Poll: Sam Ash or Guitar Center?
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View poll results: Sam Ash or Guitar Center?
Sam Ash
26 44%
Guitar Center
33 56%
Voters: 59.
Okay, I'll cut right to the chase. I'm going to Sam Ash today to try out some amps, pedals, etc. And my brother has always told me that Guitar Center will rip you off.

Is this true?
Last edited by Aznargo at Jan 24, 2009,
I dont have a Sam Ash, but I do have a Guitar Center. Honestly, I dont really like any of the guitar places around me. The small local shops have either no selection, or the people are dicks. Our Guitar Center does have a big selection, but sales people are almost forcing you to buy something and they follow you around the store.
Ibanez Xiphos XPT700
Laney VH100R
Epi Les Paul (SH-1 '59 neck, SH-11 custom custom bridge)
I've gotten some pretty sweet deals through both, but I have to say that Sam Ash has always come through for me. I've spent ALOT of money at Sam Ash though... I owned a DJ business for years. So, that could be why they are so willing to make really good deals with me.

Guitar Center has better stock around these parts. I usually go to Sam Ash first and if they don't have what I want I head to Guitar Center. I have also played them against each other before for a better price. You know... telling Guitar Center that Sam Ash offered me a lower price and getting them to low ball Sam Ash.
when I was looking around for my first guitar, I went to both guitar center and sam ash. my plan was to buy after christmas with the money I got for the holiday, and this was a few weeks before, so I had no intention to buy. I was very up front about that at both places. at guitar center the guy pretty much blew me off telling me to come back closer to when I plan on purchasing. at sam ash, the guy actually took out not only the guitar I said I was looking at, but a few more as well. I was quite impressed. I've done business with sam ash before as I bought my trombone there, but had never dealt with anyone in guitars other than buying strings for my brother. I had every intention to buy my guitar there, but then ended up buying a used one. I still bought my amp and accessories there, and probably will continue to. the only thing I didn't do at sam ash was get my guitar set up. I went there and I was told it'd be like $60 and take 1 to 2 weeks. I went to a local guitar shop and he did it same day, and I think only charged me $40.
Both stores often sell their merchandise for prices that can be unreasonable. Of course, it is a business and they have overhead costs (paying employees, store upkeep, etc.). However, the best deals I have found related to music equipment has been online. I tend to find the best deals at Musicians Friend online. Of course, you have to wait a week or so if you buy your items with standard shipping, but, you don't have to pay taxes or any of those other nonsense fees unless you're ordering something huge like a full stack amplifier. I have bought several things off of Musicians Friend, and I regularly find the same products sold at Sam Ash and Guitar Center for considerably cheaper at MF. Basically, those guitar stores are convenient. If you need a pack of strings or something and you dont want to wait a week, buy them from Guitar Center/Sam Ash, if you can wait a week (and buy in bulk), you'll be saving yourself a lot of money in the end. I usually try products out that I'm interested in at GC or SA, write down their model numbers then order them online.
Last edited by silvadolla at Jan 24, 2009,
I prefer Guitar Center over Sam Ash because the lack of the cool guitars Sam Ash has. Atleast at Guitar Center they have a wider selection of guitars, basses, drums sets etc. but it's farther away for me to get there....
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GC has a wider selection of guitars, but a sorely lacking amount of accessories, while Sam Ash has tons of accessories but not enough guitars. So I do both.
Please excuse my godawful username. I was thirteen.
I prefer Sam Ash, it's bigger and has a broader selection and variety of instruments. Wrong forum though.
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I'm Jake. I'm a musician, philosopher, and exhibitionist.
prefer samash, Cleaner, better lit, the store clerks leave me alone, Less n00bs playing crappy riffs.
I don't have a Sam Ash. I have tried to find some redeeming value at my local guitar center, but the people that work there are so transparent. No matter what I seem to ask they never have an opinion other than "it's great I love it." I don't expect anyone to bad mouth the products they sell but at least have some sort of comparative opinion.
I used to work at GC when I lived in the States, across the street from Sam Ash. Both places treat their employes like crap. Most people don't last more than a year. It's all about sell sell sell. Do not trust whatever advice you are given in any of them.
I know there are some honest people working there but it is simply not promoted in the structure of the company. Most staff does not know what they sell either.
My advice is to talk to other musicians, search online, and only go to these stores with a clear idea of what you want.
I like Guitar Center because it's just about 4 times the size, if not more, and just about everyone who goes, just goes to play or buy strings. At Sam Ash, since its so tiny, you don't really go unless you plan on buying something. But the two stores have very different brands. You don't see many Deans at GC, which you'll see at Sam Ash. But at the same time, you don't see as many Schecters or any of that sort at Sam Ash. Only thing I really don't like about GC is they don't carry Zoom recording products, and one of the staff at mine seems like a cheap imitation of Kerry King and Scott Ian, with that beard and "I'm so metal I don't show emotion" kind of thing going on.

All in all, Guitar Center is better. More sales, cheaper prices, more people to meet, less pressure on purchasing. But that might not be the same at every store.
Hmm...Sam ash has hot guitar players....and Guitar Center has even hotter guitar players...

I choose GC

plus, they're cheaper
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I buy a lot of stuff from Sam Ash and quite often get 20% coupons. Best I have seen from Guitar Center is 10%.
Gibson Les Paul Standard Plus w/ '60s neck
Ibanez JEM 7V
Jackson SL2H Soloist
PRS Singlecut SE
Marshall JVM410h
Marshall 1960a 4x12
Line 6 Pod x3 Live
Which ever has what I want. I went to a small store and they didn't have a single Les Paul, just various knock offs.
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But they all fall under the catagory i like to call sh!tcore.

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Oh and BTW i didn't start it, i was like WTF at first but then everyone else did it, and i didn't wanna be left out,