#1
Hi everybody, new adult player here... for now learning on a cheap acoustic ("Johnson", I believe it was about 75$ around 5 years ago). I've been playing for a few weeks consistantly now, and at some point in the relatively near future I'd like to get an electric setup.

I read a ton of stuff on this site as far as what guitar to buy, etc. I'm still not sold on anything in particular. I imagine that anything will be a huge difference compared to what I'm playing on now. I hear people talk about "you barely have to press on the strings"... playing barre chords, especially moving barre chords on my current setup cause the muscle between my thumb and pointer finger to bulge like its going to pop. I see the stuff about being able to fit a credit card between the strings and the neck... I can probably fit my whole wallet in there haha.

Anyway, I'm probably looking at a budget around 200 - 250$ for a guitar (rest of the budget will go to amp / accessories which I won't get into here). After looking around, it seems that my best bet at that price point may be to go for something used. I'm really more concerned about getting the best tool I can afford, as opposed to something new and shiny. I was just wondering about things to watch out for on the used market. It seems there are some pretty good deals to be had on Ebay and elsewhere, but in some descriptions I read things like "some fret wear". I would have assumed that frets would last... well... almost forever. Besides obvious stuff like cracks, dents, missing knobs, etc. is there anything non obvious such as fret wear that I should be looking for? Is going used even the right choice here or am I completely off base?

Thanks a lot guys
#2
broken pickups, tuners, crappy action, bad intonation, warped neck. if your new to this, id bring along a friend who isnt.
Quote by monkeysintheday
I have trained a live tarantula to calm and sit on my guitar due to the awesome powers of my rocking. When I am not playing it angrily bounces about my room hitting everything that isn't me.



Quote by stef123

rageagainst64 you are a legend!
#3
faulty electrical cords, any shorts in anything, replaced springs in the back. personally i wouldnt buy a used guitar unless i could actually PLAY on it before buying (im referring to buying guitars off of eBay, you never get a chance to play them in person)
#4
one important thing that can happen especially to certain used guitars is that at the neck joint (where the neck meets the body) cracks can form which is not good because eventually the neck could basically just snap off from the body. This is caused by poor neck to body design. And stuff that people mod themselves always has the potential to not be optimal. You never know how much experience a person has in repair/mod work and they could end up selling you a guitar that has an expiration date on it basically.
SchecterC-1+\m/
Moded Jackson Js1
Moded Squier Bullet
Ibanez V series acoustic
Crate GX-140C\m/
Crate 4x12\m/
DigitechRP250Multi-effect
Boss Super Overdrive\m/
Boss Noise Supressor\m/
JimDunlupXtraHeavyPicks\m/
\m/=my live setup
#5
Well if the action (the space between the fret and the strings) is the main problem you probably only need to lower the bridge or the nut. I'm not expecting you to know how to do this and with out seeing the specific guitar I couldn't tell you how. Take it to your local music shop and have them lower the action for you. Some people there might snicker about your cheap guitar, but at least you aren't coughing up $200 for something unknown. If you are a beginner the tone doesn't matter much, the playability is the main thing.
Stop whining and learn your theory!

Quote by oddhawk676
Yeah, some black guy with a yankees cap walks into the ice cream parlor, and I said "We dont serve your kind here," as in, yankee fans, i guess he thought something else and left.
#7
Wow thanks for the replies guys. Maybe I'm better off buying a cheaper new guitar, after all... as I am certainly new to what to look for and it sounds like there is way more stuff that could go wrong than I was expecting.

I'm definitely a feature-creep type of shopper... once I see the "good" stuff, I don't want the "entry" stuff anymore. Maybe this just isn't the project to do that with...

Thanks again!
#8
My two suggestions for cheap new electrics are the Epiphone Les paul Jr. Just tighten everything out of the box and change the strings, hell they are only about $99 bucks and they play pretty good. I actually have one and prefer it to my more expensive Washburn. The other one is the Dean Vandetta it's around $119 and it's pretty decent! That is my back up guitar to my Epi and I love it as well. Same goes for it tighten all the screws and nuts down and change strings. Both mine were set up pretty good from the factory. I always order online but I vivsit my local Guitar shops first and play them to get an idea. Good luck.

ps I say order online because if you buy in store, chances are they are ragged out and played to death, or ask if they have one still in the box
Quote by dubstar92
A few years a ago, I played with it alot and got my time down to 42 secs. Right now, I'm probably around a 55 sec average.
Last edited by geeve420 at Aug 27, 2008,
#9
Blemished guitars are better then used. They cost about the same but with a small, usually cosmetic imperfection.
#10
Quote by Ze_Metal
Blemished guitars are better then used. They cost about the same but with a small, usually cosmetic imperfection.



