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> My Visit To My Local Guitar Center
RobM
post Sep 28 2007, 08:11 AM
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Today I went to one of my local Guitar Centers (I have two of them within a 15 minute ride from my house), I went there with the purpose of playing an Ibanez Jem, an Ibanez RG2550e, a Gibson LP Studio and Standard and maybe a Schechter C1 Custom and/or Hellraiser.

I walked in an immediately I was asked, can I help you, I said no, I'm just here to look today. I walked over to the extensive (can be quite over whelming) array of guitars on the wall and in small displays on the floor. I walked immediately to the Ibanez section and started looking(the guitars were from eye level to what looked like almost 20 feet in the air on the wall) I looked and looked for a 2550e and the Jem, Nope didn't find one. I asked the guy if they had one of each I could try and he said rather rudely, "all we have is what's on the wall" I then said, ok do you have one on the wall that I missed? "All we have is what is on the wall" and he walked away from me. They had quite a few of the Ibanez models in the $225 - $475 range, some schecter models (a used C1 Classic but no hellraisers).

I then walked over to the Gibson area, I started looking and looking for a Studio or Standard. I found one studio model that was the faded mahogany reddish color that IMHO looks awful for $949.00, and two standards for $2499.00 each. I'm like wow those are really over priced compared to what I see on the internet. They did have quite a few lower end models(Melody Maker's, Flying V's, a couple of Sg's, and a Jr or two, and a classic that was in a glass case that cost somethng like 34k) I asked about the prices and how firm they were and was told that "the price is what's marked, we are not allowed to give price cuts" So I walked out of the guitar section, completely disappointed.

I then walked to the amp section and saw quite a few older, used amps but I couldn't find any what I would call home/garage models like the line 6 spider III 100(threy did have the 150W model, and a couple of Flextones), or the Roland Cube 30 or 60, or ANY Vox or H&K models. They had a bunch of Peavey and a lot of Marshall Stacks in the $1500 - $2500 range(really more for stage than for home or garage). Again I was severely disappointed.

I then walked into the Keyboard area, they didn't have any good, smaller keyboards, they did have a couple of Yamaha(PSR-E403, PSR-E313) and Casio(WK-3300, WK-3800) larger cheaper models there for sale but nothing I could even think about taking home like the(M-Audio Axiom 49 or 61). They had quite a few higher end mixers etc. If I was in the market to build a professional type of studio, I was in the right place. Again I was amazed that they had all this stuff in there but nothing that most people could use.

They had rows and rows of cables, quite a few pedals(none from Line 6 though). They had a used Pod live model but no new ones but a huge display of pocket pods, strings, cleaners, waxes and picks. They had a pile of guitar gig bags that must have been 4 foot tall.

I was beginning to think I walked into a store that pretty much sold musical accessories instead of musical insruments. I left the store with one thought, this looks like a store selling off their upper end and most common inventory but they have no real usefull items unless you are looking to outfit for gigging(amp wise).

For the first time walking into a guitar center I was shocked. I thought I would be able to pretty much find what I wanted in the price range that I wanted based on what I saw online. I have one more store to go look at in my area(I'm not even going to go to the other guitar center) and I hope I can find what I want there. if not then I'll have to drive an hour to Boston and go see what I can find there.

Overall I'd rate guitar Center as a 3 on a 1 - 10 scale.


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SDMF75
post Sep 28 2007, 08:28 AM
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Hate that you a had a bad experience. It sounds like it's very poorly managed. The Guitar Center close to me has only been open about a year and still has friendly employees. You never know what will happen with a chain store once that "New Car Smell" wears off though.


--------------------
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Ibanez Iceman w/ DiMarzio Super Distortion in the Bridge and DiMarzio Humbucker from Hell in the Neck
Xaviere XV-700 Cherry Sunburst (Les Paul copy)
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Washburn KC-40 (in pieces and about to be re-painted)
Yamaha Classical Acoustic

Bass - Signed Gene Simmons Punisher Tobacco Sunburst #345 - Collector purposes only

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Effects - Ibanez Weeping Demon Wah


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Muris Varajic
post Sep 28 2007, 09:11 AM
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Can't believe,huge store chain blink.gif


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Rock
post Sep 28 2007, 10:00 AM
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Wow, that's too bad...and unfortunately because they are so big and part of a chain they will most likely continue to do business.

I visited the Nashua NH store about 6 months ago and everyone was extremely helpful. I had already purchased my guitar so I'm not too sure what they had for a selection, although they have a ton of stock.
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Nick325
post Sep 28 2007, 10:24 AM
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i usually buy stuff from my local guitar center and there all nice and friendly but u never know blink.gif
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kahall
post Sep 28 2007, 10:31 AM
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Rob, that is certainly not the case here in the Midwest. Too bad really, but it is to be expected at some locations when there are so many and they are owned by the same people who run Best Buy...(I'm pretty sure I read that some where) which explains a lot. I could write a rather long post about bad experiences with them.

