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Buying a guitar from Musicianfriends vs Sweetwater

Adagietto

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,179
except that GC doesn’t have coupons. If I buy a $1000 guitar and I like it, I could’ve gotten the same guitar for $850 at MF with their 15% off
GC sends me 20% coupons occasionally. I have one now that expires today. Of course, everything is excluded....
 

Fowleri

Member
Messages
401
I put the Ibanez rg550 red for notification when is in stock again and after a few minutes I received an email from a SW rep telling me that I should preorder now as they go quickly as soon as they are in stock again lol

At least I have his email and can see if he’d give a 15% off like MF
 

nac9

Member
Messages
29
except that GC doesn’t have coupons. If I buy a $1000 guitar and I like it, I could’ve gotten the same guitar for $850 at MF with their 15% off

And buying from guitar center online just to check if you like the guitar or not, and if you do, return it and then buy at MF with a discount seems like a lot of hassle.
MF and GC are the same company and typically offer the same discounts. Don't be afraid to pick up the phone.
 

arctic

Member
Messages
200
I never pay full retail for anything from Sweetwater. I call the sales rep and at the very least they'll give me 10-15% most items. My rep also price matches stores as well. The inspections and service is also great for a big company.
The Sweetwater sales rep that I am “locked” in to is not very user-friendly, lol. He reminds me of used car salesman. Of everything I’ve ever bought from Sweetwater, I paid full price. The last guitar I bought from them was D-35 that I ended up paying $2799, the full listed price for it at the time. He wouldn’t budge. I will admit the pic did help sell it, but it was the last guitar I bought from them, never again. Their loss. On occasion I will still make a purchase with them if it’s something I need right away, usually supplies, or an item that they only have.

I regularly get 15-20% off from GC, WWBW, SamAsh, and others. Even the ma and pa shops have come through with some fairly large discounts as well. On big ticket items, even better deals are to be had.
 

CharAznable

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
16,907
55 Point Inspection:

Does it look like a guitar? Check
Is it a guitar? Check
Is it the guitar the customer ordered? Check
Is the headstock attached? Check
Is the neck attached? Check
Is there a fretboard? Check
Is the finish flaking off (unless a relic)? Check
Is the neck pickup there? Check
Is the bridge pickup there? Check
Is the volume knob there? Check
Is the tone knob there? Check
Nut: is it there? Check
Fret 1: Is it there? Check
Fret 2: Is it there? Check
Fret 3: Is it there? Check
Fret 4: Is it there? Check
Fret 5: Is it there? Check
Fret 6: Is it there? Check
Fret 7: Is it there? Check
Fret 8: Is it there? Check
Fret 9: Is it there? Check
Fret 10: Is it there? Check
Fret 11: Is it there? Check
Fret 12: Is it there? Check
Fret 13: Is it there? Check
Fret 14: Is it there? Check
Fret 15: Is it there? Check
Fret 16: Is it there? Check
Fret 17: Is it there? Check
Fret 18: Is it there? Check
Fret 19: Is it there? Check
Fret 20: Is it there? Check
Fret 21: Is it there? Check
Fret 22: Is it there? Check
1st String tuner: Is it there? Check
2nd String tuner: Is it there? Check
3rd String tuner: Is it there? Check
4th String tuner: Is it there? Check
5th String tuner: Is it there? Check
6th String tuner: Is it there? Check
1st String: Is it there? Check
2nd String: Is it there? Check
3rd String: Is it there? Check
4th String: Is it there? Check
5th String: Is it there? Check
6th String: Is it there? Check
Strap button 1: Is it there? Check
Strap button 2: Is it there? Check
Has anybody vomited on it? Check
Have all traces of weed been removed from the control cavity? Check
Did we include Smarties? Check
Did we include Tootsie Rolls? Check
Did we include Nerds?
Did we include the New Gear Day piece of paper?
Did we make a note to call the guy every month to ask him how his last pick purchase went?
 

caledoneus

Member
Messages
1,385
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.
if you have an account with Sweetwater (just sign up and they assign you a rep) and contact your rep, a lot of times they can take off a decent bit. Not all the time, but it never hurts to ask.

