November 04, 2013


Theoretical Vs Practical Reality ›

Richard has been playing guitar since the age of 8, educated at the Guitar Institute in London and specializing in online consultation and World Wide deliveries for 21 years - Each and every one hand finished bespoke to the customers requirement.

Richards reputation for first class playing instruments and dedicated service goes before him - with customers in most Countries around the World.  In the past 3 years alone Richard has accrued over 1000 testimonials from customers all around the World.  Every single customer dealt with personally by Richard.
Richard only sells guitars he truly believes in - each brand being an Industry benchmark in their price or genre - a view built on 21 years research.
Richard is available most hours for consultation which is provided in a personal but comprehensive and professional manner via the live chat facility.

Specialist guitar advice for 21 years

I (Richard) have been providing specialist advice for 21 years. My previous business Regent Guitars ran from 1995 to 2008, starting with just 6 guitars and closed selling 8-10 guitars a day with a turnover well in excess of £1,500,000.

So why did it close?

In 2008 I closed Regent Guitars and opened Richards Guitars with a desire to get back to ONLY selling guitars I love, that I have a true passion for – which should also mean a volume that I could handle personally from beginning to end – like my previous business USED to be!  To this day the only person I have to rely on is my wife Teresa who liases with all my customers during the order process and I am more worried about letting her down than vice versa - behind every good man as they say!

Regent Guitars had left me disillusioned and “too close” to the reality of how most guitars are sold. I didn’t want to be part of the marketing “machines”. It just wasn’t me and I believe anyone who is truly passionate about guitars and in my industry will know exactly what I mean.   It seems 90% of my industry is hype - so I try and focus on the 10% I truly believe in.

My reputation now spans Locally, Nationally and Internationally with customers from Stratford Upon Avon  to Singapore.

I specialize in a select range of guitar brands—Brands which I believe represent something unique in the market be it value, quality, tonal range or shear beauty.

You may not realise you can buy all solid wood hand made acoustic guitars from as little has £500, even a superb quality electric guitar hand made in the UK from £600!  If you chat to me I will tell you how to avoid the mass produced, over hyped brands and focus your attention to stunning beauty!

Guitars sold on personal passion, not marketing hype

Heard of Eastman, Furch,  Faith, Gordon Smith or Godin?  If you haven’t then you need to have a chat with me before you spend your hard earnt cash on your next guitar.

I am aware that many people do not buy for “quality only” but for image and prestige. If you want a Fender, Ibanez, Shecter, Gibson, Jackson etc. then you are talking to the wrong man entirely (although I do specialize in used examples which will play better than new and won’t lose value on resale) – you can find these products hung on a hundred guitar shop walls around the UK but for me personally they just don't excite me and conversely represent well marketed, over hyped mediocrity.

Just remember when you are talking to the next salesman that he probably cares not for you, but for his employer. His job is to sell you what is hung on the wall – not to ensure you get the very best guitar available in the market.

Want to know about guitars with heart and soul? I am your man. From a quality starter guitar through to World Class hand made guitars.   With honesty and integrity central to my philosophy in life and business I assure you that you are in safe hands and I will guide you based on your needs and requirements. If I can’t help I will tell you and point you to “a man that can”.

Try guitars in a welcoming environment..

I try and make your stay at Richards as enjoyable as possible, which may include boring you to death about the guitars available, their history/pedigree etc. or it may just be you want to spend some time on your own trying out the guitars available. Either way you should find the shop welcoming and totally un-intimidating.

Read: Richards History - From Birth To Now!

Theoretical Vs Practical Reality

Something I love to talk about almost it seems on a daily basis is theoretical reality Vs Practical reality!! The two are not quite the same....

In theory, when I wake up in the morning and make my way to work, any number of theoretical tragedies could unfold from slipping over on the soap in the bathroom through to crashing my car on the 1 mile trip to my shop.  In practice however I don't let these details overshadow my day!  I am mindful of the possibilities, am aware of their existence but I allow my practical mind to stop me worrying and getting bogged down in all the "what ifs".

So.... how does this all pan out in the Wold of Guitar Buying?  Here is how...


Theoretical Reality #1

" Wood types govern the tone of the guitar, so I will opt out of certain acoustic instruments due to the wood used in production. "


Practical Reality

In practice there are so many variables that effect the overal tone of the guitar that you cannot exclude ANY wood type when trying/experimenting with guitars.  I have witnessed so many rules of tone being broken over the years that anyone who focuses on "theoretical reality" will not benefit from one of the greatest experiences which  is "testing your own pre-conceptions".


Theoretical Reality #2


"I wouldn't buy an acoustic with a cutaway as I have heard it destroys the tone"


Practical Reality


I would like to believe I have a good ear for acoustic tone after the many years (nearly 2 decades) of testing thousands of them pre sale with the desire to expand my experiences.  I have to say hand on heart that I would like to believe I COULD tell you which brand of guitar is being played in my store - blind.   I should be able to get close on the model too.  However, if you put 6 Stonebridge GS23 CR models and 6 GS23 CR C models (cutaway option) I could NOT tell you which is which.  The reason?  Each guitar will have its own personal sound cutaway or not - although every guitar will share the tonal VOICE of the GS23CR.  Trying to differentiate between the tonal variance caused by the guitars personal characteristics and that of the cutaway - well that would be beyond my ear for sure!  So once again, the theory is sound - of course the cutaway has "an" effect on the tone but its not one we should practically allow ourselves to cloud our judgement. 


Theoretical Reality #3

"An all solid wood acoustic is the best"


Practical Reality


Whilst once again the theory is sound, manufacturers prey on the uninitiated by providing "specification" that sells the product without even having to play one.  Just remember that a poorly manufactured instrument will always sound poor regardless of what it said on paper (the theory).  Transversely a well made acoustic built from knowledge and experience can sound fantastic even from basic materials.  This is another reason to focus on practice IE the practicality of playing!  Trying and exploring.  Being mindful allows you to experience a moment without prior judgement - sometimes this is essential to get a true picture. If your mind is full of theory (theoretical knowledge / "reality")  these can be totally at odds with the practical reality you are experiencing and you must not allow these "theories" to overshadow your own reality in practice (practical reality!).  What is real is what you are experiencing NOW.


This list of theoretical Vs practical realities is almost endless - I would be writing all night if I gave you all of them.  This post is really about getting you to challenge the theories and be aware that in practice even something that is theoretically "correct" is not always worth worrying yourself over and certainly not worthy of changing your chosen path or worse still - stopping you from taking the path at all.

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