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#1
Seen a few nice guitars online but they're quite rare and where they physically are tends to be 100s of miles away and I can't be arsed to drive all that just to try it out.
Reviews are thin on the ground too.
I'm talking £300-400 though, so not OTT crazy money, and not far off the fuel cost these days!

I have previously bought guitars without trying them (well, one was custom made for me).

Would you ever take that 'risk'? Buy an axe mainly cos it looks nice?
#2
Done it more than once.

Some will say not to do it, but I've not found it to be a huge deal. If it's crazy money, go check it out in person. If it's cheap, you'll expect to get what you paid for it. If it's moderate you'll expect to get what you paid for it as well. If it's vintage it's a known quantity.

And in any case, it'll be easy enough to re-sell if you find it's not your cup of tea...
Richard

I tried setting my password to "penis". It said my password wasn't long enough.

PRSi:
*ME Quatro
*CE-22
*SE Soapbar II
H&K TubeMeister
TC Electronic Nova System

PBT Native
#3
Quote by The Judist
Seen a few nice guitars online but they're quite rare and where they physically are tends to be 100s of miles away and I can't be arsed to drive all that just to try it out.
Reviews are thin on the ground too.
I'm talking £300-400 though, so not OTT crazy money, and not far off the fuel cost these days!

I have previously bought guitars without trying them (well, one was custom made for me).

Would you ever take that 'risk'? Buy an axe mainly cos it looks nice?



No. It better look nice and have the features I want.

Yes to ordering without playing though. Unless its a Gibson, word is theyre pretty hit or miss quality wise. Most places will take back the guitar if you hate it too.
#4
I only tried one of my eight guitars before buying them, two of them were 1000$. It was the best thing I've ever done with my money. My Fernandez Ravelle destroys everything I've ever played. My friends love it, my guitar teacher adores it, and it is my absolute prized possession.

tl;dr Do it, it's worth it.
Edit: Bought the Ravelle because it looked nice and had one or two good reviews, I lucked out like a champ. I buy my guitars on looks, and it hasn't failed me yet.
Last edited by ChamsRock at Jan 16, 2012,
#5
I bought my loomis without having played one although I tried out similar models...I also have a Vik custom on order without having ever tried one although his reputation speaks for itself so im not worried.
#6
It depends on the guitar. I'll happily buy ESPs, Charvels, Kramers, Epiphones, Fenders, Squiers, Washburns, Schecters and Ibanezs online. Those companies are all, in my experience, very consistent. They tend to work out exactly how the spec sheet says.

Gibson and PRS are another matter. I would never buy either without playing it first. In fact I don't even bother looking at them online at all.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
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#7
The only companies I would avoid buying online are Gibson, Epiphone, and Dean. As said above, Ibanez, Shecter, LTD, and similar companies all usually have pretty consistent feels to them. Not to mention if you buy online there is usually a return policy. Gibsons vary way too much for that much of a risk though. I would generally trust a USA PRS though. I've never played a bad one. SEs i might have to try out first though.
#8
I've done it three times, one for $1300, one for $1500 and one for $1600. There was no way I could get to play any of the three guitars, but I knew what I was looking for and knew I could send them back if they didn't live up to par. It wasn't about buying the guitars based on looks, but rather buying guitars with the specifications I was looking for that happened to be impossible to play before buying. I love all three of them.

As long as you do a little research and it's not an absolute no return policy then there's really very little risk, so to speak.
#9
I do it only if I trust the seller and they have good return policies.

For instance, I bought my first 2 electrics through my FLMS, who, because they could send it back, let me try it out in store before finalizing my purpose. I would do so again.

I live in Dallas, and have bought 6 guitars from Jon Kammerer, a luthier out of the Chicago area. Before purchase, I was able to try a couple of guitars at the guitar show at which we met in 2003. I bought 3 guitars from him a few months later, none of which were the onesi tried out at his show booth, and over the next few years, have bought 3 more- one of which I donated to a charity- all sight unseen.

