Bought a new Martin guitar on Reverb and seller set it up poorly without asking me first...

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Michael Inglis, Jul 1, 2020.

  1. Michael Inglis

    Michael Inglis Active Member

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    Am I being crazy or is that completely out of line? I should add that the seller was incredibly nice and gave me a better deal than anyone else. But I've had the guitar a couple weeks and I'm realizing more an more every time I play it how poorly he set it up. For example I pulled out the saddle to see how much material was left (way too much was taken off especially on the Treble side so if I dig in/play to dynamically I get buzzing) and I find that he didn't even file the saddle level. When I put it on a table it sits crooked so it's obviously not seated on the piezo efficiently and I can't just fix it cause he's taken so much off already I can afford to take off more material in order to get it level. But a saddle is cheap (it's a tusq compensated 3/64th Martin style saddle so I can just get another for about $15). But heres that part that really has me smh frustrated. The nut was meticulously leveled on either side by Martin so that the wood and nut are perfectly matched and if you closed your eyes and felt the sides of the nut it would feel like one peice of material without any edge. In other words it's completly smooth. But again the seller lowered the nut slots. So I either do the bone dust ca glue trick and fill the slots and recut them or I buy a new nut and replace the existing one but there's no chance it will fit like the existing brand new one that should have lasted me at least a few years. I do all my own work on my guitars and build my own pedals from scratch (and mod pedals) cause I don't like other people working on my stuff. But the Martin is the 2nd most expensive peice of gear I've ever bought the other being my Marshall so I really wanted to just enjoy it as it for awhile (I already replaced the tuners but I think anyone reading this gets the point). To be clear I was never asked if I wanted him to set up my guitar. Had he asked I would politely told him I do my own work and would like to set it up for my preferences and string gauges, in other words I would have said hell no. Unless you've been playing less than a year you should be doing all your own set ups and minor repairs in my opinion it's part of being a guitar player. Anyways just venting and wondering if I'm being ridiculous or if I'm justified in being upset about it. How would you feel if this happened to you?

    EDIT: Overall im happy with the guitar, its just the fact the initial setup was "robbed" from me lol that had me frustrated. The guy i bought it from was obviously under the impression he was doing me a favor. I dont see it that way but i can see how someone could. So considering I dont want a replacement or a refund and considering also that nothing has been done that cant be undone my only recourse was to get online and bitch/vent. And thats exactly what I did in this post. I just wanted to know that im not crazy for being a frustrated i wasnt asked before the set up was done. If i paid full price or the seller was a jerk id likely make a bigger deal out of the situation. Anyways, bitching/venting accomplished i can now move on and enjoy the guitar knowing it will be set up to my ideal preferences as soon as i get the new saddle and nut and have some free time to install them (specifically the nut) with as much care as Martin did. I always change the saddle and nut on new acoustics and set the up myself as well. But Martin just lined up that damn nut so well....lol....ok im putting this to bed for real.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
  2. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    So set it up the way you like it.
    There. Done.
     
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  3. IOSEPHVS

    IOSEPHVS Well-Known Member

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    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. I would not be happy to say the least. I would be on the phone with Martin. Hopefully, this guy is an authorized dealer, and hopefully you still have a warranty. Will he refund your purchase, or replace it with same model, factory settings?
     
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  4. Midnight Blues

    Midnight Blues Well-Known Member

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    I can understand your frustration, but maybe the guy thought he was doing something nice by doing a favor for you?

    In any event, I hope you'll end-up being pleased with it. Congrats, HNGD [​IMG] and play her in good health!
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
  5. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    That’s why it was sold . Guitar set up by a tard
     
  6. Maggot Brain

    Maggot Brain Well-Known Member

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    Was this a new guitar or used?

    If new, do you have any documentation where he admits he set it up? If so I'd save that and contact Martin explaining the situation. It would be in their best interest to get you a new guitar that represents a Martin factory guitar and spank the seller if he is indeed a licensed dealer.

