This is at Phil's invitation, and I'm posting it here because I like the opinions of the HCFX group.
WTF with the horrible, terrible set up jobs on retail guitars? Borrowing and summarizing a little from my post in Phil's SG thread, I am old enough to remember when any guitar that wasn't a patent piece of crap (e.g., today's Starcaster) would be set up for display in retail. Set up properly. Like, as if they expected someone to pick it up and enjoy playing it and want to purchase it.
This was generally true through much of the 90's, but by the first part of the 00's, it had just stopped as a regular business practice in the places I frequented. Big box or mom and pop.*
Given that most of the guitar stores where I've been feature very knowledgeable staff who often appear to be in need of something to do - why aren't they asked to set up the guitars? I can do it myself; I can also filter for bad set up as I evaluate a retail guitar, but sometimes it's just an easy deal-breaker.
I hear and see a lot of business being lost: people who are perhaps less experienced with set ups pick up guitars, make a face, and put it down. Some of those guitars are terrific guitars ... if set up properly.
I've seen $1,700 Fender AVRI's set up like they were props for a high school play; Gibsons are no better.
WTF? Anyone in music retail want to explain this to me? And for all the "string club" bull****************, you'd think the very easiest, smartest thing a Guitar Center could do would be a quick 15-20 minute set up for a purchaser so they spend more time with the instrument, get to like it, return for more products, etc.
OK, rant mode off. Anyone?
* - wanted to name names, as I think it fair. Mr. Music, Brighton, MA, Cambridge Music, Cambridge, MA (RIP); Sam Ash, Las Vegas, NV; Guitar Centers in Las Vegas, Boston, Albuquerque; Grandma's Music in Albuquerque. ALL the same.