How Many Of You Tried Your Historic Before You Bought It?

mudface

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I should probably add that I feel a proper evaluation takes a lot more than a few minutes. I will spend a good hour, at home with amp, with amp very loud, and with no amp ….then I reflect on the instrument and over time, maybe three days or more I start to make decisions based on whether or not it beckons me to play it some more, or does it sit there and argue with me...

Because you have to do a set up (whether you do it yourself or pay someone) you need to be able to translate your expression to that fretboard.....cant do that in one sitting.

Ideally I play it with band, all those dynamics are either there or their not in a live situation.

My CC#7 spoke to the drummer.....he noticed its sparkle and shimmer (insane attack).

he gave me the thumbs down on a few guitars......they didn't stay long....

Yes,.... the ones that argue.

I have passed on those for the most part, but i have forced one or two to behave,... and they did,.... only to start the struggle again.

Those experiences have taught me a lot,... how to notice rubber necks and uneven fret boards,... and a few other tidbits that irk me.

Historics are not immune to these problems and i agree it takes a little time to feel and hear those out.
 

Thundermtn

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I don't know if it's because they get passed and sit in the store forever but I've played more than I thought I would with floppy necks. One was almost as bad as a floyd rose, and was still priced @ $6499.
 

Leotis

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I live in Nashville, so I've got a few good places to choose from. I tried about 20 or so when I bought my R9. I bought the one that I kept going back to. It wasn't the best looking, but it definitely was the best sounding, playing and feeling to me. That's my "never ever sell" guitar. My R0 was one I just happened upon while I was killing time browsing and not really looking for anything in particular. I really liked the look of it and when I took it down and played it, it was another "holy shit" moment and I HAD to have it.
 

joff

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Only my first one in 2010...since then, i just hope for the best! :fingersx:
 

strat1701

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I only have two remaining which I actually was able to play before buying that I kept. I was able to play a few others before but I'd have to honestly say that the bulk of them I've had to buy blind/based off store feedback/measurements. I've bought from a ton of dealers, all were really cool and giving me a 2 day window. Like sct13 says, to really decide you need to spend some time with it, not just 15 mins in the store thru a line 6 spyder....
 

Thundermtn

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NOT trolling here so nobody get their stuff in a wad,

How does it take people that long to tell if one's really good or not? Most of us that are into CS guitar have been playing a long time, and know what's what pretty quickly. In under two minutes unplugged I've already run six or seven tests on the thing before it can even make it onto an amp. If it makes it that far, once it's on the amp if it doesn't sound killer, most of those things you don't like can be adjusted out pretty quickly or it's just a dud.
 

freebyrd 69

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I played one or two at GC ….then went ballistic over the next 5 ~ 7 years buying and selling like a mad man on the internet...

I ended up with more than a few gems, and many more that I would have loved keeping. My consensus is they are all very similar, the huge differences are with the neck profile, also the heavier they are the better, there seems to be a translation of highs that lend to the attack. (much depends on pickups and harness) in fact a good 90% to 95%

I also went through a pick up phase....countless humbuckers....settled on Wizz, custom buckers, and throwbak.....but thats a very subjective subject.....and there were very few that I hated....

So to answer the initial question...no .....I never played one before I bought it....I would still be on # 4 or something because very few stores stock historics in my area....and I live very near Detroit....(a major city in case you never heard us)
I only have two remaining which I actually was able to play before buying that I kept. I was able to play a few others before but I'd have to honestly say that the bulk of them I've had to buy blind/based off store feedback/measurements. I've bought from a ton of dealers, all were really cool and giving me a 2 day window. Like sct13 says, to really decide you need to spend some time with it, not just 15 mins in the store thru a line 6 spyder....
NOT trolling here so nobody get their stuff in a wad,

How does it take people that long to tell if one's really good or not? Most of us that are into CS guitar have been playing a long time, and know what's what pretty quickly. In under two minutes unplugged I've already run six or seven tests on the thing before it can even make it onto an amp. If it makes it that far, once it's on the amp if it doesn't sound killer, most of those things you don't like can be adjusted out pretty quickly or it's just a dud.
Interesting. I'm with @Thundermtn on this one. Different strokes. I know @Sct13 is a bit of a "sciency" kind of guy. With that mindset, I can see where he'd be more......IDK, sensitive (maybe not the right word) to things that probably wouldn't mean shit to me.

I can say that I just don't like a "flat" neck. I've played/owned a few of those and knew within 5 seconds that I didn't like the feel. Other than that, I just don't see the big deal. If the neck is comfortable, and I love the look, the rest can be dealt with if need be.

I recently purchased a 2001 R8. LOVE the top, and the neck is nice. The setup was shit, as was the neck pickup...it was faulty actually. The bridge pickup didn't wow me either. I have to wonder....would some here have chalked that one up to a "dud"? I happen to love the Bonamassa Duncan set of pups. I had an extra set. Dropped the guitar off to my tech....pickup install, brand new RS guitar works wiring harness, set up to my specs....BOOM. I fucking love the thing.

