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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Good Guitar Center story

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by r1962j, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Mar 11, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    As to mom and pop shops being better, I can only ask where do you live that that was the case. The best one that ever existed around here for about 350 miles in any direction never had as much stock in the entire store as our GC has on their new arrival wall. Mot to mention that its owners and staff tended to be some what snooty and dismissive. At least, right up until they started to realize hey were in trouble. Then it was to late.
     
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  2. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 6, 2015
    Wisconsin
    Madison, WI had a store called GoodN'Loud. They had just overextended themselves to open a second location when GC opened here, and they ended up closing up everything. What I can remember them stocking was fender, reverend, italia, eastwood, orange, mesa, marshall, prs I think, but it's hard for me to remember humbucker guitars and modern stuff because it's mostly invisible to me. And lots of good used and trade in stuff. Because the trade ins came from actual musicians, it wasn't just cheap shred guitars and ss amps. There was vintage stuff. There were some expensive archtops. I seem to remember there usually being a couple heritages in there.
    Another store that's still around used to have a good "combo shop" before GC, but now they just rent band instruments and maybe still sell pianos. They have a few junky cheapo guitars on the wall.

    GC's inventory is basically a musicians friend catalog. All the most common, least interesting stuff, from the biggest, least interesting manufacturers. I used to like getting musicians friend catalogs to look at when I was bored, but I never bought from them. There was always better stuff here in town.

    Currently there's still a vintage guitar shop with a pretty good, and large inventory, but it's not a full combo shop with drums, and not much new stuff. It is my first choice though for guitars and amps in town.

    I just bought from sweetwater for the first time. Very happy with how it went. I'll buy online and hope the internet kills the GCs, to eventually make room for the return of locally owned stores run by autonomous humans for when people don't want to wait for fed ex.
     

  3. a_pidgeon

    a_pidgeon Tele-Meister

    424
    Oct 17, 2015
    Scottsdale, AZ
    I can count on two hands all the guitars I've played in a GC in the last five years (I'm a lefty). If they carried a few more left handed models, I'd own a few more guitars and they'd have a lot more of my money.

    As it stands, I typically don't buy stuff from them. However, the Tempe location just moved and now carries some pedals I've been looking to try, so they might get a few of my dollars.
     

  4. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    I don't do a lot of business with GC. Mostly I prefer to shop online, and also our local GC isn't all that close, and it's really tiny, which translates to very little of the stuff I like.

    But I don't know anywhere else you can buy a used Eastman AR810CE jazz archtop from someplace in Texas, have it shipped to Connecticut for $20, they take credit cards, and then when I decide to return it on the 44th day of the 45 day window, no problem at all. They even helpfully reminded me it probably wouldn't sell real fast, so if I changed my mind, it may still be here. :lol: The li'l devil in me thought about throwing the guy a lowball right then and there :D

    Seriously, it was a great guitar, great condition (though to be honest, it was nearly impossible to find out much about it ahead of time), and the only reason I returned it was that I stumbled into a VERY unexpected deal to get the other, more expensive archtop I really wanted, for peanuts.



    Another of my few interactions was with the Manchester, CT store (over an hour from my house). Huge inventory. I wandered in, not buying, just wanting to compare some necks. That happened to be on some very nice guitars. R8 Les Paul (round baseball bat). SRV Strat (asymmetrical). Clapton Strat (sharp V), etc etc. Really, I was just trying to decide which Warmoth neck to order, and wanted to feel a bunch of representative profiles.

    Well, after mentioning a few guitars, I was led to the glassed-in room, and the sales guy made trip after trip, basically transferring the high end part of the store, to the ground at my feet. Must have been two dozen guitars. I played a bit, but mostly kind of petted the necks, and then I thanked the guy and left. I felt bad, like I should have bought a half-dozen or something...
     

  5. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Tele-Afflicted

    May 5, 2015
    Alaska
    I'm with ironwolf. Louisville and Indianapolis has some cool mom and pop shops, but everywhere else I've lived that was smaller than 1 million people, the mom and pops too often had lousy selection, lousy prices and some knew they had us over a barrel.

    Guitar Center hires from the same labor pool as the mom and pops, so there's good and bad employees at both.

    I don't have any idealistic allegiances toward small guitar shops unless they are extraordinary. And too few are.

    Fender, Gibson, Epiphone, Gretsch. Like it or not, those are the benchmark guitars. If you can't stock those at a minimum, you're gonna have dissatisfied customers.
     

