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  1. #1

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    Man, I thought Guitar Center's were in financial trouble. If that is the case, then why won't the Guitar tech return my email and generate some income? Now, I might be premature and there might be good reason, but it seems to me they could bring in a lot of revenue having that guitar tech stationed manned and advertising hard to bring in work.

    Do any of you know how this Guitar Technician service works? Does Guitar Center aggressively pursue work or is it as dispassionate as some of their other business services can be at times?

    I tend to go later in the day and on weekends with my rare visits and I have never seen anyone in the booth, just their business card. Surely guitar technicians aren't readily available in most areas.

    Thanks in advance. I just want a couple of guitars set-up by someone who, I hope, knows what they are doing.

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  3. #2

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    I think there is a considerable turnover in techs at GC. There isn't a huge salary involved. Perhaps that store has no tech on staff right now, hard to say. I'd contact the store manager and see what (s)he had to say. Personally, I'd look for an independent tech to do any work I needed done. I don't know where in Texas you are, so I can't recommend anyone specifically, but there should be someone in any of the major cities. Yelp might have some information you could use, but you have to consider the source of their reviews.

  4. #3

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    I've bought some pretty darned nice guitars and amps from Guitar Center, but have NEVER used their tech service, and don't plan to in the future. I think they're really about sales, not service, no matter what they say. A lot of businesses are like that.

    (like a certain successful car dealership that I won't name) :0

  5. #4

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    Yeah, I think that it is usual for people that have guitar repair shops to be passionate about working on guitars. I think that a place like GC has the service out of convenience for customers that helps with the GC brand, but not necessarily because of a passion for working on guitars. Also, I am not sure that most GC techs would be much more capable than just providing setups. I don't even think that their benches are equipped to do much else.

  6. #5

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    The morale of this story is probably expectations....The local GC may be ok for certain things, but specialized repair service isn't one of them. The store is a volume environment, and all that goes with that.
    So - the OP would / will be better off finding that repair guy in his area that the pro's use. It may very well be a guy working out of his home.
    So ask the guys on gigs, and get to know 'that guy'. Because some day, GC ( or another store ), may very well have a guitar you want that's a bargain - but needs some work. If you've got a guy who can do the work, you're in business - if not, you're SOL.

    Good luck and hope that helps !

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    I've bought some pretty darned nice guitars and amps from Guitar Center, but have NEVER used their tech service, and don't plan to in the future. I think they're really about sales, not service, no matter what they say. A lot of businesses are like that.

    (like a certain successful car dealership that I won't name) :0
    I’ve contacted several non-local Guitar Centers in the past when they’ve had interesting guitars in stock, and often no one even ever gets back to me.

  8. #7

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    It doesn't take long for a GC guitar tech to figure out he can make more money at home doing less work and not having GC own you. Except for that tech too inexperienced to figure that out...want him working on your axe???

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    It doesn't take long for a GC guitar tech to figure out he can make more money at home doing less work and not having GC own you. Except for that tech too inexperienced to figure that out...want him working on your axe???
    I have met that tech.

    Nooooooooooo...


  10. #9

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    Ha! ha!

    I went right down the line reading the responses. The answers made my day and what a picture it painted!

    To heck with going back and forth with the latest in Guitar Centers revolving door. I am going back to the pro guy that I used in the past.

    But, don't you think someone in Guitar Center sees they are missing out on a valuable source of income? Just pay some guitar tech a decent wage and make some money of all those people that need basic guitar work done. I don't get it.

    But thanks for the many pearls of wisdom.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatRhythmMan View Post
    I’ve contacted several non-local Guitar Centers in the past when they’ve had interesting guitars in stock, and often no one even ever gets back to me.
    RhythmMan,

    I am finding this happening everywhere. For example, I need an HDMI input replaced on a TV. I have called four repair shops in the area, and sent emails or left messages with their site. Somehow, none, I tell you, none have gotten back with me.

    Is business that good that these small business can just blow off people trying to contact them? Its almost like when I was young and girls would complain that they would give a guy their number and he would never call, even though he promised. (They would sometimes call at 2:00AM when the bar or club closes on a Saturday night but that's another story.....

  12. #11

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    There is little money to be made in guitar repairs, not from big chains nor from independent craftsmen. People don't want to pay reasonable rates. If the guitar repair person charged what the auto mechanic charges, he would get no business. So there isn't a huge priority on it from chains. The priority goes to what brings in the money, and that's in new merchandise sales, not in repairs.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    There is little money to be made in guitar repairs, not from big chains nor from independent craftsmen. People don't want to pay reasonable rates. If the guitar repair person charged what the auto mechanic charges, he would get no business. So there isn't a huge priority on it from chains. The priority goes to what brings in the money, and that's in new merchandise sales, not in repairs.
    Corporate decision to force GC chain stores to honor the following promise locally at all stores is a nightmare, I'm sure.

    ***Guitar Center Repairs is your go-to spot for expert stringed instrument repairs, upgrades and servicing. Located inside every Guitar Center store, our staff of experienced, certified technicians will keep your guitar or other stringed instrument in peak playing condition and help you get the most out of your investment. We also repair and modify other equipment like effects pedals, amps and more at select locations. Set up an appointment or stop by any Guitar Center today.

  14. #13

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    I just don't think repairs is a priority with them, nor with most other businesses. Most products sold today cost more to repair than to replace. It's a throwaway society now. Not so much with guitars, but every seller of an product is feeling the effects. Repair of existing products is becoming a niche market. I'm not saying this is good, just that it's that way.

  15. #14

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    A friend of mine used GC techs for quite a few years, until he ran across an independent Tech who is far better and almost half the price.

