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Setting up basses in stores

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Snarf, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    You all know that GC and places of that nature have mostly terrible setups on their basses. Have any of you ever taken your allen wrenches with to to make truss rod adjustments and bridge adjustments? Is this even considered kosher by the store? I mean, if I want to buy something, I want to make damn sure it's going to be fixable.
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    First off, I don't know if that's true. Second, bringing tools and just starting to work on basses is a big no-no. Geez, why not bring a soldering iron and replace the pickups while you're at it?

    Instead, the way to handle it is tell them the bass plays terrible and you would like to get it setup properly before you can make a decision.
  3. GSRLessard14

    GSRLessard14 All-Things-Claypool Enthusiast

    Jun 23, 2005
    Newington, CT
    Basses in GCs and others are always set up so horrifically... i hate it.
  4. Instead, the way to handle it is tell them the bass plays terrible and you would like to get it setup properly before you can make a decision.[/QUOTE]


    If they won't accomodate you by performing a proper setup, they're not worthy of your business. Most places, however, will happily tweak an instrument for you if they have a qualified tech on staff, though you'd be suprised how many places don't.:scowl: But pullin' off a DIY is liable to get you booted from the store. :eek:
  5. purfektstranger


    Apr 10, 2003
    Might also be wise to go in on a weekday as opposed to the weekend....when these places get so overcrowded you couldn't get service anyway.
  6. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution
    I think it depends on the store and on what you're buying.

    I bought three basses last year all in the $3000+ range and the were all bought from the same "pro" shop. Each time I did the set up myself and put new strings on each.....the strings I play. I also brought my rig in.

    At this store though, that is what they expect. The only reason I mention the price range of the basses is because I think if somebody is going to lay out that kind of money, a "reasonable" store would expect a customer to need the bass set up "his way".

    Another element though is that with the dollars I've spent in this store, the owner knows I'm serious about purchasing and not just messing around.

    God bless pro shops.
  7. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    Everyone knows GC setup is bad.
    This said, you have every right as a buyer to request a setup, if bass is unplayable.
    I've tweeked basses, and changed strings before buying at GC.
    Bottom line if they want your money they will acommadate.
    Price will also come into play.
    They may not want to fool with a $400.00 bass.
    But surely will for a $3000.00 bass.
  8. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    At Sam Ash where I go to, they'll do it for you, or if you're knowledgable enough or know someone who works there and trusts you, you can try it yourself.
  9. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Seeing as I work at a guitar shop, i'd be mighty mad if somebody started working on a bass. If they asked me, i'd just take it in the back and give it a few adjustments.
  10. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike

    Nov 18, 2005
    I wouldn't do it. Hell, there's a store here that yells at you if you don't wash your hands first.
  11. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I used to be a regular at a shop, their tech was a burnout and really couldn't do much right, but they knew I knew what I was doing. They offered me the tech job which I would've taken if the shop wasn't an hour away.

    Now at GC, they've got a couple of knowledgable goons by me who will gladly do a setup if you're serious.
  12. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Personally, if I was really interested in the instrument, I'd buy it and mess with it at home, through my amp, compare it to my other instruments, etc. That's part of the reason that GC and Sam Ash have 30 day satisfaction guarantees anyway...

    Neither GC or Sam Ash that I shop at have a tech on-staff...Besides, my idea of a proper set up might be very different than the guitar player that would take a wrench to the bass...

    And Peter Griffin...what's wrong with them wanting you to wash your hands??? Given the low percentage of guys that wash their hands after they use the toilet, I'd much rather play an instrument that has touched clean hands...
  13. jgrotto


    Nov 29, 2005
    I can hardly stand setting foot in GC. To me, they're like the Radio Shack of music stores. Most sales people (esp. in their pro audio dept.) I've spoken with know little but talk a lot.

    But I second the notion raised by hasbeen- they're probably not going to want to setup a bass that they're making next to nothing on comission-wise. I know I would consider it a hassle unless a) I thought the person was serious about a purchase and/or b) it was worth my $while$.

    There's no other place around with a decent stock of basses?
  14. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike

    Nov 18, 2005
    I wash my hands before I play anything. At work I wash my hands before and after using the restroom, don't need any funny stuff down there. I just don't see the need to actually yell at people , hang a big sign up or something
  15. I haven't bought many basses, and even fewer new from a store, but with the few basses that I've bought I just check out their return policy thoroughly, then take it home and change what I'm allowed to do to it but still be able to return it. This way I can check it out on my own gear, or even do a practise with the ol' bandmates! If I didn't like it (this hasn't happend) I would just take it back. This way you get a much better feel for the bass, it's not a terribly big deal to bring it back either, though if something happens and you can't return it all you can do it keep it/sell it yourself.
  16. lookjojoisplaid


    Oct 17, 2005
    San Diego
    I know the guy at my guitar center would be cool with it. They know the basses just come factory as is. I saw one guy pop a rick off the rack and then he told the bass kid that was working to go get him a screwdriver so he could pull off the pickup covers. IM not saying you should just go in there and start working on the bass call them up first and talk to one of the people in the bass department. They are all salesman and they wanna make money off you and if that means you need to **** with the bass then so be it
  17. Yea, but pulling the cover off a Ric is easier said than done. It takes a good 10 minutes. You especially have to watch out for those springs...