  6. Coop47

    Coop47 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston
    I've had far more good experiences than bad with Guitar Center associates. The majority of them have gone out of their way to help me when I've asked for something. Even when they're uninformed, they're generally nice. And from looking around at the customers on any given day, I'm guessing they are closer to 50/50 as far as good/bad experiences with "customers".
     

  7. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    42
    Feb 7, 2009
    Reading, Massachusetts
    I like the GC experiences I've had. I do find the folks who work there are often ignorant of the worth of some of the used stuff, but I'm aware they don't make big money off that. They're always nice, polite, and low-pressure.

    And I'm not complaining. I do my research, and I've gotten some steals there.
     

  8. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Tele-Afflicted

    May 5, 2015
    Alaska
    Dude, I see your problem right there.

    I've been to Madison, WI. before. Its an awesome college town in a beautiful country.

    You're spoiled. The rest of us have seen the dark underbelly of so-called "mom and pop" guitar stores. Ha, ha.
     

  9. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 6, 2015
    Wisconsin

    Well you're right I guess, but I'm less spoiled now that GC moved in and I know what a 20 piece orchestra of $200 shred guitars "tuning up" sounds like.
    What would really spoil me is some of the little vintage (not necessarily expensive) instrument shops that seem to be all over the south.
     
    JuneauMike likes this.

  10. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Tele-Afflicted

    May 5, 2015
    Alaska
    Yep, I totally understand your complaint. And now that I think about it, the stores that I loved in the major cities I mentioned weren't strictly mom-and-pop. They were more of the vintage gear shops that happened to keep a few bargain clunkers on the side for us hacks.

    But times change and the good ole days weren't all that good to begin with. Blah blah.

    I just personally think that GC, Musican's Friend, Mexican Telecasters, Gretsch Electromatics are making things better. They are putting affordable gear into the hands of everyday people. Our junk is way better than our grandparents junk, and way more affordable. And that's a good thing.
     

  11. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 6, 2015
    Wisconsin
    Well I just bought a MIM tele that I love, but I can't agree on those electromatics. I'm a hollowbody player primarily, and I'm a big fan of 50s and 60s Chicago guitars. Kay, harmony, valco. Yeah some are turds, and few are great, but I'm not a collector, I play them for the sound. The ones I play may not be great choices for players who aren't also passable guitar techs, but I've gigged them a lot, and my early 60s Kay galaxie will stay in tune all night, don't even need a backup.
    I know how to get the sound I want out of one of those new electromatics, but I'd have to change half the parts. Also, I think it's shameful they use gibson-sized knockoffs of gretsch pickups on a gretsch product. Shows what kind of cheap parts bins they're shopping from. I'm a lot more fond of the godin 5th ave guitars.
     

  12. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    52
    Nov 5, 2006
    Sinatra's World
    I have five GCs within 35 miles of my house, including the flagship store in Manhattan. I've been to four of them. In all of them, the staff ignored me and, when I could get their attention, they acted as if I was bothering them. I am no fan of Guitar Center.
     

  13. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Tele-Holic

    707
    Jun 25, 2016
    Midwest, USA
    I bought a uses PRS at a GC fae from me. I wasn't able to meticulously look at and play it. There were kids playing ridiculous things around me, I couldn't focus. When I got home, I noticed that the guitar had some issues like a goofy pickup toggle switch, string action, pickup heights, bridge was not set right, etc. It seems it needed a major setup. I didn't want to do a long drive to the store where I got it, so I went to the one near me. Their tech gladly set it up right before my eyes. He did a great job, so I tried to give him a tip. He refused.

    I'm loving my GC!
     

  14. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    42
    Feb 7, 2009
    Reading, Massachusetts
    See? To me, that's an ideal guitar shopping experience.

    Different strokes...
     

  15. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    52
    Nov 5, 2006
    Sinatra's World
    There's a difference between being left alone and being ignored. Ignoring customers is rude and the definition of bad customer service.
     
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  16. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Mar 11, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    I've never been ignored. I'm usually greeted by name and if anyone on the crew isn't busy at the moment (including the manager), usually end up having a nice conversation.
     

  17. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Age:
    66
    Dec 23, 2009
    Rocklin Ca.
    I'm just thankful they haven't gone out of business yet I can’t imagine what the prices will be like at those Mom & Pop shops if they shut down.
     

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