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Author Topic: Sam Ash protocol  (Read 6862 times)

Tom Reid

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Re: Sam Ash protocol
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2005, 10:25:16 am »

When I was released from the military (back when ...) one of the first jobs I got was working for Pacific Stereo.  This was when Phase Linear still had the kickin' amps, and Bob Carver still worked for them (yeah, I don't feel old, but somehow the ugly truth unfolds).

In order to even stand on the sales floor, I was required a minimum of 3 weeks audio basics.  My trainers were *gasp* manufacturer reps.  Having electronics courses from the military made traing tons easier, but some of those courses were tough.  Not everyone who started finished the courses, and as a result they were not invited to "hover" in the stores.

My relationship with Pacific Stereo ended when they were bought out by CBS.  At that point the sales guys were trained by used car salsemen.

The same thing is happening today, on a larger scale.  Of course, everyone should be familiar with my rants on that subject ...
 
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Matt Loretitsch

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Re: Sam Ash protocol
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2005, 05:43:07 pm »

Sounds like a typical experience to me!  I am lucky that a friend of mine actually works in the pro audio department and at least has a clue what's going on usually.  I'm still trying to talk them out of their plx-3402 amps for 900 each.  Price match my azz!  I have a quote in hand for 914.00 and they best they'll do is 1000 then add tax to that! I don't think so.

Of course it took me an hour to get that 1000 dollar quote.  What a waste of time.  At least I gave a few people my card if they ever wanted some sound stuff done (oddly enough my cards went to EMPLOYEES of sam ash).

Oh...and I love having Samson shoved down my throat.  F*** off   Laughing

Feel the love,
-Matt
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Doolie

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Re: Sam Ash protocol
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2005, 06:30:17 pm »

I don't care for those cables w/ the switches on them...I had a client that requested it.
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Doolie

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Re: Sam Ash protocol
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2005, 06:38:45 pm »

I find GC a lot better at price matching or beating.  Theyv'e done it for me where they actually lost $ on it because I found an item on the net for a ridiculously low amount...because I buy so much gear from them they actually beat it!  On the other hand, I told the Sam Ash guyz a quote I got from GC, they didn't believe it...so I actually bought it from GC, and to test the SA policy I brought the GC reciept with the price on it and asked to buy another from them for that price, and they refused!  But they offered me to sell it for theyr'e price with 6 months no interest no payments...little did they know I had gotten it for the low price at GC with 15 months no interest or payments!
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Stephen Thorpe

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Re: Sam Ash protocol
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2005, 01:18:21 pm »

The only thing I've found usefull about a mic cable on/off switch is when you want to signal check for a DI before the musician is ready, without making two trips to the stage. I turn the cable off, insert mic, turn on, check, turn cable off, plug it into DI and turn it back on. No pop and you don't have to go back and mute the channel when switching. Other than that I can't think of any reason to use them.
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John LeVasseur

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Re: Sam Ash protocol
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2005, 03:27:25 am »

 .

Hi all,

The problem doesn't lie with Ash, their employees or its protocols. It has to do with a lack of willingness to help yourself. You may spend twenty minutes online searching a website for what you need, but go into a store and you feel you should be serviced by these folks in seconds. That's not what Ash is about. For Ash it's all about their turn-over of product, at the expense of everything else. Yes, it seems counter-productive. It is, very much so, and they [Ash and GC] will never understand that since they have never done business this way nor have they needed to. You expect service, well ... you are looking for blueberries on a desert island.

Guess what, it isn't gonna happen. Firstly, it takes years to just properly understand how audio works. To understand every product sold in a store, with this many products, you first have to be a very experienced person in the audio biz, or just a very curious type of person. It would be impossible for Ash to hire (or keep) people of that caliber. I know first hand. I have worked on the sales floor for both Ash and GC, and for Ash I also worked in the main office as a buyer/merchandiser (my office was across the hall from Jerry & Paul Ash, Richard's dad & uncle). My experience both on the sales floor and in the office was a frustrating one, on many levels. On the floor, I was amazed at the crap slung by most of my fellow salesmen ... amazed! This was mostly out desperation on their part to keep these lame-ass jobs. And what I heard from management regarding the treatment of the staff was nothing short of appalling. This all my opinion, by the way, from my own experience. I may not be objective here and I could be wrong. I was actually treated well, but I'm very knowledgable and experienced in pro-audio, so that went a long way with these guys.

Most guys like me (I've been a live soundguy for 25 years) will not take a job at Ash or GC because we can make much more money doing the real work, especially at that experience level. I went into retail to try something else for change of pace, got  totally disgusted, and returned to my first love ... mixing and designing.

Basically, know what you want, take the time and search on your own. Only get a sales associate involved when you can pull them over and point to what you want him to get for you. Speaking is not necessary, and should be avoided. A grunt from you while pointing may actually elicit a fear response and make the sales associate move a little quicker. Language skills are useless and most often troublesome and may confuse the sales associate. Any overly technical discussion, (like the reasons for having a switch on a cable or what a switch does or what a cable is) may cause damage to the sales associate or at least confusion, which will then cause a sales associate to call another over to clarify or interpret for the first. I jest...

