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View Diary: Buying an American-made guitar (286 comments)

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  •  My family owned a music store and my father was a (9+ / 0-)

    professional musician and repairman who knew the difference between good and sub-par instruments. When we'd travel to visit relatives we ALWAYS stopped at pawn shops along the way and my dad got some real steals because in the 50's very few people knew much about musical instruments AND there was no internet from which to gather info.

    I highly endorse ARS' recommendation to frequent the pawn shops in your local area. You just might find something worthwhile for a lot less $$.

    “The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.” - Gore Vidal

    by Hanging Up My Tusks on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 07:45:18 PM PDT

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    •  I toured for over a decade as a roadie (8+ / 0-)

      My three vices while on tour were bookstores, record stores & pawnshops.

      I bought myself at least one guitar on every major tour (for me that meant any tour longer than 4 months).

      If you know what to look for, you can still find a great deal in almost any pawnshop. For example, I paid $450 for my '76 ES-345, Walnut, (one of the last Kalamazoo semis). Had it appraised recently for $4k.

      "It's never too late to have a happy childhood." - Tom Robbins - Political Compass sez: -8.25, -7.90

      by ARS on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 08:00:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The only time I ever hunted guitars in pawnshops (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      was in the middle 60s.  Maybe if I'd been in a more cosmopolitan location I might have had more luck, but I never ran across anything except $20 Stellas and Jap imports of that day, which were mostly crap and were being sold new.  (This was a little before the Yamahas began to circulate.  They were all-plywood then but didn't sound that bad and were a lot more playable than the average import or cheapo Harmony/Kay.)

      It probably depends on where you live and travel, but I've rarely seen a used guitar in a pawnshop, and never a good used guitar at some fabulous price (the legendary 1937 D-28 for $75 that one of the Traum brothers scored, and by mail-order at that).

      •  i got a d-35 for $550 back in 86. (2+ / 0-)
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        schumann, SherwoodB

        of course, at the time, a new d35 didn't cost an arm and a leg.

        i almost bought an es335 around the same time, for a few hundred bucks. the finished was all cracked and crazed, and the woman who owned the pawn shop refused to put a set of strings on it so i could try it out, so i walked out. i guess we were both idiots.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:15:10 PM PDT

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