Why doesn't Mastery sell replacement arms for their tremolos?

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Pepe Silvia
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Re: Why doesn't Mastery sell replacement arms for their tremolos?

Post by Pepe Silvia » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:58 pm

doctorock78 wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:09 pm
I was told (by Woody) that I should stop using his product after (for the second time) I noticed chrome wearing off due to trem use (Jazzmaster) and wanted to buy a set of spare saddles. It is a shame, since I was a good customer (2 Mastery bridges) and had an honest issue. They did replace the first set to his credit, but when it happened again I basically was told to get lost and that "Sonic Youth" has had zero chrome issues. I take that as a compliment, because it means I abuse my trem more than Thurson and Lee. :)

BTW if anyone has a fresh set of Mastery saddles (saddles only...) I would love to purchase !!!!
Time for a Staytrem. I like my Staytrem more than the 3 mastery bridges I had

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Re: Why doesn't Mastery sell replacement arms for their tremolos?

Post by tdbajus » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:19 pm

Obviously, he'd like to discourage repeat business. Who wouldn't want to be spared the horror of being forced to sell multiple copies of the things your business sells. Why, it would be madness!

I hope he starts selling guitar strings.

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Re: Why doesn't Mastery sell replacement arms for their tremolos?

Post by 601210 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:33 pm

tdbajus wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:19 pm

I hope he starts selling guitar strings.
You can only buy the strings in a full set with the tremolo, bridge, and string tree. And if they break or wear down it's obviously your fault. No, you can't use the Mastery system with a different set of strings.

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Re: Why doesn't Mastery sell replacement arms for their tremolos?

Post by tdbajus » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:45 am

601210 wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:33 pm
tdbajus wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:19 pm

I hope he starts selling guitar strings.
You can only buy the strings in a full set with the tremolo, bridge, and string tree. And if they break or wear down it's obviously your fault. No, you can't use the Mastery system with a different set of strings.
You should follow the manufacturer's recommendation to not expose your guitar to oxygen, as it might rust. Under no circumstances are you to feel entitled to use your guitar under any circumstances.

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Re: Why doesn't Mastery sell replacement arms for their tremolos?

Post by Larry Mal » Wed May 20, 2020 3:21 pm

Swope. The Descendant vibrato.

That's the one to get from now on.
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

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Re: Why doesn't Mastery sell replacement arms for their tremolos?

Post by Larry Mal » Wed May 20, 2020 3:22 pm

tdbajus wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:21 pm

Yeah, I'm banned.

Sort of surprised more people aren't complaining. Was it Amanda who banned you?
You really got banned? I mean, I did. I think it was Amanda.
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

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Re: Why doesn't Mastery sell replacement arms for their tremolos?

Post by adamrobertt » Wed May 20, 2020 4:33 pm

Here's a dumb question -

Why doesn't someone in the US make a version of the Staytrem arm? There's definitely a market for it...

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Re: Why doesn't Mastery sell replacement arms for their tremolos?

Post by hillerheilman » Thu May 21, 2020 1:00 pm

So I’ve just stumbled onto this thread and read through it, and just...wow. Do they still behave like this? I have a mastery trem and a staytrem bridge on one of my guitars, and now I’m very glad I don’t use the trem nearly enough to have anything wear or break. This sounds like absolute bullshit. Like, Apple Genius Bar levels of bullshit.
Customer: “ Hey, I’ve lost or broken this presumably relatively inexpensive part that is integral to the operation of your product. May I please purchase another one so that I may continue to use your product which I enjoy and have invested in?”

Mastery: Well, we recommend you don’t remove the arm, but in our benevolence we’ll sell you one this time.

Customer: awesome, thanks very much. So if the saddles or arm were to break again I can get them repaired or replaced, right?

Mastery: Maybe...that’s not normally something we do.

Customer: that seems unreasonable.

Mastery: HOW DARE YOU QUESTION US AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR GENEROSITY?! THOU ART BANNED!

I mean at least the Genius Bar is more straightforward in their fuckery.

Customer: Hi, my iPad isn’t turning on, can you fix it?

