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fortyearspickn

GC Locks Rock

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Was in the  Guitar Center here in San Antonio 2 weeks ago and, although mid-week, it was busy with the post-Christmas and New Years sales, etc.  I noticed they had 7 or 8 new Gibson Acoustics in their Sanctum Sanctorum.  Usually, there's 2 or 3.  I didn't get a chance to really look at them because there were two teenagers gigging in their.  She was playing  an Epiphone or something from the  big room outside she had plugged into the amp in their, and her associate was playing an electric bass.  And, there were two 20 year olds in their listening.  Strange.  But I figured I'd be back in a week or so. 

Anyway-  had to go back yesterday to finish what I had started - trade in my 15 year old Deering Boston and order a new Deering Sierra. (banjos).  I was most struck - after the deal,  when I went back to sniff the guitars - that they all had locks on them! They have replaced the leather strap type hangers with metal hangers with a hinge and a key lock. The Martins, Taylors and Gibsons were all nice and secure. 

Hadn't heard this mentioned here, so I don't know how many other Guitar Centers might be doing it.  I guess, from my perspective, since Gibson has more inventory at risk of being damaged by teenage shredders now - it makes sense to lock them up. And of course the Martins and Taylors.  ( I know GC owns the stock, but indirectly, the maker's  reputation and the perceived value and selling prices  are negatively affected if the 'new guitars'  are dinged, dented and have BBQ sauce on the fretboard and strings.)   There were several walnut bodied Gibbys. A J-15 marked down significantly - sounded very thin to my ears.  A couple of GC Spec'ed models. Only one there that floated my boat was a beautiful standard H'Bird hog.  

I guess the conundrum is - now that there are new Gibsons available Under Two Thousand Dollars ...  and there will be more folks wanting to try them who can actually afford them - will the locks deter future sales?  I would think not. 

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I have only walked into a GC once.  I paid no attention to the new stuff so took no notice of  how they were was displayed.   I was there for a specific used guitar - a Kay K24 so headed straight to the back room where it was hanging way up high.  The strings on it were so old you needed a tetanus shot to play it.  When I asked why they did not even bother to restring the guitar,  I was answer with it was not their policy to do so on "vintage" guitars.   WTF?

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The GC I go to in N. Myrtle  it seems locks up all the stuff 1500 and higher. A Martin 000-15 you can touch but a Gibby  J-15 you have to get the 22 year old with the keys of power to allow a 53 year old that could buy any guitar in the acoustic room, and allow me special permission to touch said worthy axes.  But yes I get it, but are 16 year old interested in the one and only D-28  or J-45 there, and I'm sure unless spending daddy $ certainly can't afford it.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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The GC i sometimes go to hasnt locked up the acoustics, honestly i've never seen anyone under 30 in the acoustic section, teenagers are always trying to shred on the electrics hehe

 

ps. and also i did encounter some J45 standards with super old strings, i didnt ask but i did wonder why they didnt change them,,now i know

Edited by FemmeParallell
adding note

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13 minutes ago, FemmeParallell said:

The GC i sometimes go to hasnt locked up the acoustics, honestly i've never seen anyone under 30 in the acoustic section, teenagers are always trying to shred on the electrics hehe

 

ps. and also i did encounter some J45 standards with super old strings, i didnt ask but i did wonder why they didnt change them,,now i know

Cuts into there profits and someone around 20 years old has to do some work instead of looking at cat videos on their cell phone.

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The small Mom & Pop stores I tend to frequent though often hang their high dollar stuff behind the counter where you can see it but do not have easy access to. them. 

Edited by zombywoof

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 I don't blame any store for doing this, particularly if the store is large enough that they can't keep an eye on everyone every minute. A teenager with a flatpick and delusions of grandeur can trash the top of a guitar in less than a minute.

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50 minutes ago, j45nick said:

 I don't blame any store for doing this, particularly if the store is large enough that they can't keep an eye on everyone every minute. A teenager with a flatpick and delusions of grandeur can trash the top of a guitar in less than a minute.

That is why I consider everything used from CG no matter what the tag says, unless I see it come out of the shipping box. 

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teens are not evil guitar dinging nut bars, those people are an all age group of folk

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They should have done this years ago.  When ever you buy a guitar at GC, chances are you're paying NEW prices for what is pretty much a used guitar.

 

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The guy I was working with had worked at the GC up in Waco; while there they got in as a trade a 90's Gibson MasterTone bluegrass banjo. A relatively valuable banjo (maybe $5k?) - they haven't re-built their banjo facility since the Nashville flood - and were the premier brand up until then. He said they would not put it out on the wall due to the tendency of people who have never held one - to have to mess around with it. They just kept it in the back while advertised on the internet,  and in the event someone walked in and asked if they had any 'real' banjos.   So, while they do have to display 'representative' stock so people can get their hands on it , and get excited about buying it, I think the people that work there  basically love and respect quality instruments and try to protect them  from the rabble.  

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Sometimes you have to just side with the guys who work there.  I walked into a GC to see what they had for 12 strings in the fall of 2018.

The guy working the store happily announced they'd just gotten in a brand new Takemine 12...  he walks with me into the acoustic room, pulls it off the hanger, only to see a 3 inch gouge right above the sound hole.    I could see the anger on his face.  All he could say was "I'm sorry, you can still at least try it out."    told him not to feel bad, I understood the challenges with customers, and I  wasn't ready to buy anything yet anyways.

 

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