13 year olds first guitar. $400ish. Used fine. ??

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by IanS, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. IanS

    IanS Member

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    My nephew had been using an unplayable POS acoustic in his intro guitar class at school. I loaned him a really well set up electric, and a headphone amp/modeller, and it seems he is now in love. My sister says he plays all the time now, for hours. And she loves that she can't hear a thing :)

    So now its time to buy him his first guitar. Her budget is around $400 and she is happy buying used (eBay/Craigslist).

    Fantastic bargains I know of in that price range include used Jerry Jones (not really his style, and hard to find) or used Peavey Generation S3 (ultralight, but very difficult to find - none on eBay right now or recently).

    So I'm thinking perhaps a lightly used MIK Reverend? Or a used G&L ASAT Tribute? Are those the best bang for the buck? Others? Remember that aesthetic lust and playability are probably the two most important factors at this point.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Jason_86_951

    Jason_86_951 Supporting Member

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    The PRS SE line are a bargain.
     
  3. 9-Pin

    9-Pin Member

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    I would buy used and stick to major brands. While he is playing and playing a lot now, it is a lot easier to get your money back our of a guitar if you buy it used and it is from one of the major companies (Fender, PRS, Gibson/Epi, etc.).

    I am a strat guy most of the time, so I would recommend looking at used Fenders. There are plenty of different configurations and colors that he should be able to find something that tickles his fancy.

    The PRS SE line is a good suggestion too, if he likes the look. I would think they would hold their value well.
     
  4. John C

    John C Supporting Member

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    If you can find one, the Ernie Ball Music Man SUB1 guitars can be had in that prices range as well. The SUB1s are made in the USA but used some lower cost outsourced parts (Gotoh tuners instead of Schaller; MIK pickups instead of DiMarzio or Duncan) and less costly finishes on body and neck.

    SUB1s come with either 1 or 2 humbuckers and with either a fixed bridge or the EBMM vintage-style trem. I have one for when I want the occasional humbucker sounds and for slide; my primary guitar is an EBMM Silhouette Special with single coils.
     
  5. morglan

    morglan Supporting Member

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    Actually, if it's a Strat or Tele that you're after, a brand new MIM Fender Standard Strat or Standard Tele is $399 at Musician's Friend/Guitar Center, with other shops listing them even cheaper.

    The MIM Fenders are great guitars and seem to hold their values as well. Furthermore, they can easily be upgraded with standard Fender parts if you wish.

    If it's a Les Paul style you're after, I'll probably be the first of many to post that Agile's AL-3000/3100 series is probably heads and shoulders above anything else in this price range ($369 new).
     
  6. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    The kid is lucky. There are a butt load of nice guitars in that price range.

    Best of luck to him.
     
  7. dc_jcm800

    dc_jcm800 Member

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    Some of the newer Schecters are nice. My buddy bought one for his son. It has a really nice top and neck and sounds and plays well, for around 350.
     
  8. morglan

    morglan Supporting Member

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    I was just recently mentioning this to my wife (my own son is seven, and starting to play).

    It seems to me that when I was young and learning (in the mid 1980's), there were no quality guitars that were affordable.

    I'm sure the internet has helped, but it just seems like back then guitars were either out of my price range, or just junk.
     
  9. echale3

    echale3 Member

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    I'd heartily recommend a used MIM Strat/Tele, or a used PRS SE, or a new Squier Vintage Modified. I've played $169 Squier Affinity series guitars that are good players, and when the kid gets better, a slight upgrade in pickups will let the guitar grow with him/her.

    If you are looking for Les Paul types, the higher-end Agile LPs (3000) come well recommended and can be had for under $400 new, used Epi LPs are a dime a dozen and are a good beginner/intermediate guitar, and if you want a plain-top, they can be had new for ~$330. The Epi G-400 is a good guitar, too, new they are right at $300. Used, they are much less.

    Epi Dot Studios are a fun guitar, as are the Ibanez hollowbodies. The Ibanez Artcore series are really nice--priced less than what they are really worth, IMO.

    There's all sorts of good stuff out there for $400 and under....
     
  10. fish78

    fish78 Member

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    What about a SX Strat AND a SCXD all for slightly over $400.00...just a thought.
     
  11. greeny

    greeny Member

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    yamaha pacifica
     
  12. Elwood

    Elwood Member

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    How about one of those Strat or Ibanez kits they sell, with the amp, strap and gig bag. Those are in the price range and would be good for a beginner. Just in case he loses interest in the future, there's not a lot on cash invested.
     
  13. 5E3

    5E3 Member

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    I totally agree. My SE is light weight and the body has a nice contour to it. Both would be a plus for a young/small player. The fingerboard is comfortable and collectively the guitar is easy to play.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    No, it's not just the internet. The guitars back then were crap. I started in '67 and today wonder why I kept at it considering the garbage I had to play. People think the old Tiesco & Kingston guitars are cool. Guess what? They suck real large!

    The overall quality of entry level guitars is far better today than it ever has been.

    I think competition and an educated consumer have helped. People won't put up with crap today and it has made entry level guitars real instruments.
     
  15. Oakley

    Oakley Silver Supporting Member

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    I'd go with a used PRS SE. There are a bunch of others as good for the same price. But when he wants to sell it to get something nicer, the PRS will be a lot easier to move than the Samick I was going to suggest.
     
  16. ajchance

    ajchance Member

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  17. AllenMance

    AllenMance Supporting Member

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    There are so many good guitars out there for $400. I would take him/her out to Guitar Carnival (Guitar Center) or a nice local independent guitar store (highly recommended) and let them pick out what they like. Do not buy a BC Rich or Dean or some wild shaped looking guitar. Kids like to buy these cool looking/shaped guitars for just that, looks. Have them play tons of guitars and pick out what neck feels best for them.

    I don't have anything against BC Rich or Dean.. Well, Yes I do but thats another story. :)
     
  18. 59Vampire

    59Vampire Silver Supporting Member

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    Ok for 279 brand new you can get an LTD with a floyd in a single single hum set up at sam ash. your choice of maple or rosewood neck. Its a great deal on a new axe. Or, if you want to go used look hard for a faded sg. Ive seen them for around 450!
     
  19. chucke99

    chucke99 Member

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    I'm an Ibanez snob, but when my 14 year old son wanted a guitar, we went with a mexi strat off Craigslist, with amp, effects pedal, stand, etc. for $300. It's a good guitar (Clapton blackie-ish) and will hold him until he gets good enough to pick out a really good Ibanez. ;)
     
  20. dogtownmax

    dogtownmax Member

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    think size, and hand span and stuff.

    if he is that young, maybe something with a 24.75" scale would be best. epiphone g-400 used should do it. looks great, lightweight, lots of them avail on craigslist used, and still under budget new.

    and it has a stoptail bridge, which should eliminate tuning issues, though it also will make him gas for a something with a wammy bar. maybe that can be a gift later?
     

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