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> New Vs Used Guitars
Bogdan Radovic
post Oct 16 2014, 10:09 PM
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First I must admit that I have never bought a used guitar in my life.

Thinking about it, there were several reasons to it ranging from - who knows what I'll be getting to crazy ones like : guitar needs to be new so I can channel my musical energy into it laugh.gif

I have been told million times that buying used instruments is a good idea so I wanted to check with others what is the general consensus on it, do you prefer new or used and why? For example, I would hear an argument that guitar needs to be "played in". Is this a myth or there is some truth to it? Also that guitar sounds better as it ages, is this one true? Never really put much thought or research into it.


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Hexabuzz
post Oct 16 2014, 10:16 PM
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I have only ever bought one brand new guitar in my 20+ years of playing.

I always buy used because if you're careful, the cost savings are significant, and you can afford a guitar that you probably never could have bought new. It's a shame that values drop so sharply, but buying used also works in your favor if you decide to sell, when you can almost always get back at least as much as you paid, and sometimes even make a profit.

The other reason I buy used is because even if the instrument is in perfect condition, I feel less self conscious about babying it out of fear for that first scratch or ding. If a guitar I buy already has some marks or wear, I accept it, and get down to enjoying playing it, and not worrying about it looking perfect.

But that's just me biggrin.gif
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klasaine
post Oct 16 2014, 10:22 PM
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A good guitar that's well taken care of absolutely sounds better as it ages.

I prefer used, mostly because it's cheaper. You can definitely find great instruments at great prices if you're willing to look around. I just bought a USA Fender Strat (2002) for $500.00. I can sell that right now for $800.00 (I'm hanging on to it though). So many of the instruments I've bought cheap have increased 3 to 4 times in value.

In the last 30 years I've probably only bought 4 or 5 new instruments. Same with amps and pedals.
The price difference is just too hard to ignore.



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Taka Perry
post Oct 16 2014, 10:42 PM
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Same thing goes for me with amps and pedals, but if the previous owner looked after their gear really well, then I think sometimes there is practically no difference between buying new or used, other than feeling like you're the first owner of the particular piece of gear. Sometimes I even like the idea of buying used, not only because of the cost saving, but because I feel that there is a bit of history behind the particular item I'm purchasing. As guitarists, we all know that a guitar is a living entity to us, and not just a slab of wood and wire, so feeling like the guitar has had a life is awesome for me.


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 16 2014, 10:56 PM
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Only in the past couple of years have I started buying NEW instruments. It always seemed like such a HUGE ripoff. Sort of like buying a new car. It depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot. Same with guitars. Soon as you leave the store its' "used". Might as well buy it "slightly used" and save the "new" fee for spending on other gear smile.gif But different strokes for different folks!!

I started buying new gear when I started seeing really cheap deals on guitars on Amazon.com, Ebay.com and in Guitar Center. If I find something selling for what it normally goes for used, I'll usually give it a whirl smile.gif

I've bought studio gear new, but also used. Typically I just look for the best deal new or used and avoid paying anything close to retail as I always assume I may need to sell whatever it is I'm buying to get more gear later smile.gif


QUOTE (Bogdan Radovic @ Oct 16 2014, 05:09 PM) *
First I must admit that I have never bought a used guitar in my life.

Thinking about it, there were several reasons to it ranging from - who knows what I'll be getting to crazy ones like : guitar needs to be new so I can channel my musical energy into it laugh.gif

I have been told million times that buying used instruments is a good idea so I wanted to check with others what is the general consensus on it, do you prefer new or used and why? For example, I would hear an argument that guitar needs to be "played in". Is this a myth or there is some truth to it? Also that guitar sounds better as it ages, is this one true? Never really put much thought or research into it.



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Mith
post Oct 17 2014, 12:24 AM
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I have quite a number of guitars mainly because I not only buy used I also buy run down and neglected instruments that even after rewiring and redoing the fretboard still don't cost me as much as the wood thats inside them. I've got guitars here that are worth 5 times the money I out into them.

I do have a few that I bought new but thats mainly because I knew the exact guitar I wanted and the exact color and seeing it in the used marked was a long shot.

Man most guitars that play bad or whatever usually just need a partial fret level and a good setup.