So, what is it exactly @strat1701 and @Sct13? IMO, there is nothing that a setup, pickup/harness swap, and amp settings can't fix on any given guitar. The only other thing there is is feel, which can be established in about 5 min.
 

strat1701

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I beg to differ on the swapping of pu's and harness. IMHO a shitty sounding guitar will only be masked but still will be a shitty sounding guitar. I dont have the skills to solder so changing out harness and pu is something that costs me more $$ and if I'm not enamored that enough with the guitar on initial plug in, even if it passes the feel tests, it's too much of a gamble for me to keep and then spend the extra coin on swapping parts.

Perfect example was this R8 I got from Dave's once. Had decent neck for me, color, figure, but it was a very brash sounding guitar. I tweaked the amp, tried a different amp of the 3 that I own, and it sounded shittier, then slightly less shitty when comparing the amps. A/B with a known 'good' guitar and with the amp settings tweaked to get the shitty one to sound 'better' made the good guitar sound like shit.

I'm a set the amp once tone wise and only adjust the volume when needed kinda player. I don't want to spend hours fucking with parametric EQ's and this and that, nor have to adjust all my tone knobs when I change guitars. Esp when I was gigging, that was just too much fuckin around in between songs. I like to let the amp do it but simply. If my defacto settings can't take me to the point which I like what I"m hearing, then imho just move on. That R8 i had to send back to Dave's, and the 2 day approval period came in handy.

Just my .02
 

Zakmichael

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I have owned around a dozen Historics and have only played one before I bought it. I have bought most of them used off of the forums and haven’t had one that I’d consider a turd. I refuse to pay the outrageous prices that guitar stores charge for Historics. I’ve had multiples of R7,R8,R9, and R0s and the different necks don’t affect my playing at all. Some were more comfortable than others but all were very playable to me. I do my own setups and usually put in a new wiring harness and pickups anyways so the guitars will always play and sound good after I get my hands on them. Personally I think the tops and the condition are my biggest priority and my wiring and pickups of choice can get the tone where I want it.
 
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Thundermtn

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I have owned around a dozen Historics and have only played one before I bought it. I have bought most of them used off of the forums and haven’t had one that I’d consider a turd. I refuse to pay the outrageous prices that guitar stores charge for Historics. I’ve had multiples of R7,R8,R9, and R0s and the different necks don’t affect my playing at all. Some were more comfortable than others but all were very playable to me. I do my own setups and usually put in a new wiring harness and pickups anyways so the guitars will always play and sound good after I get my hands on them. Personally I think the tops and the condition are my biggest priority and my wiring and pickups of choice can get the tone where I want it.
I totally understand your approach and believe that setups and electronics matter big time, and that they're way overboard on price.

However if the neck isn't perfect for my hand it doesn't matter how great the deal was it was too much.
 

freebyrd 69

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I beg to differ on the swapping of pu's and harness. IMHO a shitty sounding guitar will only be masked but still will be a shitty sounding guitar. I dont have the skills to solder so changing out harness and pu is something that costs me more $$ and if I'm not enamored that enough with the guitar on initial plug in, even if it passes the feel tests, it's too much of a gamble for me to keep and then spend the extra coin on swapping parts.

Perfect example was this R8 I got from Dave's once. Had decent neck for me, color, figure, but it was a very brash sounding guitar. I tweaked the amp, tried a different amp of the 3 that I own, and it sounded shittier, then slightly less shitty when comparing the amps. A/B with a known 'good' guitar and with the amp settings tweaked to get the shitty one to sound 'better' made the good guitar sound like shit.

I'm a set the amp once tone wise and only adjust the volume when needed kinda player. I don't want to spend hours fucking with parametric EQ's and this and that, nor have to adjust all my tone knobs when I change guitars. Esp when I was gigging, that was just too much fuckin around in between songs. I like to let the amp do it but simply. If my defacto settings can't take me to the point which I like what I"m hearing, then imho just move on. That R8 i had to send back to Dave's, and the 2 day approval period came in handy.

Just my .02
That's the difference then. My tech will swap pups/harness and do a set up for $75. I should have done a before/after video of the 2001 R8 I was talking about. It went from turd to gem in a week and $75. I already had the pickups. I get it, our opinions just differ, but IMO, it's not the guitar that's shitty sounding. It's like having a super nice sports car who's interior and exterior are AMAZING but it runs like shit. It's not a shitty car in that case....tune it up, replace a few parts, and bam.

I agree with you on the amp setting thing. Mine don't move except for volume and gain (on a select few songs). Set and forget.
 

freebyrd 69

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I totally understand your approach and believe that setups and electronics matter big time, and that they're way overboard on price.

