Large Chains & Mail Order Stores
Posted 12 September 2010 - 09:15 PM
Seems these large chains buy in bulk & this is why the manufacturers love them. The problem comes from where they store these guitars in warehouses. Many must not be climate controlled. As the guitars sit stacked & under string tension for long periods of time things move & wood torques under tension. Many of these guitar may not even be removed from the box prior to shipping to the customer. Many suffer poor playing & intonation after this type of exposures. While brick & mortar stores the guitars are adjusted as needed & are somewhat played & climate controlled.
The bad part the manufacturers get the blame for poor set up & problem necks, frets & so on. To make it worse & shocking many of these large chains are not authorized factory repair places. I even heard of one case where they did try & fix a customer guitar & voided his warrenty
Posted 15 September 2010 - 07:26 AM
You know, in the real world, people are expected to back up allegations they make with facts.
I could have made up the same stuff you just made up.
Here's my story - I'll make it about Fender:
Fender puts cyanide in their guitars and then they ate some small children and they like to sniff people's underwear.
Posted 15 September 2010 - 01:58 PM
In the the case of brick and mortar chains, typically, the center is used as a central distribution point. That means product comes in, then the product goes almost immediately on a truck to respective stores. There is not much inventory that stays at this warehouse for very long.
Mail order distribution centers like Amazon and Musician's Friend do inventory product to meet anticipated demand. Most quality mail order merchants do not offer product for sale unless it is in stock and shippable. This could mean the product can be in the warehouse for some time (although that is the exception, not the rule).
When a guitar is in a case and a sealed carton it will not be impacted by most environments that are close to room temperature. Thus a warehouse environment will not really harm the instrument if it is properly packaged.
The biggest environmental impact actually comes from the trucking of the product. It is not uncommon for a trailer to sit outside for some time where it is exposed to large swings in temperature. This can definitely impact the set up and even harm the instrument.
Finally, wood and nitro-cellulose finishes change with time and environmental exposure. Wood can stress relieve trying to get back to the form of the tree trunk, limb. Wood can absorb moisture and swell, etc. While this is relatively rare, it does happen and it is almost impossible to detect at final inspection.
In general, I (and any quality manufacturer) must accept the challenge and insure that product is properly packaged to withstand any and all conditions experienced until the consumer or retailer opens the package. For the most part, we believe we do that, but we are always seeking to improve.
Thus, I think Jeffrey and you are both correct. There is indeed a bigger transportation routing for bigger dealers. For the most part, this should not influence the quality of the product when a package from the factory is open.
Hope this helps.
Posted 19 September 2010 - 07:18 AM
Dealing with big stores only means more trouble and adversely effected GIBSON guitars?
I thought the idea of trying to get the best quality, best playing, best finished instruments out into more retailers, properly represented by professional, experienced and knowledgeable staff???
I'd bet my left reproductive walnut that you'd 'move more boxes' with a company that can distribute your products more fairly and that the instruments would be in a better playable state when they were in smaller stores.
Posted 20 September 2010 - 11:54 PM
I don't think Gibson or anybody else can package highly complex bits of wood to protect them to the degree guitar players expect during transportation, if not warehouse storage or in-store trauma.
It's likely not a major problem in the sense that probably there aren't the degree of swings through most of the year and storage/transport routes in North America. I'd guess that transport to Europe is another sort of game.
Then there's the "quality" issue with a bit of changeup just in strings. Any tiny "defect" will be magnified. For example, I just got what I consider an exceptional deal that brought an unplanned purchase of an inexpensive little Epi AE from MF. It seemed "perfect" in playability with factory strings I disliked. <grin> With new Zebra 9-42 specialist AE strings, there's a tiny buzz at fret 1 on the high "E" string. Is that the factory's fault or mine?
I suppose I could diddle with the torsion bar, but frankly the rest of it is so 1930s blues fingerpicking playable I don't really want to mess with it. Maybe I'll mess a bit on the bridge, but not much. So... factory? Transportation/storage making a tiny variation in a relatively inexpensive wood guitar neck at one fret? My own change of strings? I dunno, but I guess I personally don't blame the factory at all. Even with "better" woods, I don't think I could blame Gibson, either.
Overall I'd say if all else is comfortable, a bit of setup will make a difference. If it's screwed up beyond that, ain't that what a warranty is for?