I know - I'd love to NOT have to blind buy everything, be it guitars, amps, effects, etc. I rely on forums and Youtube to make a somewhat educated decision. Not sure if I mentioned it earlier but I live in Eau Claire, WI - which is essentially a pretty rural area. The closest guitar shops are Guitar Centers which are a couple hours away and none of them have JS1000s in stock, nor do they typically carry them. I'm not sure if all Guitar Center's are this way but the ones in the Twin Cities suck hard. The employees are ego maniacal douchebags, and their inventory never includes high end guitars, just walla of cheap Jackson and B.C. Rich guitars. There is a really nice guitar shop a couple hours south in La Crosse, WI that is THE place to go for Fender, Gibson, or PRS guitars, but that is all they sell. I go to school in La Crosse and go there whenever I can because it is a heavenly place for this area.
If I can get a used JS1000 that is in great shape - at a good deal - I figure if it just doesn't work out I can at least get close to the amount I paid for it back reselling it. Not optimal, but that's the price I pay for living in the wilderness.
yeah I hear that man. The Guitar Center's here in Colorado are o.k. but that's about it. I live in Colorado Springs(which ain't exactly the smallest city), and if I want to check out any high end stuff, I have to go to Denver. And even then, Denver ain't much better. Though they usually have JS1000's and JEM's.
Back in the day when I started playing(16 years ago and even several years later) I could walk into just about any guitar store and find an example of a JEM or JS
or even Universe hanging on the wall. I remember tons of high end Fender and Gibson's, ultra-high end Taylor guitars and Martin's. Hell, you could almost bet on finding several RG7620's(7 Strings) hanging on the wall.
Nowadays there ain't squat to be had at any guitar store. Only thing you'll find still a great selection of, are Fender's and Gibson's.
I blame the internet and companies selling on-line. BUT really I don't because that's how they make money and I've gotten way better deals on-line than I ever did at local stores. And I hate to say it but I go where my dollar goes the furthest. I love supporting my local stores and so forth but if they are 25% higher in price, you'd be out of your mind to go and buy locally. Only idiots continue to support their local stores, while getting rammed on the prices. I'm not saying buying locally is bad, I've found some good deals(mainly on used stuff but that's it).
I had to fight tooth and nail with the local guitar guy when I purchased a RG350MYE. Told him Musician's Friend had it for "X" amount, and he didn't believe me. So I told him pull it up on the "net". Sure as hell he did, and wasn't happy about the price. But he matched it and wasn't happy about that either.
But that's all I've ever asked of the local stores. At least match what's on-line. You don't have to beat it, just match it. And then you get the typical BS from the guitar sale tech, well here you don't pay shipping, so that's why we sell it for a little more. Then I tell them, yeah I get free shipping from "insert random guitar store here"
on-line and that pisses them off even more. But if they want to stay competitive that's what they've got to do you know.
But if you snag one on-line man, you'll be happy with it. Even if you aren't blown away with it right off the bat. Give it a bit and you'll learn it's nuances.