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Zager advertising Martin guitars


TCBronson
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Hi folks, no I am not a TROLL and I am not a SHILL for the Zager company. And I am not trying to sell Zager guitars or change anybody's mind about Zager guitars. The point of this thread is to have a civil debate about what arguably is one of the main reasons a few folks here do not like Zager guitars.

I would like to relate my buying experience and why I did not buy a Zager Martin/Sigma guitar, but instead a ZAD 80.

 

A bit of background first. December 16th 2007 Dan Fogelberg died. He was my hereo. I started playing his CD's and got the bug to pick up the guitar again. In 1980, my wife bought me a Yamaha FG335 for about $120.00. I have owned several guitars that have come and gone since 1968. I started playing it again and the old fingers started hurting pretty good. So, instead of taking it in and paying $30, $40, $50 to have it set up, I used that as an excuse to buy a new guitar. I discovered that DF played Martin D41's. I went to the Martin web site and discovered that D41's were out of my price range. So I thought about maybe a lesser expensive Martin or a used D41 on E-bay. I did a search for Martin and came accross these ads:

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&Item=350031272799&Category=33028&_trksid=p3907.m29

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200144983863&ih=010&category=33028&_trksid=p1742.m153.l1262

 

It said Martin and 41. "Hand modified custom, no more sore fingers" And only $495!

So I was hooked and clicked on the listing only to discover that it was a Sigma. My first honest opinion about this ad was that there is a guy that buys guitars that did not pass inspection and are blemished and he's refurbishing them in his garage. However, I new there was a connection between Martin and Sigma, but I wanted a martin. I read through the web site and it was clear to me that this guitar ad was for a Sigma, not a Martin. So, I e-mailed the company and asked about their Martin/Sigma and the response I got back was they were going to discontinue selling the Martins. I did notice after spending time at the web site that they had a life time warranty and a 100% money back guarantee including freight! So, no out of pocket expense.

 

Now I consider myself to be an average consumer. And it did not take me 2 seconds to realize what they were selling was not a Martin, but a Sigma. And I confirmed this with an e-mail. If someone did not do their homework and just blindly bought the E-bay Martin, at the very least when it showed up and they opened the box and discoverd it was a Sigma, they could return it without loosing a dime. They may be inconvienienced and mad, but no permenant damage. Are they going to tell 10 people about what happend, sure.

 

So, in summary, Is Zagers advertising strategy illegal?, no, is it deceptive?, maybe, is it misleading?, yes. If I had clicked on the Ebay listing and there were no mention anywhere on the website the name Sigma, then that would be very deceptive, same goes for the e-mail.

 

I did send many e-mails to the company with alot of questions. They were all fully answered and in a timely manor. I then discoverd this forum and posed the question about the Zager ZAD 80 and all hell broke loose! But I listened to many of the members here, especially Hudman and took the forums advice and went to no less the 6 music stores and played alot of guitars. Martins, Taylors, Larivees, Blueridges, Parkwoods, Epiphones, Fenders etc. All price ranges and then I ordered the ZAD 80 fully prepared to send it back if I did not like it. Well, it turned out that I did like it and I kept it. I like the way it looks, plays, and sounds. The combination of a solid cedar top with a laminate rosewood sides and back I thought was unigue, that combination. I had not played another guitar with that combination of woods.

 

Depending on how this thread goes, I would like to share my buying experience and opinion in regard to the so called over priced set up issues.

Thanks,

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Get the hell off of this shit.

Not one person has said one damned negative thing about the freaking Zager guitars.

The whole freaking thing is the misleading claims. NOTHING MORE and NOTHING LESS.


Get over it or go away!

 

Amen! Please! :rolleyes:

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Get the hell off of this shit.

Not one person has said one damned negative thing about the freaking Zager guitars.

The whole freaking thing is the misleading claims. NOTHING MORE and NOTHING LESS.


Get over it or go away!

 

Did I mention all hell broke loose?

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I am interested in hearing your experience, just as I would be in hearing anyone's experience with their new guitar. Dak, JT and others who have no interest or who have outright antipathy will presumably not check back and therefore won't be inconvenienced.

