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Musical Instruments @ Best Buy: Finally, a reason to buy...


NoahZark

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Bill you are comparing a very specific need for a potentially very expensive and long term investment with buying a set of speakers or an instrument. If I were purchasing a pool heater, I'd be looking to the experts in that field. Many times those experts are found on forums just like this. People take your advice all the time with things you are well versed in, would you not think you can't find similar advice on other web sites that deal with pool issues? You don't buy something like that at Home Depot, it's a niche product and the people who sell them are more apt to know the ins and outs. I'd still do reviews and searches on the internet to learn about the pros and cons of each type of heater, prices, cost to run, etc. I did the same searching when I had to replace the filter on my pool. Went to the forums, asked questions, had people who own and people who install them for a living give me their opinions.

 

Who needs a pool heater in Florida? :)

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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"Bill you are comparing a very specific need for a potentially very expensive and long term investment...."

 

Not really. I said that I get tired of researching every purchase to a ridiculous depth because sales people were mostly useless in the large box houses. The reply was that the internet had all of the answers. and that it only took seconds to find them.

 

" ..People take your advice all the time with things you are well versed in, would you not think you can't find similar advice on other web sites that deal with pool issues?.."

 

I believe that in oder to get valuable info from a forum with which you are unfamiliar, you would have to hang out there a while to see who knew what about what, who knew what about a certain level of what, and who was just a chucklehead. For example, we talk about keyboards here, and I mostly don't because it is not my field. You guys talk about PA and studio monitors and I mostly don't because in my world it is a whole different ballgame, and what you guys know does not apply. When I do mention something about PA or studio speakers, I stand a good chance of getting trashed for it. Regardless, the time that you spend hanging out and discovering if an unfamiliar forum is valuable, well, couldn't you just be researching hard information?

 

" You don't buy something like that at Home Depot, it's a niche product and the people who sell them are more apt to know the ins and outs."

 

Agreed. And if you go to a couple of reputable stores handling different manufacturers merchandise, you start to get a sense of what is what and who's product is and does what, and you can ask reasonable questions and come to a reasonable decision without getting a PhD in the subject. You cannot do that by going to a big box store, because the sales help knows nothing.

 

Just as a reference to going to web sites for info, I went to the This Old House site and asked the same questions, regarding the system design. You guys have focused on the pool heater and skipped thre whole issue of the air handling and water heating; while I left out the part about what system to use in the pool itself ... salt water/chlorine generator or standard fresh water, how to handle the PH and cleaning.

 

"Who needs a pool heater in Florida?"

 

That is why there is not currently a pool heater in the pool, and that is a reasonable question. Partly it is to extend the usable months for the pool from 8-10 to all year round. Partly it is to control the comfort of the water temperature. Partly it is to get those panels installed on the roof to shield the roof from the sun, lowering cooling costs.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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"

I believe that in oder to get valuable info from a forum with which you are unfamiliar, you would have to hang out there a while to see who knew what about what, who knew what about a certain level of what, and who was just a chucklehead.

 

There are many, many telltale signs. For example:

 

Some guy: I use SONAR, because it's the BEST. Smokes em all.

 

Me: I use SONAR. For my needs it fits me best because it comes with so many softsynths and I do a lot of midi. I've used it for years and am comfortable with it.

 

I gave info as to why I made a certain choice. The other guy did not.

 

" You don't buy something like that at Home Depot, it's a niche product and the people who sell them are more apt to know the ins and outs."

 

Agreed. And if you go to a couple of reputable stores handling different manufacturers merchandise, you start to get a sense of what is what and who's product is and does what, and you can ask reasonable questions and come to a reasonable decision without getting a PhD in the subject. You cannot do that by going to a big box store, because the sales help knows nothing.

 

This has not been my experience lately. Home Depot aside, the quality of service is different than it was when you and I were pups. It's unfortunate and it's reality. People don't have the same pride in their work.

 

My local music stores have employees who probably know less than the Best Buy employees. I have a Mom and Pop nearby, a Sam Ash and a Guitar Center. I'll find an employee occasionally who knows their stuff, but it's rare. Since it is that way, it doesnt matter if I get stuff at Best Buy or anywhere else, since service is so questionable anymore.