In all fairness, most of these guys are just miserable. These are not interesting jobs, no matter how much effort they put into it. And the management can care less about making them feel even the slightest bit important, unless they are in the top five gross'ers in the chain. They are told often they are expendable, not important, and pressured constantly with the threat of unemployment. You cannot expect much from people in that predicament. In my 30 years of work experience, I have never seen employees treated as badly as I have seen in the MI industry. It is a demoralizing experience, worsened by extreme pressure to perform without adequate assistance or any guidance or real training in anything other then data processing and security. I once heard a top-executive of one these companies, angry about a few missing price tags, say in a private top-level meeting in the president's office, "Our staff are no more significant to me than the shit I flush down my toilet. I could fire them all tomorrow and replace them the next day. Their all nothing more than shit to me. Every one of them. Fuck'em all". This is what I heard with my own ears. While this a short statement made in anger and presented here possibly out of context, it does express a common feeling by these executives and typifies what percolates down to these employees in the form of undue pressure and sometimes actual statements meant to motivate. (If you've ever seen the movie GlenGary-GlenRoss, you get the picture). Take that into consideration when you wonder why these sales guys seem so ... sub-human. Their not stupid, their just beat-up.

So, don't bother sales associates. Use you own eyes and take the time to look around for what you need. If you need help, go find a manager and ask him. They get paid more and actually have some pecuniary interest. Tell them their staff is a waste of time, and since they generally agree with that assessment, they will take care of you or at least refer you to the one guy who actually knows his stuff and isn't miserable.

Otherwise, deal with Sweetwater. They deserve the turn.

John LeVasseur





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jack owen

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Re: Sam Ash protocol
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2005, 04:35:14 pm »

I first started shopping at the original Sam Ash in Manhatten way back in the late 1960's before they had all of those "mega stores". Service was great, salesmen new their stuff, and it was an exciting experience at the time. You never knew who would walk in to buy gear or just hang out. You could bump into people like Hendrix, Santana, Duane Allman, etc. Musicians hung out there just to be seen. Once I was buying guitar strings and I remember the guy on line behind me was Leslie West. Manny's Music was next door and the whole street was loaded with pawn shops, and smaller music stores. You could buy a used 60's Strat or Les Paul for $100.00. You could go from store to store and price shop and you could always strike a deal with the Sam Ash salesmen. None of this crap back then about "sorry, that's the price in the computer and I can't change it". There were no computers, and they would always work with you on the price. Ten minutes downtown from Sam Ash was the Fillmore Theater where we'd catch a concert, usually a 3 band lineup for $6.00. Great music, good sound, and not a bad seat in the house. Does anyone remember the Allman Brothers "Live at the Fillmore"? These days you need to bring a Hubble telescope to a show and hope there's an ATM machine handy so you can afford to buy a couple of cokes. Arenas were made for hockey and basketball. Wanna hear and see a good concert and actually feel like you're there, go to an old theater like the Fillmore or the Academy of Music in New York, although I'm sure they're all closed up by now. Anyone remember the Capitol Theater in Passaic, N.J.? Seems we've lost the fun and intimacy from simple things like shopping at the music store just as we've lost that old time concert vibe.
So anyway, my assistant just got back from the Guitar Center. I gave him a written detailed description of 2 items that I needed.
I asked for a "Y" cable and the "EXPERT PRO SALESMAN" gave him a send and receive cable! I also asked for electric guitar strings and the "EXPERT GUITAR SALESMAN" with the giant nose ring gave him nylon strings! This is why I shop online. AMS, Parts Express, Musicians Friend, never a problem or attitude.
"Miss the good old days!"

stl jack
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Andy Peters

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Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2005, 04:39:42 pm »

stl jack wrote on Tue, 29 March 2005 14:35

Anyone remember the Capitol Theater in Passaic, N.J.?


Man, I saw sooo many great shows there.  I remember seeing R.E.M. there, second row, after Reckoning came out; it was an MTV "Rock Influences" show so the "support" acts were short sets by John Sebastian, a couple of members of The Band (I think everyone but Robbie Robertson, actually), and others.  I also saw R.E.M. there with the dB's (after Stamey quit) as the opener.

The location is now an AutoZone, I think.  Shame.

-a
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jack owen

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Re: Sam Ash protocol
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2005, 04:56:37 pm »

I heard the Capital burned down. I worked there in the '70's, actually I worked mostly at the Casino in Asbury Park. John Scher owned the Capital, booked the Casino and also Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City and occasionally Roosevelt Raceway in New York. After soundcheck at the Capital we'd hang out at that bar around the corner with the bands. Never shoot pool with Commander Cody.He's good!

stl jack
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Sam Ash protocol
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2005, 05:14:07 pm »

I think there was another semi-infamous store on the other side of Ash on 48th(?) street Alex Music or something like that. They got lots of people coming all the way from South America just to shop there... Some of that small shop vibe was for show, they all moved some tonnage through those little store fronts.

I remember being in Ash once just looking around and they could spot the wannabee's coming from a block away... kids who would drive all the way down from NH to get a deal in the big city and ended up paying more than they would of at the half dozen stores they drove past getting there .

Ah the good old days...Shocked

JR
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