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SixStringSamurai
post Oct 17 2014, 02:24 AM
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I've bought less than 10 new guitars out of the 100++ guitars that I've owned in my life. Without the cost benefit of buying used I never would have gotten to play and experience as many guitars as I have (which was a contributing factor towards my becoming a guitar blogger).

I don't particularly prefer one or the other, as long as I get what I want biggrin.gif


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Chris S.
post Oct 17 2014, 03:02 AM
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It really depends on the condition.

I found a used Michael Kelly Patriot Standard for $200 and it was flawless, not a single smudge to be found anywhere. Once I throw some new electronics in it I'm going to love the purchase even more!

That being said I own 2 new guitars and 3 used.

Amps and pedals I don't really mind being used, as long as they function properly wink.gif
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Mith
post Oct 17 2014, 03:12 AM
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ive gotten used equipment that still even had price tags on it


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Monica Gheorghev...
post Oct 17 2014, 10:17 AM
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I will never bought used instruments and also I will never sell instruments.
First of all I'm very obsessed to take care about instruments and I believe that few people do the same. I mean from the cleaning of instruments, playing every day on them at trying to keeping a constant temperature in the room.
I believe that a guitar need to be played every day to keep a "shining" sound and probably that's why I don't wish to have more than 2-3 guitars. From my point of view, a guitar which will stay in a case without to play on it it's like an animal in a cage biggrin.gif

I guess it's true that a guitar sound better in time but what people forget is that this thing can happen if that guitar it's played very often and kept in optimal conditions. You never can't be sure how the previous owner kept this.
Another thing for why I don't want an already used instrument or gear it's because, usual people make a change when they discover some issues.
Of course my opinion and theory it's not apply when we talk about guitars vintage collectors. But this is only from my point of view wink.gif


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Bogdan Radovic
post Oct 17 2014, 09:12 PM
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@Monica - great to hear I'm not the only one who don't have used guitars experience.

@Everyone: thanks a lot for feedback and I can certainly see some additional benefits in getting used gear.
I wanted to add that I did buy used pedals a few times and it worked well and I even managed to sell them at the same price. When it comes to pedals, I think they either work or don't. I don't have a single musician friend who had a pedal break for him. I guess I didn't have a chance to buy used as the local market is limited. There are lots of guitars which are hybrids (put together using various parts) also guitars with lots of customization. As Monica mentioned - I always thought there is a big factor that there might be something wrong with the gear thus the owner is selling it. This is because I never sold any quality piece gear that I liked, only items I thought didn't sound good or were useful to me. For the used market I'd need to have a lot of experience flipping guitars to be able to find good deals which I can re-sell later on if I want something new.

For a big markets and when buying on Ebay - used gear can be excellent way to go if its in good condition!

Big downside of buying new? I only ever owned a limited number of instruments (when it comes to bases 3 in total) and I think I'm missing a lot in doing so. Good side - I love my guitars, they've been a long time with me smile.gif


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klasaine
post Oct 17 2014, 10:33 PM
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The new gear that I've bought - most of it I still have and love. I do a lot of research when I buy ANYTHING.

I used to teach and do light repair work in two music stores. One specialized in vintage instruments. I learned a lot about 1) what to look for and 2) what to pay.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 19 2014, 10:26 AM
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QUOTE (Bogdan Radovic @ Oct 16 2014, 09:09 PM) *
First I must admit that I have never bought a used guitar in my life.

Thinking about it, there were several reasons to it ranging from - who knows what I'll be getting to crazy ones like : guitar needs to be new so I can channel my musical energy into it laugh.gif


Maybe some folks will laugh at us, but I totally understand this energy thing you are talking about smile.gif Once time, one of my former guitar teachers - an amazing player, pretty much one of the most original players here in my country, told me that even the dirt my fingers will leave on the fretboard, contribute to the guitar's personality. He is all about personality and it is very visible in his attitude and playing and he always, always told us that we need to develop a personality as musicians and players. Maybe he was right that we need to learn how to place our energy into the instrument, even though i like to keep my axes clean biggrin.gif

But anyway, I have had 3-4 axes that were bought second hand, so far and I don't feel like there was anything wrong with them. I kept them until my tastes changed - tho I kept two which I am still playing - The PRS Paul Allender and the Yamaha FG365S acoustic - I love both of them and I think that my love transferred the right energy into them!


