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Buying Used Guitars


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Whats your opinion on it?

 

I'm not entirely a guitar buff as most of the people on here are' date=' in fact it's still a bit of a mystery to me. Besides the basics such as making sure the neck and headstock are attached etc... what are some things I should look into when buying a used guitar?

 

[/quote']

 

More than anything else buy from a reputable dealer/seller!

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Whats your opinion on it?

 

I'm not entirely a guitar buff as most of the people on here are' date=' in fact it's still a bit of a mystery to me. Besides the basics such as making sure the neck and headstock are attached etc... what are some things I should look into when buying a used guitar?

 

[/quote']

 

If buying from a dealer:

 

If Electric: 1) Check out action, how close the strings are to the frets without having

buzzes on some frets. Sight down neck and look for signs of neck warpage.

 

2) Check out functionality of all controls (listen for scratchy noises or intermittents)

 

3)Check out tuners and ensure that each string can be tuned to proper pitch

 

4) Insist on a new set of strings with guitar

 

5) Check for intonation on 12th fret to see if bridge is set correctly. If you

dont have a trained ear to hear the difference, have the dealer or another

player check this out for you.

 

6) Check neck/heel for signs of cracking or separation.

7) Ask if it has it's original case (if available)

 

If Acoustic/Dreadnought

Check trueness of neck

Check glued bridge for signs of separation from top

Check tuners and intonation

Check frets for buzzing

Check action

Have them install a good set of strings and try a few chords on it

Check for signs of buckle scratches etc on finish

Ask to see original case (if available)

If buying from private vendor (player) that is selling the guitar and can demonstrate

it for you then the same applies as buying from a dealer.

 

If buying on Ebay..all the above still applies, but you are not going to

be able to scrutinize the guitar until it arrives (undamaged by the carrier, we

hope) and you can examine it...thats the chance you take, but sometimes it

can also mean a better deal. All you can do is look at the pictures and ask the

seller questions. Some will answer truthfully, others may try to mimimize certain

details.

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Yeah I sort of like the idea of buying a guitar from a pawn shop. Just means it's got a story... anyways thanks for all the input guys.

 

You mean like how the guy busted the lock on the door to get into the house?

 

I've been lucky with Craigslist and eBay, but I also emphasize "lucky".

 

I would have to agree with most of the advise above.

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Carverman gives a pretty comprehensive answer with lots of good tips. I'd just add that I think buying used is great in terms of saving some significant bucks. Even with all the heat Ebay takes these days (and you do want to be careful), I've still found some great deals there. I'd say about half of my guitars (and three of my four amps come to think of it) were bought used, off of Ebay or off of other music forum classifieds.

 

I think most sellers on Ebay want to be honest, and you can get a good initial feel for them from their feedback and from the wording in their ad. How they respond to a question can increase your comfort level.

 

All in all, if you can deal with the not playing first thing, I think buying used is a great way to go.

 

Bill

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Most of my guitars have been secondhand buys. My "quick" inspection is along the lines of:

 

1. Check the neck for cracks, especially both ends

2. Check the neck joint doesn't flex much when you put pressure on it

3. Is it a manufacturer I've heard of? Can I be sure there's an adjustable truss rod?

4. Any excessive wear on the frets (re-frets can be expensive)

5. Tuners all solid and turn ok

 

After that I move on to what it sounds like unplugged. I don't worry about the electrics - I work on the basis I can fix those myself. Again, if the set up is crap I assume I can sort that out, as long as the truss rod works.

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Hey now, a very very small percentage of stuff in pawn shops is stolen. Pawn shops report their daily activity to law enforcement so if a stolen item is pawned it can be located and the "pawner" can be dealt with accordingly.

 

Pawn shops provide a valuable service. Next time you need a loan for $50 try going to a bank to get it. Let us know how that works out.

 

Note: the above applies to reputable pawn shops. The ones owned by dirtbags who are happy and willing to skirt the laws just give the good ones a bad name.

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Of course there are good and bad pawn shops, good and bad guitar stories.

 

I like my pawn shop guitar's story though (assuming it is true)

 

Apparently a kid begged his folks for a guitar. They got him the Epi LP Junior which I have raved about before on this forum. It must be an exceptional one and I have nothing bad to say about it...

 

Anyhow, the guitar never got played, the mom finally said "Fine. I'm taking it to the pawn shop and get back at least some of what we payed for it." And that was that. The pawn shop guy is a friend, apparently knew the mom, -passed on the story to me when I bought the guitar.

 

Now, I've played that guitar for a lot of hours. So have friends of mine. It has been borrowed for recording even. Most players I know comment on the awesome sound of that single P-90.

 

If you're a bit of a soft-hearted weirdo like me, it's nice to know that a cheap little unwanted guitar has since been well-loved and enjoyed.

 

Anyone got a tissue? I've got... somethin' ... in my eye.... is all.

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