AND, Musicians Friend doesn't send candy.
;)
 

Abram4235

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,031
55 Point Inspection:

Does it look like a guitar? Check
Is it a guitar? Check
Is it the guitar the customer ordered? Check
Is the headstock attached? Check
Is the neck attached? Check
Is there a fretboard? Check
Is the finish flaking off (unless a relic)? Check
Is the neck pickup there? Check
Is the bridge pickup there? Check
Is the volume knob there? Check
Is the tone knob there? Check
Nut: is it there? Check
Fret 1: Is it there? Check
Fret 2: Is it there? Check
Fret 3: Is it there? Check
Fret 4: Is it there? Check
Fret 5: Is it there? Check
Fret 6: Is it there? Check
Fret 7: Is it there? Check
Fret 8: Is it there? Check
Fret 9: Is it there? Check
Fret 10: Is it there? Check
Fret 11: Is it there? Check
Fret 12: Is it there? Check
Fret 13: Is it there? Check
Fret 14: Is it there? Check
Fret 15: Is it there? Check
Fret 16: Is it there? Check
Fret 17: Is it there? Check
Fret 18: Is it there? Check
Fret 19: Is it there? Check
Fret 20: Is it there? Check
Fret 21: Is it there? Check
Fret 22: Is it there? Check
1st String tuner: Is it there? Check
2nd String tuner: Is it there? Check
3rd String tuner: Is it there? Check
4th String tuner: Is it there? Check
5th String tuner: Is it there? Check
6th String tuner: Is it there? Check
1st String: Is it there? Check
2nd String: Is it there? Check
3rd String: Is it there? Check
4th String: Is it there? Check
5th String: Is it there? Check
6th String: Is it there? Check
Strap button 1: Is it there? Check
Strap button 2: Is it there? Check
Has anybody vomited on it? Check
Have all traces of weed been removed from the control cavity? Check
Did we include Smarties? Check
Did we include Tootsie Rolls? Check
Did we include Nerds?
Did we include the New Gear Day piece of paper?
Did we make a note to call the guy every month to ask him how his last pick purchase went?
Haha nicely done
 

Robot B9

Member
Messages
1,233
55 Point Inspection:

Does it look like a guitar? Check
Is it a guitar? Check
Is it the guitar the customer ordered? Check
Is the headstock attached? Check
Is the neck attached? Check
Is there a fretboard? Check
Is the finish flaking off (unless a relic)? Check
Is the neck pickup there? Check
Is the bridge pickup there? Check
Is the volume knob there? Check
Is the tone knob there? Check
Nut: is it there? Check
Fret 1: Is it there? Check
Fret 2: Is it there? Check
Fret 3: Is it there? Check
Fret 4: Is it there? Check
Fret 5: Is it there? Check
Fret 6: Is it there? Check
Fret 7: Is it there? Check
Fret 8: Is it there? Check
Fret 9: Is it there? Check
Fret 10: Is it there? Check
Fret 11: Is it there? Check
Fret 12: Is it there? Check
Fret 13: Is it there? Check
Fret 14: Is it there? Check
Fret 15: Is it there? Check
Fret 16: Is it there? Check
Fret 17: Is it there? Check
Fret 18: Is it there? Check
Fret 19: Is it there? Check
Fret 20: Is it there? Check
Fret 21: Is it there? Check
Fret 22: Is it there? Check
1st String tuner: Is it there? Check
2nd String tuner: Is it there? Check
3rd String tuner: Is it there? Check
4th String tuner: Is it there? Check
5th String tuner: Is it there? Check
6th String tuner: Is it there? Check
1st String: Is it there? Check
2nd String: Is it there? Check
3rd String: Is it there? Check
4th String: Is it there? Check
5th String: Is it there? Check
6th String: Is it there? Check
Strap button 1: Is it there? Check
Strap button 2: Is it there? Check
Has anybody vomited on it? Check
Have all traces of weed been removed from the control cavity? Check
Did we include Smarties? Check
Did we include Tootsie Rolls? Check
Did we include Nerds?
Did we include the New Gear Day piece of paper?
Did we make a note to call the guy every month to ask him how his last pick purchase went?
:roll:roll:roll:roll

Bravo!
 

arctic

Member
Messages
200
if you have an account with Sweetwater (just sign up and they assign you a rep) and contact your rep, a lot of times they can take off a decent bit. Not all the time, but it never hurts to ask.

AND, Musicians Friend doesn't send candy.
;)
Oops, wrong person
 
Last edited:

dansworld

Member
Messages
4,170
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.)
Did you report this to them? Chuck is completely dedicated to 100% customer satisfaction. He would make things right for you, one way or another.

You can call him directly if you wish to, he makes himself available for the serious business of customer service.
 