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klasaine
post Oct 19 2014, 05:29 PM
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If you believe in putting your own spirit into a guitar then why not believe that a previously owned guitar could have the potential for serious mojo from a great player that had or played it before you - ?

Or, that new guitar you just bought was cut out and put together by someone who hates their job or was built with slave labor in sweat shop in Kowloon or the wood was poached from a protected forest ...
That could add some pretty heavy and negative vibe to the instrument.

Just sayin'.

I don't believe in magic.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 20 2014, 11:27 AM
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Very, very good points here, Ken smile.gif I do believe in magic and us people, sometimes, when we put our mind and spirit to it, we can accomplish truly magical things. Not with a magic wand sort, but the human magic wink.gif

Well, it would be amazing to buy a used guitar and magically receive a famous ex-owner's playing abilities, eh? biggrin.gif


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klasaine
post Oct 20 2014, 03:28 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Oct 20 2014, 03:27 AM) *
when we put our mind and spirit to it, we can accomplish truly magical things. Not with a magic wand sort, but the human magic


Human magic is sweat and brains.


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Bogdan Radovic
post Oct 20 2014, 03:32 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Oct 19 2014, 06:29 PM) *
If you believe in putting your own spirit into a guitar then why not believe that a previously owned guitar could have the potential for serious mojo from a great player that had or played it before you - ?


This makes it even harder hehe
Not only you need to find the good quality and nice sounding instrument in good condition, but the player who is selling it needs to be good and fit your style laugh.gif

I must admit I do believe in that "magic" (of putting our energy into the instrument we play).
Of course, I'd agree that it is based mostly on practice and sweat we put into the instrument.


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bleez
post Oct 20 2014, 08:16 PM
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I dont mind buying used gear if I trust the source. I would hate to buy something that turned out to be fake or something like that also, I would love to get a vintage gibson smile.gif
I bought my SG used from my local guitar shop, I trust those guys. Its a 1990 model and when I checked the serial number it turns out I bought it on its birthday. I dont believe in magic either but that was a cool coincidence and Im happy to think that there was some guitar voodoo going on there cool.gif The universe clearly wanted me to have that guitar...... and thats what I told the wife biggrin.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 21 2014, 02:20 AM
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You gotta be careful buying online to be sure. The good news is, EBAY in particular always leans toward the buyer. So if you get a lemon or a fake, they are on your side and will see that you get taken care of. They really have to do this or buyers won't come back at which point the entire thing wold implode.

It certainly helps to know what you are doing and to know what you looking for and to know a good bit about the instruments you are looking at. To be sure, if you are a bit green on gear, you could easily get taken for a ride and not even know you'd been taken.

If you navigate ebay properly, you really can come away with AMAZING deals. That IBANEZ RGT42 that I had was purchased on EBAY for only $200!!! I sold it for double that.
Attached Image
I bought my Rusty Cooley 8 string Brand New, with a Hard Shell Case, for 1/3 of the street price. So yeah, you can find some
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amazing deals. smile.gif





QUOTE (bleez @ Oct 20 2014, 03:16 PM) *
I dont mind buying used gear if I trust the source. I would hate to buy something that turned out to be fake or something like that also, I would love to get a vintage gibson smile.gif
I bought my SG used from my local guitar shop, I trust those guys. Its a 1990 model and when I checked the serial number it turns out I bought it on its birthday. I dont believe in magic either but that was a cool coincidence and Im happy to think that there was some guitar voodoo going on there cool.gif The universe clearly wanted me to have that guitar...... and thats what I told the wife biggrin.gif



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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 21 2014, 07:38 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Oct 20 2014, 02:28 PM) *
Human magic is sweat and brains.


Sounds like two ingredients for a magic formula biggrin.gif


QUOTE (bleez @ Oct 20 2014, 07:16 PM) *
I dont mind buying used gear if I trust the source. I would hate to buy something that turned out to be fake or something like that also, I would love to get a vintage gibson smile.gif
I bought my SG used from my local guitar shop, I trust those guys. Its a 1990 model and when I checked the serial number it turns out I bought it on its birthday. I dont believe in magic either but that was a cool coincidence and Im happy to think that there was some guitar voodoo going on there cool.gif The universe clearly wanted me to have that guitar...... and thats what I told the wife biggrin.gif


Hah! WHat an amazing occurrence - or shall I say, arrangement of the Universe? wink.gif


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