First visit to the Best Buy instrument department

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Gentleman Jim
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First visit to the Best Buy instrument department

Post by Gentleman Jim » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:54 pm

Well... I don't need to drive 45 minutes to Guitar Center just to deal with an insanely unknowledgeable sales force anymore.

Went into a new Best Buy nearby today to get some printer ink and look at what the prices are on flat screens I won't be buying anytime soon, and I saw they have the instrument department.

Checked it out, and I have to admit the selection - while small - was better than I would've thought. They have Gibsons and Fenders, (which means they also have Epiphones and Squiers), and they have a few Fender amps, a couple of Line 6 amps, maybe 1 or 2 Peaveys. Drums, keyboards, small PA, lights, mics, cables... they have most bases covered. If you wanted to, you could walk in and outfit a small gig from top to bottom without being embarrassed by the quality of the equipment. They also have a range of small interfaces and the like, M-Powered stuff, Reason, Sonar, some MIDI controllers. All in all, it's not the worst thing in the world to have some of this nearby. I could actually see myself buying a few small things from them every once in a while.

But of course there's 'The Dude.' He's working at the Best Buy, but it's ok because he figures he's the coolest one there by far. Surely this fat, grey haired 40 year old is going to be intimidated when he comes across a 24 year old guy in a white Best Buy golf shirt, BUT TOTALLY WITH TATTOOS! Whoa, I didn't know they were hiring outlaw bikers these days. Gimme a second while I take my heart medicine.

While being tortured standing around as another customer asks if they have "vocal compressors" and watching as that question takes three salesmen out of the loop for ten minutes, I knew I was going to have to ask a couple of questions of my own just to be a dick.

When they finally gave up on "vocal compressor" guy, I asked 'The Dude' if I could check out one of the Korg Nano Kontrols. I use MainStage for effects while doing live sound sometimes, and it actually would be nice to have a small MIDI controller. He first told me that it was an interface; when I corrected him and told him it's just a controller, he said "Well, this is the only plug-and-play model made. All the other ones are Em Eye Dee Eye." Huh. I suppose I should buy that one quickly then, since it's the only plug-and-play model made.

I'm also half in the market for a new cheap keyboard controller, as the USB jack on mine has been squirrelly for a while. However, since I can't really play keys I have a hard time justifying spending anything at all. They have the $99 M-Audio 49 key jobber there, and that's about my speed. I noticed they also have it packaged with an M-Powered version of the Mbox 2 Micro, and also for $99. The sticker under called it Session KeyStudio instead of M-Audio Pro Tools KeyStudio, but it was completely surrounded by all M-Audio stuff. He grabbed it and said that it was probably in the wrong place because the sticker said Session "...but the brand of this keyboard is Pro Tools." When I quietly pointed out that the brand of the keyboard is M-Audio, the free software is a version of Pro Tools, which is put out by Digidesign, and both are owned by Avid... he put his finger on the box where it said Pro Tools and said "No, this is a Pro Tools brand keyboard. See? Says it right here."

Hey, if you can't follow up your ignorance with some condescension and arrogance, you probably can't hold a job selling musical gear at a national chain. So I say more power to him. I'm sure I'll get to know him in the coming years.

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Post by Hallogallo » Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:02 am

Hilarious.

You definitely have a better attitude than I do!

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Re: First visit to the Best Buy instrument department

Post by CurtZHP » Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:21 am

Gentleman Jim wrote:Em Eye Dee Eye

/facepalm
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Re: First visit to the Best Buy instrument department

Post by Scodiddly » Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:01 pm

Gentleman Jim wrote:I knew I was going to have to ask a couple of questions of my own just to be a dick.
If we ever meet in public, first round is on me. 8)

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Re: First visit to the Best Buy instrument department

Post by Andy Peters » Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:21 pm

Gentleman Jim wrote:While being tortured standing around as another customer asks if they have "vocal compressors" and watching as that question takes three salesmen out of the loop for ten minutes, I knew I was going to have to ask a couple of questions of my own just to be a dick.
That's really shooting fish in a barrel, but damn -- these fish need shootin'!