    If used then... sol.

    I mean if you do all your own work and are skilled/experience enough, you can get EVERYTHING back to factory spec. If not yourself a half decent luthier should be able to acompolish all of that no problem
     
  7. mickeydg5

    mickeydg5 Well-Known Member

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    Why would a complete unneeded setup be administered after you tried the guitar?

    Return it.
     
  8. SlapHand

    SlapHand Active Member Premium Member

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    Unless you asked for a setup, he should not do one.

    Even if it was done with good intensions, it still does’nt make it right.
     
  9. dragonvalve

    dragonvalve Well-Known Member

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    I would say the WTF should go to you for buying it. Unless you're going for a closet queen then replacing a saddle and nut should be the least of a problem. And yes Tusq is better than bone for tone.

    What model is it?

    I've got a Shenandoah from the 90's. Didn't pay much for it and although it's a lam sides and back the top is still a solid and the precision cut in Japan and assembled in Nazareth is something Martin decided to do but dropped the idea.

    I swapped the bridge pins for some Tusq's and a solid chime is heard!:agreed:
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
  10. BanditPanda

    BanditPanda Well-Known Member

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    According to what has been done to the guitar it is not new. Reverb will cover you. Return for refund or replacement.
    BP
     
  11. IOSEPHVS

    IOSEPHVS Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure what materials Martin uses on which models, but I hope the seller did not remove a bone saddle and nut on a brand new guitar, for no other reason that to replace them with plastic.
     
  12. Michael Inglis

    Michael Inglis Active Member

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    Yes he is a liscensed dealer and i have the message of him telling me he set it up after i contacted him after receiving the guitar. And it was a 100% brand new item, not used or open box. I just feel bad cause i know he thought he was doing me a favor but he certainly wasnt.
     
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  13. Michael Inglis

    Michael Inglis Active Member

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    For buying a brand new guitar listed as such from a reputable seller on a reputable site? Wtf are you talking about "the wtf should be on me for buying it"? And its a D10e Sitka top sapele back and sides. No offense but every Shenandoah ive played or heard online sounds like any other crap laminate. But had you not said some ridiculous shit id probably have kept that to myself lol. And he didnt replace the bone or nut he just modified the existing Tusq saddle and corian nut that the guitar comes with stock and didnt do the best job of it (or if im being fair he did it in a reasonable way but in a way where i can no longer set it up correctly without replacing the nut and saddle). The guitar is perfectly fine other then those two things. Eventually ill have to replace them anyways i just really would have preferred to do the setup myself. I dont think thats being unreasonalbe but im honestly just venting. I like the top on the guitar too much to return it and ive already had it long enough to change the tuners(no modification was done to fit the new tuners but my point is im kinda already used to it). So my only recourse that makes sense was to get online and bitch.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
  14. Michael Inglis

    Michael Inglis Active Member

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    Im certain he thought he was doing something nice but he thought wrong. He really should have asked. With that said he was a really nice guy and i honestly do like the guitar an i have no doubt ill get it into my ideal playing condition its just going to be more difficult than if it arrived as Martin intended it to. Thanks for the comment brother!
     
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  15. Michael Inglis

    Michael Inglis Active Member

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    Yeah im guessing you didnt read the whole post, or you did and didnt grasp that while i could have easily set up the guitar if it was stock i can no longer set it up right without buying a new saddle that isnt filed to the bare minimum and replacing the nut. Both of those things are not difficult and i do them on all my cheaper guitars but Martin levels the nut perfectly with the guitar and replacing the nut would mean not being able to get those perfect results. Eventually saddles and nut have to be replaced i just really didnt want to have to do it right after buying a brand new guitar with perfectly fine parts (before the set up was done of course).
     
