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My Michael Kelly and American Musical Supply experience.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Kevbroce, Feb 1, 2006.


  1. Kevbroce

    Kevbroce

    Dec 14, 2005
    Chico, Ca
    So about two weeks ago I ordered a Michael Kelly ST-AB5 (solid top 5 string acoustic bass guitar). $340 plus free shipping. Ordered it on a Friday, recived it the next Friday, shipped from New Jersey to Califoria. The neck needed adjustment and the strings were a little tarnished, but I though over all the fit and finish was plenty acceptable for the price range. Not perfect, a few minor spots that had been sanded down to smooth things out and a couple places where the gloss finish wasn't pefect, but nothing that I noticed that would affect playing. So I tried pluging it into my amp to see how it sounded, but there was nothing. Ok, maybe a new battery, nope, nothing still. Lame, broken output... Call up American Musical supply, talk to the rep and have them send another. I told him it took a week for the last one to arive and ask if it could be speed up somehow, so he gives me 2 day shipping free. Very cool. Shipped on Monday, the replacement shows up Wensday, even before the sticker to ship the old one back. Open it up, ***... Looks like something you'd expect to be sold as a Factory blemished bass. Theres glue spead out on the fret board and the nut its scraped up. The groove in the nut for the g string was too deep, so someone sloppily filled it with glue as a fix. If I was to have seen this in a store I definitely wouldn't by it. The neck is much better than the last one and the ouput works, but what a sloppy glue job, not to mention the problem with the nut at the g string. Call them back, tell the the problem, and now I have two basses sitting in my room waiting to be returned... He asked if I want yet another one sent out, nope, I don't have any room for another bass. After I sent these back, I'm not sure if I'll order another either. The first one I would be happy with if the neck was adjusted, which isn't a big deal, and the output worked. The second looks and was put together like crap. I'm not sure I'll buy another instrument online again, but I have yet to see this, or any MK instrument in a store. I've seen two other 5 string AGB's, an Ibanez that was quite nice, but $150 bucks more, and a used Dean that I wasn't too impressed with that I think cost $200-$220. I was planing on getting an acoustic guitar this summer, but now I'm starting to think I'll just pick one one now, cause at least they're availible in store. If I do order another MK ST-AB5, I don't know If I'll order through AMS again. I've heard good things about them before, but 2 unacceptable items already and they're located across the country. I can let the broken output pass, that could happen during shipping, but trying to send me such an unacceptable instrument as "new" when they give you the option to buy the same instument blemished for less is not cool with me.

    How frustrating and lame...

    I took some pics of both and maked a couple of sound clips fomr the one that workes, so I'll post these up soon.
     
  2. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    HI

    Sorry to hear your dilemma. Might be worth it to save up a bit more cash and invest in a little better quality instrument. Once you make up your mine what you want, maybe you can find one locally you can inspect and play before buying. I hope you find yourself a nice one soon

    Rob
     
  3. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Joe Nerve has an almost identical thread regarding his bad Michael Kelly he purchased from Musician's Friend in the Misc. forum, and in it he says he wished he ordered from AMS. Pretty weird that this thread pops up as well.
    Here's Joe Nerve's thread
     
  4. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience.

    I played a MK Solid AB in a store that was quite nice. The price that you paid ($340) seems rather low for a new MK ST-AB5, which normally sell (street) for around $500 or so.

    Therefore, it seems like perhaps AMS is selling "B stock" or "blemished" instruments??? :confused: Was there anything to this effect in their web page/ad/sales pitch?

    It just seems odd to me that their price could be almost $200 less than you'd find elsewhere without some kind of reason . . .
     
  5. Kevbroce

    Kevbroce

    Dec 14, 2005
    Chico, Ca
    I haven't seen maney 5 string AGB's. Most stores only have two or three, and that usually includeds Ibanez or Fenders small, short scaled models, which don't interest me.


    For quite I while I was finding the ST-AB5 for $430 online, but recently they've dropped to $340. I think this is because the new models are comming out. Id din't order a "B stock" or "blemished" instruments, though the option was there at $20 less. The first one was acceptable except for the faulty output. I could have adjusted the neck, but whats the point if I'm not keeping it. The second one, in my opinion should be classified as "C stock". Using super glue to fill the gap in the nut to raise the g string is lame, especialy if you are sloppy and get it on the neck. Smearing glue around the frets is really lame as well.

    AMS was really cool about the returns, no hassel at all, but I can't see how the can sell me that second bass as a normal, new condition.
     
  6. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    I don't think that these big internet stores open the boxes. They just store them til someone orders. :(
     
  7. munnkyboy

    munnkyboy

    Jul 1, 2005
    Argh...I hate that story...but I like their cases for some reason.

    mk (the other one)
     
  8. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I did order mine from American Musical. I love those guys. I live in NY so my deliveries come the day after I order them. And there's never a delay. I don't blame them - I blame MK. They used to sell their imperfect models for a little less than retail on ebay. I bought one several years ago and it was awesome. Practically flawless. I also (as you probably read) had to send back 2 STABs for different reason than you. I'm sooooo glad I didn't have them send me another.

    I get really upset when a company pulls crap like that. They MUST know that they've got really crappy unplayable instruments that are being put out into the public. Seems they're trying to screw people. If a first timer bought one of those things, chances are they'd keep it. I know they know what a good bass is and it's beyond me how they have the balls to sell those things - especially for that price. $3 bills ain't a lot for an acoustic bass, but when you can get a way better one (like I did) for half the price... well.

    I'd give you the details on the one I bought but I don't have it yet. Bought it at NAMM and forgot exactly what it was - still waiting for it to be shipped by friends who did me the favor so I wouldn't have to take it on the plane with me.
     
  9. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    One thing to keep in mind is that most of the web merchants never unseal the factory box - it comes in, it goes out. I'd be blaming the manufacturer for this one...
     
  10. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I actually spoke to them about that and it's true. I asked if they could check a bass out before sending me a third (when I considered going for round 3) and they said they'd look into it, but it's a little tricky.
     
  11. Kevbroce

    Kevbroce

    Dec 14, 2005
    Chico, Ca
    Let us know about the one you picked up at NAMM, I'm curious. I think I'm over Michael Kelly now, this was a pretty lame experience. I'l still have to give it a little though, but I think I'm going to pick up the acoustic guitar. Eventually I'd like to get a Tacoma AGB, all I've heard has been good things about those, but I just can't spend that kind of money right now.
     
  12. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Save up for the Tacoma - it's well worth it. I have a 5 on the way now to replace the four I've had for a number of years. They're sweet!
     
  13. Kevbroce

    Kevbroce

    Dec 14, 2005
    Chico, Ca
  14. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I got me new bass today. I love it. Much much more than the STAB5. Neck feels great, it's a bit thinner, string spacing seems identical to my bongo, I love the acoustic sound, so far it sounds great out of my home practice amp. Looks great too. I'm happy.

    Oh yeah... it's a JBP (J.B. Player). Interesting since my initials for the name I was born with are J.B. It was meant to be. :rollno:

    [​IMG]