Hello all,

I've heard many people say that each and every guitar sounds different, that even if two guitars are the same make and model they will not sound identical. This is often a reason given for not purchasing a guitar online, because you'll be unable to test the guitar first. That warning certainly makes sense, as there will always be some variation in the materials and construction.

But let's say I've finally decided on a certain model at the guitar store, I tell the salesman, "I'll take it!" and they go into their stock room and come out with a new one in the box for me... do I just say, "Hang on, let me play this one to make sure it sounds okay," or do I say, "I also want to try out every one you have in stock and then pick the one that sounds the best," ???

I've read about other people actually doing this, playing 10 "identical" guitars in order to pick the best one, but if I'm buying an inexpensive guitar it seems like I'd be the salesperson's worst nightmare. Would their be enough variance in the sound/quality to justify playing every single one? Is this a pretty normal request that customers make, or would the salesman toss me out on my butt? What is your method for ensuring that you're taking home a good one?

This won't be the first guitar I've ever owned, but I haven't played in about 8 years and so while my hands will no longer do the things they used to, at least my ears can still tell the difference between a beautiful sounding guitar and a crappy sounding piece of junk.

Please share your thoughts! I'd love to hear what your strategy is, and if you have any tips for making a guitar purchase go smoothly as possible.
if you liked the floor model ask if you can get that specific one. Usually theyll toss it your way for cheaper.
Just tell them you want the one you just played, if that is the one that sounds right. I hear that same warning from many people. Especailly when I was going between shops looking for the right one. Everyone told me that each guitar is different. So just go with the one that feels right. And sounds right. At least that is what I did.
hmmm...when he picks the guitar he wants to sell to you just say ''Can I try this one out to check if everything works fine?''.
And cuz he wants to sell that guitar I guess he will not mind...
If he will disagree and find an excuse just tell him you won't buy it then. Maybe he will change his mind. Otherwise wait for another salesman and try the same thing
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Quote by hawk_kst
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absolutely every guitar is different. variances can occur anywhere: setup, action, fit & finish, color etc. even within the same model. If you have your eyes set on a certain model, try the floor model and if you like it, take that one. If you don't, ask to try a different one of the same model until you hit one you like. I definently would not try all of them, just go down the list until you find a good one.
TheBurningFish wrote:
I don't mean to generalise but I don't believe the average Coldplay fan is a massive musical theory nut.

FS/FT: Cort SP1 Stratocaster
Zoom GFX5 fx processor
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Yes every guitar is different. But most of the time the difference is so subtle you will never notice it. As long as a guitar has no defects (and believe me, quality control does slip quite often) you really don't need to be playing 10 of the same to find the 'magic' one.
you are the customer. so you have the right to test out a product before you buy it, especially a musical instrument. even if it doesnt cost that much, it is still money and it is still your money. and you are still the customer.

if the salesperson were to be a real bitch and not let you try out 10 guitars, then he would be responsible for losing a potential sale, and future sales of strings, amps, and more guitars. so he isnt going to throw you out on the street.
Does anyone remember laughter?

Manuel, please try to understand before one of us DIES.

my gear:

Gibson LP Standard
Epiphone SG
Classical guitar
Peavey ValveKing 112
Marshall MG15
yes by all means try as many as possible and he will definitly let you buy the floor model especially if your not trying to haggle on price. He gets rid of the guitar every kid has come in and strummed on (wich incedentally may be the reason it sounds so good) and put minute scratches on so yeah he let you take it out of the store for the same price as a brand new one in a box with a smile on his face. sorry for the rambling and typos but i got into the sauce a little early today.
If you pick up a floor model and like it, why would you want one from the back room? If it's dinged try to haggle on the price. If you want a pristine guitar, get one from the back but DEFINITELY try it out before you bring it home or get them to agree to a return period if you aren't happy with it when you get it home. Yes, each guitar is different but consistency is a quality that reputable guitar manufacturers try to achieve. Siren's right, most likely you (and anyone else) won't be able to tell the difference. I would be slightly more hesitant to buy an acoustic guitar sound unheard because the wood is more important and more variable but most companies offer a return policy if you are unsatisfied anyway. I have never heard of anyone trying ten guitars of the same model in order to pick out the best one and I wouldn't allow it in my store unless I stood to make a great deal of money and the cash was on the barrelhead. In effect you are asking to unpack, set-up, scratch-up, and not purchase 9 out of 10 guitars. That's a lot of work and in the end the profit from the sale of one guitar doesn't justify the man hours expended. I have however tried every floor model in the store in my price range before settling on the best. At that point I couldn't imagine the one in the back room sounded any better.
I agree with a lot of the things said so far.
If you find the 'right' guitar. Take the floor model. Rarely have I seen a floor model thats not in good condition (I would think they got rid of any damaged floor models pretty quickly). If for some reason you don't take the floor model, make sure you play the one the bring out for you (a decent play too, and give it a good inspection while your there for any defects). If it's good, then go for it, if it's not as good as the floor modell, ask for another one or ask for the floor model. At my local stores most of the sales guys are serious players and understand stuff like this so don't mind.

But, I do disagree that the difference is so subtle that you won't be able to pick it. In some cases they can be very very similar. But in general I find that the differences is very much noticeable.
There's no such thing as a non-floor model in Australia, well at least in any of the stores I've ever been too. Still always play before you buy.
I know of a martin D-15 (which is usually a fooking fantastic guitar) at my local that is an absolute dud, they can't sell the thing for love nor money, it's been there for near on two years now and no-one will have a bar of it. Imagine being handed this POS thinking it's the duck's nut's until you get home and realise it's nothing more than firewood.
The Billy Hydes near me has a fair bit of non floor stock with acoustics at least. When I bought my last acoustic it was the last one though so I didn't have to stuff around with floor stock or anything. However, when I bought my first ever guitar there they gave me one from out back.
^ You got a guitar from the outback? Wow, was it made by aboriginies too?
Quote by LeftyDave
^ You got a guitar from the outback? Wow, was it made by aboriginies too?

Hahaha! nice mate!