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DammKid

Would You Accept a "New" Helix in An Opened, Unsealed Box??

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Greetings,

 

I can't tell if I'm overly-demanding, overly skeptical or just an old school a@@hole on this, but I'm deeply curious . . . how many of you out there would have NO problem accepting a purportedly "new" ($1400) Helix that arrived from the retailer in a previously opened (unsealed) factory box?

 

First, some background . . . I placed an order with a well-known on-line retailer recently, and I specifically stated in the Comments section of the order form that I would NOT accept an unsealed or opened factory box, because in my mind, once that factory seal has been broken, there is no way that the consumer 'truly' knows the history of that unit.  In my admittedly 'busy' mind, whether its a Helix, a PlayStation 4 or a 'new' flatscreen TV, once its been opened, its content could (theoretically) have been previously owned and returned, or deemed initially defective and subsequently serviced, etc., etc.

 

Now, despite having violated my specific instructions beforehand, the retailer assures me that the unit is in-fact 'new', and that the only reason its been previously opened, is because they needed to open it to "upgrade the firmware" on it, which very-well could be? Unfortunately, I have no real way of knowing. However, I submit that I (the consumer) can easily upgrade firmware myself (thank you very much!), and what if the item is a gift for a family member? Perhaps more importantly, is Corporate Line 6 itself officially authorizing these various merchants to pre-open the factory packaging? That's hard for me to imagine.

 

Anyway, what say you folks? Am I completely outta line on this? Should I request a return? Or should I simply suck it up, and accept that I'm an overly-skeptical, paranoid jarhead? NOTE: I'm perfectly good with either conclusion!  ;-)   ;-)

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If it's Sweetwater, they do open their stock and upgrade the firmware prior to sending out the units. So they wouldn't be being untruthful in that regard. I believe some other retailers do that as well, but I know for sure that SW does.

 

The fact is that even if it's opened, as long as it was sold as new from an authorized dealer, you'll still be covered by the warranty.

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18 minutes ago, phil_m said:

The fact is that even if it's opened, as long as it was sold as new from an authorized dealer, you'll still be covered by the warranty.

Yeah, I get that, but warranty service isn't what I'd be interested in or pleased with on a $1400 purported "brand new" item, that easily could have been a previously owned and returned device. That's the central point of this.  As a frequent consumer of various electronics over the years, I've routinely encountered instances where I receive a brand new item (unopened, in factory sealed box), that requires a firmware upgrade. Doing so isn't quantum mechanics. Color me hard-nosed, but I submit that whether truthful or not, the decision by any retailer to pre-open ALL such boxes ahead-of-time, to simply spare the consumer 2-5 minutes of their time by upgrading the firmware for them, is a fatally poor one.

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What firmware version is the unit running?

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It may not be rocket surgery, but just a quick look through a search for "Firmware Update" would show that there a lot of people who are not technologically savvy and the simplest thing like installing drivers is a complicated task. My Helix from GC had been opened before I received it to be updated, as well. I inquired with L6 when I got it and they said that they themselves will often update firmware on "new" items as well. My personal opinion here is that you're drastically over-thinking the situation.

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24 minutes ago, phil_m said:

What firmware version is the unit running?

Phil,

 

Good question, but I haven't unpacked it (only inspected the external packaging), which raises another great point that I would ask both the retailer and others here to keep in mind . . . Line 6 has been making this thing (the Helix), for a number of years now, so its not like its a brand new model with a very limited (and recent) production time. Hence, without checking serial number and/or firmware, etc., the consumer is left uncertain as to its date of manufacturer or origins, and to determine any of that, the consumer (not the profiting retailer), has to go to the trouble and inconvenience of calling or contacting Line 6. And guess what? Line 6 (or Yamaha), isn't answering calls right now. They've got their phone message system directing all Line 6 callers to on-line Support tags only. 

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14 minutes ago, gunpointmetal said:

It may not be rocket surgery, but just a quick look through a search for "Firmware Update" would show that there a lot of people who are not technologically savvy and the simplest thing like installing drivers is a complicated task. My Helix from GC had been opened before I received it to be updated, as well. I inquired with L6 when I got it and they said that they themselves will often update firmware on "new" items as well. My personal opinion here is that you're drastically over-thinking the situation.

