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> Best Place To Buy New Gear, Regular Music store or internet?
Nels
post Thu 8 Apr 2004, 06:14
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Hey guys and/or gals,

Hoping some of you out there will shine a bright light on the subject of buying on-line.

Every piece of gear I own,(guitars, amps, recording gear, etc.) I've gotten at a local music store.(Sound Post, Guitar Center, etc.) I'll be getting some more gear in the near future and so I was wondering.....if anyone could comment on their experiences when ordering on-line.

Can anyone comment on their experiences with the likes of Musiciansfriends.com, ..GuitarVision.com and other such places?

Would it be safe to order a large, fragile and very expensive piece of equipment, like the Triton Studio, for example?(That's a lot of money to be gambling with.) ....And what about the return policy dilemma?

As with most of you, I've had some good and not so good experiences when buying at a regular music store, but the one thing that I just can't knock is that... ...if needed, you can return the piece of gear to the regular music store and not have to wait anxiously for a replacement. ...And generally one can check the gear out before ones buys.

Any thoughts, I'm sure would help others as well.

Thanks,
Nels
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PristineRec
post Thu 8 Apr 2004, 06:21
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I buy all my stuff at zzounds.com. You don't pay tax unless you live in New Jersey (a big savings on a Triton!) and there's no shipping on orders over a couple hundred bucks. (also a big savings on a Triton) they have great customer service and quick shipping.

The other end of that is that you have to know what you want before you order, there's no trying it out before buying like in a brick and mortar store. And returns are probably a bit of hassle with shipping back and forth, but I haven't had to deal with that yet myself.
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terrywil
post Fri 9 Apr 2004, 05:14
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Hi Nels. I've purchased alot of items, large and small from Musicians Friend. They are prompt in shipment, and take items back with no problem if you find the gear isn't what you want. Their prices are good. So I highly recommend them. I've also bought at Music123.com and SameDayMusic.com. Both are good too.


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Dimora
post Fri 9 Apr 2004, 14:58
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I've gotten almost all my stuff from Sweetwater.com. They are slightly more expensive than zzounds (by a few pennies most of the time) but now they run competitively with them since they use free shipping on most items.

They have excellent customer service and tech support. Everytime I've called Sweetwater with an issue it got resolved within the hour.

They also have a wider selection of products. Even though I do most of my shopping with them, I cross check at zzounds and a lot of times zzounds doesn't have what I'm looking for. Also, if you buy their MIDI cables, they have a lifetime warrenty on them and will replace them at any time with no questions asked.

I would say that the only beef I have with Sweetwater is "backorders". Albeit it's not exactly their fault that the manufacturer hasn't made enough of the product yet, but sometimes I have to end up waiting a while for something to come in (like my Triton for example!), but when it does get shipped it's very timey (they do use Fed Ex)

Happy Shopping!
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robomark29
post Sat 10 Apr 2004, 19:27
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BE CAREFUL with Musician's Friend. They're not your friend at all. As a matter of fact, they probably don't even like you much, but act like your friend to get your money. They're best for their "Blem" models and blow outs. I got a great deal on a Roland SH-32 from them (great analog modeling for cheap IMO) but when I tried to buy an Access Virus C rack (blem) it came as the model down! (Virus "Classic") They refused to make good on the price by giving me a C Rack for the better price. It wasn't that much better either. In the end I bought a Virus C (more expensive than the rack) from someone else. Had the drone on the phone spent one minute asking me if I'd accept the Virus C at a better price, they would have made SOME money and kept a customer. Instead they made no money and lost a customer. (I go with Sweetwater or Zzounds or try for used on Ebay)

So, if you find a good deal and don't mind possible waiting and screw up (how a Virus "Classic" got in the box of the Virus C rack [not sealed] is beyond me!) Musician's friend is OK. Oh, and don't try to get off their email list. You can't.

Mark
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Nels
post Sat 10 Apr 2004, 20:24
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Thanks guys!

You've been very helpful. ...I'll be ordering some of the smaller items from the various venders you'd mentioned to see which one is best, ..for future reference. As for any large hardware, I think I'll stick with my local Guitar Center and Sam Ash stores for the obvious reasons.

As long as I'm here, let me ask if anyone has an opinion on which would be best to get. ...The Triton Extreme, Triton Studio, Fantom X or The Motif ES?

Here are some of my Pros & Cons.........

Triton Extreme: Offers pretty much all like the Studio and that tube really packs a whalop. No mLan connections though.

Triton Studio: It's mLan compatible and has great sampling and very large banks of great sampled sounds. The touch screen is cool, but too invovled.

