How to step up when buying your next guitar

Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: How to step up when buying your next guitar

Post by GerryM » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:39 am

Age can really do great things to a guitar and since your Esteve is meeting your needs you can afford to wait.

I usually shy from promoting or dismissing guitars but there are many used ''small workshop'' Japanese guitars available between 1K to 3K. They are all well aged and you can check out the Japanese guitars thread.
I am going to agree with this point. The problem is a limited selection in most areas. You have several places to look for them, mainly e - b a y and Reverb, however you cannot really try them out. You are buying blind, especially sound-wise. Returning them is a major and expensive hassle. The local Craig's List is also a possibility but the selection is limited.

However, there is another alternative if you have a local GC store, which sorta sounds like what you were saying. You can go to the GC website and search all the used classical guitars available at any GC. If one sounds interesting (there are a couple Hirade H5's on there now, several Ramirez and a bunch of Takamine 132/136/140S models from the 70's-80's. , you can buy it and have it shipped directly to you or to the local store. You do end up paying sales tax but the shipping was really cheap ($20) on the one I bought.

If it is called a vintage, you have 3 days to try it and return it. If just used, you have 45 days. Some pretty interesting ones are called "used". The kicker is, you just return it to your local store if you decide "no". They may charge you for the shipping or may not, but that is minimal. The sales price and tax are returned. Some people have even reported they also refunded the shipping.

I have found that they are conservative in their ratings, ie. the Hirade H8 I bought was called "good" but was a near-mint closet queen. I suspect GC generally has little real knowledge or interest in CG's and their prices are often much less than the big auction site.

So for the price of a half tank of gas you can have an extended in-home try-out of a used instrument. I did this with the Hirade H8 and it worked out perfectly. If I hadn't liked it, I would have returned it.

You also have to consider when looking at new guitars in a store that they may not sound anything like their eventual sound until they are played in. This is especially true with Spruce tops. I have purchased 3 new or semi-new ones recently. They all greatly improved with use. Starts with a few hours. And what they sound like after a few weeks may not even be in the same universe. So trying out new instruments at a shop may not give you any idea what they will sound like in a month but an extended trial will.

My Hirade H8 went from so-so to outstanding in 2 weeks, even though it was 31 years old. It had just never been played.

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