High-end Instruments, Good Customer Service, July 21, 2016
By Mitochondria Iligan
About 15 minutes on foot from McDonald’s at H.V. Dela Costa to the Yupangco Building at Poblacion, Makati, Metro Manila, I arrived at the GA Yupangco & Co., Inc. Musical Instrument Store at 8:00 am.
I was greeted by the guard on duty who asked what my business was… then told that the “Showroom” won’t be open until 9:00 am.
Thanking him, I went on my way.
The SM Jazz Mall nearby won’t open until 10:00 am so I went inside the 7-Eleven convenience store located at the Ground floor of Crown Center, Jupiter Street across the Yupangco Building to get something.
I sat outside the 7-Eleven store at exactly 8:10 am and waited for one hour, giving a full 10 minutes after 9:00 am to make sure the GA Yupangco & Co., Inc. Musical Instrument Store was already open.
The guard smiled at me when he saw me coming and welcomed me, which made me very excited to see what they have in display.
As I walked inside the showroom, I saw a small office on my right and another office ahead with a woman behind a desk (I presumed was the manager) and a gentleman talking and three other staffs near them.
As I look around and stopped to check out some items on display nearby, I realized I was the second customer in the store after they opened.The woman and the gentleman from Butuan City at the office were talking about making arrangements on how to ship the grand piano the gentleman just bought.
Afterwhich, the woman stood up and lead the gentleman to the other office and referred him to another employee to further assist him with his transaction.
When she returned back to her desk she turned her head and greeted me and asked me how can she be of any assistance.
I greeted her back and answered that I was still looking around in the store, and thought, wow, their showroom’s big with lots of products on display.Guitars, Basses, Percussion instruments, Professional Keyboards, Upright and Grand Pianos, and an Organ, Amplifiers, Gadgets, gears, various accessories.
Brands like Zemaitis, Fender, Godin, Seagull, EVH, Washburn, Yamaha, MarkBass, Boss, Roland, Sabian and many more.
After spending almost an hour looking around, I finally called one of their staff for assistance.
Having a thing for “pointy and horned” electric guitars and basses, two guitars on display caught my eye.
Although they also had “Jackson” guitars like the JS32T Rhoads, King V and Warrior on display (which were on Clearance Sale for only P9,999.00 each)…
…the two “Vindicator” guitars caught my attention not because of their rare Offset/Modified Flying V shaped bodies but both have cracked guitar necks.
Seeing that they had an ongoing promo and hoping to get a bargain on any of these two damaged guitars, I had to ask the staff how much they were selling the guitar’s.
The staff replied that “the guitar’s are for display only and not for sale because of their cracked necks.”
“How much was its price then before…?” I rephrased my question and added that I’m really interested in buying it.”
He told me that he will check it out for me but before he left, I asked, “Is it okay to take pictures?” he replied, Yes, and hurriedly went to the office to get more information.
When he got back he told me that they no longer have that information and that the guitars are “for display only because they’re no longer ‘playable’ and that there are no luthier’s near that can fix it.”
So I said to him, “What if I know of one ‘Master Luthier,’ who’s not from here, who can fix that, are you still going to sell it ‘as it is’ if I’m really interested to buy it?”
“Actually, the price and detailed product information is no longer found in our computer database,” he answered.
Okay, I said and then I just moved on to take more pictures.
As I was walking towards the left-hand side of the showroom, towards the rear, where other professional keyboards, digital percussion’s, pedals and effects were displayed I could hear the song “Harvester of Sorrow” by Metallica being played on an electric guitar.
When I reached the spot, I saw that it was another employee playing the guitar. He then stopped playing the guitar when he saw me, greeted me and asked what was I looking for.
I greeted him back and said that I’m just taking a look around for the moment.
As I was about to leave, I went back to the office to thank the staff for his help, he nodded his head at me and said, “One of our fellow employee knows the price of the guitars but he’s not here. It’s his day off.”
So I said, “Okay, I really appreciate that” and turned to leave.
On my way out, I also thanked a couple of employees on the office near the exit who were busy talking but managed to turn their heads when they heard me and thanked me also, and yes, the guard thanked me too, when I got out.
