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Guitar in the bay area

#1 User is offline   sanjoseguitars 

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 11:19 PM

So I've recently been taking local acoustic guitar lessons in San Jose as I'm a beginner but I was looking into getting my first Gibson guitar. I know that they can get a bit pricey but I'm pretty sure I want to pick up the J-15. But is there a good recommendation on where I can find it for a little bit cheaper (not on ebay). Would craigslist be a good option and what do I have to watch out for when I go check out guitars for wear and tear?

This one for $650 on craigslist.
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#2 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 05:12 AM

First welcome. Nice bunch of folks here.

That one on Craigslist is a classical guitar so a nylon string instrument. Nothing wrong with that but as you mentioned a J-15 I am assuming you want a steel string. You might be better off though buying from a reputable store. Less chance of getting burned. If you want to save some money buy used. You couldt talk to your teacher who very likely can get you pointed in the right direction.

This post has been edited by zombywoof: 23 May 2018 - 05:13 AM

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#3 User is offline   kidblast 

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 05:56 AM

I wouldn't go for the one you posted and I personally would steer clear of Craigslist.

nylon string guitars are different animals, a bit more finicky than a steel string. I've been playing for over 50 years, and I've gone thru a bunch of these to try and find the right one. I finally did, but, that's another story..


So J15s are like $1,300 new.. give or take. Used, I suppose you could be looking at maybe 650/700 second hand. also IMO nothing really all that risky with eBay these days.

Just make sure that the seller has some decent feedback, and see how they communicate with you thru eBay's email service.

Most of the eBay transactions these days are thru PayPal, and eBay/PayPal does force people to play by their rules. If you find anything you think you're interested in, post it in the Acoustic Forum BEFORE you bid or BIN. you will get some feedback on the auction to help you decide if that is a good deal, and a reasonable price etc..

Craigslist is a crap shot since there's no one regulating what the hell goes on there. You as the buyer, need to know what you're doing. The risk of getting screwed on a CL transaction IMHO is high.

and Zomby's suggestion to discuss w/your teacher is solid. he/she probably has a few stores that they do most of their business with, and would probably be totally ok with helping you.

This post has been edited by kidblast: 23 May 2018 - 06:00 AM

/Ray
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#4 User is offline   FZ Fan 

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 06:04 AM

View Postsanjoseguitars, on 22 May 2018 - 11:19 PM, said:

So I've recently been taking local acoustic guitar lessons in San Jose as I'm a beginner but I was looking into getting my first Gibson guitar. I know that they can get a bit pricey but I'm pretty sure I want to pick up the J-15. But is there a good recommendation on where I can find it for a little bit cheaper (not on ebay). Would craigslist be a good option and what do I have to watch out for when I go check out guitars for wear and tear?

This one for $650 on craigslist.


I lived about half my life in San Jose. Lived there from the time I was a year old until I turned 21, and then came back and lived in Fremont, Milpitas, Pleasanton and Santa Rosa. Man I miss Cali.. Can't remember any guitar stores except CG on Stevens Creek Blvd if it is even still there. I used to have a used J-15. Got it used for $950. You could try Reverb.
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#5 User is offline   Cougar 

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 06:42 AM

View Postkidblast, on 23 May 2018 - 05:56 AM, said:

...So J15s are like $1,300 new.. give or take. Used, I suppose you could be looking at maybe 650/700 second hand.....


Where are you shopping? As I recall, new ones used to be about $1500. Nowadays, a new 2018 J15 from Sweetwater is $1750. You might get a 15% discount, but still....

Looks like you could get a new one off ebay for $1500. There are none cheaper than that, even used ones.

The cheapest one on reverb is $1000, used - in very good condition. Lots of used ones in excellent condition for around $1200.
I think the J15 is an excellent choice for you, sanjose. I've played a few, and they sound great. (I had one with a sunburst on order from Music Villa, but I got waylaid by a Guild F50R, which I gotta say I'm not sorry about.)
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#6 User is offline   kidblast 

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 06:44 AM

View PostCougar, on 23 May 2018 - 06:42 AM, said:

Where are you shopping? As I recall, new ones used to be about $1500. Nowadays, a new 2018 J15 from Sweetwater is $1750. You might get a 15% discount, but still....

Looks like you could get a new one off ebay for $1500. There are none cheaper than that, even used ones.

The cheapest one on reverb is $1000, used - in very good condition. Lots of used ones in excellent condition for around $1200.
I think the J15 is an excellent choice for you, sanjose. I've played a few, and they sound great. (I had one with a sunburst on order from Music Villa, but I got waylaid by a Guild F50R, which I gotta say I'm not sorry about.)



for example... but on closer look that was a 2016.. so yes,, you're right.. they are priced higher than my post suggests.
https://www.guitarce...L4GC-adType^PLA

This post has been edited by kidblast: 23 May 2018 - 06:57 AM

/Ray
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#7 User is offline   fortyearspickn 