Fantom X: Color monitor is very cool. Great sampled sound banks and is alot of fun to operate. Easy to sequence! Virtual Pads! Can trigger video! Skip Back Sampling! No mLan connections. Takes long to load.

Motif ES: All around best acoustic samples. Probably best suited for Yamaha O1X networking. Stand alone DAW control surface through the mLan/Firewire connection. So why doesn't it have a larger LED screen? Orchestral sounds are not as good as all of the above.

You know, I'm actually taken by the Fantom X because it's so much fun to operate/play/sequence, but The Triton Studio does appear to be the most professional of the bunch and is mLan ready.

Any takers?

Thanks again guys and Happy Easter,
Nels
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iscralatchtical
post Mon 24 May 2004, 02:05
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hello Nel.

There are only a couple of reasons to shop online
1) Value and availability (often times, stores just don't have the vast selection internet vendors offer)
2) saving a bundle on tax and shipping (which you will if you buy bulky and expensive stuff)

But there is the golden bond which you can never forget between internet shopping and store shopping. Always use the stores to check out the items you plan on buying from the internet. So long as you make the most out of both places, you will get the best deals.

Personally, store shopping is too chaotic for me. The sales pushers are usually uninformed self-righteous and single-minded. And like i've mentioned, they hardly carry everything I need, so i am forced to drive everywhere to get what i want. But then again, i don't like zzounds.com, musiciansfriend.com, sweetwater.com, nor samedaymusic.com either (mostly cause i live in jersey, and i am taxed to hell).

My number one recommendation is seriously to consider ebay. 30%+ discounted items if you consider the fact that music equipment is either broken or not. Hardly any middle ground for second hand. All kinds of funky, vintage, out of date products are available. And you save on tax. Everything is left up to barter as well...don't like the shipping quote? Do some research and claim a lower quote. Want to trade? Want to pick up the item yourself? You set the rules with the people who you've decided you can trust. The items sold are all hands on, so you can ask for pictures, detailed descriptions, manuals, and anything you can think of to cover your ass (should you be a skeptic).

I just recently purchased a 1.25 ghz G4 powerbook for $2300 on ebay. My warwick thumb 4-string neck through bass was a $1100 investment from ebay as well. I don't know how many countless other music gear I have from ebay. Overdrive pedals, voodoo power supply, furman pedalboards/conditioners, fender acoustasonic combo, mackie 1402 vlz mixer, etc etc. They all work perfectly fine after just a little bit of tuning and tweaking when i get it. A little risk gets a lot of gain.

willie
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eMpTy
post Mon 24 May 2004, 18:13
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www.audiomidi.com for the best prices and great service...
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smokinshaman
post Wed 30 Jun 2004, 01:08
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This may come too late in this discussion, however i feel it must be stated. I worked for a "mom and pop" music store for over 4 years and believe strongly in supporting your "local" music store. By "local" I am not referring to Guitar Centers or Sam Ash, etc. I was the keyboard/piano manager and gained incredible knowledge working for the store. As a salesman, I was never pushy and truly appreciated helping others find the best fit for their needs. Many of my customers appreciated my straight foward, honest approach and complimented my salesmanship in that regard. They were able to form relationships with me and trusted my advice. When you order online, who can you go to for help...operator #24?

Purchasing gear at your local music store means your money will stay in your community. For example, the store i worked for contributed greatly to local school band programs that were on the brink of collapse. Yes, more than likely the gear is more expensive; however, for the added cost you get service and expertise not found online. It is very disappointing when a shopper comes in and checks out the gear in your store and then goes and purchases it online to save a few bucks! sad.gif

Personally, i would never buy a guitar over the internet. If you guys only knew how many guitars come directly from the manufacturer poorly produced or setup you'd know what I mean. We had a guitar tech who inspected the guitars and set them up before they were ever put on the floor. Often times, our tech would find a flaw and we would send the guitar back to the manufacturer. Tell me an online vendor is going to do that for you!

Honestly, I have purchased products online that were unavailable to me from my local music store. I understand the draw of the internet; it's easy, convenient, and cheap! I constantly use the internet to check gear out; however, nothing beats seeing the piece of gear close up.

I am not trying to perch myself on a soap box here...only trying to give a different perspective. I have shopped with musiciansfriend, zzsounds and sweetwater and have been satisfied with their service. Nothing, however, quite compares to supporting your community by shopping at the local music store!

Much respect!

KC
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eMpTy
post Wed 30 Jun 2004, 02:09
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...actually after seeing my last post I will adjust and say download a copy of Inquisitor http://www.inquisitorx.com/ and use the shopping search box to look for the best price and then order it through www.audiomidi.com and use their "if you find a better price we will match it" offer.
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