Rude pro audio dealers

general questions, comments and ideas about recording, audio, music, etc.
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Re: Rude pro audio dealers

Post by @?,*???&? » Sun Aug 15, 2004 8:41 pm

I don't think I'd call 'Sweetwater Music' a pro audio dealer. Many others who actually are come to mind far sooner.

Call Karl at Coast Recording Equipment in Los Angeles 323-462-6058 and get over the nonsense.

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Re: Rude pro audio dealers

Post by ctmsound » Mon Aug 16, 2004 9:35 am

inverseroom wrote:A lot of people who sell specialized equipment of any kind find the work appealing because it gives them the opportunity to feel like they know more than everybody else. Any suggestion that they might be incorrect tends to make them very sullen.

It's a rare thing to find a cool, confident-yet-patient, respectful person working at a guitar, pro audio, record, or hi-fi shop, and when you find them, be very nice to them and hang on tight, because they are impossibly awesome.

(Portlanders: buy your hi-fi crap from my friends Steve and Kurt at Echo Audio. They are the nicest hi-fi guys in the world.)
I'd like to think I'm one of those rare finds. I work at Skip's in sacramento. We don't take spiffs. Yes, I do recommend the high commission items, but only because the quality is there.

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Re: Rude pro audio dealers

Post by i am monster face » Mon Aug 16, 2004 10:51 am

inverseroom wrote:
A lot of people who sell specialized equipment of any kind find the work appealing because it gives them the opportunity to feel like they know more than everybody else. Any suggestion that they might be incorrect tends to make them very sullen.

It's a rare thing to find a cool, confident-yet-patient, respectful person working at a guitar, pro audio, record, or hi-fi shop, and when you find them, be very nice to them and hang on tight, because they are impossibly awesome.

(Portlanders: buy your hi-fi crap from my friends Steve and Kurt at Echo Audio. They are the nicest hi-fi guys in the world.)


I'd like to think I'm one of those rare finds. I work at Skip's in sacramento. We don't take spiffs. Yes, I do recommend the high commission items, but only because the quality is there.
I'd also like to think I'm an exception. Last year, as a way to avoid competition and encourage a 'help me help you' attitudeamong employees, management did away with commission. I think it's a major plus. It allows to be okay with selling a Behringer B-1 instead of pushing the customer to buy a higher priced item that he will probably resent us for later on (you know, people feel ripped off...all they wanted was a cheap mic right?)

But I still encourage every customer to buy more expensive - like ctmsound said, it's all in the quality.

Plus it's a great college job.

Ian

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Re: Rude pro audio dealers

Post by jtienhaara » Mon Aug 16, 2004 12:44 pm

i am monster face wrote: management did away with commission.
Good! I can smell a commissioned salesman a mile away and, especially when buying computer gear at a computer store, it will send me walking. I hate being told what I really want.


It also amazes me how bad some Canadian companies are at customer service. I've converted to Pacific Pro Audio these days, although I also think Fletcher at Mercenary and Nathan at Atlas are very helpful folks. If I happen to be looking for something that they carry I won't hesitate to buy at any of those places, even if the price is above the other online shops. (And it rarely is.)

For what it's worth here's a list of some of the piss-offs I've dealt with over the past few years with Canadian music / pro audio stores:
  • Ordered several mic stands from Tom Lee, paid up front. Waited 6 weeks for them. ?!?
  • Ordered a pricey guitar from Long & McQuade (fortunately no downpayment) which, after months of phone calls, never arrived.
  • Ordered custom snakes from a different Long & McQuade. After 2 or 3 weeks they phoned me to say they were in. So I went to the store to be told "oops, we messed up. Price is actually $400 more than we quoted you."
I do like the smaller Canuck stores (Technopolis is great for used gear, for example).

Incidentally I bought a pair of secondhand Neumann shockmounts last year. They didn't come with elastics so I ordered the over-priced ones from Sennheiser. Didn't realize that when I asked for "2 elastics" they would send me just that -- not the elastics for 2 shockmounts.

I then realized that the shockmounts were also missing the little tube things that hold the mics. :twisted: Next time I think I'll just buy cheap Audio-Technica shockmounts.

