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Hasbro



Joined: 14/01/05
Posts: 282
poorly set up guitars in shops new
      #123438 - 01/05/05 10:14 PM
...so you pick up a usa standard strat in a guitar shop to try out an amp or whatever. all the strings seem to be at different heights, none of them particularly close to the fret board, pickups set deep in the body, pole pieces poking out like you wouldn't believe...why does this happen so much? do guitars come from the factory this wrecked? should stores get them set up if they suck so bad? or does this only happen where i live?

(right, i'm not moaning anymore tonight. sorry)


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milan



Joined: 08/04/04
Posts: 353
Loc: Alps
Re: poorly set up guitars in shops new [Re: Hasbro]
      #123442 - 01/05/05 10:25 PM
Quote:

or does this only happen where i live?




No, it happens here too.

--------------------
if it's here when we get back, it's ours


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Andy__D
posting's fun


Joined: 08/06/04
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Re: poorly set up guitars in shops new [Re: milan]
      #123586 - 02/05/05 12:51 PM
It depends very much on the store. I used to work in a guitar store, and nobody in the store had any idea how to set up a guitar - it was left to me to do, and, well, I don't trust myself to set up my own guitars...

Thing was to get a guitar set up properly costs money (I think the rate we were being charged trade was about £20), and our profit margin on most guitars wasn't huge - getting them properly set up ate far too much into that profit for the owner's liking.

Now there are some shops run by guitar enthusiasts for guitar players, and you're much more likely to find all the stock properly set up in a store like that : but most are set up primarily to make money, and will cut back wherever they can - like it or not, those stores are much more likely to survive (and offer the best prices...) which sucks.


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DougR



Joined: 22/03/05
Posts: 601
Loc: Suffolk, UK
Re: poorly set up guitars in shops new [Re: Andy__D]
      #123597 - 02/05/05 01:41 PM
yeah, andy has a valid point there! it does eat away at the profit margin, and when you dont have someone that knows what they are doing (from a buissness point of view) it really isnt worth it!
having worked in a guitar shop myself, some of the guitars that came in from the factory were set up atrociously! i found that the cheaper ones were the wosrt, the more upmarket guitars made not solely by machines tended to be better set up!
grrr, just been reminded of the most annoying job working in a guitar shop! when youve got a lovely Dobro sitting on the shelf looking all shiny and metalic! monday morning having to polish it after all the lovely clean fingers have been touching it over the weekend! ahhh it takes so long!! no onder some guitar shops say no touching!
Doug


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morphsville
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Joined: 23/03/04
Posts: 516
Loc: Belfast
Re: poorly set up guitars in shops new [Re: Hasbro]
      #123763 - 02/05/05 10:30 PM
You would expect cheap guitars to be poorly set up because they are, well, cheap

But there is little excuse for a good Gibson or Fender to be poorly setup out of the factory and I have played quite a few poor Les Pauls recently. Standards must be slipping at Gibson.

My local music shop does make the extra effort to set up some of the cheaper instruments and it often makes a huge difference.. they have couple of talented guys to do it though.


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Octopussy



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 562
Loc: Melbourneo
Re: poorly set up guitars in shops new [Re: Hasbro]
      #123854 - 03/05/05 10:13 AM
Although I think it should be up to the distributor to have someone set the things up really it's the British apathetic attitude of that'll do and what do you expect etc.

Simply don't by guitars from shops that can't be arsed to have their guitars in sellable condition. Go elsewhere.

Lets face it, setting up a guitar isn't radiography or medical physics! If a shop can't choose it's staff based on skills then it's their fault for not going the extra innit.

Regards,
bassdude


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morphsville
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Re: poorly set up guitars in shops new [Re: Hasbro]
      #124174 - 03/05/05 10:36 PM
Should a shop selling furniture have to wax the tables and upholster the sofas when they arrive from the manufacturer??

No, it is the manufacturers responsibility and the same is true for guitars. The burden of providing a useable product shouldn't lie on the retailers shoulder, they have enough to worry about.


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Octopussy



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 562
Loc: Melbourneo
Re: poorly set up guitars in shops new [Re: Hasbro]
      #124197 - 03/05/05 11:49 PM
What like selling guitars and providing a good service to paying customer! Seeing as most manufacturers are not based in the UK and send their guitars there in bits to be assembled by the distributor then I'd say that it's the distributor that is responsible especially for guitars with bolt on necks.

