Get an Approval Before You Buy: Geoff Benge on Real Warranties for Your Instrument Purchases.

Whether you are purchasing a new or used instrument in person or online, make sure you always you get a real warranty. What is a real warranty? It’s an approval to have the guitar checked out by a professional so you can protect yourself and return the instrument if there are any defects. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to protect yourself when making a purchase. All too often I see serious problems with customers’ recent purchases, especially with the truss rod or neck. Recently, a client of mine bought an instrument on a popular online marketplace from a party in Canada. The seller said the instrument was “fine and the neck was great.” This turned out to be untrue though the guitar looked perfect and the truss rod was not broken. If I had not checked the truss rod to see if it could be tightened or loosened, we wouldn’t have seen such an immediate problem in time to return the instrument. The truss rod was completely tightened leaving no room for adjustments or, in this case, my client’s desire for .011 gauge strings. When I first removed the truss rod cover, I was suspicious because at least 5 threads were visible protruding from the nut. This is a really bad sign. If you see this, walk away. In many cases it can be very difficult to see an issue because the truss rod is not always visible due to an array of designs. Always make sure to have a qualified technician check that the truss rod is working properly to make sure the neck can be straightened.

Bridget Benge