  16. Michael Inglis

    Michael Inglis Active Member

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    Yeah he is an authorized Martin dealer. The guy was honestly really nice he just should have asked before he did a set up. Your sentiments mirror mine. But nut and saddle aside the guitar is great ill just have to do another set up when the new nut and Saddle arrive. Thanks for the comment brother, it makes me feel less crazy to know im not the only one who would have reacted that way....unless your being sarcastic. I can never quite catch sarcasm in text but im pretty sure your response was literal.
     
  17. IOSEPHVS

    IOSEPHVS Well-Known Member

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    I was not being sarcastic, and it's good to know that my reaction was not lunacy. I hope this all works out for you. Don't let him try to "customer service" you.
     
  18. dragonvalve

    dragonvalve Well-Known Member

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    You didn't mention in your INITIAL post that the seller was an "authorized dealer!" But you did mention you do your own work. The WTF was not meant to put you down but to call attention to you not noticing the problem you complained about.


    It wasn't clear.

    So perhaps your initial post was not written with enough self-deprecating caveats?

    Attacking the Shenandoah just showed you know little about guitars nor did you consider that a Shenandoah is a budget first attempt by Martin to make a good low cost Martin and they did BUT IT CUT INTO THEIR OTHER model MARKETS because it was THAT GOOD. Makes a good recording guitar. Laminations don't necessarily mean "cheap" it's just structure for a guitar. And it has its purpose in a recording. Many hits are made with unassuming instruments all the time. Not every solid wood guitar sounds good on a recording so there's that. I assumed you knew this but appears not so and that an hominem was your response. And you attacked me by attacking the guitar? WTF? Did you get out of high school? LOL!

    So the way I see it now, you put your heart out on your sleeve about your purchase, ( ok "vent") created a thread, left out some important information, made it appear that you know about guitars, YET you didn't catch the issue you complained about before you plunked down your Benjamins?

    Or is this a pay-first and see later deal?

    If so that sucks!

    Your D10e Sitka is low cost itself. Wonder with today's market what things they left out of your $800 guitar to get it at that price even if it's all-solid panels? There are grades of tone wood you know.

    As an aside, the Shenandoah when new was Martin's first $1,000 guitar. $1,000 these days is not the same as $1,000 in 1995. Much less is $800.


    Figure, Shenanadoah was made in the late 80's to mid 90's and the woods came from and were cut in Japan. It showed up in Nazareth Pa as a "kit" for Martin luthiers to assemble. Think of the logistics that by today's standards would come off as beyond the call of duty. Although if CITES had their way, they would want parts of a guitar depending where the wood came from to be assembled in the country where the wood came from. :facepalm:

    These days Japan-made branded guitars rival U.S.A. made guitars. The resell prices reflect that fact.


    And if you know anything about history, after the Axis of Evil needlessly Nuked the be-jesus out of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as part of reparations to Japan they gave Japan FIRST PICK of the BEST TIMBER on the planet!

    So was Martin wise in getting at some of that fine Japanese tone wood stock? :hmm:



    From a Martin forum:
    "I have researched the martin shenandoah line pretty extensive , the tops were solid wood and the back and sides are laminate. Some of these sound plain while some of these guitar's sound really awesome and will sound better than the actual martin regular counter parts at the time. i have played a couple that was hard to put down and some pro's even thought the sound was really above average and then played a few that would have made good fire wood."

    https://umgf.com/martin-shenandoah-d-2832-value-t166719.html



    And actually this can be said of any guitar. Just because something costs $3000 and is made of select woods doesn't guarantee the guitar is going to have a soul!

    Rocker Dave Alvin used the Shenandoah on his recordings and for live. He couldn't put it down.

    And a laminated guitar is less sensitive to climate changes. Trick is pick a good sounding one from the laminate bunch if you're going laminate. I bought a Sigma (Martin's real low end MIK) and I went through at least 50 of the DM-1 before I found one I liked at the dealer.

    So perhaps you played a few of the firewood guitars?
    And now that you mentioned (after the fact and you were not clear) your guitar being NEW FROM A DEALER, you bought something that was modified and was not "factory" as you paid your clams?

