Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Swimming With Sharks

Got screwed by dealing with Craigslist, but it was my own damn fault.  The details are now too tired for me to reiterate another time, but suffice to say that although I knew it was indeed my own (un-) doing for dealing with inscrutable miscreant/angling con-job types who populate that venerable soup-line of internet trading posts, still you gotta recognize that dishonesty in the face of good faith (mine) sucks worse than a three-hour bus ride with your best friend's mother-in-law. 

Anyway I now have a noisy bass preamp to replace the beautiful, albeit too-hi-fi Eden WT-405 amplifier I used to own.  Didn't love the Eden at all really, but it was better than the odd, and loud, hum and hiss in this poorly laid-out Ampeg SVP-Pro I do now own.  The newer edition of the SVP-Pro, that I don't have, is great- and really this one actually DOES SOUND really good, aside from the noise...  I will bring it to B-Sharp Music in Providence to see if Dave can do anything for it, but we've spoken and he's doubtful... I have to try everything though, since the stupid thing's here.  No, wait- it's just a box with a bunch of circuits in it.  I'm the one who went through with a bad deal to get it...

Craigslist can be a great thing.  If you find what you need for the right price, sell something because you need the cash, or run into a great deal or opportunity then it's a good resource.  In fact I recently got a nice little gig off Craigslist, building a set of 'end-caps' for a retail display.  Might generate some more work, which'd be fine.   I also found a Portuguese festival band to audition for, which I've been with now for about 3 years.  Okay, winners.  But this was a profoundly gone-south, bad episode.  It's left me sour and morose.  Because it was, again, my own fault.  God I hate that.

Okay so briefly, here's what went down.  I posted an ad to sell the Eden.  Got an answer, a proposal to trade it for my recent desire, an Ampeg SVP-Pro that the guy had laying around.  I have wanted an SVT all-tube bass amp for years to replace the one I traded off to Ric's Music in Seekonk back in '95, so it sounded like a way to get there without the needed $1,000 or so, which I ain't presently having.  So having read all about this special-est of all bass preamps here and there, I decided I'd do it.  The guy ended up implying to me that if he were coming to my place he was going to want to know it would be a deal.  He had sort of a hard-luck story, so I went with it, figuring I had worn such shoes before...  I plugged it in when he got here, and it seemed ok.  I held to my word and we did the deal.  The Eden he went away with, I knew, was flawless... he left, "happy" in his more or less downtrodden state.  So...

Over the next month or so I found it very noisy after all.  Life is full of non-music things with school issues, family-man duties, work, kids, cats, house, etc... and now a couple months later I find time and the confidence to write the guy an email and voice my complaint.  I was met with "It's been too long, and can't do anything about it now".  But here's the thing:  The preamp has a noise issue, and he knew it did when he offered it, and when he gave me his hard-luck story to get my sympathy (brings a song to mind).  Well I can't make him deal with me without going postal... and getting wrathful and vengeful about it is not only distateful and unseemly, he also knows where I live.  I'm not living the "carefree" life of a bachelor...  so it's either be amicable about making it right, or it's a closed issue.  It isn't going to be amicably resolved.  So I lose, and have to cut it free and let it go.  God I hate that.  But ok, I'm letting it go. 

Sometimes I think that in 51 years I've learned damn little.  Maybe I've learned a little more today, because I hate it when I do this kind of thing.  At least I have my vintage, way-pre-Fender and good-sounding SWR heads, an SM-400 and an SM-400s, the latter of which is now having a loud, annoying 'Pop'.  Some of us had a loud annoying pop when we were kids, but this one's at the amplifier's input.  So when I go get the SM-400 out of the shop tomorrow I can drop off the SM-400s, along with the Ampeg preamp.  Maybe we can get a noise-ectomy for it.

Yay, gear. 

1 comment:

  1. Ah, buying and selling! Great case study of pretty much the whole world story--"good faith" or no. Nice bit, Rog.