Audition Tips - Scott Thomas
Buying a guitar is serious business. It's hard earned cash being spent here when shopping around for a new/used guitar. Just cause the paint job looks cool and blue is your color for a wood grain acoustic guitar doesn't really mean the guitar is worth it. I see these guitars on e-bay and they aren't worth a crap. They look pretty and that's it! "You get what you pay for is my motto!" Do your research before you even walk into a guitar shop. On-line is the best for this. Guitar forum boards are another way to keep - up with the latest reviews of Guitarz and Gear. However... when you find your deal "It's always a good idea to check for the following when buying a new or used guitar."
* Neck Staightness - A little (fretboard curvature) is cool, but no ski jumps. please.
* Fret Quality - Sightdown both sides of the fretboard from the bridge end to spot high frets and/or uneven ends. Fret tops should be smooth, consistent, and free of file marks or dings. Extra credit for polishing.
*Fit and Finish - Inspect for orange-peel dimples, finish goofs where the fretboard joins the top, and binding and inlay boo-boos. Pickup and bridge routs should be clean and precise, and bolt-on necks should fit tightly into their pockets (if you can slip a business card between the neck and bod, the gap is excessive.) Make sure the nut is trimmed properly - sharp edges are a drag.
*Hardware Integrity - Check for loose pots, rattling bridge parts, cock-eyed tuners, and missing screws.
*Intonation - Plug into a tuner and compare each open-string with its 12th-fret note.
*Tuning Stability - A guitar should tune up easily and stay in tune. If there is a problem in this department, reach for another instrument or ask if you can try the guitar with a fresh set of strings, If the guitar is equipped with a double-locking trem, make sure the devise works smoothly and keeps the strings in tune no matter how hard you work the bar.
*Wiring and controls - It's amazing how crummy the soldering and shielding can look inside some guitars - even expensive ones - so pop off the cavity cover if possible and take a peek. Pots should feel smooth and switches shouldn't be stiff or gritty.
"Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Pasteur, Michael Angelo, Mother Teresa, Helen Keller, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein." - Jackson Brown