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August, 2010:

Should you ever buy a guitar on credit?

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481Here’s a guest post from Mark Hooson at Moneysupermarket.com with advice about the pitfalls of buying guitars on credit..

Gibson Les Paul Jimmy Page Number TwoMost guitarists, at some point in their life, will fall prey of ‘Guitar Acquisition Syndrome’. Characterised by the irrepressible and urgent need to acquire a guitar, regardless of its price or availability, the only cure for the syndrome is to hunt down that axe and hand over the cash!

Unfortunately, for most of us, paying for them can be a bigger stretch than a chord spanning five frets. The options are clear: you can attempt to save some cash until you can afford the guitar, buy it on finance – depending on the store, or you can put it on a credit card.

But is buying a guitar on a credit card ever a good idea? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons putting it on the plastic.

First off, because I’m a pessimist, let’s look at the cons.

Why you shouldn’t buy a guitar on a credit card

The main issue here is your ability to pay.

Of course by using a credit card you can get instant gratification and be home with your Gibson 1960 Les Paul Special or your Martin Eric Clapton signature acoustic as quick as a flash, but not only will you be paying the full price of the guitar, you’ll be paying the interest on the card too.

Traditionally, purchase credit cards are great for free, short-term credit – as long as you always pay your balance in full by the due date shown on your statement, but you will incur interest if you are unable to repay your balance in full every month.

Interest rates vary significantly, so if you don’t pay the full amount by the due date, and find yourself paying too much interest, you’ll have to go through the process of transferring the balance to a lower-rate card.

Why you might want to use a credit card to buy the guitar of your dreams

Even if you don’t have an over-active impulse-buying gland, there are still benefits to buying a high-priced guitar, like a Fender American Vintage ‘52 Telecaster, on a credit card.

Credit cards are a safe way to pay for a guitar, particularly if you are buying over the internet or phone.

If you buy anything on a credit card priced between £100 and £30,000, that turns out to be faulty or which you do not receive because the company goes bust, you can claim a refund from the card provider.

For the more exotic guitar-enthusiast, a credit card might be a good idea because they are accepted in virtually every country around the world – perfect if you spot that axe abroad you’ve been scouring the country for back home.

So, should you buy a guitar on credit?

It all comes down to your ability to pay. I for example, would love a Gibson J200, but I wouldn’t put it on a card because I wouldn’t be able to pay off the full balance before the end of the month, and would be stuck paying charges every month – making the guitar cost me a lot more than it would have if I’d paid up-front.

On the other hand, some cards have great promotional offers like loyalty points, cash back, or payments to support a charity.

It all comes down to what you can afford, and if you do opt for a card – be realistic, and make sure you compare rates and offers to make sure you get the most for your money.

[Mark Hooson writes for the financial group at Moneysupermarket.com, and is a guitar enthusiast]

Schon Guitars

It isn’t very well known that Journey guitarist Neal Schon had a “blink and you missed it” guitar company in the 1980’s. The most famous model is a single cutaway that was seen in the later Journey and Bad English era.

Those models were made by the Jackson guitar company in 1986 and it’s estimated that about 200 were made. When disagreements between Schon and Jackson caused him to move on, Neal turned to Canadian guitar maker Larrivee.

We’ll be writing up the more common Schon guitars in another post, but in the meantime, here is an interesting article on Schon guitars from guitar luthier Phil Clark in Arizona;

Collectable Guitars pt 41 – Peavey T-60

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481The Peavey T-60 was the first electric guitar marketed by Peavey, who now sell a huge variety of guitars and amps, as well as PA equipment and more.

It lasted 10 years, from 1977 to 1987. It was also the first guitar ever made with CNC machines, which now form an integral part of mass-production of guitars.

It was designed by Peavey founder Hartley Peavey and Chip Todd.

The T-60 has an ash body and bolt-on maple neck and 21-fret maple or rosewood fingerboard, similar to Strats made by Fender around this time. It has two humbuckers, which on the T-60 usually have blade-shaped pole-pieces as opposed to the individual pole-pieces usually found on pickups.

According to reviews the maple neck is very thin, almost equivalent to that of the famed Ibanez Wizard profile. The bridge is similar to that of a Fender Telecaster, an “ashtray” bridge, although no pickup sits in it.

The body is a typical two-cutaway job, although it has roughly equal-sized cutaways as opposed to offset ones like on a Strat. It came in a variety of finishes, usually solid black or white, a transparent sunburst, or plain natural.

There was a large black scratchplate which housed four controls and an input socket. Sometimes this scratchplate would have the Peavey logo inlaid into it as well.

The T-60 was successful in the 70s and 80s.

Many people had one as a first guitar and their strength shows through in the fact that examples show up on eBay with barely a scratch on them.

Because they are not particularly rare or sought-after, prices are generally around £300.