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#2447721 - 10/24/12 02:10 PM Online Ordering
ThisSiteSucks Offline
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Registered: 02/20/06
Posts: 760
Loc: Out of my mind
Thinking of getting a new guitar to complement my MIA Strat (tri-burst maple/neck & fretboard).

Looking at LP Traditional and PRS Mira. I had LP once and loved it; never played the Mira (but hey, it's a MIA PRS).

So, anyone do any ordering online? I really don't want to go to a store and mess around with store personnel (I don't trust them).

comments/suggestions welcomed smile thank you...Roots

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#2447732 - 10/24/12 03:12 PM Re: Online Ordering [Re: ThisSiteSucks]
Lokair Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/12/08
Posts: 482
Loc: Braeburn PA
I think you can get a good guitar on line , but know what your looking for don't just jump on a name. Go try everything you may buy at a store or two. Les pauls come in such a wide variety of feels and sounds. Prs is also something of an acquired feel too, try a couple and make note how it sounds and feels. I have bought at ams and Sam ash , liked both Sam ash sold me a better guitar. Ams was good too , bought from them on ebay. Bought a guitar from neils on ebay as well , they wernt so good at all.

Lok
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#2447746 - 10/24/12 04:21 PM Re: Online Ordering [Re: Lokair]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 3194
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
Most of my guitars were online purchases. My rules are these:

1) always buy from manufacturers or from retailers with good return policies.

2) if you find helpful people in your local brick & mortar stores, buy there. It may be better in the long run to pay a little more in such a place than to always choose your seller based on price. (See "enlightened self-interest.") I have 2 guys from Murphy's Music (Irving, Tx) and one guy from Guitar Center (Lewisville, Tx) in my phone's contact list. I used to have a guy at my closest Music-Go-Round in here, but they went under.


Edited by Dannyalcatraz (10/24/12 04:24 PM)
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Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

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http://murphysmusictx.com/

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#2447764 - 10/24/12 07:36 PM Re: Online Ordering [Re: ThisSiteSucks]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 22354
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Originally Posted By: Rootstonian
I really don't want to go to a store and mess around with store personnel (I don't trust them).


As opposed to... ? Calling or typing and messing around with store personnel that are no more trustworthy and that you aren't seeing face-to-face, concerning guitars that you aren't able to try and compare before buying?
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#2447770 - 10/24/12 08:08 PM Re: Online Ordering [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
ThisSiteSucks Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 02/20/06
Posts: 760
Loc: Out of my mind
In a word, yes.

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#2447796 - 10/25/12 12:05 AM Re: Online Ordering [Re: ThisSiteSucks]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 3194
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
Personal preconceptions aside, the main reasons to shop online are:

1) better price than local B&M retailers

2) different selection- what you want can't be found around town.

3) no knowledge of good stores locally

As stated before, It is my personal opinion that price should not be your only consideration when buying.

The third reason can be hard to overcome, but if you DO find a good local store, they're worth buying from, even if eyre slightly more expensive.

The second one is the trick...but still can be overcome by s good music store. The guys at Murphy's actually helped me find a guitar I couldn't get new anywhere in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex- at the time, the 6th largest metropolitan area in then USA- and have since become a major seller of that brand.

But trust issues are trust issues. I'd say look at Sweetwater. Those guys are professional and knowledgeable, and they have a decent return policy.
_________________________
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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#2447816 - 10/25/12 06:17 AM Re: Online Ordering [Re: ThisSiteSucks]
skipclone 1 Offline
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Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 6904
Loc: Japan
I order online for only one reason-limited distribution. I want `that` item and there`s no way I`m going to find it around the corner. I would hesitate to order guitars that way, unless it`s a handbuilt one at a time type thing.
Actually I don`t see how going to a store necessarily has to involve store personnel, except for checkout.
`Hi I want to try a few guitars-I`m not sure what I what but I`ll know when I play it. Is that okay?
Not cool? see ya.
Cool? can I start with that LP?
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#2447836 - 10/25/12 07:31 AM Re: Online Ordering [Re: skipclone 1]
whitefang Online   content
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5847
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
Never bought a guitar online. Ordered other big stuff( Furniture and stuff like that)from catalogs, and was stuck with having to re-package and seal up boxes for return due to UPS or FedEx damaging it during shipping. PLUS the fee for UPS to ship the stuff they mangled back to the seller, PLUS the disappointment of not being able to enjoy my purchase sooner rather than later. THAT sort of thing would be my only apprehenshion.
Whitefang
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#2447843 - 10/25/12 08:02 AM Re: Online Ordering [Re: whitefang]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 3194
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
Distribution is my main reason as well. My first 2 electrics were Deans- simply not available at any store in D/FW when I bought them.

