Instruments: Used or New & Why.

Dik Ellis

Strat-Talker
Aug 24, 2021
304
Georgetown, TX
I have been fortunate to have gotten all but 2 of my guitars new. I get to break them in, my way. The 2 used were both SG's. One I wish I still had, the other I couldn't get rid of fast enough.
 

ryunker

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 18, 2014
2,124
Crystal Lake, Il
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.
I have purchased many in the past close to a decade, new is by far the way to go, yes I have a few used, but very few.

Last weekend I went to "music go round" in Kenosha as all of my gear is at the new home 600 miles away, there they had a wide variety, but beat to **** selection, median price around $750 for electrics. Mind you I had a budget of like $1,500 for a guitar - nothing there condition wise was acceptable in any form. Came back home, went to the local GC and found this amazing Schecter new for $250. Love new, and use to full extent factory warranties. WIN_20211015_19_11_55_Pro.jpg Yes another "for the love of bursts"
 

JB74

Senior Stratmaster
Mar 22, 2018
4,107
ɹǝpunuʍop
No preference for new or used, It depends on what I am looking for.

With synths dust is the enemy, so I usually make a pretty rapid exclusion for partially functional dusty gear, because a dusty synth means nothing but problems to follow.

Guitars - meh no players jam on the fretboard is absolutely mandatory. If your instrument is grubby, it says so are you... in which case, someone else will enjoy it and I'm not cleaning up your filth.

I purchase an instrument on individual merit.

Does not matter if used, just has to feel good and sound good. I also prefer well-looked after instruments and not the artificially 'enhanced' aged garbage that pollutes the online classified ads as 'pretenders' of authentic age.

Any dings dents or chips I intend to be responsible for, and I am never happy when it happens either.

The core values are important. playability, sound. condition.

It's absolutely personal preference. everyone is different.
 

StratMike10

Dr. Stratster
Silver Member
Apr 8, 2010
12,353
Florida
Never new. I like to tinker, so for me it’s a natural thing to spend way less money for a really nice used instrument, and set or modify it to my liking. A few scratches, honest wear, or tiny blemishes don’t bother me at all, so I’m happy to pocket the very large discount that comes with them. Almost every Strat I ever owned started its life as used parts. I never ever bought a new Gibson, the difference between MSRP and the cost of a gently used instrument can buy you groceries for a couple months.
 

Guitdog44

New Member!
Oct 17, 2017
7
Chicago
I've only purchased one new guitar in my life. A 1971 epiphone acoustic made in Japan. I still have it! Nice guitar. I'm not really an acoustic guy so it has a set of boomer 10s on it. Lol
I buy used guitars, renew them, and set them up the way I like them! There is something satisfying about fixer upper that turns out great!
Put the cost savings into something else that you like!
 

Scott Baxendale

Most Honored Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 20, 2020
5,552
Sante Fe, NM
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.

I’m pretty adamant about used guitars over new guitars.

For several reasons, first there are enough good used guitars in the world for every serious guitar player to have over a dozen. Secondly, global warming is real and serious and buying new guitars contributes to that much more than buying used guitars. New factories like Gibson and Fender make WAY WAY too many new guitars which is an environmental catastrophe. Thirdly, I’ve perfected a remanufacturing process that recycles the wood from old guitars into structural new guitars without using up any endangered woods or using chemical finishes made from environmentally bad solvents and plastics. It’s almost criminal, in my mind, for these big manufacturing companies to adopt this corporate mentality that says: “unless this quarter sales don’t beat last quarters by at least 10-20% then we are failing”. This is unsustainable over the long haul and really does a disservice to the guitar world. Fender could have easily stayed a small factory in California with 200 employees cranking out american made guitars and Gibson could have done the same in Kalamazoo but unfortunately for all of us they didn’t. On the other hand, Hofner has stayed small where a New German made Hofner bass is made exactly the same way they were in 1963 by the offspring of the builders back then, with non endangered woods harvested from sustainable forests.