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Re: Rude pro audio dealers

Post by jmligt » Mon Aug 16, 2004 1:38 pm

I try to do as much business as possible with Full Compass. I have had nothing but good experiences with them. They've helped me out with research even when I wasn't planning on buying anything at the time. If the rep I talk to isn't in his office I leave a message and always get a call-back. Service goes a long way in my book, and their prices are pretty decent as well.

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Re: Rude pro audio dealers

Post by Meriphew » Mon Aug 16, 2004 1:46 pm

Jeff Robinson wrote:I don't think I'd call 'Sweetwater Music' a pro audio dealer.
They certainly sell some high end pro audio gear. As to whether or not they have a "pro" attitude/approach, in my case it was a definite no. I ended up ordering the shockmounts (4 of 'em) from www.bswusa.com . I ordered them by phone and was treated in a very courteous and professional manner. I'm sure I'll be buying more stuff from them in the future.

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Re: Rude pro audio dealers

Post by Kevin H » Mon Aug 16, 2004 4:26 pm

Just had a lovely experience at Sam Ash this past weekend. I was looking for overhead mic stands, and while I'm not totally against spending $250+ for each, when I explained to the guy at SA that I wanted something between the $40 stands that I have and the expensive Atlas ones. Just being the goof that I am, I explained that I had to tie liter bottles filled with water to the ends for counterbalance so they wouldn't tip when they were totally extended. He immediately went off in a tirade about how what I was doing was totally unacceptable, completely ridiculous, that I obviously had no clue what I was doing, and that there was no middle ground in such matters. I'll be the first to admit that I don't know what I'm doing, but I thought I was pretty clever jury rigging the counterweight, and I did manage to get a good recording. The only thing he sold me on was to not return to sam ash. I'll also never go to GC again, since they're worse than sam ash.

Rogue was great the one time I went and B&H is great especially for mics since you can test most of them.

Kevin

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Re: Rude pro audio dealers

Post by joelpatterson » Mon Aug 16, 2004 4:36 pm

Hey Kevin,

I always strap a sandbag on the bottom of the boom stand--actually it's a rice bag. You can get a ten pound bag of rice at the grocery store for... I dunno, but it's cheap. Then I put it in a bag that you get at these craft supply stores, heavy cotton and a few different sizes, cotton tote bags or whatevery you'd call them.Then I bungee cord it on the stand, real tight, wrapped around a few times ideally.

Sam Ash himself would be proud, whoever he is.
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Re: Rude pro audio dealers

Post by tubemonkey35 » Mon Aug 16, 2004 5:15 pm

I have had a very different experience, Over the last few years I have had nothing but great experiences with Sweetwater. I speak with the smae guy all the time (David Hess) and he has always been great with me. I have spent about 10k with them and always got a good deal and great service.

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Re: Rude pro audio dealers

Post by Kevin H » Mon Aug 16, 2004 9:35 pm

Thanks Joel,
I purchased 2 of the on-stage hex base stands hoping that they'll work better than what I have. Fletcher seems impressed by them enough to put them on his site and sell them, so I figured I'd give them a try. Worst case, they still don't work and I try the sandbag/ricebag solution by attaching it to the base or the stem. I'm all for on the spot problem solving. Unfortunately my recording/music is just a hobby at this point, but I am a paralegal/case manager at a big law firm and figuring out solutions in a pinch is what I get paid to do. I imagine that if engineers weren't problem solving all of the time, most of my favorite recordings would never have happened.

Kevin

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Re: Rude pro audio dealers

Post by 62junior » Mon Aug 16, 2004 10:34 pm

Coast Recording? Maybe they're better on the phone than in person, I've always found them condescending as hell in person.

K.S.

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Re: Rude pro audio dealers

Post by wayne kerr » Tue Aug 17, 2004 3:47 pm

Coast Recording? Maybe they're better on the phone than in person, I've always found them condescending as hell in person.
That place is like a graveyard! And their prices are ridiculous!

I've had excellent experiences with both Sweetwater and Full Compass. As with any transaction, it's always helped me to do all my research beforehand so I know what I need. That way, if the sales droid does try to steer me astray, I can keep the discussion on point.

