Snowflakes…no two are alike. No two fingerprints, no two people. We’re all special snowflakes, right? And no two guitars are exactly alike either. Isn’t that what makes your favorite guitar(s) great?
OK, so maybe what makes it great is the bridge pickup, or that it’s lightweight, or it stays in tune and the action is perfect. But you could transfer all those features to another guitar, the exact same model, the exact same year, and it would not be the same.
When you think about it like that, it’s not suprising that these snowflake-like items stubbornly resist assimilation into a Walmart-like big-box driven retail environment. Guitar Center is having a tough time. Making commodities of musical instruments has not been as clear-cut as they had hoped, and it hasn’t been very profitable for Guitar Center and their Bain Capital overlords. The company has seen shrinking profits and a downgraded credit rating since the venture capital company took it over. This article spells it out pretty clearly:
I guess it all comes down to money. (doesn’t it always?) The big box model is concerned only with the bottom line, and they make the assumption that the customer is as well. But I don’t think that’s true. Most players pour their heart and soul into their guitars. Why would you buy an item like that from a place that has no heart and soul?