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Steve's Music vs. Long & McQuade


Snail
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I wanted to buy a bass. (I posted this a few weeks ago). I asked around, searched the web got some recommendations. I decided I wanted the Yamaha BB414. Looks like here in Toronto I could only get it a Long and MacQuade or Steve's. L&M didn't have the colour I wanted Steve's did (and it's 5 block from my work) so I went to Steve's. By the time I got there the colour I wanted had been sold, no problem they insisted "we will order it in Yamaha's our good friend and close by it'll be here in a week or two". Ok I say, put $100 down and go home. When I get home I check the bill of sale, they ordered the wrong colour, I call them back "no problem we will just update the order don't worry". 4 weeks go by (I'm way to patient for my own good sometimes) no word from Steve's, Amanda (my S.O.) gives them a call and talks to the manager. Turns out that my bass had come in and been sold to someone else 'cause the clerk didn't update the order properly, another 2 weeks to get in another one. 2 weeks go by we call them again, "no info" they say "we'll call you back on Saturday with an update". Saturday comes and goes with no call from them, we call back on Tuesday get lost in phone hell, give up. Amanda gets through today, "bad news" they tell her "it won't be in until the middle of July and we won't refund your deposit money".

She calls Long & McQuade, they don't have any in stock but they promise to check their other stores. They call back 10 minutes later, "we've got one, brand new still in the box and we'll get it shipped to the TO store for Monday and match Steve's price".

So I don't have it yet but looks like Long & McQuade 100 points Steve's Music -1000000000000 points.

I've always been a little shy of Steve's cause they make you feel like a criminal when you want a $8 pack of strings (fill out this form, stand over here, pay this person, take this triplicate form back to the counter, turn head, cough and finally get strings). I think now it's not the customers they don't trust it's their own staff }:(

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That reminds of the time I spent almost two years trying to order an adapter for my old Tascam 4-track from Steve's. They'd order it, months would go by, they'd re-order it, they'd call me in to pick it up, they'd spend 30 minutes looking for it in the basement, they'd re-order it. It was quite comical in retrospect.

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i dig long n mcquades in burlington, never been to the toronto shop, but they always help me out right, theyre honest with me, when i was trading my boss dd6 for a line 6 dl4 they told me the guy at the other music store here in hamilton had ripped me off about 50 bucks, but they did what they could, theyre honest, i dig it. never been to steves either, sounds like you got the old run around, reminds me of the run around i get at pongettis here in hamilton, the bastids

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ughhhhhhhh i avoid music stores at all costs. i usually buy a couple sets of strings and picks so i dont have to come back for a long time.

i usually go to L&M in burly but i'm really close to Don't Fret so i'll probably end up going there now.

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Sorry to hear about the saga, of course, Snail; I'd caught wind of it last week. Steve's blows; that's about all there is to it. Biggest draw of the 'burbs, and all. It's gonna make them stupid, over-busy, and arrogant. I know you know all that, but I thought I'd just get it out there. We'll have to have a "Get Snail Back His Refund Money" party before long.

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ughhhhhhhh i avoid music stores at all costs. i usually buy a couple sets of strings and picks so i dont have to come back for a long time.

i usually go to L&M in burly but i'm really close to Don't Fret so i'll probably end up going there now.

i wasnt impressed with dont fret when i was there the other day, they were just sitting around jamming and not helping with anything, pretty shitty little store IMHO, okay if you needs strings an picks but i wouldnt give em any more $ than that

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Tooly, oh yeah DF sucks golf balls through garden hoses, but i would only go for strings picks etc like you said. i know acouple of wanks that work there too.

they have a LOT of crappy stuff but they have Gretcshscshchschschshchcs and they're cool.