    I think the best tech I ever had was a guy named Jeff Ponder up in Manassas Virginia, when I lived up in Northern Virginia 30 years ago. He was real good.

    I don't even know if he's still around but he worked out of a house that was solely his shop and it was loaded with guitar cases full of guitars so he had plenty of work. Interesting fellow. Helped me out a lot.

  16. #15

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    Just to be clear (and I may be out of touch) but shouldn't their be a demand for people who can set-up and restring guitars? I am not talking about heavy duty repairs, fret leveling, and repairs to the finish. Just a person trained to set up a guitar so the notes don't fret out or the action won't be too high or too low. I am sure there ar other simple guitar servicing actions they can do like soldering in a pickup, replacing a switch or pot. Surely there is some kind of demand for this?

    The main guitar that I am trying to get set up is my floyd-rose equipped guitar. There is a whole genre of music that calls for this, and I keep breaking my strings. There are several possible reasons but I don't have time to check into them.

    Surely there are enough lazy or uninformed people like me who would pay 40.00 or 50.00 bucks to have someone perform a simple task.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    Surely there are enough lazy or uninformed people like me who would pay 40.00 or 50.00 bucks to have someone perform a simple task.
    In my neck of the woods a standard pro set up....string change, adjust truss rod, action/string height, pickup height, bridge intonation, costs about $70-80, Floyd-Rose extra $$$, and has for 15 years or so. I would'nt want to give it to somebody who was charging less just to undercut the competition. I've seen those hack jobs. Not on my guitars.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    In my neck of the woods a standard pro set up....string change, adjust truss rod, action/string height, pickup height, bridge intonation, costs about $70-80, Floyd-Rose extra $$$, and has for 15 years or so. I would'nt want to give it to somebody who was charging less just to undercut the competition. I've seen those hack jobs. Not on my guitars.
    "Not on my guitars," indeed! My sentiments exactly!
    Best regards, k

  19. #18

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    I had a friend who worked at at GC for a while, and what he described was a lot of dishonesty and a scammers culture. All the employees were compensated on some kind of commissions basis, and none were full time. When being hired they would watch a video of an employee touting how amazing the commissions structure was, and how he was making six figures. They were promised plenty of regular work and hourly pay that rivaled skilled tradesmen.

    The reality was that the commissions were clawed back by all kinds of hidden fees and caveats. Few of the floor workers and none of the techs ended up making much more than minimum wage and there was huge turnover.

    My friend had hoped the job would smooth out the irregular income from gigs and teaching, but in the end it wasn’t worth it. He couldn’t schedule regular teaching because GC would randomly schedule his shifts differently every week. Some of his shifts were so short they barely cover the cost of getting there, and getting shifts was almost as unpredictable as getting paid gigs.

    It doesn’t surprise me service is bad at GC.


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  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by rlrhett View Post
    I had a friend who worked at at GC for a while, and what he described was a lot of dishonesty and a scammers culture. All the employees were compensated on some kind of commissions basis, and none were full time. When being hired they would watch a video of an employee touting how amazing the commissions structure was, and how he was making six figures. They were promised plenty of regular work and hourly pay that rivaled skilled tradesmen.

    The reality was that the commissions were clawed back by all kinds of hidden fees and caveats. Few of the floor workers and none of the techs ended up making much more than minimum wage and there was huge turnover.

    My friend had hoped the job would smooth out the irregular income from gigs and teaching, but in the end it wasn’t worth it. He couldn’t schedule regular teaching because GC would randomly schedule his shifts differently every week. Some of his shifts were so short they barely cover the cost of getting there, and getting shifts was almost as unpredictable as getting paid gigs.

    It doesn’t surprise me service is bad at GC.


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    I was afraid that this might be the case. At the Guitar Center stores I visit, there has always been high turnover. But, there has also been those folks that have around for years. I have had conversations with them at times on the rare occasions they were idle. They confided some horrible stories. But, they had made a lot of friends and contacts so they were able to make it work as part of a bigger picture.

  21. #20

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    Consider yourself lucky that you're not as confused as the GC "technicians".

  22. #21

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    I looked on the website at the tech job description. It's listed as an entry level job, no experience needed.

  23. #22

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    Normally the guitar techs at a Guitar Center store are only there to fix problems that occur while a guitar that's been purchased from them needs a repair, like new pots or a switch replacement, nothing more. I would never take any of my guitars to one of them guys, I take mine to an actual luthier that I've been going to for years!

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    There is little money to be made in guitar repairs, not from big chains nor from independent craftsmen. People don't want to pay reasonable rates. If the guitar repair person charged what the auto mechanic charges, he would get no business. So there isn't a huge priority on it from chains. The priority goes to what brings in the money, and that's in new merchandise sales, not in repairs.
    Never trust your guitar to some "big box store." There can be good money in repairs I find it pays much more than any gigs. The key is I am doing usually work that most GC tech are not touching. Major repairs like headstock breaks/cracks and refretting can be profitable but one has to make sure they get what is due. I generally charge more than most for a fret dressing and set up and if someone does says they have shopped around, then I politely tell them to go there and get the work done. In my case and in a fair number of luthiers it is word of month and players coming know what to expect.

    One thing from my perspective is that I must make reasonable money in repair or I will not do it. I don't need the practice and it can be a liability in some ways. I have for instance notice that pickguards are getting increasing cheaper to purchase online than I can make. Sure I can make an L5 pickguard with 5 layers of binding but I want $100. They are cheaper online and I will not make them for $75 because in the end I am working for not enough money. Now if you happen to need a custom pickguard for your Stromberg, D'a, or some other guitar then you might have to see me or similar......and no it is not cheap. I need to pay bills.
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?