 

Bullshit Baba. The fact remains, "read the freaking posts" these guys don't, for the most part, want to have a discussion about anything except their Zager guitars, not chord progression, recording issues, live gigging experiences, nothing.

It would be whole different thing if those guys would come in here and talk about something other than defending Zager's tactic. Not one of them has deigned to post a clip. Not one of them just came in, introduced themselves and had a discussion. Had they done that it's a sure bet they would have been welcomed and some were starting to get accepted.

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Bullshit Baba. The fact remains, "read the freaking posts" these guys don't, for the most part, want to have a discussion about anything except their Zager guitars, not chord progression, recording issues, live gigging experiences, nothing.

It would be whole different thing if those guys would come in here and talk about something other than defending Zager's tactic. Not one of them has deigned to post a clip. Not one of them just came in, introduced themselves and had a discussion. Had they done that it's a sure bet they would have been welcomed and some were starting to get accepted.

 

The man says he is not a shill. I would rather take him at his word and be courteous, than wrongly assume the worst and be rude to someone who is merely trying to talk about his guitar and his experiences.

 

I checked and although TC is very heavy on the Zager posts, he has also in posted on his love of Dan Fogelberg and his admiration for the Martin D-41 plus a couple of other topics.

 

So once again, I would prefer to err on the side of courtesy and politely listen to TC's experience. I am sure that I bored people silly with some of my rantings about how great my Yamaha FG-340 is or about the virtues of brass bridge pins. Also, I have met a couple of people who own Zagers. They seemed like very nice people to me. They played well and wrote their own music. Why would I want to make them feel unwelcome here if they happened by?

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Get the hell off of this shit.

 

Dak,

 

I haven't read through all of the recent Zager posts, but it seems to me TCB was kind of stunned at the response in his original thread, hence this follow-up to just tell his side of the story. I see no harm in that.

 

I remember well coming back onto this forum after a couple year hiatus to discover that people were having fun bashing Elixir strings and their users. I posted my favorable experience with Elixir and you would not belive the pile-on of people calling me all kinds of names, even a "fucking idiot" by one esteemed member. The present situation kind of reminds me of what happened to me.

 

I would respectfully suggest that everyone just calm down over the Zager issue. Live and let live.

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The man says he is not a shill. I would rather take him at his word and be courteous, than wrongly assume the worst and be rude to someone who is merely trying to talk about his guitar and his experiences.


I checked and although TC is very heavy on the Zager posts, he has also in posted on his love of Dan Fogelberg and his admiration for the Martin D-41 plus a couple of other topics.


So once again, I would prefer to err on the side of courtesy and politely listen to TC's experience. I am sure that I bored people silly with some of my rantings about how great my Yamaha FG-340 is or about the virtues of brass bridge pins. Also, I have met a couple of people who own Zagers. They seemed like very nice people to me. They played well and wrote their own music. Why would I want to make them feel unwelcome here if they happened by?

 

I agree. I interested in TC's side. I've noticed that he's posted about other things than Zagers. Besides, a shill wouldn't criticize Denny's marketing of the Sigma.

 

Bill

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Thanks,

 

Then allow me to give my opinion on the set up issue.

 

If you recall, my fingers hurt pretty good after playing my old Yamaha and I read through the Zager website about how alot of folks get discouraged about playing and give up because their guitar was not set up properly and quit. Well that made sense to me. A low action set up is easier on the fingers. Spacing the strings further apart also might make it easier to play, especially finger style.

 

I am under the impression that guitars may be marked up 50% on average through retail stores. So if a guitar retail price is a $1000, then based on the 50% mark up, the guitar store payed $500. If this is true in general. Then a Zager ZAD 50 with a retail price of $495, Zager paid $250 or so. If the set up that you all feel is overpriced really only costs $30 to $75 to do then the difference is Zagers profit or maybe $200 bucks. $250+$50 set up =$300 If you think he paid $150 for the guitar and $50 on set up then his profits would be $295.

 

As far as the claims and what all he does to the guitar then look at the list of things that supposedly has been done to my ZAD 80 below:

 

 

"each guitar was hand selected, inspected for wood variations, hairline cracks, bracing irregularties and any imperfections that could jeopardize the integrity of the instrument in the future". I like the idea that someone is inspecting my guitar before it is sent to me. If you buy a guitar on line, my guess is they may slap a shipping label on it and send it out the door. How much does this cost, it probably took 2 minutes to inspect, time is money.

