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quite upset at GC's treatment of basses...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by ghostjs, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. ghostjs


    Aug 14, 2008
    Unofficially Endorsing: D'Addario, Lakland
    just about all the basses i played today at GC had really high action or warped necks! goodness sake! cant GC atleast get an allan wrench and just adjust it every once in a while?
  2. w33nie


    Jan 27, 2008
    High action, out of tune, dead strings, warped necks, etc. I played an Ibanez SRX300 that was in good shape, probably new, that played 10 times better than a stingray with high action and dead strings that were out of tune
  3. ghostjs


    Aug 14, 2008
    Unofficially Endorsing: D'Addario, Lakland
    exactly what happened! i thought that a Fender Aerodyne played better than a MM stinray. seriously.. what the heck GC?
  4. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    Yeah, in this age of mail-order competition, the best way a store can keep ahead is by having their stuff set up properly, if not perfectly.
  5. Freelancer


    Apr 6, 2009
    Tucson, AZ.
    Most of the GCs I've been to in So Cal have been pretty decent with their instrument setups when they actually have a staff member who knows how to do it. A lot f the time, many of the employees aren't musicians themselves IME of the couple of GCs that I've been to. When I got my first bass 11 years ago, I was fortunate enough that one of the staff members at the time was a musician specializing in the bass. He did a quick setup of all the basses I wanted to try out on the spot and made sure they were decent to test out. Which wasn't usually much since he had setup all the other basses on display prior as well.

    When ordering online, they will usually do a basic setup on the instrument before shipping it. At least they did for when I finally had ordered my SRX390. Had a little tag with the factory inspector and tech who did the factory setup and GC had a tag of the guy who picked out, inspected, setup then shipped my bass as well. The intonation was spot on and the neck wasn't bowed in either direction. Isn't too much really beyond that, in which I can ask for. Can't really be too critical of things like action since each person is going to have their own comfort zone. Fortunately, mine was low enough to make it easy to fret without buzzing off a random fret.

    GC and MF isn't perfect by any definition of the word. But they aren't the worst that I have had to deal with. You still get the opportunity to physically try out whatever floats your boat and then, if you find what you want but don't like what they have in stock. You at least have a basis to order online for from the dealer of your choice. Many do not seem to care if you do minor (I haven't done any truss rod adjustments yet so I don't think that would fly,) but they didn't mind if I tuned and adjusted action a bit. Many time they had someone there who could do it themselves. Hope the next one you go to is doing better maintenance on their inventory.

    Rock on!:bassist:
  6. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    But if they were set up, we would test them there then buy used here on TB, or MF, eBay, etc.
  7. hmm.,well,my local GC keeps their basses in pretty good condition,except the MM basses.they are up in the guitar room over the doorway leading to the bass room,and it looks like they haven't been used.almost like they are collecting dust.also,i played either a stingray or a sterling(this was before i was really into them,and i didn't pay attention to the details,but i also couldn't tell the difference between the two.)
    and it's strings were dead,which had a major effect against the tone i knew it could get.but it just sounded plain dead.they really need to change the strings on them once in a while
  8. Dubadays


    Apr 4, 2009
    I've always been frustrated that the electric guitars have a giant room, the acoustic guitars have a room the drums have a giant room, the keyboards have a seperate room, the mix boards have a seperate room, and what do the basses get? A small corner in the guitar room. Very small.
  9. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    There is a small used shop in Burbank where I go on my lunch hour sometimes. Usually just one guy in the shop. They never do any setups on the used stuff they sell, 19 out of 20 are for sh*t. So finally one day, after being blown away by an old neck through Washburn, ($400) that was far and away the best playing (setup) bass they had ever had, I asked the proprietor why don't they setup the used instruments, maybe they would sell more. He said no way would he spend $50 in labor to set up someone's consignment instrument. He makes little enough as it is. I was dumbfounded by how shortsighted and ignorant he seems to be. I guess it never occurred to him that maybe a seller would pay $50 for a setup if it meant they might get more, and sell sooner.

    "But if they were set up, we would test them there then buy used here on TB, or MF, eBay, etc."

