Rants & Raves

(Don Chance)

Why I Hate Musicians Friend


MusiciansFriend is one of a triumvirate of conjoined companies, the other including Guitar Center and Music123, that supply a full line of musical instruments and related items.  MusiciansFriend and Music123 are strictly online services, while Guitar Center operates both online and has retail stores.  Although they are, as I said, essentially the same company, for some reason MusiciansFriend annoys me more than the other two for one particular reason.

When I check my account settings at MusiciansFriend there is no indication that I would like for them to send me annoying and deceptive emails virtually every other day detailing certain special discounts.  This is not their “Stupid Deal of the Day” item.  I don’t get those.  I’m not that stupid.  But I do get other email deals from them.  I know I can opt out, but my account settings do not indicate that I have signed up for this so I should not be getting them.

Anyway, examples of such emails I have received recently read as follows:

    “Your Email-Exclusive 20% Off Coupon Is Inside” followed by “You've been selected by Musician's Friend to receive this very special offer.”  (I feel so privileged.)

    “Last Chance To Save Up To 12%”

    “Call Now & Save 15% On Your Order”

    “Last Chance: Save 15% Instantly In Celebration of Veterans Day”

    “Last Chance To Save Up To 92% On Accessories”

    “Wicked Savings Up To $1500”

Good deals, they sound like.  Nope.  Not even close.  For at the bottom of each email in fine print is the following


**Some exclusions apply. See musiciansfriend.com/4deals-exclusions


Clicking on the link brings up a list (attached at the end of this essay) of virtually every manufacturer of anything you’d possibly consider ordering.  And they have the nerve to put the statement at the bottom about “some” manufacturers opting out of these specials.  “Some” is more like any manufacturer whose equipment is worth owning.  Check out the list below and see who’s on it.  Fender, yes.  Gibson, yes, Gretsch, yes.   Marshall, yes.  Martin, yes.  PRS, yes.  Shure, yes.  Peavey, yes.  Zildjian, yes.  Epiphone, yes.  Taylor, yes.  Korg, yes.  Yamaha, yes.  Ibanez, yes.   Vox, yes.  Boss, yes.  Washburn, yes.  Behringer, yes.  MusicMan, yes.  Fishman, yes.  Ludwig, yes.  Rickenbacker, yes.  Tama, yes.  Casio, yes.  Line6, yes.   You’re not getting a discount from any of these.

How about they just list the ones that do participate?  As far as I can tell that might include D’Addario,  Elixir,  and Planet Waves.  Maybe you know a few more.

This is a great example of marketing at its worst.  And that’s why I try to avoid using MusiciansFriend.  Yes, I have bought plenty of stuff from them and I know that when I buy from Music123 and Guitar Center, I am still buying from them.  Frankly, I’d switch to ZZSounds or Sam Ash, but they just don’t have the inventory.  Also, MF, M123, and GC participate in a program I strongly endorse called UPromise.  Each purchase accumulates money in a college savings plan.

Anyway, here’s MusiciansFriend’s exclusion list:

The following manufacturers have excluded select products from coupon offers and other promotional discounts: 65 Amps, A Designs, Adam Audio, AKG, Allen & Heath, Alvarez, American Audio, American DJ, Ampeg, Antoine Courtois Paris, Aphex, Apogee, Apple, Armstrong, ART, Arturia, Audio-Technica, Audix, Auralex, Avalon, Avanti, Avid, Axl, Azumi, B&S, B3 Guitars, Bach, BAM, Beat Kangz, Bedell, Behringer, Belkin, Benchmark, Benchmark Media Systems, Benedetto, Besson, Bixonic, Black Cat, Blackheart, Blackstar, Blue, Bogner, Bosch, Bose, Boss, Breedlove, Bricasti, Brio, BSS, Buffet Crampon, Bugera, Bundy, Carl Martin, Casio, Cerwin-Vega, Chameleon Labs, Chandler Limited, Charvel, Chauvet, Cleartone, Cloud Microphones, Conn, Cordoba, Courtois, Crate, Crown, Cusak, Daking, Dangerous Music, DBX, Dean, Death By Audio, Diamond, Digitech, Disney by Washburn, DLS, Drawmer, DW, EBS, Eden, Edirol, Elation, Electro-Harmonix, Electro-Voice, Elysia, Emerson, EMG, Eminence, EMMA, Empirical Labs, Empress Effects, Engl, Epiphone, ESP, Euphonix, Eventide, EVH, F Loree Paris, Fano, Fender, Fender Custom, Fishman, Focusrite, Fox, Fuchs, Fulltone, Furman, G7th, Galway, Gator, Gemeinhardt, Genz Benz, Getzen, Gibson, Gibson Custom, Gibson USA, Giffin Guitars, GNI, Godlyke, Gold Tone, Golden Age, Golden Age Project, Grace Design, Great Divide, Great River, Gretsch, Gretsch Drums, Gretsch Guitars, Guild, Guyatone, Hagstrom, Hans Hoyer, Hao, Harden, Harmon, Haynes, Hercules, HHB, Hohner, Holton, Ibanez, ISP Technologies, J Puchner, Jackson, JamHub, Jasmine by Takamine, JBL, Jet City Amplifiers, Jody Jazz, Jupiter, K&M, Kanstul, Kawai, Keeley, Keilwerth, Keith McMillen Instruments, King, Koll Guitars, Korg, Kramer, KRK, Kurzweil, Kush Audio, Langevin, Latin Percussion, Leblanc, Lexicon, Line 6, LovePedal, LsL Instruments, Ludwig, Luna Guitars, Mackie, Mad Professor, Malekko, Manley, Mapex, Markbass, Marshall, Martin, Martin-Leblanc, Maxon, Meinl, Meinl Weston, Mesa Boogie, Millennia, Miraphone, Mixosaurus, Mogami, Mojave Audio, Moog, Morgan, Music Man, Music XPC, Neumann, Neve, Nord, Novation, NS Design, N-Tune, Olympus, On-Stage Stands, Option 5, Orange, Ortofon, Ovation, P. Mauriat, Paiste, Parker, PDP, Pearl, Peavey, Pelonis Sound, Perri's, Phonic, Pigtronix, Pioneer, Powell, Prelude, PreSonus, Propellerhead, PRS, Purple Audio, QSC, Radial, Randall, Rane, Reunion Blues, Rickenbacker, Rivera, RME, Rockbag by Warwick, Rockbass by Warwick, Rockcase by Warwick, RockStand by Warwick, Roc-N-Soc, Rode Microphones, Roland, Royer, Rupert Neve Designs, Sabian, Sample Logic, Schecter, Scherzer, Schilke, Schreiber, Schroeder, Schroeder Guitars, Selmer, Selmer Paris, Sennheiser, Serato, Shure, SKB, SM Pro Audio, Softube, Solid State Logic, Sonare, Soul, Soundcraft, Squier, Stanton, Steinberg, Steinberger, Stephanhouser, Sterling by MusicMan, Summit Audio, Sweet Sound, SWR, Takamine, Tama, Tapco, Taylor, TDK, Tech 21, Telefunken, Thermionic Culture, Toadworks, Tobias, Tone King, Tortuga, Traveler Guitar, Traynor, T-REX, True Systems, Tube-Tech, Two Rock, Ultimate Support, Universal Audio, Vestax, Violet Audio, Vito, VMI, Voodoo Lab, VOX, Waldorf, Washburn, Weber Speakers, Western Digital, Xotic, Yamaha, Yamaha Band & Orchestra, Yanagisawa, Z.Vex Effects, Zildjian, Zoom.

Even though some manufacturers have opted out of this special, well over 1,000 brands and 40,000 items are still discounted today! If you have a problem with this coupon, please call us at 866-226-2918.


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Last updated: November 20, 2012