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"My local music stores have employees who probably know less than the Best Buy employees. "

 

Could be true. But I was in Home Depot three days ago and I ran into a sales guy who sort of spoke english but did not understand it. I asked for foam, he didn't know what foam was. I asked for Armour-All, he did not know what that was. The guy could be a nuclear physicist in his home country, but I needed hinges and bolts and he could not help me.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Okay, here's another example of how the internet can help. I ordered lumber last week to build cases. I went to the lubber yard's website and ordered 4x8 plywood by the sku number. The delivery guy just left, taking his 2x4 plywood with him...,the sku was wrong for the description of the lumber on their site.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Talking about plastic speaker cabinets got me to reading about loudspeaker design on the 'net. Did you know that cinder blocks make great cabinets? The reason is that their resonance frequency is almost non-existant. Rap your knucles on a cinder block - it won't ring. Then there's the guy who put three pieces of MDF (medium-density fibreboard) together (with glue - never screws). In between the three, he cut out space to insert some sand. The idea is that you want the cabinet to be as inert as possible - no vibrations.

 

If you have an inclination, read up on loudspeaker design. It's a science as well as an art. Personally, I would rather go out shopping, audition various speakers and compare them to one another rather than build one and take my chances on it sounding good. (Can you tell that the voice of experience is writing this?) :rolleyes:

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Correct, but the discussion was specifically aimed at buying musical instruments(a PA in this case), if I'm not mistaken.
That's where it started, but Bill@WelcomeHomeStudios took it in a more general direction and I was responding to that. You can see that continue in the posts between yours and this one.

 

As far as your comment, I do agree. The problem is that I feel like I need to be an expert on everything. I'm OC enough that I have to fight that every time a major purchase decision comes up. I'm suddenly learning to be an expert on [product type] and neglecting other things I should be doing. It's a personality fault, but useful enough that I get caught in it too often. Sometimes it's nice to just be able to buy something and not have to spend so much time figuring out which one to get. Unfortunately, when we went that route with our bathroom remodel, it was not nearly as hands off as we had hoped and we're still dissatisfied. Sigh.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Cinder blocks do resonate and have about the same insulation value as a 1/4" pane of glass.

 

In one studio around here many years ago, the drum platform floated on a sandbox. Cool idea. Rubber nailed from the platform to the sides stopped the migration of sand into everything.

 

If you want mass without dust, consider lead pellets. Properly bagged to isolate the lead, they work great.

 

My last studio was pretty much completely lined in acoustilead. At 1 pound per square foot, it was fun to install.

 

One of the speaker cabinet companies had an ad that I loved, it said, "We don't make plastic speaker cabinets for the same reason Steinway doesn't make plastic pianos."

 

I started out in PA building my own speakers. (Well, first we used things like my buddys dads system, which had 2 open backed speakers and a 2 or 3 channel amp that folded all together into a suitcase-like thing, then Kustom rolled and pleated cabinets, and Shure VocalMasters, then moved into large format cabinets salvaged from movie theaters....) It was fun and interesting and a total waste of time, but some of the cabinets that I built in the 1970s are still being used, and the small vocal monitors that I built around Gauss 10" PA speakers are still in use on small club stages today.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Big box retailers have it figured out...value trumps expertise and product superiority.

 

Many folks are willing to spend their money with little or no explanation, er, expertise if the price is right.

 

For the handful of folks that are 'philes and/or OCD when it comes to products, knowledge and making purchases, the specialized businesses catering to them are shrinking and/or have relocated to the internet.

 

I'm not sure at what point the value added by expertise will come back around especially within brick and mortar operations. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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In my view many of the Mom n' Pop operations died because they really didn't add any value to the buying process.

 

Back in the pre-internet days, when I was looking to buy my first keyboard, I turned to a independent store in my town where I happened to be taking guitar lessons.

 

I felt like I was doing the right thing, helping a small business owner instead of buying from SamAsh.

 

This guy knew nothing about keyboards. Nobody who worked there knew anything about keyboards. In hindsight, he was more interested in moving the crap he had in the backroom, then finding the right solution for me.

 

The keyboard stand he sold me was junk.

The Amp he sold me wasn't meant for a keyboard.

 

And it took me 2 months to get a keyboard that was in stock at SamAsh the next town over.

 

This guys is out of business now, and runs a Tiger Schulman Martial Arts center.

 

If you ask me, that's the way the world should work.

If you can't provide value to your customers, you should be in another line of work.

 

 

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I figure turnabout is fair play. The large music retailers effectively became general purpose retailers by taking the competencies out of their sales forces ... to cut cost. Should they be surprised that the general electronics retailers are wading into their marketplace armed with an even lower cost structure?

 

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The sky is BLUE.

