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Kelvinator

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Living 100 miles away from a big music store, I always looked forward to road trips to Cleveland to romp through Sam Ash and Guitar Center. I could spend hours at each store just looking at and trying new things. Well.... I was in Cleveland yesterday and wanted to try a Fender Bassman 100T. No Luck. I went to Sam Ash and Guitar Center, both of which always had tons of stock in the past, but man was I disappointed! The Guitar & Bass sections of both stores had very few amps on display - Fender Rumbles, small combos, but absolutely no mid or higher-end stuff. The largest bass cab I saw at Guitar Center was a 2 X 12! The last time I was in Cleveland there were easily 4 times as many basses and amps, and almost every time I've been there - something followed me home. Not this time; they didn't even have a set of DR .040 - .100 Hi-Beams! I was going to buy a pick just to make the trip worth while, but then I remembered I already have one that I never use......

 

I guess I'm lucky because our one remaining music store in Erie, PA actually has more & better stock than these big guys do! Is this just a Cleveland thing, or have any of you noticed this emptiness in different parts of the country? [confused]

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Living 100 miles away from a big music store, I always looked forward to road trips to Cleveland to romp through Sam Ash and Guitar Center. I could spend hours at each store just looking at and trying new things. Well.... I was in Cleveland yesterday and wanted to try a Fender Bassman 100T. No Luck. I went to Sam Ash and Guitar Center, both of which always had tons of stock in the past, but man was I disappointed! The Guitar & Bass sections of both stores had very few amps on display - Fender Rumbles, small combos, but absolutely no mid or higher-end stuff. The largest bass cab I saw at Guitar Center was a 2 X 12! The last time I was in Cleveland there were easily 4 times as many basses and amps, and almost every time I've been there - something followed me home. Not this time; they didn't even have a set of DR .040 - .100 Hi-Beams! I was going to buy a pick just to make the trip worth while, but then I remembered I already have one that I never use......

 

I guess I'm lucky because our one remaining music store in Erie, PA actually has more & better stock than these big guys do! Is this just a Cleveland thing, or have any of you noticed this emptiness in different parts of the country? [confused]

 

Here in New York City you can find the higher end stuff (sometimes) in the Manhattan stores, like Rudy's. Occasionally you'll run across some used gear in those circles. But the reality is, even Ash and GC are going to carry more of what sells over the full line of a brand. Getting into the outer boro's, Ash and GC's are more of a neighborhood store and their clientele is youths that don't have $1K to drop on a tube head. They're going to get a Hartke Kickback, or a Rumble, or a GK Backline combo - the same as they'll get a Squier or a Epiphone vs an MIA Fender or Gibson. Economics drive their stock and only flagship stores in certain markets will carry those big ticket items that may literally sit for years.

 

With our economy being in the crapper it's hard enough to sell the lower end stuff. Let's face it, the musicians that can afford to shell out are, for the most part, us aging players. And when we do, how many are actually gigging regularly and flipping through various gear? And how often? Besides, all this stuff is available on the internet with comparable return policies. That's some stiff competition and it doesn't take up store space. We may have the gelt but we don't make up the demographic that earns them enough money to cater to us.

 

That's the real [cursing] for us - you want something in particular that isn't inexpensive, but there's nowhere to try it out. Reviews are taken with a grain of salt (of various sizes). What it comes down to is ordering it online, hoping it works out, and eating the shipping (and re-stocking fee) as a "try-out" cost if it doesn't.

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Here in New York City you can find the higher end stuff (sometimes) in the Manhattan stores, like Rudy's. Occasionally you'll run across some used gear in those circles. But the reality is, even Ash and GC are going to carry more of what sells over the full line of a brand. Getting into the outer boro's, Ash and GC's are more of a neighborhood store and their clientele is youths that don't have $1K to drop on a tube head. They're going to get a Hartke Kickback, or a Rumble, or a GK Backline combo - the same as they'll get a Squier or a Epiphone vs an MIA Fender or Gibson. Economics drive their stock and only flagship stores in certain markets will carry those big ticket items that may literally sit for years.

 

With our economy being in the crapper it's hard enough to sell the lower end stuff. Let's face it, the musicians that can afford to shell out are, for the most part, us aging players. And when we do, how many are actually gigging regularly and flipping through various gear? And how often? Besides, all this stuff is available on the internet with comparable return policies. That's some stiff competition and it doesn't take up store space. We may have the gelt but we don't make up the demographic that earns them enough money to cater to us.

 

That's the real [cursing] for us - you want something in particular that isn't inexpensive, but there's nowhere to try it out. Reviews are taken with a grain of salt (of various sizes). What it comes down to is ordering it online, hoping it works out, and eating the shipping (and re-stocking fee) as a "try-out" cost if it doesn't.

 

Everything you said is absolutely true. I know it - I just don't want to believe it. I hate to buy anything just based on reviews, but that looks like the only way to do it anymore. It's a crap-shoot.4_14_6.gif

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I'm in Southeast FL. About 10 miles from place, I have both a Sam Ash, and a Guitar Center. The GC is looking good. A decent stock all around. The SA is not looking to good.

 

 

There is a GC in Ft. Myers, FL that I check out a couple time a year. They've always had a good selection, but I wonder if that's changed as well......[confused] I'll see in November......

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I live in LA -- so within a 30 mile radius there are like 5 GCs and 3 Sam Ash's, as well as Truetone Music -- until a couple of months ago there was West LA Music as well -- until GC bought them just to shut them down. Even the flagship GC on Sunset has limited stock, and their staff -- the best of the best, right, know... ummm. nothing. Asked for the last year about the impending Gibson Moderne, even their high end room guys needed to have the genesis of the guitar explained to them ("It's like the one of the series that included the Explorer and the Flying V that they never really made? You heard of it right? No, they hadn't.) Like I'm sure your local store is anywhere in the US; it's full of twelve year olds hammering through lame Hetfield licks on Squiers and Epiphones through battered floor model Marshall MGs. My suggestion is -- take the risk online, or find a local retailer (who may sell online as well) who has a Gibson/Fender -- whatever you want -- franchise and give them your money. It may be a couple of bucks more. But you'll be happier.

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I went to buy a drum kit for my ten-year-old at our local GC and wasn't waited on for 20 minutes and then when I asked the drum guy for help and he treated me as if I couldn't afford to shop there. I ended up buying a kit at a local used music shop, a peavy TNT 115 at a pawn shop and an old Korean Dean Edge at a different pawn shop on that day. Three months later I went to GC to play a Jazz special and an American Standard with the intention of seeing what felt good and then going on line. This time I was treated great by the guitar guy and ended up buying a new Gibson Flying V. The selection was piss poor on lower end stuff as I would have liked to play a Jack Cassidy or an Artcore. My local independent doesn't carry any high end stuff so it wasn't an option. I did buy a used Godin from them and had them set up my Martin but the big guys have the Fender, Ernie Ball, Gibson, G and L all sewn up so it leaves me to go online, big store or used if I want something nice.

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