Are guitar and pedal reviews becoming useless ?

EC Strat

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
Dec 16, 2018
4,100
Louisville Kentucky
Most current mom and pop stores only sell low end Chinese made crap these days. In most of these stores it is like walking into the music store equivalent of 5Below.
Unfortunately, so true. But the store in Louisville KY called Moms Music is incredibly successful despite a GC down the road. And they sell high end stuff, custom shop Strats and LPs They had a ‘68 D35 for sale recently. But they are the exception though.
 

Butcher of Strats

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 28, 2022
1,159
Maine
When i lived in Boston and NYC I went to shops run by actual performing musicians who had a day job buying & selling music gear.
Become a trusted customer and they would loan you some gear when your amp died etc. Sell on comission at percentages that worked for all parties.
Some may have had kids but these were not moms and pops.
No lessons for tots in the back room.
No $99 beginners packages.
Just a steady supply of the great and good gear used by bands in those cities.

There were lots of shops like that and even up here in the sticks we had Daddys Junky Music which started in NH and the owner stocked several of every Tweed Fender ever made which dominated the middle of the store, plus numerous small guitar player owned guitar shops with basically used gear and maybe eventually a line of new amps or whatever.
One shop in Cambridge was run by two merc bass players. Filled right u with used gear because it was part of a trusted community of musicians who tended to trade gear around and needed a broker situation. I always had good experiences buying and selling my gear there.

Musicians are best at buying and selling gear because we can answer questions based on experience rather than regurgitate ad copy.

Totally sucks what Amazon and lazy shopping did to the music gear retail industry.
 

RL21980

Senior Stratmaster
Jun 10, 2014
1,493
Somewhere in the Ford Galaxy...
What I’d like to know is, has anyone bought a guitar, pedal, pickups or amp based off a YouTube review and it actually sounds like the review?

I’ve taken a stab at a pedal or 2. But never anything pricier than that. A guitar? Never. I’ve got to hold it in my hands and play it first.
I have used reviews to research something to death after I’ve found it locally and became enamored with it. Another reason for my wife to laugh at me.
 

rocknrollrich

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 8, 2016
6,915
philadelphia
Actually, now that I think about it, I usually end up watching a review or demo of something I have already purchased. I like to hear if it sounds/performs the way it does for me.
Occasionally, I'll learn a cool fact or a hack.
But it's entertainment for me, I usually make up my own mind sans YouTube.
 

ThebiggestJerk

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 26, 2018
1,746
Home
Don't get me started. They are the worst. I mean seriously? A one hour plus video for a freakin' overdrive pedal? :rolleyes:

I get bored with them after the first minute. Plus, the cork sniffery is at times, unbearable
A lot of that 1hr is also a plug for their online personality - fueling addiction to camera time.
 

Jimi Lightning

Most Honored Senior Member
Dec 21, 2016
6,455
Ontario, Canada
fine point, but it's also worth remembering
that
all these youtube peeps are paid to compel me buy the stuff they "review".
these hooligans are but promoters, at least the majority of them that come up at the top of the search.
i tested it recently by trying to find a critical review of one of my pedals... no such thing. perfect product, i guess...
Broad brush there’s. Not all are paid. YMMV :)

I find reviews useful as long as you take into account its theif gear, technique and settings. It gives an idea albeit coloured by internet compression, your device etc…
 

Audiowonderland

Strat-O-Master
Silver Member
Dec 19, 2020
801
Usa
What I’d like to know is, has anyone bought a guitar, pedal, pickups or amp based off a YouTube review and it actually sounds like the review?

Like the OP says, it goes through so many chains of processors before you’re even hearing it. I bet it sounds good to the person doing the demo. Probably sounds so different if he listens to what we’re hearing at the other end. So it’s kind of pointless to me to buy something based off a YouTube demo.
Yes, all the time. This notion that Youtube is so drastically altering sound that anything you hear is useless is BS. The notion that you have never used the gear thay are using is too. Are they all influencers and often paid? Sure they are are. But guys like Pete Thorn and RG Ronqillo are professional players too and have reputations to maintain that they earn a living off of. If I like what I hear from their videos, I can take it to the bank I will like it in my hands. I am no where near their talent level either which throws out the whole they make everything sound good argument too.

If your listening to some nobody in their mom's basement recording with their cell phone, yeah that is not useful at all. LIstening to a guy playing metal riffs on a tele will also not tell you if the tele is good for indy pop. If you are listening to the pro's and appropriate genre demo's then yeah, those demos are very useful. If you are not doing those things, then thats on you.
 

Audiowonderland

Strat-O-Master
Silver Member
Dec 19, 2020
801
Usa
And we really never did have that.
You could try a Fender and a Gibson, but in the time of the Mom & Pop, we didn't have 100 different pedal makers.
We had Boss, Ross, MXR, Dunlop, DOD, EH, Ibanez/Maxon, and in the 80s, Aria came in. Outside of those, there were a few who made only a couple of more unique products like Morely and Dallas/Arbiter, but nearly every store stocked nearly every one of these lines.

The internet has been a killer for the independent shop, but it has been a boom to independent builders, who can eliminate the whole distributor/dealer network logistics nightmare and just sell direct, keeping sales as a moderate level, while keeping overhead and production costs down.
The internet was a killer because they did not adapt. Running a successful business is constantly adapting to the market. A place like Andertons is a great example of a Mom and Pop that did that. They built a very strong eCommerce option. They built a strong online marketing presence through Youtube and other social media and appear to be thriving. The shops that just sat behind the counter and prayed people would come in were going to fail regardless
 

Miotch

Most Honored Senior Member
Jun 28, 2011
5,283
ok
If I see an amp comparison, I always wonder why they didn't play into a looper and then play the looper through the amps so what is being played is exactly the same. Or even if they are showing me different settings on an amp.
 

Miotch

Most Honored Senior Member
Jun 28, 2011
5,283
ok
About as useful as magazine reviews were back in the 1970s...
At least you usually got an opinion on what the reviewer thought. Although I never saw any reviewer totally trash a product, just nicely explain how it might be the right product for someone other than what they play or like.
 

Impulsive guppy

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
Jan 9, 2020
1,265
Springfield
The video reviews have stopped me from buying a few pedals.

I read all the hype and get excited, then see the video and realize it’s not really different than what I already have. Especially with overdrive or distortion.
 


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