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View Full Version : guitar center/sam ash techs?


hithere
10-23-2009, 01:08 PM
hey guys I really need two of my guitars some simple fixes and setups quick, and I only have both these stores near me. I was going to go farther to one of my boutique stores but I was told they overprice.

any experience with these techs?

Ahess86
10-23-2009, 01:28 PM
My experience with Sam Ash: you're better off taking your broken TV back to Walmart to get it fixed.

No experience with GC, won't let them touch my guitars.

rivaeast
10-23-2009, 01:34 PM
Depends on who they have doing the work.... I had good luck with the guy at my Sam Ash but it was simple stuff that I would normally.

Vintage55
10-23-2009, 01:49 PM
Go by each store, without the guitars, and strike up a conversation with a couple of the guys in the guitar section. Talk about setups. Talk about how to really tweak the most out of a guitar during a setup. See who seems to makethe most sense. Then, if any of them actually DO make sense, take your guitars to them.

slopeshoulder
10-23-2009, 02:09 PM
I would say run away, but I do one master level tech who cut his teeth there.

duaneallen
10-23-2009, 02:10 PM
I would rather take it to a drunk, mentally deranged person who was never seen a guitar before first.

eyeball987
10-23-2009, 02:28 PM
I wouldn't trust either with anything to be honest. I just an LP from GC and gave them an entire day to set it up. I was told that they have a real "tech" who comes in for a few hours a day. I picked up the LP and it was unplayable. 3 guys tried to fix it and not one had a clue.

I almost took it back for a refund until I dig through the Gibson site and found a local authorized repair guy. He set it up under warranty at no cost to me and the guitar is magic now.

gkoelling
10-23-2009, 02:32 PM
I thought the phrases Sam Ash and Guitar Center were completely removed from the term "tech?":huh

DrumBob
10-23-2009, 02:45 PM
I would rather take it to a drunk, mentally deranged person who was never seen a guitar before first.

My sentiments exactly, but then again, I despise GC and Sam Ash anyway.

Actually, I'd take a guitar to a chimpanzee for adjustment first.

Better yet, go online, find a tutorial and learn to do it yourself. That's what I'm starting to do. You can get all the tools you might need at Stew-Mac. I just ordered a quarter inch truss rod wrench for my Rick 12. Why should I drive 30 miles to my tech and pay him when I can do it myself?

blood5150
10-23-2009, 02:46 PM
Here they are....

http://www.whataboutclients.com/archives/Beavis_and_Butt-head.gif

CthonicEwes
10-23-2009, 05:27 PM
Perhaps you can post where the places you are thinking of going are located. Then maybe someone here will have some actual constructive criticism based on experience instead of posting Beavis and Butthead cartoons.

Sorry, I know I need some coffee...

Anyway, my 2 cents are: if it's simple stuff I would probably have no problem letting a tech at either place do some work for me. I have had good experiences with techs at GC (the one in Sherman Oaks) and Sam Ash (Sal in Hollywood). Face it, these are just independent contractors working out of these stores. There's no reason they are automatically bad just cause they work in these stores.

The best thing, of course, is to go to a place you yourself trust or that is recommended by someone you trust. Pay a little more and drive a little more if you don't want to leave things to chance.

blood5150
10-23-2009, 05:34 PM
Perhaps you can post where the places you are thinking of going are located. Then maybe someone here will have some actual constructive criticism based on experience instead of posting Beavis and Butthead cartoons.

Sorry, I know I need some coffee...

Anyway, my 2 cents are: if it's simple stuff I would probably have no problem letting a tech at either place do some work for me. I have had good experiences with techs at GC (the one in Sherman Oaks) and Sam Ash (Sal in Hollywood). Face it, these are just independent contractors working out of these stores. There's no reason they are automatically bad just cause they work in these stores.

The best thing, of course, is to go to a place you yourself trust or that is recommended by someone you trust. Pay a little more and drive a little more if you don't want to leave things to chance.


Easy dude...

Living in a place where I literally have 3 guitar centers and a sam ash within 10 miles of each other I can say this...


I have always had better experiences in taking my guitar to a mom and pop shop for setups, etc... better service and better turnaround times.

Most of the guys that have worked at those big stores that I have been going to for 15 years dont know anything half of the time... I go in there asking about the new memory man and they have zero clue that a new one is even out... I mean if you work at a guitar store with all of the guitar magazines, etc... you should know what is going on in the industry.

They would be better off working at Hot Topic


Now....

http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/4018/hulkavl3.jpg

Boris Bubbanov
10-23-2009, 06:47 PM
Perhaps you can post where the places you are thinking of going are located. Then maybe someone here will have some actual constructive criticism based on experience instead of posting Beavis and Butthead cartoons.

