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Great deal today on a J-35


NJ Tom

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Just signed up here today, but I've been lurking for a while. Been doing a lot of research on the J-15/J-35, and finally went to GC to check 'em out. As my intro post says, I'm a late-comer to guitar and a pretty lousy hacker. But at 62, I don't care. Anyway, with the little noodling I'm capable of, I ended up liking both equally. I couldn't decide.

 

The J-15 was priced at the regular GC price, same as the cost on the Gibson site. But the J-35 was "reduced" to just a tiny bit more than the J-15...the difference was almost neglible. It was new, no shop wear or any defects. I specifically asked the salesman if it came with a case (I've heard the bait and switch stories) and he confirmed that it did. And because I was trading in another guitar at very agreeable terms, he offered an additional 10% off the already price reduced J-35.

 

But when it came time to ring up the sale, I was informed that the case was extra, and the cost of the J-35 complete equalled the "reduced" posted price on the hang tag...i.e, the 10% "extra discount" was now negated. Essentially they raised the price back to the regular price of a J-35. His reason was that the tag did not state "with case". I was furious but calm and polite and pointed out that Gibson states the case is included, so regardless of what they sell it for, they can't charge extra for a case.

 

Although I wanted the J-35, I gave him the impression that I would kill the deal. He got his manager involved and both agreed that that the initial reduced price was actually wrong to begin with, but since it was their mistake they would honor the much lower price and the additional 10% off, plus include the case as it should have been. To their credit they made this right.

 

So I got lucky today and ended up getting a J-35 for a good amount less than a J-15.

 

Tonite I'm going to give it a spin and hope it sounds as nice in my house as it did at the store. I have a lot of re-learning to do.

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The real bottom line is that you now have a really nice instrument at a good price and ... most important ... you're happy.

 

What more to say other than IMHO you should put new strings on any new guitar and play the heck out of it.

 

Good going kid. (<chortle> Yup, I'm older.)

 

m

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Happy new guitar day! Sounds like you got a good deal. One thing to remember…. everything is negotiable at Guitar Center. ;) Which store did you go to (I am also in NJ). I recently got a 1965 J-50 from the Cherry Hill store myself, and was surprised that they accepted my offer which was quite a bit less than they were asking on a guitar they had already marked down recently. While I was in the store, they had a J-35 in the acoustic room that I played a bit and enjoyed. It would be funny if that was the guitar that you just bought. :)

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The real bottom line is that you now have a really nice instrument at a good price and ... most important ... you're happy.

 

What more to say other than IMHO you should put new strings on any new guitar and play the heck out of it.

 

Good going kid. (<chortle> Yup, I'm older.)

 

m

 

 

The deal was unexpected. GC admitted to their error but they didn't try to scam me and they resolved the issue to my satisfaction. I was in the right place at the right time and stood my ground and got the 35 for less than the 15. I'm usually not that lucky.

 

I'm not savvy enought to give a nuanced description of both guitars, other than they felt almost identical and had different but equally pleasing tones. I probably would have gotten the J-15 had the J-35 been at the regular as noted by Gibson.

 

Cosmetically they're both beautiful in a simple understated way. The Walnut J-15 is a very rich looking wood, the 'hog J-35 looks like the color of tinted maple. Since I liked both, I'd have been happy with either one. The J-35 is a featherweight, and that appeals to me, as do the vintage style tuners and banner headstock. The only nit I have to pick is the fugly striped pickguard (just my opinion) but if I decide this is a keeper once the 30 day return runs out, that's an easy fix.

 

I planned on a string change tonite...gonna try a set of J Pearse PB's 12-53. The bridge pins appear to be plastic and I have a set of plain bone pins that I hope will fit.

 

Well, off to the races.....

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Happy new guitar day! Sounds like you got a good deal. One thing to remember…. everything is negotiable at Guitar Center. ;) Which store did you go to (I am also in NJ). I recently got a 1965 J-50 from the Cherry Hill store myself, and was surprised that they accepted my offer which was quite a bit less than they were asking on a guitar they had already marked down recently. While I was in the store, they had a J-35 in the acoustic room that I played a bit and enjoyed. It would be funny if that was the guitar that you just bought. :)

 

I'm up in Morris County...pretty much the other side of the world from the Pine Barrens. I got the Guitar at the Totowa GC.

 

Thanks for the response.

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But when it came time to ring up the sale, I was informed that the case was extra, and the cost of the J-35 complete equalled the "reduced" posted price on the hang tag...i.e, the 10% "extra discount" was now negated. Essentially they raised the price back to the regular price of a J-35. His reason was that the tag did not state "with case". I was furious but calm and polite and pointed out that Gibson states the case is included, so regardless of what they sell it for, they can't charge extra for a case.

 

They tried these same shenanigans on one of my friends (Boston store) a few years ago. I was with him the day he bought it.. He just said "Oh.. Okay".. but I said "hey... wait a second..".. Smart phone in hand, off to a few web sites (Gibson Site, Sweetwater, MF, etc) which all listed "case included...."

 

Sales clerk quickly went into back pedal mode, "Oh,, yea,, you know I think you're right,, I must have this confused with something else.

 

Yes.. I'm sure you do... Like confused that we're all probably idiots.. Scam artists...

 

good luck with the new Guitar!

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Congrats on your new J-35, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed mine for the last year. It is really starting to open up nice. Sorry you had such a run around at GC, but you ended up with a better deal. I buy most all my gear from Sweetwater, a great place. Like M says, play the heck out of it. I'm 61 so my goal is to wear my J-35 out before I kick the bucket.

Doug [biggrin]

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Congrats! Getting a good deal always does sweeten the pot.

