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Musician's Friend Review: Best Music Instrument Store Or Scam?

*This article may contain links to affiliate products & services. We have reviewed these services to try and ensure the highest quality recommendations*

Written by Ramsey Brown.

Musician’s Friend is among the oldest music equipment and accessory retailers in the country and they have stood the test of time being in business for 30 years. They offer free shipping and a 45-day return program if you are not happy with your product. Musician’s Friend sends out between 9,000 and 10,000 orders every day, so if you place your order before noon you can receive it that same day. The company turns over $36 million in revenue and employs 10,000 people across the country — providing excellent service to customers with call centers across several states and their corporate headquarters in Southern California.

Musician’s Friend is a subsidiary of Guitar Center, having merged in the year 2000. It currently has a not so attractive consumer, indicating that customers are not satisfied with their purchases or service they received. Despite some of their negative online reviews and rating, others have seemed to be very happy with their experience shopping with this company. Musician’s Friend employees even say it is a fantastic work environment and they have a great work-life balance being employed there. 

So why is it that they have such negative ratings and reviews online? Our team at Omari MC decided to do the research ourselves and get to the bottom of what this company actually provides to customers. In this review, we discuss what all Musician’s Friend offers from equipment, gear, accessories, pricing, shipping, customer service, and everything else in between. 

If you are a musician looking for a reliable, high quality, and affordable music gear store to begin buying equipment from then make sure you read this review until the end!

Equipment & Gear Offered

Whether you are just starting out with your music career or have been in the game for years, one thing is for certain — gear and equipment is necessary for you to have. Once upon a time, music recording was done by highly skilled and knowledgeable professional musicians. Now, almost anyone can play or make music as long as they have the dedication and the right gear to get started.  

No matter what type of musician, artist, or producer you are, at some point you will have to invest in some equipment to begin producing your art. Musician’s Friend has a huge catalog of different types of instruments, software, accessories, and much more to help you get on the right track and at a professional level. Here are the different categories of equipment and instruments that they offer:  


Musician’s Friends provides a large catalog of over 4,000 guitars that you can choose from. This includes acoustic guitars, electric guitars, classical guitars, nylon guitars, private reserve guitars, guitar value packages, and guitar kits. The prices of these items may range from $50 to $50,000.

Bass Instruments

Musician’s Friend also provides a catalog of a little over 800 bass guitars for you to choose from. This includes electric bass, acoustic bass, electric upright bass, and more. The prices for these items may range from $50 up to $15,000.

Amps & Effects

In order to amplify your guitar, bass, or other instrument, you will obviously need to purchase an amplifier and possibly some other effects. Luckily, a massive portion of Musician’s Friends catalog contains amps and effects which consist of 3,000 items. This includes guitar amplifiers, bass amplifiers, effects pedals, multi-effects pedals, pedalboards, and more. The prices of these items may range from less than $25 to $15,000.

Drums & Percussion

Musician’s Friend holds over 3,500 items in regards to drums and percussion instruments. This includes acoustic drums, electric drums, cymbals, hand percussion instruments, and more. The prices of these items may range from less than $25 to more than $5,000.

Pianos, Keyboards, & MIDI Instruments

Musician’s Friend also carries a wide variety of pianos, keyboards and MIDI instruments. This includes organs, synthesizers, sound modules, portable keyboards, arranger keyboards, keyboard workstations, and more. The prices of these items may range from less than $25 all the way up to a little over $15,000.

Live Sound

Whatever you may need to produce live sound for a show or event, Musician’s Friend has you covered with over 900 items including PA speakers, subwoofers, stage monitor, power amps, floor monitors, and much more. Prices depend largely on the brand and type of equipment but range from $25 up to $50,000. 

DJ Equipment

You can find a variety of different DJ equipment, software, tools, and brands including: karaoke machines, DJ controllers/mixing boards, audio interfaces, CDJs, along with accessories like controller cases, laptop stands, replacement crossfaders, and much more. Prices in this category range from $25 to $15,000.

