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Weard Humminbird experience at at Guitar Center yesterday...


anzafrank
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Was looking at a row of locked up Gibson acoustics at Guitar Center which they were a bit stingy in letting an older dude like me who looked like he could afford to buy any one of them play a few, which I thought was a very strange way to sell guitars acting like they were doing me a favor only unlocking one at a time and making me chase down the only very young person with the key who went on lunch break. The G.C. was in La Mesa, Ca.

 

Anyway, I started with a J-200 which was very nice with lots of power, then a lack luster sounding J-45, a little cheap sounding J-35, then an absolute cannon red cherry Bird. Loudest guitar I ever played by far, and sounded like it was amplified it was so loud. People were coming up listening and commenting at how much volume it was putting out with me pushing it a bit hard with a pick.

 

The problem with the Bird was playing an E at the first and second fret, then bringing that E up as far up the neck as you can (don't know what the cord is) where you can play all 6 string, the second string was a mile off either flat or sharp (can't remember).

 

I guess my questions are two: Could that fret problem just be few low or high frets, and secondly, how could Gibson let it out the door like that? I bought some strings at a mom & pop music store a few months back, and the kid that ran it said that Gibson was having quality control issues. I didn't want to hear or believe it, but what's up with the bird's fret problem? Just wish you all could have heard that Birds Volume, and at a G.S.!

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Was looking at a row of locked up Gibson acoustics at Guitar Center which they were a bit stingy in letting an older dude like me who looked like he could afford to buy any one of them play a few, which I thought was a very strange way to sell guitars acting like they were doing me a favor only unlocking one at a time and making me chase down the only very young person with the key who went on lunch break. The G.C. was in La Mesa, Ca.

 

Maybe they've had problems with people damaging the guitars at that store? I have been to a number of Guitar Centers in my area and never saw anything like that. When I got my 1965 J-50 three years ago, I went to the Cherry Hill NJ store in the morning right after they opened. Had the whole acoustic room all to myself for an hour or more and played all the Gibsons including new models and vintage going back to the 1950's. Nothing was locked and I had to go looking for a salesperson when I decided to buy.

Edited by Boyd
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The problem with the Bird was playing an E at the first and second fret, then bringing that E up as far up the neck as you can (don't know what the cord is) where you can play all 6 string, the second string was a mile off either flat or sharp (can't remember).

 

 

 

Sounds like you experienced the result of even temperance, nothing that a compensates saddle wouldn’t cure....or possibly just a slightly higher or lower saddle woukdn’t remedy, also as a result of even temperance. Even temperance on a guitar’s neck and the standard scale creates a slightly sharp or flat scale on the 2nd string way up the neck. An compensated saddle (compensated at the second string) corrects the inherent problem with the scale. Slightly bending the 2nd string with the left hand when way up the neck also remedy’s the issue. Although that isn’t easy when barring an E chord at the 12th fret. Another solution is only hit the chorded E part and not the treble strings so it doesn’t sound. Lowering or raising the height of the strings could also downplay the inherent even temperance dilemma string length affects intonation.

 

Sounds like the guitar just needs a good set up, something quite ordinary with any new or used guitar purchase.

 

Gibson’s quality has been really great for about 30 years, with George Gruhn now at times referring to the period as another golden age of Gibsons.

 

Customer service at Guitar Center is s different matter. Very seldom does anyone ever wait on me. A good thing. No pushy sales people. Either I’m smitten by a guitar or not. No pressure. Lock and key? I’ve seen it at other stores, even non-chains. I don’t care. As long as they open it for me when I ask. Beats a Taylor salesperson non-stop telling me about ever spec that I don’t care about or how bolt-on necks are better than dove-tail jointed necks or somethin’ when, to me, playing a guitar and bonding with it is what I rely on.

 

Just my assumption and two cents about what I think you are referencing.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

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You can be pretty sure that a guitar hanging on the wall in a Guitar Center has been neglected from the day it was first pulled out of it's original box.

 

It may or may not have needed a more detailed setup upon arrival at your local GC, but rest assured that it hasn't received much attention other than getting tuned to pitch. A guitar that sounds good in GC is able to do so in spite of not being attended to, so with a few minor tweaks, that intonation issue should be rather easy to address.

 

Therefore imho, it's probably a good one that's worth grabbing!

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As far as the second string being off, it was ok going from E to A to D in the lower frets, and A-ish cords in the middle frets sliding up and down a few frets (never heard such fine, blasting sounds), but going back down to the lower fret D, the sound seemed a bit thin. Then, like I said, taking an E all the way up to the top frets, strumming all 6 strings the second string went south.