If a guitarshop can't be bothered asking potential sales men if they can set-up a guitar and then send out unplayable instruments or are making people pay for set up on top of the sales price then they aren't worth buying from.

Enough to worry about... obviously not customer satisfaction and making a guitar more appealing by setting the thing up to be played then ey morphsville.

Perhaps those that work in retail need to be more concerned with selling of the instrument and the happy customer angle rather than the ordering and procedures of admin. Customer relations and repeat business over box shifting and poor service. If the attitude is can't be bothered.. oops I mean got enough on my plate mate, then that's a poor quality mind-set excusing bad service.

Regards,
bassdude


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zenguitarAdministrator
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Joined: 05/12/02
Posts: 8922
Loc: Devon
Re: poorly set up guitars in shops new [Re: Octopussy]
      #124225 - 04/05/05 02:40 AM
Quote Bassdude:

Seeing as most manufacturers are not based in the UK and send their guitars there in bits to be assembled by the distributor

If a guitarshop can't be bothered asking potential sales men if they can set-up a guitar and then send out unplayable instruments or are making people pay for set up on top of the sales price then they aren't worth buying from.

Perhaps those that work in retail need to be more concerned with selling of the instrument and the happy customer angle rather than the ordering and procedures of admin. Customer relations and repeat business over box shifting and poor service. If the attitude is can't be bothered.. oops I mean got enough on my plate mate, then that's a poor quality mind-set excusing bad service.

bassdude




Distributors do not assemble guitars on import, they arrive completed. Some employ a tech to check them over for obvious problems and/or transit damage. But are generally reasonably well set-up out of the box.

Under NO circumstances should a salesman be allowed to touch a guitar with anything other than a duster. They are not even to be trusted with guitar polish. I remember a very expensive acoustic that would not sell because after 10 minutes hanging on the wall it was wet with condensation. Every time a customer tried it the sales staff wiped it religiously with a clean duster and then applied guitar polish. After a month the manager asked me to check it over and make a report so that they could return it to the manufacturer for a refund. So I cleaned the guitar thoroughly, gave it a polish and hung it on the wall. No condensation and sold in 3 days. The only problem was that the grease from the fingerprints had been evenly spread over the guitar and then carefully sealed in with a layer of polish, several times a day for weeks.

A salesman sells, a skilled tech sets up. The only shops I know with a reputation for poorly set up guitars are where the sales staff try to set up. And I should also add that there is no such thing as a proper set up. Guitars are delivered with a good general set-up, action not too high or too low and properly intonated with correct neck relief. I have unpacked countless new guitars and it is very rare to find one that wasn't a good player out of the box. The problems arrive when bored salesmen start playing the stock and start adding their own personal tweaks to suit their own styles or make some ill advised 'improvement'.

Certainly, every guitar that leaves the shop should, if requested, be fine tuned to suit the buyer. Action raised or lowered, truss rod and intonation corrected for different string gauges. And that should be included in the price. But if a player wants something more than that (a new, extra tall nut for slide, for example) it's not unreasonable to charge for the work and materials.

Finally, customers have to shoulder a lot of responsibility too. Shops are full of people hanging around, playing guitars that they have no interest in buying. Getting in some extra practice, wasting a few hours showing off. And, worst of all, trying out guitars that they intend to buy from the cheapest mail order box shifter. Blatantly asking the shop to price match the box shifter and then walking out muttering darkly about 'doing deals'. And then a week later they turn up with their new Yamanez and ask us to fix all the problems free because we are Yamanez dealers. They have just discovered why the guitar is so cheap, the box shifter buys all the guitars that fail quality control at the distributor. Ho hum.

Andy

--------------------
When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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hjm
member


Joined: 20/09/02
Posts: 83
Re: poorly set up guitars in shops new [Re: zenguitar]
      #124270 - 04/05/05 08:16 AM

Amen to that Andy, right on the money...


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Octopussy



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 562
Loc: Melbourneo
Re: poorly set up guitars in shops new [Re: Hasbro]
      #124434 - 04/05/05 01:10 PM
I buy Ibanez guitars, love in fact. But I was told that they arrive unassembled and I looked into it and bought a Radius body that way.

No all the onus is on the music shop. No consumer is liable for guitars that can't be played and I definately don't accept that guitars that don't play well in music shops are only that way because some untrained salesman has messed with it. That sounds I a pile of do to me! It's funny how those that work as guitar techs or in sales put the onus on the consumer. That is totally skewed and illogical thinking.

