We all do it...it starts as GAS, you research the holy moly out of it, listen to the demos and videos, seek out the best deal and pull the trigger. But did I make the right decision? Who(m) better to confirm - or otherwise - your purchase than your peers and friends? How, you might ask? Well, I had a great weekend hanging out with about 15 guitar FREAKS and PRS pros and did something daring...put my amp on the backline for everyone to tweak and play. Yes, I did start it out with my settings and played a bit, but then I walked away and encouraged everyone to take a swing. It was the only 1 out of 7 guitar amps that were PRS.
Numerous times I had to run forward to see who was playing and which amp I was hearing because it was not what I knew my amp to sound like. And over and over again, I had people come up and ask "what IS that amp?" (PRS doesn't label some custom/CAD amps). Raised eyebrows resulted when told it was a Super Dallas because each player had different tunes they'd play, different tone and gain settings, different pedals (I also brought the pedalboard) and every guy squeezed an amazing sound out. Regardless of guitar, pedals, settings, they all sounded great. This amp not only exceeded everyone's expectations, but shattered the stigma of the Dallas brothers being only "a clean amp".
I'm sure it wasn't for everyone. There were lots of differing tastes there, but being as cordially honest with each other as we are, they had the opportunity to comment however they wanted. Nothing but compliments.
This is as good of a litmus test as I can put together. If people - whom I respect as friends and talented musicians - say it's cool, then by golly, it's cool! My hard work is solidly affirmed.