GunPoint,

 

Thanks for your candor and opinion on this. I greatly appreciate it, and I can't disagree with any of it either, because the circumstances could be completely innocent, just as the merchant (and you) claim. I wish that I could find a way to shake the inherent skeptic in me, but I'm afraid that some of the antics that have taken place in the commercial American marketplace over the past 10-20 years have severely tainted me. Case in point: Best Buy has been indicted in the past by the Attorneys General of several states for selling returned and/or defective electronic merchandize "as new" to unsuspecting and unadvised consumers. Fact!

 

P.S. - However, the fact that you experienced the very same thing with Guitar Center is an important addition to the discussion.

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An unopened box is no guarantee that an item was either unblemished or totally functional when it left the factory. Even with best intentions, QC is done by imperfect humans.

The Helix I bought from an online retailer came in a unopened box. It looked and functioned perfectly. For a few months, then it didn't. I sent it in to Line6 for warranty service and it was returned in 1 week. It has functioned perfectly ever since.

 

Before I got the Helix, I had the HD500X. During that time I went through a phase where I searched for the magic of tube amps. I went through 8 different amps, both new and used. All the used ones performed flawlessly. Two of the four new ones I tried were defective out of the (unopened) box. Many hate on GC, but they stand by their guarantees. As do Amazon, Sweetwater, ZZounds and Line6.

 

Bottom line - some tape on a box is no guarantee of anything. Unless you're concerned that as a used item it might have cooties, don't sweat it.

 

Also - what gunpointmetal said.

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1 hour ago, DammKid said:

Greetings,

 

I can't tell if I'm overly-demanding, overly skeptical or just an old school a@@hole on this, but I'm deeply curious . . . how many of you out there would have NO problem accepting a purportedly "new" ($1400) Helix that arrived from the retailer in a previously opened (unsealed) factory box?

 

First, some background . . . I placed an order with a well-known on-line retailer recently, and I specifically stated in the Comments section of the order form that I would NOT accept an unsealed or opened factory box, because in my mind, once that factory seal has been broken, there is no way that the consumer 'truly' knows the history of that unit.  In my admittedly 'busy' mind, whether its a Helix, a PlayStation 4 or a 'new' flatscreen TV, once its been opened, its content could (theoretically) have been previously owned and returned, or deemed initially defective and subsequently serviced, etc., etc.

 

Now, despite having violated my specific instructions beforehand, the retailer assures me that the unit is in-fact 'new', and that the only reason its been previously opened, is because they needed to open it to "upgrade the firmware" on it, which very-well could be? Unfortunately, I have no real way of knowing. However, I submit that I (the consumer) can easily upgrade firmware myself (thank you very much!), and what if the item is a gift for a family member? Perhaps more importantly, is Corporate Line 6 itself officially authorizing these various merchants to pre-open the factory packaging? That's hard for me to imagine.

 

Anyway, what say you folks? Am I completely outta line on this? Should I request a return? Or should I simply suck it up, and accept that I'm an overly-skeptical, paranoid jarhead? NOTE: I'm perfectly good with either conclusion!  ;-)   ;-)

 

I don't know how extensive your experience is in the guitar gear world. Based on the fact that you're shelling out $1500 for a monster of a effects/amp processor I would assume your experience is pretty extensive, and so if that's true feel free to ignore my diatribe below.

 

Nevertheless, the guitar universe and the Playstation 4 universe are entirely different things. Especially when it comes to perceptions of new/used, and how well people take care of them/what matters to them.

 

I'm with you on a video game console.  I would never get one used unless it was SERIOUSLY marked down or there was no other option because the fact of the matter is a lot of people treat their consoles like piles of garbage.

 

In the guitar world though, my feel is most (definitely not all) people messing around in the guitars and gear that retails above $200 take pretty good care of things and care far more about knowing things are in working order than whether a box is sealed. I suspect that's why so many groups from Sweetwater to Guitar Center actually open things up and inspect them to give them their own personal stamp of approval before they send it out.

 

For me, knowing it has a two year warranty and as long as it looked perfect, I'd be totally okay with it. Especially if I knew up front they'd taken the time to upgrade the firmware, I think I'd just appreciate it.  Yeah it's easy to do, but it's far more fun to be able to play with your "toy" as soon as it arrives.

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The warranty (the one offered by Line 6) is now for two years if that makes a difference.  Is the protective plastlic film still on all of the screens? If it's not,  then I would say yau are right about it being a returned Helix.

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32 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

An unopened box is no guarantee that an item was either unblemished or totally functional when it left the factory. Even with best intentions, QC is done by imperfect humans.