Music shop salespeople are almost always players of instruments; they play on em and demo em to the customers showing off. I think people who are on the other side of the fence so to speak ie those in the trade should remember consumer right, and what comes along with owning a music shop is what it is!

A beginner walks into a music shop and trys a guitar. Wants to take up the guitar and likes what he's shown. Then that guitar is left on a stand and the sales person brings out a box... Could be a better guitar and play better than the one on disply or be a total dog! Happens everyday!

Sales person tries to sell an item at full RRP. Keeps quiet and makes a looser out the mug punter... sure will. Is this because people in sales and guitar techs separate themselves from the guy on the street. Yup. I hate peoples attitudes when they loose the ability to see the person infront of em as a punter to be rippped off. Try thinking of that person as you son/daughter/mum or dad and now say the consumer is accountable.

Na they should consider themselves lucky that you decided to open a shop in their area the ungrateful little gets!!

Indeed.

Regards,
bassdude


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zenguitarAdministrator
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Joined: 05/12/02
Posts: 8922
Loc: Devon
Re: poorly set up guitars in shops new [Re: Octopussy]
      #124815 - 05/05/05 02:07 AM
Bassdude,

Having worked at an Ibanez main dealer I can assure you that the guitars arrive there exactly as they left the factory. Most, if not all, distributors (and this goes for all industries, not just guitars) dismantle stock damaged in shipping for spares. I am in no doubt that the the body you purchased came through that route.

Whether you accept it or not, the standard of construction and out of the box set-up of modern guitars is excellent. It far exceeds the standard of a pro set-up 30 years ago, and - regretably - I am old enough to remember that.

I entirely agree with you that guitars should be playable when they leave the store. The law of the land says that too. And I have not said anything that contradicts that. But the onus really is on the customer. If a shop is not supplying goods of merchantable quality the customer is king. The law is on their side and they have the right, and the duty, to seek redress and take their business elsewhere. That isn't skewed or illogical thinking, it's the law. Whether we like it or not, there is a system in this country. The rights are with the consumer, but it is the consumer who decides to exercise those rights. You can't blame the few poor shops, and there really are only a few, for trying it on if their customers are stupid enough to keep going back. To my mind it is poor business practice, but it only works with the complicity of their customers.

Actually, I an VERY offended that you lump me (a trained and experienced luthier) with dodgy salesmen. After reading my last post do you honestly believe that I would side with them against customers? As a tech, getting a guitar right for an individual guitarist is what I do. That means spending time talking, listening to what they need. Learning about their playing style, what gear they use.
And whether it is in the pub or on here, I consider it time well spent to listen to people and help them get the best from their guitar.

I don't deny that the things you describe are true. But my experience as a tech and as a customer is very different. I don't know what problems you have experienced to lead you to such strong opinions, but please don't assume that they are typical. If your local shop is that bad, take your business elsewhere. And if you have been sold unfit goods, exercise your rights as a consumer.

And Bassdude, damning whole groups of people and making sweeping generalisations that are largely unfounded is no better than what you are accusing them of.

Andy

--------------------
When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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Hewesy



Joined: 19/10/04
Posts: 1724
Re: poorly set up guitars in shops new [Re: Hasbro]
      #124853 - 05/05/05 07:45 AM
You should always play the guitar you want to buy - i.e. if you play the "shop floor" model, and that feels great to you then buy that one, don't accept the one in the box from the store room (even if it is the same colour ).

I do agree that most shops don't have a dedicated tech, especially guilty are the large warehouse shops such as Sound Control etc. I bought my missus a bass for her birthday from such a shop, even the shop floor model needed 30 mins tweaking at home .

Andy (zen) is right, the customer has the power to walk away from the sale if he doesn't like it - but the problem is if your a beginner then what else can you base your judgement against? Particulary as a salesman sells for a living, whereas a tech offers advice. And I have definatly seen music shop staff pass themselves off as tech's, but as a customer if someone is sat in a shop, telling you about truss rod relief whilst brandishing a box spanner, what other opinion can you make? A good sign is if the shop can give you the name of a local tech (or even better have their advert on the wall). Means it's less likely there's box spanner wielding fool on the payroll...

Music shops seem to have become to concerned with making money, there are very few decent "for the muso, by the muso" shops, especially round here.

