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Buying a guitar from Musicianfriends vs Sweetwater

Fowleri

Senior Member
Messages
493
Sweetwater has this 55 point inspection whereas MF doesn't do anything. The difference is that MF has coupon codes, while SW never does. You can get 15% and even 20% coupons, so if you buy a guitar that costs $1000, it knocks the price down to $850 or less.

Is the sweetwater 55 point inspection and supposedly better "treatment" worth it?

You could buy the $1000 guitar new for $850 with a discount at MF and take it for a setup, which you would want to do with the sweetwater guitar as well anyway, as their inspection is not a setup.
 

Cheddar Kung Pao

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,922
Find the right sales rep at Sweetwater and they'll give you a discount. Having to negotiate isn't as easy as entering a coupon code but it's there.

The 55 point inspection is ok but in my experience it's not the reason to buy from Sweetwater. It's the relationship and service you'll get from a good sales rep.
 

eigentone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,850
Worth it? Nope. Not to me. But I don't usually get significant discounts from SW for some reason. And I don't need help/direction deciding what I want. And I have a regular salesman at MF who takes care of me.

Sweetwater does take pics and weigh many guitars. So if you see one you really want based on look or weight, there will be less surprise.

Between these two retailers, I buy about 4 guitars at MF for every 1 guitar I buy at SW.
 

slide13

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,373
Just call Sweetwater. If there is a coupon somewhere else, tell them about it and ask what they can do on the price. Sweetwater is pretty great to work with, unless I’m ordering really cheap stuff I always give my rep a call and I always get treated well ;)
 

markster

Member
Messages
220
The Gibson ES339 I ordered through SW was way out of spec. I needed to do a truss rod adjustment, correctly slot the nut, adjust the action, and intonate it. There is no way they gave it a 55 point inspection. (If they did, they need to fire the tech.)
 

Fowleri

Senior Member
Messages
493
The Gibson ES339 I ordered through SW was way out of spec. I needed to do a truss rod adjustment, correctly slot the nut, adjust the action, and intonate it. There is no way they gave it a 55 point inspection. (If they did, they need to fire the tech.)
as with everything in life, is just marketing, I'm sure they check them, but with so many guitars coming in every day, probably not the that extent, but of course, like any company, they even made videos of their 55 point inspection featuring Petrucci even.

I bought a small item from them once, they kept calling me about it to know my experience lol
 

Noise Under The Floor

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
11,535
No, it isn’t worth it. 55 points? I think that probably means they unbox it and look at it for 55 seconds. Think about it. They move a lot of guitars. I highly doubt they have the time and staff to really go over a 55 point inspection list and make adjustments. You know what you get 55 of after you buy from them? That many phone calls a year from a “sales engineer” afterwards. Buy where you can get the best deal for yourself and set the guitar up to your liking.
 

Noise Under The Floor

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
11,535
Now with taxes added, and my Sweetwater rep not responding to my last 3 inquiries, I'd say they're all dead even for my money.
I had a rep who kept calling me and asking, “So what are you interested in? What can I help you out with on your next purchase?” The few times I answered and actually told him, he’d say he was going to work on seeing what he could do and get back to me. Never did. The funny thing is he admitted he wasn’t a guitarist, and it was obvious he didn’t have a lot of guitar product knowledge.
 

slide13

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,373
the 15% discount on pretty much everything can't be beat, sweetwater appears to have better customer service but if I can save $150 on a $1000 guitar that costs 1k at sweetwater ummm

It can be beat....I’ve done better than that buying from SW. But you do have to call and actually talk to someone.

I bought my EJ Strat from them, got to see pictures of the actual guitar and the weight, and I did better than a 15% coupon.
 

eigentone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,850
No, it isn’t worth it. 55 points? I think that probably means they unbox it and look at it for 55 seconds. Think about it. They move a lot of guitars. I highly doubt they have the time and staff to really go over a 55 point inspection list and make adjustments. You know what you get 55 of after you buy from them? That many phone calls a year from a “sales engineer” afterwards. Buy where you can get the best deal for yourself and set the guitar up to your liking.
I think a big part of the inspection is just to do a quick screening to determine whether there are defects from the factory which would cause problems for the buyer and for them. It would take a fair amount of labor but all that insured shipping can add up if the guitar left the factory with issues.

https://www.sweetwater.com/about/guitars/

Depending on who you ask, that may or may not be preferred over an instrument which is truly factory fresh.
 

Fowleri

Senior Member
Messages
493
Chances are the reps get a commission if they get you to buy another product or maybe they get points towards a commission
 




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