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Trying Mics out

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by maintiger, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    I wanted to try some mics in my studio before choosing one and I went to Guitar Center and they told me they have a policy of not accepting returns on mics because of health laws. Is that for real? Are there such laws? Also, anyone know other outfits that let you actually try out several mics before buying them? I live in Whittier, CA and am surrounded by 3 guitar centers and one Sam ASh- haven't tried them yet on the issue, thik I will do that this weekend as I really want a new recording vocal mic but I want the right one! :D (right now have U87, D77, Nt1, Oktava 319) Was thinking of an AKG 414 but want to try it out first...
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I've heard that about support garments and underwear, but never about mics. I would ask them to cite the specific laws, because there is a buyers remorse law in California that allows return of an item up 72 hour after purchase.. I think they are B.S.ing you. If what they are saying is true, how could they sell mics that have been tried on the sales floors? And what about selling used mics? That is the stupidest thing I have heard in a while.. K.
  3. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    that's exactly what they said in all the GC I went to, Covina, Brea and Cerritos- that it was about the garment and underwear health laws- When I go back I will tell them what you said about the 72 hour law to take things back... :D :D

    Actually it would be better to deal with some other outfit anyway- I am gonna rent a couple of mics and pres this weekend, do a lotta vocals for my tracks with my band and If I like the akg c414 tlII enough to buy it I'll get it from e-bay where you can find them new for $699 as opposed to GC's $999 :D
  4. Bill Park

    Bill Park Guest

    Rent the mics from a rental house.

    GC has, for years, said that they would not take back LDs. I don't know why. I have returned SDs in the past... I bought a pair, and one arrived "newused" if you know what I mean. They gave me no problem about the return/replacement. But just on a whim? welll.... I 'get' where they are coming from. I have a friend in retain clothing, and there is a certin type of customer who comes in on Tuesday, buys a suit, has it altered for Friday, picks it up, and returns it on Monday for a refund. Wanna bet that they -don't- wear the suit out either Friday or Saturday night to the clubs?

    and listen, GC is a low-priced high-volume retailer. They exist to sell product, not to hold your hand. If you want a full-service house, go to one, and be prepared to pay the premium for the service. You can't really expect the same kind of service, and still expect to buy at the rock bottom margin. I've got relationships with both types of companies... one type for when I know exactly what I want and just want the best price, the other type for when I'm trying to figure out what I want and I need the extra service attendant with the higher price.

  5. bap

    bap Member

    Wow! Covina, CA has a Guitar Center? That's the town I grew up in.

    Zzounds has a statement on all of their microphone listings that they cannot accept any returns on these items. It does seem to make it unreasonably difficult to audition mics with your equipment. They should at least come up with a loaner [or short term rental] program so that people can know what they're buying.
  6. I've tried and returned about 6 or 7 mics from American Musical Supply. No questions asked and no stupid restocking fee BS.
  7. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    I too wanted to try a microphone from Guitar Center and got the same nonsense. I asked to speak to the "manager" and he told me that the problem they are running into is that someone buys a microphone on Friday night and returns it on Sunday or Monday after using it for two nights doing a recording session or a club date (or keeps it for the run of the recording session then returns it). They have had microphones returned that were damaged, had beer spilled on them, smelled of toke juice and old pizzas etc. It is hard for them to sell such a microphone as new. They were going to start charging a restocking fee of 20% but decided that it was easier in the long run to just tell people they could not return the microphones.

    The other problem is that the many times the people who are purchasing the microphones don't go for the Shure SM-57s but "buy" a Neumann or Blue microphone on their credit card only to return it a couple of days to a week later in less than pristine condition. The health risk is there with the spread of spit born infections but I think the real reason is because there are a lot of people who are not too honest about the reasons for buying the microphones.

    This tends to hurts people like myself who want to try out a couple of microphones recording a chamber group or choral ensemble where this is little or no risk of damage and no one will be singing into the microphone.

    I asked the manager what they did with the microphones they use for demo in the store and he said they sell them as used microphones at or about their cost.

    I don't know if he was blowing smoke or was telling the truth but I have known this person for a long time (in the GC world longer than 6 months) and I find him to be more than honest in his day to day dealings with me so I think he is being honest about this as well.

    Hope this helps

    By the way Best Buys now will not return laptop computer after so many days nor will they return camcorders or cameras for similar reasons (people taking them on vacation and returning them when they come home) so Guitar Center is not alone in their return policy.
  8. Raised Under Reagan

    Raised Under Reagan Active Member

    that's strange of them to say that. i was in the GC in cerritos just last week and was asking the same thing. they told me if i buy a mic i have 30 days to try it out. i say "they" but i only dealt with one guy and he possibly wasn't in the know about their new policy. i don't understand why they wouldn't just use their judgment when someone brings back a busted mic and tell them to piss off. eh, anyways. peace.
  9. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    Living here in the Peoples's Republic of Kalifornia, the health-thing wouldn't surprise me at all. Especially if the GC was located in Davis, etc.