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Songbird, man. When I first went in there I got a similar vibe to Steves; not in that they poo-poo customers only there for strings, they're usually quite pleasant even for the small purchases. I did sense a little bit of gearhead arrogance, but then I moved a block away and was in there 3 days a week. Traded a few pedals back and forth, bought a guitar, got to know the guys who worked there at the time and they helped me out a lot. Maybe it was because I had spent a little dough there, but they would consistantly give me their honest opinion when it came to effects, even if it meant me buying the $125 Boss tremolo instead of the $600 boutique one. They may not have the bass you're looking for, and I guess you've already bought one, but I get the impression that if you go in there actually looking for a bass (as opposed to 'just looking'), and you tell them exactly what you're looking for/need as far as sound, they'll pair you with the best match(es) in the store, and if you dig it, they might cut you a deal. Great place, wish I lived in that neighbourhood again...

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I bought my 510 Taylor at Long & McQuaid and a Dean Resonator at Steve's. I think L&M is the better store, especially because the employees at L&M are not on commission ( like they are at Steve's ).

Also, L&M's acoustic section is appropriately ventilated - something that isn't part of Steve's current philosophy.

One thing to keep in mind: The guitar tech/luthier at Long & McQuaid is a FUCKING ASSHOLE... and is this way for no reason at all.

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I agree about Song Bird. Excellent store, I used to live about 3 doors down from them, still not too far away. I always go there to buy strings and most of the time it ends up that the guy at the counter is someone I know but haven't seen in 10 years. Bought my daughter a drum kit there a x-mas and they helped me make a decent decision. They just didn't seem to have a great selection of basses at the time. I've known for years that Steve's sucks but they had what I wanted, at a good price and I mistakenly thought they'd treat me well since I was buying more than a pack of strings. Apparently not. Next time I'll trust my instincts. If they treat you like crap when you want a $7 pack of strings they don't deserve my business.

I'm also off on Duke's Bicycle's on Queen for similar reasons. I've never spent more than $20 at a time there and they always manage to screw me around somehow!

Dr. Evil don't worry about the $100 deposit. I'll get a case with that money (they can't screw that up can they?) And if there's anything left I'll get a pack or two of strings for my six string.

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Snail,

If I were you I'd go in and pull the manager out. Make sure its in an area where there are lots of customers and ask for your deposit back - quietly explaining why you think you should get it back. If he still stalls or refuses demand your deposit back a little more loudly and start explaining (loudly) all the poor service you received and how they didn't deliver on their side of the deal.

Its fair to say, "No refunds on deposits" for something they actually pull through on. But you've been put through plenty of their fuck ups and they didn't come through on what you paid the $100 for.

I just hate seeing schmucks like that get any money at all.

Vent vent vent.

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There is also Capsule Music which is mainly vintage stuff (http://www.capsulemusic.com/capsule.html)

But thye guys will keep their eyes open for you if you are looking for something specific. I hate Steve's. They blow. L&M is definately the best when it comes to big box music stores. The Bloor store is rated pretty high in my books.

Anyone ever checked out Tom Lee Music in Vancouver?? Sweeeeet.

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I haven't said this about any aspect of Ottawa, but this town has spoiled me with excellent music stores, particularly Lauzon, OFC and Songbird.

Capsule music is great but expensive. Tundra Music in Scarberia used to have a ton of nice stuff (including more Gibson SGs than I'd ever seen at once) and their service was good too....used to work near there and go in on lunch breaks to play $4000 guitars.

12th fret on the Danforth was ok too, I've never bought anything more than strings there but it was fine.

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Well... I have to testify for L&M's here. They might be a huge chain and they might have a monopoly on music here in Victoria, but they've never been anything less than A1 perfect. And I mean both the Toronto and Victoria stores. I've been treated so well at both. They call me by name for goodness' sakes. And I only go in like 3 times a year.

Now you gotta give Steve's a little credit because they're right on Queen. Obviously they need to step the security measures up a bit. But aside from the drum dept - I found Steve's employees to be RUDE RUDE RUDE. Not to mention all the hoops they make you jump thru for anything.

I'd have to say L&M's all the way.

