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"Quality" of equipment at Guitar Center

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Kristopher, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. Kristopher


    Mar 13, 2005
    Tempe, AZ
    I was in GC yesterday to try out a few Jazz basses and it was really sad. One NEW Mexican Standard have a tuning key bent at a 45 degree angle. :( One new American Standard, a thousand dollar instrument, had a volume pot that just did not work at all. And none of the new five or six Jazzes I tried were set up with playable action.

    The did have a used Jazz that played amazing, but then it probably just came in with that setup from the previous owner.

    Is it just the GCs in Arizona or is it an epidemic? It's sad to see these poor instruments in such an unloved environment. I can't see how someone is going to take home an instrument that doesn't play comfortably in the store.
  2. Joe Boom

    Joe Boom

    Jun 25, 2004
    GC is like that in Chicago as well.
  3. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Epidemic, The one in Southfield MI. is a joke! I was there to take back a bad cord and saw a used Marcus 5 on the wall, cool, After 20 min. to find someone to pull it down for me, another 20 to find a mediocre bass amp that was connected, I discovered a totally screwed up wirring job on the bass, every pot would send the bass into overdrive if the knobs went above plus 3! It was not an original pre, I asked the salesman about it and he said we would have the gutiar tech take a look at it sometime this week. Now you think they would have done that before they acquired this used bass! But, I doubt anyone in this store would have known what the problem was, too busy with there high school classes!!
  4. willgroove2


    Aug 16, 2003
    chicago IL
    Endorsing Artist;Essential sound products,Dunlop, Ergo Instruments
    the gc in south chicago has a bunch of boutique bass's i think they got from dan lenerd, a fbass ,lowend jazz,a overwater frettless, ect. not one of them is set up correctly with price tag's at 2k+!!!! i tried the lowend five a few times and because it isn't set up right i can't make a good judgment about the bass but heres the killer;the sales guy (who knows im a pro)said why don't you just buy it and get it set up and if you don't like then bring it back. huh what? i think not
  5. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Yes, all GC's are like that. Keep in mind that they're a commercial outfit, and they could care less what someone's particular tastes are, in terms of setup and so on.

    To be fair, a lot of the that is the manufacturer's problem. For some reason they refuse to do adequate setups on their instruments, before they leave the shop. The excuse they use is that everyone's setup tastes are different, so why bother?

    What I usually do, when I wander into a GC and find a bass that I think I like, is to ask the salesman for whatever wrenches and so on are needed to set up the instrument, and then ask him to put me in a room and leave me alone for an hour.

    If there's something "wrong" with an instrument, like a bad volume pot or something, that's a hundred dollar discount right there. The salesmen know they're not going to sell a screwed up instrument, and most of 'em will be willing to take a hit on the commission, just to get rid of an instrument like that. Me personally, I'm pretty good with electronics, so if a bass "plays" perfectly, but just has a messed up volume pot, I usually end up getting a killer deal.

    GC doesn't want to mess with "perceived problems" on an instrument. Usually, IME, they'll make whatever deal it takes to get the instrument out the door. Remember that they're a retail outfit, they deal in volume, and they're a public corporation whose business is to make money. As a consumer, you can "play" that system, if you know what to look for. There are definitely some good opportunities at most of the local GC's. :)
  6. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Wow, thats a really good idea - now if only I had money, or wanted to stop buying SX's because they're so good...
  7. Kristopher


    Mar 13, 2005
    Tempe, AZ
    Mmm, probably could have got a hundred or two knocked off that American Jazz, I never thought of that! Not to mention that the Fender warranty would probably cover the faulty pot, no?
  8. daofktr

    daofktr irritating, yet surly

    Feb 15, 2005
    aurora, IN
    going to GC is both fun and painful for me...fun because i get to try a bunch of axes...painful because they evidently don't give a froofy about set up...or their customers.
    the GC north of cinci has no techs at all. it shows.
    the GC in boston has many wonderful higher end instruments...but the workerdrones think they are the end all of hip. tough to get any info through all those swelled heads.
    cain't speak of any others.
  9. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    Just as bad here in California.
  10. Ethon


    Jan 25, 2003
    Akron, Ohio
    The new one they just put in up here in Akron/Fairlawn, OH is actually pretty nice...I like playing with the ProTools rig they have set up ;)
  11. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    To a certain extent, yes, but to REALLY be fair, every time I send or receive an instrument to and from different parts of the country - or when I travel with my own instrument - I have to reset the action and make all kinds of adjustments from the different temperature and humidity conditions in different locations.

    I'll guarantee that if Mike Tobias sets up one of his new instruments in New England in the winter, then ships it down to Miami, it will need a new setup within two days of its arrival.