Sorry, I know I need some coffee...

Anyway, my 2 cents are: if it's simple stuff I would probably have no problem letting a tech at either place do some work for me. I have had good experiences with techs at GC (the one in Sherman Oaks) and Sam Ash (Sal in Hollywood). Face it, these are just independent contractors working out of these stores. There's no reason they are automatically bad just cause they work in these stores.

The best thing, of course, is to go to a place you yourself trust or that is recommended by someone you trust. Pay a little more and drive a little more if you don't want to leave things to chance.


I respect your opinion. I respect your guts at voicing it here, knowing at least one person was gonna facepalm you or such other gutless thing.

But I don't agree with you. I talked to a fairly sharp sounding tech at the GC in Clearwater, FL one time, who seemed to know his business. That was a while ago. Otherwise, sorry; hadn't seen good things at all.

ficklepie
10-23-2009, 06:53 PM
If you have both a Guitar Center and a Sam Ash near you, then there are at least a dozen entirely competent independent guys also in your area who can set your guitars up for you. I'd forgo the big box guys and look up the little guys where you live.

Jan Folkson
10-23-2009, 07:04 PM
Hard to say,

The guy I learned from (who is amazing BTW) was a tech at a sam ash for a period of time.

Marshall Man
10-23-2009, 07:14 PM
I respect your opinion. I respect your guts at voicing it here, knowing at least one person was gonna facepalm you or such other gutless thing.

But I don't agree with you. I talked to a fairly sharp sounding tech at the GC in Clearwater, FL one time, who seemed to know his business. That was a while ago. Otherwise, sorry; hadn't seen good things at all.

That is Charles and he is now in the Tampa store...I have had him work on several of mine!

kerouackid
10-23-2009, 07:31 PM
The techs at GC and Sam Ash are independent contractors, not employed by the companies. DO NOT LET THE EMPLOYEES TOUCH YOUR GUITAR! The techs are entirely different people, and usually know a lot more than the typical sales guy. There are some really good ones who work with GC, just ask them the same questions you would of any tech. If you don't like the answer, WALK. If you agree, go for it.

chucke99
10-23-2009, 07:53 PM
Lots of good advice here for finding someone to do the work for you, but I would encourage you to learn how to do the "simple" stuff yourself. Find a beater guitar, buy a good soldering iron, and print out some wiring diagrams, and then have at the guitar yourself. Rewire it. Adjust the truss rod. Get a digital tuner and intonate it. Set the action. Once you can do these things yourself, your enjoyment level will rise substantially. I just redid the wiring on an LP I have today. I almost didn't have to look at the wiring diagram. I had a blast.

CthonicEwes
10-23-2009, 08:05 PM
Easy dude...

Living in a place where I literally have 3 guitar centers and a sam ash within 10 miles of each other I can say this...


I have always had better experiences in taking my guitar to a mom and pop shop for setups, etc... better service and better turnaround times.

Most of the guys that have worked at those big stores that I have been going to for 15 years dont know anything half of the time... I go in there asking about the new memory man and they have zero clue that a new one is even out... I mean if you work at a guitar store with all of the guitar magazines, etc... you should know what is going on in the industry.

They would be better off working at Hot Topic


Now....

http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/4018/hulkavl3.jpg

Man, I meant to put a smiley face next to the quip about Beavis & Butthead; sorry to ruffle your feathers.

slider313
10-23-2009, 08:12 PM
I believe Larry Fitzgerald works at the Sam Ash in Huntington,NY. He worked for Mandolin Bros. and Rudy's in NYC and is one of the better techs around. I would guess it all depends on which store you go to.

sleepingtiger
10-24-2009, 12:03 AM
In the Chicago area GC uses Third Coast & they do fine work. They did a great re-fret on my '85 '59 Reissue. Quality in other areas may differ.

Tony

jazzandmetal?
10-24-2009, 12:27 AM
The techs at GC and Sam Ash are independent contractors, not employed by the companies. DO NOT LET THE EMPLOYEES TOUCH YOUR GUITAR! The techs are entirely different people, and usually know a lot more than the typical sales guy. There are some really good ones who work with GC, just ask them the same questions you would of any tech. If you don't like the answer, WALK. If you agree, go for it.

Just wanted to chime in to say that this is not 100% true anymore. There are I think 50 GCs now with techs that are hired on as employees. There is an independent tech at my store though that does great work. I can't speak for any others.

