It’s interesting to see how the Internet has changed our behavior as consumers. But it’s still more interesting to see the evolution of this behavior—specially when we are considering buying a guitar and looking at reviews. And the interesting thing here is that most people go to YouTube (in fact, it has become the second largest search engine in the world), unaware of the biases and influences that are going to shape their decision in an entire different way. And the truth is that there are a lot of factors we should keep in mind while checking these “reviews”.
First off, people who make the reviews should state what audio modifications are being made while testing the guitars. It’s kind of funny when phone manufacturers say “this photo has been shot with an iPhone” or “entirely shot on a Samsung Galaxy s20”. But in you look behind the curtain, you’d see that they’ve taken the picture or shot the video with gear that costs thousands of dollars. And with guitars it happens the same. Maybe these reviews have been recorded in a really expensive studio. Circumstances apply. (And this goes as for manufacturers as for individuals who make the reviews.)
So while checking a review, please keep in mind these circumstances. Keep in mind that the best guitar might not be the one that sounds the best in a video. The location, space, distribution of the room, microphone, editing process and, of course, the guitar player, influence these results. By a lot.
Back in the 50s it was blatant the way advertisers sold us stuff. Today, in the 21st century, I believe consumers have become more savvy, and avoid the persuasion tools that take place in the market. However (and I can include myself in different aspects of my consumer’s habits), we usually trust people on YouTube without considering the circumstances. When we use Google or other search engines, the first thing we look for is the source. On YouTube? That doesn’t happen.
So if you’re going to buy a guitar and want to compare some models, try to look for unedited recordings. Or if the samples have been modified, try to find out how they have been edited—otherwise you might end up with a guitar that doesn’t fulfill your expectations.
Here we have some unedited samples for you to check out: https://soundcloud.com/guitarfromspain