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This will probably make you sick... (amp content, long)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by HeavyDuty, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I just got back from a quick business trip to Kansas City. I flew in Sunday afternoon.

    Sunday, I met up with a KC native I know from the FDP. I had heard rumors about a Musicians Friend Clearance Center, and he offered to meet me there and show me around, then go out for dinner.

    I rolled up around 3PM, and was stunned by this place. Everything from brand new discounted overstock to busted up firewood in one huge store. Amazing.

    Anyway, when I was cruising the "everything in this area is guaranteed to be broken" section, I came upon a G-K MB150E-III 1x12 combo amid all the busted up Drive and Rogue amps. It looked like new, and had a price tag of $387 with the comment that it had a blown speaker. Hmmm. That’s cheap.

    OK, I look around the store some more, and then decided to check the G-K out. My friend suggested I take a close look at it, since items can often be found that only require very minor repairs - he's bought a few g****r combos at deep discount that had loose wires as the only problem.

    First we grabbed a Lakland fiver, plugged in a set of headphones and powered the combo up. No problem - I'm getting sound, EQ, chorus and OD. The low B is a little farty, though.

    Then we unplugged the cans and tried the internal speaker. Uh-oh - no sound. Wait - these have an internal speaker switch, don't they? I flipped it around and looked at the back panel - there it was, and the internal was off. Click.

    Now we're getting reasonable volume out of the thing, but it's still farting. I wonder if the battery in the Lakland is going flat? So we grabbed a passive five of some flavor. Viola - no farting, even with the bass EQ dimed. Things are starting to look pretty good, right?

    So, I decide it's worth the gamble. I was ready to pay the full $387 when my friend stopped me and told me that they negotiate freely. So, we spent some time discussing strategy, and thought it might be best if I went in way too low, like at $275. We figured they would counter, and maybe I could get it for $325 or so - which would be a great price for a new MB150E (they're currently on sale at MF for $825.). At the last minute we decided to simply ask them for their best price.

    I talk to one of the sales guys, and he looked it up on the computer - it was already under cost, so he couldn’t do anything, but he offered to call over his manager.

    The manager was a nice guy. I showed him the amp and asked him what his best price would be. He thought a second, and offered it to me for...

    Wait for it...


    So, $199 plus tax on the MF charge, and I had a brand new MicroBass combo to drag home. The beer tasted really good after that. The lil’ mother even fits in the overhead bin of a MD-80!

    Major props to my friend for showing me the Clearance Center and cajoling me into dickering price!

    Eat your hearts out. :D
  2. Pawn


    Aug 5, 2005
    Got any of those places in san diego, CA... :p

  3. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Sweet deals make me really happy :smug:
  4. bassjus


    Mar 30, 2004
    Awesome man, I love finding awesome deals and showing it off to my bass player friends. Hope you enjoy it.
  5. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Nice one Ken! Do you have any idea why the manager offered it to you so low? Did he think it was really broken? Did you show him the switch?

    Oh yeah, when you're ready to sell it, let me know. :D

  6. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Maybe you should have inquired about the Lake with the weak battery...or..uh....I mean the bad pre-amp!!
  7. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
    so you telling us it was just the switch to the internal speaker that was "off"???? man, thats AWESOME.. congrats!!!!
  8. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    Nice find. Sometimes GC's ineptitude can work in our favor. :smug:
  9. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I simply expressed interest and asked what their best price was. They apparently do crazy stuff like this to move stock - while I was checking out, they were doing a five minute sale on mandolins that were missing bridges for $5.

  10. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Yeah, it's in one end of the big MF warehouse on the east side near I-435, in the Bottoms. Really cool place!
  11. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    That is SICK! I would really love to have one of those amps. Nice snag.
  12. Dirty Dave

    Dirty Dave

    Oct 17, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Some people have all the luck. I've always wanted one of those little GK's.

  13. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Those little GK's are AMAZING amps! Especially for their regular price, even better for YOUR price! How about a big GTG after new years in KC?
  14. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    We could descend on the store like a plague of locusts...
  15. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Nice find Ken! My drummer, who doesn't play guitar at all, for some reason, picked up a gold top Tele with 2 dimarzio buckers for $220 there. I think that model regularly sells for $499. It is a NICE guitar for the price, and I can't find a blemish anywhere.
  16. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Pat, there were good deals all over the place. Example: one of the new Squier Masterbuilt set-neck Tele Thinlines with a missing knob and small ding on the edge of the bottom bout marked at $270, normal price around $550 or $600. I'll bet it could have walked out the door for $150 or $175.

    I could have gone deep into debt saving money!
  17. I think these Teles are going for $399 now at MF - with a hardshell case !!! :eek:

    Very nice score, Ken. :cool:

    So, the next vacation spot is Kansas City. :D

  18. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Actually, if you could score cheap tix on Southwest when they're having a sale, spending a weekend in KC cruising MF and eating BBQ isn't a half bad idea!
  19. That's not a bad idea. ;)

  20. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Good deal! If you really know your way around a piece of gear or are handy with fixing things, you can often get great deals on things that aren't working 100% right.

    A dealer once offered me $150 off on an Ovation acoustic-electric guitar I was trying out in his store if I would take it as-is. The internal preamp didn't seem to work, even with a fresh 9V battery. I figured it's worth a gamble, even if it takes me a couple hours to fix. At home, I found that 9 volts from the battery wasn't getting to the 1/4" jack. The wires were all intact, so I pulled out the battery and looked inside the little compartment. One of the two battery contacts was bent down, so I bent it back up. Then I dropped the battery back in, plugged in the guitar, and it worked flawlessly. That was a well-spent 20 minutes.