 

:)

 

Sure as Sunday comes after Saturday someone here is going to tell me that the sky is not really blue. It's the sun shining on the particles in the atmosphere blah, blah, blah. :blah::rolleyes:

 

Then someone else is going to chime in and tell me to do a search or read the manual before posting something as inane as this.

 

Welcome to the forum. :wave:

 

And along comes another forumite to tell me never to trust those fools at Best Buy who claim the sky is blue - they'll tell you anything to make the sale. (And why can't we trust those guys to know everything about everything and lead us down the path void of buyer's remorse? The Mom and Pop shops did. Or at least we thought they did. For shame.)

 

After leaving Best Buy to have a brewski, someone is bound to say that you might as well be drinking P*ss if you've got a Budweiser in your hand. And if there's fruit in that beer, you're definitely a girly-man.

 

Oh, and by the way, I could use some tips on how to fix my organ. Luckily, you guys have behaved so far regarding that topic. :sick:

 

Oooof. I got those post holiday, snowbound, bill-payin' blues. :cry:

 

Exercise and fresh air... I could use some. How 'bout you? :cool:

 

:rawk:

 

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Best Buy has great prices, but their customer service and "having something in stock" is worse than Guitar Center in my opinion.

 

Just getting someone on the phone at one of our local stores is difficult enough.

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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As a small business owner I often have shoppers who drain your brain for knowledge then run to buy from the apes at Lowes or Home Depot. In my case it's ceramic tile.

 

What I really appreciate are the 10% of these people who, realizing they have wasted many hours of your time, have the class and conscience to ask if I can match, or at least get close to the big box prices, since we gave them their product education. Usually if I can get within 10% or so they will buy from me.

 

We small guys with product knowledge won't be around for much longer without more people like the one above. If you have a good local source that is higher in price, please ASK them for a better one. If they have any sense at all, they will appreciate taking a half a loaf instead of starving. All we want is a shot at the order.

 

Not to be political, but you'd think Obama would give a little of the Chinese money he's borrowing to we small business owners.

 

 

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As a small business owner I often have shoppers who drain your brain for knowledge then run to buy from the apes at Lowes or Home Depot. In my case it's ceramic tile.

 

If I'm picking your brains and you are selling the product I want, unless you are way way way more expensive than the box store, I am buying from you. Always have. It is a matter of supporting the local economy over the national economy, and supporting the national economy over the world economy. I'd rather have a neighborhood hardware store 3 blocks away where the guy knows the homes in the area and carries the products and pieces/parts that we need than have a large home center three miles away that doesn't know or care about the homes in the area, but has a sale on barbecue grills once a year, and a great selection of appliances.

 

 

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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If I'm picking your brains and you are selling the product I want, unless you are way way way more expensive than the box store, I am buying from you. Always have. It is a matter of supporting the local economy over the national economy, and supporting the national economy over the world economy. I'd rather have a neighborhood hardware store 3 blocks away where the guy knows the homes in the area and carries the products and pieces/parts that we need than have a large home center three miles away that doesn't know or care about the homes in the area, but has a sale on barbecue grills once a year, and a great selection of appliances.

 

That's a statement I can get behind. I try to support local businesses first, whenever possible.

 

Still, it's a choice as to how we spend our own money, and most people will value saving a penny over better sales service. But when the prices are close, I buy locally.

 

BTW, congrats on the PA purchase, Noah. :thu:

 

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I always try to buy local. The problem is, as far as keyboards and PAs, the small local shops don't carry them around here. They are all guitar (and sometimes drum) oriented. If someone local carried the gear I wanted and the price was reasonable like Gman and Bill describe, I'd pay the extra for the service.

 

To my mind, the next step is where I get the best service and prices. That isn't at GC, so I don't buy there except under duress. I definitely don't buy where the service is bad like at GC. I'd try BB. While I've had good and mediocre service at BB, I've never had sales people who were downright rude and/or ignored me like at GC.

 

That said, I'm happy with SW.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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I always try to buy local. The problem is, as far as keyboards and PAs, the small local shops don't carry them around here. They are all guitar (and sometimes drum) oriented. If someone local carried the gear I wanted and the price was reasonable like Gman and Bill describe, I'd pay the extra for the service.

 

To my mind, the next step is where I get the best service and prices. That isn't at GC, so I don't buy there except under duress. I definitely don't buy where the service is bad like at GC. I'd try BB. While I've had good and mediocre service at BB, I've never had sales people who were downright rude and/or ignored me like at GC.

 

That said, I'm happy with SW.

