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Used instruments: sharing our vision

This is a plea for musicians to consider buying used gear. Are you looking for something special? Something with a little mojo? Sure, it’s tempting to buy brand new and shiny things, but in reality that may not be the best option. New models are advertised to be always better than the older ones, but are they? Guitars, basses and amps haven’t changed much in over half a century. Drums, brass and wind instruments have changed even less. Novelty does bring out attraction, but the adjective “new” written on the label of a chosen instrument does not necessarily add value.

Although, skepticism, to some degree, is important. Choosing a used instrument that will serve you well is difficult and you need to find some expert opinions to guide you through this process.

Here at Sun-Sounds we will consult you in the most honest and reasonable way possible. One of our main goals is to make people understand the value of used gear. We believe that there’s too much prejudice and uninformed opinions on this topic.

So basically, buying a pre-loved instrument has two sides to it. On the one hand, it’s cheaper than buying something new. On the other, it’s a great future investment if you’re a business savvy person.

Most of the used gear can be purchased for a more affordable price. The general rule is that the more used, the cheaper. For example, one of the treasures we offer at Sun-Sounds is Spector Legend 4 Classic Bass. Normally, you would pay 700 euros for a new one, but we’re selling it for 350 and it’s in perfect condition!

Another thing to take into consideration is that we live in the age of online shopping, and sometimes people buy something without putting much thought into it. What happens then is they come home, decide that the instrument is not for them and sell it. So in this case, it’s not really even secondhand shopping, because the instrument was barely used. Why not use this opportunity?

It might be surprising, but guitars are a better investment than stocks and bonds. Vintage, rare, good brand guitars hold their resale value. A perfect example of this would be a historic guitar – Gibson Les Paul 1959. It first became popular because of The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards who played it. It was also a beloved guitar of Jimmy Page.

Over the past decade, this model became one of the most expensive guitars ever sold. 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standards have sold from $50,000 for hard-worn examples to over $1-million for Peter Green’s and Gary Moore's legendary Holy Grail — the guitar Green used on Fleetwood Mac’s early albums. Still think used instruments are for poor and immature players?

And of course, there’s an emotional aspect of it. Instruments, just like people, each have their lives and their stories. They may have seen a few battles in their day before they found their way to you. Yes, it will probably have a few dinks and dents here and there, but that will not affect the quality of sound, that even adds more uniqueness in its character and in its visual aesthetics. You can get a great deal if you choose wisely, and you may end up with a quality instrument you would not have been able to otherwise afford.

Helping out a fellow musician is also part of it. Buying gear directly from another musician is one of the most supportive acts you can do. Circulating used gear among musicians keeps money in the pockets of people making music. That sort of human connection isn’t usually possible when buying from a warehouse. That’s what Sun-Sounds believes in. That’s what we do here at Sun-Sounds. We buy or trade our instruments with the musicians wanting to upgrade or change their instrument.

All in all, there are many advantages of buying a used instrument or gear:

  • It’s affordable

  • It’s an investment

  • It has a sentimental value

  • It strengthens the music community

If you need more proof, visit Sun-Sound here in Malta and join the discussion! We will gladly answer all your questions and help you choose the best option for you!

Sun-Sounds music shop, Malta, Sliema (Europe)

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