sterling by music man short scale, blemish from factory

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AjCalderon, Jul 31, 2020.

  1. RabidMusic


    Jan 29, 2012
    A few years ago I bought a demo bass from Sweetwater. It came with a very obvious nick on the front. I thought about sending it back, but kept it. Have regretted it ever since.
    AjCalderon likes this.
  2. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    $50 back is almost a 10% discount, I'd take it and wipe on some poly finish. It's on the headstock, so it's not a wear area like the neck. Inventory is low everywhere, and unfortunately on $500 instruments there is likely to be some kind of issue. If the neck is good and it sounds / feels good, I'd keep it. You can get some satin wipe on Poly for $12 at Home Depot / Lowes. You'll have to balance whether it's worth it or not.
  3. I couldn’t roll with that. Send it back.
  4. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    That “blem” on the headstock makes that instrument equivalent to a B-stock or used instrument. I would need at least a 25% discount before I would even think about keeping it.
    Ikkir, EatS1stBassist and mikewalker like this.
  5. If the neck feels good and truss rod works and it sounds/plays the way you like, I'd try to get them to kick it up to $100 discount - I'm sure they'd do that rather than eat the shipping both ways and issue a full refund. And then I wouldn't even worry a second about it (or if it really bothers you some wipe on finish).
    I agree that it looks like a customer dinged it and sanded it to cover the ding and then returned it (or GC or the factory dinged it and that was their solution before shipping it out) --- but that sort of thing just doesn't bother me at all as long as I get an appropriate discount.

    You might send it back and in December get one with a nice finish but a neck that doesn't feel good or some other structural issue.
    keith rosier likes this.
  6. Yup, back it goes, but not because the finish will further deteriorate. I’m assuming you paid full retail, and this is either a manufacturing second, or it was damaged in shipping ( which may be the reason for the delay) to GC. In either case, you should get a significant discount refunded, or a new bass.
  7. AjCalderon


    May 21, 2020
    I had plastic on the tuner pegs but doesn’t appear to have been any on the pick up or pick guard. I wasn’t able to find an inspection or assembly tag either. Now I wonder if they shipped me a used unit. I waited since April so I’d hope not but anything is possible. I just don’t want to be out a bass until December. Apparently I have until January 23rd to exchange/return the bass even if I take the money off they offer me. So maybe I’ll take the offer and just see if they become more available and swap it.
  8. AjCalderon


    May 21, 2020
    As an update after reading people’s posts and seeing as my bass didn’t come with plastic on the pick guard or on the pickup I’m assuming guitar center or the factory tried to pull a fast one on me and sell it as new due to low stock. They offered me $96 off which brought the total amount charged to my card down to $420 for the bass which seems to be worth it to me for something I plan to mod anyways. Minus the blemish and the terrible saddle setup on the G and rough nut filing it seems to be solid for $500 guitar. Had the saddle height been normal and no blemish on it I’d be shocked to learn it only cost $500. Looks and feels way more expensive!
  9. HearNoStevil

    HearNoStevil Inactive

    Jul 17, 2020
    I'd definitely send that used thing back on their dime and make them lose the return shipping cost as a lesson to them.

    Considering it retailed for $500, they paid maybe $250 for it. You paid them over $400. They are still making $150 on a damaged used product that should either be sold as B-stock or destroyed as damaged goods. You think they refunded you almost $100, but it would have cost them another $50 just to ship it back to themselves.

    Any other store would have matched the price you paid with the discount, and you would have a brand new perfect bass.

    You should have sent it back. They are laughing at you and still making a killing on this deal. They got rid of worthless stock by knowingly ripping off a customer and fraudulently selling a used item as new, and they still made a ton of money.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  10. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    If I bought that used from someone, and there was a good story behind it, I'd keep it, but....From the factory, there is no good story that would cover that big of a blemish - that's not something you can even explain happening in a well run factory.
  11. AjCalderon


    May 21, 2020
    I mean I still have 178 days left if I decide to return it. I’ll try and see if I can get anyone to match it and if they do I’ll send this one back and keep the new one!
    HearNoStevil likes this.
  12. Wood and Wire

    Wood and Wire

    Jul 15, 2017
    I'm always reading posts on TB, where people mention that they will buy an instrument, with the express intention of sending it back for a full refund, after they've played around on it for a few days.

