Hi all,
So I'll be buying my first guitar but I'm only willing to spend $75 on a second-hand acoustic guitar right now. I looked online for sellers in my area and the choices came down to these two. I'll be meeting up with one of them this saturday, my friend along with me, he'll be doing most of the checking.

So should I get the Squier SA 100 or the Yamaha FG300A? Both are second-hand. I'm just worried about the Yamaha though, because the seller told me he unstrung all the strings yesterday to clean it. And I may not be able to replace the strings right away when I meet up with him this saturday, so the guitar will be fully unstrung for about a week and a half. Not to mention I won't be able to try playing it when we're making the deal.

Anyways, what do you guys think? I'll most likely buy a new and more expensive guitar 6 months or maybe a year from now, but right now it comes down to either of these two. Cheers!
You can get a Squier SA100 from Guitarcenter, used, in excellent condition for $59.99. Yamaha is definitely a notch or two higher than Squier, imo. On the other hand, the QC of low end guitars has improved a lot over the last decade or so. The Squier might actually be better than an old Yamaha from maybe 15-20 years ago.

Don't buy a guitar unless the guy strings it first. And if he wants you to buy it he should put new strings on it, not the same crappy old strings (which, since we're talking about a pawn shop, is what he'd do to save a few bucks). I'd suggest that AFTER he restrings it that you play both guitars. Well, seeing as how you don't know how to play yet just strum the strings a few times, listen for any weird knocking sounds (indicative of loose bracing), fret buzz (VERY common on low end old guitars), and other things. Check the tuners and make sure they actually work (they turn easily, but not too loose or sloppy). Look to make sure the neck is straight and there is no warping in the body of the instrument. Look down the fretboard to make sure the neck isn't twisted (frets should look even, like railroad tracks). Low end pawnshop guitars.....you have to be very careful. I've bought two and they were both disasters (before I learned much about guitars).

Please do yourself a favor and buy a better guitar. One of the instruments you are looking at could be perfectly fine...but considering the pricepoint it's a bit of a crap shoot, especially for an old used model. You can remove most of that worry about a lemon by moving up just a hair in price. It's also so much easier to learn on a player friendly instrument. When I think of all the frustration from my earliest instruments, which were all trash, I realize that by going cheap on instruments that I was hampering my progress as a player a great deal. You really don't have to spend a lot of money for a good instrument. If you spend another $75 you are looking at a used Seagull S6 or Taylor BigBaby, and those are so much easier on your fingers. Plus if you find playing guitar isn't your thing you can sell that instrument probably for the same you paid for it. Good luck selling a used Squier for $75 (when you can get them from GC for $59.99) or an old laminated top Yamaha. I bet there are over a million Yamaha guitars, all with high action, languishing in the pawn shops of America.
Last edited by TobusRex at Aug 14, 2016,