And I'd do the same for builders whose reputation is strong, like Carvin, and/or who don't move enough product to weather bad publicity- nearly any small luthiery.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#10
Ironic that MrFlibble has reservations about PRS. Those are the only guitars I've bought WITHOUT trying them first. Because they're generally so uniform in construction it's pretty much a no-brainer...
Richard

I tried setting my password to "penis". It said my password wasn't long enough.

PRSi:
*ME Quatro
*CE-22
*SE Soapbar II
H&K TubeMeister
TC Electronic Nova System

PBT Native
#11
Yes. But do your research, and do a lot of it. I certainly didn't drop over two and a half grand on a guitar without knowing for damn sure that I wanted it first!
Ibanez RG2228 w/ EMG808Xs | Line 6 POD HD500 | Mackie HD1221
#12
yeah i've bought 4 guitars off ebay without any idea how they would sound or play
Too Many Religious People And Not Enough Lions
#13
There are only a handful of places that I will buy online. From trusted members of forums where high end guitars are routinely sold, and from vendors on forums who hand select a guitar for you. I shudder at the thought of ordering a guitar online from Guitarcenter.com.
#14
Quote by Dayn
Yes. But do your research, and do a lot of it. I certainly didn't drop over two and a half grand on a guitar without knowing for damn sure that I wanted it first!


I dropped 3.5ish on one without trying it yet


Its really OK, depends on you OP, if you're not afraid of a little bit of money going array then its np
#15
Quote by Mehtabb
I dropped 3.5ish on one without trying it yet


Its really OK, depends on you OP, if you're not afraid of a little bit of money going array then its np


Your a jerk.

Any pics on approx what she'll look like?
Viks are soo sexy.
#16
personally i can't bring myself to buy a guitar without playing it (unless it was truly dirt cheap). consistencey is great but every guitar is different especially the neck. i've played 100s of strats over the last few years and some were fantastic and some were just ok. this is regardless of price and where it was made. i'll only buy a guitar that speaks to me and gives me the ability to speak to others. there have been days where i've played a $2500 custom shop strat and a $300 used MIM strat and have found the MIM to be better. i have to be able to bond with the guitar and that starts with the neck. if the neck doesn't do it for me then i won't buy it no matter how nice it looks or sounds.
#17
Quote by ChamsRock
I only tried one of my eight guitars before buying them, two of them were 1000$. It was the best thing I've ever done with my money. My Fernandez Ravelle destroys everything I've ever played. My friends love it, my guitar teacher adores it, and it is my absolute prized possession.

tl;dr Do it, it's worth it.
Edit: Bought the Ravelle because it looked nice and had one or two good reviews, I lucked out like a champ. I buy my guitars on looks, and it hasn't failed me yet.

Good call, I remember liking the look of those. Like a melted LP.
Had a look on the site there's a new Ravelle Steeler model out which fits the bill but guess what, there's none in this country...

The guitar I was originally referring to was this
http://www.gak.co.uk/en/luna-sol-aquarius-ash/31695
see bet you never saw that in a shop
#18
Quote by The Judist
Good call, I remember liking the look of those. Like a melted LP.
Had a look on the site there's a new Ravelle Steeler model out which fits the bill but guess what, there's none in this country...

The guitar I was originally referring to was this
http://www.gak.co.uk/en/luna-sol-aquarius-ash/31695
see bet you never saw that in a shop

Looks cool! Get it!
Richard

I tried setting my password to "penis". It said my password wasn't long enough.

PRSi:
*ME Quatro
*CE-22
*SE Soapbar II
H&K TubeMeister
TC Electronic Nova System

PBT Native
#19
Quote by ChamsRock
I only tried one of my eight guitars before buying them, two of them were 1000$. It was the best thing I've ever done with my money. My Fernandez Ravelle destroys everything I've ever played. My friends love it, my guitar teacher adores it, and it is my absolute prized possession.

tl;dr Do it, it's worth it.
Edit: Bought the Ravelle because it looked nice and had one or two good reviews, I lucked out like a champ. I buy my guitars on looks, and it hasn't failed me yet.


I have had a Ravelle on my GAS list for ages...then I saw Reeves Gabrels and Dave Navarro playing them...


