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Frustratingly Slow Response Time

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by longbow, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. longbow

    longbow Tele-Holic

    845
    Sep 5, 2008
    roch ny
    Here's the deal. Dealing with GFS. Purchased a Xavier guitar last week that is a cosmetic blemish. Did the USPS Priority Shipping thing that ended up taking one week for the axe to arrive. Seemed to get here in Roch NY about 6 days after it was released to the Nashua NH sorting center. 30 bucks wasted. But it did arrive last night around 7pm. So I am now happy. Unboxed the guitar and let it set over night to acclimate to the house.

    This a.m. looking at it and notice that the trapeze tail piece has mars or blemishes on the nut that holds the base side string tension, like someone used pliers to try and adjust the nut for whatever reason. I also noticed that the bridge on the same side, the adjustment screw has what appears to be a chewed up screw on it. Like someone was messing with it. Also the stud is pulling out of the body just a bit. The treble side looks good. This was supposed to have cosmetic blemishes only which is does and were expected.

    So tune it up only and start to play and it frets out all the board, and the pots have 0 taper to them. Either vol. or the tone. Once past 1 they are on fully which sucks and the tone pots have no taper to them to vary the tone. Last but not least dealing via email with these folks is frustrating at best. I don't usually receive a response till late in the day and would have liked to get this sent out this morning. The way it is going is I'll probably have to eat shipping both ways and for a $190 guitar it is an expensive lesson.

    I'll also state that several years ago I dealt with the folks at GFS and after having ordered a guitar it arrived with a broken neck. No damage to the box at all. It took me over 6 weeks to get my funds back which sucked cause I had to pay for it on my cc and then wait for the reimbursement. Never could figure out how the neck got broke like it did inside the box with no outside or inside to either of the two boxes. I didn't know at the time my cc would put a hold on the payment. Live and learn and done bitching now, just frustrated is all. thanks
     

  2. Zuzax

    Zuzax Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 1, 2011
    Texas
    Sorry to hear about all that. One thing I've learned over the years of having guitars (or anything else) shipped to me is to never, ever use USPS. Ever.

    Their two-day or any other shipping time "guarantee" will arrive whenever they feel like it. Might be two days, might be two weeks. Might be more. They seem to hate large boxes, so they move even slower than "Priority" envelopes.

    If you raise hell about it, they don't care - they're the Post Office, and they're all just counting the days until they can retire with a pension.

    They will tell you that the shipping charges can be refunded if the package is late, but they won't pay them to you, since technically the shipper is the actual USPS client. Good luck getting GFS (or any vendor) to pursue this claim and then refund you the money.

    USPS is also very destructive and will blame the packaging, even though the package may look like it was kicked the whole way from the shipper's address to your door.

    UPS and FedEx aren't perfect either, but they are orders of magnitude better than USPS.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
    viccortes285 and Obsessed like this.

  3. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    Yup, USPS is going downhill alarmingly quickly. Difficult to watch it happen.
     
    Doctorx33 likes this.

  4. longbow

    longbow Tele-Holic

    845
    Sep 5, 2008
    roch ny
    I just learned they don't give refunds on blemish guitars only store credit. I'll try and resolve it with a refund before I ship it. I want to be reasonable and all and as for the refund for shipping when I ship it back I"ll inquire then as to how that goes. I've never had a problem shipping anything via USPS and P.M. so this is a first for me. Maybe I'll just fix this myself. I think they use 500k pots in these minitron guitars. All I can say is live and learn. It also just dawned on me that they keep addressing me as David, and I ain't David, I'm Dennis! Ha ha. Think I'll feed the varmints standing at the foot of the deck now cause they are staring at me.
     

  5. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    You bought a $190 complete guitar, as a blem or second, which has what sound like no significant issues (pot taper is all over the place on guitars). And are getting same day response. And that's not good enough? In that case, I might suggest dealing only with local brick and mortar shops, not internet companies located in Asia. Good luck matching those price levels though. Hope it all gets sorted to your satisfaction regardless.
     

  6. bo

    bo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    Both times I've dealt with them-one poorly designed and executed guitar, and one random part (a Tele switch tip that showed up as a swimming pool type on their website but turned out to look nothing like the picture...) they've basically screwed up and sent me something that was of poor quality and not as advertised. I simply don't bother doing business with them. Sorry to hear they haven't changed over the years.
     