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I have nothign but bad things to say about steve's and nothing but good things to say about l&M.

one story comes to mind, I had around a grand and wanted to buy a new guitar amp. After playing around in steve and haveing to flag some idiot worker down, I told him I wanted to buy the amp rigth there. He laughed at me. Then he asked me how old I was and if I had a credit card. I was 22 at the time and did have a credit card. Anyways I walked out of there after telling him ever so politely that his customer service was horrible, that I didn't appreciate being laughed at for some reason or asked my age (last time I bought an amp I didn;t think there was an age limit). So I went and spent my money at L&M, have been ever since, I buy everything there.

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I do like Long & McQuaide, but I should clarify my earlier opinion of their luthier.

I went in to L&M to get my Taylor set-up. I asked the luthier/guitar tech that I'd like a standard set-up - my strings were old and there was slight buzzing on the high frets. He rudely, with a fair bit of anger and sarcasm said: " Do it yourself. Why are you bothering me with this ".

I said: " You are the guitar tech aren't you "?

Anyway, I walked out with guitar in hand and waited until for a few weeks, when I took my guitar to Centre Stage in Kingston for a set-up.

I did go back to Long & McQuide a few months later and told the manager of the acoustic department that their tech was a jerk. He just laughed and said: " Ya, he can rub people the wrong way ".

I'll never recommend service at L&M, but they are an excellent music store, minus their fucking prick luthier.

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I think many people can tell similar stories about Steve's. I was going to drop 3 grand on an amp and Steve's in Ottawa REFUSED to order in the model I wanted. WTF?? I ordered it from the Mesa dealer in Calgary for a better price and saved the tax, thank you very much.

I've always had great service at L&M (Ottawa store) even if their sales staff aren't particularly knowledgeable.

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I could tell a million bad stories about Steve's.

'Roo is right though, Lauzon's and OFC are awesome stores, and Song Bird is great too, but a little bit on the arrogant side. The folks at Lauzon's and OFC at least wait until you leave before they belittle your horrible playing abilities.

At least I do anyway. Don't want to be cruel.

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Songbird is good, easily. My own fave is Ring, on Harbord St. I've entrusted my most precious instruments to them (bought my Strat there, too, going on almost 20 years back), and have kept the faith.

I'd have to agree. I lived just down the street from Ring Music on Harbord and those guys were really great. Not a huge selection of basses, of course, but a great place to pick up picks, strings, books etc.

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Sorry to hear about the saga, of course, Snail; I'd caught wind of it last week. Steve's blows; that's about all there is to it. Biggest draw of the 'burbs, and all. It's gonna make them stupid, over-busy, and arrogant. I know you know all that, but I thought I'd just get it out there. We'll have to have a "Get Snail Back His Refund Money" party before long.

i say we stage a protest. as many guitars and basses as we can get, we all set up in front of steve's on a busy saturday & play The Forbidden Music from their list (staitway to heaven, smoke on the water etc) over and over again until they agree to give you your $$ back :)

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OK so now for the good news. L&M phoned tonight. They have the bass in !!! It was ordered yesterday !!! An extra 1000 points to L&M. I think before I go and pick it up I'll take a side trip to Steve's and demand my money back. TomFoolery and you others have made good points and I really don't want to let Steve's have any of my money. I'll take Amanda with me she's much better a causing a disruption then I am.

Tim's idea with all the songs on there banned list could come in handy too. We could all get really drunk play them obnoxiously out of tune.

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I hate Steve's so much my eyes are watering. I think being a total prick is a prerequisite for working there. I have MANY stories that serve as examples of their shittiness. Long and McQuaid are so much better, actual professionals who don't treat customers like crap. But like others, for my money RING music is the place.

Songbird guys can also be dicks at times, but not nearly as bad as Steve's. I will continue to boycott that store.

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OK so now for the good news. L&M phoned tonight. They have the bass in !!! It was ordered yesterday !!! An extra 1000 points to L&M. I think before I go and pick it up I'll take a side trip to Steve's and demand my money back. TomFoolery and you others have made good points and I really don't want to let Steve's have any of my money. I'll take Amanda with me she's much better a causing a disruption then I am.

Tim's idea with all the songs on there banned list could come in handy too. We could all get really drunk play them obnoxiously out of tune.

is there any other way? :) good news, when are we gonna get together and jam with your new bass??

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