Genius Bar: well, that’ll be about 12-1500 in parts plus 100 in labor. You should just buy a newer unit.

Afterwards if you open it up you’ll discover it was something as simple as one loose cable that just needs to be re seated.

As a person who worked in electronics customer service at your favorite mart for a while I really want to empathize with these customer service people, but I can’t. It’s a shit job, believe me. I could only handle it for half a year or so. But this kind of behavior I would say is outright unacceptable.

If it were some policy that they had no control over I would expect that to be explained and I would somewhat understand. But it seems from reading this thread that it’s up to whatever customer service rep you get in the end. Which tells me they’re being outright malicious in their fuckery.
We need a Louis Rossmann equivalent for the guitar world to call attention to these kinds of things and generate outrage until it stops.

Fuck these people. Fuck them all to death. With the very tremolo arm they wouldn’t sell you.
Sorry about the rant, this kinda stuff really grinds my gears :fp:

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Re: Why doesn't Mastery sell replacement arms for their tremolos?

Post by algeriet » Fri May 22, 2020 4:46 pm

Larry Mal wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 3:21 pm
Swope. The Descendant vibrato.

That's the one to get from now on.
Although I neither own one or have tried one, whenever someone mentions getting the Mastery vibrato I pop in and preach about Descendant. My AVRI vibratos work perfectly fine so I have no real reason to swap ´em. Hope I get a new JM project soon or something, haha.

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Re: Why doesn't Mastery sell replacement arms for their tremolos?

Post by tammyw » Fri May 22, 2020 6:57 pm

hillerheilman wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 1:00 pm
But it seems from reading this thread that it’s up to whatever customer service rep you get in the end.
You might be overestimating the size of this operation. Unless he's actually hired someone, I think it's just John and Amanda. And manufacturing Mastery hardware isn't the only thing he does, it's not like he's running a continuous production line for this stuff.
Trying to keep up a façade will prevent you from exhibiting your true power.

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Re: Why doesn't Mastery sell replacement arms for their tremolos?

Post by hillerheilman » Sat May 23, 2020 1:28 am

tammyw wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 6:57 pm
hillerheilman wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 1:00 pm
But it seems from reading this thread that it’s up to whatever customer service rep you get in the end.
You might be overestimating the size of this operation. Unless he's actually hired someone, I think it's just John and Amanda. And manufacturing Mastery hardware isn't the only thing he does, it's not like he's running a continuous production line for this stuff.
I see. That’s a fair point. I admit I was definitely a bit harsh in my initial statement. I will still stand by my feeling that that quality of customer service is unacceptable, especially banning customers. It’s your job as a customer service rep to deal with people who are often not the happiest, and can use very unkind language. Even assuming it’s just one or two people doing anything customer service related there should be some consistency and transparency in their policy regarding this. At the very least maybe on the site somewhere they could inform you that they DO NOT replace the arms, rather than just saying “we recommend you leave it in so you don’t lose it”, and using that as an excuse. That, to me, doesn’t imply that they won’t replace the arm. It’s just a recommendation. I would personally find this extremely unreasonable but they are free to have that policy if they wish. Informing the customer of that very clearly before purchase is necessary though, both to avoid hassle and bad business dealings, and as common courtesy. Furthermore, I will grant that I know little about manufacturing, but I highly doubt that it wouldn’t be financially viable for them to provide replacement parts as necessary given that they could easily charge extra to cover the cost and avoid situations like those posted by other members.

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Re: Why doesn't Mastery sell replacement arms for their tremolos?

