High End Guitar That Fell Flat For You?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by CanuckChris, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. CanuckChris

    CanuckChris Member

    Oct 28, 2017
    Each day I find myself believing more and more in "running the racks" when looking at new guitars. I've always bought my guitars from music stores where I could physically try them out and see if they were for me. I've only taken a chance on two guitars via mail order. One was a dud. The other was worth the price as the seller gave me a good deal on it.

    Now looking at higher end guitars, and I would never think to order online. Case in point; there's a huge amount of hype online about EBMM Majesty guitars (Petrucci's signature). Everyone loves it, it's the greatest guitar ever built, blah blah blah. On paper, the specs looked good. Went in and tried it and it fell completely flat for me. Lifeless and awkward in my hands. Now, it was extremely well built with all the high end components, so not criticizing the guitar from that aspect. It just didn't speak to me.

    It seems like we almost expect that if it's a high end guitar, then it will be magical in our hands. I'm thinking that's not always the case.

    Who else has a similar story?

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  2. c_mac

    c_mac Member

    Oct 19, 2004
    Over or under 20 PRS references...?
  3. monty

    monty Member

    Mar 2, 2009
    parts unknown
    Exact same here, all my keepers were playing in the store first.
    I don't want to say the brand as it isn't important but same as you read all kinds of great reviews and went and demoed a bunch of them.
    All sizzle, no steak.
    Vaibhav Joshi, Fat tone79 and kruts like this.
  4. Promit

    Promit Member

    Mar 10, 2013
    Baltimore, MD
    raises hand
  5. gtrdave

    gtrdave Member

    Jan 18, 2012
    The Small Wonder
    Funny, but back in the '90s I tried several PRS guitars and none of them did anything for me. Their pickups and switching/tone was not to my liking at all. I was primarily a Les Paul player back then and so I was pretty well biased towards them and nothing else.

    Fast forward to last year and I saw a picture of a Vela and fell in love with the look. Then I bought one and I was hooked, which inspired me to get another S2 model. I may try again for a Core line guitar next year, but it's got to look good, feel good AND sound good.
    Jimscobrajet and Halsey like this.
  6. Johnny21

    Johnny21 Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2011

    Man, I bought the top of the line SC58, Modern Eagle Quatro, HBII and CU24.

    There was something about the tone I just didn't bond with.

    I was loving them with my eyes, but not my ears.
    uburoibob, dczay, jthomps123 and 9 others like this.
  7. minimal fretwear

    minimal fretwear Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2018
    Maryland, U.S.A.
    I saw the title and came here to post about the EBMM Majesty, only to discover that is what the OP was using as an example. For me that guitar played fantastic, basically effortless. But it had the tacky inlays, and very wonky piezo and active pickup setup. I have to admit I see them here and there on discount and still think about getting one, despite having had one previously and returning it for the issues I mention. I am sure there is some plain jane, basic EBMM that is just as playable that I should seek out...
    glockaxis, CanuckChris and Steve Y. like this.
  8. FennRx

    FennRx Member

    Feb 3, 2010
    Less than “muh epiphone is as a good as an R9”
    jbat, NicDo, RevelBandGuitar and 10 others like this.
  9. jens5

    jens5 Silver Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2017
    2016 Custom Shop Gibson Les Paul R-8
    DanSimon and CDP like this.
  10. mikefair

    mikefair Member

    May 11, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Custom Shop Les Paul Special. It was kind of a nostalgia purchase. I had traded for one briefly in the early 70s. That guitar through a Marshall amp was the sound I always had in my head - and still do. It played fine, sounded fine. It just wasn't...you know...special. To me, I thought my SG Classic had a lot more personality.
  11. gunslinger

    gunslinger Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Louis XVI ville, KY.
    I played a Parker Fly and was unimpressed.
  12. jrjones

    jrjones Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    I’m going to get permabanned for saying this...

    the two most underwhelming guitars I’ve played was a R9 and a Suhr I owned for a few months earlier this year.

