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Thread: Would/have you bought a guitar without playing it first?

  1. #1
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    Would/have you bought a guitar without playing it first?

    Hey guys I'm a little new to posting here but I wonder if anyone has bought a guitar without playing it first? I'm ordering the Zach Myers HB when it drops for my studio rock/jazz ensemble but they wide fat neck might be bigger than what I'm used to. Also looking for a custom 24 for my new workhorse guitar. I can't see dropping that much cash without playing it first but I've been to every music shop in my area and played all the PRS they have. Closest I found was an SE custom 24 and the neck felt a little chunky. Any thoughts? Good/bad experience buying blind?

  2. #2
    soundcloud.com/johnucol John's Avatar
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    As much as possible, I'd suggest trying it out in person first- not just at a shop, but if you can- with you own rig, as well.
    I suppose I could say that a couple experiences with PRS buys were 'semi-blind' since I haven't tried out the particular guitars before getting them shipped to me, but with my previous good experience with PRS in particular, and the fact that I was allotted a few days to try them with my own stuff, I say they're all good experiences overall.

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    I bought a custom 24 on pictures only. PRS is crafted well enough to do this. The only question is if it is a neck profile you are not familiar with.
    PRS believer.

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    I was playing my ibanez RG and went straight to the store and played the SE custom 24 and it felt big. The custom 24 is used though so I couldn't send it back. Guitar center had one I couldn't recognize but it had P-90's in it and it felt good.

  5. #5
    The last 25 or 30 guitars I've owned I bought off forums or Ebay. No problems at all but neck shapes and such really don't bother me. I like having all different sizes, shapes, and scale lengths. I suppose I'm just weird in that I don't need to get used to a guitar in order to play it. My CE24 has a wide/thin and my CE22 has a wide/fat. My Les Paul is somewhere in between and I have no issue switching between them.
    I do all my own work so setups are not an issue. I have yet to get a guitar that I make play well.

  6. #6
    Occasionally Onery Member CantankerousCarl's Avatar
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    I have bought many a PRS without playing them first; I have also returned many a PRS (and others). For USA PRSi, I always get S/N and as many pics as possible.

    If you are at all concerned, as much of a P.I.T.A. alot of the mega-chains are, but from them and take advantage of their return policy if you need to. Nothing says that you cannot take your guitar on some field trips to some other local places and A-B-C it against others as well. PRS quality is indeed very consistent; that being said, there are differences, so use the return period to make sure that the guitar is really something you can live with.

    If you find the SECU24 neck chunky, then I am not sure what advice to give you - the SEs should have a wide-thin carve, and that's the thinnest PRS makes. The thinnest-feeling PRS neck I have felt is on my early 90s CE bolt-ons - those maple wide-thins feel slinkier than a comparable mahogany wide-thin.

    Best of luck on your quest...
    1990 CE24 MT | 1991 CU24 | 1991 CE24 | 1992 CE24 MT
    1993 STD 24 | 1997 CE24 3pc MT | 2008 SE Semi-Hollow Soapbar
    2011 SE Akesson | 2011 CU24 GC Throwback | 2012 Signature Limited
    2013 408 Brazilian | 2013 Paul's Guitar | 2013 S2 Mira | 2013 Hollowbody II
    2013 CU24 Swamp Ash Limited | 2014 SE Zach Myers

  7. #7
    Pincher of Harmonics Blackbird's Avatar
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    I have bought most of my PRSi without playing them first. I'm comfortable doing that mainly because they are easy instruments to resell. However, I would never special order a brand new instrument without having played a similar model.
    12 408 - 12 DGT - 09 Tremonti II - 98 CU24 - 97 CE22 - Mesa MarkIV - Kemper Profiler Amp - EVH 5150 III - PRS Archon

  8. #8
    DEEPER STRIATIONS markie's Avatar
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    A couple................. hundred
    Fanboy of the Jester (AKA) James (Previously known as 11top)

  9. #9
    PRS Addiction CoreyT's Avatar
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    Every guitar I own was ordered, and never played that model with the exception of trying a yellow 2012 SE Santana for a few minutes, then telling my dealer to order me an orange one.

