Most players realize that audio clips and recordings often bear little resemblance to what a guitar actually sounds like ‘live’, particularly if you are the player. In fact many of the studio musicians I have worked with have noted that some of the best guitars to record with, actually sound surprisingly uninteresting live.
The qualities of the guitar can too easily be enhanced by the microphones and engineering techniques used to record the guitar, as well as by the sound system and speakers used to replay the recorded material. I often hear the comment from people who have tested a guitar from various sites that utilize sound bites that “it sounded great on the sound bite, but when I got the guitar I was disappointed”. Audio clips are popular on some sites, but I have decided to avoid them for this reason.
I will sometimes have video links of guitarists playing a certain guitar, but these are primarily for entertainment value, and not for the purpose of evaluating the sound quality of the guitar.
Audio clips, while fun to listen to, are of little value when selecting a fine guitar in my opinion, and the opportunity for an audio clip to fail to match the actual sound of the guitar is high, leaving too much potential for a dissatisfied client. In the end, there is just no substitute or short cut to playing the guitar live. Use the ‘risk free trial’ for this purpose.