 

I'm in somewhat the same boat as you.

 

A few years ago, my wife went to the local GC to ask about the Korg CX3(for my Xmas present). The people there pretty much ignored her. There was a music store in Utica(Apple Music) that were selling CX3's for $1,500, about $300 less than GC's price($1,799). When she asked a sales rep about a price-match, he(in a rude tone) told her that the store was "too far a distance" to do the price match. Ultimately she called the Buffalo GC and got a much more favorable response. They not only matched Apple Music's price, but also threw in a nice Road Ready flight case for $175, along with a 3-yr warranty for less than $200.

 

There is a local "mom & pop" store where I normally buy accessories, like patch cables, pedals, etc, or used equipment, or to consign equipment. After my wife's last GC "incident", I have since stopped buying from GC(even though the Buffalo GC was very good to my wife) and have been going to this M&P store for all my major purchases. For one thing, I know everybody there and even play in a band with the brother of one of the owners. Their selection now pretty rivals that of GC. I normally do my research beforehand, so I rarely ask about a product.

Kronos 88 Platinum, Yamaha YC88, Subsequent 37, Korg CX3, Hydrasynth 49-key, Nord Electro 5D 73, QSC K8.2, Lester K

 

Me & The Boyz

Chris Beard Band

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The closest music store to me is 20 miles, and they are almost boutique in their prices and only carry Yamaha keys, so if I wanted a Nord or Roland, they can't get it. The next closest one is 50 miles and by the time I drive up there, pay the higher price, and drive home, it's not worth my time and effort when I can get the same thing shipped to my house. They have Korg and Yamaha and nothing else. I'd have to go to Philly to hit any store that carries more brands, and I can order from them off the 'net.

 

For motorcycle parts, I search out the best price on the piece I want, then go to my dealer and ask if they can match the price. Usually they can, and I get it from them. I go to the local mom n pop hardware store all the time unless I need something they don't carry.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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Luckily, I've never been treated rudely by the folks at GC locally.

 

But, as a sales guy (with a bad temper), this is a hot button for me. If someone in a GC treated my wife rudely I'd be all over them like white on rice. And I would take it as far as I could up the management chain.

 

Most people, when treated poorly in a store or restaurant, simply don't come back.

 

NOT ME.

 

I try not to be obnoxious or an a** to sales guys. And I try to give them the benefit of the doubt when things go wrong. But if I sense that they are apathetic or rude... watch me. :mad:

 

Through the years I've mellowed and had professional help in learning to control my temper. But don't put me in a position where a guy like this treats me or anyone close to me rudely. The end result will not be pretty.

 

Ummmm, Have a Nice Day. :)

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Bill, I have the same attitude. It is not that common unfortunately. If there were a good music store near me I would play by my own rules and buy from them; but, in my case as with others, there is not a decent music store within 50 to 100 miles,

so I buy a lot from Sweetwater and others.

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Tom,

 

Usually when I get bad treatment, I tend to do something about it. But, when it happens over and over with different members of the staff and even different locations of the same chain, I assume the problem is endemic to the entire business and don't bother.

 

I've said it before, but I believe the problems with GC are at the corporate level. They make no effort to train their staff technically nor at good customer service. When you get a helpful sales person, or an honest sales person, it's just luck.

 

Meanwhile, there are other businesses that make a serious effort to make the buying experience a pleasant one. In fact, we went to a Smashburger restaurant for the first time the other day, and they were clearly taught and trained good customer service. It was almost painfully obvious. :) I know those businesses want to know when you have a problem. GC is quite the opposite.

 

My wife is like you. But usually, if she gets pissed, she'll just storm out or not come back. When she's with me, I'll look at her and sort of ask. She'll say, "let's go," and we're done there.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Joe - you are right. And it's too bad that GC is the way they are.

 

OTOH, Sweetwater Sound isn't perfect - but I like them. I think they have good intentions and will do right by the customer. Yes, there have been instances posted here on the forum where things weren't perfect. But if you're in business, this will happen. And it's all in how things are taken care of once the problem has been identified.

 

The flip side of my hot button issues are that when I find a salesperson who I truly think is doing a great job (and I have high standards), I get kinda crazy and spend money without thinking too much about it.

 

Damn those Girl Scouts with their Thin Mints! :mad::cool:

 

http://www.outtacontext.com/life/images/thin_mints2.jpg

http://www.bittenandbound.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/christie-brinkley-got-milk-photo-2.jpg

 

Yeah.

 

:snax:

 

 

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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