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New to guitars...should I buy used?

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I have been researching guitars for the past few days. At first I was set between the Seagull C6 / Entourage Rustic for the smaller width or the Yamaha FG730S. My budget is anything below $400.

I went to my local GC to just browse but they were so busy I didn't get any help at all. I then started searching my local craigslist and found some decent prices on barely used acoustic guitars. Would you even suggest a beginner to consider purchasing used?

Here are what I was looking at:

1.) Yamaha FG730S with road runner soft case - $225 firm..but I can probably talk down to $215 or so..practically brand new - seller sounds cute too. =D

2.) Seagull Maritime SWS Hog - $380 but negotiable - Seller says it's in excellent condition and it looks mint in the pictures.

3.) Epiphone Masterbilt AJ500MNA with hardshell case, stand, and korg tuner - $400 negotiable. Barely played and looks mint in the pictures.

I have not held either one in my hands nor do I know how to play them yet. I think I will mostly play finger picking songs...but who knows. I don't have considerably large or small hands either; ~8" span from thumb to middle finger tip.

I also love, love the looks of the Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE in the Vintage Burst color. I think the cutaway looks neat and gives the guitar character. But I doubt I will ever plug it in so it would be a waste.

I live in Houston so it is normally fairly humid here as well.

Any tips you can give to me to narrow the decision easier?

Many thanks,

Anthony

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Anthony,

I would recommend you not buy a guitar sight unseen. Buying a guitar is kind of a personal thing; however, I would recommend you take someone with you who does know how to play. This will give you an impartial view as to the playability of the guitar, etc. Good luck with your purchase.

Mike

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Anthony,

I would recommend you not buy a guitar sight unseen. Buying a guitar is kind of a personal thing; however, I would recommend you take someone with you who does know how to play. This will give you an impartial view as to the playability of the guitar, etc. Good luck with your purchase.

Mike

Thanks Mike. Sadly I don't know anybody that can play. =/

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You can get a good new guitars in your budget.You can upgrade later when your playing improves.

As for the 3 used guitars you are interested I would be tempted to check out the Yamaha for 3 reasons.

1) As you say the owner sounds cute.

2) I already own a yamaha accoustic ( a much cheaper F310) and i am more than happy with the quality of Yamaha.

3) It is a lot cheaper than the other 2.

Having someone with you that knows a bit about guitars and can play it is very important but as you dont have that option maybe some of us on here can give you advice on what to check for.

I am know expert but i would personaly check for wear on the frets and check the nut and bridge havnt got any damage.Closely inspect all along the neck and headstock for cracks or signs of repair.Get the owner to demonstrate the guitar for you so you can here how it sounds.

Good luck with your search.

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G'day Anthony, Welcome to our community.

As Mset3 has said, this is a personal move, so don't forget the person, YOU. If you ever intend to make good music, you must have a guitar which suits you. I appreciate that you don't have a lot of experience to draw on, but it won't take you long when you start to handle guitars, to realize that the necks are different shapes. Some are flatish, some quite rounded, and of course many are somewhere in between. Which one will you find most comfortable? Only you can answer that and only after you've been learning for a bit.

Guitar bodies come in a range of sizes, some very large and others much smaller. They are also different thicknesses. Selecting the right size has nothing to do with gender, but it has everything to do with comfort. You have to go for the one you find easiest to hold. (Please, no-one argue the case for the Korean kids on You Tube, They don't look comfortable in anyone's eyes, and probably have special reasons for playing those huge instruments.) Again, experience is going to be your best ally.

There's also weight, string type and a whole host of individual factors that make each of us lean towards a particular instrument.

My recommendation is to start with something relatively inexpensive, play it for a while and see how you like it. Then when you go back to GC you'll be able to feel the differences in the guitars on offer. If you can't feel any differences, then you're not ready to spend the bigger bucks on a "better" instrument.

Is sound a consideration? At this stage I'd say no. At least, not as important as feel.

Is new better than used? No. But new is always better than abused!

If you can find a used, cared for, solid feel guitar for just a modest outlay, you'll be able to learn to play just as well as if you had a brand new Martin. Then you can start saving for when you find one which feels so much better and knows a few songs.

Keep in touch.

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If you're going to buy used it would be better to see it first, even if you don't know anyone that plays you can get the seller to play it for you and maybe show you how to tune up, you can still have a strum and a pick of it even if you can't play and you also get a feel for the guitar, always worth picking up a guitar before you buy it be it new or used as it's the only way to find out if it feels comfortable, doubt if there's anything worse than buying a guitar online then finding out you hate it when it arrives. those models have pretty good reviews I have an FG312 which is getting on a bit now but it's a nice guitar, Yamahas are reliable,wouldn't mind having a Seagull either. As for GC have another go there, hunt down an assistant, they're paid to help you and paid to sell guitars but there's nothing wrong with a beginner buying used you just have to make sure you like the guitar and it is in good condition :)

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