I think boutique builders should continue to build new guitars but should focus on reclaimed materials for their instruments. I still build some new guitars but I only use endangered woods that I bought in the 1990’s or earlier or reclaimed woods. I still have some Brazilian rosewood I’ve had since the 1980’s and my Indian rosewood stash is over 50 years old.
 

CigBurn

Total Hack
Jun 22, 2014
16,337
Same Shed Different Day
Bought a couple new early on but never kept them.

My process was to see something I liked the looks of, then just build it. That way I get every bit of what I wanted from the guitar. The only thing that ever changes anymore are necks. But even there I'm about as happy now as I ever expect to get with how my guitars feel and sound.

So it's rare anymore that I see one and get gassy.
 

Guy Incognito

Senior Stratmaster
May 14, 2019
4,558
Here and now
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.
It's possible that the last new guitar I bought was in 2004. As a guitar addict I go through guitars frequently so buying new doesn't make financial sense. I also mod almost everything. None of the new guitars I've ever bought were just the way I want them from factory.

Even if I ordered something from the Custom Shop it would only be a matter of time till I either wanted to mod or sell it for something new.
 

nosmo

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
Dec 13, 2020
1,213
Amber
Well, I just last week put another used Squier on lay-away at GC. It has some "patina" and the strings are rusty and the neck is dirty but everything works, and it was $67, plays the same as the new ones. I'll spend a couple or three hours cleaning and setting it up and new strings, and spend what I saved for beer and sox.

I like resurrecting older stuff.

I once bought a brand-new 2007 Toyota Tacoma truck and it was the worst disappointment I have ever driven, traded it after 5 months and 6000 miles for a used GMC truck, which I love.
 

Boubou

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
Jan 6, 2009
3,938
Montreal
I once bought a brand-new 2007 Toyota Tacoma truck and it was the worst disappointment I have ever driven, traded it after 5 months and 6000 miles for a used GMC truck, which I love.
You got the wrong one, I bought a 2006 Tacoma, drove it for 13 years, in those 13 years I put as much in repairs as I would put in any of my previous cars in 1 year.
I do buy my guitars new though. Have nothing against used, the choice is limited around here, I don’t want to deal with people plus a strat goes from $300 to $2000 with the difference not being that clear, so I want to know what I am buying, I buy new.
 

nosmo

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
Dec 13, 2020
1,213
Amber
You got the wrong one, I bought a 2006 Tacoma, drove it for 13 years, in those 13 years I put as much in repairs as I would put in any of my previous cars in 1 year.
I do buy my guitars new though. Have nothing against used, the choice is limited around here, I don’t want to deal with people plus a strat goes from $300 to $2000 with the difference not being that clear, so I want to know what I am buying, I buy new.

You got that right! My previous Toyota truck was a 1990 4x4 X-cab, bought in 1994 with 23,000 miles, kept it until it hd 368,000. Best vehicle I ever had.
 

StratLover66

Strat-Talker
Aug 7, 2015
300
Boston
Almost exclusively used. The discount over new is just too much to ignore. I can fix just about anything on a guitar and setups are a breeze, so I never worry about any of that. So long as there are no major structural issues, I can usually save 30-60% over new prices and end up with a guitar that's pretty much as good, if not better, than new. The last new guitar I bought was horribly set up, so I don't find a lot of value there. Some of the used prices are insane, so it really adds so much more joy to the purchase. Getting a Sherwood Green '62 AVRI Strat for $599 makes the purchase a LOT more fun and interesting to me. (or a Fender Select Strat for $899, or a MiM Fender Classic 70s Strat for $274.99....the list goes on....).
 

LeicaBoss

Senior Stratmaster
Sep 4, 2015
1,417
New Jersey
I didn't know my take on this until looking at my lineup.

4 electrics:
  • '59 AVRI Strat. Bought in parts from Stratosphere and assembled
  • R8. Used
  • PRS Cu 24. Used
  • '66 Tele. 13 years older than I am. Used
3 acoustics... All new. I feel like with an acoustic I want to be the one to break it in. It makes no sense but that's where I land
 


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