    Sometimes they'll try out two, or three instruments, and maybe actually keep one :

    "What? I'm not doing anything wrong. There aren't any shops near me. It doesn't cost them anything. They still make tons of profit. I only do it from the big stores, and they're all jerks who deserve it anyway. It's a victimless crime!"

    So, the instrument goes back, and some poor sucker buys a used instrument, as new.

    Whoever did that, didn't just create a "ding". They completely re-shaped the face of the headstock.

    It almost looks like they were mistakenly try to sand that dark resin feature out, before realising that was a big mistake.
    EddiePlaysBass and AjCalderon like this.
  13. AjCalderon


    May 21, 2020

    That was my main concern was it completely changed the face of the headstock and pretty much leaves me at having a custom bevel and touch up finishing done to the headstock to make it look purposeful. It’s annoying and I may end up sending it back for a full refund if I can find another store willing to give me a good deal on a new one while I’m still in the return period depending on what it’d wind up costing me to make it to my liking. I was always buying the bass with the intent of customizing it but for me that meant electronics, tuners, pick guard and control cover. Never planned on doing any finish work to it. Just bummed it took an exciting new year day and turned it into damage control day instead :/
    Wood and Wire and EatS1stBassist like this.
  14. EatS1stBassist


    Apr 15, 2016
    So cal
    Words of Wisdom!:thumbsup:
  15. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I find myself getting a lot of things recently that are defective, shoddy, or damaged. A brand new lamp missing parts, a carburetor that doesn't work, etc. It may be sign of the times, a kind of collective slippage of standards due to Covid 19. I'm torn if I should just accept it as First World Problems, or demand better from companies that are struggling with short staff and crumbling supply chains. In the case of GC/MF it's pretty clearly entrenched policy to ship returns out as new if they think they can get away with it, they count on that fatigue factor. Having waited for months, you'll probably let it slide for a discount, a crappy tactic that probably works most of the time. Thats pretty clearly a botched attempt to sand out a ding. For a $100 discount, I'd keep it, but wouldn't buy from them again, and I'd come right here to rant about it. :D
  16. FritzM

    FritzM Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2001
    Madison, MS
    Having been a guitar department manager at GC earlier in my life, it is my opinion that they sell "B" stock all the time, without letting the customer know. I will stop with that, better not say anymore. I buy from Sweetwater.
  17. Where’s the blemish?


    Ah ... oooh .. now I see it .. it’s not a ding it’s a whole area that’s been sanded !!! I didn’t notice it as I was looking at the small black spot on the headstock’s tip thinking that this was the blemish.
    That is not a 1st world issue, that is an issue.
    You shall send it back without doubts. :thumbsup:
    HearNoStevil likes this.
  18. Haans

    Haans Altruistic nihilist Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Bergen, Norway
    This is why I never buy new instruments. I would take the discount and keep it, as long as everything else is great, but I am not you.
  19. There are quite a few of these on Reverb brand new at $549 (free shipping) that allow you to make an offer. I would think it's pretty easy to get a 100% brand new one for $500. A new blem one sold for $420 on there. I am normally OK with stuff but that appears to be a used one that someone messed up and also has a few other minor issues. If it were me, even if I was planning on modding that would go back if they wanted to charge me that close to new price.
  20. BobKos

    BobKos Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2007
    I don't have the bass in my hands, but $100 discount (20%) is a pretty good rebate IMO. Yes - the headstock is blemished. The fix isn't that complicated and is made easier due to the fact that Musicman and presumably Sterling instruments have a break line where the headstock finish ends and the oil finish starts. No blending necessary. If the bass plays well, I would have no qualms keeping it and enjoying the huge savings. And remember - the rest of the bass is still brand new or almost brand new (previous purchaser played it for a max 45 days) so how bad can it be?

    I bought a Gibson EB4 from Zzounds a while back. Factory sealed box. The finish was pretty bad over the entire instrument. But the bass itself is so good I took the 15% discount and kept it. I can't refinish the bass for $75 so I will never be financially whole on the deal. But I like the bass SOOOO much that it is a non-issue. They offered to send me another bass but I was afraid I would get a perfectly shiny turd. Think in this perspective and don't let the sand marks blur your overall view of the bass you currently have.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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