#1
Hi,

It all began about 5-6 years ago when I first really wanted to learn how to play the guitar. I went to a local guitar store, which, according to my research, was a really terrible mistake because it's known for selling fake guitars and ripping people off. (I'm talking about the intercontinental music store that is located in Ottawa).

I was 14-15 years old back then. Being the naive person I was, I fell pray to the store's perpetual 50% discount on everything. I bought a guitar there (the brand is called Baron, which is fake) and started playing with it. But then, I quickly started to lose interest because of how hard it was to play.

I had to press my finger on the strings until it nearly bled to get a clear sound and I hated that. Now that I look at the action, it's about 3mm on the first fret and 5-6mm on the 12th fret. Is that considered normal or way too high?

I feel like learning guitar again, so I could get it fixed at a store, but I figured I could buy a decent guitar instead
#2
You check an action on the 3 plastic strings and 3 bass strings, on the first fret (if I'm not mistaken), cause it's not the same for both.
Anyway, it doesn't sound too bad, and at the begging it should hurt, as your fingers are still... "soft". It will pass with time. However, if you think you have a bad guitar, just take it to a friend or someone you know who's playing guitar and let him try it out, and if he thinks it's ok, it's probably fine.

At the begigng it'll be tough, you gotta hang in there, assuming you play 1-2 hours a day, you should see improvement after a few months. Even after 1.5 years of playing I remember having my fingers hurt like hell after playing too much or trying hard tunes.

good luck
#3
okyok: Sounds like you got bit by a bad axe, for sure. I checked out the Intercontinental Music Store of Ottawa. Looking at that selection of guitars and the prices I can't help but think....something funny is going on there. Intex and Baron are the primary brands they sell there, and for high prices ($699 and up). For that price you can get a really good instrument. You can get a Taylor 110e brand new for $649. Intex and Baron? Who the hell are they? I'm sure there are some good brands I've never heard of from small luthiers, but never heard of those brands.

My advice...if you want to keep the guitar pay for a professional setup. If you hate it, and I can understand why after your bloody efforts on it the first time, I'd get another guitar. Taylor makes guitars with generally great action and highly playable necks. They are fantastic to learn on. Avoid the Baby Taylor....they are decent for what they are, but you want at least a BigBaby. You can find them on Craigslist used for $200 all the time, and they are great guitars. You can get them new including a nice Taylor gig bag for about $419.

Also you could go the nylon string route. The problem with that is you'll still need to build up callouses when you switch to steel strings. On the other hand the wider fingerboard is generally more difficult for beginners, I think (but probably good practice). Some great players never play steel string guitars. Where's the fun in that, I ask you?

Oh yeah I almost forgot...you can buy thin leather gloves to use for fretting practice if your fingers get too sore.
Last edited by TobusRex at Jul 11, 2016,
#4
Quote by okyok
Hi,

It all began about 5-6 years ago when I first really wanted to learn how to play the guitar. I went to a local guitar store, which, according to my research, was a really terrible mistake because it's known for selling fake guitars and ripping people off. (I'm talking about the intercontinental music store that is located in Ottawa).

I was 14-15 years old back then. Being the naive person I was, I fell pray to the store's perpetual 50% discount on everything. I bought a guitar there (the brand is called Baron, which is fake) and started playing with it. But then, I quickly started to lose interest because of how hard it was to play.
"Fake" would indicate a same name copy of an expensive or widely sold instrument. The term you're looking for is, "store brand", which is something made by an OEM, (original equipment manufacturer), for any given store or chain of stores. "OEM's" sometimes sell their own named brand as well, The "Cort" line being one of them.

Quote by okyok
I had to press my finger on the strings until it nearly bled to get a clear sound and I hated that.
Well, a 15 year old's fingers are usually pretty tender but STILL....... Even with a perfectly setup instrument, (and the one you have surely isn't it), you will take time to build up the callouses necessary to successfully play a steel string.

Quote by okyok
Now that I look at the action, it's about 3mm on the first fret and 5-6mm on the 12th fret. Is that considered normal or way too high?
Those measurements are actually bordering on double what they should be! So, your guitar is carrying the "no pain, no gain" thing, way too far.

Quote by okyok
I feel like learning guitar again, so I could get it fixed at a store, but I figured I could buy a decent guitar instead
OTOH, if you have enough diagnostic savvy, and some mechanical skills, you could evaluate it, and try to get it where it needs to be, for free, all by yourself.

