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Rating and Reviews: PreSonus FireStudio

The PreSonus FireStudio is the next generation in FireWire recording systems from PreSonus. The FireStudio delivers enhanced performance for music recording and creation.

User Ratings
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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PreSonus FireStudio Customer Review submitted November 5, 2007

By a customer from optonline.net
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Active musician and hobbist
Music Style: Rock and Jazz
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VERIFIED BUYER
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us.
Sound: The preamps are pretty damn good at this price range and will serve the needs of most home recording studios. If you want pristine vocal tracks, you'll need to buy a good quality external preamp, and if you want to go the extra mile, a high end AD converter as well. Feature: This unit has more than enough features (lightpipe, word clock, spdif, and includes monitor mix software) Ease of Use: Fairly easy to use. I was making recordings within 2 hours with no prior experience. Quality: Seems well made. Quality blows away Digi MBox. Value: This unit is well worth it. Manufacturer Support: I was able to speak with a tech rep when I had a question about hooking up an external preamp. Overall: For the price, you can't beat this unit. Since I record alot of vocals, I connected a single channel high end mic pre and use an Apogee AD-DA converter connected via optical (lightpipe) connections. This unit has never failed me.
16 of 17 people (94.12%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"VERY HAPPY" submitted February 27, 2007

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Engineer
Music Style: Rock
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Sound: The preamps are nicer sounding than the Firepod that I used to have. Very high amount of gain but still clean. I'm using an AT4050 mic and it sounds rich and full. Feature: I love the routing software. It's so nice to be able to send mixes to different musicians. I just wish the damn MSR was shipping. Ease of Use: No problems with Cubase SX at all. I've also used it with Sonar and it works great but I'm liking Cubase better. Quality: Big step up from my old Firepod. These knobs are solid and THANK YOU for putting the power button on the front. The locking connector for the power cord is a really nice touch. I once had my Firepod unplug by accident at a live gig. Value: I can't really complain. It is better than anything I tried even more expensive. Manufacturer Support: No problems yet but I've heard their support is great. I did email them and get a reply back the same day. The Wow Factor: Really nice blue lights and the construction is solid as a rock.
18 of 21 people (85.71%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Not worth the excessive price to have to deal with so many problems and get so little concern from Presonus. Don't waste your m" submitted July 1, 2008

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician and recording Engineer
Music Style: Rock - Country - Gospel - Blues
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Sound: Sound is good if you can get it to work with Sonar. Presonus doesn't care whether it works or not! Feature: Great features if you can ever get drivers to work with all DAW software. Ease of Use: Horrible tech support! I've had it a year and they finally came out with some drivers that "might" work with Sonar but you have to set it up as ADM instead of ASIO. Presonus is definitely not in a hurry to fix things. Quality: Very well contructed hardware. Value: Since there are consistent driver problems it's not worth the $700 I paid for a paper weight. Manufacturer Support: They keep promising a driver fix to work with all music software but are not in any rush to develop. The Wow Factor: Aesthetically it's a nice piece of equipment. Overall: I have read of other devices similar to this that works without driver conflicts with all music software. If I had known about the problems with this device I would have spent my money on those. I'm trying to be overly patient in hoping that Presonus will eventually come through with some REAL fixes so at the moment I'm not really looking for another similar device. This was to be an "addition" to my studio.
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"Firestudio is the shiznit." submitted November 28, 2006

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Features
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Active Musician/Studio Owner
Music Style: Rock
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: This blows away my last interface (a Firepod). The preamps sound fuller and I thought the Firepod was amazing sounding. Feature: The mixer is the best feature on this box. How cool to be able to send every musician their own mix!! I only wish the remote came with it but hey, you can't have everything. Ease of Use: Took me a few minutes to figure out the routing mixer. Presonus tech support is the best I've ever dealt with. Aside from that, it synced up perfectly to my computer and I've recorded three live concerts with it so far. Quality: WAY BETTER construction than I was expecting. This thing is solid as a freaking rock. THANK YOU Presonus for putting the power button on the front panel! Value: I'm amazed that this product sells for under a grand. It's clearly the most interface out there for the money. Manufacturer Support: Great on this one. Like I said, they had me up and running in about 15 minutes. The Wow Factor: Definitely a pro interface. This doesn't feel plastic or cheap at all.
4 of 7 people (57.14%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"my introduction to digital recording has been a great experience" submitted December 29, 2006

