#1
On March 8(my birthday) I will have enough money to buy my dream guitar, a sunburst Fender Standard Stratocaster(SSS). I should have around $450 dollars. I would really like to buy it at one of my local shops but it's over $600 which is insane so I have decided to buy at Guitar Center. So my questions are:

a) Is it possible for me to get the Strat and a hard case for my $450 dollars?
b) Do they have more models in the back or do I have to buy a floor model?
c) Does anyone have any tips or advice on bargaining/buying with Guitar Center(should I go ahead and ask for a manager or what)?
d) Can anyone share any do's or dont's that they have learned from buying from Guitar Center?

Thanks for the advice.
My Rig:
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#2
a) depends on you
b) should have extra in the back but you want to play the one you buy

bring cash you will get a better deal
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Gibson Les Paul Standard Double Cut
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Cheap Fender Acoustic
#3
Ummmmm get your parents to finance it, and then you pay for it .
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Quote by utsapp89
^I'd let a pro look at it. Once you get into the technicalities of screws...well, it's just a place you don't want to be, friend.
#4
I've never been to guitar center, but this Jackson Music place is pretty sweet on deals. I saved like $400.
*Gibson SG
*Fender Strat
*B.C. Rich NJ Series Mocking Bird

*Ibanez PF series acoustic
*Ibanez AE 30
#5
Well, a new MIM strat runs about $400 at GC so go in there, tell the salesperson that you've got $450 and you want to buy a strat with a hardshell case. If he gives you trouble about selling it to you for $450, start telling your parents or whoever is goin with you that you can get the same thing cheaper at (insert local music store here). Once the salesperson hears that, he will most likely lower the price so it fits in your budget.
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#6
a. Should be pretty easy. Remind them up front you can order it from their website, pay no sales tax, and get free shipping. The sticker price really ought to be otd, since you can get it for that FROM THEM.

b. Pretty likely there's more goodies in the back. If what you like isn't on the floor, ask to see some more.

c. See a. above for a good place to start. Be ready to go home empty handed if you can't come to an agreement. Don't make totally ridiculous offers. For instance, offer 375 otd. Don't be a jerk about it.

d. Don't get too excited and be absolutely determined to go home with a new toy. These dudes sell stuff, it's their job to sell it for as much as they can get.
#7
Dude, a Standard Stratocaster is your "dream guitar". I am not criticizing you or anything...but that is not my idea of a dream guitar. I am kinda thinking an American strat or something similar. But..everyone is different. It just seems like a small dream. but nonetheless, I hope you enjoy it.
#8
^tbh that was an awful post


anyway I've normally found that the service and pricing is better at small, local shops; I greatly loathe and despise big places like GC, Steve's, etc.
#9
The Standard (MIM) Strat in Sunburst should retail at Guitar Center for $429, and that includes a soft gig bag. They will sell it without the gig bag for around $30 less, might be $20 less, not sure. While I have tried, the lowest I have gotten Guitar Center to go is tax free, meaning you would be out the door for around $399. That leaves you $50 for a hard case, which might get you a super cheap one, but I am not sure Guitar Center even sells ones that low. Out the door for $480 might be more reasonable, as that gets you a better hard case, but still nothing great.
My gear...

Samick Les Paul (AV6VB) Guitar w/ SD Alnico2/JB
Marshall AVT150H halfstack
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Ampeg BA112 Bass Amp
#11
Quote by thedude051
Dude, a Standard Stratocaster is your "dream guitar". I am not criticizing you or anything...but that is not my idea of a dream guitar. I am kinda thinking an American strat or something similar. But..everyone is different. It just seems like a small dream. but nonetheless, I hope you enjoy it.

+1
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#12
Quote by vanzant38
MF has a tweed case for $50. I have it and its pretty good. The fit is not exact however, you will need to fold up a tshirt or something to place on the neck to keep the guitar from moving around. Don't get the black one, it is of lesser quality and is 10 dollars cheaper.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Musicians-Friend-Deluxe-Electric-Guitar-Case?sku=540948

Yeah, i have that case and its pretty good. You WILL have to pay for shipping though because its not over $100
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#13
Not everyone can afford an American Strat or a Gibson, so they buy the best guitar they can. I am sure that when he said "dream guitar", it was a realistic dream item, not the one he would get if money wasn't an issue.

And I have a SBK Freedom case. While another $30 over that Tweed one, it fits my MIM Strat like a glove and I got it for $50 used, but in mint condition...
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/SKB-SFR6-Freedom-6-Electric-Guitar-Case?sku=544566
My gear...

Samick Les Paul (AV6VB) Guitar w/ SD Alnico2/JB
Marshall AVT150H halfstack
Schecter Stiletto Elite-4 Bass
Ampeg BA112 Bass Amp
#14
$400 for a standard strat is a good deal. I would be happy if I could get a deal like that here. Usually the cheapest places are german online shops and even then I'd have to pay $530 for a standard. In a local shop here they just got a few fat strats in and the price tag says 660€ ($855). Of course the price would go down a bit when you bought it but still..
#15
How to try out guitars

Before you select a guitar, there are a few things you need to think over.
-The style of music you play.
-A budget you can live with.
-How long you've been playing. If you've ever owned a guitar before.
We all gravitate towards the guitar that looks the Hawtest, but looks and color, shouldn't be your first concern.
Wood type, bridge type, pickup configuration, guitar weight, brand reputation, and UG member recommendations should all come into play.
You need to have in mind, a few guitars that suit you best, before you even walk into the store.

