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We're getting a new Guitar Center here in Johnson City, TN.  It's opening tomorrow.  There's three other music stores in town and I feel bad for them.

I'm hoping I can get some amp work out of them.  I already take care of the other stores.

It's funny how they've been having trouble with some stores but they're opening a new one here.  I get what they're doing, it's just how big business works these days.

https://www.guitarcenter.com/pages/Johnson-City-Grand-Opening.gc

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Not sure if I should be happy or sad for you. If you get work from them that's a plus, but I own a guitar that is nicer than usually anything they have hanging on the wall in the acoustic room. Can't wait to be in Knoxville next month for the King's X concert.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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1 hour ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Not sure if I should be happy or sad for you. If you get work from them that's a plus, but I own a guitar that is nicer than usually anything they have hanging on the wall in the acoustic room. Can't wait to be in Knoxville next month for the King's X concert.

KINGS X !!

I knew I liked you ...

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1 hour ago, Karloff said:

KINGS X !!

I knew I liked you ...

They are playing a small little place. I am meeting my best friend there and we are spending a few days and seeing a show, gonna drink Tennessee whiskey and trying not to get arrested. A week or so ago I rocked Gretchen Goes To Nebraska and Dogman to get familiar with the songs I haven't heard in ages. My buddy says they usually don't leave Texas that much.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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I can’t remember the last time I was in a Guitar Center.  There are 3 here in the Austin area, but the last few times I walked into one left me unimpressed.  I either buy from one of the great locally-owned shops (if they have what I’m looking for) or from Sweetwater or AMS.

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6 minutes ago, tx-ogre said:

I can’t remember the last time I was in a Guitar Center.  There are 3 here in the Austin area, but the last few times I walked into one left me unimpressed.  I either buy from one of the great locally-owned shops (if they have what I’m looking for) or from Sweetwater or AMS.

Yeah,  I am sure in Austin you have guitar stores that make GC look like a dollar store. Love Austin there once. Wanna go back bad. 

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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Guitar center has been so good to me since the fire in 2018. They give me a friends and family discount on everything I get from them and will continue to do so. They have given me some free stuff (strings, a capo, glass slide). They started here in Westlake Village and their service center is in the next block from where I work. I don't want to like big box stores but they didn't have to do anything that they did for the few of us fire victims. (we are being told to call ourselves survivors, not victims as if it is embracing the victim mentality).

I hope you get a lot of work from them.

Johnson City is nice. My cousin lives there and was a professor at ETSU. I had a great experience there in 1982 when I stayed for a month studying with him for my big entrance exam.

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Yeah, it’s easy to get spoiled here.  I bought my last two new Gibsons (ES-335 and ‘67 SG Special Reissue) from a local shop here in Austin even though I was living in Tucson at the time.  Their prices are competitive with GC, but the service is substantially better as you might expect.  There is a local place that specializes in new and vintage folk instruments (acoustic guitars, mandolins, ukuleles, banjos,etc) that I want to check out.  And I keep saying I’m going to take my grandson on a tour of the Collings Guitar factory. 

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1 hour ago, Tman said:

Guitar center has been so good to me since the fire in 2018. They give me a friends and family discount on everything I get from them and will continue to do so. They have given me some free stuff (strings, a capo, glass slide). They started here in Westlake Village and their service center is in the next block from where I work. I don't want to like big box stores but they didn't have to do anything that they did for the few of us fire victims. (we are being told to call ourselves survivors, not victims as if it is embracing the victim mentality).

I hope you get a lot of work from them.

Johnson City is nice. My cousin lives there and was a professor at ETSU. I had a great experience there in 1982 when I stayed for a month studying with him for my big entrance exam.

I know you have been though a lot, but GC is what it is. They will low ball you when you sell  to them and try to get every cent out of you when you buy. It was that way when I was 16 going to CG is San Jose, CA when I lived there when I grew up there and the same at the CG in Virginia Beach which is the closest one to my current house. You can find a deal now and then, but I just go in there to noodle and not buy. Most if not have the same models in every store. One J-45, and H'bird  Studio, A G-45, a J-15, a Martin D-28,  000-15, a D-15, Mexican stuff, a heap ton of Taylor's, Yamaha's, Epi's, 2 nice 2k Gibson LP's, 2 nice American Strats and Teles all way up high on the 3rd row about 20 feet up, a ton on Mex Teles, and Strats, Epi Electrics ect ect. You know the drill you have been there. Every once and a while something cool that is used, and if you like it, it is gone in seconds. Rarely a Dove or J-200 or H'bird. Maybe in Atlanta or NY or LA. And if they do its behind glass under lock and key.  Can't remember the last time I saw a nice high end acoustic in the humidified room.  Last time I was there a 3 or 4 year old kid knock over the same acoustic twice and the sales rep told the dad it was okay they will just put it up higher on the hangers to hide the dings. Everything in GC is used unless you see it with your own eyes come out of the shipping box off the truck.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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I haven't been to one in years.