So the hunger GROWS...
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#20
if you've tried enough guitars that you know what you like, buy from a brand with known good QC, and buy from a decent retailer, I don't see the harm in it.

I mean in the EU you're covered by distance-selling regulations, so there's not a whole heap of risk (as long as you're willing to pay the return postage).

what guitar are you looking at?
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#21
i have done it for most of my guitars. Even most of the cheap guitars are still built to tight specs (not all but most). It is always optimal to try them first but i always felt for the most part it is very safe to buy without trying.
Quote by BlackVoid
Every guitar and bass forum I've visited has some people chasing some magical tone that will shoot jizzing unicorns riding on a rainbow out of their amp.
#23
I've always wanted an amfisound guitar. I have gone back andd forth about this issue and decided it would be worth getting even though its inconcievable that I would play one before buying it since I live in the U.S.
#24
Quote by MetalMeltd0wn
Why should you try playing a PRS or Gibson before you buy it? Are they inconsistent?


Like another previous poster, I regard PRS are being very consistent. Maybe they were more variable years ago, but given that the neck and body carve is now done with CNC machines to tolerances that are down to just a few thousandths of an inch, I believe that modern/recent PRSi are very consistent. There's tons of by-hand work in the sanding, finishing, etc. But I think that tonal consistency is pretty high, as is neck feel. (I bought one sight-unseen over ebay, with no surprises.)
#25
Quote by rschleicher
Like another previous poster, I regard PRS are being very consistent. Maybe they were more variable years ago, but given that the neck and body carve is now done with CNC machines to tolerances that are down to just a few thousandths of an inch, I believe that modern/recent PRSi are very consistent. There's tons of by-hand work in the sanding, finishing, etc. But I think that tonal consistency is pretty high, as is neck feel. (I bought one sight-unseen over ebay, with no surprises.)

I think most companies do things like that. What I was referring to about PRS was the processes. Have you seen what they go through just for drying the wood? Or the amount of time put in on the fret board, etc.? Insane amount of time...

Anyway, I think I'd still buy without having played here and there. Sure, if I can play it I will -- but unless you take it home and actually play it for some time, through your own rig, etc. you're still taking a bit of a chance. Playing something for a few minutes in a store through an unfamiliar amp, with people walking around, horrible acoustics, no privacy, etc. is little different than just buying something I've seen a picture of...
Richard

I tried setting my password to "penis". It said my password wasn't long enough.

PRSi:
*ME Quatro
*CE-22
*SE Soapbar II
H&K TubeMeister
TC Electronic Nova System

PBT Native
#26
Playing something for a few minutes in a store through an unfamiliar amp, with people walking around, horrible acoustics, no privacy, etc. is little different than just buying something I've seen a picture of...


Yeah, either way, the only flaws you find will be the obvious ones.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#28
Yes, but I make sure there is a return policy, and if possible I'll first try out a guitar that is very similar to it.
#29
i think that spec sheets can only give you a rough idea of what kind of tone you should expect and what kind of neck profile and things like that, but can't really tell you how the guitar feels to just hold which is a lot more important than some people seem to think - if it feels like a flimsy piece of junk that's gonna fall apart in your hands, you're probably not gonna like it even if it plays just right and sounds awesome.

i bought a guitar online once having done a bit of research and it worked out ok, but it was only a cheap danelectro. i wouldn't buy another guitar online, especially not without trying out at least the same model in a guitar shop, simply because you just don't know what you're getting until it arrives otherwise.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#30
Which is why you only buy sight unseen when there is a good return policy in place.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#31
All of the guitars I own are blind purchases. All but one I bought used. That's the key. Buy used. If you don't like it, you can just pass it on, maybe even make a profit in the process.

More importantly than that though, I know what I like. So I'm not really ever disappointed, because when I get a guitar, I know what I'm getting.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

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#32
Quote by al112987
There are only a handful of places that I will buy online. From trusted members of forums where high end guitars are routinely sold, and from vendors on forums who hand select a guitar for you. I shudder at the thought of ordering a guitar online from Guitarcenter.com.



