Playing before you buy?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by pancake81, Jul 9, 2018.

?

Would you buy a Guitar without playing

  1. Yes I have and would again

  2. Yes I have and never again

  3. No, too risky. I always play the guitar

  4. No, but I would for the right guitar

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  1. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    So many of us preach the “Always Play Beofre you Buy” concept, and in a perfect world why wouldn’t you. However so many of us browse reverb, eBay, musicians friend etc.

    All that being said, sometimes we are in search of a rare guitar, or a deal too good to miss out on comes up and it’s 2000 miles away. And the folks that get a Gibson custom made to their specs, I consider that buying beofre you play. No shortage of Gibson Custom builds around, or Jaydee guitars etc. the pay now and we build approach

    Have you ever bought without playing, would you, could you? Would you order your dream guitar from the Gibson custom shop? What if turns out to have no mojo?

    Looking forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts
     
  2. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    I have ordered a guitar from my local store and been happy as hell. Took a few weeks for it to come in from his Gibson distributor, but he is my money. This was back in early 2000’s, so we still relied heavily on local stores. I suppose this would fall under buying without playing, however is still had the protection of the guitar showed up damaged.

    I bought one off eBay before, that was a roll of the dice. But the guitar was in obtainable from another source. Or if I did find another one it would have been the same situation. The seller excepted returns, but I am sure it would have been a huge pain to pay shipping and waiting for a refund etc

    I have bought there from online retailers, all with no regrets. All this being said, I prefer to play before I pay.
     
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  3. Dale

    Dale Active Member

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    I tend to be more that way with used than new.
     
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  4. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    Here's the thing; what most people seem to think is "finding the one that speaks to me", is really just finding the guitar on the shop floor that happens to be closest to a decent setup. Barring any major (and very uncommon) issues like a twisted neck, pretty much any guitar can be made to play well with a good setup. Hell, my $180 Squier first guitar puts to shame a lot of more expensive guitars that haven't been set up. I probably sound like a broken record around here, but it's ridiculous how oblivious people seem to be to the importance of a good setup.

    Not to mention, if the action is high because it's not been set up, it will hide any spots where it might fret out when you lower the action later, so in that case, playing before you bought didn't help anyway. Unless I can bring a screwdriver and adjust the action at the shop, I can't really make any meaningful assessment of the fretwork.
     
  5. arcticsg

    arcticsg Well-Known Member

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    Yes I have and would again.

    As long as I can send it back if I'm not happy with it for either replacement or a refund, I'm good with it. Btw, If youre buying new it helps to get to know a sales rep and them you. Especially for the higher end stuff. ;)
     
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  6. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    This is great advice. And buying online with a credible business who stands behind their return policy is no biggie in my mind.

    I think it would be more risky to have a custom guitar built. You pay, you wait, and then you see if you like it.
     
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  7. Roca

    Roca Active Member

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    I had too! I don't know how to play. Lol.
    Now I know a little but I'm happy with my purchase online.
     
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  8. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    That’s the best response yet!
     
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  9. iblive

    iblive Well-Known Member

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    I keep telling myself, try it before I buy it. In 1973 I played and purchased a Yamaha 12 string. A year later I played and purchased an Ovation acoustic. Since then I’ve purchased 4 electrics. Three off eBay and one from Sweetwater. Got lucky. Turned out I like all 4. Play great. Sound great.
     
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  10. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

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    I've never bought one without playing it first but I'm not totally against the idea of buying one online.
     
  11. Susihukkanen

    Susihukkanen Well-Known Member

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    Half of my SGs are from internet, other half from local shop or private persons. For example the crescent moon SG is from some pawn shop in the USA, through ebay. No way that could be played before buying. And at this end of Europe there are only few of those existing. So basically I prefer playing before, but sometimes it is just not possible. I have got only good guitars online.
     
  12. Crazy_8

    Crazy_8 Well-Known Member

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    I've even purchased Gibson bodies from vendors like Stratosphere that I had to purchase all the other parts for and the guitars turned out great. The gold SG in my avatar is just one example.
     
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  13. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    That’s awesome. I would also have no issues with that.
     
  14. NomeX

    NomeX Member

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    Almost all my guitar and bass purchases have been this way. I make sure to ask questions about the frets and neck, and when buying from GC online I always have it delivered to the store, that way I can give the guitar a few days to acclimate without me being tempted to open it, and also to have proof that something isn't right. I had two guitars online stating that they came with cases, but they were shipped without. I had to call the stores to have them shipped to me. I also make sure to buy "Great" or Excellent condition pieces. I will purchase a Fair condition item if I know the frets and neck are okay, and I just need a player, not a museum piece. I've bought over 20 guitars and basses over the past 7 years online, before I played- knock on wood, have not had to return one yet.
     
  15. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

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    This is absolutely right. All too often people talk about searching until you find 'the one' - but it just doesn't work that way if you actually want a guitar, especially a Gibson, and of course any made-to-order guitar.

    Let's say I want an SG Special. I'm lucky, I live in a big city (8 million+), so I should have plenty of choice, right? I visit the long-established dealer in town (just one for Gibson!). They'll probably only have one Special to try. Let's say it doesn't 'speak to me', so I go to the new GuitarGuitar a few miles away. They have quite a small store, so maybe one Special, maybe not... I can take a train out to the south west and visit Andertons, and they'll probably bring one in from their warehouse for a comparison. Or I can head east by train and visit DV247, they may have several Specials at the store, but if not, they'll not be able to get any more in a hurry - their warehouse is in Germany!

    So if I make the effort, over a couple of days, I could get to try somewhere between 5 or 7 Specials... So I'll only have a good chance of finding 'the one' if such guitars are actually commonplace!

    The best instruments I own were all bought unseen. I've also had to return a couple of guitars, and one Gibson had to go for warranty work as it was so poorly finished, but ultimately, in the UK we have stronger consumer protection for online purchases than those made in stores, so I'm happy to buy new online. Secondhand is a totally different story...
     
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  16. 67King

    67King Member

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    Playing before you buy is tough. Gibson and the small independent stores I prefer don't work together any more. The big box stores don't carry much Gibson inventory. I was considering an HP, but the closest one I could find to play was over 3 hours away. So I took a chance when a blemished Pelham Blue one showed up. My 2013 I had set up for slide, so it was going to be completely changed. For that matter, I play 11's, so every guitar I buy will have to be set up once the strings are more to my liking (except a David Grissom PRS, should I ever want to go that route).
     
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  17. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Unless I am looking at a vintage or custom made guitar, I don't worry about it. Most new guitars are built to robot spec and if there is a fatal defect I send it back.
     
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  18. NMA

    NMA Well-Known Member

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    Of the 15 guitars I have:

    6 played before buy
    9 did not play before buy

    We live in the age of the internet --- I can live in New York and buy a guitar from Oregon. I ain't flying out to Oregon just to test-run a guitar.
     
  19. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe in a guitar being "the one", especially when you can have several of the same model. They are tools to me. They are mass-produced instruments for the most part and fairly consistent in build quality. Have them set them up for different tunings and just play them.

    You can walk into a shop and pick out a guitar you like. If the finish you want is not in stock, but available to order, I see no need to test the one you order if it is the same model you already played. If there is a manufacturing defect on the one ordered that affects playability, then send it back.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
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  20. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    I think you hit the nail right on the head CG. All that being said, I feel like we read “always play before you buy” weekly on someone’s post.
     
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