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Trying out basses at Guitar Center

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by slapagroov, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. slapagroov


    Apr 24, 2007
    Fort Myers, FL
    Ok, I really want a new jazz bass. I have a Modulus VI that I love, but i just want something new. I went to GC and tried them all. I even had the guy get the ladder and pull down the 4 & 5 Am Dlx and standards, tried the Mex, etc. I was really pumped b/c I read good reviews here and listened to demos. I just wanted to decide if I wanted the CS pickups in the standard or the preamp and 21 frets on the Dlx.

    Every bass played had action so high that slapping wasn't an option. And all the strings were dead. It really bummed me out. I know most of them may be fine with a set up, but it didn't inspire me to buy anything that's for sure! Do you all have this same experience? It's been a long time since I bought a bass of a shelf. I don't remember them being this out of shape.

    They didn't have any roadworn or aerodyne which I'd also like to try. At this point I may just order online and return if it's not right.
    Moosehead1966 and Al Bass like this.
  2. rico bass

    rico bass

    Mar 29, 2013
    Get a squire 77 4 or 5 you wont be dissapointed .
  3. Acoustic356

    Acoustic356 Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    When I have been interested in basses at GC, I will ask the tech to do some minor adjustments. They're usually fine with it... unless you bring them 2 or 3 basses... I usually ind the one that I like... then have them do the adjustment, then I usually purchase.

    Did this with the PRS Kestrel, Fender American Standard, 2 custom made basses at a boutique shop... It never hurts to ask!
    HighPockets and KickingBass like this.
  4. bpclay1


    Jul 3, 2014
    The one I went to all the basses I picked up played like crap... Especially this super expensive g&l... Then I chose to amp one up, so he asked what I play on. I told him I play through 700w head with a 15 and two 12s, so he plugged me into a "10 practice amp...

    I didn't buy anything
  5. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I run the rack a lot at stores all over town. These days being hard-wired into my own setups and tone bias, I just work the rack until I find 60%+ what I like in an instrument.

    Then I order a new one 'cause I hate pawed-up dented inventory. I prefer to be the only owner player of my instruments.
  6. AnalogKid4003


    Jul 8, 2012
    So this was your first trip to guitar center?
  7. Parzival


    Jun 16, 2013
    My GC sucks for basses. One sunburst MIA P and one MIA J.
    If I want to try out MIA Fenders they just aren't a good option anymore.
    VWbug likes this.
  8. VWbug


    Sep 11, 2010
    New Jersey
    Have been looking to maybe buy a new MIA Fender P. Checked out 3 available at local GC and SA.

    2 of 3 Dented and dinged.

    1-was too heavy and open E did not ring out normal.

    2- light but regular C# dead spot but I could get by but A- string first 4 frets were deadish...

    3- light weight normal G-string c# D, but E string F# (2nd fret) dead! Never saw that before!

    Just want a MIA Fender P like my MIA Jazz, light and all notes ringing clear except maybe C# just a bit dull but minimized with the posiflex.

    If this is the odds so far, I don't want to order from Sweetwater and return some basses. :(
  9. slapagroov


    Apr 24, 2007
    Fort Myers, FL
    LOL - you would think, right? Honestly, I only have 2 basses now. Both modulus. The VJ I got on eBay about 12 yrs ago. The Flea I had built to my specs. They both are amazing players and sound great. The last bass I bought of a wall was over 15 yrs ago. It had decent strings at least. Oh well. Sweet water here I come!
    Soonerbldr and carsbybigd like this.
  10. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    A new bass is delivered to Guitar Center. It's put on the wall. A whole lot of people play it for several years. Bass players with respect for other people's property, bass players without it, guitar players that don't know any better, and teenagers. The bass doesn't get cleaned or repaired or tuned or set up. It's the reality of the situation. They're selling used and abused basses as new for full price. Once you accept that, it's easy not to be disappointed by it when you're there.
    Caleb Mills, Pestigor, SamJ and 23 others like this.
  11. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    So true its sad.
  12. eastcoasteddie

    eastcoasteddie Supporting Member

    If I were serious about buying, I would definitely ask the tech to make it playable...
    That being said, when I went to GC to buy my Squier VM JV, the salesman took it over to the bench to make adjustments and tune it up without me even asking. And believe it or not, the only adjustment I ever made to the setup since buying it was a very slight truss Rod tweak. Action and intonation were pretty darn good right out of the store.
  13. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Are you kidding? What you experienced is the norm - not the exception. I haven't purchased an instrument from a retail store for a long, long time - before Guitar Center ever sprang into existence. But when I did, it was almost always the same: bass guitars without setups, i.e. dead and dusty strings way up off the fretboard, truss rod way out of whack, string saddles out of whack, intonation out of whack, etc.

    If you're serious about buying a new quality instrument, you want to do it in a hands-on environment, and you're willing to commit some road time as well as cash, you should consider taking a day trip up to Bass Central in the Orlando area. It would be worth the hassle.

    Pestigor and davedblyoo like this.
  14. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Order a Sire V7 and give up on GC.
    slapagroov likes this.
  15. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Aren't most people who bought those saying the action came set too low? First time I've ever heard of that on a new bass. Makes it want one even more.
  16. Not to pan GC, because the intent of the chain is to be the one-stop shop for everybody's needs, but in the name of savings they also have a tendency to cut corners wherever possible. Specialty stores will do setups as a matter of course before they ever hang an instrument on the wall. They recognize this as a responsibility and professional courtesy.

    I'm a J-bass lover, but most of them I've handled at GC have been so out-of-whack they almost felt cheap. They've been variously adorned with fingerprints, nicks and dings, boogered-up strings, hair, indeterminate forms of bio-cheese...name it. So when I bought my last one, I went to a specialty shop in Atlanta instead. Fit like an old glove and played like butter right off the showroom wall, and I have never touched the setup.

    If you have a specialty shop like that within driving distance, I think you'll find the difference to be night and day. A well-maintained J is a thing of beauty and will feel very different from "those other ones."
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
    TheBear likes this.
  17. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I frequent two Guitar Centers and occasionally drop by two others. Never had a problem with a bass, new or used. Never had a problem with staff. Never had a problem with returns, etc.
    And I've seen some excellent used stuff there, too.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
  18. Sixgunn


    Jun 6, 2012
    Colorado Springs
    I don't wait 30 minutes after eating, to go swimming.
    I have some incredible basses and guitars. The last brand new bass I bought was in 1977 and I've never bought a brand new guitar.
  19. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I remember when I first started playing bass and I went to GC to buy something new. I asked the guy if there was a discount on the floor model and he looked at me like I wasn't speaking English.
  20. MrNylon

    MrNylon "ROAD REX" Supporting Member

    I've done well on basses from a local Sam Ash Margate, FL, and from Sweetwater.com. It still comes down to what setup is right for each players preferences are. I like factory setup specs, others don't. Simple as that.

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