#1
As you may have read in another thread, I've just returned my second new acoustic in just over a week due to a problem with fret buzz that needs to be resolved by the manufacturer. The instrument is a Tanglewood super-jumbo (see here).

I have a choice as to whether to wait for it to come back from the manufacturer or swap it for something different. At around the £400 mark, the shop has two main options: a Yamaha in the Compass range - nice guitar, very competent – or a second-hand Simon & Patrick Woodland mini jumbo – see here. The S&P sounds absolutely gorgeous – a rich, warm sound and a very mellow tone. It honestly makes the Yamaha sound very ordinary. I don't know how old it is, but it apparently had one owner who didn't play it much and decided to trade it in for a banjo as it was something he'd always wanted to learn. The model is still current but I haven't been able to establish when it was first released. There is no obvious visual damage outside or inside.

This instrument seems to retail new for anywhere from £600 up to about £800. I would be getting it second-hand for around £400-450. I don't know whether that's good value or a rip-off... I realise of course that buying it from a shop is going to cost me more than it probably would privately. But I'm kind of tied into this place now, and in any case I don't think I'd feel comfortable buying a second-hand instrument at that price privately. The shop also said they'd give me a couple of months' warranty for peace of mind – hopefully any serious problems should show up pretty quickly.

So, I guess my questions are:

- Is there anything I should particularly look out for if considering buying a second-hand instrument? Any warning signs/danger signals?

- Any experience of buying second-hand, good or bad?

- Am I being ripped off if I buy this?

Need to decide whether or not to buy it today, so I'd be very grateful for your thoughts.

Thanks,

Rob
#2
when buying used, look for cracks - some are hard to spot when they are smaller and run along the grain. play each fret, listening for buzzes and feeling to make sure the frets themselves don't feel high or ragged. check to see how much saddle there is left, look for belly bulge, look closely at the bridge to see if it's lifting. check all the joints to be sure they're tight. fretboard should be smooth, tuners should turn smoothly. might as well take a peek inside the body with a flashlight - all the braces should be attached.

and i always smell the guitar as i'm not fond of cigarette smoke, other people's colognes, etc.

personally i'd think twice before buying another guitar from a shop that sold me 2 buzzing guitars that wasn't capable enough to figure out the problem.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
Last edited by patticake at Jun 13, 2011,
#3
1) My electro-classical is second-hand, I'd say it's great. Scratches are barely noticeable


2) tldr
Last edited by Zeletros at Jun 13, 2011,
#4
If you follow Patticake's advice and there are no issues, I would say go for the S&P. You won't be disappointed.
Acoustics:
1994 Seagull SM6
2007 Takamine G5013SVFT

Electrics:
2008 Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plain Top (Cherryburst)
1964 Gibson Melody Maker D (DC)

Amps:
Traynor YGL-1

Pedals
MXR Distortion III (C4 Modded)
#5
Thanks for your thoughts. I consulted by phone with an expert guitarist friend, and on his advice checked the guitar out for various things. Everything looked good, so I bought it. It sounds great, and I'm looking forward to getting to know it over the next few days.
#6
Pics soon to come? Perhaps a NGD thread?
Acoustics:
1994 Seagull SM6
2007 Takamine G5013SVFT

Electrics:
2008 Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plain Top (Cherryburst)
1964 Gibson Melody Maker D (DC)

Amps:
Traynor YGL-1

Pedals
MXR Distortion III (C4 Modded)
#7
I'm behind on work now, having spent a lot of time on this today

I'll get some pics up in the next couple of days. What's NGD?
#8
New Guitar Day
Acoustics:
1994 Seagull SM6
2007 Takamine G5013SVFT

Electrics:
2008 Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plain Top (Cherryburst)
1964 Gibson Melody Maker D (DC)

Amps:
Traynor YGL-1

Pedals
MXR Distortion III (C4 Modded)
#9
I prefer to buy used guitars over new ones. You should actually make the checks that patti suggested even when buying a new guitar because I've seen just as many people have problems with frets, neck twist, and unnoticed cracks on new guitars.

Although checking the inside of the guitar with a flashlight can kind of help you check for loose braces it's more important to tap the guitar body with your fingertip (not your fingernail because that can damage the wood) and listen for rattling. As you tap all around the body of the guitar if you do hear a rattle don't get the guitar.

As for the smell... Cigarette smoke is actually good for the tone of the guitar. There are chemicals in cigarette smoke that change the way the wood reacts making it stiffer but also more able to vibrate giving you a fuller, louder tone. It's actually a good way to make a new guitar sound played in faster. If you don't like the spell of cigarette smoke then it's fair enough to avoid it but if you don't mind the smell then it has no negative effect on the instrument. Think about the best acoustic guitars throughout history, do they sit in smoke free music rooms? Or are they the ones that have been played in the smoke filled pubs.


Edit:

Congrats on the new guitar. You made a good choice.
Not taking any online orders.