Music Store Floor Models...Not Good!

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by stratfanGB, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. stratfanGB

    stratfanGB Strat-Talker

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    I was out of town for a couple of days so I thought I'd visit a few music stores that are outside of my normal area.

    I tried a couple of guitars at each place and they all had one thing in common. Bad setup. Almost every guitar was so out of tune. I understand that a guitar may have been hanging on the wall for a while. I don't mind making some tuning adjustments to bring it to pitch, but I was handed a guitar that I couldn't find one string that sounded even close. I tuned the low E string to what I thought might be E. Then I did a quick 5th fret tuning for the rest. I'm sure it wasn't close to proper tuning. Then there is the setup. Most of the guitars I tried had string height that was so high, it was almost unplayable. One had fret buzz on one string all the way up the neck.

    I don't know what the setup on most guitars is like when it leaves the factory. I have read some reviews saying things like " My new MIM was playable right out of the box." Are these guitars checked before going out to the floor? You would think a music store would want a customer to fall in love playing a new guitar in their store. I just felt frustrated. I understand everybody has different preferences, but how about setting up a guitar that's in the ballpark.

    As you may expect, there weren't a ton of guitars in any of these stores. I don't think it would take that much work to check just a couple of guitars a day to make sure they are playable for the customers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
  2. FireFunkRevival

    FireFunkRevival Strat-Talker

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    Common in a lot of stores. Throw it on the wall and oh yeah we will set it up if you buy it attitude. A lot of stores need to work on customer service. Experience is everything in a world that is one click away.
     
  3. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Most Honored Senior Member

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    You'd think...
     
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  4. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Dr. Stratster Silver Member

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    As much as people beef about Guitarcenter...
    When I go to Roseville or Reno...
    Every year or two
    The only thing I touch
    If
    I do touch...

    And
    You know the drill...
    Outer room I can afford
    Inner room I'll never afford...

    But
    They're always playable

    Keeping in mind
    Who's doin the touchin
     
  5. Stratoman10

    Stratoman10 Dr. Stratster Silver Member

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    Get a tuning app for your phone. The Fender one works pretty well. Boss one will do as well

    My local indie has them setup pretty well before they hit the floor. Easier to sell a guitar that feels good off the bat than one you have to fight
     
  6. Bob the builder

    Bob the builder Most Honored Senior Member

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    It depends where you go.
    My local guy is a small shop. Might have 30-50 guitars sometimes. Sometimes maybe 15-20.
    He sells alot on reverb too.
    I don't know how those go out but I've bought 6 guitars off him & he makes sure they're within reason.
    When I bought my strat from him he even swapped the pickguard I ordered with it just to save me the aggregation.
    But he's got some stiff competition around here.
    There's 3-4 more shops within a 15 minute ride & a GC. And he's always come in at the best price on new.(my first new Squier came from him. Just walked in outta nowhere on my way to GC). Told him up front I'm a cheap bastard whatta got for around $100. Showed me a strat, says I can have it for $125-129? I say nope. I'm heading to GC. He let it out the door for a flat $100 tax inc.
    Bout 1-2 years later I end up there signing up for lessons
    Still there 3+ years & 11 guitars later
    (not all the guitars came from him but I've sold a few to/thru him)
     
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  7. BuddhaFingas

    BuddhaFingas Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm pretty sure that's gonna be a problem north of G. :D

    Chain retail in all product types, not just music, doesn't hire (or pay) for knowledgeable floor staff any more (at least not at the stores I can reach around here.) And I don't think any of them pay for anyone to actually maintain the stuff on the wall. Or monitor what customers do while 'testing.' Missing knobs, broken strings... Tags tied on below the nut. You name it.

    You think guitar stores are bad; try finding a new car salesperson who has the first clue about the machines they are hawking.
     
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  8. Black59

    Black59 Strat-Talker

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    Completely understand where you're coming from, but it may be different here in Canada.

    I always go to local shops and they are always on point. I don't think I've ever picked up a Fender that's buzzing/choking out or with crazy high action... Yes, they do need a quick tune and some need work on the fret ends but that's understandable because of the drastic changes in humidity.

    My expectations for big box stores however are much lower...
     
  9. stormsedge

    stormsedge Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    There's one store about an hour from here that seems to have their act together...but, I've only purchased amps from them, so they may be handing me a guitar they know is set up (better planning would have put one of my own guitars in the vehicle). Otherwise, the others pretty much make a case for just purchasing online.
     
  10. Roca81

    Roca81 Strat-Talker

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    GC in Memphis will charge you for a setup even if you buy the guitar new. Luckily when I bought my Omen Extreme it was already in good shape.
     
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  11. SonOfLerome

    SonOfLerome Strat-O-Master

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    One of the last shops in my town closed yesterday. Their final plea was that the inventory would be marked down to retail... no thanks.
     
  12. simoncroft

    simoncroft You could wire it that way, but it won't work Silver Member

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    A friend of mine was trying out a vintage Gibson 335 that had a not inconsiderable price tag attached to it. It really didn't play that well, so he remarked that it could do with a good set-up. "We only set them up to individual requirements," was the response What!? You expect the customer to guess that it will play well once it's set up? Who's going to party with thousands of pounds in the hope this is the right guitar for them? That store isn't here anymore. I wonder why.
     
  13. Mr Dunlop

    Mr Dunlop Senior Stratmaster

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    You hear alot of people saying run the racks to find that special guitar. Bring your set up tools?
     
  14. Boubou

    Boubou Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    So you are the guy who screws up the tuning of the guitars in the store.
    To avoid that, I carry this

    upload_2021-4-11_13-25-7.png

    i see sales guys in the stores walking around with tuners.
    In general here, the guitar you try off the wall, is the guitar you buy, there are no “floor models”
     
  15. stratfanGB

    stratfanGB Strat-Talker

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    Bingo!

    Just begging us to buy online. Poor employees, paying retail or over, pay extra for a setup...Why not!
     
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  16. stratfanGB

    stratfanGB Strat-Talker

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    Couldn't screw up the tuning any more than it was already.

    If the one on the wall plays like a broomstick, I'm not buying anything.
     
  17. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Do it or screw it.

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    They should tune all the guitars each day. And if they don't want to tune the ones up by the ceiling, they should tune those for you when they get it down.
     
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  18. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Do it or screw it.

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    Ridiculous
     
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  19. mwmeci

    mwmeci Strat-Talker

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    Floor models should be priced as demos.
     
  20. JDug

    JDug Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

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    There’s a “mom and pop” shop still in operation where I grew up, its been around since the ‘70’s, they will meet any internet price, and do better if its cash.

    every guitar is setup and in tune, always has. The original owner’s son operates it.

    Not having a guitar setup, in tune, and ready is just bad business sense, and its “what you do”, why wouldn’t you have then set up right? Could cost a sale, making a good guitar play/feel like crap, and a turn off for a potential customer, I just don’t get it. a shop owner, like the one I mentioned above, would be embarrased by that, but thats the mentality today. Whatever, take it or leave it? Oh you want a setup too? (Rolls eyes), thats gonna cost ya!
     
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