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 08:29 AM

Just starting out, I'd not plunk down more than you can afford. If you are still into it 2 years down the road, you can always add a better one, or trade in a "first decent guitar". Though, you might regret it later if you've bonded with a J15 as your first.Here's a good one : https://www.guitarce...ustic-Guitar.gc
Guitar Center gets lots of used inventory and will ship it to you or a local GC. They have a fair return policy. It's listed for $1100 but if you get it sent to the store and offer them $1000 cash, they'll most likely agree. Make sure they give you the original hard shell case with "Gibson" spray painted in gold. G'Luck.And welcome!
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#8 User is offline   Dash_Starkiller 

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 10:06 AM

View Postfortyearspickn, on 23 May 2018 - 08:29 AM, said:

Just starting out, I'd not plunk down more than you can afford. If you are still into it 2 years down the road, you can always add a better one, or trade in a "first decent guitar". Though, you might regret it later if you've bonded with a J15 as your first.Here's a good one : https://www.guitarce...ustic-Guitar.gc
Guitar Center gets lots of used inventory and will ship it to you or a local GC. They have a fair return policy. It's listed for $1100 but if you get it sent to the store and offer them $1000 cash, they'll most likely agree. Make sure they give you the original hard shell case with "Gibson" spray painted in gold. G'Luck.And welcome!


I think this is your BEST bet. I canít agree with fortyyears enough. Search their site, have it sent to your local store and if Iím not mistaken you get 7 days. Iíve seen j35s for $950 a few months ago. Shouldnít have passed that up...
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#9 User is offline   sanjoseguitars 

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 04:49 PM

Really appreciate everyone's insight! I'm definitely going to dig through Guitar Center's used site and see what I can find/feel comfortable with.
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#10 User is offline   Boyd 

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 05:03 PM

View Postfortyearspickn, on 23 May 2018 - 08:29 AM, said:

It's listed for $1100 but if you get it sent to the store and offer them $1000 cash, they'll most likely agree.


Have bought a couple used Gibsons from Guitar Center and agree they can be very negotiable.... if it's an item that's been sitting around the store for awhile. But I don't quite understand how your suggestion would work. If you go to Guitar Center's site, AFAIK the only way to get it shipped to your store is to actually buy it. Or am I missing something? My Gibson purchases were guitars that the local store already had in stock.

I suppose you could go to your local store and ask if they will get it shipped without making any commitment. Are they willing to do this kind of thing? The J-15 might be a popular enough guitar that they wouldn't be too willing to negotiate.

This post has been edited by Boyd: 23 May 2018 - 05:04 PM

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#11 User is offline   Cougar 

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 07:51 PM

View PostBoyd, on 23 May 2018 - 05:03 PM, said:

Have bought a couple used Gibsons from Guitar Center and agree they can be very negotiable....


Can't hurt to try! "So... can I get 20% off?" Posted Image

View PostBoyd, on 23 May 2018 - 05:03 PM, said:

AFAIK the only way to get it shipped to your store is to actually buy it. Or am I missing something?

Yeah, you have to buy it. They'll ship to the local GC or right to your house. Might be a nominal 25 bucks. What's handy is, you can return it to your local store. I got a used Gibson Songwriter 12-string from some GC across the country. Beautiful thing. Arrived with a big crack from the bridge on down. Posted Image Returned to local GC, full refund, no fuss, no muss.
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#12 User is offline   Mrmajstyk 

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 09:09 PM

eBay and PayPal have buyer protection. Reverb has a buyer protection policy too. GC is very easy to deal with and have a generous return policy. Sam Ash does too. Most retailers will work with you.
Craigslist? Forget about it! Too risky, especially when youíre talking real money! You might get lucky... then again, maybe not!? I wouldnít buy OR sell on CL.
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#13 User is offline   Jinder 

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 06:39 AM

J15, J29 and J35 are all guitars that punch WAY above their weight for the money. Gibson really hit a home run with these.

Iíd try a bunch, pick the one that speaks to you and take it home.

A good bet if you donít want to spend Gibson bucks is the Epiphone Inspired By Ď64 Texan. I have one and itís one of my favourite guitars, lovely neck and sounds excellent. Crazy value for money if you can snag a great one.

Just remember that all guitars are infinitely variable, as theyíre just bits of tree. Regardless of brand or model, there are good, great and poor ones out there. Iíve played pawn shop guitars that have sounded wonderful, and D45s and SJ200s that have sounded like warmed over horse apples,..it it so particular to the lump of tree the guitar in question is made out of.

In my experience, Gibson get it right (to my ears) more often than most manufacturers. Just play a bunch in your price range and donít part with your money until youíve found a guitar that refuses to let you leave without it!
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#14 User is offline   vacamartin 

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 08:15 AM

View Postsanjoseguitars, on 22 May 2018 - 11:19 PM, said:

So I've recently been taking local acoustic guitar lessons in San Jose as I'm a beginner but I was looking into getting my first Gibson guitar. I know that they can get a bit pricey but I'm pretty sure I want to pick up the J-15. But is there a good recommendation on where I can find it for a little bit cheaper (not on ebay). Would craigslist be a good option and what do I have to watch out for when I go check out guitars for wear and tear?

This one for $650 on craigslist.


J-15's used are going $950-$1000 on avg. Here's one... https://www.acoustic...ad.php?t=511397

This post has been edited by vacamartin: 25 May 2018 - 08:16 AM

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