#1
Hi guys. So I was in my local guitar store to buy DD her first guitar.

I've been looking for my first too (currently borrowing). I've been looking mostly at acoustics but have been thinking about electrics and they had this Custom Levitch Guitar. Probably what I liked most was that it was really unique looking .. like you couldn't just order one of these online... I like that.

It's also one of the first electrics I enjoyed playing.
(that being said I ALMOST ALWAYS fail to enjoy new guitars and I ALWAYS love playing used ones.. so their might be something about an "over fresh" guitar.)

MSRP]$1,500. And they had it for $498. A guy in the store told me it's been there for a while and they might even go lower. (what should I ask?? I just spent $150 on my kid.. they should like me..)

It seemed a little heavy. It was very scratched and dinged up.. but as far as I could see only in ways that enhanced the appearance. I've decided I like the les paul sound and have been looking at $600-$900. This seemed a lot like that.. sounded better to my ear.. felt a little heavy and difficult to play but by the end I was getting the gang of it. It was a thick neck.. as an acoustic player I like that.

I've enclosed some pictures..They are TERRIBLE .. sorry. I'm just a clumsy guy in general. Next time I'll do a better job. (maybe the same guitar)I didn't really zero in on the dings.. i thought the dings were fine (great actually).

One picture is just of the inset frets.. what do I know??!!.. I thought it looked interesting and different the way they looked from the side... I have no idea if it's good or bad. Thought I'd snap s pic and ask (I'm seriously stupid sometimes) The electronics were BADLY scratched up. EVERY SINGLE SCREW was rusted. It worked and sounded great.. but how do I know if there's a problem? If something breaks, can it ALWAYS be fixed?
(I might want to replace the screws just for appearance.)

This is what I want to know:

1. Am I crazy buying the first guitar USED?

2. Am I crazy to think that the electronics or the metallic parts can ALWAYS be replaced and the rest (solid wood) can ALWAYS be fixed?

Could this actually end up a useless piece of crap?
(I mean I played it and REALLY liked it.. it seemed fine and great.. but WTF do I know?)

3. What should I be looking for in terms of "problems"? Do I have to make sure of anything? (they sounded fine.. but the rusted screws ... looked cool.. but it made me think some of the metal might go downhill.)

4. If I want to, can I get the thing sanded and polished.. not good as new.. but less dirty looking?

5. Does anyone know anything about Levitch?

6. Am I crazy questioning this?! After all $500 for an all solid custom hand made guitar.. What could be wrong with that? Could it POSSIBLY be worse than just buying a $500 new?
(I'm sure the answer is yes.. but how?)

So I guess my biggest question.. in GENERAL,.. are all problems with guitars fixable?

Thanks guys! (then I saw a used Martin DCME that I'm going to make a thread about.. that one had a scary crack dead center of the top.. I'm going to as you guys if it's an issue.)

Thank you guys!








#2
1. Nope. used is good.

2. Electronics and hardware, yes. They can almost always be fixed. But wood might be a different thing. Depending on the damage and the area, it might be really hard to fix. And if the electronics are dinged and rusty, I wouldn't depend on it holding up for long.

3. See if it holds tune. Make sure that every piece of the electronics work, all pups, all pots, everything. Make sure the neck is not bent or twisted. Check if the frets are worn out.

4. Why not. Just don't sand the finish off. Cleaning is ok if not straightforward beneficial.

5. First time I've heard of it.

6. Remember that if it's used, there is no difference in custom and handmade. The custom part doesn't benefit you, since it isn't designed by you. And humans make mistakes too, even high end boutique brands sometimes build a crap instrument.

The electronics are fixable, sure. If there are twists or cracks in the wood, that's more problematic. If you like the way it feels, it should be ok. I recommend researching the brand a bit more though.
#3
In general I’m a fan of used gear. And if you can score an otherwise great guitar because some hardware needs a little cleanup that’s doubly good. But in your case I’d lean against this purchase. You don’t have much experience playing or working on guitars, so it would be very easy for you to buy a guitar that has problems you can’t fix or that can’t be fixed. If you must buy this guitar, have it reviewed by someone more experienced than you. If you can’t find someone, just hold out for something else.

As for Levitch, a Google search turns up all kinds of stuff, including what might be the luthier’s Facebook account.
#4
5) I don't know them, but they seem to be priced as is typical for obscure luthier guitars on eBay & Reverb (the links below are probably listings for just one guitar):
https://reverb.com/item/248943-richard-levitch-handmade-guitar-apprentice-to-sam-koontz-extremely-rare-1989
www.ebay.com/itm/RICHARD-LEVITCH-HANDMADE-GUITAR-Apprentice-to-SAM-KOONTZ-EXTREMELY-RARE-1989-/141541606970?

6) as guitar/bass95 correctly states, anyone can make a lemon, and a messed up high-end guitar is still a messed up guitar. However, every once in a while, you catch a deal. Much like the deal you're considering, I just paid $480 for a luthier guitar that originally sold new for a discounted price of $1500 (usually $2500) in 2011, and which sells for @$3500 new today. It has signs of wear- the worst being a dent in the neck I might have repaired- but if the craftsmanship is typical of that luthier, I damn near stole that axe.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Feb 1, 2015,