Post by adamrobertt » Sat May 23, 2020 4:46 am

hillerheilman wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 1:28 am
tammyw wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 6:57 pm
hillerheilman wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 1:00 pm
But it seems from reading this thread that it’s up to whatever customer service rep you get in the end.
You might be overestimating the size of this operation. Unless he's actually hired someone, I think it's just John and Amanda. And manufacturing Mastery hardware isn't the only thing he does, it's not like he's running a continuous production line for this stuff.
I see. That’s a fair point. I admit I was definitely a bit harsh in my initial statement. I will still stand by my feeling that that quality of customer service is unacceptable, especially banning customers. It’s your job as a customer service rep to deal with people who are often not the happiest, and can use very unkind language. Even assuming it’s just one or two people doing anything customer service related there should be some consistency and transparency in their policy regarding this. At the very least maybe on the site somewhere they could inform you that they DO NOT replace the arms, rather than just saying “we recommend you leave it in so you don’t lose it”, and using that as an excuse. That, to me, doesn’t imply that they won’t replace the arm. It’s just a recommendation. I would personally find this extremely unreasonable but they are free to have that policy if they wish. Informing the customer of that very clearly before purchase is necessary though, both to avoid hassle and bad business dealings, and as common courtesy. Furthermore, I will grant that I know little about manufacturing, but I highly doubt that it wouldn’t be financially viable for them to provide replacement parts as necessary given that they could easily charge extra to cover the cost and avoid situations like those posted by other members.
It's definitely ridiculous, and it's definitely really bad customer service. I see a lot of small businesses end up with shitty customer service. They think that since it's their own small operation, it's "their way or the highway." Which ends up being true sometimes when they're providing a service that no one else really can - they get away with it. But it's shitty.

Like how many cool little restaurants or coffee shops have you been to with really shitty service? A LOT. Because they think "well this is my place so fuck you if you don't like it" ... which is really awful customer service.

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Re: Why doesn't Mastery sell replacement arms for their tremolos?

Post by mortron » Sun May 24, 2020 5:59 am

You can claim customer service is how it is due to the size of the operation... While that's fine, I want to point out:

A) it's not the customers problem or fault, and they shouldn't be berated over it, by customers or the company.
B) If you're offering a product worldwide and demand has gotten to the point you cannot offer service - simply state so.
C) Don't wait until someone has a product they bought from you for them to finally be able to read the fine print.

I have worked with small outfits before and there is a wide range of reasons someone would be this way. Ability, expense, ego... It goes on. The customer isn't always right, but that saying is meant to take your head out your ass and realize without them, your business is dead.

If Nils Cline needed a fucking screw for his Mastery I bet he'd get sent 5. Maybe I'm wrong. I hope I am. I better be. If there is tiers of customer service then big red flag IMO. I don't see how a product with such a premium price has terrible service... You'd think anyone who's owned a vibrato would know you lose those arms. And why would I transport my guitar with the arm in it? Sounds like a good way to break something.

At least Stay Trem seems to have realized they can offer a better product to a smaller market they can actually service. That's what I get from it anyways. Maybe there were other reasons.

Sorry you had this experience with Mastery. I've heard it's a great product, but definitely take these experiences into account when considering spending good money on a product.

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Re: Why doesn't Mastery sell replacement arms for their tremolos?

Post by andy_tchp » Tue May 26, 2020 12:18 am

mortron wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 5:59 am
If Nils Cline needed a fucking screw for his Mastery I bet he'd get sent 5. Maybe I'm wrong. I hope I am. I better be. If there is tiers of customer service then big red flag IMO. I don't see how a product with such a premium price has terrible service... You'd think anyone who's owned a vibrato would know you lose those arms.
Yes. I think you may be (wrong).

I had a full complement of new screws to suit a Mastery (bridge) sent to me, including shipping to Australia (which would've been about $25USD on its own at the time), free of charge, even after offering to pay John ("Woody") for both the hassle and replacement hardware.

I'm not anyone of note nor a high profile endorsee like 'Nils' Cline, either ;) (in fact I don't use their products any more.)

But that's just my experience, and it was a while ago (>6 years) - sounds like you had a different/disappointing experience when asking for support/parts for a Mastery product you owned?
And why would I transport my guitar with the arm in it? Sounds like a good way to break something.
No, it isn't in any sense a way to break anything. The Mastery trem is designed to leave the arm in at all times. I've been leaving the arm in my offsets (with AVRI vibratos) and throwing them in cases (both hard and soft) for a decade or so. It only loads the spring slightly when the case is closed. No worse than, you know, using the vibrato while playing.

