Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Look before you ¢heap

A word of warning when going the ¢heapo route: Before plunking down your hard earned clams, make sure that the guitar you are interested in is all that you think it is. Last night I stopped into a local shop, and saw what at first glance was a great ¢heapo deal: a new Epiphone LP Junior guitar marked: "Scratch and Dent: $99."  Being someone always interested in a blue light special, I could not resist trying this little sucker out. List price for this pretty basic one 'bucker beginner's Epi is $215.00, so this just might have been worth picking up. 

I sat down at an amp and before I plugged it in I gave her the once over. The front appeared OK, but when I flipped the Jr over there was something like a scratch, or a crack in the finish from the neck area down to the bottom of the bout. OK, I thought to myself, that is the scratch and dent part. Closer examination was still inconclusive as to the depth of the scratch/crack, but that $99 tag was still persuasive.

Just as I was about to plug it in, I saw something on the neck up near the headstock. Is that crack in the neck? Yep. Not was this just a crack, but it was a crack that ran from one side of the nut, around the back of the neck to the other end of the nut. YIKES! Somebody dropped this baby on its noodle and cracked the neck/headstock joint but good. This is not a scratch and dent, it is a repair job that costs more than the value of the guitar. I put this one right back before the headstock came off and I was blamed for the breakage.

So, the moral of this story: Look closely at the gift horse's mouth. You want a ¢heapo guitar, not something that is unplayable garbage.

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