When shopping for a used electric guitar, there are several characteristics you should look for. You should first inspect the frets. Poorly cut fret make guitar playing difficult, even uncomfortable. Rough-cut frets also cause sore fingertips. You may even cut your fingers while playing. If the frets are inconsistently, one large, the next smaller, you know the guitar is not the quality you are looking for.
Other things to check for are flaws in the finish. Look for any scratches or dings. If you find any, you should ask a store associate for a discount or the possibility of a free repair. Though most scratches, in the finish, are superficial, they can take away from the value. More significant cracks and dents can cause problems with the tone. Even if the guitar is inexpensive, you might want to avoid it.
If you are buying a vintage electric guitar, you may want to investigate further by using a bright light to check for inconsistent paint. When two colours, on the body, appear to meet, it’s a sure sign of repairs or repainting. It is important to check this with vintage guitars because repairs and amateur restorations seriously devalue the instrument.
When checking the finish, of a guitar, you should also look for runs. Although this problem may be fixed, it is usually time-consuming and expensive. Runs are exactly what you think like: drips in the paint caused by a runny paint mixture or not enough hardener.
If you spot runs, look for other problems, too. Having runs in the paint can mean the guitar was a quick or sloppy manufacture.
When shopping for a used guitar, it's possible the previous owner refinished it and did a poor job. Though this problem likely won't have an effect on the sound of the guitar, it is possible more serious problems exist and the resale value won't be as high as a similar guitar with a perfect finish.
Is the guitar a refurbish? Often, stores will take guitars with serious defects and make repairs. The store will resell such instruments at full price, with no disclosure of previous problems, so be careful.
Buying a refurbished electric guitar is the same as buying a damaged car. There may be problems that didn’t show up or went noticed during the repair period. A minor repair isn’t a seriously problem; avoid a guitar that was completely broken.
When you are in the store, browsing, you should always test the output. The output jack is a major component in an electric guitar, and it tends to be one of the first things to start failing after heavy use. The problem is that jacks don't usually break outright, but slowly show signs of connection problems.
Plug a guitar into an amp and play a few chords. When you plug in and strum, listen for crackling or humming sounds. Listen for these sounds when you stop playing, too.
Such sounds can indicate problems somewhere in the connection. If you hear such noise, try another cord and amp. If all is fine, on the second cord and amp, then you know the jack is faulty.
As you are play, also check out the switches and knobs to ensure all work properly. You can fix a knob problem simply by changing to a new knob. If there is a problem using the knob, the issue may lie with the guitar itself.
Choosing an electric guitar can be difficult if you don't know what to look for. A poorly made guitar often affects your ability to play, your tone. It also affects the resale value of the guitar.
Jane Doe writes from the American South East.
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