NGD, and a tale of two music stores

StrangerNY

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For the past couple of weeks I've been looking to buy another Floyd-equipped guitar, and yesterday I sold one of my Teles and went shopping. The place where I met the buyer was a straight shot down the road from my local Guitar Center, so I figured I'd check out what they had.

Their guitars were kind of a mess, honestly. I had been considering an EVH Wofgang WG Standard, and they had two of them on the wall - one with a broken A string, and the other where the tuning was so far out of whack that I could barely get it to the point where I could strum a chord. I gave it a try and overall didn't like the feel of the guitar.

I spotted a pretty nice Jackson Soloist and plugged it into a Blackstar combo. Everything was cool on the amp's clean settings, but when I switched to the gain channel the hum was unbearable. Changed amps to a Line 6, same problem. I looked up and noticed the fluorescent lights and figured amps with bad hum were about as good as it was going to get.

By this time I was joined by a salesman (after being there for about 15 minutes and trying a few different guitars), and I pointed out that there were a couple of dings in the finish and the fretboard was dry as dust, and asked how low he was willing to go on the price. He said he had to 'call his manager' in order to get approval for any discount, and to wait a minute while he tried.

I ended up waiting 15 minutes and at that point I noticed the salesman behind the counter. I walked over and asked if he had a number for me. He said his manager told him if I was unhappy with the guitar they'd order me a new one, and the best he could do was throw in a pack of strings. Hard pass, see ya.

I then figured I'd drive a couple of towns over to Sam Ash to see if I'd have any better luck there. I walked in and was greeted right away by a salesman. I looked over the guitars on the wall, picked one out and the salesman set me up with an amp so I could try it. Thankfully, I could crank the gain on the amp without a ton of hum. After playing the guitar for about 5 minutes I was pretty much sold. I paid the man and came home with this sexy beast.


ibz-s570.jpg




It's an Ibanez S570AH, and I'm really happy with it. I got it reasonably set up and took it out on a gig last night, and it performed pretty well. The Floyd is mostly dialed in, but I still have to work it a little more to get it to my liking. Light and comfortable, and pretty damn good looking if I say so myself.

In addition to the guitar, the Sam Ash guys knocked another 10% off the price and threw in a Gator gig bag and a gross of picks! All told, the price I sold the Tele for covered the new guitar and all that came with it.

Should have gone to Ash first and saved myself some aggravation. I'll be going there from now on for sure.

- D
 

bgmacaw

Doctor of Teleocity
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Feb 11, 2006
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Near Athens GA USA
Their guitars were kind of a mess, honestly. I had been considering an EVH Wofgang WG Standard, and they had two of them on the wall - one with a broken A string, and the other where the tuning was so far out of whack that I could barely get it to the point where I could strum a chord. I gave it a try and overall didn't like the feel of the guitar.

I spotted a pretty nice Jackson Soloist and plugged it into a Blackstar combo. Everything was cool on the amp's clean settings, but when I switched to the gain channel the hum was unbearable. Changed amps to a Line 6, same problem. I looked up and noticed the fluorescent lights and figured amps with bad hum were about as good as it was going to get.

By this time I was joined by a salesman (after being there for about 15 minutes and trying a few different guitars), and I pointed out that there were a couple of dings in the finish and the fretboard was dry as dust, and asked how low he was willing to go on the price. He said he had to 'call his manager' in order to get approval for any discount, and to wait a minute while he tried.

I ended up waiting 15 minutes and at that point I noticed the salesman behind the counter. I walked over and asked if he had a number for me. He said his manager told him if I was unhappy with the guitar they'd order me a new one, and the best he could do was throw in a pack of strings. Hard pass, see ya.

It's a complete mystery why local guitar stores don't do well vs chains and online stores.

Oh, and happy new guitar day...

startrekqmariachi0.gif
 

eichaan

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That is why I go to Sam Ash first! They are literally next door to each other here in Richmond, Virginia, and I have never had a sales person so much as talk to me at GC, while the staff at SA are always helpful.
 

Dismalhead

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Had a similar experience with Vox AC15C1 with scuffed up tolex; only one in stock and the guy basically said the damage didn't matter and it had to go through some corporate process to get the price knocked down for it. Went and bought a B-stock online at Full Compass for about $200 less than the one in GC.

Beautiful guitar. I've got a friend who's had a 570 since the late '80s. Congrats!
 

mad dog

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Montclair, NJ
I've been going into a couple local Guitar Centers for many years now. One in particular had an interesting selection of used guitars and amps. Priced high enough so they never moved. I tried to talk price on a tweed pro replica with issues (ripped grill cloth), going in periodically over the course of a year. They would not budge. Then all the vintage stuff was gone. Jobbed out no doubt.

Another local GC has lots of shiny, cheap stuff. No setups at all. Most guitars on the wall are sorely in need of attention, many outright unplayable. In all the years I've been going in there, there was not one guitar I was remotely tempted to buy.

That's in contrast to some other local shops. Russos music in central NJ for example. They always have interesting stuff, new and old. I've purchased several pedals through the years, came real close on a Squier tele, but the neck width was too small. Another local shop I love going to is further north. Parkway music in Clifton Park NY. Excellent selection, new and used. Fair prices too.

GC is a last resort for minor items. I go out of my way to frequent other local music stores which are far better.
 

ChicknPickn

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My impression:

Big Box stores - Wide selection of guitars that are not ready to play. May or may not have time to help.
Local Guys - Aim to please, keep their stuff presentable, suffer on the selection side. Care about future business.
 

bgmacaw

Doctor of Teleocity
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Feb 11, 2006
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Near Athens GA USA
I go out of my way to frequent other local music stores which are far better.

Local Guys - Aim to please, keep their stuff presentable, suffer on the selection side. Care about future business.

You're lucky. That's not the way it is around here. The local ones near me are similar to the store @StrangerNY described or exist only to rent overpriced instruments to high school band members' parents or are hoity-toity establishments that I don't care to visit again, ever. All the good ones closed their doors years ago, usually because the owner retired.

GC in Athens was usually OK although I think the past few years have taken a significant toll.
 

ChicknPickn

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You're lucky. That's not the way it is around here. The local ones near me are similar to the store @StrangerNY described or exist only to rent overpriced instruments to high school band members' parents or are hoity-toity establishments that I don't care to visit again, ever. All the good ones closed their doors years ago, usually because the owner retired.

GC in Athens was usually OK although I think the past few years have taken a significant toll.
It takes people to run an operation. No easy thing to get these days. Getting people who aren’t looking for a new job on Day One are even harder to find, I reckon. We have a little competition here still. The Big Box tries to run the store with two people M-F.
 

TX_Slinger

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Oct 5, 2019
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The Sticks, TX
I keep forgetting we have a Sam Ash here in Houston, they took over a long time H&H music location a few years ago.. Need to and check some stuff out. GC is a trainwreck.
 




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