Guitars sound better in guitar shops

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
Guero
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Guitars sound better in guitar shops

Post by Guero » Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:04 pm

I just tried some 500€ range guitars in our local music store.
Some Höfner HGL models (native wood series) They are surprisingly good sounding guitars! Tried an Alhambra 7 afterwards and hung it back immediately.. The sound didn´t come out at all.
Then I tried (just for fun) a Martinez 200€ model and it sounded: Surprisingly good! Really!
So I wondered if these guitars would still sound as good at home as they did in the shop. Maybe its the special acoustic with all the resonating wood inside the shops that makes guitars sound better then they really are?! Or is it due to the different and unfamiliar surrounding and situation?
Any of you experienced something similar?

(But the Höfner Hgl.. Why not??)

Greetings, Güero

CarlosSanJuanito96
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Re: Guitars sound better in guitar shops

Post by CarlosSanJuanito96 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:46 pm

Hi Güero,

I have experienced something similar. I once went to a specialty music store (I can't remember the name--it was just a random drop in) where they had some great guitars (Alhambra, Rodriguez and a Ramirez kept in a class case) along with some other instruments. But when I got to trying some of the guitars (some of them well over $1000 dollars) I found that I wasn't fond of the sound they were making; just overall dead and muddled sound. Don't know what it was but I couldn't find myself ever buying ANY of the guitars I tried (I didn't try the Ramirez).

But when I go down to a local music store and try the cheaper guitars there, the sound is fine.

I guess, yeah, it depends on the acoustics of the room OR, like you said, the unfamiliar surroundings playing tricks on your ears, but they definitely sound different when you take them home. Maybe preference would also play some sort of unconscious part of your listening.
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khayes
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Re: Guitars sound better in guitar shops

Post by khayes » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:37 pm

same thing with clothes. They look fine in the store, then when we get home we wonder why we bought them. I think it's more a matter of the thrill of the purchase than the acoustics in the store.
Ken

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georgemarousi
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Re: Guitars sound better in guitar shops

Post by georgemarousi » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:48 pm

Very interesting observation, I think that yes, usually the shops flat surfaces and usually a few guitars around do compliment the sound.

So it is very important to try the guitars at the same place side by side.. even better to carry with us our existing guitar :)
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Carlos
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Re: Guitars sound better in guitar shops

Post by Carlos » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:26 pm

yes this is true.
typically if the shop is full of guitars hanging around this provides more resonance because the body of every guitar vibrates as well

jscott
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Re: Guitars sound better in guitar shops

Post by jscott » Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:19 pm

And don't forget the state of the strings on the guitars. I once went to try a used guitar and the strings were really old--obvious from looking at them. I didn't buy the guitar, but I don't really know what it sounded like either.
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CarbonElitist
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Re: Guitars sound better in guitar shops

Post by CarbonElitist » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:02 pm

I have not found that to be the case. Often times they will be stringed with an inferior set of strings and they will sound like garbage.
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Contreras
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Re: Guitars sound better in guitar shops

Post by Contreras » Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:40 am

Years ago when auditioning some speakers, the guy carried them in and out of the room in pairs - there were only ever one pair of speakers in there at a time. He told me that having a roomful of speakers and switching between was a waste of time because the other speakers sucked up the sound.
Maybe your observation is the same - in reverse?
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Arduous
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Re: Guitars sound better in guitar shops

Post by Arduous » Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:11 am

Guero wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:04 pm
I just tried some 500€ range guitars in our local music store.
Some Höfner HGL models (native wood series) They are surprisingly good sounding guitars! Tried an Alhambra 7 afterwards and hung it back immediately.. The sound didn´t come out at all.
Then I tried (just for fun) a Martinez 200€ model and it sounded: Surprisingly good! Really!
So I wondered if these guitars would still sound as good at home as they did in the shop. Maybe its the special acoustic with all the resonating wood inside the shops that makes guitars sound better then they really are?! Or is it due to the different and unfamiliar surrounding and situation?
Any of you experienced something similar?

(But the Höfner Hgl.. Why not??)

Greetings, Güero


Guitars, like all other musical instruments, sound best in rooms designed to sound good.
Nothing new going on.

Guero
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Re: Guitars sound better in guitar shops

Post by Guero » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:11 am

georgemarousi wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:48 pm
even better to carry with us our existing guitar :)
It would be nice if the shop allowed you to take some guitars home in the evening and bring them back the next morning. Or for a sunday.

simonm
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Re: Guitars sound better in guitar shops

Post by simonm » Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:49 am

Guero wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:04 pm
!
So I wondered if these guitars would still sound as good at home as they did in the shop. ...
Most answers here are assuming you are making a statement as opposed to asking a question. The only way to answer your question is what you said in your last post - bring the guitars home. They will sound different at home for sure, but your evaluation that the Martinez sounds surprisingly good for the price will probably still be the same. If you didn't like a guitar in the shop I very much doubt if your opinion would suddenly change at home.

Rick-in-Annapolis
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Re: Guitars sound better in guitar shops

Post by Rick-in-Annapolis » Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:02 pm

I have had just the opposite experience. Maybe it was because of the store in which I was sampling a guitar (Guitar Center). When I asked if there was a place I could try out a classical guitar, the salesman said sure, just go over there next to the tattooed kid trying out an electric guitar connected to a 5000 watt amplifier. Maybe not!

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bogdan
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Re: Guitars sound better in guitar shops

Post by bogdan » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:44 am

Rick-in-Annapolis wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:02 pm
I have had just the opposite experience. Maybe it was because of the store in which I was sampling a guitar (Guitar Center). When I asked if there was a place I could try out a classical guitar, the salesman said sure, just go over there next to the tattooed kid trying out an electric guitar connected to a 5000 watt amplifier. Maybe not!
Indeed, Guitar store is notoriously bad when it comes to trying out classicals.
But actually, I've experienced something similar when I have tried a Contreras 1a Especial in Japan!
Due to lack of space in the store the salesman let me try it next to a guy who was playing an electric guitar.
I almost gave up, but then I said to myself "what the heck, let's give it a try", and when I started playing it I was simply amazed.
The guitar was so loud, that I had no problem hearing it very clearly although the other guy kept playing!
Eventually, I ended up purchasing the guitar.

So this may be a good way to find an exceptional instrument. :mrgreen:

rwe
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Re: Guitars sound better in guitar shops

Post by rwe » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:43 am

Different air moisture in the shop and @home? The better my instruments the more the sound depends on the air moisture - the higher the moisture the duller the sound.

Pat Dodson
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Re: Guitars sound better in guitar shops

Post by Pat Dodson » Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:55 pm

Not necessarily!

I once sought a nylon crossover guitar in Cardiff. I was unable to hear it against three teens widdling on electrics turned up to 11 so the salesman kindly ushered me into a small storeroom. This was lined floor to ceiling with the cardboard boxes that cheaper guitars come in. The resulting acoustic was like playing inside an egg box. :(

On another occasion I sought a steel acoustic in a then well-known guitar shop in Hertfordshire. As I am left-handed my intention was to find a good right-handed guitar from among those the shop’s guitar tech felt happy to convert. The shop assistant kindly played several for me and, having, rather ham-fistedly, checked my prefered guitar for playability, I went to pay for my Yamaha LA8 which I left with the guitar tech. At the till the shop manager became quite agitated and asked the assistant if he hadn’t demonstrated the second-hand Washburn Harvest D28 that was a similar price. The assistant assured him he had but that I had thought it sounded rather lifeless. “That’s the best guitar by far in the shop at that price level!” complained the manager. “It just needs a new set of strings.” So saying he stomped off leaving me quite speechless!

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