been guaranteed things by salespeople, and then had to fight to get what was offered. Recently bought an iPad. Was told I couldn't use a 15% off coupon, but that they could offer me the equivalent in accessories ($90 worth). I asked if I could call back after shopping for what I wanted, and be unequivocally guaranteed that the offer would stand. Was told they do that all the time and it absolutely wouldn't be a problem, even if I got someone else on the phone, which I did. Guess what? It was a problem. They wouldn't do it.

    2. They have a rock bottom price that they can offer you. It's up to you and your haggling skills to get that. If you don't like what they offer you can call back and get a different deal from someone else. I sometimes wind up going with americanmusical.com because they do the same and I might get a better price. Depending on who answers the phone. A lot has to do with the product you're buying also. There's no haggling on an ipad, but I've gotten some basses knocked down 100s of dollars. Won't mention any brands, but one of em starts with an R. :)

    3. Despite what I consider their misgivings, they've won me over with their customer support. Only thing I wish I could change is the shipping time, but they've got no control over that. Americanmusical ships from 1 state away so I get my orders next day. MF I always have to wait about a week. My 2 bottom lines are price and customer service. I will always go with the lowest price, provided I trust I won't get a hard time should something not be right. The prices at MF have put them in the lead for me. I also trust AM as stated (and zzounds which is the same company), Sweetwater, and music123 (which is the same as MF).

    Still don't understand why musiciansfriend and american musical have 2 different companies and names for the same place. Don't think that's ever been addressed either. I'm going to guess it's some business or tax reason that doesn't really matter to the customer anyhow. If anything it benifits us, as they'll beat their own prices on a price match. Such a silly game we play.
  14. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Pittsburgh PA USA
    I've been to Sweetwater. Their set-up/QC tech is in plain view. I watched him do setups, wipe them clean and pass them on to someone who reboxed them. It seemed to me that he spent around five minutes per guitar or bass on average.
  15. I've bought two basses over $500 from MF and both of them came with a great set up and good to go overall. I couldn't have been happier with my experience.
  16. 5 minutes isn't very long to check saddles, intonate, do a truss rod adjustment, etc.
    Don't know the extent of the inspection, so maybe they're just looking for major problems.

  17. At one time they were in fact all separate entities...until the same multi-national conglomerate took them all over...why sully an established brand by telling the consumer it's the same thing....lol

    Trane and American Standard (same company) as A/C's come off the assembly line they simply slap a sticker from either company on the unit..

    Happens everyday...

    Many companies out there like this!
  18. mystic38


    Dec 4, 2012
    Mystic CT
    Count me in the majority here... MF does not do that as policy at all and you most likely have a returned bass..not a bad thing necessarily though.

    .If you want something really cheap, get on the phone to MF and haggle... but If you want an inspected and setup guitar, purchase from sweetwater. period
  19. I know that if you go to Sweetwater website, for instruments over around $300, you can see the actual instrument you are interested in. They show pictures of the actual instrument, along with the serial numbers and weight. They take the time to allow you to pick by more than just a stock photo. I would imagine that they also take time to check the instruments for any problems they may have. That is better than the big box type store that seems so impersonal.
  20. PMagers

    PMagers Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2011
    Philly, Philadelphia
    I did too, mine arrived unopened and completely smashed - looking like it fell from a high warehouse rack, vs shipping damage. Nothing against MF though, they handled the return very professionally.