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Thread: Guitarists: Where can I find a guitar online?

  1. #1
    Valorie's Avatar
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    Guitarists: Where can I find a guitar online?

    I decided to get my boyfriend an acoustic guitar for Christmas. Nearly as long as we've been together he's been talking about getting one again since he sold his before moving to California. Does anyone know online where I can find a decent one for a price that will allow me to buy other people gifts? Besides eBay?

    Thanks to anyone who may be able to help.



  2. #2
    ShowKiller's Avatar
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    Re: Guitarists: Where can I find a guitar online?

    Sorry Val,

    Don't know much about guitars, but I've been told I play a mean Triangle.



  3. #3
    Valorie's Avatar
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    Re: Guitarists: Where can I find a guitar online?

    Anyone that can play the triangle is bad-ASS! I wish I could play the accordion. That'd be awesome. I love anyone that can play an accordion. Seriously, I fall right in love with anyone playing an accordion.



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    Re: Guitarists: Where can I find a guitar online?

    musiciansfriend.com usually has good deals. In my experience, most music stores will let you haggle them in person if you know what you're getting. If you don't, then getting it online is your best bet.



  5. #5
    Valorie's Avatar
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    Re: Guitarists: Where can I find a guitar online?

    Quote Originally Posted by Osquip View Post
    ...most music stores will let you haggle them in person if you know what you're getting. If you don't, then getting it online is your best bet.
    Yeah, I have no idea what I'm doing. That's why I figured going online would be the best bet, so I don't sound like a retard. Plus, I just hate shopping anywhere but online. Soooo much crap to deal with. I just want to pay and then get my item a couple of days later without having to, you know, talk to someone.



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    Re: Guitarists: Where can I find a guitar online?

    Most Guitar Centers and Sam Ashes are actually pretty nice. If you tell them exactly how much you CAN spend they will generally point you in the direction of the best bang for your buck. As long as you are straight forward and not asking them to pull down the $4000 double neck guitar they will usually be cool.

    Do you know if he still has his old tuner? If so then don't worry about getting a 'starter pack' and just get a guitar for around $130. The starter packs are ok deals but you generally have to by a new bag or case because the one that comes with it is built out of wind breaker material. The Yamaha and Epiphone entry level guitars are pretty decent.

    Don't worry about getting electronics with the guitar, built in pick ups. When you are buying a guitar at this level you want all the money to go towards the wood and workmanship.

    If you have a little extra cash I would say to get a guitar stand, assuming he does not have one.

    http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/p...tar?sku=518681

    The other option is to get an electronic guitar. I bought and inexpensive Squire Telecaster and it is amazing. You can get amps really cheap on line.



  7. #7

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    Re: Guitarists: Where can I find a guitar online?

    Most guitar stores will at least give a guitar a decent setup. When you buy them online, they come in a box straight from the factory.

    You might also want to try a higher-end pawn shop.

    A good electronic tuner and an extra set of strings are the only accessories most people need.

    Electric guitars are great if he will be playing it at night and needs to be quiet. There are great headphone amplifiers and small practice amps out there.

    You should get two guitars and start a band.



  8. #8

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    Re: Guitarists: Where can I find a guitar online?

    The only advice I can give is to make sure you get a solid-top acoustic instead of one with a laminate top. Go as cheap as you can as long as it has a solid top. My first acoustic was a Canadian brand called Seagull, and it only cost $250, which at the time was the cheapest solid-top I could find, and it sounds amazingly good for that price range. That was ten years ago, though, so prices may have changed.

    Those $100 starter guitars are for the most part pretty crappy, and if your boyfriend ends up really enjoying playing guitar he'll probably want to upgrade pretty soon, so it might be worth starting off with something halfway decent that he'll want to keep around for a long time.



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    Re: Guitarists: Where can I find a guitar online?

    Quote Originally Posted by Embiggen View Post
    The only advice I can give is to make sure you get a solid-top acoustic instead of one with a laminate top. Go as cheap as you can as long as it has a solid top. My first acoustic was a Canadian brand called Seagull, and it only cost $250, which at the time was the cheapest solid-top I could find, and it sounds amazingly good for that price range. That was ten years ago, though, so prices may have changed.

    Those $100 starter guitars are for the most part pretty crappy, and if your boyfriend ends up really enjoying playing guitar he'll probably want to upgrade pretty soon, so it might be worth starting off with something halfway decent that he'll want to keep around for a long time.
    I agree with Andy about the solid top. That is really important in a guitar. Otherwise the tone will always be shitty. I think both the Yamaha and Fender starter guitars are a solid top.