They have such high turnover in the staff you'll get a crew you like and then the next time it's a whole bunch of dweebs.  I remember showing this one salesman a horribly warped neck on a new Firebird V, he took a look at it and hung it back up on the wall.  

That spoke volumes.

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1 hour ago, SteveFord said:

I haven't been to one in years.

They have such high turnover in the staff you'll get a crew you like and then the next time it's a whole bunch of dweebs.  I remember showing this one salesman a horribly warped neck on a new Firebird V, he took a look at it and hung it back up on the wall.  

That spoke volumes.

There is an associate that works at the one in N. Myrtle maybe in her mid 30's I talk to every time. She is easy on the eyes. I get her to unlock the guitars in the acoustic room for me and not the ugly guy with long hair or the skinny girl who dresses like its Halloween every day of the year.

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Johnson City is a fine town with a robust population and a good economy. 

I think that the other music stores in town (and I bought a nice Ibanez Jet King from one of them years ago) will adapt and do fine. 

And the competition from those other stores will keep Guitar Center honest in their pricing and occasional bargains. 

Congratulations!

:)

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2 hours ago, sparquelito said:

I think that the other music stores in town (and I bought a nice Ibanez Jet King from one of them years ago) will adapt and do fine. 
And the competition from those other stores will keep Guitar Center honest in their pricing and occasional bargains. 
 

 

I'm not sure which reality you are living in.  To compete with GC a music store has to be either huge physically or have just a ton of cushion under them.  That is nearly universally not the case.  Yes, you can point to a few places that defy that, I've been to them.  But neither sentence above is remotely true in probably 90% of America.  The small stores will get crushed first in pricing, second in inventory when they can't get what people want, only GC can.  GC does not acknowledge "competition", to them it doesn't exist, and it works great for them that way, not so much for you and me.  "So go buy it there".  That is what they will tell you.

And  I like GC.  Ours has been just great for 15 years now.  Killed every other music store within 40 miles quickly but that's how it is.

rct

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12 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

I know you have been though a lot, but GC is what it is. They will low ball you when you sell  to them and try to get every cent out of you when you buy. It was that way when I was 16 going to CG is San Jose, CA when I lived there when I grew up there and the same at the CG in Virginia Beach which is the closest one to my current house. You can find a deal now and then, but I just go in there to noodle and not buy. Most if not have the same models in every store. One J-45, and H'bird  Studio, A G-45, a J-15, a Martin D-28,  000-15, a D-15, Mexican stuff, a heap ton of Taylor's, Yamaha's, Epi's, 2 nice 2k Gibson LP's, 2 nice American Strats and Teles all way up high on the 3rd row about 20 feet up, a ton on Mex Teles, and Strats, Epi Electrics ect ect. You know the drill you have been there. Every once and a while something cool that is used, and if you like it, it is gone in seconds. Rarely a Dove or J-200 or H'bird. Maybe in Atlanta or NY or LA. And if they do its behind glass under lock and key.  Can't remember the last time I saw a nice high end acoustic in the humidified room.  Last time I was there a 3 or 4 year old kid knock over the same acoustic twice and the sales rep told the dad it was okay they will just put it up higher on the hangers to hide the dings. Everything in GC is used unless you see it with your own eyes come out of the shipping box off the truck.

 

Cool, great story. I think TMAN's story is better though, what a great thing they did for him and the other 'survivors.' It's a terrible thing for a business to figure out a better way to sell guitars cheaper and with more variety. Us as consumers really lose out in that situation of being able to have more choice for less money, guitar center really is the devil.

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12 minutes ago, deeman said:

 

Cool, great story. I think TMAN's story is better though, what a great thing they did for him and the other 'survivors.' It's a terrible thing for a business to figure out a better way to sell guitars cheaper and with more variety. Us as consumers really lose out in that situation of being able to have more choice for less money, guitar center really is the devil.

It is cool that GC kicked down some stuff for someone who lost so much. And I agree with you they are Beelzebub.

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28 minutes ago, rct said:

 

I'm not sure which reality you are living in.  To compete with GC a music store has to be either huge physically or have just a ton of cushion under them.  That is nearly universally not the case.  Yes, you can point to a few places that defy that, I've been to them.  But neither sentence above is remotely true in probably 90% of America.  The small stores will get crushed first in pricing, second in inventory when they can't get what people want, only GC can.  GC does not acknowledge "competition", to them it doesn't exist, and it works great for them that way, not so much for you and me.  "So go buy it there".  That is what they will tell you.