Good point and you can get an additional amount off for blemished. I know Musicians friend offers an additional 12% off for these instruments.
Quote by dubstar92
A few years a ago, I played with it alot and got my time down to 42 secs. Right now, I'm probably around a 55 sec average.
#11
Purchased "cheap n' new" myself, for pretty much the reasons mentioned by the others on here. As a complete newbie, I wasn't confident in being able to spot potential problems, so decided that with a new (albeit very naff) guitar I'd at least be able to take it back to the shop if it turned out to be fundamentally screwed.
Oh, now I've gone and spilled my tea. This really won't do at all.
#12
Cool... I'm glad I posted this. Maybe I'll pick up a new epi LP special II or one of the entry level Ibanez guitars... something along those lines. I'll check out the "dinged" specials too. I like lots of type of music, but it sounds like no matter what I get I shouldn't be TOO limited by choice of guitar.
#13
I bought mine used as well (just this week). Try craigslist.com
Find something local so you can try it before you buy it.
Yamaha Pacificas and Squier Strats are both great, cheap, beginner guitars.
#14
Quote by NICK.IS.SICK
... Squier Strats are both great, cheap, beginner guitars.


-1000
Squires are rarely even tolerable. They are way too often made crappily and won't last very long. To get a decent one you have to fork over several hundred dollars, and at that point almost any other option would be better.

EDIT: Also posted by an Aug '08er. No offense but they usually aren't the best to take advice from.
Stop whining and learn your theory!

Quote by oddhawk676
Yeah, some black guy with a yankees cap walks into the ice cream parlor, and I said "We dont serve your kind here," as in, yankee fans, i guess he thought something else and left.
Last edited by PekarGuitar at Sep 4, 2008,
#15
I disagree. I had a Squier affinity fat strat as my first electric. It played great and the bridge humbucker wasn't bad at all. Well worth $149.
#16
This seems to be the issue with choosing an "entry" guitar. It seems that people have had bad experiences with quality on all the major brands, while others have had good ones. I read reviews and do research to narrow things down and all of a sudden I'm looking at 500$ guitars.

I guess I'm hoping that whatever I wind up choosing will be so much better than what I'm used to that I'll be really happy with it (ignorance is bliss, I guess). If it breaks, or if its broken I guess I can send it back.
#17
Oh, and also, I'm not really interested in having a whammy bar. It would be one thing if it was just there for me to use someday, but if its going to cause the guitar to go out of tune all the time its just going to piss me off. This seems to be another issue I'm finding with entry level stuff.
#18
If you want something thats... shall we say... not hugely dissimular to your acoustic, but obviously an electric... how about a new Epiphone Dot Studio? I Myself was planning on getting one a few months back

http://epiphone.com/default.asp?ProductID=228&CollectionID=1

Click On Archtop the select Dot Studio.

Its based on the original 335 guitars... but the studio is less "Showy" and has less controls... therefor making it cheaper.

Hope this helps
Quote by LiBam
...depends ... I sound sh*t nd i'm James Hetfield!


- This is why we Love Ultimate Guitar
#19
The best advice is to play the guitar you're interested in before buying it, new or used.
#20
Thanks for all the feedback guys. Got me looking harder at new guitars, and decided on the Dean Vendetta 1 / vypyr 30. I'm sure it will be great for me to learn on provided nothing completely falls apart.

MO is one of 3 states in the country that sales tax gets tacked on by musiciansfriend.com. Oh well.

Thanks again to everybody
#21
Quote by Oppenheimer
Thanks for all the feedback guys. Got me looking harder at new guitars, and decided on the Dean Vendetta 1 / vypyr 30. I'm sure it will be great for me to learn on provided nothing completely falls apart.

MO is one of 3 states in the country that sales tax gets tacked on by musiciansfriend.com. Oh well.

