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  • #16
    Originally posted by Anderton View Post
    My attitude about "try before you buy" was modified after Gibson started Plekng their guitars. The first time I pulled a Pleked guitar from its case, I was kinda blown away that I didn't need to do any setup. Sweetwater has a Plek machine...I know they'll Plek guitars but don't know if they also Plek guitars as a matter of course. But the bottom line is as manufacturing processes become more consistent, there's less risk in getting a random "lemon."

    However like Notes, I also try to support the Mom and Pop stores as much as possible, and local merchants in general. For example I try to do as much banking as possible with local banks, not scum like Wells Fargo or Chase.

    I live in a small area, and the small Mom and Pop shops in the area do not carry instruments that I would purchase. One is a Fender dealer too. I order instruments online. I have yet to return anything, as I'm not an impulse buyer. My last Fender guitar was purchased back in the late 80's, although I did buy a few Gretsch guitars from there professional collection over the years. My last Gibson was purchased a few weeks ago.

    By the time I'm ready to lay down the cash, I know what I want..

    I tend to buy picks by the gross, and string in Pro-packs sets of 10.

    Sweetwater, Musician's Friend, Wildwood, 8th Street, Sam Ash and other online retailers, to me are great places to do business. I have purchased many amps from one private retailer that is an hour and 15 minutes away. So for me it's not all or nothing. I have purchased one guitar at the GC in my lifetime.


    My banking is mostly done at a small local bank that has a few branches in the area. I can walk in that bank on a Saturday morning and they know me and my wife by name.





    _____________________________________
    Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

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    • #17
      The reason why M&P stores no longer have a good selection of instruments to try before you buy is too many people are saving a few pennies at the big box or e-tail store.

      I'm old enough to remember when your local music store had scores of guitars on the wall, and could order anything you want.

      When I bought my Selmer Mark VI sax there were 3 in the M&P store with close serial numbers. There is not a store in a half days drive that now carries one top of the line sax at all.

      Basically, people have traded the excellent extra services most good M&P stores used to offer for a chance to save a couple of bucks. During the life of an instrument, that couple of bucks is very insignificant.

      But it's not only music. The world gets more and more corporate every year.

      So we have no choice but to go with the flow.

      Insights and incites by Notes
      Bob "Notes" Norton
      Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
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      • #18
        Originally posted by Notes_Norton View Post
        The reason why M&P stores no longer have a good selection of instruments to try before you buy is too many people are saving a few pennies at the big box or e-tail store.

        I'm old enough to remember when your local music store had scores of guitars on the wall, and could order anything you want.

        When I bought my Selmer Mark VI sax there were 3 in the M&P store with close serial numbers. There is not a store in a half days drive that now carries one top of the line sax at all.

        Basically, people have traded the excellent extra services most good M&P stores used to offer for a chance to save a couple of bucks. During the life of an instrument, that couple of bucks is very insignificant.

        But it's not only music. The world gets more and more corporate every year.

        So we have no choice but to go with the flow.

        Insights and incites by Notes

        I hear ya.

        I don't play sax, but it's the same with guitars. You walk into a small shop these days and it's all import low end instruments.

        My older Gibson and one Fender strat came from a small shop. The guy sold Fender, Gibson (and Heritage), Rickenbacker, Ampeg, Marshall gear out of his garage. He did have some lower end stuff too, but not much.

        I ordered an SG Standard, a Les Paul standard and Marshall JCM 800.


        _____________________________________
        Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

        Join Date: Aug 2001
        Location: N. Adams, MA USA
        Posts as of Jan 10th 2013: 82,617

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        • Notes_Norton
          Notes_Norton commented
          Editing a comment
          My first guitar was a used Gibson ES-330.

          But the shop had new GIbsons, Fenders and Gretchs all along the wall, and it was just one space deep in a shopping center.

          The local M&P shop that I now use, at once had a double space in a nice shopping center. He was growing his business and wanted to hand Epiphones. Gibson required that he carried a large number of guitars and required a huge mega-thousand dollar down payment.

          They held his money for over a year and a half while behind his back they were negotiating with a Guitar Center store who wanted to build a new one about 2 miles away. Then they awarded the franchise to GC and held his money another 6 months before returning it.

          Now his store is a single bay in a smaller shopping center, instead of hundreds of guitars he now hangs a dozen or so, the drums are gone, the amps are gone, the keyboards are gone and he makes most of his living now by giving lessons.

          He doesn't even carry a good selection of strings anymore, because people drive to GC to save one dollar on a 3 pack.

          I still support him in any way I can.

          Another small store in the next town south was a big store with pianos/organs and a small one slot guitar oriented music store on the side. When the owner retired, the musicians who worked in the guitar store bought it. Little did they know that 2 years later, after doing great business for those 2 years that same GC opened up. They are no longer in business.

          The economic system of the US is quickly going towards Corporationalism - and instead of people owning their own businesses, they are just becoming wage slaves to faceless corporations.

          Insights and incites by Notes

      • #19
        Originally posted by Mikeo View Post

        My banking is mostly done at a small local bank that has a few branches in the area. I can walk in that bank on a Saturday morning and they know me and my wife by name.
        Do they give you extra money? I don't want anyone at a bank knowing my name. I'd feel creepy.

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        • #20
          I mostly buy online (Musicians Friend ) too. My closest music store is 35 miles away. It's a great place and I go in there when I'm going by the place, but it's just too far to drive to get strings or hangout. I'm in the boondocks and looking at stuff online has replaced Saturday mornings in the music store...just like hanging out with musicians online has replaced hanging out with musicians in person. It's the world we live in. Bad for personal connections..great for buying strings and pedals at midnight in my jammies.
          It's not about money or popularity , although some money would be nice.

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          • #21
            Originally posted by bookumdano4 View Post

            Do they give you extra money? I don't want anyone at a bank knowing my name. I'd feel creepy.

            I find it advantageous if you're known as a regular customer. They notarize things for free, if I ask they can monitor my debit card activity when I'm traveling, they're great about foreign currency exchange, etc. But, it's a local bank so it's just part of the deal that they're friendly.
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            • #22
              I go to my local GC..try out what I am interested in purchasing...I will usually 'throw them a bone', buy a set of strings, a tuner, strap, etc.
              Then I will go home..order what I just tested from Musicians Friend.. still a subsidiary of GC I believe...
              ...
              free delivery, .6-18 months free financing if you have good credit and qualify for their platinum card... no sales tax. I space my payments to avoid any credit fees..
              if I bought from my local GC store..tack on an additional 7%..

              big savings...

              easy return..if you want to return something...(only had a problem 2x in 17 years) .they will offer you a good discount to make it right...20% to 30 % rather then restock....


              I am speaking from my experience, as a long time customer...with an excellent credit rating...ymmv.
              Last edited by Luke17; 05-18-2017, 04:41 PM.

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