Stupid things you've been told at Guitar Center
I was trying to return a defective sm58 to the 'Pro Audio' dept at Guitar Center the other day...here's the conversation:
me- This thing isn't working. Gain cranked, no signal.
sales genius- Oh, sometimes these need a little phantom power for that "extra boost."
me- No, it's a dynamic microphone. They don't require phantom power.
sales genius- Oh yeah I know, but uhhm, sometimes the phantom power will really boost the signal.
mezed confoosed mezed
Sales guy: "Have you seen the new behringer tube mic pre?"
wow. that exchange leaves me speechless....
i must say i have had a few similar experiences, but after hearing yours nothing i could say would seem to matter
Salesman: "What's MADI"????
Salesguy: Hi can I help you?
Many years ago I worked at GC Sherman Oaks, and someone called and asked for a MIDI to 1/4" cable. The guy I was working with put down the phone and yelled across the store asking me if I knew where they were!!! mezed
Miserable 8 months.
[Trying to exchange a defective CD for the same title]
"Oh, we can't take that back - there's a federal law."
When you call my local GitarMart, there is a super aggressive guy in recording. I asked him if they had an XLR gender changer so I could plug into a remap box, and he went into this super long comparison of cables and all these things I could get to plug into my reamp box. He was like "ill have them all up here on the counter when you come in."
I walked in that hellhole and grabbed the gender changer off the rack and bought it in front of him. He acted surprised that was all I needed, and I told him again that I just needed to reamp, and from the blank look on his face I realized (surprise) he had no idea what that actually meant.
I had an experience where I watched this unsuspecting middle-age man, who was probably going through a mid-life crisis, walk out with his arms full of "everything he needs to start recording". He had his all-in-one pre-amp/ converter box, a computer, and a Blue Ball. They were all in their factory sealed boxes. About the time he walked out the door, with the salesman telling him "have fun recording tonight", I realized he didn't have a single cable. I thought about saying something...but didn't. Maybe Blue sticks an XLR cable in the box with all of their mics...
Me: High, do you guys have any studio foam in stock?
Him: Studio phone?? I don't know what you're talking about. You'll have to go to proffesional audio and ask them.
I overheard this one :
Client : well, I will need someone to show me how to hook up all this at my house ??
SamAsh sales guy : Well, we are "high demand" recording engineers but, I would go to your house for so and so $$$, if I can fit you on my schedule.
Me thinking (umm if you are a high demand engineer, why are you working at Sam ash ?
I told him I needed TRS to TS cables for my RNC.
Never mind, I told him. Could I just have the cables, please?
"TRS to TS cables?!?..."
Authoritative shake of the head.
"...They don't make those."
Was in GC not too long ago to buy a birthday present for my nephew (Bad Monkey). As usual, I gravitated into the "Pro Audio" department.
When I noticed an EL Lil Freq in their rack, I said nicely to the saleskid (conversation below is as close to verbatim as my memory allows):
ME: "I'm happy to see you're getting some good stuff in here."
GC SALESKID: "We've actually carried some top stuff for a while."
ME (a little perplexed): "Really, like what?"
GC SALESKID (pointing at an Avalon 737, defiantly): "Like this Avalon here. Unquestionably, the greatest channel strip on this planet."
ME (even more perplexed): "Geez, I wouldn't even put it in my top five."
GC SALESKID: "Oh, come on!"
ME: "Honest. There are a lot of better channel strips."
GC SALESKID: "Then, name them."
ME (taken back): "Huh?"
GC SALESKID: "If you think there's better, then name them!"
ME: Well, um, shoot, theres the Pendulum Quartet, and the Quartet 2, and the new Fearn. Um, there's the Fairman and the Buzz Audio.....how I'm doing so far?"
GC SALESKID (slowly shaking his head and giving me that "if you were more out of it, you'd be dead" look): "Never heard of them."
A View from the Other side
A lot of our customers buy condenser mic's, and have no idea what phantom power is. You ask them do you have phantom power? They say one of two things. Yes. (Which usually means they think it must be automaticly "on" all the time.) Or they say, What's phantom power? But the mic still must be defective because no sane human being would be going through the trouble of exchanging a perfectly good mic. I can understand some just wanting an excuse to get their money back, it happens all the time. But these jokers want exactly the same thing back in exchange. And I'm talking at least 8 out of 10 of these guys want a new one again. And here's the kicker. My phantom power at my bench must be the only phantom power in the world that really works because 9 out of 10 of them work just peachy. Ok, I feel better... venting over. thumbsup
To quote a great man, "The reason people use mail order or internet music stores is because they are too intimidated to go into a real store where the sales men are all too heated up comparing how big their "shredders" are to be bothered with mongoloid mom and dad trying to set little Jonny up with a 100$ guitar that he'll pick up twice and never look at again because the "musicians" who aught to be teaching are once again over compensating for their little jimmys with their finger calisthenics." No joke he said that it one breath. Another great quote from the Tommy Andrews file. When asked for the missing "instructions" for a 200$ drumset for 30th time in one day he screamed as he typed, "The're called LESSONS!"abduction
Easily the stupidest was:
"You don't need to upgrade your converters, just buy a Big Ben."