  7. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jun 11, 2010
    Montana
    My Xaviere was flawless and GFS has been fair in all my dealings with them. Never bought blemished but I would expect it to be " as is".
     
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  8. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 26, 2003
    The North Coast
    I hate to say it, but you get what you pay for. A bag of peanuts would make a better guitar than most any new $190 guitar I've ever come across.
     
    rich815, 1955 and Zuzax like this.

  9. Gibson

    Gibson Friend of Leo's

    Feb 13, 2007
    Just passing thru
    What's a swimming pool switch tip? o_O
     
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  10. Zuzax

    Zuzax Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 1, 2011
    Texas
    Truth. A $190 guitar either means I've gotten an insane deal and need to run as fast as I can, or to know that I have to roll up my sleeves and do some homegrown luthier work to make it a player.

    That said, I tend to enjoy the sleeve-roller guitars more...
     
    Jakedog likes this.

  11. longbow

    longbow Tele-Holic

    845
    Sep 5, 2008
    roch ny
    I'll fix what ails it. But it was supposed to only have cosmetic blemishes and to be full functional which it isn't. To explain, the tone pots have 0 taper, the vol. pots have 0 taper. That is you turn them on and they are on fully with no way to roll off tone etc. So 10 is like 1 on all 4. Talking with a CSR via email and he even stated some were made with linear mini pots and some were made with full size linear pots and some were made with audio taper full and mini pots and some weren't. I might add that some pots work and some don't! Expensive lesson to be sure. Guitar sure is pretty though! Like I said also there is some marring on the adjustments for the strings and bridge.

    Now as for inexpensive guitars 2 years ago I bought a Jay Turser 220 LP copy. Has the dragon inlay stuff on the board. Have to say the thing is a tone monster and a pleasure to play. Stays in tune too but is pretty heavy. This is an early 90's model from what I have been told and don't feel the need to have another LP in my collection other than this one it is so nice to play. I also have an older Affinity telecaster with American pickups and a good 4 way switch that is superb too. So there ya go.
     

  12. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Tele-Meister

    304
    Feb 11, 2006
    I've not had any issues with GFS but I've only bought pickups and parts from them, not a whole guitar. I'd be pretty hesitant about buying a blemished or b-stock guitar online, at any price, where I couldn't personally inspect it or at least have an extensive description and photos of the problems.

    USPS shipping seems to be getting worse though. I've recently ordered some vintage glassware on eBay and 4 out of 5 arrived broken. Bad for me and bad for the sellers. Make sure you pack whatever you're sending by them very well.
     
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  13. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 8, 2014
    atlanta
    I bought a Slick guitar last year from GFS. I ordered a non-trem model and they sent me a trem model. The box said non-trem or whatever in big letters anyone could read.
    The were pretty quick on the return and sent me a shipping sticker to put on the box.

    You didn't think they would check the guitar before sending did you?

    From the GFS page for the guitar I bought:

    We're running a Fender-Standard 25 1/2" scale length, a 43mm wide nut and a 12" fretboard radius.The neck has twenty two nickel-silver 6105 profile medium jumbo frets, leveled, crowned and polished. Hogwash. It had numerous uneven frets which I had fixed by a level and crown from my regular guitar fixit guy.

    We put a graphite nut on every neck, hand slotted. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, replaced it with a bone nut cut and shaped by Mr. Fixit.

    ...finish it off with the thinnest finish, hand massaged to give you the warm, silky, old-school feel of a guitar that's been on tour for a while. No kidding. I swapped the pickup ring for one that wasn't scratched up, er... aged. When installing a new (plastic) ring, I scratched the finish down to the wood with it.

    I had it professional set up and the frets leveled and crowned, but the guitar still feels really stiff to me.

    I have to say the pickup sounds really good.
     

  14. longbow

    longbow Tele-Holic

    845
    Sep 5, 2008
    roch ny
    The saga continues. So I decided to put new pots in the guitar, these are long shaft mini pots. I just happen to have 4 brand new CTS 500k pots too. So before beginning I get my trusty flash light out and look inside the cavity where the wiring is. There is a gray heavier wire just hanging free and trimmed at the end so none of the wire itself is sticking out of the insulation. I have an email into GFS to see if they a wiring schematic I can get so I don't make any mistakes.