My next few were Jon Kammerer. He's a luthier out of the Chicago area...not quite as close as the 'burbs of D/FW. Not only is he pretty much a direct-sales one man shop, I have only seen 2 others around here: a used one at GC, and the custom acoustic he did for local up & coming C&W/rock artist, Glitter Rose.

(FWIW, Jon paid the shipping on the only guitar I bought from him that needed work- there was a wiring issue with the pickups- and that was on a clearance model I bought from him at cost. Good guy.)

And just this week, I pulled the trigger on a Fernandes Ravelle Elite. Again, not available in any store I know in this city of millions.

Oh yeah, that reminds me!

I ordered that Ravelle through the military's Online Exchange (Dad was an Army MD): they have something called the "Instrument Pro" 3rd party vendor. No tax + 5% discount + free shipping = significant savings. The selection is pretty good, if somewhat odd. For instance, they sell Fender but not Gibson. They sell DigiTech, but not their newest gizmos, the iBP-10 and iStomp. Near as I can tell, they carry everything Seymour Duncan manufactures.

Good customer service & return policy, too.

If you are able to use the Online Exchange, it's worth a look.


Edited by Dannyalcatraz (10/25/12 08:09 AM)
_________________________
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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#2447844 - 10/25/12 08:02 AM Re: Online Ordering [Re: whitefang]
J. Dan Offline
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Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 7298
Loc: St. Louis, MO
I'll buy almost everything online. Guitars are the exception, though that doesn't necessarily mean you can't get a good result.

The reason I make guitars the exception is because of how much variation there is from one guitar to the next even within the exact same model. I can go to GC or whatever and pick up 10 different guitars and pick the one that feels right and is set up the way I like. Order online and you don't know what you're going to get.

Now, of course, you can just plan on taking in to somebody to get it set up...and truthfully, you may need to do that anyway with one you buy at the store. So if you figure you're going to do it anyway, then that reason goes away. Still, even if I'm going to get it set up anyway, I still feel more comfortable putting my hands on it to check it out before I buy.
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Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2447846 - 10/25/12 08:15 AM Re: Online Ordering [Re: J. Dan]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 3194
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
Quote:
Order online and you don't know what you're going to get.


That's why the quality of the return policy matters so much.

Quote:
Now, of course, you can just plan on taking in to somebody to get it set up


All my guitars go to pros for that.
_________________________
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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#2447855 - 10/25/12 09:04 AM Re: Online Ordering [Re: whitefang]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 3922
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: whitefang
Never bought a guitar online. Ordered other big stuff( Furniture and stuff like that)from catalogs, and was stuck with having to re-package and seal up boxes for return due to UPS or FedEx damaging it during shipping. PLUS the fee for UPS to ship the stuff they mangled back to the seller, PLUS the disappointment of not being able to enjoy my purchase sooner rather than later. THAT sort of thing would be my only apprehenshion.
Whitefang


Exactly, to all the above, but even more the fact that the little 2 inch square picture online doesn't reveal enough about the actual product. I need to be in the same space with the item, to be able to judge whether it's cheesy junk or a really nice piece. My wife hates having to go to stores & mostly shops online, while I hate being disappointed when something shows up in the mail that just doesn't feel as good as imagined from the tiny online photo.
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#2447865 - 10/25/12 09:40 AM Re: Online Ordering [Re: Scott Fraser]
Larryz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5542
Loc: Hwy 49, California
Before ordering online get yourself a local shop that will do your setups and checkout your new purchases during the return period. I have one shop for my Taylors (as that's where the guitar must go to be covered under warrenty) and another shop for my Fenders and anyother guitars. 1st step is to go to GC or any other local store and try out the PRS and figure out if you would rather have it or the LP? Since you are already know LP's it's just a matter of deciding what model, neck, pickups, etc., you want if you go with the LP. Now pick a store like Sweetwater, MF or my goto store which would be Wildwood Guitars in Colorado for more custom woods and negotiated prices (don't be afraid to ask them to beat someone elses' price, as they will do it for sure). MF has the best return policy and will email you a return UPS label if you do not like the guitar for any reason within 45+/- days.