The Helix I bought from an online retailer came in a unopened box. It looked and functioned perfectly. For a few months, then it didn't. I sent it in to Line6 for warranty service and it was returned in 1 week. It has functioned perfectly ever since.

 

Before I got the Helix, I had the HD500X. During that time I went through a phase where I searched for the magic of tube amps. I went through 8 different amps, both new and used. All the used ones performed flawlessly. Two of the four new ones I tried were defective out of the (unopened) box. Many hate on GC, but they stand by their guarantees. As do Amazon, Sweetwater, ZZounds and Line6.

 

Bottom line - some tape on a box is no guarantee of anything. Unless you're concerned that as a used item it might have cooties, don't sweat it.

 

Also - what gunpointmetal said.

All great points. Thanks rd2!

 

Its really kinda funny. They say that more than 50% of current-day millennials not only classify themselves as "socialists", but more than 80% of them believe that America is not currently a 'great' country, and fully 90% of them, don't believe that it EVER was!  That statistic tells it all. At age 67, and as a combat veteran of Vietnam, I think all of this is just the "old schooler" in me.

 

I've gotta share a meaningful story with you guys here . . .

 

Almost 30-years ago, I lived next-door to a very dear elderly man (age 70+), that was a decorated World War II veteran. He served on a destroyer that stalked the Caribbean. He'd often tell of a day when after many hours of hunting it, they finally managed to sink a German U-Boat (submarine) with depth charges. Talked about how late that afternoon, after seeing debris, diesel fuel and bodies floating to the surface, they finally lined-up 70+ bodies of deceased German submariners on deck, all deemed to be less than 20-years of age. A week or so after sharing that story with me, and about 8-weeks after purchasing a book of 20-cent stamps at his local Post Office, he returned the partially unused book of stamps, simply because the Postal Service had since raised their price to 22-cents per stamp, which to him, was a material "breach of contract". True story.

 

That's how much "change" there has been in our "new" America! 

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1 hour ago, gunpointmetal said:

It may not be rocket surgery, ....

I cant recall a lot of cases where rockets needed surgery so i'm not sure how promising this occupation is...... ;-)

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1 minute ago, Simon268 said:

I cant recall a lot of cases where rockets needed surgery sp i'm not sure how promising this occupation is...... ;-)

It's an intentionally funky mis-phrasing, lol. Pretty common one, too.

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14 minutes ago, DammKid said:

about 8-weeks after purchasing a book of 20-cent stamps at his local Post Office, he returned the partially unused book of stamps, simply because the Postal Service had since raised their price to 22-cents per stamp, which to him, was a material "breach of contract".

 

Because he stuck to his principles, today when you buy a book of stamps, you're guaranteed to be able to use them in the future, regardless of how much the price goes up.

In another country, he might've been imprisoned for his act of protest. An American Hero on multiple levels!

 

 

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7 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

An American Hero on multiple levels!

 

 

Hear! Hear!

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2 hours ago, phil_m said:

What firmware version is the unit running?

So, a good question from us Helix newb's might be  . . . what version of firmware SHOULD it be running at this point? They've been making this thing now for about three or more years - what's the newest rendition? Is it 2.71? No clue.

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Just now, Kilrahi said:

Yes, it's 2.71.

Thanks. That's most helpful. I guess that short of unpacking this silly thing and firing it up, I have no real way of knowing how old it might be or just what its current firmware is.

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7 minutes ago, DammKid said:

So, a good question from us Helix newb's might be  . . . what version of firmware SHOULD it be running at this point? They've been making this thing now for about three or more years - what's the newest rendition? Is it 2.71? No clue.

Yes, the latest is 2.71. The firmware should be displayed on the boot-up screen. It should be at least 2.70 if they updated it recently.

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14 hours ago, gunpointmetal said:

It's an intentionally funky mis-phrasing, lol. Pretty common one, too.

New to me though. Nice.

 

'You're never done learning". ;-)

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Just to avoid confusion, the Helix warranty is two years in the US only. For the rest of the planet it’s one year (sigh).

 

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43 minutes ago, Thark said:

Just to avoid confusion, the Helix warranty is two years in the US only. For the rest of the planet it’s one year (sigh).

 

Oooooo. That's right. Sorry!

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I did exactly this. Only issue is that it randomly freezes once every...idk 100 hours of use (Literally). I think that's an issue overall, not with my unit. And that's only when I have HX Edit open. I would trust it. 

