Great points! Even if the GC (MF is the same place BTW!) says they set up your guitar it was probaby done by a a 20 year old Stairway to Heaven wannabe rather than a Luthier or experienced technician with the proper tooling. I can't tell you how many times I have looked at used guitars that the owners claimed that they bought them for a kid (or themselves) and lost interest. In many cases you couldn't fret them with a C-Clamp or they buzzed like a door bell because someone "Adjusted the Action" for them. Nothing stymies learning an instrument quicker than trying to play a crappy instrument.
Originally Posted by josjor
2. Buy from a quality independant dealer, not the big box stores. Sorry folks, but GC and Musicians Friend doesn't really give a shit. When you buy your guitar there it most likely has never been touched by a technician and checked out for playability and function. It's simply pulled out of a box and put on the sales floor or shipped to you.
We offer the free string changes not just to increase sales, but because we actuall CARE about whether your guitar is still performing as it should and the free string changes allow us to get our hands on your guitar to make sure all is right. We want you to be successful with music and having a properly functioning guitar is crucial to that.
Chances are the indy dealer will match the big box price, but even if he just comes close, consider the other, unseen benefits. The indy dealer is more likely to be able to recommend good teachers. The indy dealer is more likely to have good product knowledge and take the time to find the right product to suit your individual needs. The indy dealer is more likely to remember you when you come back in a month later with a problem. More importantly, they'll actually CARE when you come back with a problem.