Once you get the guitar in your hot little hands check it carefully for any flaws, action, etc., and make sure you like it. If not, return it. If you decide you like it and want to keep it, take it to your shop and have them eyeball it (which they will do for free) and if they approve as well, drop it off for a set up (usually $60).

Another thing is to think about is the weather and the bounce around during shipping. You don't want the guitar sitting in the heat or freezing ass cold weather out there on the runway. I had the guys in Colorado ship mine on the best day possible and put in extra foam squigallies in the box...

For strings and small orders I like Sweetwater as they have no shipping charges, even if you only order 1 pack of strings, and they do excellent customer followup...

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#2447868 - 10/25/12 09:46 AM Re: Online Ordering [Re: J. Dan]
Bartholomew Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/29/04
Posts: 399
Loc: Montreal
I bought a Les Paul Studio from Musician's Friend, got 15% off plus free shipping.

Couldn't get one with an ebony fretboard in Canada so ordered online. The key is to sign-up for their e-mail bargains and when they have free shipping call customer service and get a discount also. I saw on a forum somewhere that they'll hesitate but will discount if one calls in and it worked for me.

I normally don't buy sight unseen but couldn't get what I wanted any other way - it was an exclusive from Gibson to MF & GC online.
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#2447876 - 10/25/12 10:24 AM Re: Online Ordering [Re: Bartholomew]
Winston Psmith Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 1955
Loc: Inside the Beltway
I'll buy a piece of electronic gear online, like an effects pedal, or a drum machine, if I see a sale price I won't find anywhere else, but if I can't feel the guitar in my hands, I won't buy it. There are too many variables to feel & quality, even among expensive guitars. I once asked a friend, "Would you rather have the first guitar to come out of the factory on Monday morning, or the last guitar to come out on Friday evening?" It's a trick question - the only right answer is "No."

Aesthetics are another consideration - no matter how pretty the guitar in the online catalog looks, that's not the guitar you're going to get. Your guitar is sitting in an unopened box, in a vast warehouse, and you will very likely be the first human to lay eyes on it since it left the factory. What if the color isn't quite what you expected, maybe you don't like the grain on the neck, or the black filler around the inlay - there are so many small details you may not think about, until it's in your hands.

If you really expect that music store employees are out to lie, cheat, and possibly steal, then arm yourself with some good solid info, before you go shopping. Go the the manufacturers' websites, look up the specs of the guitars you're interested in, see what they're selling for online at a number of competing sites & stores, and what their re-sale value seems to be, then go in and ask to try a few guitars. If you make them take you seriously as a customer, you'll probably be left alone, while the sharks troll for other suckers.

BTW, I worked in music retail for years, and I felt a responsibility to not waste my customers' time, or their money. The result was that I had customers who came back to me, time after time, because they knew they could trust me to help them, and not rob them. I'm sorry your experience has been the opposite.
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"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

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#2448030 - 10/26/12 09:02 AM Re: Online Ordering [Re: Scott Fraser]
whitefang Online   content
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5847
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
Originally Posted By: whitefang
Never bought a guitar online. Ordered other big stuff( Furniture and stuff like that)from catalogs, and was stuck with having to re-package and seal up boxes for return due to UPS or FedEx damaging it during shipping. PLUS the fee for UPS to ship the stuff they mangled back to the seller, PLUS the disappointment of not being able to enjoy my purchase sooner rather than later. THAT sort of thing would be my only apprehenshion.
Whitefang


Exactly, to all the above, but even more the fact that the little 2 inch square picture online doesn't reveal enough about the actual product. I need to be in the same space with the item, to be able to judge whether it's cheesy junk or a really nice piece. My wife hates having to go to stores & mostly shops online, while I hate being disappointed when something shows up in the mail that just doesn't feel as good as imagined from the tiny online photo.

Doesn't matter the size of the photo. This is why my wife quit long ago buying stuff like jewelry from QVC and HSN type places. The product sure looked good on TV, but when she got them, I was surprised they didn't come shipped in one of those little plastic bubbles you used to get prizes in from those gumball machine things.

I suppose a good return policy IS helpful, and if you have that kind of patience, then go ahead. But ya gotta admit...nothing beats the satisfaction of going to the store, seeing an axe you like, trying it out and falling in love, and then taking it home with you.
Whitefang
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I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!