Microphones & Headphones

Musician’s Friend holds over 2,000 items in regards to microphones. This includes condenser microphones, dynamic microphones, microphone packages, handheld wireless systems, instrument wireless systems, and more. The prices of these items may range from less than $25 up to over $6,000.

There are also around 400 different types of headphones for customers to choose from ranging from your normal consumer headphones, DJ headphones, earphones, noise cancelling headphones, studio/recording headphones, plus more. All ranging from different prices with the most expensive being $5000


Accessories make up the largest component of the Musician’s Friend catalog containing over 14,500 items. These items include stands, racks, desks, tables, cases, covers, cables, snakes, strings, replacement pieces, and so much more. Depending on what you are looking for, you can get accessories for as cheap as $25 to up to $5000 on their website.

Musician’s Friend Customer Service

Now that you know what all gear and equipment Musician’s Friend offers, let’s discuss their customer service and the deals, warranties, shipping, loyalty rewards and more that they provide to their customers:

Free Shipping and Warranty

Even if you don't spend a huge amount of money, you will always get free shipping from this company. Among this, they have different warranty policies they uphold on certain pieces of equipment. If you are purchasing a guitar, you will automatically be given a 2-year warranty. So if anything goes wrong with your guitar it will be replaced. This is separate from the manufacturer's warranty and is something offered by Musicians Friend as a benefit to customers shopping there.

Return Policy & Best Price Guarantee 

If the customer is not satisfied with their purchase from Musician’s Friend, neither are they. If for any reason you’re not completely satisfied with your purchase of a new item, simply return it in its original condition within 45 days of purchase and they’ll give you a full refund. It’s that simple

This is a long time for a return policy, as most local shops have a 14-day return. So if you are thinking of purchasing a piece of equipment but you are not quite sure if you will like it or not, it is a good option to buy from Musician’s Friend. 

People can spend hours, days, if not weeks searching for the best gear and the best price. Luckily at Musician’s Friend, they have a Best Price Guarantee policy. So if you find the same product for a lower rate on a different website, they will match that price as long as it comes from an authorized U.S. dealer. 

Say that you have already purchased your equipment from Musician’s Friend and you find the same gear cheaper somewhere else. No worries, because within 45 days of purchase you can contact them and send them the lower price item and they will refund you for the difference. This is something that you will rarely find in any retail store and is a quality that makes the company stand out from its competitors.

Rewards Program

When you sign up for the Musician’s Friend Rewards Program, you will receive many different benefits as a loyalty member. On most purchases, you get 8 points for each $1 spent which can be used to discount future purchases. Also, you’ll have access to members-only deals and receive exclusive savings, including double- and triple-point offers, plus get early access to everything else from site-wide coupons to category-specific sales.

They give their loyalty members personalized service with a dedicated phone line, so you'll have quick access to specialized Gear Advisers for in-depth product information and tech support. They'll be sure you don't miss any members-only deals, too. This program also comes with a birthday coupon that is good for $25 off a qualifying purchase of $149+.

Best of all it is completely free to sign up and begin saving! 

Ways to Pay & Discounts 

Musician’s Friend offers financing options and a Platinum Card where you can deposit and manage your funds within the store. You will also be able to pay bills, access any previous transactions, and receive email alerts in regards to the account. With this you can finance purchases of $499+ for 48 months at 0% interest. 

Additional ways that you make payments are through PayPal, PayPal Credit, and other various credit cards that they accept. If you’re wondering if your payment method is acceptable, click here to learn more.

Musician’s Friend also offers a Military Discount. As a way to say thank you for your service, they offer current or retired military personnel a 10% off discount of a single $199+ item. They also offer business pricing, so if you own your own business, are a music teacher, former band director, or qualify in another category, you can contact them about setting up your business account and begin receiving specialized discounts through their Business and Institution Pricing Program.  

Among all of these great features of this company, you can also purchase used equipment from the website and get a much lower discounted rate than purchasing it brand new. They also are great when it comes to holiday deals and putting things on clearance. Keep checking in on their website to see what daily deals or holiday promotions they have going on now! 

Wrapping Up

If you are deciding which of the many online music equipment stores you should consider purchasing from, Musician’s Friend is a great option due to all of the factors we mentioned above. Although their ratings don’t look so great from the first glance, they truly are a reliable source and a fantastic company. This would have to hold true considering they have been in business for such a long time. 