Of course, being able to "setup" the guitar you have is going to depend on the neck angle, and how much "saddle" is showing above "the bridge". Still, even if you can't get it prefect, in most cases, you should be able to get it better than it is.

Since you've already written the instrument off, why not take a shot at fixing it?

Here's one of the best setup guides I've seen on the web for acoustic guitar: http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/guitars_and_setup/setup_page_01.html

Read through the whole guide a couple of times, or until you're certain what the terms are, and what the measurement should be, then get back to us if you have any more questions.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 11, 2016,
#5
Hey Cranky, have you heard of either of those weird brand names? Intex? Baron?
#6
TobusRex No, of course not. They're OEM brands, apparently made for a store, (chain of stores ?), in Canada.

They might be, Cort, Samick, possibly Crafter, et al.

The whole principle is to discourage competitive shopping on any given product. Store "B" can't sell you a "Baron" cheaper than store "A", since it can't get it. Store "B" might have the "Princeps" brand, which store "A" has no intention of stocking.

Thus you can no longer compete on price, you have to resort to dirtier sales tactics like, "don't buy your guitar from them, that store owner's sister has fleas. Or something like that.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 11, 2016,
#7
Quote by Captaincranky
TobusRex No, of course not. They're OEM brands, apparently made for a store, (chain of stores ?), in Canada.

They might be, Cort, Samick, possibly Crafter, et al.

The whole principle is to discourage competitive shopping on any given product. Store "B" can't sell you a "Baron" cheaper than store "A", since it can't get it. Store "B" might have the "Princeps" brand, which store "A" has no intention of stocking.

Thus you can no longer compete on price, you have to resort to dirtier sales tactics like, "don't buy your guitar from them, that store owner's sister has fleas. Or something like that.


Makes sense. In that case, those guitars being OEM brands, they look awfully overpriced. Pretty sad since some good guitars are made in Canada for less money than those OEM models.
#8
CC, I thought of importer brand rather than fake, but there is a luthier named "Baron" in Canada, so I dunno. I would still go with importer brand, but you never know.

From the measuremnt you give, it might not be possible to set it up decently - bad neck angle - but it wouldn't harm to have a tech look at it.
#9
Quote by Tony Done
CC, I thought of importer brand rather than fake, but there is a luthier named "Baron" in Canada, so I dunno. I would still go with importer brand, but you never know.
On one hand, unless Mr Baron has a sweat shop and factory stashed at the foothills of the Rockies, it doesn't seem like the guitar in question would be priced in a range a beginner might commit to. Although, I suppose it does remain to be seem how much the pop was on the "Baron" in question. Another possibility is Mr. Baron builds high end guitars, and acts as an intermediary for an Asian supplier. Or......Godin 2nds anyone?


okyok
Quote by Tony Done
From the measurement you give, it might not be possible to set it up decently - bad neck angle - but it wouldn't harm to have a tech look at it.
^Fixed.

With that said, anything which doesn't result in a string angle which actually descends from the nut to the bridge, should be usable in the short term
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 11, 2016,
#10
Here's some results I obtained from a quick search, "Baron guitars Canada".

https://www.guitarscanada.com/index.php?threads/tcm-guitars.35442/

http://www.guitaresbaron.com/en/

https://www.reddit.com/r/Guitar/comments/3odrda/baron_guitars_a_waste_of_money_no_matter_how_cheap/

OK, I should have quit while I was ahead, but here's "IntercontinentalMusic.Ltd's page on acoustic guitars: http://www.intercontinentalmusic.ca/products/acoustic-guitars?pagesize=40 showing a plenteous quantity of dinero (*) needs to change hands hands before you can get your hands on one of these stinkers. The necks are listed as "Canadian maple". Although I doubt export of maple is limited by "CITES", it might be shipped to Asia and then back, or the gitars could be imported as sub assemblies, then put together in "Oh, Canada".

http://www.intercontinentalmusic.ca/product/baron-electric-guitar < AT $399,95 list, these aren't handmade in Canada. At least I seriously doubt it.

(*) "Dinero" that's the Canadian standard unit of money, isn't it?

EDIT: These clowns don't have anything but "Baron", "Intex", and "Guitar", listed for sale. So you can't walk into that hell hole and comparison shop any major brand!

MORE EDIT: This link: http://www.guitaresbaron.com/en/7-string-abyss-progress.html Shows a 7 string taking shape, pretty much in someone's basement. So, the enigma expands.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 11, 2016,
#11
You know folks, this thread has taken an ugly turn... It's as though someone blurted out, "What about Zager guitars"?