How to tell difference from good and cheap guitar?

Theres this pawn shop that has some cool looking guitars, and sell them cheaply, but since its my first time picking up a guitar, I dont know how to tell if its a good guitar.
What I mean is how to tell if its good. Not just some cheap walmart guitar some one sold to them.

Chosen Answer:

OK, it depends if you’re talking about acoustic or electric. Both should be well polished and the strings should be new and tightly wound, not dirty. Check the machine heads on top of the guitar for rust and wear. Also, hold the guitar up to the light and check the fret board for wear and cracks. Turn it around and look at the back of the neck and check for cracks and make sure no nuts and bolts are stripped. Check the bridge at the bottom of the strings and make sure there’s no rust. If there are any chips or dings in the paint job ask for off the price. It’s ok if they don’t give it to you but it’s just a bonus. Finally, if everything looks good you can gauge by brand. For acoustic you’ll want an Ibanez (0 or so) or a Alvarez (No more than 5)., for an electric guitar also look for Ibanez (0). I list those brands because that’s what you most likely find in a pawn shop. If you run across any Fenders be weary. They’re not that great and are too expensive for the quality of guitar it is, that’s electric and acoustic. Try to stay away from Dean guitars and if you can find a Washburn electric or a Martin acoustic for under 0 it’s probably a good deal unless there’s a defect. Keep in mind that if you do go with electric you’ll need an amp., Line 6 makes the best you can buy. Amps are more about sound so if you play through one that you like you’ll know it. Amps (0 and up, and up, and up) Hope this helps., Rock on man and don’t get screwed on getting a new guitar. Picking your first is VERY important because if you choose wrong it may discourage you and it will end up in a closet collecting dust. Happy hunting!
by: Andy_bones!
on: 9th January 09

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5 Responses to How to tell difference from good and cheap guitar?

  1. Andy_bones! says:

    OK, it depends if you’re talking about acoustic or electric. Both should be well polished and the strings should be new and tightly wound, not dirty. Check the machine heads on top of the guitar for rust and wear. Also, hold the guitar up to the light and check the fret board for wear and cracks. Turn it around and look at the back of the neck and check for cracks and make sure no nuts and bolts are stripped. Check the bridge at the bottom of the strings and make sure there’s no rust. If there are any chips or dings in the paint job ask for $10 off the price. It’s ok if they don’t give it to you but it’s just a bonus. Finally, if everything looks good you can gauge by brand. For acoustic you’ll want an Ibanez ($200 or so) or a Alvarez (No more than $125)., for an electric guitar also look for Ibanez ($300). I list those brands because that’s what you most likely find in a pawn shop. If you run across any Fenders be weary. They’re not that great and are too expensive for the quality of guitar it is, that’s electric and acoustic. Try to stay away from Dean guitars and if you can find a Washburn electric or a Martin acoustic for under $800 it’s probably a good deal unless there’s a defect. Keep in mind that if you do go with electric you’ll need an amp., Line 6 makes the best you can buy. Amps are more about sound so if you play through one that you like you’ll know it. Amps ($150 and up, and up, and up) Hope this helps., Rock on man and don’t get screwed on getting a new guitar. Picking your first is VERY important because if you choose wrong it may discourage you and it will end up in a closet collecting dust. Happy hunting!

  2. byrde1994 says:

    you haven’t given us much to work with
    what Brand is it?
    Model?
    etc

    Your question isn’t that simple, without me seeing the guitar

    A lot of the guitars in pawn shops have problems, that’s why they are there
    And a lot of pawn shops sell used guitars for the same price, that you can get new ones for, and the music stores will give a warrantee. And most will set them up for free.

    how does it play?
    Low action, with no buzzing?
    do all the electronics work?
    plug it in and listen to it
    is the neck straight?
    how is the joint, where the neck meets the body?

    for acoustics, is the top flat, ?
    are the braces good?
    is the “pitch of the neck” OK?
    does it have any cracks?
    how is the binding, on the body?

    Bring along a friend, that has played a while to help you check all this out

  3. ceritis says:

    Cool guitars are not the same as good guitars, especially if they’re cheap. I suggest you getting Epiphone LP which is great guitar for the price.

  4. Richeasley says:

    O.k. It’s all about how the guitar is constructed and set up. I’ve play $1000.00 guitar that were not set up and they sucked. Avoid laminate body’s. If it’s an electric look at the side of the body, even threw paint you can see the tell tell stripes of a plywood body. If it’s an acoustic guitar look at the edge of the sound hole, see if you see thin layers of wood you can look at F-holes for this sign of a laminate top. If there is binding (plastic strips) inside the F-holes chances are it’s not a Solid top. You want a guitar made from Maple, Alder, Mahogany or Ash woods. You want solid wood body’s not laminates. Pick ups can be upgraded so don’t worry about that right now.

  5. sandysmith says:

    Maybe try to get a friend who plays guitar or something to go with you. I do not trust pawn shops!

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