 

"The nut is re-sculpted and lowered to ensure lower string heights closeet to the head with slightly wider string spacing" Whay isn't this done at the factory, I don't know. It's supposed to be the same factory in Indonesia that Sigmas were made at. Because they are mass producing guitars for several different companys they woould charge Zager more?? Or he can do it his way, personally?

 

"The saddle is re-sculpted and filed by hand to ensure even string heights and string spacing on the lower portion of the neck"How long and how much this costs? It;s done by hand and can take some time

 

"All frets are filed by hand to reduce "string Bite" and overall finger fatigue. This also eliminates any buzzing strings."The frets on my ZAD 80 are not smooth down to the fret board. They look a little lower than my Yamaha, butu look normal to me.

 

"Braces are shaved for more flexibility in the face which leads to better sound projection for deeper bass and punchy mids and highs."Why not have this done at the factory? Don't know. It can be done after the guitar is built with the right tool and some sand paper from what I was told on this forum. Looking inside the sound hole with a mirror, it is difficult to see.

 

"Nut and Saddle heights are coordinated together to conforrm to new string pressures used for different string guages and tunings."This is pretty straight forward and normal for a set up.

 

"All three areas of the neck are orchestrated together to guarantee consistant string heights and even side to side string spacing."Again part of his set up, takes a little time.

 

"Intonation is set to bring the guitar harmonically in balance with itself which makes each note resonate with clarity and makes your guitar sound more powerfull and makes for easier tuning."I have to agree with the results, don't know how he does it.

 

 

"Each instrument is exactingly readjusted after several weeks to account for settling due to wood varitions." Not sure about this, wood does move around some, depending on temperatures and might after adjustments have been made as well.

 

"Each instrument is thoroughly cleaned, hand waxed and buffed."My guitar was clean and shiney.

 

"Each guitar undergoes a final fine tune and inspection before shipping".My guitar arrive pretty much in tune. Mail order palces may not do this. Some think the tension on all strings should be loose while shipping. I call this "Quality Control"

 

OK, my summary based on my experience is: The guitar I received looked great, sounded great and played great. What ever he does to the guitar, in my opinion works for me. Many of you can take your guitar and work on it or take it to someone that knows what they are doing to get it to play and sound the way you like for less money. I was comfortable paying what I paid for what I got.

 

The "String Science" and "EZplay" terms I dismissed as marketing and advertising adjectives. The EZplay claim is true, my guitar plays easier than my Yamaha, and my fingers are not as sore. They will still get sore, but I can play longer before they do.

 

So the way I choose to look at this issue of paying way to much for a cheap guitar with an expensive set up is as I mentioned before. ZAD 80 price $745. divided by 2 equals $372.50 plus $50.00 set up equals $422.50, the difference is $322.50 profit. The $50 set up is a little on the low side for the list of things that I mentioned that were performed, and maybe he paid less than $372.50 for the guitar. But it's my understanding that these guitars are built to his overall specs. Solid Cedar top, laminated Rosewood sides and back, Mahogany neck, grover style tuners, Martin strings, etc.

 

In my opinion, yes everything he claims he does can be done by someone else for less money. So it kinda comes down to how you figure his profits. How much profit is there in a Martin D41 that sells for $3500 or any other guitar model, I don't know.

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O.K. You are happy with your purchase and I and others are happy for you.

If you feel you got your money's worth and your guitar looks and sounds the way you like, then it seems that all is well.

 

Now it would be nice if you could post some pics of your guitar and maybe even post a clip or two or maybe post something in the Annex. Perhaps you doing a Dan Fogelberg tune?

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A ZAD 80 is a far cry from a D-41.

I have a problem believing anyone could consult HCAG, visit DZ's website and see all the deception, and STILL buy a Zager.

 

Babadumbass, if you were a shill, would you TELL anyone you were a shill? Nothing wrong with scepticism...Say, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'm thinking of selling. Interested? I'll sell it to you cheap.