FennRx

Member
Messages
1,442
In 2018 sweet water had a 2018 335 Dot marked down from $3200 to $1800. I asked if that the was the best they could do and the sales guy made it $1650 :drink
 

Jutaika

Member
Messages
213
I used to shop a lot with Musician's Friend back in 90's and early 2000's. Then I discovered that they have a great return policy but turn around and re-sell the faulty item without fixing the problem. I've had to return some things I bought "new" that had obviously had been returned because something didn't work right. Couple of them had fingerprints and minor scratches all over them. Looked like demo models. This stuff should be repaired before reselling and labeled "open box" or "demo" or "refurbished", whatever they want to call it. I avoid Full Compass for the same reason. Beat up, defective guitar sold as "new".

Yeah, the 55-point check with Sweetwater is probably BS, and I toss the candy. But I do like talking some purchases over with a sales rep. I was looking at studio monitors and he informed me about some in my price range that were off my radar. After he brought them to my attention, I researched them and found he was right: perfect fit for me. I'm very happy with them.

But my best experience with Sweetwater was when I bought an amp and really tried to like it, but was just over the return mark when I called and asked to exchange for a different brand amp. Didn't know if they'd go for that. But they did, and I still love that second amp 3 years later.

I've had very good experience with Sam Ash. One incredible 66% off deal on a guitar, and another limited edition that was hard to find. They went out of their way to help me. This was all online, no stores near me.

Best setup and out-of-the-case condition guitars I've received have been from Chicago Music Exchange and Music Store Live. Absolutely perfect setups and shiny, wiped down bodies. Now those were what real "new" guitars are supposed to be like!
 

Jutaika

Member
Messages
213
One thing that does really annoy me: all these big music stores send emails about "amazing deals" (like 3 times a day) that are really just about financing rather than a discount on certain models. Financing is not a "deal", it's just something you have to do if you can't wait to save up the money. You still pay the same price, and possibly interest. I'm seriously considering unsubscribing from all of them, but I have been alerted to actual good deals a couple times in the last decade. :jo
 

arctic

Member
Messages
200
I used to shop a lot with Musician's Friend back in 90's and early 2000's. Then I discovered that they have a great return policy but turn around and re-sell the faulty item without fixing the problem. I've had to return some things I bought "new" that had obviously had been returned because something didn't work right. Couple of them had fingerprints and minor scratches all over them. Looked like demo models. This stuff should be repaired before reselling and labeled "open box" or "demo" or "refurbished", whatever they want to call it. I avoid Full Compass for the same reason. Beat up, defective guitar sold as "new".

Yeah, the 55-point check with Sweetwater is probably BS, and I toss the candy. But I do like talking some purchases over with a sales rep. I was looking at studio monitors and he informed me about some in my price range that were off my radar. After he brought them to my attention, I researched them and found he was right: perfect fit for me. I'm very happy with them.

But my best experience with Sweetwater was when I bought an amp and really tried to like it, but was just over the return mark when I called and asked to exchange for a different brand amp. Didn't know if they'd go for that. But they did, and I still love that second amp 3 years later.

I've had very good experience with Sam Ash. One incredible 66% off deal on a guitar, and another limited edition that was hard to find. They went out of their way to help me. This was all online, no stores near me.

Best setup and out-of-the-case condition guitars I've received have been from Chicago Music Exchange and Music Store Live. Absolutely perfect setups and shiny, wiped down bodies. Now those were what real "new" guitars are supposed to be like!
SamAsh has done me surprisingly well also. And hats off to CME as well!

Both these outfits have gone above and beyond. ;)
 

Jack Dotson

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,133
I buy primarily from SW because I often use their no interest financing and they normally have a better selection than MF, GC, etc. I’ve been with them a long time and have spent ALLOT of money, but never been offered a discount. The sales rep I was assigned when I first joined is not much help. Said he’s a keyboard player. Why in the world did they assign me a KB player when I clearly stated guitar was my thing on their questioner? Anyhow, I normally just order online now and pay water ever it is. The couple of times I did ask him about discounts he told me not on the financed stuff. They ship fast and I get to see what I’m buying and that’s a big deal for me. I’ve also bought some stuff I didn’t like and returned it without hassle. Had to eat the shipping charges, but they were reasonable and I expect to pay if I’m returning because I just didn’t like what I bought. So yeah, overall I tend to go with SW when they have what I want.
 

daacrusher2001

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,872
I've gotten better discounts from Wildwood and Alto Music - ya just have to ask. Both are good to buy from. I can't seem to get SoundPure to move much on price. Too bad as I would have bought my last amp from them but...whatever...Alto took care of me.

55 Pt inspection is internet BS. Maybe they look at it to make sure it's the right guitar.

EDIT: One other point - both Wildwood and Alto gave me good discounts and interest free financing
 

Fowleri

Member
Messages
401
So I added an Ibanez RG to my cart on Musician Friends and the 15% discount won't apply to it, that's just great
 




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