    When I lived in the Virgin Islands, I had a pre-Nashville Tobias Classic 5 that had the strings laying flat against every fret within two days of arrival to the humidity. When I moved back to Ohio a few years later, in two days the strings were almost a centimeter off the board when I took it out of its case.
  12. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Not to play devil's advocate, but it may be a waste of time for some manufactuers to set-up their guitars before they leave the factory due to climate changes that the instrument may have to go through during shipping.

    On the other hand, it's in the best interest of a music store to always have their instruments set-up. Nothing makes me want to put an instrument down quickier than finding it difficult to play. Plus, if there are major problems with the action, I don't know if that's just due to it needing a saddle adjustment or if there may be a major problem with the neck. If I were truly interested in a bass, I would haggle for the salesman to set it up before I bought it.

    Edit: Eric beat me to my first point. :D
  13. i'm commenting in this thread to bump it because of my experience today.

    i went into a gc to try out some new heads. i play a precision, so looking for a similar sound, it was only natural for me to grab a precision off the wall. THERE WAS ONLY 1!!! what the hell is up with that? 14 Js and only one P... saddening. anyway, that one had THE worst setup ever! the action was sky-high, rendering it nearly unplayable. i went and checked all the other basses, only to find the same problem. apparently their idea of a set up is to jack up the saddles as high as they go and bow the neck as much as possible. (my guess is to eliminate fret buzz that might discourage an ignorant customer.)

    so i tried to play the precision for like 10 minutes before i gave up and walked out. how can i buy a head if they don't give me anything decent to try it out with. (and i don't want to hear "bring your own")
  14. travatron4000


    Dec 27, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    GC = Walmart of Music stores
  15. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    It's been really hit or miss for me.

    The GC in Indy had a Conklin GT7 a while back that was set up quite nicely and mainly just felt good sans nearly dead strings. They also had in a Fodera Emperor IIRC. I didn't touch the bass-at the time, i hadn't heard of Fodera [was back in i think 2003 before i started reading about the high end stuff and actually understanding it].

    The GC in Merriville, yuck. I played a Warwick Thumb 5 [i think it was a thumb] and the action/setup nearly gave me the heeby jeebies. I bit my tongue when the sales guy asked me "what'd you think?"......i think "they need some work/setup". Note: the same Warwick was missing a knob or two.

    nonsqtr-i never thought about that. Will definately keep that in mind. To save $100 or so on a passive bass-i can put in a $3 pot. :bassist:
  16. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    GC for me has become alot like KFC. It completely grosses me out and I wonder why I did it and even tell myself that I won't do it again, but eventually that feeling wears off and I wander back in for more...
  17. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I have been very lucky with GC in Southfield. But I am an "off the rack" player/buyer. And my needs are also not what others demand of GC. But GC has always been hit or miss. GC is great for accessories, and the occasional "score" on an amp or instrument. But overall, not every customer is going to be satisfied there.
  18. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Yes, the quality of GC basses is pretty damn bad, but in this case it's your own fault for not bringing your own bass. I know you don't want to hear it, but hey -- that's what you're supposed to do when shopping for a new amp. This isn't like having to bring a 4x10 cabinet, a pedal board, and a mass of cables, it's just bringing your bass -- not a stressful job. That'll save you frustration when the store shockingly does not have the exact same bass with the exact same setup that you have. Makes amp shopping much easier.

    That said, I've had the pleasure of having never been to a GC, as I live in Canada. We do have "Steve's Music Store" and "Long and McQuade," which would be the Canadian equivalents, although L&M is significantly better than anything I've ever heard from GC. Steve's is pretty similar to GC, but a little nicer and they carry decent Spectors on occasion, but I've NEVER seen a six string in there. I asked a salesman if he ever got them in and he said they're unnecessary and a waste -- I was not pleased.
  19. bassjus


    Mar 30, 2004

    I agree, although I will be disgusted with most of the instruments in there, I will play one that will sound awesome, and play even better, for a really cheap price. I recently picked up a used Fender Stratacoustic ( :oops: ) with a new fishman preamp for 200 bucks. It was in decent condition, the only problems were just cosmetic, and considering these things cost 300 with the crappier preamp I had to buy it. Also just last weekend I had been looking for a synth to cure my synth GAS (I know, I know) and I found a used Yamaha s03 in PERFECT condition for $300, which is 200 bucks less than they sell new. Needless to say I've got a nice little synth to mess around with now.
  20. AuG


    May 22, 2005
    Fort Collins, CO
    I've had some ok experiences at GC, but it always bothers me when the salesman will sit next to you when you're trying out a new bass and start playing one himself. It's funny too they always try to show you up by playing Jaco or Wooten or something, like "oh I'm better than you and you need to buy this bass to play like me" :rolleyes: Some really stupid salesmen in there I must say.
    On the other hand, they do occasionally have some killer deals, so I guess if you know what you're looking for when you go there it's all good. Just avoid contact with the salesmen. :D