    I think the story about dishonest practices is probably much closer to the truth. If it is ok for politicians and corporate pukes, why not for ordinary guys?

    As a self-employed business man, I see this crap in every walk of life. A shame.
  10. missilanious

    missilanious Guest

    they take back small diaphrams because they figure your not using it as a vocal mic so you likely won't get sidement or crap on the capsule, they figure large diaphram mics would be used as vocal mics, they basicly don't wan't you to damage the mic and bring it back saying oops i don't like it.
    As someone said before it would be like having a free rental place, say your trying a mic out use it and then bring it back saying you don't want it.
    I'd rather buy a mic that I know someone hasn't touched yet, someone demos a mic ^#$%s it up brings it back, if the retailer didn't check the mic before they sold it the buyer actaully bought a brocken mic. Mics are very fragile an unexperienced person who don't know how to handle mics could brake it, thats why they will let you demo it in store cause there a person whatching, I do this at GC and Alto they have no problem. Its not ideal but if you serious about buying some nice mics a salesperson would make an appointment so you can have some real time to demo it.
    If your a good costumer that they trust they usaully do let you demo it or buy it and if your not happy with it they will give you your money back, I know this, I have worked at a GC in New York.
    If they don't say they have a policy up front theres always someone who abuses it. Like one gentelman who eventaully tried out every used guitar in the store at his home who eventaully the manager said they had to change him a restocking fee after he demo and brought back about 25 guitars saying he didn't find one yet that he liked.
  11. missilanious

    missilanious Guest

    ooohh yeah it isn't a new policy either, I worked there in 2001.
  12. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Oh man....just when I was starting to trust him too.....its not something I would admit to....it like saying yer a sheetrocker.
  13. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    I wish they came clean at GC and told us the truth, rather than hiding behind some mythical health laws that may or may not be true... I do think rentals are the solution to trying mics out, though. Then if you bought it they could apply the rental fee towards the purchase with an "all mics sales final" provision. (After all you checked it out already when you rented it)

    Maybe outfits like GC will see the light & start renting them out with the option to buy... IMHO ts just too much darn money to buy a good mic without throughly trying it out in your studio. Its kinda like getting married before your first date! hey, the chick may be glamorous but she may not be quite the right one for you... :D
  14. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    It also might be nice if people were a bit more upfront and honest about purchasing something like a microphone for a one time use and then returning it after they dropped it or slobberd all over it. The next joe who buys it may be in for a rude awakening when that same microphone doesn't work or works poorly. Not something I would want to have happen if I just purchased a Neumann or Blue microphone for thousand or so dollars.

  15. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    So why not come out and say so- why hide behind a lame excuse?
  16. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    If the reason GC states is really the truth, then they shouldn't have a problem allowing a customer to purchase a new mic at GC's price, then allow the customer to take the floor / demo model home to try first... If it sucks, they can return it and if they like it they can exchange it for a new "keeper". I agree that too many people abuse return policies in all reatil and we should inflict serious hurt on these individuals when we come across them, for screwing up a good thing.
  17. tonio

    tonio Guest

    Here ,here Not to mention some people that buys clothes for the weekend.

  18. missilanious

    missilanious Guest

    Dave I admit i was young and niave, but it did get me a discount on my 001, I didn't like sales, wasn't for me, I couldn't tell someone Benringer was good with a strait face. As for GC, I don't work there, and I don't shop there when during my last ....uhhh almost a purchase I was buying a cactus with cash on a sunday, as a GC employee you couldn't ask for anything better (commision wize). Well he told me since I had cash he'll give it too me for $2700 which they where selling it at $3000, good deal so I said I'll be there in 40 minutes. When I got there he said after breaking out the box and presenting everthing to me and basiclly ready to pay, he said he couldn't knock that much off the price without the mangers aproval, but he could could sell me the mic and other things I wanted for $3000, saying he'll sell me the mic for $3000 but I have to buy things I don't need and he'll drop $300 off the other things I buy, so say if i bought three mc012 and the cactus he would of gave me the octavas for free and charge me full price for the cactus. Very confusing and full of $*^t so I left called up Alto got it for $200 less and got it at me door in 5 days. Salesmen like that make people like me never come back again, and they screw it up for the honest people who work there. And I'm the type of person who really doesn't need help buying equipment cause i know what I wan't and know the product well before I save the money to buy it.

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