Hewesy


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Studio Support Gnome
Not so Miserable Git


Joined: 22/07/03
Posts: 9386
Loc: UK *but works all over the pl...
Re: poorly set up guitars in shops new [Re: zenguitar]
      #124880 - 05/05/05 08:39 AM
Quote zenguitar:

Bassdude,

Having worked at an Ibanez main dealer I can assure you that the guitars arrive there exactly as they left the factory. Most, if not all, distributors (and this goes for all industries, not just guitars) dismantle stock damaged in shipping for spares. I am in no doubt that the the body you purchased came through that route.

Whether you accept it or not, the standard of construction and out of the box set-up of modern guitars is excellent. It far exceeds the standard of a pro set-up 30 years ago, and - regretably - I am old enough to remember that.

I entirely agree with you that guitars should be playable when they leave the store. The law of the land says that too. And I have not said anything that contradicts that. But the onus really is on the customer. If a shop is not supplying goods of merchantable quality the customer is king. The law is on their side and they have the right, and the duty, to seek redress and take their business elsewhere. That isn't skewed or illogical thinking, it's the law. Whether we like it or not, there is a system in this country. The rights are with the consumer, but it is the consumer who decides to exercise those rights. You can't blame the few poor shops, and there really are only a few, for trying it on if their customers are stupid enough to keep going back. To my mind it is poor business practice, but it only works with the complicity of their customers.

Actually, I an VERY offended that you lump me (a trained and experienced luthier) with dodgy salesmen. After reading my last post do you honestly believe that I would side with them against customers? As a tech, getting a guitar right for an individual guitarist is what I do. That means spending time talking, listening to what they need. Learning about their playing style, what gear they use.
And whether it is in the pub or on here, I consider it time well spent to listen to people and help them get the best from their guitar.

I don't deny that the things you describe are true. But my experience as a tech and as a customer is very different. I don't know what problems you have experienced to lead you to such strong opinions, but please don't assume that they are typical. If your local shop is that bad, take your business elsewhere. And if you have been sold unfit goods, exercise your rights as a consumer.

And Bassdude, damning whole groups of people and making sweeping generalisations that are largely unfounded is no better than what you are accusing them of.

Andy




Just to note that I concur with Andy 120% on most of this .
Having also been an Ibanez dealer, i can vouch that they arrive in one piece.... but the cheaper ones definitely benefit from a decent set up....

in fact i'm not aware of ANY recognised brand that arrives in pieces by design.

furthermore, Bassdude has the occasional habit of labelling the entire species or trade based on one or two persoanl experiences, as he also did with live sound engineers.,

In Both cases I take exception to the slur on my colleagues character

However, I should note that people expecting guitars on the wall to be set up especially for them are wandering along in ga ga dream land....
the best you can reasonably hope for is a decent "average" or "generic" set up, because individual players all have differing requirements...

so any decent shop should provide a merchantable, decently set up as an average example, guitar.
anyone thinking they (the shops) should spend hours of the luthiers , quite expensive time setting it up to individual requirements , without charging extra, is frankly rather naive when it comes to profit margins and business practice, or indeed consumer rights .

think of it like a race car....

it is built and set up in a rather generic manner, which is then fine tuned to the driver's preferences by testing and adjusting in order to extract the maximum performance from both car and driver....


THAT is equivalent to the personalised set up...... however, simply building a car that runs and vaguely goes round corners , safely and legally, is all that is actually legally required of the manufacturer.... or main dealer.

example,
Subaru WRX cars do NOT arrive "ready to race" you need to take them to ProDrive in Banbury and spend another fortune to bring them up to racespec.


Max

--------------------
Don't get the hump when i tell you it's going to be expensive, it's not my fault , you picked the site/building/room â


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Shivanand
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Re: poorly set up guitars in shops new [Re: Hewesy]
      #124888 - 05/05/05 08:49 AM
Quote Hewesy:

I bought my missus a bass for her birthday from such a shop, even the shop floor model needed 30 mins tweaking at home .




Only 30 minutes? I've bought my first Fender 30 years ago and I still regularly need to tweak it. Mind you, it plays like a dream.

I feel most sorry for the "new" guitarist who may not really know a good guitar from a bad one or a good setup from a bad one. Often these people are "sold" a guitar by the shop rather than actually choosing one themselves and many shops seem to value short term profit above long term customer satisfaction. Of course, a shop with good, experienced staff will be a lot more help but, as with buying anything from a second hand car to a PC, you're much more likely to get the right deal if you know what you want and you're talking about.