This post has been edited by kahall: Sep 28 2007, 10:32 AM


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Stratman58
post Sep 28 2007, 11:13 AM
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Many will often blame the management of a location but when it comes to retail chains, I honestly believe quality relies in the employee staff. I mean, people are different, and who do you have to deal with when it comes to questions and sales? The employee staff. I've been to about 4 different guitar center locations in the past year, and I can't totally dis the store like others have (not saying you are, I've had my share of experiences with Guitar Center too!). I've had outstanding experiences as well, where the sales person would actually explain to me the different celestion speakers in a cabinet, show them to me, and make his personal musician suggestion. Other instances included selecting the right power amp for a mixer, etc...

I will say one thing. If you are looking for an Ibanez RG with the floating trem in a guitar center...good luck. From my experience, they've only stocked the big namers like the Steve Vai Jem and the JS and PG301. Trying to find a 2550e or any other midline but great RG prestige floating trem guitar (like my 1570) is near impossible. My friend works at a GC and has told me that they do not like to stock these because of the upkeep they have to keep on these guitars (let's face it, many kids in these stores don't understand the complications of a floating bridge guitar, hence tuning issues).

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blindwillie
post Sep 28 2007, 03:38 PM
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QUOTE (RobM @ Sep 28 2007, 09:11 AM) *
For the first time walking into a guitar center I was shocked. I thought I would be able to pretty much find what I wanted in the price range that I wanted based on what I saw online. I have one more store to go look at in my area(I'm not even going to go to the other guitar center) and I hope I can find what I want there. if not then I'll have to drive an hour to Boston and go see what I can find there.

I know the feeling. One of our shops have transformed to this. It's sad.


--------------------

Schecter C1 Hellraiser EMG 81/85, replaced with JB/Jazz (SH4/SH2n) w. coilsplit
Schecter Revenger HB-105, replaced with EMG 81/85
Stratocaster Deluxe Players Noiseless
Ibanez 2550z
Blackstar HT5H, Blackheart BH5H w. BH112, Laney LX35D, Line6 Pod XT, Marshall MS-2
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MickeM
post Sep 28 2007, 04:03 PM
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What a disappointment sad.gif


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mattacuk
post Sep 28 2007, 04:53 PM
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Im sorry you had such a disapointing time Rob. My local store is awful, they never ever have anything i want in stock - from guitars and amps right down to cry baby wahs - they dont stock it rolleyes.gif


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Sep 28 2007, 06:05 PM
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I've never been to a Guitar Center Rob but have to say that sadly your experience sounds dreadfully similar to mine in a lot of guitar shops all over the place (both chains and independents). Some shops are truely awful - whether its bad store policy, poor management or untrained staff (or any combination) - they leave you with a sour taste. It's a real shame as we all, including the shop management and staff, are supposed to be in it because of a common love of music and guitars... (I can come out with an awful lot of bad stories blink.gif .)

Having said that I've also the experience of going to good guitar shops - often, but not always, small independents. It's a real eyeopener to be served by friendly, helpful staff who know their stuff and who take time with you and let you try things out at your pace and for how long you want without pushing for a sale. I find that I go back to these shops, even though I can often get the kit cheaper elsewhere. Hopefully your next guitar shop visit will be to a better one and you'll get good service and enjoy the visit.

Cheers,
Tony

Ps a true story - not about a bad guitar shop but bad customer service...

Years ago I played in a group with another guitarist. He was unemployed and had been for a few years so always was short of cash. He was usually overdrawn and in trouble with his bank and had been called in by the bank manager for a telling off more than once.

Well as luck would have it we got signed to a label and were given a cheque for our advance. Col took the cheque in to his local bank, didn't show it to the cashier straight away but asked to see the manager. Cashier looked at him disdainfully and imperiously said, 'Mr X (the manager) is a very busy man, you don't have an appointment so why should he see the likes of you?'

Col took the cheque out, put it on the counter and said, 'That's why'.

Her eyes bugged and she ushered Col into the manager's office. Pretty much the same scene occurred with the manager who again became obsequious when Col produced the cheque at which point manager said, 'Well then what can we do for you now Mr Y? We're always here to be of service to you!' (Funny in the past they never called Col 'Mr'... wink.gif )

Col looked at the manager and said, 'I'm here to close my account.'


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blindwillie
post Sep 28 2007, 09:47 PM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Sep 28 2007, 07:05 PM) *
Col looked at the manager and said, 'I'm here to close my account.'


I feel good now.


--------------------

Schecter C1 Hellraiser EMG 81/85, replaced with JB/Jazz (SH4/SH2n) w. coilsplit
Schecter Revenger HB-105, replaced with EMG 81/85
Stratocaster Deluxe Players Noiseless
Ibanez 2550z
Blackstar HT5H, Blackheart BH5H w. BH112, Laney LX35D, Line6 Pod XT, Marshall MS-2
Headphones: Sennheiser RS120

Stay tuned...
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RobM
post Sep 29 2007, 12:59 AM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Sep 28 2007, 01:05 PM) *
I've never been to a Guitar Center Rob but have to say that sadly your experience sounds dreadfully similar to mine in a lot of guitar shops all over the place (both chains and independents). Some shops are truely awful - whether its bad store policy, poor management or untrained staff (or any combination) - they leave you with a sour taste. It's a real shame as we all, including the shop management and staff, are supposed to be in it because of a common love of music and guitars... (I can come out with an awful lot of bad stories blink.gif .)