And  I like GC.  Ours has been just great for 15 years now.  Killed every other music store within 40 miles quickly but that's how it is.

rct

The mom and pop shop I go to have a better selection of Martins that any GC I have been in in the past 5 years. Case in point my new 2019 D-41 I got a few months back. Right now in that store is a Martin D-28 Modern, HD-28V, D-18, and a few other nice standard models I can't remember and a few but not many Mex Martins. My D-41 new before tax was 3899. Look up and see what CG wants for one. Here is the link. But I do agree with you. Sam Ash is huge and a few others.

https://www.guitarcenter.com/Martin/D-41-Standard-Dreadnought-Acoustic-Guitar-Ambertone-1500000202940.gc?rNtt=martin d-41&index=1

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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I have three within driving distance to me, I tend to go to one mostly because they've always treated me fair.  I've bought a lot of stuff from them, guitars & amps, over the past 5 years.

Don't like buying without trying and they have a great "try it and return it if you don't like it" policy so I took a chance on a guitar I had shipped from Arkansas.  I ended up loving it but liked the option if I didn't it was a full refund for a month.

A lot of people seemed to rank on them, especially in on-line reviews near me, but I have always found them to be a great candy shop.  They don't always have the best stuff in that store (because it's a small one) but I always like to walk in and see what's there - especially in the used areas. 

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I haven't been to a GC store in almost 5 years. The last time I went, I was looking for a Strat. My son and I, plus another man, were the only people in the store, besides three salespeople. The three salespeople were just laughing and goofing around at the center island. The Strats that I could reach were pretty beaten up but I saw one up high that I wanted to try out. I tried waving and calling out out to get some attention so someone would get it down for me. Nothing. My son walked over to them and brought a young kid back with him who said, "okay... which one?" What a punk. I told him I changed my mind and left.

My local mom and pop music store mover to a mall because their rent was raised too high in the strip plaza near me. I'm happy for you that you may get some amp work from GC. That's fantastic! But. I'm no fan of theirs.

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2 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

The mom and pop shop I go to have a better selection of Martins that any GC I have been in in the past 5 years. Case in point my new 2019 D-41 I got a few months back. Right now in that store is a Martin D-28 Modern, HD-28V, D-18, and a few other nice standard models I can't remember and a few but not many Mex Martins. My D-41 new before tax was 3899. Look up and see what CG wants for one. Here is the link. But I do agree with you. Sam Ash is huge and a few others.

https://www.guitarcenter.com/Martin/D-41-Standard-Dreadnought-Acoustic-Guitar-Ambertone-1500000202940.gc?rNtt=martin d-41&index=1

 

I know, right?  I only buy CFMartins at Wades Guitar Shop, 3490 N Oakland Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53211, (414) 961-0848 (Hello Alex!).  I usually only buy decent Fenders from my local GC, but I have a few from other places including online sellers.  I get it, I do understand their lack of stuff depending on what you are looking for.  But for the average bum in bars like me, it's a great place, if you are lucky to have a good one, to really churn, trade, try something, etc.  It's a pain to know what's at NAMM 6 months before GC gets it in, but then I get to go and fiddle with it fora while and see if I want it.  Our Sam Ash is 60 odd miles from here, so I only hike up there once in a while.   It's ok.  I prefer a couple out west of Philly PA, just better stores.

You should put some skate stickers on that 41.

rct

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57 minutes ago, rct said:

 

I know, right?  I only buy CFMartins at Wades Guitar Shop, 3490 N Oakland Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53211, (414) 961-0848 (Hello Alex!).  I usually only buy decent Fenders from my local GC, but I have a few from other places including online sellers.  I get it, I do understand their lack of stuff depending on what you are looking for.  But for the average bum in bars like me, it's a great place, if you are lucky to have a good one, to really churn, trade, try something, etc.  It's a pain to know what's at NAMM 6 months before GC gets it in, but then I get to go and fiddle with it fora while and see if I want it.  Our Sam Ash is 60 odd miles from here, so I only hike up there once in a while.   It's ok.  I prefer a couple out west of Philly PA, just better stores.

You should put some skate stickers on that 41.

rct

Stickers are for cases. If a sticker comes near my 41 I'll gut em.

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Steve Ford mentioned in the thread about staff turnover - so true!  I quit going to the local Sam Ash for quite a while because of the incompetent staff.  

I managed to work a pretty good deal at the local GC on New Years Eve just before they closed up for the holiday a few years back. Caught them at the right time. I happened in just as a brand new Martin acoustic I was interested in was delivered. Got it right out of the box. Ordinarily inventory is somewhat abused and selection mediocre at best, but like has been said - a good place to try things out.