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I buy open-box gear (music and consumer electronics) often, but only if the item 1) is from a reputable dealer (including GC as mentioned), 2) is appropriately discounted, 3) comes with full warrantee, 4) comes with the usual 30-day money-back guarantee. I also will buy "refurbished" if it's heavily discounted,  carries a limited warrantee, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Firmware version is a non-issue for me.

 

So far I have had no problems, and have gotten some excellent deals. Last year I even found an open-box Variax Standard online at Musician's Friend for a 40% discount off MSRP, had it shipped to my local Guitar Center (they're affiliated), checked it out when it arrived (it looked as good as new), bought it (with 30-day money back guarantee), took it home, did a complete set-up to see if it was seaworthy (it was), and am still using it to this day.

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I'd say it depends on the seller.  If it's Sweetwater I'd have no problem with it and believe that they just updated the firmware.  Anyone else and I think you are absolutely right to be upset.  Open box = I assume it's returned electronics that the company is selling as new.  

 

Especially considering you specified ion the order that you didn't want open box.  Return it and get what you want.

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1 minute ago, Thurston9 said:

I'd say it depends on the seller.  If it's Sweetwater I'd have no problem with it and believe that they just updated the firmware.  Anyone else and I think you are absolutely right to be upset.  Open box = I assume it's returned electronics that the company is selling as new.  

 

Especially considering you specified ion the order that you didn't want open box.  Return it and get what you want.

If it's Sweetwater or GC then he'll be waiting till they restock, because if they're opened for FW updates, they're probably ALL opened.

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If it is sold as new, it is new.  If it is blemished or defective, it is returned just like any other new item.  If you want one that has not been opened/updated, etc., then order it from your local brick and mortar because they won't update it if you tell them it must be factory sealed.  SW and GC don't need your business as much.  And while SW's service is awesomely awesome, GC will tell you what you want to hear and then do whatever they were going to do originally.

(amendment:  MF, not GC....like they're any different)

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2 hours ago, soundog said:

I buy open-box gear (music and consumer electronics) often, but only if the item 1) is from a reputable dealer (including GC as mentioned), 2) is appropriately discounted, 3) comes with full warrantee, 4) comes with the usual 30-day money-back guarantee. I also will buy "refurbished" if it's heavily discounted,  carries a limited warrantee, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Firmware version is a non-issue for me.

 

So far I have had no problems, and have gotten some excellent deals. Last year I even found an open-box Variax Standard online at Musician's Friend for a 40% discount off MSRP, had it shipped to my local Guitar Center (they're affiliated), checked it out when it arrived (it looked as good as new), bought it (with 30-day money back guarantee), took it home, did a complete set-up to see if it was seaworthy (it was), and am still using it to this day.

 

Good guideline. When Line 6 was having their big Firehawk 1500 sale in July (usually $999 but dropped down to $799) Musician's Friend had an open box version for $690 and they indicated it was in perfect condition.

 

So I took a chance and bought it.  I also added the 3 year warranty that protects it from everything, including accidental damage (since I knew I'd be hauling it all over the place), bumping the price right back up to about $820.

 

I looked over every square inch of it and couldn't find any sign anyone had so much as breathed on it.  From my perspective, I basically got a 3 year bumper to bumper warranty for a device that weighs as much as a small moon for $20. Never regretted that one.

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Thanks to all of you for your opinions and postings on this topic. As always, I appreciate every one of you, and I greatly value your opinions.

 

The general consensus here clearly appears to be in favor of the merchant(s), and like I said from the outset, I'm all to aware of the raging skeptic that resides in me, so I have no problem with that whatsoever. In fact, if anything, its reassuring for me to know that others have experienced the very same circumstances, and that most had no issues accepting those circumstances.

 

In addition, as others here have duly noted, if I were to return it, in all likelihood, any and all other units the merchant might ship to me as a replacement, would also have been opened for the very same reasons. Hence, I'm simply chasing my own tail. Nothin' new there!

 

And so, we'll go ahead and keep this opened Helix Rack here, and begin the learning process with it. From everything I've read and learned, it sounds like a great piece of gear, so it should be good fun.

 

Cheers! And thanks again! ;-)

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If it's covered by the factory warranty and considered new by the merchant - I didn't see the point in the whole post...

Hope you have fun learning!

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3 minutes ago, dbudday said:

 . . . I didn't see the point in the whole post...

No, Detective, I don't imagine you did . . .

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19 hours ago, Thark said:

Just to avoid confusion, the Helix warranty is two years in the US only. For the rest of the planet it’s one year (sigh).

