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Should You Buy a Used Guitar?

By Charles Hopkins Published 07/6/2006 | Music

Finding the right guitar is really a stressful ordeal if you do not know what you are looking for. At the time of buying their first guitar, most of the beginners opt for a used one, mainly because of the budget factor. But did you know there are many seasoned guitarists, who if given a choice would choose rather a used guitar instead of a new one?

So you can see, low price is not the only factor why you should buy an old guitar. In fact, you are grossly mistaken if you go for an old guitar only because of its cheap price. Because high quality used guitars come for a price which may be much greater than a brand new guitar. On the other hand, the price of good quality used guitar is simply determined by the rules of demand and supply. It is not easy to find an impeccable vintage guitar. The price of the used guitar is the sum total of the cost of the guitar itself along with the cost of the servicing to bring it to a playable condition. The used guitars that you get for next to nothing are in most of the cases difficult to play or come with such defects that can not be repaired. After all this is the reason for their being cheap.

There is another practical reason for buying a used guitar. You get a richer and deeper tone from a used guitar. Want to know how? As the wood of the guitar gets seasoned, it emits the matured tones that you will not find in a newly constructed instrument. The woods used in a new guitar is not adequately cured and for that you have to be cautious that they do not get unnecessary moist, or too dried up. So proper curing of the wood to be used in the guitar is pretty important. Why do you think the instruments made by the great Stradivarius sounded so sweet? He seemed to emphasize a great deal in getting his woods properly seasoned under sun and rain so that the moisture in the wood fibers reduces in a consistent pace. But we can not afford to wait too long just to get a good quality guitar. A good quality used guitar will provide you the same impact.

Now you do not have to bother about the depreciation value of a used guitar in the same way you should think of a used car. The good quality used guitars have a vintage value in the same way as a fine wine does. In this respect, there you can find difference between any nondescript cheap used guitar and used vintage guitars. Vintage guitars hold their values for generations, while a cheap used guitar loses its value over times.

As said earlier, rarity makes the used guitars even more discernible. There are vintage guitars that are made with such rare quality woods that are no longer available. As for example, even in the finest quality guitars you can not find the back made up of solid Brazilian Rosewood as they are no longer commonly logged. Even if you can find a guitar made of such expensive wood, it might cost you havoc. On the contrary, if you go for a used guitar, you can get such high quality instruments for much lesser prices.

Then a used guitar will give you the option of having a hand crafted guitar for affordable price. The old handmade guitars are renowned for their hand picked parts that undergone the vigorous examination of the craftsman. Then modern day laser cutting of the wood rob much of its sweetness form the woods which used to be much better in those days when the woods were cut by the hands. Most of the leading manufacturers used to examine the wood quality from top to bottom, which can not be done these days under the arrangement of a mass factory production.

So I hope you get my point; it is not the issue of the choice between a new guitar and an old guitar as such. The choice is in between a good quality used guitar and a cheap used guitar. Never go for such piece which is not in a playable condition, as you may need to spend more bucks to fix them than the piece originally cost. An antique or vintage guitar will be a valuable investment that will be appreciated by the generations to come.