    I have the fretting out thing pretty well nailed down though. So that might just be fixed which frankly was pretty easy if it holds true. I can't for the life of me though figure out why I have no tone or vol. taper. Even linear pots down in the lower numbers should give you something although fairly narrow in band.
     

  15. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Tele-Meister

    304
    Feb 11, 2006
    No inexpensive guitar importers I know of open the boxes to check them so they're still like they were when they left the factory in Guangdong. Even Sweetwater doesn't do their famous 55 point inspection on guitars under $300.

    There are some great, inexpensive, guitars on the market right now, especially compared to the 70's and even the 90's. But, before buying, you need to make sure that there's a solid return policy and customer service by the seller and/or you're willing and able to do minor upgrades and fixes inexpensively. For example, I'd be OK with a few rough-ish fret ends but not numerous uneven frets where a level and crown was needed.
     
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  16. longbow

    longbow Tele-Holic

    845
    Sep 5, 2008
    roch ny
    So I decided just to change one tone pot at a time. Figured I'd do the neck position first. I have 4-500k mini pots, long shafts that should work perfect. Pretty easy to solder up, a little dental floss to pull them back in place and check it out! Checked solder connections, put it back in place and nothing. I get sound of course just no roll of as before, I just can't figure it out at all. The gray wire that is loose is the bridge ground that apparently was never attached. But it isn't that loud of a buzz from the bridge so go figure. You get what you pay for and apparently I got a lemon. Live and learn and truth be told with what is happening all over the place this ain't a biggy, just out some bucks. Big deal says I. thanks
     

  17. Octorfunk

    Octorfunk Tele-Meister

    254
    Jan 20, 2014
    Midwest
    I've dealt with GFS several times over the last 5 years, and my experience has been varied.

    I bought one of their onboard delay units, which I never could get to work. I emailed them, and never heard anything back.

    I bought a couple kit guitars, had some wiring questions, and received responses within minutes.

    As far as QC goes, I think it just depends on what you're ordering. Some of the parts they must have in stock somewhere close, whereas the kit guitars are shipped direct from the manufacturer and they never even touch them, so there's no way for them to look them over first.

    I have no idea which of these 2 categories the Xavier guitars fall under. I would guess they're ordering them direct from the manufacturer when you buy one, and they never even see them prior.

    As for the shipping delays, that's not on GFS. Of the 2 kit guitars I bought, I paid for UPS Ground shipping for both, 1 got here in 10 days, the other in 3-4.
     

  18. longbow

    longbow Tele-Holic

    845
    Sep 5, 2008
    roch ny
    Yep I get it. Like I said live and learn. I have the set up pretty much done which actually was pretty simple with a few adjustments. Fret ends are nicely done. I really can't figure out the tone roll of thing though. I've looked at diagrams and such and everything appears to be like it should be. They put linear pots in it so the roll off shouldn't happen till the very low numbers but nothing. I have new pots ordered for it and will try those.
     

  19. Dennyf

    Dennyf Tele-Holic

    583
    Feb 9, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    I’ve placed two orders to GFS. One for a set of tuners, one for a set of pickups. Both arrived promptly and were completely satisfactory.

    Also, I’ve been selling a number of things on Reverb lately, and have used USPS Priority Mail exclusively for everything, including an $800 guitar shipped from coastal Virginia to LA. Everything survived, and arrived on time (i.e., within three days after shipment.)

    Just adding a few positive data points to even out the Bell curve. I understand it doesn’t diminish the frustration for one who has had a different experience.
     

  20. JL_LI

    JL_LI Tele-Holic

    Age:
    68
    916
    May 20, 2017
    Long Island, NY
    I know it's difficult if you live many miles from a city, but this just one more illustration of why it's a good idea to play before buying. That means a trip to the store or CL seller. You play it, check the frets, see if the 'blemish' is a blemish or a gouge , and hear the tone. You can't do that on eBay or Reverb. Sales tax pales in comparison with with the costs incurred when something is not as described and your purchase is way more likely to make it home in one piece than riding UPS, USPS or anyone else's truck.
     
    rich815 likes this.

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