Thanks again to everybody



Dean Vendettas are decent. But is that an amp the vypyr? Never heard of it. You should get a roland microcube.
#24
I have tried neither the guitar nor the amp, actually. I know its not optimal, and that going on the opinions of others is somewhat risky. The way I'm approaching it is that for 500$ I get to see if I'm really interested in learning or not. I just ordered the stuff last night, so it'll probably be a while until it arrives.
#26
I have been playing for quite awhile and I have to say that the vandetta is a good playing guitar. Just be sure to tighten evrything down right out of the box, also stretch the strings and tune in. The strings that come on it are d' adario and are a bit slinky for my taste but not bad. Let us know how you like it.
Quote by dubstar92
A few years a ago, I played with it alot and got my time down to 42 secs. Right now, I'm probably around a 55 sec average.
#27
I'll come back and give an impression when I get it, though my experience is limited. I'll also make sure to check all screws, thanks for the heads up there... I would not have thought to do that. I have no experience with different string types, etc (trumpet player, heh) so I'll probably play a bit with the stock ones and see which way I want to go with replacements. Shopping for the Vendetta was a bit of a pain, due to there being like 5 different versions ranging from 100$ to very expensive. I think some reviewers may have been mixed up about what they were writing about.

I looked at adjusting the bridge on my current guitar... if it can be adjusted, its beyond me how. Its just a solid piece of plastic stuck into a wood strip that appears to be glued to the guitar body. The nut is just a piece of plastic embedded in the neck.... what I'm getting at is I'm probably going to find the new guitar pretty playable =)
#28
Quote by 666-JoE-666
If you want something thats... shall we say... not hugely dissimular to your acoustic, but obviously an electric... how about a new Epiphone Dot Studio? I Myself was planning on getting one a few months back

http://epiphone.com/default.asp?ProductID=228&CollectionID=1

Click On Archtop the select Dot Studio.

Its based on the original 335 guitars... but the studio is less "Showy" and has less controls... therefor making it cheaper.

Hope this helps

yup, i have one
great guitar
plays and sounds like a guiitar thats cost twice as much
GUITAR: Gibson Les Paul Special
AMP:Fender Vibro Champ XD
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
USMC
#29
Ok, my stuff all arrived yesterday, I got to play around with it for about an hour last night. Here's my initial impression. Keep in mind that I've got nothing to compare it to, so I wouldn't really call this a "review".

The guitar (Dean Vendetta 1) seems much nicer than I expected. Again, this is my untrained eyes, but if there wasn't a sticker on the back of the neck that said "made in China", I would not have guessed it. Then again, I also own a trumpet that was made in China (something I DO know a bit about, played a bach strad but that belongs to my father, and I can't afford to drop that kind of cash on a horn to mess around with), and I was shocked at how well it plays. Its no Bach, but its not far off and for about a third the price. One of the screws holding the neck was a bit loose out of the box, so it was a good suggestion to check everything.

The amp (peavey vypyr 30) is honestly a bit overwhelming. Not in the way that its hard to use, just in that its got so much STUFF. I think there are 11 different amp models, each with a low / high gain setting, and on top of that there are 11 effects you can apply. Once you get all THAT set, it has bass / mid / treble / pre and post gain settings. Then the guitar has the three-position pickup selector and tone knob. Needless to say, this setup can make a lot of different noises. There is also a tuner built in, which may seem silly to an experienced player but I thought it was pretty cool.

Anyway, thats my initial report. For now, I probably won't be changing much. I think the action on the guitar could probably come down just a touch, but its not bad where it is. Its certainly a ton easier than what I was playing on before. I can play the A shape barre using my ring finger across the 3-4-5 strings pretty easily, where it was a real bear on the acoustic (usually lots of buzzing). I could be way off, but I would think that if I spent much more on a guitar at this point, it would have been wasted money.

I'm looking forward to digging into the theory part of the guitar. My music background is all from the trumpet perspective... looking at music from the guitar vantage point is really interesting. I wouldn't say that I'm "learning" new stuff about music, but I would say that I'm understanding it better than I did. I could never improvise for crap on the trumpet, I kind of wish I had been exposed more to this (or maybe the piano?) because things are starting to click in my brain a little bit. Maybe it just wasnt interesting to me at the time...
#30
Thats great that you really like the new guitar, and I think you will find it is much easier on the fingers than the acoustic was.

Also I would agree with your statement that spending much more at this point might be a waste. I think you were smart to keep the cost relatively low right off the bat, and then once you have a better feel for playing the electric, you will have a better idea what you want from a guitar, and can buy one that really suits your style.

Good luck with the new axe! glad it was even better than you hoped.
#31
I know it brings the thread to the top again and nobody probably gives a **** anymore but thanks again everybody. I have a decent music background but the amount of information I've been able to gather on this site in a relatively short amount of time is pretty impressive and I really appreciate that. The web is a great place to get crap information, and all things considered I think I did okay.

Playing standing up is quite different. I feel like a jackass with the strap so short all jacked up into my chest (maybe exaggerating a bit) but thats where it feels best for now. I guess looking cool comes later.