Instruments: Used or New & Why.

Dana Rudd

Senior Stratmaster
Mar 7, 2020
1,372
Greybull, WY
Looks like my collection is about 50/50 at the present.

More expensive models I buy new. Others I'll compare used price in relation to new and then make my decision.
 

dvqc1

Strat-Talker
Sep 13, 2015
189
Missouri
In over 45 years of buying guitars (I've owned well over 500) I can count the number of new guitars I've purchased on my fingers and have a few left over. So I guess I have a ratio of 100 used to 1 new.

As to the why of it, If you go out and spend $2,000 on a new guitar the minute you walk out the door it is only worth maybe $1,200. I have bought, sold and traded guitars for decades and have found some real bargains. One example is I bought a Chapman that was autographed by the man himself at a pawn shop in Tacoma for $200. It was like new and had already been set up and it was just a beautiful guitar. Another reason is because I am very fond of MIJ guitars from the 70's-80's so I obviously can't buy one new. I have built guitars and I do a lot of repairs and set ups for others so if I do buy one that needs a little work I can do it myself easily and besides I always set up any guitar, new or used, to my own taste. Often times you can find a killer used guitar that has been upgraded so why buy new and spend a few hundred on better pickups when you can find a used guitar with fantastic pickups already installed. I can buy 2-3 great used guitars for the price of one new guitar generally.
 

StratUp

Most Honored Senior Member
Sep 5, 2020
8,044
Altered States
I like used. More punch per dollar. Or pound. "Punch per pound" flows much better, but I'm not in the UK. May have to move there just for the phrase.

But I don't advise used for newer players who might not know what they are buying and/or what to look for in terms of issues. I'm not even thinking slightly upscale i.e. "is that LP worth $1500 or $2500?", but for the "is that _whatever_ worth $200 or $400?" for the lower budget buy. Hard to know what something is worth when you're a newb... and most of them aren't members of groups like this. Heck, I'm fairly skilled at buying some small subsets of guitars manufactured - others, I don't have a clue. My only advantage is that I know that I don't have a clue.
 

rmackowsky

Strat-Talker
Mar 13, 2021
348
North Carolina
Growing up with no money, everything was used. Now that I've achieved a level of financial success, everything is new. I don't buy any product, including guitars, as an investment. Keep everything long term until it or I die.
 

dirocyn

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 20, 2018
6,777
Murfreesboro, TN
Lifetime, less than 10% were purchased new. Financial reasons, mostly.

A new MIM player costs $800. My used MIM (standard) cost me $300 plus a $50 pedal that I wasn't using--call it $350. There's nothing wrong with it except some buckle rash on the back, it's a very comfortable guitar. Plays great. So I saved $450. That's enough to buy another guitar.

Don't worry, I did.
 

circles

Resident Pinball Enthusiast
May 26, 2013
28,372
West Seattle
All new, so far.

No specific reason. When I go looking, I start with new and have so far found what I have wanted. Plus nothing wrong 'under the hood'. I my life, I've only bought 10 guitars, so saving a few bucks isn't that important to me. I don't have a big turnover, I still have the last 3.
 

WelhavenT

Senior Stratmaster
Sep 24, 2017
1,360
Norway
Mostly used. A few years ago, I could afford to sell and buy a lot of high-end guitars on the used market. Not anymore, some of them are selling for almost double the price these days. Maybe I should’ve kept some of them :p

Now I’m done buying and selling gear. Happy with what I’ve got.
 

Wrighty

Dr. Stratster
Mar 7, 2013
11,317
Harlow, Essex, UK
Always gone for new, same with watches, never want something that someone else has sold, possibly had to sell. Want it to have my history. One exception is a Squire Strat a friend found left in his garage by a friend who’d moved away five years before. Genuine relic. I offered to get it on the road again and, when I had, he said I could keep it. Knowing it’s story seemed to make it easier. It needed rescuing!
 
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Old Tone

Strat-Talk Member
Oct 8, 2019
17
Louisville, KY
What's your preference, if you have one. And why.

For me it's generally used - used encompasses vintage, and also good value recent.

My current ratio of used to new (as in bought new) is 2:1

Historically I think the ratio has swayed more toward used. Probably more like 8:1 in favour of used.

Every guitar I bought, was "NEW" to me!
 

DBDM

Strat-Talk Member
Used. I have never bought a new one. I cannot for the life of me figure out why I would want to pay higher prices for the same thing. (I do the same thing with cars). Difference in guitars vs cars is that 90% of new guitarists quit in the first year. There are millions (literally millions) of like new guitars sitting in cases under beds right now as we speak and many of those end up for sale. I like to buy those. I am not in any way put off by a scuff nor a pick scratch nor a guitar that simply needs a setup.

I see guys frequently posting, "I just got a brand new guitar and I have polished it 13 times and now there are swirl marks. Help?" Why would you polish a brand new guitar (without any good reason) and don't you expect there might be some pick marks and a slight amount of dirt and oil from handling it? If there are no pick marks or tiny dings on your guitar then you likely are not doing it right! Sell ME your brand new $5k Les Paul that you polished! They don't bother me. I would rather save the $$ and play the guitar! and use that saved money to buy more used guitars!