There's a Best Buy a couple of blocks away. I should see if there are some fish ...
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Post by vvv » Sat Oct 31, 2009 8:21 am

Excellent!

Next time, you can ask him about his music! :twisted:

I note that I did buy my Zoom H2 there earlier this year ...
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Post by 30Peak » Sat Oct 31, 2009 9:09 am

This thread reminds me of a great article about technology and the idea of something being 'good enough'. If you haven't read it, it's here. Instruments at Best Buy kind of fits into it, I'd say.

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Post by @?,*???&? » Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:54 pm

Dude, at least you bothered to STOP in to their music department...I walked right on by last week. Ain't got nothing there that I'd EVER need.

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Post by cgarges » Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:18 am

I think the best thing about this is that it's likely to be good for a laugh. The last music retail job I had involved a few months in the drum department at Mars Music, right when the chain first opened. The drum department was bad enough, but I spent one day subbing in pro audio and the number of absurd and ignorant questions I got was just unbearable. And this was a decade ago! I can't imagine the level of absurdity that these kind of questions have gotten to by now, but I'm sure that the typical local Best Buy employee is gonna have a handful of entertaining answers for even the best of them.

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Post by suppositron » Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:57 am

The funny thing about my area is my Best Buy w/music department happens to be situated across the parking lot from a Guitar Center. I'm guess more parents looking to buy begginer kits for their kids will go to best buy cause they'd feel less intimidated.

I did go in there with my friend who was looking for a practice amp and didn't find what he was looking for at GC. Best Buy actually had a better selection of practice amps.

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Post by CurtZHP » Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:06 am

And at least you can hear yourself think in the Best Buy, unless they have a Jerry Bruckheimer movie running in the home theater department.
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Post by CedarSound » Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:21 pm

I spent one day subbing in pro audio and the number of absurd and ignorant questions I got was just unbearable.

Several years ago I worked for about a year at Sam Ash and before that at GC's pro audio department for a little over a year. I was back in college and for a part-time job, I enjoyed it more than waiting tables...

As much as we rip on GC (usually totally justified) from time to time, Garges is presenting the flip side of this scenario... it can be just as painful on the employee-side of the glass... of course, I think almost any service job working with the general public can be that way...

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Post by cgarges » Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:46 pm

CedarSound wrote:As much as we rip on GC (usually totally justified) from time to time, Garges is presenting the flip side of this scenario... it can be just as painful on the employee-side of the glass... of course, I think almost any service job working with the general public can be that way...
I generally have sympathy for the guys working in music stores. Maybe it's because I've worked in three of them, from the awesomest mom & pop, to the most out-dated mom & pop, to the "new kid on the block" big box store. The Sam Ash/GC category is like the ultimate example in terms of the latter. No one works in those stores because they dig it. It's usually a case of the ease of being able to take time off (for gigs) while working to get a big discount on equipment. And it's usually less stressful than working at a TCBY. (I know that for sure, too.) Sure, there are a share of underpaid, unqualified guys, but if those stores were staffed with nothing but the most intelligent, well-versed, open minded people available, you'd all be complaining that their prices are too high. It is what it is.

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Post by The Scum » Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:57 pm

I like the idea that there's somewhere that carries a modest assortment of strings/picks/sticks/heads, and is open well into the evening and on Sunday.

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Post by Winstontaneous » Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:38 pm

The Scum wrote:I like the idea that there's somewhere that carries a modest assortment of strings/picks/sticks/heads, and is open well into the evening and on Sunday.
I was going to say the same thing...Targets around me have strings/picks and some super-cheap electric guitars/basses.

I always thought it was cool that Sam Goody carried Electro-Harmonix pedals and Casio keyboards in their mall record stores in the '80s.

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