Guitar Center after emerging from bankruptcy

Oh, no! I don’t know about yours, but the local Guitar Center where I used to live would let you pull any (reachable) guitar down off the racks unsupervised, plug it into the zillion amps, and test drive it to your heart’s content. The setups were terrible, but it always made for a good proof-of-concept before ordering the same damn thing from Musician’s Friend (their online property). I guess they’re not going away, but I also hope the surviving stores don’t change their policies.

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Its tough. I went to them to buy some gear but the prices + tax were almostt $60-75$ more than amazon. It hurt to deny the sale but it is what it is. These guys cant compete despite how nice it is to be able to go to a store and try before you buy.

Not surprised, a friend of mine worked there through the pandemic and they were not what you would call “agile” with regard to transitioning their business to mostly phone/online orders.
Heard some horror stories about what was acceptable and encouraged (lying to customers, sales rep stealing customers from other sales reps).

YMMV. I always preferred Sam Ash for brick and mortar.

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I just discovered reverb… my days of buying new or demo at a discount are over. ;(

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Sad news. I ended up getting my Analog 4 mk1 and Heat mk1 from them right at the end of the A4MkI closeout and got a smoking good deal on the combo. I also got my studio monitors from them… when they had a good deal at the time i needed those things, they were WAY less then everywhere else.

Hopefully they do well under restructuring / chapter 11 and they come out of it ok.

Yeah, it’s been a long time for me, but you still couldn’t beat it for the impulse purchase. Never a guitar (ironically, given the store’s name), but I recall a device or two that I suddenly realized I couldn’t do without, and boom it was in my hands within the hour, screw the price.

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FINALLY! GC has been on the edge of bankruptcy for at least 5 years, probably more. Where I live, there are at least 5 GC stores within 30 miles, and I have no idea why, the market isn’t asking for it.

These stores are also wildly inconsistent. There’s one that is well-stocked with electronic gear and has very knowledgeable and professional staff, but other stores seemed to be staffed only by teenagers working their very first job, with no knowledge about electronic gear at all, and not much knowledge about guitars either.

The store closest to me was one of those stores. I didn’t want to make any big purchases there but once I dropped in just before a show to buy a keyboard stand. I thought that would be simple enough. I bought the stand and took it home and found that the stand was missing parts. The hardware bag which was supposed to contain a few bolts and nuts to assemble the thing, had a bunch of random screws that had nothing to do with the stand, it’s literally like they just threw whatever was lying on the floor into a ziploc bag. I didn’t have time to go back before my show, so I had to borrow a stand from someone else, quite embarrassing. When I went to the store the next day to return it, I went to the keyboard stand section and started opening boxes, and saw that EVERY keyboard stand they were selling was incomplete or had incorrect parts. I was truly shocked.

Has anyone every purchased the used/vintage gear on guitar center before? I noticed they have some used 80s gear that I was looking for (Roland D-50, as an example), and the prices are a bit more reasonable than Reverb’s. Do they have a decent return policy or support for older gear like this?

It’s been a long time since I bought anything used from them, but I have done so a couple of times. I never needed to return anything, so can’t offer an opinion on that subject. If I recall correctly, shipping charges (and tax?) bumped the prices up quite a bit, but the products were fine and I used them for a long time.


Got my QES Retrofier MCM guitar amp, used, from them. The power on light went out a few weeks later but the amp has been reliable otherwise, and is now my favorite guitar amp.

You can scrutinize their return policy here

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Ah so 3 days for vintage instruments. I guess it is better than nothing!

Sounds like they beat bankruptcy then and are still trading?

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I dunno.

I ran into a friend at a show about a month ago. I asked him if he’s still working at GC - he’s a guitar tech - and he said yes. I didn’t think to ask about the bankruptcy, because I just didn’t care enough.

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I bought a Pro 2 from them recently and overall felt pretty disappointed. The photo online was not very good, so I called the store that it was listed at for more information- they said it was missing the power cable but everything else looked perfect.

I said ok I’ll take it, great price, just have to buy a power cable.

It arrived with a power cable but missing four of the knobs. Thankfully Sequential were really helpful and just sent me replacements for free.

The price was right but I will think again before ordering from them.


So their site always suggests you to “call for deals”, beyond MAP what can they even do for you?

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They are tied in with musicians friend, which will almost always give you deals if you call in.

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I usually just talked to my friend who work(ed) there. He would say straight up what kind of deal he could get me and if he couldn’t, he couldn’t. Almost zero correlation to whatever the advertised price was.

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I’d be sad to see Guitar Center go. It’s always been helpful for grabbing cables and stands quickly and their used market is decent. I’m sure it goes location by location, but I’ve always also had no problems with returns or exchanges. Outside of GC there are no music supply shops near me despite living in LA.

This thread is old, old, old !

Bankruptcy was filed and cleared by the end of 2020.

They are doing well, and looking forward to very good sales in 2022. See more detail here, if you’d like to know.

Hey @Blipson, Why not change the title ?