 

Another strange thing was all the nice and expensive Taylors and Martins were hanging on the walls unlocked for anyone to pick up and play, with this one Gibson row of a J-200, H.bird, J-45, and 3 J-35's locked up.

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Another strange thing was all the nice and expensive Taylors and Martins were hanging on the walls unlocked for anyone to pick up and play, with this one Gibson row of a J-200, H.bird, J-45, and 3 J-35's locked up.

 

Maybe this store actually knows what it’s doing in terms of keeping the fine guitars locked and by special showing, only. Which, BTW, it looks like you went for the Gibsons...

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

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On new non-clearance guitars, GC has a 45 day return policy.

Plenty of time to put some new strings on it and try it out.

 

A few years ago, my local GC had a J200 Custom RW. Had it locked up behind the glass, then hanged it high in the rafters. They were asking a fortune for it.

I had them get it out for me and was totally unimpressed. Sounded flat, high frets, high action. All at $5999.

Fast forward a couple years - Still hanging in the rafters, the markdowns started. Then on one of their 15% off with a trade-in, I talked the manager into applying it to the clearance guitar. Got it for $2800 (less than I standard I already had) plus another $1800 off for my trade-in.

Took it home, adjusted the action, new strings and the on site luthier fixing the frets and I have one fantastic guitar.

A lot of times you need to be looking at what the guitar can be.

 

IMG_0388_zps78b1d875.jpg

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On new non-clearance guitars, GC has a 45 day return policy.

Plenty of time to put some new strings on it and try it out.

 

A few years ago, my local GC had a J200 Custom RW. Had it locked up behind the glass, then hanged it high in the rafters. They were asking a fortune for it.

I had them get it out for me and was totally unimpressed. Sounded flat, high frets, high action. All at $5999.

Fast forward a couple years - Still hanging in the rafters, the markdowns started. Then on one of their 15% off with a trade-in, I talked the manager into applying it to the clearance guitar. Got it for $2800 (less than I standard I already had) plus another $1800 off for my trade-in.

Took it home, adjusted the action, new strings and the on site luthier fixing the frets and I have one fantastic guitar.

A lot of times you need to be looking at what the guitar can be.

 

IMG_0388_zps78b1d875.jpg

 

Yowzah !

 

 

 

 

JC

Edited by JuanCarlosVejar
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I guess my questions are two: Could that fret problem just be few low or high frets, and secondly, how could Gibson let it out the door like that? I bought some strings at a mom & pop music store a few months back, and the kid that ran it said that Gibson was having quality control issues. I didn't want to hear or believe it, but what's up with the bird's fret problem?

 

1; The Bird didn't have a fret problem. At worst it had dead strings.

 

2; "the kid" said Gibson was having quality control issues. Here's the deal, Gibson is having "kid" problems. Kids are morons.

 

3; Drops mic.....

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I bought strings and picks at the Mom and Pop here a month or so ago. The young(er than me) responsible for guitars (they sell lots of other instrument types) approaches on the slow Tuesday Morning. Talk a bit. He asks what I have - I tell him. And, surprisingly, he's smart enough not to bad-mouth Gibson! Graciously encourages me to take down and play any of the Martins and Taylors they have in their sanctum sanctorum.

I'm guessing the Mom&Pop guy you ran into hasn't learned that it's not wise to criticized a major brand to a potential customer. That customer may either know more than you about the subject, or know less, but have preferences. Like driving into a Ford Dealership and parking your Camaro off to the side. Then in the showroom, the salesman tells you Chevy's have quality problems.

I'd vote with my wallet and not buy even strings there.

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I don't care what anyone says, almost any guitar you play at guitar center is used.

 

You are probably right, but as Dave noted above, you will have over a month to evaluate it in your own home and return if you don't like it.

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Except maybe those "Special" locked up guitars, and the wall of LP's behind the counter where you have to ask to worthy enough to touch them, I don't care what anyone says, almost any guitar you play at guitar center is used. Who knows how may 16 year olds beat the living p-iss out of the guitar you hold in your hands at CG.

 

While they are "open box" technically they are not a used guitar until you walk out the door with it. While I have never even walked into a GC, the larger stores I have dealt with often give you a discount when an instrument is showing a certain amount of use. Got my daughter a Fender bass like that. Still had the warranty and all but those few little scratches saved me a lot of bucks.

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