    All of my others were ordered without playing one locally.
    I trust the PRS brand that much.

  10. #10
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    I've bought a few PRS w/o having played them first. I'm comfortable doing that because the quality is that good - I don't worry about getting a dud.

    But I've rarely, if ever, bought one that I didn't have hands-on with the neck carve first. If you can try a few different ones out, it's worth getting a feel for each carve. Hands-on is really the only way to get an appreciation for that if you're sensitive about the carve.
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  11. #11
    Senior Member Rider1260's Avatar
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    Most of my guitars were purchased on "faith" once I got a taste of PRSi I was hooked.
    Here are the guitars I got without playing first no regrets with any of them.











    PRS Family - SCT, 408, 305, CU22, MEII
    Others LesPaul , Stratocaster , Guild
    Amps - Mesa MK2B , Egnater Tweaker 15
    Effects - Tonal Insanity Guitar Effects ( I make them ) TC Electronics Nova

  12. #12
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markie View Post
    A couple................. hundred
    Yup and that's just the Private Stocks!


  13. #13
    Senior Member geese_com's Avatar
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    Every PRS I have bought so far.

  14. #14
    DEEPER STRIATIONS markie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justmund View Post
    Yup and that's just the Private Stocks!



    Bastid
    Fanboy of the Jester (AKA) James (Previously known as 11top)

  15. #15
    Almost was a FG22 owner.. WEDGE's Avatar
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    Most of mine have been bought off the web or gotten in trades sight unseen, PRS have to be the most consistent guitars ever.
    ​Secretary of Crackwood Addiction

  16. #16
    Happy Egads's Avatar
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    I've bought a few online, though I really don't like to do it. I've always played a similar guitar (or the same model) first, though. I'm not sensitive to neck size, so that isn't an issue. Historically, I have been a little sensitive to scale length, so we're gonna have to see if the 24.5 ZM will work.

    Good luck on the hunt,

  17. #17
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    I just got a Private Stock that I spec'ed. That's probably the most unseen that you can get.

    I don't put much stock in playing them at the store. You can usually suss out the big problems, but you really need to put it though your own rig for a couple of hours to really hear it.

  18. #18
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    Thanks for all the feedback so quickly. I bought a set of Tremonti pickups and put them in my dads old LP copy and that's what drew me to prs. I'm looking at a custom 24 with the pattern thin neck and 59/09's for my new number 1. The main issue is trading in one of my other guitars for it. Of the Maryland made prs's I've found no clerk can tell me what pickups are in it so I'd like to hear them in person first.

  19. #19
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    I've bought a couple of PRS sight unseen lately (an ME Quattro and an Private Stock). Both freaked me out a bit when I got them. The MEQ was set up unbelievably well. The PS needed a bit of help, if you can believe it. I *almost* didn't like the PS, until I made the adjustments. Now... it's a great guitar, one of my favs.

    As for the Custom 24 question... The pick types of a PRS will be listed on the hang tag. Depending upon the year, and the specs, it could be the VB/HFS (Vintage Bass neck and Hot, Fat Screamer bridge), it could be 59/09s, or 57/08s. 2012 & 2014 have the 59/09s, and 2013 had the 57/08s. You can't go wrong with any of those pickups. My favorite pickups are the 59/09s, they work great with the Custom 24s. 57/08s are a little too vintage for my taste, even though I have them in my Custom 24 PS, and really love them in a Custom 24 IRW at a local GC.

    Good luck!
    - cyclops

    Too many PRS to list in 5 lines...

  20. #20
    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    I've bought most unseen/played. All were worthy of keeping. Most stay(ed) for a considerable amount of time. I've kept more than I've let go.

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