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#2448044 - 10/26/12 10:07 AM Re: Online Ordering [Re: whitefang]
SEHpicker Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/16/02
Posts: 1018
Loc: Inverness, Florida
Carvin may be the exception to the general rule of not buying a guitar online. I had Carvin custom build a DC-150 about 9 or 10 years ago. I own an really nice LP Standard and a Custom Shop Strat (previously used in concert by Joe Walsh) and a few other guitars. Hands down the Carvin plays the best. Never had an issue with it... so there are reliable guitar builders out there - in my experience Carvin is one of them.
Unless you are absolutely set on a LP or PRS, you should check out the Carvin "California Carved Top". I've been drooling for one of these for awhile now.

Here is a link to some pics:
California Carved Top


Edited by SEHpicker (10/26/12 10:11 AM)
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#2448050 - 10/26/12 10:28 AM Re: Online Ordering [Re: SEHpicker]
Scott Fraser Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 3922
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: SEHpicker
Unless you are absolutely set on a LP or PRS, you should check out the Carvin "California Carved Top". I've been drooling for one of these for awhile now.


LA has a Carvin shop, so it's possible to handle the goods here. I've played the California Carved Top & it's a fabulous axe. Pickups aren't to my taste, but that's really just a personal taste issue. Build, detailing, playability are all top notch. It also has the best tone control I've ever played. Useful tones all the way from 1 to 10.
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#2448055 - 10/26/12 10:46 AM Re: Online Ordering [Re: Scott Fraser]
p90jr Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 1985
I've bought tons of gear online... tons of used guitars... but I have a buddy who can set anything up, to the extent of fret work and neck resets, to make it how I want it, and I've never needed that much (except on things I got for cheap knowing I'd have to have them redone)... in this age of computerized routing and stuff almost every guitar falls into the consistently acceptable category, the downside of that is you rarely get the "gem" in the batch that stands out as special. Go to GC and play every Fender or Gibson in the store and they're all the same within the brand.

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#2448120 - 10/26/12 08:13 PM Re: Online Ordering [Re: p90jr]
ThisSiteSucks Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 02/20/06
Posts: 760
Loc: Out of my mind
Thanks for all the great responses! I did go to local GC a couple days ago...what a waste.

500 strats, teles, ESP, Scheters etc. And two, count them..TWO Les Pauls. And a $3,500 PRS. I was disappointed.

On the plus side, I've been an impulse buyer all my life, so now I'm not so hot on getting the new axe. Just keep using the MIA Strat. However, I do need an amp...! ROFL smile

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#2448159 - 10/27/12 10:06 AM Re: Online Ordering [Re: ThisSiteSucks]
Winston Psmith Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 1955
Loc: Inside the Beltway
I have to wonder what's up with your nearby GC!?! Only 2 LP's & 1 PRS - either they just had a massive sell-out, or they're not stocking that store with higher-end gear. The nearest one to me is full of Gibsons, including a nice selection of LP's I can't afford, and PRS guitars.
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"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

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#2448172 - 10/27/12 11:49 AM Re: Online Ordering [Re: Winston Psmith]
Larryz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5542
Loc: Hwy 49, California
No LP's or PRS's at a GC? Maybe they are doing better in the area just selling the cheaper stuff? idk

Anyway, glad it helped you get over the GAS attack on the guitar Rootstonian...now go out there and get that amp!

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#2448179 - 10/27/12 12:52 PM Re: Online Ordering [Re: Larryz]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 3194
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
Dittoing the puzzlement- the few GCs where I live have Strats, Gibsons, ESP, PRS, Dean, Gretsch, Ibanez, Shechter, and their in-house brand, plus some more I'm probably forgetting. I've seen Godins in there on occasion.
_________________________
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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#2448230 - 10/27/12 08:54 PM Re: Online Ordering [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
skipclone 1 Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 6904
Loc: Japan
Speaking of in-house brands, an interesting aside. Ishibashi Music, one of the big chains here, had an exclusive deal with Selva Guitars. I tried the electrics and liked them, but they were too small for me. That seems to be the intent-the guy behind them is an interesting person in his own right:

http://vimeo.com/24854721
_________________________
Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

Skipsounds on Soundclick:
www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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#2448237 - 10/27/12 09:54 PM Re: Online Ordering [Re: skipclone 1]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 3194
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
Man, I wish him well! I like what I heard and hope he can come up with a stable, marketable version- it sounded better to me than a lot of those little backpackers.
_________________________
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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