By a customer from aol.com
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: active, recording, hobby musician
Music Style: rock, alternative, progressive
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Sound: Although I'm still learning about it, this interface ROCKS! I've used it every day since I bought it and all I can say is WoW! It sounds warm and noise free and accurately records every nuance of my music. The plugins that came with my Firestudio will really stand the test of time and there are plenty of sites with free plugins to add to your arsenal. I'm running it on a 2.83ghz P4-HT with 512mb ram and latency hasn't been an issue. Feature: The unit itself is simple... level controls, master output, headphone and power (and some pretty blue LEDs) but what else do you need? The software handles the rest! Ease of Use: Despite being a bit of a computer geek, it did take me a little time to get mine to figure out how to get everything to work. Once I got the hang of it there was no problem. I'm sure I'll be learning new tricks with this thing for a while. Quality: sold construction, good looks, great sound... but unfortunately, I give no credit to anything (everything?) made in China. I'm sure it will last for a long time but unfortunately, I would have rather it been made in Japan or the USA. Coming from years of manufacturing experience (and experience with products over the years), items made in China just dont stand the test of time due to poor QC and lack of skilled labor. Value: 8 inputs... xlr or 1/4", ADAT outputs, MIDI and a bunch of other things I know nothing about... After installing the PCI card for the firewire ports and installing the drivers it ran without any snags... the ability to record like a professional in a matter of hours and a ton of plugins and 3rd party software to use all for 700 bucks. How can you go wrong?! Manufacturer Support: not quite sure about PreSonus, but I emailed Propellerhead about Reason Adapted and had a response within a day. The Wow Factor: it's sleek, simple and sexy. the aluminum face is nice, the machined and anodized knobs are functional and have asthetic appeal and it looks even better with all of my cables and mics plugged into it. Overall: I don't think I'd replace it persay. If it broke, I'd probably look for one made in a country other than China but other than that, the only thing I'd do with it would probably be add another for the extra inputs.
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PreSonus FireStudio Customer Review submitted October 11, 2007

By a customer from gmail.com
Overall
Sound
Features
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Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: active musican
Music Style: Electronic
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Sound: Good crisp sound. I work with primarily synth and sequencers, and I get my entire sounds scape loud and clear with very little need for post-production. All my highs are well defined and my bass is sweet. Feature: the routing options on this unit are amazing. The ADAT channels and digital I/O are going to come in very handy once I stop being broke. I already need more than the 8 analog ins than I'm given. It's nice to know that I've got the uption to add 8 more with the DigiMax FS8. Ease of Use: I actually use this card as a standalone unit. when I play a gig, i just get my levels set up before I leave the studio. When I get to a venue, I plug everthing up like I had it set at home and give the sound guy my left right. With a little EQing at the board, I get a great sound every time. Quality: I like the feel of the knobs, buttons and connectors, and I havent had any issues with it. Value: For the price you wont get anything with this much potential to take your recording ability past just another hobbyist. Manufacturer Support: The best support you can get, is not needing any... The Wow Factor: Effing pretty... Overall: Im going pruely presonus for my recording equipment from here on out. They have something for just about anything I could ever need, and as far as im concerned, I'd like to keep all my gear to a single brand. Being as impressed as I am, I dont see any reason to switch.
5 of 9 people (55.56%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Doesn't work with Sonar!!!!" submitted December 12, 2007

By a customer from nc.rr.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Latin
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Sound: If you're using Sonar, beware. This thing will give you a blue screen every 30 seconds. Very unstable. Can't rate the sound because I never got it to work. Feature: Has the best features for the price, but again couldn't use it with Sonar. Ease of Use: Again, product won't work with Sonar. Quality: All plastic except for face, easy to scratch. Otherwise, seemed well made Value: If you're not using Sonar, there's nothing else out there with the same features for the same price. Good value if it works for you. Manufacturer Support: They have been promising a patch update to Sonar users since at least Feb 07. I'm writing this Dec 07. Don't fall into the trap and buy it thinking they'll fix the software. You might get stuck with a useless piece of equipment. Check the forums and you'll find plenty of Sonar users dumping them on eBay. The Wow Factor: It looks good on the rack. Overall: If you have a product that won't work with a specific software, please state it and save people the pain and trouble of something that won't work. If you use Sonar, save yourself the time and cost to ship this back. Don't buy! Stay Away!!!!
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"Presonus dose not live up to expectations." submitted June 18, 2010

