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Alembic Club » Miscellaneous » Archive through November 18, 2013 » My trip to Guitar Center/Alembic ambassador needed lol! « Previous Next »

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Advanced Member
Username: john_judge

Post Number: 225
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - 9:01 am:   Edit Post

Well every time I walk into this place thousands of guitars, ranging from $89.00 to $30,000, (No offense Guitar Players! lol!) but when I walk into the Bass area, approximately 100 to choice from and that would break down like this 60 4 string, 40-5string, 9 somewhat vintage and 1 sometimes 2- 6 strings, 0-Alembics!...I asked the salesman if they every got any Alembics in? young guy, his reply was I heard of them but never seen one in person, so I told him to tell his manager that he needed to get one or two at least for in the store, afterwards he came back and told me that his boss said it was too, expensive to keep in stock, and that they weren't that popular of a Bass not many people played them, ( I about laughed in his face!!) I said what about all these vintage guitars you got in here, he said well we have a lot of guitar players that come through the store but hardly any bass players, so I ask who was their bass guitar salesman he said they didn't have one, usually it was just one of their guitar players who picked one up and there you have it! if your a starving Bass player you now know where to move to!!...I wish there was an Alembic to play on but please help get the word to these guys!! before I left I did manage to meet with the manager and told him about the forum, that he was not aware of...Well anyway it wasn't an alembic but this ones for the guys here! a few CHOPS! enjoy!
Setup was kind of crappy strings to low for my type of playing (rattle) but you'll get the jest of it!
Intermediate Member
Username: jzstephan

Post Number: 183
Registered: 1-2012
Posted on Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - 9:12 am:   Edit Post

I respectfully submit that you should stop shopping in the low rent district. Give Bass Central a call since you're in Orlando.
Intermediate Member
Username: jzstephan

Post Number: 184
Registered: 1-2012
Posted on Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - 9:21 am:   Edit Post

Nice playing by the way. That would sound great on an Alembic. Please repost after your visit with Beaver Felton.
Advanced Member
Username: john_judge

Post Number: 226
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - 10:43 am:   Edit Post

LOL, I dont shop there! just an occasional set of strings...I was being slightly sarcastic that as big as they are, they really should consider carrying a better selection and line of basses, but I was really surprised by the lack of bass players and the selection in an area as big as Orlando...
Intermediate Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 182
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - 11:55 am:   Edit Post

It is, after all, "Guitar" Center...


Aside from the name thing, I'm going to speculate that there is also a huge difference in the "price vs quality vs quantity" business philosophies / models of Alembic and GC.

Moving units has never been a prime motivator for Alembic, but it is the mantra at GC and this philosophical discrepancy might be a more accurate explanation for the absence of Alembic basses (and guitars!!!) at GC than the vague "too expensive and not popular" dismissal dispensed by the salesperson.

Unfortunately, not all potential business relationships were meant to be.

But that's OK - as long as we continue to have other viable options to satisfy our Alembic jones.
Senior Member
Username: gtrguy

Post Number: 631
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - 12:28 pm:   Edit Post

I love Guitar Center; they are not in love with their stuff and truly want to sell it, which means they price most stuff to sell! You can search all their used stuff online and they will ship it to a nearby GC store for a minimal amount for pickup too, for some great bargains. And they let you play anything in the store.

When I was a teenager, we would get kicked out of so many local music stores for wanting to play expensive guitars... (frankly, I miss those days).

You just have to work the guitar center system (go online and search the used gear).
Senior Member
Username: dannobasso

Post Number: 1522
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - 4:16 pm:   Edit Post

After a recent experience with them not doing anything for a warranty repair on a sub and dismissing me outright even though I am an exceptional customer, I will never buy from them again. And I agree, their bass selection is below pedestrian. The letter after E them.
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 2042
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - 12:03 am:   Edit Post

We have a GC here in Nashville (go figure . . . ) and I step in from time to time. I'm always amazed that in a town crawling with serious players, I ALWAYS hear the same old 'gee, I could play it like THAT in my bedroom' sturm + drang I've always heard in music stores my whole life. I do, as a personal prerogative, immediately go back out the door if I hear 'Eruption'.

I think of it like a WalMart for musicians if I need strings, etc. Not for serious shopping for me, their inventory is just not for guys that have been there, done that, except for those guys that buy Taylors to look at or Gibson 'Custom Shop' pieces to pad a collection (except the truly custom pieces never see retail in most cases, but they get a lot of mileage out of that itty-bitty stamp). Of course, here in town you can go to George Gruhn's, or Walter Carter's new vintage store if you truly want to see how deep your pockets are . . . .

A while back I had a curiosity about the new Alain Caron MarkBass combo, and GC had one, so I took the Elan to test-drive it. I had to 'check it at the door', and when I opened the case, this kid started stammering so bad, he could hardly write my pass. He called a floor manager over, and I thought they were both going to need oxygen. Anyway they hooked me up with this kid that took me in this room where they had the amp (won't be buying one, AC loves it, but it didn't suit me), and I tooted around on it for a minute, and let this kid play it, and he really got a bang out of it, 'I've never seen one of these before, but I've always heard of them', so it was fun to watch him digging it.

Then, it got really wierd. I wanted to see one of the Universal Audio LA channel strips, play the Elan through one. None of them in their test racks, nor would they unbox one of the ones on the shelf for me to try it. I could buy it and return it, but not try it in the store first. Am I missing something here?

J o e y
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 3432
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - 2:47 am:   Edit Post

You think you've got it bad? Over here in Scotland if it doesn't have a Fender, Squier, Ashdown or Marshall badge you're not going to be able to find what you want. Most of the retailers will only bring in something different if you pay a substantial deposit. When I bought my Mesa powerhouse cabs I had to agree to buy at least one of them before they'd bring them across to Edinburgh from the Glasgow based distributor. I'd love to try out a mesa M9 carbine but again, I'd have to put down a hefty deposit before they'd even consider shipping one from the states. I ended up buying an Mpulse 600 from a dealer in southern England - unheard of course (luckily it's Mesa so it sounds great).

(Edit.) DR Black beauty strings are so expensive and hard to come by here that it's cheaper for me to buy two sets from Mike Griggs' String This and have them sent from the US than it is to buy one set in the UK!


(Message edited by jacko on October 02, 2013)
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1907
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - 4:08 pm:   Edit Post

My little brother use to work in Orlando and lived Altamonte Springs. Never considered going to GC with Bass Central next door. That being said I've never seen an Alembic at my local GC nor any other high end basses.

Senior Member
Username: groovelines

Post Number: 759
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Thursday, October 03, 2013 - 5:53 am:   Edit Post

I receive surveys from GC about once a month. The past survey asked "What brand of bass do you own?". At the top of the list was "Alembic". The first mention of Alembic I've seen in two years worth of surveys.

The local GC is undergoing reconstruction that I'm told will include a private room to demo basses and bass gear.

Maybe changes are on the way?

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