The appeal of used musical instruments and how to choose them

Instruments are necessary tools for enjoying music.
This time I would like to introduce my thoughts on the appeal and points to consider when buying used musical instruments. This is just my personal opinion, so I would be happy if you just read it quickly.
First of all, buying new is attractive, but second-hand items also have their appeal.

The benefits of second-hand instruments


1. Cost benefits
Except for premium items, they are usually cheaper than new items. In particular, current items that are still on the market are often cheaper than new items.
So, for example, if you are looking for a new guitar with a budget of 100,000 yen and find one that interests you but costs 120,000 yen, you might find one in good condition for 100,000 yen if you look for a used one.
Used instruments allow you to get the instrument you like within your budget.

2. Maturity of sound (vintage)
Acoustic instruments, especially those that are not electronic, improve their sound with years of use, so used instruments will develop a unique sound over time, which will bring out the individuality of the player and also help to enhance musical expression.
This is the genre known as "vintage instruments."
The idea of ​​what constitutes a vintage guitar varies from person to person, but generally speaking, guitars from the 1960s or earlier are considered vintage. Recently, however, guitars made in Japan from the 1970s and 1980s have come to be called "Japan Vintage" overseas.
It's true that the 1970s was 50 years ago, so I personally think it still has one foot in the vintage category.

When it comes to sound, it's not necessarily true that "old is good." The storage conditions and frequency of maintenance also play a role, so it's unlikely that a guitar that's been locked up in a closet for 50 years will have a good sound. This is because storage without humidity and temperature control often damages the wood, and the most important thing to achieve the deep sound that is characteristic of vintage guitars is to play the guitar for many years and let the wood vibrate.
It's the same as when someone who hasn't sung in years suddenly tries to sing, they won't be able to sing with a good voice.

A rich sound is born from careful storage, playing, and maintenance. I think the value of vintage guitars comes from the effort put in by their predecessors.
This vintage sound is difficult to reproduce with new products.
Recently, developments have been made that allow wood to be mechanically aged to reproduce a vintage sound, but compared to the real thing, I honestly think that they are only "vintage-style."

There is a quote that has made a lasting impression on me regarding the value of vintage items.
Kukki, a famous comedian who loves guitars, said about the appeal of vintage guitars , "Isn't it amazing that I can now play a guitar made in America decades ago and listen to the sound of that era?" That's a great expression.
3. It has personality
Each used instrument has its own history and story, and scratches, peeling paint, and cracks are all part of its individuality.
You can also get a sense of the personality of the previous owner. For example, a Kahler tremolo may be added to a Les Paul, or a Gibson pickup may be added to a Yamaha guitar, creating a custom guitar that looks like a collaboration between two brands. It's interesting to learn about the preferences of the previous owner.
Many famous guitarists also customize their own guitars and use them.

Now, I'll tell you about the disadvantages (although I don't really want to call them that).

Disadvantages of Used Musical Instruments


1. Uncertainty about the condition of the instrument at the time of purchase <br data-mce-fragment="1">This is probably the biggest concern. When purchasing a second-hand instrument, the instrument may have deteriorated depending on how it was used. Depending on how often it was used and how it was stored, repairs and maintenance may be required.
However, if you buy from a musical instrument specialty store, maintenance and cleaning will be performed and there will be a warranty period, so this disadvantage can be avoided to some extent. By the way, this site also provides maintenance and cleaning, as well as a return and refund period, so you can purchase with peace of mind!

2. Limited product lineup <br data-mce-fragment="1">Compared to new instruments, the number of used instruments available may be limited. The number of certain models or brands that are no longer in production decreases year by year, as people do not want to part with them or instruments break and are discarded.
It is often said that buying a used instrument is a once in a lifetime experience, so there is nothing more frustrating than missing out on a purchase while you are still debating. I have experienced the same thing.
Something memorable happened to me some time ago. A customer who purchased a red E-serial era Fender Japan Stratocaster from this site sent me a message saying, "I've been searching the internet for many years for a red E-serial era Stratocaster, and I finally found it. This marks the end of my long journey. Thank you very much."
This message made me very happy! It made me feel like I accomplished my mission.
Although it's not easy to find one, the joy when you do is exceptional.

lastly
Used instruments have their advantages and disadvantages, but if you carefully consider your purchase, you can get an instrument that will last you a lifetime. In this article, we talked about the appeal and selection of used instruments, including price, the appeal of vintage items, and unique customizations.
As mentioned at the beginning, musical instruments are tools for enjoying music. Please enjoy music with your instrument while keeping in mind the key points and how to choose one that you will not regret.