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Recording Engineer
Music Style: Rock, Alternative and Heavy Metal
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Sound: Don't know, never got that far. Feature: Overall it's good unit, a lot of features for the budget minded studio, when it works. Universal Control did not work on my 64-bit windows 7 machine. Ease of Use: Plug it in, hope that universal control loads, if it does change some basic settings and your set. Quality: It feels like the shell is made well. I would take this thing out on the road, in a shock mount case maybe. Value: In writing it's well worth it, but when you get it out of the box and spend 9 days trying to control it from your computer, the value fades away quickly. Manufacturer Support: Presonus support is horrible, it's taken me 9 days of dealing with them to realize that they don't know a thing about the universal control software and that they think everything is hardware related. The Wow Factor: There's nothing about this unit that screams "Buy Me!" when compared to all of the other options. Overall: I hate this unit and will never buy from presonus again. Problems where ongoing and presonus kept telling me it was my computer, even though I tested it on two completely opposite computers. I will be returning this unit and buying a motu or similar
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"Great value. Glad I got it." submitted December 15, 2007

By a customer from aol.com
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Features
Ease of Use
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Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: musician
Music Style: eletronic and rock
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Sound: nice preamps and converters Feature: love the routing mixer.haven't bought the msr remote yet but probably will. It looks awesome. Ease of Use: no frills. It just works. Quality: very rugged and well made. I'd easy trust this in a road rack. Luckily it will not see too much abuse in my studio but when I take it out for live recordings I think it will work great. Value: nothing else comes close for the money. BTW, I saw the last post about the guy having problems with sonar. However I have Sonar7 on my laptop and it's running fine for me. I have heard a lot of people haver problems but others have had no problems. I think a lot depends on your computer. I've also used it with Cubase and logic on a mac and they all worked for me. Manufacturer Support: left a message for tech support but someone called me back the very next day. Friendly guy who seemed like he really gave a %$^. The Wow Factor: nice Overall: I can't think of anything I'd rather own that doesn't cost twice as much.
1 of 3 people (33.33%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Good unit - great deal if you order before the end of April." submitted April 3, 2008

By a customer from gmail.com
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Sound
Features
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Quality
Value
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Rock
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Sound: Sound is very good for home studio. It is not what you are going to get at $200/hour in a professional studio, but it beats just about everything else I've used in this price-range. Feature: Software included is Ok. Cubase LE is great if you are just starting out. I run Sonar 5PE and was able to get things talking to each other in a couple minutes (using ASIO drivers). Hardware is top-notch for this pricepoint. Ease of Use: Had no trouble setting it up and was recording in twenty minutes. I have seen others having trouble with this unit - seems to be mostly Mac and Vista users. I can't speak to the Mac side, but the Vista OS has so many problems, driver-wise, it doesn't surprise me that this unit wouldn't set up easily, or run as advertised. I am running WinXP SP2 and won't move to Vista for recording for at least another year - and at that point, I may go to Mac OS. Quality: Very good quality all around. The software isn't as impressive as the hardware, but again, at this level of digital recording, this unit really stands out in my opinion. Value: This is a time-limited rating. I wouldn't mark the value of this unit as 10 at any other time, but I ordered it in March and ZZounds threw in a so-so condensor mic, and PreSonus is sending the remote for the unit for free (after mail-in rebate). For $699, that is a hell of a deal. Any other time, I'd rate the value around 7 or 8. Maybe a bit above average. Manufacturer Support: Haven't had to contact support. Hoping that they are better than what the reviewers have said. Actually, just hoping that I don't have to contact them. The Wow Factor: A bit lower score here. This unit is great for band or live use. If you are just recording yourself, or just want to do room/rehearsal recordings, you can find something that fits your needs better. Unit is nice looking, but not anything necessarily better than the myriad of other companies solutions - Echo, etc. Overall: I'm pleased so far. The support issue still scares me a bit, and if the unit does end up acting funny within the next couple years, all bets are off. I ran Echo Audio products for the last ten years and this is my first time moving away from them. Before Echo - in the analog dinosaur days - I always used Tascam. Hoping that I haven't made a mistake making the move, but life's short, try something different every now and again.
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"Do your research before buying!" submitted April 1, 2008