A salesman West LA said the same thing.
I went into a guitar center in Cleveland to get a 7602 (not available in Canada) and while waiting, the sales dude figured he'd demo the new JBL speakers....the ones that can auto-calibrate...well suffice it to say, after 20 minutes, he did jack-all. He couldn't even find his way around OSX, let alone run the demo. Anyways, the only good thing was the pre wasn't instock, but they shipped it there for free, and I picked it up on my way back through. Dumb-ass.
and it's ALWAYS with the "why do you want _that_ one?" schtick, too.
i don't get it. maybe the profit margins are highest on those?
Upon returning a neumann U87 that was just awful...( I have 3 needed a forth) he explained to me that he has listened to a lot of mics and this is the way they sound (no high end periode and distorting). He then proceeded to plug it into a really cheesy p.a. system to prove his point. Basically told me I had no idea what an 87 should sound like.( Ive been using them for 30yrs).I know he no longer works there.
I look at the $99 MC-012 and ask
"So that's not one of those fake Oktava's, is it?"
Knowing full well it was, of course.
GC: "Nope, that's a real Oktava!"
The guy that sells microphones doesn't know what proximity effect is.mezed
Last minute frantic call to GC before a show:
Me: Do you have any gaff tape?
GC Tard: Um....
Me: Gaffers tape?
GC Tard: What do you mean?
Me: Cloth tape used for taping things down on stage or whatnot... like duct-tape, except cloth and doesn't leave a residue... commonly used in the entertainment industry?
GC Tard: Oh yea! We have... (counting) 3 rolls right here.
10 minutes later I show up... what does he have ready for me? 3 rolls of grey duct tape from the back room.
Then of course, theres always the "What are you going to use it for?", like I'm an idiot for buying something and have no idea what its used for. **** off.
Interesting side note: A few years later I found a company that made a guitar/synth converter box (I can't think of the name right now...) that used....you guessed it....a MIDI to 1/4" cable as part of its setup. It always used to make me laugh.
I bought a pair of JBL LSR speakers there... I had to drive the manager and my salesperson to the warehouse to get the speakers. They couldn't go get them for me when I'm laying down $1200... I asked where I can pick up the check for my $200 shipping and handling +chauffeuring fee.
I called up and asked if they had a UA Solo 610 and the guy said they did and he went on about how amazing it was. Then I asked him what his favorite part of it was and he said
"The compression on it is amazing"
Then I said
"There's compression on the solo 610?"
Then he said "I think so, hold on, let me check"
Then I hung up the phone...
I worked at guitar center in Cleveland for 3 long months. There was one guy that had a fair amount of knowledge on a few things, but for the most part all the guys were clueless.
And of course there is always the high profit margin stuff that we were always encouraged to shove down people's throats. Esp the eureka's, and groove tubes mics...those were the biggest. A gt55 had like 250 bucks of profit in it...with no hard minimum, so it was also a good thing to throw into a large sale.
Anyway I ended up leaving because I needed to focus on preparing for auditions into different music schools.
I went in there the other day and couldn't resist butting into this conversation:
customer: Do egg crates really sound proof rooms?
GC guy: I have heard they can do a pretty decent job at sound proofing.
me cutting into the convo from across the room: Egg Crates do nothing!
GC guy: well they help a little bit.
Me: no the don't! egg crates do absolutley nothing...esp concerning soundproofing.
GC guy to customer: well then i guess you need some auralex.
...I leave because i don't feel like lecturing the two people on the difference between treatment and isolation.
Makes me happy I never went back...I would get so frusterated working with complete morons...plus cleveland is poor, so it was always tough to make commision...all we had were rapper wanna be's coming in wanting to price out a 10g studio because they were getting some cash real soon. Or they just wanted reasons(always with the extra s)...and lots and lots of loops
at this point, the list is TOO LONG to mention here.
i recommend we put up a detailed biographical webpage of all the gc sales employees in the US..
i think THAT would be some entertainment!