Walking into The Store:

Wait, you've already blown it! Are you sure you're in the right place? Most of us only have a couple of options.
Ideally you live in an area with large chains, and local shops. Keep in mind that large chains pay their workers with commission. A money driven worker will not be working towards your best interest, no matter how nice he seems. Local shops might be able to offer you a better deal, but they don't carry as large a selection.
It's good to get prices online, some stores will even match competitor's prices, but whenever possible, physically play as many guitars as possible. Keep in mind that in most cases, the recommended list price for a guitar, is about twice its actual selling price.
In addition, when you are trying to get more guitar for the money, It might be worth your time to look into local pawn shops, classified Ads or to check out Ebay. There are some good deals out there, you just need to know where to look.

Take a Friend:

Guitar stores can be overwhelming. When possible, bring a guitar playing friend with you, preferably someone with purchasing experience. You want him to be objective and to run interference for you, if you run into any pushy sales associates.
Start off by finding the models and styles in your price range. If you aren't happy with the choices, at least you'll create a basis for comparison.
If you have a favorite type of pick, make sure you have one in your pocket. You want to feel as comfortable as possible.
There's no reason to call over a sales associate just yet, because you should start off by playing your choices acoustically.

Testing a Guitar:

Once you're certain about the model, you're ready to test some guitars. Don't be afraid to ask for one off the wall. When they don't want one played, they will usually tag it, but it's a good idea to leave the top shelf guitars alone unless they are in your price range. Let the sales staff know you're serious and they will be more willing to work with you on a good deal.
To make things simple, I've made a checklist.
Before playing...
-Sit down in a quiet area and feel the guitars weight. Make sure it's balanced, and suited to your size.
-Move the knobs and switch. Make sure they are tight.
-Go to the input jack, see if it wiggles.
-Lift the guitar to your face. Check the headstock and neck joint for small cracks or chips.
-See if the neck looks straight.
-Shake the guitar. Listen for loose parts.
-Look at the fretboard. Make sure there are no wood imperfections, raised or crooked frets. Make sure the frets don't poke through the side of the board.
Before plugging in....
-Strum and fret each string. You're listening for fret buzz.
Keep in mind, guitars aren't always set up prior to placement on the selling floor.
Sometimes they aren't even tuned. Action and fret buzz are USUALLY adjustable, but the guitar shouldn't buzz and rattle everywhere.
-Check the guitar's harmonics. Compare tones at the 12th. See if the guitar is intonated.
-Make sure the board isn't too wide for you. See if you can reach the higher frets.
-Make sure the bridge saddles are level, with no sharp points.
-Make sure the tuners don't feel loose.
Amp it up...
-Ok, find the pain in the ass sales guy. You'll need a guitar cable, and an amp,
JUST LIKE THE ONE YOU HAVE AT HOME!!!!
Don't Let him plug you into a $1,000 amp. You're testing the guitar not the amp.
-If possible, have a riff ready. If you're tagged as a complete noob, you'll get less respect.
-Use the switch. Select the neck pickup. Select the bridge. Listen for crackling noises.
Roll the knobs and listen for noise. Touch and lift your hand off the bridge, listen for buzzing that stops when you ground it. If you're into Metal, and are looking at a humbucker guitar, expect to hear less noise than if you were testing a single-coil guitar.
-Check the pickups with the amp on clean and with gain.


Questions to Ask...
-Hopefully you already know the wood type of your choice guitar. You need to make sure the salesman knows that you've done your homework.
"Do you have any other Mahogany guitars in this price range, you could recommend?"
-Let the salesman know that you've noticed any imperfections.
"I like this ibanez, but I'm picking up fretbuzz through the amp. Do your guitars come
setup?"
-Spend a while playing the guitar. Look upset even if you like the guitar.
"What can I get this guitar for?" "Does this guitar come with a case?"
You want to walk out of there, with as many free extras as possible. Especially if you've found anything wrong with the guitar. Any minor flaw, might work as a bargaining chip.
- "What's your return policy?"
Final thoughts...
IF YOU LIKE THE GUITAR ON THE SALES FLOOR, TAKE THAT GUITAR, NOT ONE FROM THE STOCKROOM. Unless it's a floor model, you should still get a box for it. You just don't want to take the time to find the perfect guitar, only to end up with a lemon in the end.
Also keep in mind, stores make a lot of money off of purchase insurance. In almost every case, it's not worth it to buy protection on a guitar. Except for the neck, every part is easily replaced. In addition, any flaws would be apparent within the usual 30 day return time frame.

Good Luck, Jenny
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Set up Questions? ...Q & A Thread

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#16
Quote by thedude051
Dude, a Standard Stratocaster is your "dream guitar". I am not criticizing you or anything...but that is not my idea of a dream guitar. I am kinda thinking an American strat or something similar. But..everyone is different. It just seems like a small dream. but nonetheless, I hope you enjoy it.


I agree asshole... it is a small dream. But I don't care what you think. I just wan't you to know that was a compltely useless post.
My Rig:
Epiphone Les Paul Custom - Alpine White
Vox AD30VT
Epiphone SG Special - Black
Planet Waves Cables
Levy's Strap
Dunlop .70 Picks