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Sound: Nice preamp and decent sound quality Feature: Not too shabby compared to other interfaces, but not every feature works as advertised. Ease of Use: Software bugs make it troublesome and fidgety. Quality: Solid build, fit and finish. Value: What good is brawn when there is no brain to control it? Manufacturer Support: Absolute worst support I've seen. Presonus has been promising and delaying software update. Still does not work 100% on leopard and still no full adat implementation. Mixer control screen is ful of bugs, like the incorrect metering. The Wow Factor: I doubt I'll ever buy another presonus product after this one. 700 bucks down the toilet. Overall: I'm sorely disappointed by presonus.
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"I love the "idea" of this product. I wish presonus would step up and properly support it with better working firmware and drive" submitted March 25, 2008

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Value
Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Bluegrass, Folklorique African music
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Sound: It sounds great when it doesn't have glitches and dropouts. I would have rated at least 8 otherwise, but it sure can ruin a good take when one of those warbles comes through. Feature: All of the features I need are advertised on the box, folks! Unfortunately, that is not what Presonus has delivered in this product. Check the forums at presonusdotcom, look under tech support, then go to firestudio 26/26. It will open your eyes to the problems end users have been having with this product. Quality: The hardware is great. It is all well constructed, durable looking, and the controls are easy and self explanatory. Value: If this product worked as advertised, this would definitely be a ten. Unfortunately it doesn't. Look for other options in the interface department until presonus gets their driver issues sorted out. Manufacturer Support: The driver support is terrible. Vista has been out for a year now, Leopard for six months. Both of the OS's are not getting solid working drivers. I get dropouts and glitches, and the volume knobs on the main and headphone outs don't work. Overall: I'm still holding out hope that presonus will get in gear and better support this product. They are spending so much of their time creating new products, that they have forgotten about their end-users who have gotten the shaft with the firestudio. I really want to love this product!
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"dont buy this product!!!" submitted June 30, 2010

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Sound: dont care, cause it has huge compatability problems, chances are you wont get to hear anything!!!! doesnt work with RADEON 9000/9001 IGP video chipset, USB/firewire and s400/s800 combo cards, Firewire cards with NEC chipsets, Motherboards with nForce4 chipsets and SoundBlaster Audigy cards. dont buy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Feature: dont work with RADEON 9000/9001 IGP video chipset, USB/firewire and s400/s800 combo cards, Firewire cards with NEC chipsets, Motherboards with nForce4 chipsets and SoundBlaster Audigy cards. Ease of Use: it doesnt work!!!! it took me 3 months to get it going properly... i had to install DOS in my windows xp subsystem just to get the drivers to work... not compatable with RADEON 9000/9001 IGP video chipset, USB/firewire and s400/s800 combo cards, Firewire cards with NEC chipsets, Motherboards with nForce4 chipsets and SoundBlaster Audigy cards. Quality: hooorible quality, major compatability issues, not compatable with RADEON 9000/9001 IGP video chipset, USB/firewire and s400/s800 combo cards, Firewire cards with NEC chipsets, Motherboards with nForce4 chipsets and SoundBlaster Audigy cards. Value: no value whatsoever, this thing is awful Manufacturer Support: horrible!!! they refuse to admit that there aare problems with their product The Wow Factor: dont buy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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"Glitchy on a Mac" submitted March 21, 2008

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Sound: The unit sounds great when its working. The problem is I have a Mac... It does not behave well when you use other applications. The audio drivers can't handle it. I have no idea why... there's all these interuptions and pops. And sometimes the audio gets completely garbled. If you stop the audio and restart a lot of times it will fix itself. Its not like it stays like that... its just glitchy... when it works, it sounds beautiful! Feature: This thing has everything. Although I don't like how all the controls are software driven. Unlike the 828 where you could do everything on the hardware itself. Also another annying thing that happens. It always defaults to 48 Khz... I use 44.1 and I always have to go in and change it...then it does a big click pop when it switches over. Ease of Use: The unit works fine out of the box. But the Software it comes with is VERY confusing. It looks pretty, but they have this matrix setup that is quite confusing. Quality: Would be a 10 except for the drivers. If the unit worked like it should I would be completely happy. Value: For me its worthless because of these glitches... it makes it completely unstable and therefore un-usable Manufacturer Support: Bad service... if you submit something through the website they ignore you... if you feel like holding on the phone for about 30 minutes...they will get to you.. I had to call at least 3 times over a 2 week span. They will help you. Overall: I used a MOTU 828 for years... that thing was rock solid...when it died... I went with something a little different... I should not have... Things I like better than the 828: -it has better knobs... I hated the 828 knobs they're too small! -it runs hotter than the 828... you get a much louder signal, so I can lower my monitors -more inputs, outputs -its nicer looking too bad its so glitchy...
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"WAIT FOR THE DRIVERS" submitted February 3, 2008