Tip for people new to this hobby--vastly most guitars (those made by good companies like Fender, Gibson, Martin) that people think are "dogs" simply need a good setup. Tip 2--know why pickups have screws made to raise and lower the pickups? Because pickup height makes a BIG difference in tones... truss rod? Bridge height? Timolol springs? Saddles? If you don't know how to adjust those things, find someone who does before deeming your $2k guitar a "lemon". or sell it to me and Ill take a small screwdriver, an allen wrench and some lemon oil (if Rosewood fretboard, never use that on maple) to your guitar and will likely be fairly thrilled with it! Tip 3--polish is abrasive and is made to scratch off a tiny little bit of your finish. Choose to use it wisely and infrequently!
 

Wound_Up

You can call me Duane 😁
Jan 23, 2020
4,674
NW LA
Right now I prefer new. Because the guitar I want can be bought new for less than pretty much every used Epiphone of equal specs.

Why pay $400 for a guitar that likely has issues when I can buy a brand new guitar with equal specs, made with equal quality, for half what any used Epiphone would cost? I'll be damned if I pay $400+ for a used Epiphone when I can buy an equally great guitar that's brand new for quite a bit less. And get a warranty plus a guitar that plays great right out of the box.

The only time I'll buy used is if it's cheap enough or I can play it first.
 

Wound_Up

You can call me Duane 😁
Jan 23, 2020
4,674
NW LA
Used. I have never bought a new one. I cannot for the life of me figure out why I would want to pay higher prices for the same thing. (I do the same thing with cars). Difference in guitars vs cars is that 90% of new guitarists quit in the first year. There are millions (literally millions) of like new guitars sitting in cases under beds right now as we speak and many of those end up for sale. I like to buy those. I am not in any way put off by a scuff nor a pick scratch nor a guitar that simply needs a setup.

I see guys frequently posting, "I just got a brand new guitar and I have polished it 13 times and now there are swirl marks. Help?" Why would you polish a brand new guitar (without any good reason) and don't you expect there might be some pick marks and a slight amount of dirt and oil from handling it? If there are no pick marks or tiny dings on your guitar then you likely are not doing it right! Sell ME your brand new $5k Les Paul that you polished! They don't bother me. I would rather save the $$ and play the guitar! and use that saved money to buy more used guitars!

Tip for people new to this hobby--vastly most guitars (those made by good companies like Fender, Gibson, Martin) that people think are "dogs" simply need a good setup. Tip 2--know why pickups have screws made to raise and lower the pickups? Because pickup height makes a BIG difference in tones... truss rod? Bridge height? Timolol springs? Saddles? If you don't know how to adjust those things, find someone who does before deeming your $2k guitar a "lemon". or sell it to me and Ill take a small screwdriver, an allen wrench and some lemon oil (if Rosewood fretboard, never use that on maple) to your guitar and will likely be fairly thrilled with it! Tip 3--polish is abrasive and is made to scratch off a tiny little bit of your finish. Choose to use it wisely and infrequently!

Polish is abrasive? Rubbing compound is abrasive. Polish is polish.
 

Blue Beagle

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 10, 2016
1,771
Liverpool, England
Probably bought as many new as I have used.

With new you get exactly what you want with no nasty surprises.

With used you get cheaper but also the risk of no warranty, undeclared damage (if buying online), fakes etc.

I’ve bought both new and used in the last couple of months and love them both lol.
 

dspellman

Senior Stratmaster
Mar 24, 2013
1,003
Los Angeles
What's your preference, if you have one. And why.

For me it's generally used - used encompasses vintage, and also good value recent.

My current ratio of used to new (as in bought new) is 2:1

Historically I think my ratio has swayed more toward used. Probably more like 8:1 in favour of used.

I buy a lot of used. I'd love to have picked up my '39 Epiphone Emperor new, but my time machine is broke-ass.

A lot of the guitars I own are old, or limited-editions, or too expensive for me when they were new, or I was just unaware of them or disinterested in them when they were new. I have a Carvin LS-175, an HSH superstrat in neck-through koa with a 25.5" scale. This scale was available just one year (in 1991) and because it was severely unpopular with Carvin customers at the time ("only 22 frets, not 24?!") there are few on the ground. But it's a superb guitar and cost me far less than it would have new in 1991.

I've also benefited from the skills of others and from depreciation I didn't have to pay for. Several of the guitars I've picked up used are not only far better set up than factory-new, but significantly cheaper.
 

DJGranite

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 12, 2012
1,319
Maine
Used.
Had 2 new guitars in 37 years.
My daughters mother got me a Kramer Focus 4000 in the 80s, and a Gibson LP Jr Tribute GC sold me last year for $475.

Every other I own or have owned has been used.
No way I could have what I do if I was buying new.
Plus I prefer older guitars.
 

train

Senior Stratmaster
Silver Member
Jan 22, 2015
1,068
Usa.
I’m a value sucker.. sweetwater offered me a schecter discountinued seven string for 500. Msrp. 1499.
Maybe someday I will learn to play it. That’s pretty much the story with everything I have ever acquired.
 


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