Anyone else have this happen to them buying from "Daves Guitars"?

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by Lestercollector, Dec 7, 2017 at 2:18 PM.


  1. Lestercollector

    Lestercollector Supporting Member

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    I purchased a basic PRS SE Zack Meyers Model that looked awesome in the photo, but when I received it the finish was nothing like the photo, it's the one from my avatar here on TGP. I emailed Dave and he says "None of my guitar photos are "Photoshopped" to look more "FIGURED" then they really are. I don't believe this to be the truth. Last guitar I buy from "Daves Guitars"

    Not happy at all... in Arizona
     
  2. Blix

    Blix Member

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    They are fairly well photographed with side lighting, which will make the tops "pop" a bit more than in regular flat indoor light.
    I wouldn't sweat it, but I don't care about fancy tops.
     
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  3. sitedrifter

    sitedrifter Gold Supporting Member

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    Do you have a side by side you can post?

    Dave's photography while excellent, the color reproduction used to be terrible and now it is just average but much better then a year ago. My guitar looked nothing like the picture on his site, color was brownish and the flame looked meh. I asked for a video of it and they sent me one and my jaw dropped as it was AA++++ looking, color and flame/quilt.
     
  4. NewLeaf09

    NewLeaf09 Member

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    I've always found Dave and Dave's staff to be very reasonable. Any chance of returning it if you're that displeased?
     
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  5. Lestercollector

    Lestercollector Supporting Member

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    I will post a side by side shortly. Mine is so much "brighter: than in the photo. Daves photo was darker with heavy grain, and what I recieved was a much brighter (almost vintage amber) and the grain is much more washed out. I'll be honest, I really feel taken by this purchase... just sayin
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017 at 2:53 PM
  6. sitedrifter

    sitedrifter Gold Supporting Member

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    The pic on the top is what Dave's looked like on his site. No such color by Gibson! The pic on the bottom is true color of my guitar and the video I sent showed how awesome it looked so I bought it. I never would have by their pics alone.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Trea

    Trea Member

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    Eh they just took crappy pics. I can't see that as being something nefarious.
     
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  8. prsflame

    prsflame Member

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    The photo from Dave's would lead me to believe the guitar's finish is more of an "iced tea burst" and darker than what it truly is. As far as the top goes, I think the figure looks great in both photos. I've found them to be reasonable, and it seems as though they would make things right if unhappy. I do think it's just a crappy photo. I don't think there is any trickery involved, etc. but I can understand the OP's frustration of expecting the guitar to look a certain way, etc.
     
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  9. svenhoek

    svenhoek Supporting Member

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    Call me a cynic, but a lot of online sites publish photos specifically designed to bring out the grain, flame, what have you. They're not doing that by accident, they know it will help their instruments sell. I'm surprised more people aren't upset by it.

    That said, a guitar, or anything else, will look entirely different depending on the light source. Bright daylight outdoors vs dark artificial indoor light = massive difference in appearance.
     
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  10. magnus02

    magnus02 Member

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    They need a basic photo booth. All I see is sloppy/crappy photography.

    With quality like that I SERIOUSLY doubt they are photoshopping anything.
     
  11. whoismarykelly

    whoismarykelly Oh look! This is a thing I can change! Supporting Member

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    Anything with red in it is also very difficult to reproduce accurately with a camera.

    There are plenty of shops that do tone their images to look different which can be a shock when you open the box. I bought a Suhr from Eddies Guitars once that was pure sky blue in the photos because all the green had been toned out. When it showed up is was dramatically more turquoise which was a bit of a bummer. Sometimes its a good idea to seek out other examples of a finish from different sources if its a stock color a company offers. Then you can get a better idea.
     
  12. Bogner

    Bogner Supporting Member

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    I think a lot of places milk the photo cow. It is a competitive market and they seem to do what they can to get the "best" picture. Happens here on the Emporium as well. I have bought a few guitars here and from dealers that didn't quite add up to what the pics illustrated initially. Was it a huge difference? No...but it was a difference. I liked the guitars, still have them, etc and was happy with their performance. It did teach me a lesson though...
     
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  13. p-ninety

    p-ninety Member

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    I had the same experience when I bought an R4 from Dave's: The guitar that arrived was radically less figured and a very different color than the one I chose on Dave's website. Close examination of the figuring satisfied me that it was the same guitar, though. In the end, I decided that I liked the moderately figured lemon burst I received, even though it was not at all what I thought I was purchasing. I felt foolish and was definitely disappointed in the experience.