Far worse is constant insertion/removal of the arm, which gradually pushes the fairly anaemic 'teeth' of the collet outwards, loosening the collet's retention of the bar.
At least Stay Trem seems to have realized they can offer a better product to a smaller market they can actually service. That's what I get from it anyways. Maybe there were other reasons.
IIRC John at StayTrem is winding things up before retiring.
"I don't know why we asked him to join the band 'cause the rest of us don't like country music all that much; we just like Graham Lee."
David McComb, 1987.

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Re: Why doesn't Mastery sell replacement arms for their tremolos?

Post by mortron » Tue May 26, 2020 6:33 am

andy_tchp wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 12:18 am
mortron wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 5:59 am
If Nils Cline needed a fucking screw for his Mastery I bet he'd get sent 5. Maybe I'm wrong. I hope I am. I better be. If there is tiers of customer service then big red flag IMO. I don't see how a product with such a premium price has terrible service... You'd think anyone who's owned a vibrato would know you lose those arms.
Yes. I think you may be (wrong).

I had a full complement of new screws to suit a Mastery (bridge) sent to me, including shipping to Australia (which would've been about $25USD on its own at the time), free of charge, even after offering to pay John ("Woody") for both the hassle and replacement hardware.

I'm not anyone of note nor a high profile endorsee like 'Nils' Cline, either ;) (in fact I don't use their products any more.)

But that's just my experience, and it was a while ago (>6 years) - sounds like you had a different/disappointing experience when asking for support/parts for a Mastery product you owned?
And why would I transport my guitar with the arm in it? Sounds like a good way to break something.
No, it isn't in any sense a way to break anything. The Mastery trem is designed to leave the arm in at all times. I've been leaving the arm in my offsets (with AVRI vibratos) and throwing them in cases (both hard and soft) for a decade or so. It only loads the spring slightly when the case is closed. No worse than, you know, using the vibrato while playing.

Far worse is constant insertion/removal of the arm, which gradually pushes the fairly anaemic 'teeth' of the collet outwards, loosening the collet's retention of the bar.
At least Stay Trem seems to have realized they can offer a better product to a smaller market they can actually service. That's what I get from it anyways. Maybe there were other reasons.
IIRC John at StayTrem is winding things up before retiring.
Thanks for putting my mind at ease... It sounded a bit strange that you couldn't get service on parts. Not that it would be unheard of, just frowned upon by some. I have not owned the Mastery, and was just going off the OPs experience and found it a bit shocking that a company would possibly be conducting itself as such, the Cline thing was just a hypothetical situation. I would hope he gets that kind of service, as should we all. The reason we use products is we believe in them. And it's to be believed the Mastery is one of the best products out there. Would be disappointed if any company didn't excel at servicing such a product.

I like a company that treats all their customers the same. Without the general public, there would be no point in endorsing artists etc. It would be understandable though of they did service their artists with a higher degree... It's kind of marketing by way of customer service. The more pros using their product in the field is the ultimate endorsement.

Had an experience where I really wanted a Japanese Mustang in the 90s... Same as Cobain's. Figured it would be impossible to get one in my parts. Cuz he's a lefty, they made Kurt buy 10... I only had to buy 1... Likely already made and in warehouse tho. So yeah, just cuz you're someone special doesn't mean you'll get treated as such etc. Obviously this would not be the case in 2020, but back then it was less about signature models etc.

Did not know that leaving the arm in was okay. I started with a Squier Strat in a gig bag then a Mustang in a hard case, so maybe the rule applied there and wasn't a hard and fast rule. Good to know cuz losing an arm is totally possible. It's like that robot in the commercial who can take his arm off... But once he does, he throws it into a pile of junk never to be found again... Should just keep it on LOL.

Glad to hear that John at Stay Trem is nearing retirement because as someone younger, that shit looks like it's never gonna happen... Anyone who has it in sight is a lucky cat!

Thanks for your post. Learned a lot here.

And yeah... Nels not Nils... Kline, Klein, Cline.... You knew who I meant tho... Which means I must still be in the top 10% of people what can spell good LOL.

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