“Overall, my visit to GA Yupangco & Co., Inc. at their Yupangco Building Showroom was positive. I really had a good time and received ‘good customer service.’ Their showroom is big, and that doesn’t include the section of the store inside I didn’t mention, that was cordoned off for renovation. The friendly staff was really patient and helpful in addressing my ‘probing’ queries. Too bad the Washburn’s HM Series, WV40 ‘Vindicator’ had no price, would have bought it otherwise. If money is no object, then this is definitely one of the stores to get high-end instruments.”
Washburn Heavy Metal Series, Model WV40 “Vindicator” Electric Guitar
The “Jackson” guitars on sale offered bargains galore.Tantalizingly “Pointy” as the Jackson guitars may be, one can always find them in any JB Music branch nationwide, as they are now the “exclusive” official distributor of Jackson Guitars.
But as for the WV40 “Vindicators,” It was the first time I saw it in person.
These rare “Offset/Modified” Flying “V” shaped body guitars somehow looks like a slightly smaller variation of one of them “Limited Edition ‘Reverse’ Flying V” of Silverhawks Lt. Colonel Bluegrass’s “Hot Licks.”
A “groundbreaking” guitar built specially for shredders, the Vindicator’s bottom “pointy tips” seems to be in a “directionally oriented position,” making the guitar appear to take flight.
Feels like this “Bluegrass’s ‘Sonic Guitar’ reverse look-alike” can give you that “Sonic Boom” boost, defy gravity and blast you, sending you whizzing through space as you shred away.
Regarding the two Vindicator guitars “cracked neck” issues which made me look it up in the net, I found out that there was one that had a broken neck that got damaged after shipping but was repaired, and one that had a crack in its headstock.
The cracked necks of the Vindicators at GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Musical Instruments Store didn’t really pose much of an issue, they would’ve been easily repaired by any “Master Luthier.”
A Master luthier like Iligan City’s Renowned Custom Guitar Maker, Sir Edgar R. Rabago, who said, “the reason both guitars had similar cracks on their necks at the same spot is that maybe because both their necks were made of or came from the same batch of wood.”
In my research I also found out that these Washburn WV40 Heavy Metal Series Models, released in 2008, have been discontinued already.
Too bad those “rare” Metal machines were “for display only” at the GA Yupangco Co., & Inc. Musical Instrument Store.
Too bad they didn’t have the “price” for a guitar that’s seemingly “priceless” today.
Because getting any one of them would’ve made a great addition to ones collection… a short-term cure for ones Symptoms of Guitar Acquisition Syndrome (G.A.S.).
GAS (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome) Propulsion System
These GAS thrusters anew has propelled me to pay an old friend a visit in another one of this case induced episodes.
Yobz Tolentino, currently one of Iligan City’s talented guitarist, had one guitar that drew out this GAS case from remission.
During my visit to Yobz, I was astonished to see he had quite a collection of Axes.
When he brought out his Razorback Lightning Guitar from its case, I couldn’t help but feel that GAS building up relatively quickly.
Like being struck by lightning (holding it in my hands), I only wished I had the means that time for a “Dime!”
Sadly, I had to pass up a good one.
A former neighbor and classmate in classical guitar that lasted for only a couple of sessions, Yobz was able to get a classic red “Stinger” electric guitar thereafter that really helped him start out.
Mitochondria was able to purchase their first guitar, also a Stinger, sometime later.
Yobz soon moved to Iloilo City to study and while he was there, Yobz became a member of a College Rock band named “Turning Point” which later on became “Mjah,” playing their own compositions and was able to release a record on their own.
He was able to jam with Mitochondria Iligan (more than a decade ago) after he got back from Iloilo City playing his recent acquisition, a “PRS” style Custom Made Guitar.
His dynamic guitar skills kept growing since then and like the current guitars in his collection, it was quite surprising.
Yobz Tolentino’s “Spontaneous Aeolian Metal Bliss of the Senju Clan” (Courtesy of Boboy Tolentino’s Youtube Channel)
Having joined several bands and done countless sessions with other musicians, Yobz has become one of Iligan City’s highly skilled guitar players to date.
Currently, he is a member of a band named “Agalon.”
Agalon – Playing Gods Excerpt (bass and 2nd lead guitars) Video Clip – Courtesy of Boboy Tolentino’s Youtube Channel