Their enormous catalog is sure to contain anything you would want or need for your music needs. Beyond this, they have multiple different financing solutions as well as the Best Price Guarantee, so you can rest assured you are getting the best deal possible. 

If you are having trouble deciding on what brand or gear is best for you, their professional gear advisors are open to guide you and can be reached through chat via the website, or you can give them a call Monday-Friday between 5am-8pm PT or Saturday-Sunday between 6am-7pm PT. They also have Spanish speaking advisors which is yet another great aspect of this company! 

We hope after reading this article you will check out Musician’s Friend for all of your music equipment and accessory needs. It goes to show that you can’t always believe what you see on the internet. Do some research on your own and you may find that a company is much better than what it’s lowest ratings/reviews says it is!

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    4 replies to "Musician’s Friend Review: Best Music Instrument Store or Scam?"

    • Sam

      Does anyone have anything good to say about these guys??
      I was going put good sum of money into purchasing a product from these guys, not doing it now.

    • Ronin

      Similar experience when I purchased a “like new guitar” that arrived already damaged as if it was packaged that way. I asked for a refund and they said we’ll give you back $20.. the damage ( main body with a missing chunk in it) certainly deserved more.. I asked for a $50 refund and we’ll call it settled.. they said “No way” return it. So I proceeded to return.. they do not provide a pre-paid label as other merchants do.. referred me to UPS.. UPS only advised to take return to a local UPS retailor. Musicians Friend doesn’t intercede to provide a fee paid return label.. and hang up on you when you ask for additional support.. like sending me a return label as they promise. They are a untrustworthy web merchant.. buyer beware. or they will screw you as they screwed me.

    • David Neece

      Damn I’m worried now, ordered a Epiphone guitar ,not read any good reviews supost to arrive tomorrow,I guess I’ll see right . got my fingers crossed hope that it’s what I looked at on there sight,and not some peace of $#!”,.

    • Herschield

      I recently bought a level-3 open-box electric guitar from Musicians Friend and I did not get friendly service after the sale. The guitar I purchased did not have a picture of the damage. Considering the online hype about customer satisfaction, I decided to make the purchase and if it was too horrible then I would send it back. I got the guitar and bound a gauge on the back of the body (about the size of a flat blade screwdriver face and a significant chunk of the body on the lower body. Considering the damage I did not feel the discount was worth the damage and likely hood that the damage would continue to spread along the finish of the guitar.
      I contacted them via chat (so I could have a record of whatever they said) and found out that I could send it back -at my own expense- and they would determine what they would decide for return. They kept telling me that open-box items are not eligible for return shipping pointing to the web page about open-box warranty. I pointed out that nowhere does it state this policy and after souring their site I still have not found one.
      To say that I am upset would be putting it mildly, I am pissed-off. So mush for “Hassle-Free” returns I am a retired and disabled vet that lives in rural eastern Oklahoma. So, getting the guitar packed back up and finding a shipping site, plus the cost of shipping is not my idea of “Hassle-Free” and I certainly am not happy that they say anything different about warranty, replacement or return on open-box items than they do for new merchandise.
      Therefore, I strongly discourage from ordering from this site unless you are certain you are getting what you want and are getting the best possible price. Although other sites also offer price matching, so that would eliminate why to purchase here.
      My choice was based on articles like this one that expel the virtues of customer satisfaction. Actually, since purchase I have not been asked to review my purchase or to sent a customer survey on whether or not I am happy with my purchase and there service. It’s pretty easy to have people write nice articles about your company but, post purchase they have been as silent as the fake sites promising you something but then not delivering. Then thay get away with it because they do not provide for feedback.
      So reconsider spending your hard earned money at their store and if anything is promised (or written on their site) do not trust it and get it in writing first-although I doubt their written word since they siad 45 days return “hassle-free”. It’s no hassle for them they’ll just tell you your not covered, point you to a link that does not tell you you are not covered, then ask if there is anything else they can help you with, that they did not help you, and finally you are left on your own.

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