Guitars and cars, any big purchase - all the same to me when it comes to the deal. I do my homework - determine a price I'm willing to pay, and what I'll accept for the trade. If they hit the numbers, I'm a buyer and I don't look back.  If not, no skin off my nose, I'm just as happy to walk away.  I only fall in love once I'm an owner if it proves to be what I wanted. 

I've heard horror stories about online purchases, but my experience has been positive with Sweetwater, Sam Ash. and Musicians Friend. I don't want to know how much of my money has actually gone to Sweetwater....

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5 hours ago, rct said:

 

I know, right?  I only buy CFMartins at Wades Guitar Shop, 3490 N Oakland Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53211, (414) 961-0848 (Hello Alex!).  I usually only buy decent Fenders from my local GC, but I have a few from other places including online sellers.  I get it, I do understand their lack of stuff depending on what you are looking for.  But for the average bum in bars like me, it's a great place, if you are lucky to have a good one, to really churn, trade, try something, etc.  It's a pain to know what's at NAMM 6 months before GC gets it in, but then I get to go and fiddle with it fora while and see if I want it.  Our Sam Ash is 60 odd miles from here, so I only hike up there once in a while.   It's ok.  I prefer a couple out west of Philly PA, just better stores.

You should put some skate stickers on that 41.

rct

SA and GC are over an hour away from Newport News. One GC in Virginia Beach and SA and GC in Richmond. The mom and pop store I like is 20 mins away. Most of the employees look like they are Maroon 5 fans. And so helpful. Zoe is another story. She can help me all day long. But she is in N Myrtle.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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8 hours ago, rct said:

 

I'm not sure which reality you are living in.  To compete with GC a music store has to be either huge physically or have just a ton of cushion under them.  That is nearly universally not the case.  Yes, you can point to a few places that defy that, I've been to them.  But neither sentence above is remotely true in probably 90% of America.  The small stores will get crushed first in pricing, second in inventory when they can't get what people want, only GC can.  GC does not acknowledge "competition", to them it doesn't exist, and it works great for them that way, not so much for you and me.  "So go buy it there".  That is what they will tell you.

And  I like GC.  Ours has been just great for 15 years now.  Killed every other music store within 40 miles quickly but that's how it is.

rct


My experiences (my realities, my opinions) are admittedly limited, since I have only visited and bought from five Guitar Centers in the past ten years. 

But I'll share with you.

My realities are the Guitar Center in Huntsville, AL (the nearest one to where I live),  along with The Fret Shop in Huntsville (3 miles away), and the Railroad Bazaar in Athens (19 miles away). 
Neither of the two existing guitar stores had to shut down because of the installation of a new Guitar Center a few years ago. 
All three stores are doing just fine together. 
Thriving some might say. 

My realities also include my favorite Guitar Center in Arlington, Texas, and a number of guitar stores all within two, five or eight miles that have all done just fine with GC in their backyard.
I'm talking about Arlington Music,  the Texas Guitar Ranch,  Kerry's Guitar Shop, Murphy's Music Center, and a few others. 
All these stores are going just fine together, and they (and the GC) have coexisted there for many years. 

The Guitar Centers in the Phoenix, Arizona metro area. There are five of them there. (I've been to three of them. There're two there I haven't managed to make it to yet.)
There are also 8 or 9 other guitar stores in that area, all within just a few miles of one of the GC's.
Everyone seems to be doing fine out there. 
Lord knows I try to visit them all when I'm out there on work-related endeavors. 
It keeps me out of the bars. 

Johnson City, Tennessee is a thriving town. A college town. There's industry there. 
A great population, and a wonderful night life. 
It's a progressive city. It's considered 'the San Francisco of Tennessee' for some reasons I would rather not get into in a family forum. 
I have stayed there (and visited local guitar stores) on a number of occasions, when I was flying helicopters to and from the Bell Helicopter mod facility nearby there. 

In my opinion, those guitar stores there are going to do just fine. 
But that's just my opinion. 

It's not like we're discussing matters of hard science like tone-woods, c-shaped necks, brass saddles, cargo shorts, thick versus thin gauge strings, and poly versus nitrocellulose paint finishes. 
There's no room for discussion there. 

🤐
 

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Our experience here has been the exact opposite.  John and his Philadelphia Music Company stores only made it another 5 years at most after GC, he just could not keep his Gibson franchise.  Irv's and Cherry's were both Fender guys, couldn't keep their franchises.  A couple have come and gone within three, four years since GC.  This is not exactly an economic boomtown, that probably has something to do with it, but the reality here is that GC came to town and took the franchises away from everybody.  There just isn't enough interest in a dusty mom and pop that deals Martins here, even with the casinos, so we got nothin but GC for...about 60 miles.

rct

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