#1
*I've been playing for ~1 year but am a total newb in the guitar "world"*

I was at a GuitarCenter store today, wanted to sound out guitars, see for myself what I'd learned and heard about different guitars.

I inquired about the ESP Viper, and the clerk told me that they don't tend to maintain many high-end guitars in stores ("Except for the more popular ones, like LPs" he said). He said if I ever wanted to buy one I'd have to order it to have it sent to my local store, but in this case I'd have to pay for the guitar without ever trying the specific one.

What I'm thinking now is this: When you guys buy rather expensive guitars, is this how it usually works out? Also, how do I try out the guitar (not necessarily the exact one, just the same model) to make sure?

Thanks!
#2
if there is really no other stores around you that would have it, you could either take a blind chance, try the closest comparable item, or buy something that you can try. maybe feel out an SG body, try an ESP eclipse neck, then try something with EMGs in it (granted the viper you want has EMGs).

i am not sure where expensive falls into this? viper != expensive. popular != expensive. but anyway, i really like to try before i buy. i dont care what any reviews say, its all about personal preference.
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#3
I wouldn't buy any guitar that I didn't get the chance to try, personally(unless it was custom, because then I'd know how things were going to feel, having helped design it, obviously).
#4
I had to order my JP7 without trying it.
There aren't that many guitar brands that I'd be happy to buy from without trying the guitar first. MusicMan, Suhr, PRS, Huber, Anderson and a few other high end brands are ones I would buy without trying.
I'm not sure about the ESP. They are high quality guitars, I wouldn't be worried about the quality being not high enough, I'd be more worried about it not feeling right. The construction is great, but the feel might not be right for you.
#5
Use to have an old first model Viper I traded my lead guitarist for some ink work. I wasn't a big fan of the EMG pups. Look around more stores, if they have a Guitar Center store in that town, there should also be some local music stores or pawn shops. Try out different models and brands, you might like one from another. Than whoever has the best deal buy it or order it. Do some research and bring somebody with you that knows what they are looking at. I swear by pawn shops, sometimes they might over price guitars, but sometimes they don't know what they have. It helps having someone with you that knows.

Also if you like the guitar without even playing it, you could order it and then try it out, and stores like that do have a return policy, but don't delay too long on taking it back. It is a big hassel and is kind of a long process, but if you have patience you could always do it that way.

I'm a play before you buy, kind of guy.
Last edited by SchecterDean at Jul 7, 2011,
#6
for me it's not really about try before you buy

i just make sure i am buying a high quality instrument and then adapt to it.
#7
i bought my ESP Eclipse II without trying it from a mom-and-pop shop, and i couldnt be happier with how it felt, straight out of the box! just my two cents....
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#8
Quote by xxunder-takerxx
if there is really no other stores around you that would have it, you could either take a blind chance, try the closest comparable item, or buy something that you can try. maybe feel out an SG body, try an ESP eclipse neck, then try something with EMGs in it (granted the viper you want has EMGs).

i am not sure where expensive falls into this? viper != expensive. popular != expensive. but anyway, i really like to try before i buy. i dont care what any reviews say, its all about personal preference.


By expensive I meant enough money that spending it on a guitar that I hated would make me feel pretty bad, 1500 dollars fits that =P. On that LP thing, he meant the only high-end guitars they tend to keep in stock are the ones that are "safer" investments since the chance they won't be sold ever is pretty low, hence LPs and such.

I'd like to try before buying too. I guess my actual question is: Where did you try your guitar out before buying it?
#9
Quote by vincelombard
for me it's not really about try before you buy

i just make sure i am buying a high quality instrument and then adapt to it.


this, i've never really had a lot of preference for certain aspects of guitars like thin necks vs. fat necks for example. if its a good instrument, then you can always just get used to it
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#10
Quote by vincelombard
for me it's not really about try before you buy

i just make sure i am buying a high quality instrument and then adapt to it.

This. It describes my mindset exactly as well. As long as the instrument is quality, I can get used to a different neck or different tones. Usually factory blemishes are covered by the seller or the factory warranty, and some things, like fretwork, can be done locally by a professional for a fee. I say the fretwork thing because I bought an Ibanez Prestige through eBay that needed some fret work, but I actually do that stuff myself, so it wasn't a big deal.