DrumBob
10-24-2009, 01:09 AM
Lots of good advice here for finding someone to do the work for you, but I would encourage you to learn how to do the "simple" stuff yourself. Find a beater guitar, buy a good soldering iron, and print out some wiring diagrams, and then have at the guitar yourself. Rewire it. Adjust the truss rod. Get a digital tuner and intonate it. Set the action. Once you can do these things yourself, your enjoyment level will rise substantially. I just redid the wiring on an LP I have today. I almost didn't have to look at the wiring diagram. I had a blast.

Good advice. I recently changed a pickup on my Jazzmaster, adjusted the action and did the intonation. It was easy. I do my own neck adjustments also. Like I said earlier, why drive a good distance and pay someone when I can do simple stuff myself? I would not try and do fret leveling or anything involved myself, but I could probably change a nut with a little help.

Roodboy
10-24-2009, 07:55 AM
hey guys I really need two of my guitars some simple fixes and setups quick, and I only have both these stores near me. I was going to go farther to one of my boutique stores but I was told they overprice.

any experience with these techs?
Why don't you post your loction and maybe someone can give you a reliable recommendation?

hithere
10-24-2009, 08:43 AM
thanks for all the replies guys, taking it all into account, I am located in south jersey

franksguitar
10-24-2009, 08:49 AM
I always use an indie tech for stuff I can't do myself. I wouldn't trust GC and I know the Sam Ash guys are worthless for setups

Rockinrob86
10-24-2009, 11:53 AM
I think it is best to talk to the guys at those stores. As mentioned, some of them are independent contractors. The guy at tampa's gc, charles, does great work.

JRDill
10-24-2009, 11:58 AM
Our tech is excellent! He was a salesman, but filled the position as he was very qualified. He used to be a tech for a few bigger acts, including, lol get this... GWAR! But I've been looking at his work and it really is good stuff. It just depends who's doing it.

chucke99
10-24-2009, 01:42 PM
Good advice. I recently changed a pickup on my Jazzmaster, adjusted the action and did the intonation. It was easy. I do my own neck adjustments also. Like I said earlier, why drive a good distance and pay someone when I can do simple stuff myself? I would not try and do fret leveling or anything involved myself, but I could probably change a nut with a little help.

I changed the nut today on this guitar:

http://www.chucke.com/pics/tonytelebeauty.jpg

To date, I've personally replaced the electronics, tuners, nut, and pickups (to GFS Lil Punchers), and I've reset the action a few times. The only thing I did not do myself was a fret level and crown. The tech at Guitarville in Seattle did that (and he did an excellent job). Only thing left to do is an intonation, and I'll do that myself too, once I get around to it.

I bought this guitar to be a project guitar and even though everything on it has been replaced except the body/neck (the neck is through) it was well worth the price (shipped and PayPal'd for under $400).

bluesjuke
10-24-2009, 03:38 PM
There are some guys everywhere that know how to properly work, set up and repair a guitar.
That said GC does not have "Techs".

Sam Ash in NYC/ LI when they were only a few stores used to have some decent people doing repairs but I'm no longer familiar with their operation.

Always take it to a Pro if you can't or won't do it yourself.

jazzandmetal?
10-24-2009, 04:31 PM
There are some guys everywhere that know how to properly work, set up and repair a guitar.
That said GC does not have "Techs".

Sam Ash in NYC/ LI when they were only a few stores used to have some decent people doing repairs but I'm no longer familiar with their operation.

Always take it to a Pro if you can't or won't do it yourself.

They do have techs. The on in our store does everything from refrets to broken headstocks and finish work ( not full refins ). There are now "techs" in other stores that are employees of GC, but some like my store still have independent techs that are indeed guitar techs.

mprvise
10-24-2009, 04:37 PM
I think this is one of those you get what you pay for situations. No way would I take one of my guitars to the local GC for work. Fortunately the best tech in the tri state area has a shop less than a mile from my house. And in an emergency a good friend of mine is a tech at another local shop and does great work. Good luck!

Kojack19
10-24-2009, 05:29 PM
I believe Larry Fitzgerald works at the Sam Ash in Huntington,NY. He worked for Mandolin Bros. and Rudy's in NYC and is one of the better techs around. I would guess it all depends on which store you go to.

Big +1 on Larry Fitzgerald for those in the NY area. I drove from CT to see him last year based on a recommendation. I have a Les Paul that never was right from a set up perspective (and it was taken to two other people before Larry) and as a result was not getting played much. He turned it into my number 1 and showed up in a snow storm to boot.

Brantleycoker
10-24-2009, 05:56 PM
I live in Knoxville tn and our gc has the best tech around he can have you in and out in as little as half an hour with a setup and he's half the price of the local mom and pop that takes about a week to setup your guitar, who knows how long it would be for a pup swap