 

Hmmm, i think that's not exactly true. In germany (or europe in general?) every manufacturer is obliged to give a 2-year warranty (even though after the first 6 months the customer has to proof the bug is caused by the production process).

 

But i think i get what you meant: The 'special line6 warranty' is only given to US customers..... :-(

 

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On 1/14/2019 at 3:25 PM, DammKid said:

...They say that more than 50% of current-day millennials not only classify themselves as "socialists", but more than 80% of them believe that America is not currently a 'great' country, and fully 90% of them, don't believe that it EVER was!  That statistic tells it all. At age 67, and as a combat veteran of Vietnam, I think all of this is just the "old schooler" in me...

 

To contrast, I'm 58 but I work mostly with 25-35s, and the huge majority of them really love our Country, and really respect us Vets and thank us for our service regularly.

 

Your story was GREAT, thanks for that, and thanks for your Service! I guess that the only guilty feelings us later vets have is that our Vietnam-era "big brothers and sisters" really got the shaft, while we were treated as heroes from the beginning.

 

However--to stick with this thread--an open box means that someone probably tried it out. I try not to be too picky, since I'm gonna take it out of the box, throw it on the floor, and start stomping it straight-away! That, and the 2-yr warranty--I feel pretty good about these things--I own two of them--one for the stage, and one as a backup.

 

 

 

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DB,

 

Ditto! My thanks to you as well, both for your service to this country and its many citizens, legal and illegal ;-), and for your posting. I'm glad that your experience with these Helix units has been a positive one, and I'm also pleased to hear that my former neighbor's WWII story resonated with someone out there.

 

Like countless others in this country, both past and present, that former neighbor and friend of mine was an un-wavering, un-apologetic, American Patriot, and by today's standards, perhaps even a "hero" (a label that I'm quite sure he would have vigorously disagreed with), but like this great country, he and his kind, will ALWAYS be remembered and cherished, by folks like me.

 

Thanks again, and best of luck to you in your own musical adventures.

 

SHAPES OF THINGS

The Yardbirds (1966)

 

Shapes, of things before my eyes

Just teach me to despise

Will time make men more wise?

 

Here, within my lonely frame

My eyes just hurt my brain

But will it seem the same?

 

Come tomorrow, will I be older?

Come tomorrow, may be a soldier

Come tomorrow, may I be bolder than today?

 

Now, the trees are almost green

But will they still be seen?

When time and tide have been.

 

Fallen, into your passing hands

Please don't destroy these lands

Don't make them desert sands.

 

Soon, I hope that I will find

Thoughts deep within my mind

That won't displace my kind.

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:-O Helix patriot's edition? ;-) ;-)

 

weird direction of the thread. :-D

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Haas!

 

Nah. Not really, Just boring stories of . . . Glory Days, from those of us who miss the pre-devious, pre-Super Capitalist, pre- screw-everybody-you-can-as-quickly-as-you-can era in America. But then, depending on your age and generation (i.e., millennial, gen-x'er, boomer, yada-yada), your mileage can and likely WILL vary.

 

And despite the fact that your User name is "Just Startin'"  . . . I won't bother to venture a guess. ;-)

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4 minutes ago, DammKid said:

...But then, depending on your age and generation ....

Not to forget nationality. ;-)

 

(probably the most significant factor)

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27 minutes ago, DammKid said:

Haas!

 

Nah. Not really, Just boring stories of . . . Glory Days, from those of us who miss the pre-devious, pre-Super Capitalist, pre- screw-everybody-you-can as quickly as you can era in America. But then, depending on your age and generation (i.e., millennial, gen-x'er, boomer, yada-yada), your mileage can and likely WILL vary.

 

And despite the fact that your User name is "Just Startin'"  . . . I won't bother to venture a guess. ;-)

 

Simon 268 is his User Name. "Just Startin'" is a user description assigned by the forum based on some formula or other. For instance, you are also "Just Startin"", with 27 posts and 2 upvotes. I'm a "Gear Head" with 973 posts and 166 upvotes. Kilrahi is "Iknowathingortwo" with 349 posts and 72 upvotes. Gunpointmetal is a "Power User" with 1100 posts and 337 upvotes. You get the picture.

 

To all - this might be a good place to consider not posting anything that takes this from "due respect" to "overtly political". Just sayin'.

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8 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

To all - this might be a good place to consider not posting anything that takes this from "due respect" to "overtly political". Just sayin'.

Exactly, this isn't TGP ;)

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