    How do you like your PRS SE? I bought one of those in Trampas Green from Sweetwater. They sent me images of four guitars and let me choose the one I liked best. The one I chose looked exactly like the images of the one I chose. I have since purchased a second guitar from Sweetwater (with the same happy experience) and would not hesitate to do so again.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017 at 8:33 PM
  14. Josh @ Dave's Guitar Shop

    Josh @ Dave's Guitar Shop Member

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    Josh from Dave's Guitar Shop here. Just want to drop in our two cents on the matter.

    First off OP, we want to apologize if you feel like you were taken for a ride or lied to. That's definitely not something we like hearing, but we also value hearing how customers are feeling. If you'd like to return or exchange the guitar, please call into the shop at (608) 785-7704 and ask for me (Josh), and I will personally handle it.

    As far as our photography process goes, I hope I can shed some light on it. I mostly work on the sales floor, and I know that every guitar that we get in goes upstairs to be individually photographed before coming down to the sales floor. I've also spent some time doing photography upstairs when our normal photographer has been on vacation, so I know how that process works as well. We don't add in any grain, or alter the photo. We do put the guitar into what we feel are the best possible conditions that they could look. We have studio lighting, which makes a flame top guitar look especially good, but it's still a representation of what the guitar actually is. Sunlight is really the ideal solution for getting the guitar to look it's best, but studio lighting is second best in our opinion. Our biggest problem comes when guitars end up in normal fluorescent lighting, they don't look as good. While the we put the guitar in its best lighting conditions, we still feel as thought its an honest representation of the guitar. Also, we're more than happy to take pictures with our cell phones and text them to any customer if they want different shots. With having an approval period, it wouldn't be in our best interests to misrepresent what we have because either the customer will just return it, or they'll be unhappy and not come back. Either of those options are not at all what we want, and as a business, it's in our best interests for our customers to be happy in the end.

    If you guys have any questions or comments, just reply and let me know! I'm happy to talk about it. Thanks!
     
  15. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm one of the few that has always felt Dave's Guitar Shop pics actually kind of suck (sorry Josh) and that most of their guitars look much better in person. (at least from what I have seen posted) I don't think their pictures do the actual guitars justice in most cases.

    I know the Dave's PRS Wood Library 594 that I purchased looks much better in person (in my opinion) than all the stock photos from Dave's.

    Typically I think Dave's pics looked a bit washed out and the actual guitar is more vibrant as in the OP's case. Just my experience and .02.

    Certainly looks like Josh and Dave's is willing to make it right.

    Edit: My deal went very smooth and I also wouldn't hesitate to deal with them again.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017 at 7:28 PM
  16. sitedrifter

    sitedrifter Gold Supporting Member

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    I can tell you the images look better this past year then in the past where brown was the dominant flavor of tone in everything. Like Josh said, they will take pics (in my case a video) for you with their phones and you will get a great representation. Dave's is not a cheats or scammers or liers or whatever negative thoughts are flying around. Their photography is seemingly on par now but prior, it was terrible. I would buy from Dave's without hesitation.
     
  17. Benz2112

    Benz2112 Member

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    It's kind of ironic that on a forum where the nuances of capacitors or saddles effect on tone is discussed, there is an expectation that all photographs are created equal. I've taken some amateurs pics of one of my guitars that is figured, and I wonder where all the figuring goes when I hold it up and stare at it closely.

    This might be why I buy solid color guitars now...
     
  18. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    The pictures on the site are better than they used to be, but they are still poor. You can look at the tops and colors and tell it's not natural.

    Not only that, I always have thought the actual guitar angles they use are not the best.

    Great dealer, good stock and customer service, bad photography.
     
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  19. Leonardwest

    Leonardwest Member

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    I’ve bought a couple of used guitars from Dave’s.

    In both cases the pictures represented the guitars well.

    My only suggestion is that they provide more specifications about the instruments on their site.

    Relative to the thread, my PRS JA15 was even prettier than the pics. More importantly it plays and sounds great.
     
  20. MrGuitarhack

    MrGuitarhack Member

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    I got my Les Paul from Daves and the photos were..... different.

    With that said, I spent a long time research and shopping around for the right one. So, when I found the Les Paul I wanted to get at Dave's I had an idea what I was dealing with. I could tell what the flame was going to look like and had an idea given the finish what the actual top would probably look like. Photography and lighting play a huge role in the way the pictures will turn out.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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