Would you buy an amp without hearing it first?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by mach5, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. mach5

    mach5 Member

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    I'd like a nice 30-50 wt boutique head (~$1400, blues/rock) but you rarely get to try them out first. Basically I'm having to go on reputation alone. What to do?
     
  2. thesooze

    thesooze Member

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    Used, yes. You can always generally sell it for what you paid... and it's a great way to try something--- in your actual setting.

    I'm finding that I don't really give things a true SHOT until I've heard them with my guitars and my pedals with my band... In a store hardly even counts with me anymore, except for that first impression.

    Buy it!
     
  3. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    If I thought I could sell it for close to what I paid, then yes.

    fwiw, even if I have tried something, either an amp, pedal or guitar, that's no guarantee that I'm still going to like it a month or a year.
    Living with something is the real test.
     
  4. bluessyndicate

    bluessyndicate Member

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    I waited about 3 years to buy a Kingsley, until I could try one at the LA Amp Show... now in hind sight I wish I would have just followed my instincts and the almost unanimous rave reviews from other Kingsley owners and just have jumped in 3 years ago without having waited.
     
  5. Anthony Gring

    Anthony Gring Silver Supporting Member

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    my Goodsell Super Seventeen head. Leap of faith but considering the rave reviews decided to take a chance. One of the few amps that I think really lives up to the hype. Love the amp. Enter the IRS. It's now currently for sale (here in the Amp Emporium as is my Suhr Classic in Guitar Emporium) because I owe 17K. Good times.
     
  6. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    I try not to - but, I've bought my share of amps without playing them in person. Clips help a lot. I can say I've had a bad experience - sold the amp for a big loss. But, in general - I know what I"m looking for and online clips really help.
     
  7. daveS

    daveS lefty dude on hiatus Gold Supporting Member

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    I've bought a bunch of amps without hearing them first and a bunch I tired out first. Some I tired and sounded great, did not cut through in the band situation....and some I bought without hearing them first sounded great in a band situation. I bought my D13 ERT33 without ever hearing a D13, just relying on reputation, and it was a score !

    I find it's a game of hit or miss and also application specific....but these days there are so many great sounding amps out there that it just becomes a matter of taste.

    FWIW, I only bought one amp without playing it first, that was sort of a dud....hindsight I think there was something wrong with it.

    I agree with Bluessyndicate about Kingsleys. Simon's amps are a homerun either way whether you try them first or not (shameless Kingsley plug :))

    -d
     
  8. MrJacko03

    MrJacko03 Member

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    If you have a good idea about what you can get for it when you sell it, then yes. Just make sure it's a calculated risk ;o)

    Sometimes you see people who buys something new and expect to get close to the price they paid :D They are all in for a big surprice......They don't realize that it's expensive to take the goods out of the shop....sometimes up to 30%. I would not recommend to buy new stuff that way.
     
  9. dk123123dk

    dk123123dk Member

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    I bought a Ceriatone 18 watter without playing one first. Never played a 18 watt Marshall either. But I figured if there was a whole forum dedicated to that style amp (18watt.com) then I would be fine. I love the amp. Plus I know I can always sell it and not take too much of a hit. But the amp was like 600 bucks, so really no big loss if it didn't work out for me.

    dk
     
  10. vettelt11992

    vettelt11992 Member

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    Try to find a dealer with a return policy, i recently shelled out good money on the Bogner Ecstasy without ever hearing it first, needless to say i am glad they had a return policy cuz the sucker went back...

    I have found many dealers that offer many different types of return/refund policies, just shop around and make sure you wont take too much of a hit...

    Plus you will get to try it out on your own time and equipment, i hate music stores, so this is the only way i will buy anything...
     
  11. EdMan57

    EdMan57 Member

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    I have done such several times,and it's usually came out to positive results.In fact,I just bought this head for $589.00...I've got my fingers crossed.

    http://www.usmasters.com/TVA30Amp.htm


    Ed
     
  12. Sherman

    Sherman Supporting Member

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    I've bought all of my boutique amps w/out hearing/playing first. I typically look for reviews by certain posters who's ears I have grown to trust. I don't think you can really go wrong especially if you buy used. As someone else pointed out you can usually recoup the amount you paid for an amp and be out the shipping/handling costs. I think eating shipping/handling is a small price to pay to try a pro piece of gear.

    YMMV...........
     
  13. soldano16

    soldano16 Member

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    Especially if you buy popular models used, your risk really is no more than the shipping costs. I just got in a used Germino Classic 45. Never tried a JTM45 amp before but for $1,250, how much can I lose?

    Unless the world falls apart, you'll always get back 90%.
     
  14. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    I bought my Gries 35 without trying it. I stumbled across his site a few years ago and couldn't believe his prices compared to everything else I was seeing. He could add $500.00 or more to his prices and the amps would still be a bargain.

    Anyway, the amp is still here and I have no plans to sell.
     
  15. Jatmosphere

    Jatmosphere Supporting Member

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    I bought my Goodsell S17 unheard :BOUNCE, after much on-line investigation from all the positive reviews and posts here and @ H-C and, after talking w/ Mr. RG extensively himself. it was a great investment, and it's been my favorite amp since, and I most definitely have no plans in selling her... ever. :dude
     
  16. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

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    Would I by a new design from TopHat on hear say and reputation Hell yes!

    Would I buy a Louis Electric on buzz alone Hell Yes !

    Yesterday I bought a 67 BF Vibro-Champ that I've never seen or heard from a friend I trust a thousand miles away.

    I can't see letting it go but I am sure I could double my money easily,

    If and when you can get a hold of these second hand you'll see that they hold their value for 8 10 years without taking a hit. Its cheaper then renting!

    Sometimes you gotta bust a move! Or tell every one about the one that got away!

    EnJoY ThE ChAsE
    EnJoY ThE MuSiC
    GrooVey Records
     
  17. Tone Disciple

    Tone Disciple Gold Supporting Member

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    I have bought several that way -

    Two Rock Custom Reverb
    Matchless Phoenix
    Komet Constellation

    Same with guitars -

    The more high end/unique the pieces, the more likely you are to rely on the recommendations and reviews of people you trust. It is the price of playing in the high end/unique sandbox.

    Works out okay if you buy used because you can usually get your investment out of the piece if you move on.

    I also do not consider thirty minutes of playing an amp in a music store a real tryout anyway.
     
  18. odourboy

    odourboy Member

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    I'm buying a Glasswerks like that. No chance for me to try one first around my neck of the woods. So you throw hte dice and take your chance... hope that all the glwoing reviews you read on TGP weren't complete rubbish.
     
  19. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    I bought my Clubman without hearing it, actually I never even heard a Clubman, I went based on the experience with my friends HC-30. I'm glad I did it, I paid a low price and the only thing I did was increase the value of the bias resistors so it would not run as hot and the tubes, other then that no issues.
     
  20. Frankenstrat2

    Frankenstrat2 Member

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    Wow. I'm surprised. I guess I'm in the minority. I have never bought an amp I haven't played an example of first, if not the actual amp itself. That may be why I rarely sell anything I've bought.
     

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