 

We'll see.

 

TCBronson, you're pretty quick to call me names. Kinda telling, doncha think?

 

Riff, a belated apologie to you if it was I who insulted your use of Elixirs. I really dislike them...

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Get the hell off of this shit.

Not one person has said one damned negative thing about the freaking Zager guitars.

The whole freaking thing is the misleading claims. NOTHING MORE and NOTHING LESS.


Get over it or go away!

 

Amen.

 

I for one am terribly disturbed by what appears to me to be some sort of campaign on behalf of a merchant who is indisputably guilty of misleading claims - to put it very politely. It is to my observation a step well beyond the offense and obnoxiousness of ordinary spam, and it amazes me that I'm watching IKFC regulars go at each other's throats over this obvious divide-and-conquer bullshit. Wake up.

 

Over and out.

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OK, my summary based on my experience is: The guitar I received looked great, sounded great and played great. What ever he does to the guitar, in my opinion works for me. Many of you can take your guitar and work on it or take it to someone that knows what they are doing to get it to play and sound the way you like for less money. I was comfortable paying what I paid for what I got.

 

Glad you are happy with your purchase. That's the bottom line.

 

I think you will find that with many hours of play time, your LH fingers will get stronger and your LH fingertips will build up callouses. With that combination, you will be able to tolerate playing guitars with higher action.

 

Can you play the Fogelberg tune "There's a Place in the World for a Gambler"? That has been one of my favorites over the years.

 

verse:

 

X32013 --> X30013 --> X32013 --> X30013

 

XX3213 --> XX3013 --> XX3213 --> XX3013

 

etc

 

chorus:

 

X32013 --> 320003 --> XX3213 --> XX3003 --> XX3213 --> XX3003

 

etc...

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Riff, a belated apologie to you if it was I who insulted your use of Elixirs. I really dislike them...

 

Thanks, apology accepted.

 

It wasn't your criticism of the string that I objected to, everyone is entitled to their opinion. It was your criticism of me that I objected to. I'd really like it if we could all keep that distinction in mind when discussing topics like the present one.

 

.

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Other than the problems I have with Zager's marketing (and that's enough to turn me away from anything with his name on it; no offense personally, TC) but if his setup is so great, why isn't anyone else using it or something similar. Is something being compromised structurally which will come back to bite the buyer. I understand the argument about the lifetime warranty, but I wonder if anyone has successfully made a claim on it.

 

I agree about guitars becoming easier to play with playing. Have the action lowered and play the heck out of it. It will play like butter the more you play it.

 

For me personally, there are too many unquestionably reputable manufacturers to take a chance on Zager.

 

Bill

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Get the hell off of this shit.

Not one person has said one damned negative thing about the freaking Zager guitars.

The whole freaking thing is the misleading claims. NOTHING MORE and NOTHING LESS.


Get over it or go away!

 

do you own this forum, by any chance?

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Thanks, apology accepted.


It wasn't your criticism of the string that I objected to, everyone is entitled to their opinion. It was your criticism of me that I objected to. I'd really like it if we could all keep that distinction in mind when discussing topics like the present one.


.

Sure. And I'm usualy pretty good about it...Not afraid to post an apologie when I'm wrong...when I'm wrong, that is...be it ever so late...but there's obviously a Duck or two walking around here, and some are being fooled so far as to defend the Ducks. Could be some "criticism" is in order. I might make a fool of myself in the process, but I guess that's my problem.

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We all need to get off this subject. TC is happy with his purchase, that is fine. I personally have played one and thought it was overpriced. Whatever, different stokes for different folks right? I do have a problem with his marketing, but if someone likes the guitar, so be it. As others have said, TC please post a vid of you playing it. I am curious to hear it!

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So, in summary, Is Zagers advertising strategy illegal?, no, is it deceptive?, maybe, is it misleading?, yes. If I had clicked on the Ebay listing and there were no mention anywhere on the website the name Sigma, then that would be very deceptive, same goes for the e-mailks,

 

 

That's the whole thing. Zager claims to eliminate the middle man 100% markup, whilst marking up his product 400%.

 

Is it illegal? No.

 

It's "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!". ;)

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