#1
So, having the day to myself in Raleigh NC, I decided I'd see what the local GC had to offer. I came in smiling and carrying a little spiral notebook I usually use for English. Finding the first manager there, I promptly introduced myself and asked if he'd ever heard of ultimate-guitar.com. The puzzled look on his face preempted a negative answer. I went on to tell him that I wrote reviews for the website, and I needed to try out some products so that I could review them. I even told him I'd mention the store and everything. As far as I can tell, all of those things are true, right? Right. We proceeded to the sound room, and I was told to "take as long as I needed."

Guitars:

New, 2008 Fender American Strat-

It's new! It's improved! It's got a lacquered fretboard and vintage saddles! What is there to say? Despite whatever hype surrounds it, it is still a strat, and the only people who will really distinguish it from many other strats are strat enthusiasts. That being said, it was a gorgeous black strat with a nice rosewood fretboard. Action was solid. Tone was nice and jangly, like a strat should be. I played it through an Egnater Tourmaster and a vintage Fender tube they had sitting around the sound room. No bad sounds.

PRS SE-

I wish I could say good things about this guitar. I really, really do. It was very attractive-looking, but it was clunky and awkward and generally not very playable. I once dated a girl along those same lines. What I've found is that you don't know what you're missing until you find something that plays like butter. Alas, the PRS sounded mediocre and had the playability of a brick. Maybe it was just a dud, though. Moving on.

Parker Hybrid-

This was my favorite guitar of the day. I played it through a Roland AC-60. It is solidbody, but switches between electric and acoustic sounds. A 3-way blend switch mixes the two nicely. There are also two outs from the guitar, so you could, theoretically go into two amps (one electric, one designed for acoustic) at once. The acoustic sim was great. The action, superb. The clean electric tone, awesome. I want one. Pretty too.

Egnater Tourmaster

Oh. My. ****s. Let me preempt what I'm about to say with this disclaimer: I don't play metal. It all sounds basically the same to me, and I don't know what a good metal tone is. That being said, I loved this amp. The range of clean tones was amazing, from jangly, bright, fenderish cleans to dark, jazzy cleans. On the whole, though, the cleans were warmer than stereotypical fender cleans. The class/mod switch on EVERY channel was also nice. I'm really not sure what to say except that this amp did almost everything very, very well. Got great blues tones, classic rock, hard rock... don't know about the metal. Just really impressed. And the gain was good, even at low volumes. I certainly didn't get to crank it. The massive footswitch also made cycling through tones a breeze. I certainly approve.

Spider Valve Combo

Oh dear. I feel that I might get some blowback for what I'm about to say, but here it is.... I hated this amp. Hated it. It didn't feel tubey to me at all. Better than a spider? Yes. Then again, my home cooking is better than dog ****. That being said, you don't want what I'm cooking. Tons and tons and TONS of really, really mediocre presets.

Roland AC-60

What a beautiful piece of equipment! All of the effects were absolutely great, from the delay to the chorus to the reverb. The Mic input makes it great for the singer-songwriter on the go, and this thing is hella-loud! Hella, hella, hella! I would like one. It was small too. Just amazing. Amazing.

That's all. Hope you enjoyed.
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#2
Quote by carniferous
I once dated a girl along those same lines. What I've found is that you don't know what you're missing until you find something that plays like butter.

Amen to this.

Just from my experience, the Raleigh GC is pretty **** for setting up, tuning, and maintaing their gear. Annoying.
#3
Yeah, pretty much....thats why I tend to Sam Ash if I need to hit one of the larger stores although I havent been in a long while. Honestly during the summer, I miss my little Bulldog Music down here in Boiling Springs.

As for the PRS SE, I think it was a huge letdown....I would love for PRS to have actually made a killer affordable guitar
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#4
Quote by Bloodshed
As for the PRS SE, I think it was a huge letdown....I would love for PRS to have actually made a killer affordable guitar

I had high hopes for the SE One, before I played about 3 crapply SE Customs in a row. Damn.