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Re: Rude pro audio dealers

Post by jtienhaara » Tue Aug 17, 2004 4:42 pm

sissy_hankshaw wrote: if the sales droid does try to steer me astray, I can keep the discussion on point.
Sissy, you're far more patient than I... If any droid tries to steer me astray, I walk. I don't do business with people who don't listen to me.

This discussion has pointed out one important factor though -- the individual sales droid can be great, even if the overall situation sucks. I'm sure there are even commissioned salespeople who could earn my trust. (Well, maybe that's stretching it...)

I think it's worth sticking with a sales rep you know. There may be better deals elsewhere, but a good salesperson will give you a whole lot more than just cheap gear -- they can be great for advice and troubleshooting, not to mention contacts.

Cheers,

Johann

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Re: Rude pro audio dealers

Post by Angie » Tue Aug 17, 2004 4:57 pm

Professor wrote: And I can't believe I forgot to tell you to try the wonderful folks at Wind Over the Earth in Boulder. Marvelous, wonderful, honest folks to work with. Small, so they may not always be low bidder, but they are fabulous folks who are actually WORKING engineers with their shop nestled between a mastering studio and a newly built recording studio (they actually share back doorways to each other). I was very happy to send $80,000 worth of business their way for the consoles & PT system in the studio. And they're in Boulder so they got me a nice deal on the Grace preamps too.

-Jeremy
Oh, you said it. Mickey is a wonderful guy and you should hear his work!!! Truly beautiful stuff. That mastering studio he shares a building with is one of the best in the business. And he and Mike Grace go back some years.

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Re: Rude pro audio dealers

Post by The2and4 » Tue Aug 17, 2004 7:23 pm

Remember: It's business.

As much as we see the gear as a tool for creative purposes, to the big companies that sell the stuff to us, the gear just represents "numbers". The customer just represents "numbers", and the sales guy just needs to meet his "goals" that the company expects him to generate. It's a machine. One big money making machine.

If the sales guy doesn't have time to follow up with you, it's because he's off doing his job..generating more sales. This is a good thing...for the company. Now, if he's never dealt with you before, and knows that you'll probably go elsewhere the next time, what's in it for him? Maybe you own a studio and buy tons of stuff blah blah. He didn't see any of that money, so big whoop.

The only way to get any respect from one of these guys is if he's made money off of you on several occasions, and knows that you'll be back for more.

Don't you treat a client a little differently if you know that he does a lot of recording and always pays on time? Especially if the music isn't horrible and they tell decent jokes and are generally a pleasure to deal with?

Honestly, if you're doing a quick, one-time job for someone, and you know it won't lead to other work or recognition, and they treat you like you should be so grateful for the little bit of money that they pay...don't you draw the line a little lower?

Add the fact that big companies have hundreds, probably thousands of new customers every day, and you begin to see that sometimes it's just not worth taking up those man-hours on damage control when that time would be better spent processing new orders and bringing in more sales.

It's business. You can't take it personally. If it doesn't work out, just return the product and go elsewhere. It's the only form of communication the machine understands. Unfortunately, the machine is so busy processing the mountains of money coming in that it might not even sense that you exist.

So the only way to get the machine to work for you is to train one of these "droids" to do what you want. This droid is your interface with the machine. Just like the machine it represents, the droid understands the language of "numbers". The droid doesn't understand creativity, talent or skill. If the droid computes that you will consistently provide numbers for it, the droid is programmed to service the source of the numbers (the customer).

The droid is disturbed by any numbers that are processed for the machine through other droids. The machine could care less which droid processes the numbers. So, the droid is satisfied only by numbers that are processed through this individual droid.

In other words, if you naively jump from droid to droid thinking that they should all be there waiting to help you, you'll just piss all of 'em off. They're competing with eachother (obviously), and are acutely aware of customer "loyalty". If they know that you'll probably go to someone else next time, they'll rudely scoot you along and move to the next sale. Make sense?

Now, some of these droids MIGHT display some minutely human qualities. If you are lucky enough to find a droid like this that efficiently navigates the system for you, it seems obvious that you would use the same droid all of the time. Right?

Lastly, try to avoid making the droid your "babysitter". You know what you want.. you don't need any advice. Just tell him a quick joke, give him your card and let him know you'll be back and you'll ask for him. It's business. You get what you want, he gets what he wants. Remember him, he'll remember you.

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