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> When Trying Out A Guitar..., ...what do you check for first?
post Nov 4 2010, 04:01 AM
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Learning Roadie

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I'm sure many of you love going into a guitar shop to try out guitars - I know I do. What's the first thing you check for when trying out a guitar?

I check for the "sweet spot" on the guitar for best pinch harmonics! cool.gif

And while on this subject, do you keep the volume down when playing in a guitar shop? Or do you blast it that no one can hear each other? tongue.gif
I keep it low volume primarily because I stink at guitar. I want my mistakes not be heard by those driving by the guitar shop. laugh.gif

I plan to bring my camera next time I go to that guitar shop near me. I wanna shoot some video and pictures. smile.gif
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post Nov 4 2010, 06:31 AM
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Learning Apprentice Player

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It depends if I plan on buying the guitar or just messing around with it smile.gif If I'm just messing around with it, the very first thing I test after I make sure its in tune is how crunchy it is with mega distortion. To me thats a deal breaker, if the crunch is crap on a guitar then that guitar is useless to me. The only exception is the Stratocaster, cause to me that guitar has the the most heavenly cleans smile.gif

If I actually plan on buying the guitar I play every note up and down the fretboard, just to make sure none of the notes fret out. I also make sure theres no strum scratches on the guitar, or any other chips or scratches from over exuberant pimple popping teenagers. Other things I look out for is the grain quality of the fretboard, the fit and finish of all the parts, and to make sure all the knobs are secured and working properly. I've only gotten one guitar brand new (and that will probably be the last time I buy new), but this applies to all guitars.


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post Nov 4 2010, 10:45 AM
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Born of NWOBHM, Moderation Team Leader

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The neck, if it doesn't lie comfortably in my hand I won't even concider the rest of the guitar.

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post Nov 4 2010, 02:24 PM
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Learning Rock Star

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The feel of the guitar ... A good guitar just feel so great for me... I have tried 30 strats before buying mine. The ONLY one that felt that great.... Been 2 years and I never regret it...

This post has been edited by Crazy_Diamond: Nov 4 2010, 02:24 PM

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post Nov 4 2010, 03:17 PM
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Learning Tone Master
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I play the guitar unamplified first and I lft up a single string and let it snap back against the fretboard. With the accoustic tone and loudness you can check the quality of wood that was used: if the guitar sounds bad accoustially it will definitely not sound good through an amp!

In my local guitar store I don't have to check for the setup, intonation, tuning on any guitar because all the store guys are either luthiers or very experienced with setting up the guitars. In a diffrent store I would check these things!

Then I take the guitar to an amp and cab that I am familiar with (so that I can judge it's tone better) and play fairly loud to get a good sound out of the tube amp. I usually only check the high gain tone of a guitar with a couple of my own songs and a few great riffs by other bands and I do some mindless shredding to impress the kiddies oggling me through the window of the testing rooms^^


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post Nov 4 2010, 05:15 PM
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Always the way the guitar feels to play. If the neck doesn't feel right or I don't like the weight of the guitar etc then it's not for me. That's always the very first thing
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Nov 9 2010, 06:46 PM
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I check the guitar well before I plug it in. It has to sound well when unplugged too, it has to have proper weight, and proper build quality of wood and hardware. If that doesn't suit the price, I don't bother to try it.

If I take a guitar to try it, I tune it and check the tuning pegs, plug it at 75% volume, 75% tone, and find a reasonable volume for that. Them I check how it works on that setting, and go from there from 50-100% volume & tone, and check all the controls and switches quickly.

Then I play something familiar on familiar amp and settings. I like to play a bit louder if possible to hear what guitar has to offer on higher volumes, and try clean, crunch and overdrive standard settings, usually on a Marshall or Fender amp.

After that, I check the price again, and calculate if it is worth it. Usually it's not, but I've found several nice new guitars that way that could prove like a nice buy. Gibson LP studio is for me a guitar that could prove like a nice deal even if you buy it new. Although, it would be better if you can buy it second hand, the costs are way lower.

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