what to check before buying a 2nd hand guitar?


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I am thinking of getting a fender standard american stratocaster. My friends uncle seeling it for SG$800. Is this cheap? FOr this model. Now the new one are about $1900 at swee lee. I know of course i have to check that all the pickups are working and that the fretboard is even, no "dead" notes and no warping of the neck, but what else do i have to look for? Anyway, is it a good price?( No scrathes nothing though. )
Hi there.

The Fender American Standard (if I get you correctly on this one) are discontinued models, superseded by the current American Series. They retailed for about $1K back in 1998 up to 2000 when they were discontinued. I remembered clearly because I bought the American Standard tele after trying out both the strat & the aforementioned guitar (FYI- I got the tele for $940). The American Standard price should not be compared to the current American series in any way. If the seller insist on doing so, then he’s badly disillusioned & trapped in time- walk away immediately… just my opinion, of course…

If it’s in a very good condition, $800 would be a reasonable price, but if I were you, I’d talk it down to $720 or thereabouts, difinitely <$800. If you are able to check the serial number, then bargain accordingly. It should be in this format: N7206408 where N denotes the month (this case November) & the first digit, the year of production (in this case 1997).

You’d also like to check for the following:

· Functional machine heads

· Strap buttons- are they giving way/ replaced (American Stds have strap buttons ready for Straplocks)

· Cracked scratch plate

· Hard case- if he doesn’t have one, SULK immediately (the price of the Am Std was inclusive of a hard case)

· Check the nut- did the seller file it to accommodate a thicker gauge? if so, ask for less

· Truss rod cavity- any signs of scratches. If present, it implies that seller kept it in a damp place eg: under air-con which causes constant warping &had to straigten his neck frequently. This is bad IMO because after a certain number of turns, any more & the neck will snap. More importantly, ask him to tell the truth, did he ever rectify his neck’s bow before? I’ve never had any problems with my tele’s neck, it had been straight since day one…

Finally- good luck!
Yea thanks. It does come with hardshell casing. The current american standard strats now are different from this one. The newer ones have differrent pickups and ....

This one has rosewood fretbouard. Any other things?

What do you think about this one when compared to the mexican strats?

<font size=1>[ This message was edited by: Flyingbirdman on 25-02-2004 18:28 ]</font>
the current ones are called ´American Series´ not ´American Std´...

it´s definitely way better than the mex strats in terms of fit & finish. however, the re-issue ´50s mex strats from the Classic series is one heck of a player.