    I disagree, a bird in the hand........... If you are holding the right one in your sweaty little hands, that plays like it was made for you, are you gonna say, wait, I might save some money if I troll the internet for a while. I know for myself, I get seduced by the touch and feel of a bass.....
  10. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    I don't understand why the makers don't do the setup? How many more instrument would they sell??

    jbybj - If this dealer is taking consignments, they should offer this service to the seller as a way to help sell the instrument! Consignment car dealers detail the cars. Who is this anyway??
  11. I've said it before and i'll say it again, this is just an experience of one gc not a standard for all of them. I've been to plenty boutique shops where guitars have been poorly set up or not at all. I've seen basses with cracked headstocks, high action, warped necks, control knobs missing, input jacks falling out, strings missing; it just happens sometimes. I think people rip on guitar center because they're the biggest supplier of musical instruments in the world and for some reason because they are so big they have to be perfect, and im sorry but thats just not the case. lets face it, basses are pieces of wood which arent going to be perfect and will bend and crack and break no matter who's selling them. theres no need to bash a store because theyre the biggest, they got that way for a reason, largest selection in the world at really low prices. i love gc because of that, if i want a bass and the one they have isnt in good shape i can get a brand new one from them in days, or even get the not so perfect one and come back and get a new one when it arrives. who else is going to let you tag home a bass for a month and if you dont like it return it? i just dont understand why we need to point fingers at a company when we dont know whos fault it is if anyones. you know how many people play those basses a day? im shocked that they are in one peice let alone looking halfway decent. and for a place that has hundreds of guitars on hand at any given moment some are going to have dead strings it happens. and if you ask them to they always change the strings for you, just so yu can hear it with fresh strings. so i honestly dont know why we have to go through this every week about the complaints with gc. you shop anywhere long enough you'll have a few.
  12. dukeplaysbass

    dukeplaysbass Supporting Member

    Are you talking about the place on Magnolia, next to that killer Italian deli?

    Holy smokes, dude. You gotta relax. :p

    Yeah, folks here rip on GC a lot. I think it's well deserved. I work about 3 blocks from the flagship GC in Hollywood -- supposedly the best of the best -- and I see cracked headstocks, missing knobs, really bad neck issues all the time at that store. It's just the way it is. In fact, it's the same way with the Sam Ash across the street. Does it suck for the potential buyer? Yep. I'd much rather try out basses that are properly set up and maintained. But it ain't gonna happen -- people will buy those axes even if they're damaged and play badly. I've seen it. As long as they continue to sell axes, they won't change. I'm not buying them (I've bought exactly one bass from GC in the 8+ years I worked down the street, a new in-the-box US Jazz on that unbelievable $599 clearance they ran last December), but I'm sure somebody is.....
  13. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    Guitar center is a massive chain store for guitars. And it's mostly for gui****s. Most of the people working there are also gui****s. Why is it surprising that they don't treat their basses right? They aren't bass center, after all.
  14. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Yeah, but most of the guitars in the store don`t have that problem. Everytime I pick up a guitar in GC it`s usually fairly in tune, the set-up is decent, and nothing is noticeably damaged. The basses, on the other hand, are always a wreck. Dead strings, HORRIBLE tunings, and you`d be lucky enough to find an amp that`s plugged in for you to try that worthless POS bass out.
  15. jambassist


    Sep 1, 2002
    Easton, PA
    You people are looking for custom service in an off-the-rack store and it's not going to happen. If you never worked at GC, you don't understand it. The instruments are busted out, POP'd and hung up. There's exceptions, but that's usually the way it works. The staff doesn't have time to go over every instrument and set it up and the company isn't going to spend money for new strings and setup time. If someone is serious about it, adjustments can be made, but most people aren't and they know it. There's routinely threads on here about someone that has "time to kill" so they go to GC to "try out" this, that, and the other thing. They have little or no intention of buying any of the instruments they "try out". They just come on here and write their "reviews" and "impressions". Ten other people do the same thing and then everyone wonders why the instrument is beat up and has dead strings. It wasn't that way when it came out of the box. The boutique stores I go to don't allow that. You can try out an instrument for a bit, but if you're not interested in buying it, you won't be allowed to play it for an hour doing your best Wooten or Jaco impression. They want to sell new instruments, not one's that are shop worn by wankers who can't even afford a pack of strings.

    I'm no fan of GC and feel that big box music stores suck in general. All I'm saying is I understand why they do things the way they do.
  16. Blah114


    Feb 7, 2008
    I am a cynic sometimes.. my latest experience.. GC.. bought a LMII head.. had to set it up myself.. a girl laced with tattoos... nose ring, etc.. carried the head over to an amp.. and set it atop a guitar (Marshall) stack.. I had to tell her it was a bass amp.. it was in-box.. she called over another guy, with cut-up jeans... he said, "dude.. Markbass rules... what's up..." $599, remember this..