  10. #10
    Valorie's Avatar
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    Re: Guitarists: Where can I find a guitar online?

    Oh my God, my head hurts.



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    Re: Guitarists: Where can I find a guitar online?

    Since you're not that far from L.A., one possibility would be to go to McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica -- even if you don't know anything about guitars, they'll point you to something great in your price range, and you'll know that it's high quality for whatever price range you're in. They also allow you to rent pretty much any instrument they have, and you can apply the rental amount to the purchase price if you decide to buy it at the end of the rental period. (I think you also might be able to apply the rental amount to another instrument, but I can't remember.)

    McCabe's also has gift certificates (and I'm sure the big chains like Sam Ash and Guitar Center do too, if you think your boyfriend might want to pick out his own).



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    Re: Guitarists: Where can I find a guitar online?

    By the way, I don't work for McCabe's -- I've just had great experiences with the instruments I've bought there over the years (and the guitar classes I've taken there).



  13. #13
    Me!
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    Re: Guitarists: Where can I find a guitar online?

    Someone's probably said it, but musiciansfriend.com is a great site.
    Formally Max Geinachoff.



  14. #14
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    Re: Guitarists: Where can I find a guitar online?

    If you're buying online, I heartily recommend Elderly Instruments. They pick thru their stock and send the bad stuff back, and do expert setup on every stringed instrument they sell. Their prices are right in line with all the other online outlets, and they're experts. I would recommend looking thru their website first, and then giving them a call to get some advice.

    Wikipedia entry for Elderly.
    My momma had twin babies on one sweet summer day;
    She beat one in the head, and I'm the one that got away.



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    Re: Guitarists: Where can I find a guitar online?

    I would echo the gift certificate suggestion. I wouldn't take a chance with someone else picking out a guitar for me. A lot of picking out the right guitar is sitting down and actually playing them. Otherwise, you're really flying blind. Last thing you need is a guitar you don't want AND can't get rid of.

    Just drive him to the shop without telling him and tell him he's getting a gift. That way he can totally impress you with the romantic songs he's been practicing. Everybody wins!
    "Can I raise a practical question? Are we going to do Stonehenge tomorrow?"

    http://jeffwattenhofer.tumblr.com



  16. #16
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    Re: Guitarists: Where can I find a guitar online?

    I don't know. If someone were to give me a prewar J-35, I'd take it.
    My momma had twin babies on one sweet summer day;
    She beat one in the head, and I'm the one that got away.



  17. #17

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    Re: Guitarists: Where can I find a guitar online?

    McAbe's is a really good guitar shop. There maybe a similar sort of small acoustic guitar shop near you. Thodr guys are often helpful and the set ups are always pretty good.

    You could also buy a guitar and get a gift receipt. That way he can keep it or return it. If he wants to spend a little more money to bump it up to a better quality guitar he can do that. Just make sure you know the return policy where ever you buy it.



  18. #18

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    Re: Guitarists: Where can I find a guitar online?

    I would also say check out McCabe's. I got a Seagull acoustic there a few years back and I'm very happy with it. Good teachers there, too. I took bass there for a while. And I also don't work there.



  19. #19
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    Re: Guitarists: Where can I find a guitar online?

    I've had very good luck with musician's friend, although the last few instruments I bought there I then took to a shop to have them properly set up.

    Almost everybody I know has never had a problem with Epiphone guitars. And by "almost," I should say that one friend in particular was very disappointed in an Epiphone SG copy they picked up used, which means there may have been a whole slew of other issues with it.

    I also agree with the solid top advice.

    If your boyfriend is just looking to twiddle on a guitar at home, it should be pretty difficult to buy something completely worthless, so long as you don't put your budget at around $75. If he's planning on getting into playing in a band, no matter what you do there will be more gear to buy, more guitars that he "has" to have and blah-blah-blah. It's an endless cycle. I own nine guitars already, and would happily walk into a guitar store and buy more if my wife would let me - and I haven't played in a band in more than a year.



  20. #20

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    Re: Guitarists: Where can I find a guitar online?

    I'd only add that if he's just learning how to play, get him an acoustic and not an electric. Starting on an electric will teach him some bad habits in terms of how hard to press on the strings to play properly. If he starts on an acoustic, he'll have to work harder and will strengthen his fingers. I'd say a $100 Epiphone would be fine. I have a crap acoustic to sell, but it needs tuners replaced and I wouldn't put you through that.



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