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Sound: Very nice sounding mic preamps. The instrument inputs (inputs 1&2) sound great with my bass and guitar. Very clean and accurate sound overall. Feature: Lots of good, useful software included. Lots of great features. Only problem is that I cannot use it on my brand new iMac with leopard pre-installed. NO DRIVERS for OS X LEOPARD (try to find that in their sales material !) No vista drivers either, which fortunately doesn't concern me. Ease of Use: I gave this a 2 (awful), because M-audio Quattro is a 1 (bloody awful) Setting up the drivers on a cleanly installed Win XP was a pain in the arse. The included Cubase LE only recognises two channels after a day of fiddling. I tried a HP/Compaq desktop and a HP/Compaq presario 2500 laptop, both with Win XP home SP2 and with same results. (I've written commercial software for a PC for several years. While I'm no guru, I'm not a total newbie either) Quality: Solid metal construction. The front is extruded aluminum, the case is not plastic as mentioned above, but sheet steel. Input connectors are Neutrik combo, output connectors are plastic but securely fastened to the backplate and not the pcb as on some cheaper products. Potentiometers feel very smooth and of high quality, and the overall mechanical and electronic quality seems very good. Warms up quite a bit during use, especially at the power connector end, but I'm convinced that is no problem. Value: Until there is a working driver for my PC or Mac, I have an otherwise seemingly high quality device that records 2 channels, costs a lot, and is too light to use as a boat anchor. Manufacturer Support: NO SUPPORT FOR MAC OS X LEOPARD, which you can find in small print buried in their forum, but not in their sales material. There is a beta-version that works partly, but the included Cubase LE says "ASIO driver could not be started", and the operation is unpredictable. For example opening the Firestudio Control Console makes output sound disappear, closing the window restores sound. The forum says : Many customers have been asking about Leopard compatibilty with our line of interfaces. The Inspire, FireBox, FirePod, FP10, and FireStudio Project are all currently Leopard compatible. Leopard drivers for the FireStudio 26x26 and VFire will be released shortly, date to be announced. (date 2007-11-01) The Wow Factor: Yes, I want it. With drivers please. Omitting the information about lack of compatibility with OSX leopard makes me feel ever so slightly annoyed.
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5. zZounds delivers top-rated customer service

zZounds has received multiple Bizrate® Circle of Excellence Platinum awards, placing us in the top 0.7 percent of Bizrate‘s network of 5,200 retailers. Our success in meeting the needs of our customers -- since 1996, we‘ve satisfied over 1,000,000 people -- is due in large part to the fact that zZounds only hires experienced musicians to answer your calls and emails, and they are never paid a commission.

zZounds.com customer service »
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Available on
orders $59+
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Need it now but short of cash? All we need is the first payment up front and the rest in easy monthly payments!

Fast approval.
We approve everyone, with very few exceptions, as long as we can verify your identity.
No interest. Ever.
It's just as if you paid the whole amount up front!
No paperwork. Nothing to track.
No application to mail or fax, no bills to pay. We automatically charge the payments to your credit card.

We'll wait on your money so you don't have to wait for your gear!

When you checkout, just click the Play as you Pay® checkbox to indicate which installment plan you wish to use.

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no minimum

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Why fight traffic and pushy salesmen when we'll bring your gear straight to your home, free of charge?

zZounds free shipping is really free!
No hidden charges or hassles on returns.
Fast, reliable delivery
We have warehouses on both coasts, so most shipments arrive in 3 days or less.
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A guarantee so solid, you never have to worry about price when shopping at zZounds

We'll beat any price
Simply click the Seen it for less? link next to the gear you want or call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637)
Got a coupon from another site?
Use it with us - we'll beat those prices, too!
Find a better price after buying from us?
No problem. We'll refund you the difference for 45 days, so you'll never regret buying from zZounds.

You'll still get the trustworthy service you've come to expect from zZounds, without paying more for your gear!