#1
OK, so if I'm going from my crap guitar from when I didn't know better (Squier!), and am going to go look at a used guitar at a good price off of a classified ad, how do I make sure I'm not getting screwed?

It's an Epi Les Paul Standard, and the price is very good compared to similar used ones on EBay - it's not my first choice color, but it's my second choice, so no biggie.

Comes with a hard-case, which is a plus, and the pictures look like it's in good shape... so what should I do when I get there? I can't play a ton yet, and I don't have a lot of tools or anything...

Help is appreciated, I'd love to get this guitar at the price I've haggled, but considering it wasn't too hard to haggle this deal, I want to make EXTRA sure that I'm not being taken.
#3
You have to look at a lot of things.. some of this may not apply to your guitar, but it may help others looking to buy used gear.

1. Play it to see if it feels comfortable.

2. Inspect the guitar for dents, scratches, cracks, etc:
This may not necessarily affect whether or not you buy the guitar, but it will help you decide how much you are willing to pay for it. Make sure you hold the guitar under a good light, and at different angles, that way you'll be able to see all the scratches.

3. Check the neck for twists and relief

Turn the guitar on its side and look down the neck with one eye and see if it the neck is straight. If not, you'll have to adjust the truss rod, which I don't really want to get into explaining right now- but I will some other time if you need help with it...

4. Check if the neck is aligned with the strings

This probably wouldn't be a reason to not buy the guitar, but it's just so you know what will need to be adjusted, which again might affect how much you're willing to pay.You don't want to have your low and high E strings sliding off the edge of the neck when you play.

5. Check the fret condition

This would be something that would affect whether or not you buy the guitar. Feel along the edges of the neck for sharp frets (if they are sharp, it will probably require professionl attention). Make sure the frets aren't loose, and make sure the fretboard is even.

6. Make sure the bridge and tailpiece are in good condition

Pretty straight forward, make sure there's no rust and stuff. Not a deciding factor, but again, may affect the price you're willing to pay. And also, remember that you can always replace the bridge if you need to.

7. Check the rest of the hardware

Make sure the tuners aren't loose and that they work, and make sure all the screws on the guitar are in good condition (you don't want them to be stripped or rusted). Also, make sure the truss rod works and is in good condition.

8. Check the electronics

Plug it in and make sure all the switches and knobs work, and listen for crackling and electrical shorts. Lightly tap the pickups in each position on the selector switch with any metal object to make sure they're working properly Also, wiggle the cable in the input jack to make sure the input jack isn't loose.

If you feel it necessary, open up the electrical compartments and check the wiring for dull solder joints, as well as dust, lint, dirt, hair, etc.


That should do it.. Let me know if you have any more questions.
Proud owner of a Gibby LP Custom and an all-original Vintage '62 Fender Jag

Quote by richwatkinson
Give 10 UGers a rope and ask them to pull. 4 will push, 1 will ask for buttsecks, 2 will tell you get an Ibanez and the last 3 will start complaining about Line6 Spiders.
#4
Thanks for the advice so far - in the 4 months I've been playing, I haven't once touched a truss rod, so I wouldn't know how to check if it's good, but checking the bridge, fretboard, edges, tuners, etc., all makes good sense.

I've attached the pics he sent me - let me know if anything seems off to you so far (it comes with the hard case).
Attachments:
WqdR6MvLG4IbPtsDnM5gezgPu4BE.jpg
YlV8Dm3MmzaXNKNHQbcIqC6008hW.jpg
#6
Yeah, that's my worry - I don't really know how to tell fake from real, and I was able to get the guy way down in price really easily (he's one-third below the going eBay price for the same guitar now) - I've got a little bit of "too good to be true" gut instinct, but maybe he just needs the cash and is dumping old gear for cheap (I've done that with home electronics, just to clear out junk in my house and not bother spending a lot of time haggling and whatnot).
#7
One thing in his list he didn't mention - if you see the neck is twisted, don't buy the guitar. Neck twists are usually unfixable unless the guitar has dual truss rods.
Hi, I'm Peter
#8
Looks like quite a bit of wear in the finish, but thats no reason not to buy it. that will just afect how much youre willing to pay for it. do you know what year it is?? maybe call epiphone with the serial number and theyll tell you if its authentic or not


oh and thanks for mentioning that Dirk Gently
Proud owner of a Gibby LP Custom and an all-original Vintage '62 Fender Jag

Quote by richwatkinson
Give 10 UGers a rope and ask them to pull. 4 will push, 1 will ask for buttsecks, 2 will tell you get an Ibanez and the last 3 will start complaining about Line6 Spiders.