    OP, I’ve played the majesty JP model and didn’t find it useful for much outside of dream theater covers. You need to try the Luke3. It’s super versatile and every part of it is really practical.
  13. CaptNasty

    CaptNasty Member

    Jul 16, 2018
    Every Les Paul I have ever touched.
  14. TTHX

    TTHX Member

    Oct 23, 2012
    There are so many qualitatively well built guitars these days. EBMM I think is a great example. I think they feel incredibly solid and so well built. I think they play great and everything and sound good, but does nothing for me. I think I generally feel like this with most guitars. Very rarely do I ever think, wow. I think I can think of maybe 2 guitars ever that I've ever felt like that upon first play. One fender tele custom from a local shop and a Fano RB6 I played in New york maybe back in 2013. Not really sure how to define it, but I think at this point I look more for a personality or individual quality of each individual guitar that speaks to me vs nostalgia, brand recognition or "tier" etc.
    sgguitarzz likes this.
  15. GenericUserName

    GenericUserName Member

    Nov 4, 2019
    My first prs. 2002 Custom 24 trem birds the works. Sound was only ok.

    My second is never going anywhere though. Great tone...but it's black, and I'm so sick of black guitars. I'm starting to believe that saying that black guitars sound better because all of my best sounding electrics are black. I hate it!
    joe*w, Tak10 and TCMx3 like this.
  16. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Member

    Feb 22, 2012
    outside of Chicago
    I’m not gonna rag on anybody’s guitar (today).
  17. InkStained

    InkStained Member

    Oct 13, 2012
    South of Heaven
    I'm still looking for that first PRS connection. Guilty as charged, I guess.

    Beautiful, legit guitars that enjoy the respect of people I respect -- and do nothing for me personally.
    Abram4235 and EC Strat like this.
  18. ED_P

    ED_P Silver Supporting Member

    Dec 9, 2015
    New Hampshire
    PRS Custom 22, and PRS McCarty. Both were meh for me, though the QC was top notch.
    Goldfinger62, BMW-KTM and EC Strat like this.
  19. johnsav

    johnsav Member

    Nov 1, 2019
    I read this in the voice of the lady in your Vermeer avatar.
    Cyanea, epauley and veryzer like this.
  20. Magnets And Melodies

    Magnets And Melodies Member

    Nov 7, 2016
    Running the racks really is the cure for this.

    I've played ES-335's that were dull and lifeless, and I've played other ES-335's in the exact same models that blew me away with how amazing they sounded.

    Same goes for CS LP's.

    Internet consumerism is just incredibly effective at selling to you (as in all of us). People have been con'd into thinking that they can read a bunch of reviews online and that's enough to determine the quality and "fit" for them.

    Guitar World, Premier Guitar, TGP, etc all said that this one is the "best", so it must be.. you walk away feeling like you did your research and you buy online.. only to receive something that half the time doesn't meet your expectations.. maybe because it was too hyped for you or maybe because it's feel or final qualities just aren't a fit for you. Then you go through the mental ordeal of trying to make it fit - making excuses for it because you want your experience to fit all of the other ones you've read online. You want to be able to join the crowd and say "yes, this is the best one there is". You ask yourself, is it the guitar or is it just me not being aware of something? You don't want to go online and seem like an uninformed buyer.

    It kind of reminds me of traveling today. Before traveling to a new city, people go online for hours researching things to do... They all want to avoid the big tourist traps, and they want to find more "authentic local experiences", so they dig and dig on forums and reviews... They put a plan together they feel proud about, until they show up to said restaurant or venue only to stands in line with a hundred other travelers who were looking for and found the same thing - a different kind of tourist trap. One with a slightly more hipster feel to it.

    The internet has its way of steering you towards things. Not necessarily the things you want, or that matter to you in the end. The traveler who just shows up with no plans and walks around will probably find a more authentic experience than the guy who spent 20 hours online searching for them beforehand.

    Same thing with buying guitars.

    All of that could be avoided easily by just making it a rule to try before you buy. That really is the only way to find exactly what you want, and exactly what will work for you without getting sidetracked by online hype.
    Whogo, moPHOmo, stanman and 28 others like this.

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