However if the neck isn't perfect for my hand it doesn't matter how great the deal was it was too much.
See, and you and I are different there. 99/100 necks....it doesn't matter to me. As I said earlier, I had that one that was damn near flat, and didn't like the way it felt, but every/any other Historic I have played has been fine.
 

Sct13

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its a neck feel for me mostly.. i was jamming in the living room last night - relearning past songs, and I can hear differences between guitars. I was unplugged...

No one is willing to admit it? But If the color is off... it will affect tone....

(As readers scoff and make faces... looking for the ....leave room emoji....)

Ok not so much tone... but if I somehow buy a funky color (which has happened) it simply won’t find its place.

My point is ... everybody’s different ...

I listen to everything... almost to a fault,
 

strat1701

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Physical things for me are first. Look of the top, the figure the flame. Then the neck. If it passes those then I play it unplugged a bit, strum a few chords and feel how good the vibration is at the top of the headstock. I always start on clean once it goes into the amp, fuck around a bit then dirty it up. If the neck is shit and too fat and splitting my hand open then it doesn't get much more consideration. I give any guitar neck that first 15 mins jam, if I don't feel any improvement in my not minding it, then it's got a short life ahead.

Besides, to me, I've had plenty of people tell me I sound better with this guitar or that one. What the difference was, the ones where others say I sound better is because I'm playing it better because the instrument isnt fighting me at all and I don't have any concerns nor is my hand tiring out. That feel transmutes to playability and ultimately how much personal dynamics I'm eeking out into it, which all goes into the overall sound. I can't play to my best if it doesn't feel the best. An no pickup will change that imho.
 

Thundermtn

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This is the stuff I love about places like this, everyone's method, how they choose and what speaks to them. It's different for most of us but has a enough similarities to identify with why they do what they do.

I don't care so much about color, but chatoyancy is a big plus. No BBQ grill or overly quilty flame stuff but I do like tiger, ripple, and sort of bee's wing flames quite a bit. It has to be well bookmatched and NO CHEVRON up or down.

First it has to pass a hanging b string resonance test for me to even get it off the wall.

Then next is where most of them fail, at the neck size/shape. It better feel like I was there when they carved it.

Quickly check it with a nickel and dime for setup, then check for high frets, check for neck twist and to just see if it's close to the .006-.012 relief range. Adjust the bridge and tp close enough for my spec, the truss rod will be super tuned later with a set of fresh strings. Retune with my phone.

Neck stiffness is next, pluck the low E and let it ring while bending the G up a step and a half at the 9th fret without plucking it, if the E drops pitch more than a few cents the neck is too floppy for me.

After that I'm checking more in depth resonance and sustain tests. Feel the pickguard for vibration and to what degree vs. how hard it's being played. Then hammer-ons from 5 to 7 on the A and D strings for resonance and sustain.

Acoustic volume and acoustic brightness seem to be a factor for me after I'm plugged into an amp so I'm listening for that stuff the whole time.

If I get to this point and all is well then I ask to plug it in and try to keep my poker face on for the salesman. For the most part I really like how the Custom Buckers sound vs. the real PAF's I've played. Most of the time the pickups and pole pieces can be adjusted or the strings and their composition changed to get the electric tone to where I want it b/c the things I looked for early on bode well for amplified tone. I've done enough p/up swaps to know what's going to happen with the tone and if I think it'll get there. However if it's a real keeper the thought of string and p/ups swaps won't really even cross your mind.

I do have to add that some guitars are just destined for certain players and their style though. I have two that I and most players would consider garbage guitars, but when I get them on my rig and play them how they want to be played it's magic. My buddy has been playing for about 40 years and he'll sound like a nail in a coffee can on them and I've got them roaring like a lion.
 

Pete M

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I never tried before I bought on Les Pauls. Really I have only ever been in a few guitars shops where they had more than one R9 or whatever and I rarely like the look of them. They are usually the type of guitar that you'd expect would get left on the wall with nothing much going for it and an over inflated price tag. There is so much more selection online and the used prices are way better than in a store. You pretty much know what you're going to get with a custom shop LP anyway. I mean it's not going to sound like a trumpet or a xylophone. The question will just be can you work with it and whether it's a keeper or not long term, but you should probably spend a good bit of time with it.

Sure A/Bing multiple guitars will get you into how they all sound slightly different, but none are ever bad from my experience. Just different. I've even built my own LP copies and, well you can't exactly try them before they're finished. Same if you commissioned a high end replica or got one of those "Made to measure" Gibsons. At the same time I wouldn't buy what I thought was an ugly topped R9 just because it played and sounded great. It's about the whole package, and the look of a flametop, fretboard, etc is a big part of it if you're paying the premium. Otherwise we'd all have goldtops. I don't think many famous players would have searched far and wide for the perfect guitar. Most just made do with what they could find. I can imagine if you owned a guitar shop like Wildwood, then finding the absolute freakish Excalibur guitar amongst hundreds or thousands passing through the store would be fun, but not everyone can do it.
 
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