New, Used, Vintage, Antique Guitars, Which is Better?

Vintage Antique Gibson guitar ES-335
Vintage Antique Gibson guitar ES-335

If you want a guitar it is likely that you are choosing between new and use. The other options, especially antiques are generally not for playing. If you are very new to guitar then you want to be sure your purchase suits your intent and you are not sold a guitar that doesn’t sync with your purpose.

New Guitars

With the exception of antique or vintage which are mostly collectors’ items, newness in a product is what we would all choose whenever possible. These are some of the reasons:

  • lifetime warranty on certain guitar parts
  •  clean guitar fretboard, clean guitar strings, and clean guitar neck, all of which are important for tone
  • the new guitar can be bought as a kit which includes accessories
  • New guitars are available in numerous brands, quality, and affordability, 
  • has resale value in case you don’t keep it


Used Guitars

If this is your first guitar you may need an unbiased party who is a guitar player to check that certain features are intact. You want a clean used guitar that still sounds good. Say for instance you found that vintage used Martin Guitars you’ve been looking for.

Tired of searching? CLICK HERE for used guitars

Some Things to Check Before Buying that Used Guitar

  • number of previous owners, modifications if any
  • smooth knob adjustment, well-adjusted truss rod
  • beware of unseen damages such as fret wear, string tension that could be putting a strain on the guitar head
  • keep in mind that some used guitars may cost the same as a new guitar, CLICK HERE to check pricing 
  • not so easy to remove accumulated sweat, smoke and other soil from the guitar fretboard, strings, or neck all of which contribute to the guitar’s tone
  • if the previous owner claimed the guitar was cleaned you want to be sure there aren’t any moisture damage; and any polishing didn’t affect the porosity of the guitar’s material which would affect its resonance
  • hardware corrosion

Vintage Guitars

Vintage guitars used to be in high demand because thinner finishes and old wood material meant better tone. But new guitars have woodtreatment that gives the same results

A little bit more about vintage guitars that may help in identifying a true vintage. They are made from rare wood that was over-harvested and the reason Brazilian Rosewood, for example, is no longer found in the bulk of modern guitars.

Look out for  cracks due to the thin wood and thin finish as this could affect the sound.

Other vintage guitars are the reissues or reproduction of discontinued guitars. They are new with all former features replicated but limited in quantity. A recent example is the Keith Urban Limited Edition guitar.

Antique Guitars

Antique guitars are older than vintage guitars, pre WWII, and more fragile. They are not usually played.

Other antique guitars are reissues. Two examples are the Gibson antique guitars such as the Les Paul classic antique, and Martin antique guitars referred to as Authentic & Vintage.

Though categorize as antique, the Les Paul classic antique is a reproduction with modern features and vintage detailing.

Also new is the series of authentic & vintage Martin guitars reproduced with the rare Brazilian rosewood for the fingerboard and bridge.

These, however, are not within the price range of the used guitars or even many new guitars. 

Buying Used From A Trusted Source

When you purchase a guitar from a trusted company you are guaranteed no-hassle return if for any reasons the used guitar is not in reasonable condition and is returned as directed. However, since online sellers are contributing to the shopping experience of their customers, they take pride in delivering as expected.

CLICK HERE to search ‘used’ guitars (listed with the new).

 

REFERENCES


“Authentic & Vintage Martin Guitar.” Martin Guitar, C.F. Martin & Co., Inc., 2018, www.martinguitar.com/guitars/authentic-vintage/00-17-authentic-1931/.

“Categories of Gibson Guitars and Basses.” Gibson Guitar, Gibson Brands, Inc., 2018, www.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars.aspx?ProductGroup=S_Series&ModelYear=.

2 Comments

  1. I remember many years ago when my father purchased me my first acoustic guitar from a great local instrument shop. I still have it, but I don’t play it now. I think if possible people should go for a new guitar, from the benefits you gave in the beginning of this article. Mainly because of it being all clean, good for the tone and there are guitars at different prices to suit someones budget.

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