Same with me. My R7 was bught over the phone but through a trusted Vendor and after discussions with the fellow MLP'er (salesman) about what I was looking for. It arrived and was all that it was claimed to be. It's now my favourite and the the same Vendor and salesman has done the same for many MLP members.
Unlike some on-line big box stores whihc simply pull a guitar out of their warehouse and ship it, some vendors (Sweetwater, Eddie's Guitars, WildWood, Wilcut etc) will identify the exact guitar for you and try to find one that suits your preference.
They also undercut ther prices of stores like MF or GC, but you have to call to get their best price.
Moving on.....
#33
Quote by richardlpalmer

Anyway, I think I'd still buy without having played here and there. Sure, if I can play it I will -- but unless you take it home and actually play it for some time, through your own rig, etc. you're still taking a bit of a chance. Playing something for a few minutes in a store through an unfamiliar amp, with people walking around, horrible acoustics, no privacy, etc. is little different than just buying something I've seen a picture of...


+ infinity

this is what i don't understand. maybe all these people buying in stores are omniscient, but i can easily miss something when i'm trying in the store. at least if i buy online i have a week to check the thing out, in the comfort of my own home, with the possibility of returning it if i don't like it.

if you buy in a shop after trying something the shop legally doesn't have to let you return it.

you could argue that you're actually taking more of a chance buying in a shop.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Jan 18, 2012,
#34
Quote by The Judist

Would you ever take that 'risk'? Buy an axe mainly cos it looks nice?


Never. I've had horrible experiences with buying guitars online. Uneven frets, warped necks, bad neck profiles, the works.

It doesn't matter how nice it is on paper or weather its a Gibson or not.

I know what i like guitar-wise, but its irrelevant if the guitar's shit.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Jan 18, 2012,
#35
if it's shit you send it back
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#36
Quote by Dave_Mc
maybe all these people buying in stores are omniscient

Wait...are you implying that the average person who walks into a guitar center doesn't know everything?
#37
maybe
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#39
Quote by Dave_Mc
+ infinity

this is what i don't understand. maybe all these people buying in stores are omniscient, but i can easily miss something when i'm trying in the store. at least if i buy online i have a week to check the thing out, in the comfort of my own home, with the possibility of returning it if i don't like it.

if you buy in a shop after trying something the shop legally doesn't have to let you return it.

you could argue that you're actually taking more of a chance buying in a shop.

Yeah, it's funny. The only "defect" in a guitar I own came from a brand new one, I played several times over a week or two and bought in the store. I didn't notice it until quite a while later that the neck had a ding in it near the headstock. Nothing more than cosmetic, but still -- all of my "bought without playing first" guitars are freakin' amazing!

I guess the sentiment is a resounding, YMMV!
Richard

I tried setting my password to "penis". It said my password wasn't long enough.

PRSi:
*ME Quatro
*CE-22
*SE Soapbar II
H&K TubeMeister
TC Electronic Nova System

PBT Native
#40
Quote by Dave_Mc
+ infinity

this is what i don't understand. maybe all these people buying in stores are omniscient, but i can easily miss something when i'm trying in the store. at least if i buy online i have a week to check the thing out, in the comfort of my own home, with the possibility of returning it if i don't like it.

if you buy in a shop after trying something the shop legally doesn't have to let you return it.

you could argue that you're actually taking more of a chance buying in a shop.


sorry dave have to disagree. i think with some experience under your belt you can and should be able to tell if the guitar at least has the potential for greatness. most shops here have a return policy as well so that's rarely an issue. to me a neck is either good or not and i can tell very quickly if this is the case. stores also give you the chance to try out a guitar through several different amps which i like. i always start with an amp i'm familiar with and then try a guitar that i'm serious about through a couple of other amps that i at least have a decent knowldege of. if the guitar plays decently (or at least would with a good setup) and sounds great through each amp then it's a keeper. i haven't bought a guitar that i wasn't happy with using this method yet. if you are a beginner or have only played for a couple of years then this might not work as well. bottom line is though if you really have a good idea of what you want out of a guitar then you should be able to tell even if the situation isn't ideal.
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