What I'm saying is that if you do your homework and you're confident you're getting a good instrument for your money, you should be satisfied. If not, much of it's in the head.
#11
I personally would never buy a guitar without getting to try it but like others said, if you can compare guitars that are similar then that can help.
#12
I'd never buy a guitar without playing only because I've played some guitars that feel totally different than another guitar of the same exact model. I have a specific example in mind, and it was with an LTD H-1001. Played two of the same model (same finish even), only one felt really stiff and cheap. Other one was awesome.

Happens with lots of companies, not trying to bash ESP/LTD.
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#13
Guitar Center has a 30 day return policy. I would expect all ESPs to be very nice guitars but if you absolutely hated it you could return it. I would be upfront with them and ask to speak with a manager before you placed your order and tell him your intentions.. I'm sure they would accommodate you.
#14
Quote by BobDetroit
Guitar Center has a 30 day return policy. I would expect all ESPs to be very nice guitars but if you absolutely hated it you could return it. I would be upfront with them and ask to speak with a manager before you placed your order and tell him your intentions.. I'm sure they would accommodate you.


The thing is, I live in Brazil, so my window for future purchases (in the US, stuff in Brazil is waaaay too overpriced) are somewhat narrow, restricted to the times I do come over, which is why I'm trying to figure out the best way to do this for when I do do it=P
#15
I bought my RG and Strat blind. I played comparable models though. No stores in the city had the finishes I wanted. I ended up liking the ones I got more than the ones I tried in stores. I guess I got lucky. Don't get it through a local Guitar Center though. You have to pay tax. It will be more expensive than buying online and it'll probably take longer. When I asked about the RG, they told me they can have it in 2 weeks. I ordered it online and had it in 3 days and saved around $100 because I wasn't paying tax. ESPs are good if you're talking about actual ESPs and not LTDs. I've never played a bad ESP. It should be good quality wise. I would be more worried about feel and tone.
#16
Quote by JELIFISH19
I bought my RG and Strat blind. I played comparable models though. No stores in the city had the finishes I wanted. I ended up liking the ones I got more than the ones I tried in stores. I guess I got lucky. Don't get it through a local Guitar Center though. You have to pay tax. It will be more expensive than buying online and it'll probably take longer. When I asked about the RG, they told me they can have it in 2 weeks. I ordered it online and had it in 3 days and saved around $100 because I wasn't paying tax. ESPs are good if you're talking about actual ESPs and not LTDs. I've never played a bad ESP. It should be good quality wise. I would be more worried about feel and tone.


When you say order online, do you mean online through guitarcenter? Or do you use some other online store?
#17
Quote by Rainmaker31
When you say order online, do you mean online through guitarcenter? Or do you use some other online store?


Musiciansfriend.com shares a warehouse with GC. It's all online, but in most of the US there's no tax and the shipping is free for standard delivery. Pretty awesome because the prices are typically the same as GC.
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#18
Quote by Rainmaker31
The thing is, I live in Brazil, so my window for future purchases (in the US, stuff in Brazil is waaaay too overpriced) are somewhat narrow, restricted to the times I do come over, which is why I'm trying to figure out the best way to do this for when I do do it=P

So when you do come to the US, where do you go? What cities?
#19
Quote by Rainmaker31
When you say order online, do you mean online through guitarcenter? Or do you use some other online store?

I got the Strat from Americanmusical.com and I ordered the RG from Musiciansfriend.com but it's the same as Guitar Center. Just get it from whatever place that's reputable and has the best price. At the end of the day, you're going not going to play or see the guitar before you pay for it and it's in your hands. You might as well just go for the best deal.
#20
GC has a 30 day return on the stuff you buy new (not sure about used) SO I mean you could always take the chance just sayin
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#21
Quote by JAHellraiser
GC has a 30 day return on the stuff you buy new (not sure about used) SO I mean you could always take the chance just sayin


Read the rest of the thread. Also, GC makes you pay the shipping and tax anyways.
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#22
You guys all make very good points, thank you =).

Quote by Spud Spudly
So when you do come to the US, where do you go? What cities?


I go to Colorado a lot to ski, and we hit New York often (I was born there). Right now I'm in San Francisco. There's still much of the US me and my parents want to visit, so there will be no shortage of trips to major cities where I could get my new axe =). The problem would be I'm never in town for very long (7, maybe 10 days maax), so I'd have to coordinate shipping and stuff pretty tightly =P
#23
I like to try before I buy myself, so if it's a Viper you're looking for and GC doesn't have one, I suggest you put a ad on Craig's List for one.