    Anyway, he hooked up an ampeg 2x10.. I tried it, liked the head.. I then hooked up to an SWR 4x10.. every bass I tried was buzzing and way out of tune.. there were people everywhere, as well, turned up just playing random notes.. I could not wait to get out of the store..

    I grabbed the head.. went to the counter.. the girl with all the piercings was not there.. I had to wait for her, so she would get commission.. she got back from break in another 10 minutes.. I asked her to throw in a speak-on cable.. she said, "what's that..." I grabbed one.. she said, "Ok, but my manager is going to get mad.." I said," Your manager, seriously should be more mad about your guitars having their necks warped.. no offense.."

    she rang me out, tried to sell the warranty and pleasantly said, "Thank you for your business..." As I left, the guy who hooked me up said, "Dude.. good luck with that head.. my bass player uses that head too.. "

    I said, "cool, thanks very much..."

    I was thinking.. "oh.. there's that 'my bass player' guitarist/drummer comment I so much loathe.."

    not the end of the world.. but that was my latest experience @ GC.. I knew I wanted a LMII to couple with my Genz Shuttle 6.0.. I cannot, honestly, stand GC.. it's noisy.. it's just an insult to bassists the way they do not seem to know the equipment.. at least where I live.. the time before that, I watched a nice lady pull down a Music Man Stingray and I heard "Clunk!!!" she had knocked that against a Fender Precision.. that was a girl working there..
  17. Blah114


    Feb 7, 2008

    This is precisely why I use GC as an absolute last-resort.. I would never buy anything from GC that I can mail-order for the same price--unless I am in a bind like I was before a show.. otherwise, I take my business online or to an actual store with people that know the equipment.. there are plenty of them... just have to look for them. GC does not seem to differentiate between the serious people and the people that cannot afford a pack of strings, as you say.. what I love about them, though, is you can test things out.. I like that.. but I cannot comprehend them allowing their own workers to not know that an LMII head is a bass amp head.. when the person works in the guitar section.. anyway.. that's just where I live.. the people are always nice.. and I don't understand how they don't go mad with all the people playing in there, showing off, etc.. A $599 bass head warrants someone to explain the EQ, post settings.. DI settings.. the filters, etc.. no one there, that day, knew a thing about the LMII head.. it was like I was visiting "Bill and Ted's Most Excellent Guitar Center.."
  18. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    I think the key is to:

    1) Know how to do a basic setup yourself.

    2) Use GC's return policy if you don't like the instrument you purchased.

    Most people that would care about the instruments setup know how to do it themselves. A store doesn't want to pay for a setup on a cheap, low margin instrument. They also don't want to pay for 4-5 setups on a high dollar instrument while it sits on the shelf. I think the best compromise would be getting a free setup when you buy an instrument. Of course, we know that "free" just means that it's hidden in the cost. The stores want to remain competitive, so nobody is going to be the first to implement that policy.
  19. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    The plus side to their neglect are the blowout sales they wind up doing because the basses don't move, or because they themselves start thinking there's something faulty with them. I'm still excited :) about the Streamer Pro M I picked up i the late 90s for $499 that only needed batteries, strings, a tighening of the knobs and a slight cleaning. Sold it immediately for $1000.

    I agree though that they should put a little more concern into what goes on with their basses. I think it's gotten a little better here in NY, at least the last few times I visited. I really do feel however that if I'm buying a bass off the rack in a GC I'm essentially buying a used bass. Make that a used and battered bass.

    Last note - only high end (?) bass I ever bought in GC was a Deluxe MIA Fender P and it had more issues than all the basses I've ever owned combined. Fender's fault, or GC? Probably a little of both.
  20. mndean


    Mar 20, 2009
    What I love in this thread is the justification that since few people may be buying, poor setup, poor service and lousy attitudes are not only understandable, but are exactly as it should be. My first visit to a GC is a perfect illustration of why I'd never give them more than chump change. I entered the store a week before christmas, looking to buy a bass. The store had water damage in an entirely different area, where keyboards and other electronic stuff was kept. They asked me if I knew what I wanted to buy, and I told them the truth, I was just browsing for a bass (I had a roll of bills in my pocket, and would have bought something if I found what I was looking for). There were people shopping in the store, btw. They essentially forced me out of the store rudely and told me unless I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to buy, they didn't want me in the store at all. In a cosmic sense, they did me a favor, their attitude got me to find a very nice used bass, practice amp, and a nice SX as well, all using CL or online ordering. Since that day, I bought a bag of picks from GC and nothing else. Note: I did complain to the manager of GC, who, outside of an oily manner did absolutely nothing to atone for the rotten treatment I received. For those who defend GC, defend that.

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