 

I have never done any business with GC or even walked into one but I gather the willingness to haggle varies from store to store. Some folks say they manage to walk out with a good deal while others just walk out frustrated.

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Congrats! Getting a good deal always does sweeten the pot.

 

I have never done any business with GC or even walked into one but I gather the willingness to haggle varies from store to store. Some folks say they manage to walk out with a good deal while others just walk out frustrated.

 

Thank you. I think dealing with GC is much like shopping for a new car. In either case there's no excuse for not researching to death a guitar or a car with the abundance of information available on the 'net, particularly forums such as this one. Those who enter blindly just to "kick tires" end up getting kicked in the butt. You have to learn more about the product than the salesperson, and if you are getting the bing-diddy-boom-diddy-bomp, then you have to be willing to walk away. More often than not the sales rep won't let you leave the store or dealership without a sale that's mutually agreeable.

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The Springfield GC has the oldest high action beat to heck Gibson stock I have experienced anywhere. It's great to hear you got a great specimen of a great guitar at a great price near you!

 

A while back, before I lost interest in playing for a few years, I visited the Springfield store. They had a crap load of Gibsons and several Martins marked down significantly for a Scratch and Dent Sale. What an understatment....scratches and dents can be quite acceptable for the right price, but these were outright damaged. One example was a Hummingbird Pro for $1000 with a severe structural crack on the top from the middle of the bridge to the lower bout. It's too bad because that one sounded and played the best. There was an AJ45 with checking so bad and the top so warped it reminded me of Rt 80 after a severe winter, also selling for around $1000. A Martin Rosewood PA model had a literal hole the size of a silver dollar on the treble side beneath the electronics. I recall that one was $700. There were others, all at giveaway pricing....and giving them away for free was the only way I'd consider them. Even the less severely damaged guitars were still too bad to even give a second look.

 

A real shame, because I think the Springfield store (at the time anyway) was the nicest, most well stocked, and had the most professional sales staff of all the GC's in Northern NJ.

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Thank you. I think dealing with GC is much like shopping for a new car. In either case there's no excuse for not researching to death a guitar or a car with the abundance of information available on the 'net, particularly forums such as this one. Those who enter blindly just to "kick tires" end up getting kicked in the butt. You have to learn more about the product than the salesperson, and if you are getting the bing-diddy-boom-diddy-bomp, then you have to be willing to walk away. More often than not the sales rep won't let you leave the store or dealership without a sale that's mutually agreeable.

 

 

Personally I put little stock in "research" meaning what I read on forums (where you get the feeling folks are often just repeating something they have heard), guitar magazine reviews (do you really think they are going to pan a guitar made by one of their advertisers) or hear on Youtube. Only thing I ever look into is prices.

 

Good example are the ADJ bridge Gibsons. Common wisdom has been get rid of those things. But there are folks who hang around this forum who hear that and will tell you to stick it in your nickers. Point is the only way you will know who is pointing you down the right path is to put away all of the research and spend some time with the guitars.

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While Zombie makes a good point...

 

I think it of great value personally to find out about the specs on a given instrument. For example, I'm at the point where I figure I'll never again buy a guitar with a 25 1/2 inch scale. That's personal. So also are the other bits of geometry for a given instrument.

 

If you're gonna spend over $500, that to me has great importance.

 

OTOH, two J-35s, for example, may respond differently, and even feel different - a good reason to play first.

 

m

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I have several with body styles that are comfortable overall - I'm just not as comfortable with any of my 25 1/2 inch scale guitars, or any other I've played over the past 52 years.

 

Actually in the first cupla decades of pickin', I knew that some guitars just seemed to be easier to play, some harder. I blamed doggone nearly any and everything for it.

 

Then around 10 years ago I started to notice that no matter what the body style, some guitars were just more "me" in the playing of 'em.

 

Note, that's 40 years after starting to play guitar at 18 when I already knew more or less what and how I'd want to play guitar.

 

I figured that decade ago that ... gee, it might be the scale. I really started to notice it when I got a little Epi PR5e that was exactly how I like a guitar body size for my gentle fingerpicking. It just wasn't ... as comfortable playing as my 175 types. Buying a Gretsch G100ce hollowbody clinched it. It's more or less the same body size as a Gib/Epi 16-inch archtop, but the 25 1/2 inch scale changes the geometry just enough to make it a bit more work compared to the 24 1/2 inch scale.

 

I'm really considering getting that little Epi, buying an Epi EL-00 and paying a luthier to take the shorter scale neck and putting it onto the PR5e. Yup, the price tag will be nearly what it'd cost for a J-15, but... it'd be almost perfect for what I do on the archtops but on an AE instead.

 

m

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A perfect example of the only research that matters when it comes to guitars - experience.

 

The difference in feel between long and short scale guitars does not really put me off so it does not factor in a whole lot with regard to the guitars I own. I used to play a Kay Jumbo that has a 26" scale. That long scale turbo charged the top.

 

What does come into play big time is nut width, neck carve, and string spacing at the bridge. After playing even a guitar with a 1 3/4" nut these days I feel it a relief to grab something with a 1 13/16" or 1 7/8" nut. Not saying I can't play a guitar with even a 1 11/16" but just that I prefer them wider.

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Yeah... but at least one has an idea of what "fits" one's needs through a bit of research.

 

I think that's especially important where I live because frankly, there's but one guitar store in less than a full day's drive. (Okay, it has two locations in two small towns.)

 

It's also why I refuse to buy a guitar that runs much over $500 by "mail order" although I'll do some checking on anything at or above that figure, depending on circumstances.

 

I'd dearly love to have the access some of you folks have to guitar stores. It just ain't likely.

 

m

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