Having said that I've also the experience of going to good guitar shops - often, but not always, small independents. It's a real eyeopener to be served by friendly, helpful staff who know their stuff and who take time with you and let you try things out at your pace and for how long you want without pushing for a sale. I find that I go back to these shops, even though I can often get the kit cheaper elsewhere. Hopefully your next guitar shop visit will be to a better one and you'll get good service and enjoy the visit.

Cheers,
Tony

Ps a true story - not about a bad guitar shop but bad customer service...

Years ago I played in a group with another guitarist. He was unemployed and had been for a few years so always was short of cash. He was usually overdrawn and in trouble with his bank and had been called in by the bank manager for a telling off more than once.

Well as luck would have it we got signed to a label and were given a cheque for our advance. Col took the cheque in to his local bank, didn't show it to the cashier straight away but asked to see the manager. Cashier looked at him disdainfully and imperiously said, 'Mr X (the manager) is a very busy man, you don't have an appointment so why should he see the likes of you?'

Col took the cheque out, put it on the counter and said, 'That's why'.

Her eyes bugged and she ushered Col into the manager's office. Pretty much the same scene occurred with the manager who again became obsequious when Col produced the cheque at which point manager said, 'Well then what can we do for you now Mr Y? We're always here to be of service to you!' (Funny in the past they never called Col 'Mr'... wink.gif )

Col looked at the manager and said, 'I'm here to close my account.'



I did the samething similar with a local bank here, I had (what I thought was a brilliant idea) for a buisness, I got everything together, prices, fee scales, locations, inventory sheets etc and put it all down on paper.

What I needed was some help from the bak financially and some real help finishing my business plan. I go in to the guy and show him everyhting and he tells me it's a great idea and I have almost everything they needed but. Then he said I'll send you an email with the details. I got the email and it was asking for all kinds of things I had never heard of before, so I wrote him asking what X, Y and Z were. No response, I called, no answer and no returned calls. This went on for about 4 weeks and I had to go into the bank for somethng and when I was in there I asked the manager(she happened to be out of her office) about the guy I had talked to, I said is he sick, dead or what? She asked me why and I told her the story. I then got a call from him telling me his boss chewed him out and what did I want. With his tone I said never mind.

About the same time my wife and I were thinking about refinancing our house for a better rate. Once this happened we decided to go to another bank and do it. When it was done I brought the financial sheet into the bank and showed the manager and told her why we left her bank and went to the other one. Next thing I know I get a crazy message from the guy three days later that he had been demoted back to roving assistant manager(his old job). I laughed and just hung up the phone on him.


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Jeff
post Sep 29 2007, 02:01 AM
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I have found that GC center has been a very good place to buy everything except for guitars. Seriously. They have good prices on guitars, effects, mics, etc. but the guitars that are hanging on the wall have been played by just about everyone that walks in off of the street. Some are smeared with fingerprints, dirt, scratches, etc. I like to put those things on the guitar myself. laugh.gif At least that is the way it is around my location it could be different elsewhere.

I don't like to shell out a lot of bucks for a new guitar unless I know it's unplayed and in "new" condition when I buy it. I have usually gone to a smaller shop where I trust the guys working there. I like to see the signs on the guitar that say "ask for assistance". I feel that way they know you are serious and I have found those sort of shops to be more concerned that the guitars are in the best condition possible.

Sorry you had a bad experience there, man. mellow.gif
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Goliath
post Sep 29 2007, 02:09 AM
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The models on the wall at GC I've found to be "demo" models. I bought my Schecter at GC when they had a sale last year. I told them what I wanted and asked if they had the color I wanted, they did, they brought me a brand spanking new one out of the box, I was literally the first person to hold this guitar that was not employed by Schecter. It's kind of a neat feeling. I've had several used guitars and you never feel as good about the purchase, even if it was a screaming deal second hand.


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Understudy
post Sep 29 2007, 09:14 AM
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Sorry you had such a dismal experience at GC. But not surprising as GC is now what MARS used to be. MARS, (Musicians and recording superstore) started as a chain and along the way they gobbled up all the smaller local music centers. After a few years they merged with an investor to come up with Guitar center. I never had a good experience at MARS and went there almost every saturday with a buddy of mine who plays drums. They catered to musicians and engineers who were putting out large amounts of cash, so if the sales staff saw that you were interested in $250 dollar acoustic they would not be inclined to spend a whole lot of time with you. Guitar center is no different, you will get the same "box" store feel as you get from home depot. Stores like that are what made me call a custom company years back, and I won't waste my time or theirs when I need something. I will call the companies that have taken great care in making sure that I get exactly what I need, in the price range I can afford and they will take as much time as they need to, to ensure I am a satisfied customer. Hate the box stores for putting local mom and pop places out of business and giving the consumer fewer options. As consumers we still have options..... go outside the box smile.gif


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