I would expect any competant and experienced player, who will probably be buying a more expensive instrument, to know exactly how the guitar should be set up for her/him and generally be quite capable of tweaking action and intonation her/himself. Of course, at the higher end of the market, one is much more likely to be able to negotiate a set-up into the deal as the shop will have more margin to play with.

--------------------
"Qui habet aures audiendi audiat"


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Octopussy



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 562
Loc: Melbourneo
Re: poorly set up guitars in shops new [Re: Hasbro]
      #124942 - 05/05/05 10:13 AM
Y'know it's a funny thing. Max here thinks I am labeling people and putting them in catagories but my intention is simply to get people to react strongly. If y'all read my post again with this gist to it. Unless you cross over from your side of the fence and see the consumer as being the same as yerselves ie working behind the scenes or the counter then you are making a mistake.

I like and dislike sales people based on their attitude. There are people out there in sales who are looking to be candid and are willing to get you a reasonable to good deal and advice based on being a good person. Then there are box shifting gits who just want your money...

For me it's not a matter of lumping zenguitar with sales men etc coz what I was getting at is that the them and us attitude plus the diabolical lack of customer focus in the uk is really appalling. I used to live on Merseyside. Not a thriving place at all. The place lacks opportunities and is a rainy depressing place in the North of England. Even moving around that country the attitude and motivation is generally low compared to most other countries. Apathy all over the place. Lets face it, we English take offense at the drop of a hat. When you get out there and see the world and live abroad it's quite an eye opener. Good service and motivation aren't really taught within the culture. All this hasn't helped with developing good practice and customer services within music shops around the country.

Despite what is being said here I enjoy both zenguitar and Max the Macs contributions and respect both your opinions on stuff and things wether you are disagreeing with me or not so no hard feelings fellas.

Regards,
bassdude


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Hewesy



Joined: 19/10/04
Posts: 1724
Re: poorly set up guitars in shops new [Re: Shivanand]
      #125017 - 05/05/05 11:55 AM
Quote Shivanand:

Only 30 minutes? I've bought my first Fender 30 years ago and I still regularly need to tweak it. Mind you, it plays like a dream.




Yeah, they got better as they moved through the strings, if was a six string the B & E would have been spot on

I agree that experianced players can negotiate the guitar to their preference, but then there is no guarrantee that the top level guitars go to experianced players. I know of a few people who have bought PRS and Rickenbackers as first guitars, then massacre them with poorly fretted E A D major chords...

Hewesy


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Bill C



Joined: 13/10/04
Posts: 625
Re: poorly set up guitars in shops new [Re: Hewesy]
      #125024 - 05/05/05 12:06 PM
Quote Hewesy:

the customer has the power to walk away from the sale if he doesn't like it - but the problem is if your a beginner then what else can you base your judgement against?




If you are a beginner you should - imo - get your guitar teacher to pick one for you


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Holy Driver



Joined: 08/09/04
Posts: 43
Re: poorly set up guitars in shops new [Re: Hasbro]
      #125103 - 05/05/05 02:22 PM
I tried out a Les Paul 'Slash' couple of weeks ago ( no intention of buying, it was there and i decided to give it a go) and it was set up worse than any other Gibson ive played. Sounded very poor acoustically.
Then i tried out an Ibanez ' George Benson' Sig and that was even worse.
Whats going on in guitar shops. Surley, low action set ups with no buzz is a must. you wouldent buy a stained white shirt even though a good wash will clean it would you????!!!?arghhhhhh!

--------------------
If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.


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zenguitarAdministrator
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Loc: Devon
Re: poorly set up guitars in shops [Re: Octopussy]
      #125338 - 06/05/05 12:52 AM
Bassdude,

I really do know where you're coming from. And don't worry, I know you're not aiming your comments against me and Max. But I do think you are making a sweeping generalisation when you talk about which side of the fence people are. You are right, there are good salesmen out there and bad ones too. The way to deal with that is by making sure the good ones prosper and the bad ones don't. When I trained as a luthier I didn't suddenly stop being a customer. It made me a better informed customer if anything. And I have never been afraid to tell a manager in a store why I wouldn't be buying from that store again.

Markets have no conscience bassdude, they respond to the bottom line. So how about exercising your power and telling the poor shops why they aren't getting your money. Like you said, we're not brought up in this country to fight for our rights. So get out there and demand better. I'm on your side and I think you will be pleasantly surprised when you find that there really are sales staff out there who want to offer what you demand.

And keep on posting here mate,

Andy

--------------------
When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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