What's the deal with shops not having guitars already set-up?

Turi

Member
Messages
9,487
I was looking for a Ric 330/12 and the local GC had a used one. The neck was bowed and the strings were shot...it was virtually unplayable. I asked the "salesperson" if they could adjust the neck at the very least. They wouldn't do it. I asked if they would match a local Craigslist price and they wouldn't budge a dime. I walked out and bought the other one for a great price.
That's exactly how it should be to. Why should they get your cash?

On another note, I went to my local music shop just now for the lulz, and yeah, they're all just set up well enough to sell.
Strings aren't ******. Action isn't ridiculous.

They had some "Modern Players Plus" Telecaster in there that was ****ing awesome and I need to do some googling and find out about pricings and stuff and other colours, because damn, what a siiiiick guitar.

If it had **** old strings and high action I wouldn't have thought about this - they'll probably wind up with another sale out of me now lol.

That Tele was sick. 3 pickups with a humbucker in the bridge - finally a bridge pickup I liked. Very cool.

Also they had some uber cheap Music Man Sub Silo or something like that that was actually a fantastic guitar but it had no tone knobs.
Sounded great and felt great too.. raw sanded neck, lol. Very nice.

Again though - **** old strings, out of tune and high action would have had me pick it up and put it down.
But nope. I played it and liked it.

Could get both for less than the Gretsch I was seeing if they'd price match (which they would if they could, but they can't because there's no more in Aspen Green coming in anymore.. is it discontinued???)
 

Corinthian

Member
Messages
1,890
That's the way it is in Japan. Every guitar, new or used, seems to be well set up with clean strings, and if you ask to try something the salesperson will take it off the wall, tune it up, give it a quick polish before handing it to you.
 

DCFanatic

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
315
I've had similar experience when I was hunting for a G&L ASAT Deluxe Semi Hollow. I found one locally but it had one string that was bottoming out and buzzing real bad at the bridge. Pointed it out to the sales person, he takes the guitar from me, takes a strum, notices the same thing, "yep that doesn't sound right" and hands it back.

Might want to do something about that if you ever plan on selling it...
 

kiwicanuck

Member
Messages
1,532
That's a management problem, not a low paid employee problem. They won't last long if they keep that crap up. That's like the only real value that they can add to the situation. Might as well buy online.
 

smv929

Member
Messages
979
Many times, even when i had no intent to buy, I have almost bought "just OK" guitars simply because they were setup well and, thus, felt great as soon as i picked them up. if I were running a shop, I would want to maximize the appeal of every guitar by giving it at least a quick reasonable action set up. I admit that I'm a sucker for how a guitar feels as soon as I pick it up. I know I can make adjustments if it doesn't feel good, but looking back at the ones I have bought, they usually were already set up.
 

arthur rotfeld

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,049
^ Right.

I've bought a couple of guitars with the hope that the fretwork was good enough to withstand the proper setup that I'd have to do when I get home.

If I had a shop, the nut slots would be filed right, truss rods would be adjusted, and low action would be present on all guitars that have the fret work that warrants it. Want a guitar with high action? The ones that ship with subpar fretwork will have high action.
 

Turi

Member
Messages
9,487
^ Right.

I've bought a couple of guitars with the hope that the fretwork was good enough to withstand the proper setup that I'd have to do when I get home.

If I had a shop, the nut slots would be filed right, truss rods would be adjusted, and low action would be present on all guitars that have the fret work that warrants it. Want a guitar with high action? The ones that ship with subpar fretwork will have high action.
Same here! If I had a shop I'd make sure every guitar felt as good as it can to play.
In my head, this is the best way to sell the guitar.
I figure a couple of minutes work is worth it for what might be a sale on a $1000+ guitar. Even cheaper guitars should have this simple stuff done to get the sale.
Otherwise, I'd imagine, they just wouldn't sell.

I'm sure I'm right at least in regards to the place I went to - those strings felt old because they WERE old because they hadn't sold in ages.

Now that I think about it, even a store like that, that had loads of guitars up on the wall, has no excuse for not maintaining them.

Their staff should be able to keep the guitars in tune, adjust truss rods and file down nuts/frets.

With the massive chains like you guys have in the US of A, maybe there's a distinction between 'sales' staff and 'maintenance' staff or something, but over here, there's really no excuse.

I can't tell you how good it was to go into my local shop yesterday, ask to play a guitar, dude I always deal with comes over, picks the guitar I want to try off the hanger, tunes it for me, and plugs me into the amp.

I take the guitar off him, and it felt great, strings weren't old even though it was a 2011 made guitar, and the action was great.

I've bought a couple of guitars from this particular shop that I haven't even loved - they just felt great and I thought **** yeah and took it home.
They get the sale.

I re-sell later on when I realise I've been tricked into buying a guitar that's just had some simple setup stuff done to it, and I actually don't like the looks or how it sounds, lol.

Still, a sales a sale, right?
 

FennRx

Member
Messages
1,443
I have Sam Ash and GC. More often than not, the setups are terrible. But to be fair to them, high end gear doesn't move (because they don't have much of it). What's the point of setting up cheap Epis and Squiers for tire kicking teenagers? The few nice pieces they have are high on the wall behind the counter. These are usually in better shape because the usual suspects don't bang on them.
 

arthur rotfeld

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,049
It's throughout the industry. Any of you have kids with rental violins? The action on those is routinely 2x the height it should be. And they wonder why kids quit. I know that factor is not the end all be all, but how long can we expect beginners to struggle with what amounts to unplayable instruments.
 

smv929

Member
Messages
979
At a local shop, one of the staff needed a humbucker guitar for a dinner play gig that would last for a couple of months. He picked off the wall an ugly weird model SG. Anyway in about 10 minutes, he had set it up and it played and felt amazing. he was going to put it back for sale after the gig. I have to say I thought about buying it. It was cheap, played great and actually sounded good.I would never have thought about buying that guitar if it didn't play so well. It's a no brainer: stores should set up guitars to improve their chances of selling. Put lipstick on the pig or on the beautiful princess, will help.
 

Kato10

Member
Messages
305
A well done setup is not generic? I mean sure, we all have preferences, but there are some standard measurements to go by. Most techs will not ask for specific details when you go for a setup unless they just know you. They are going to do a standard "by the book" setup. I've picked up $2000 plus guitars in GC that were missing a freakin' string for God's sake.

That is why I have stopped going to stores like GC. My local shop checks the setup on every single guitar before it goes on the wall. No they won't spend as much time on a Squier as they would a Historic Gibson, but every guitar in that shop is very much playable.

One person mentioned doing a setup on a guitar before trying it. I'll bet the store managers just love that.
 




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