    "Seller" does not necessarily mean "authorized dealer."
    Specially coming off of Reverb.

    Again WTF! The people who sold it to you should have consulted you for any "set-ups" because your hands are not "their hands!"

    Whether the 'seller' (turned out to be an authorized dealer) was trying to do you a favor, he modified the guitar but YOU should've caught it! Guess you did but too late.

    Just saying ...

    :shrug:



    You said:

    Bought a new Martin guitar on Reverb and seller set it up poorly without asking me first...

    Am I being crazy or is that completely out of line? I should add that the seller was incredibly nice and gave me a better deal than anyone else. But I've had the guitar a couple weeks and I'm realizing more an more every time I play it how poorly he set it up. For example I pulled out the saddle to see how much material was left (way too much was taken off especially on the Treble side so if I dig in/play to dynamically I get buzzing) and I find that he didn't even file the saddle level. When I put it on a table it sits crooked so it's obviously not seated on the piezo efficiently and I can't just fix it cause he's taken so much off already I can afford to take off more material in order to get it level. But a saddle is cheap (it's a tusq compensated 3/64th Martin style saddle so I can just get another for about $15). But heres that part that really has me smh frustrated. The nut was meticulously leveled on either side by Martin so that the wood and nut are perfectly matched and if you closed your eyes and felt the sides of the nut it would feel like one peice of material without any edge. In other words it's completly smooth. But again the seller lowered the nut slots. So I either do the bone dust ca glue trick and fill the slots and recut them or I buy a new nut and replace the existing one but there's no chance it will fit like the existing brand new one that should have lasted me at least a few years. I do all my own work on my guitars and build my own pedals from scratch (and mod pedals) cause I don't like other people working on my stuff. But the Martin is the 2nd most expensive peice of gear I've ever bought the other being my Marshall so I really wanted to just enjoy it as it for awhile (I already replaced the tuners but I think anyone reading this gets the point). To be clear I was never asked if I wanted him to set up my guitar. Had he asked I would politely told him I do my own work and would like to set it up for my preferences and string gauges, in other words I would have said hell no. Unless you've been playing less than a year you should be doing all your own set ups and minor repairs in my opinion it's part of being a guitar player. Anyways just venting and wondering if I'm being ridiculous or if I'm justified in being upset about it. How would you feel if this happened to you?

    EDIT: Overall im happy with the guitar, its just the fact the initial setup was "robbed" from me lol that had me frustrated. The guy i bought it from was obviously under the impression he was doing me a favor. I dont see it that way but i can see how someone could. So considering I dont want a replacement or a refund and considering also that nothing has been done that cant be undone my only recourse was to get online and bitch/vent. And thats exactly what I did in this post. I just wanted to know that im not crazy for being a frustrated i wasnt asked before the set up was done. If i paid full price or the seller was a jerk id likely make a bigger deal out of the situation. Anyways, bitching/venting accomplished i can now move on and enjoy the guitar knowing it will be set up to my ideal preferences as soon as i get the new saddle and nut and have some free time to install them (specifically the nut) with as much care as Martin did. I always change the saddle and nut on new acoustics and set the up myself as well. But Martin just lined up that damn nut so well....lol....ok im putting this to bed for real.

    All the above said, if you really like the sound of the guitar (hopefully that's the idea and not the way it looks) then you've found something worth hanging on to and consider yourself lucky. Buying a guitar online is like getting a mail-order bride.

    On acoustics, best to try them hands-on before you buy.

    Heck that should go for any musical instrument!

    [​IMG]


    :spock:
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
  19. Maggot Brain

    Maggot Brain Well-Known Member

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    Might want to make sure the seller understands he should confirm with a buyer on whether or not they want a set up. Could save someone else the headache you experienced.
     
  20. CoyotesGator

    CoyotesGator Well-Known Member

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    Is there a Cliff’sNotes version?

    :ugh:
     
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