80 King Street · Route 2A · Littleton MA 01460 · (978) 486-0112 · I495 Exit 79 (Old Exit 30)
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What's In Zach's Attic Today?

As of January 15, 2022 we have the following used and vintage instruments in Zach's Attic:

Click on one of these instruments or just scroll down for photos and more information.

Zach's Archives

Want to peek at the extraordinary range of cool and interesting instruments that have passed through Zach's Attic? Just click HERE!

Contributing to Zach's Attic

We're always looking for interesting used and vintage guitars, basses and other fretted instruments that need new homes. (Sorry, we don't accept used band instruments.)

If you have a used or vintage instrument that you think Zach might be interested in, bring it in and show it to him. (Call ahead to make sure he'll be in the store when you come.) If he likes your instrument we can work out a trade or buy it outright.

You can contact Zach by phone at the number above or via our Ask Us! page.

Our Guarantee

Buying a used or vintage instrument can be a scary process. If you don't know what you're looking for, you can easily overpay or end up with an inferior (or even unplayable) instrument.

When you buy a used or vintage instrument from The Minor Chord we guarantee it to be as described. If there are flaws in the instrument that we know about, we'll tell you. If there are significant flaws we didn't notice and disclose, tell us within 30 days and we'll cheerfully give you your money back.

The Minor Chord is a music store you can trust!

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Our Used and Vintage Instruments

Zach is our store manager and head instrument buyer. He hunts down the top quality used and vintage instruments that we feature here in "Zach's Attic".

Epiphone Les Paul Special II

The Epiphone Les Paul Special II has long been an affordable way to get into a Les Paul style guitar. This one was brought in by a friend of the store who bought it new and basically never played it, just kept as a backup. Because of this it's in like-new Near Mint condition. Also a plus is that a hardshell case was bought with it which is included. With a slim and lightweight body, it's easy to stand up and play this guitar for hours. Simple format of the two humbuckers with one master volume and one master tone control.

Plug it in to your amp, crank up the gain, and start rocking away! Asking $299.00 with hardshell case included.

The specs:

  • Made in 2005
  • Solidbody with single cutaway
  • Ebony gloss finish
  • Bolt-on mahogany neck
  • Slim-taper 'D' neck profile
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • Dot inlays
  • 22 frets
  • 12 inch radius
  • 24.75 inch scale
  • 1-11/16 inch nut width
  • Two Epiphone open-coil humbuckers
  • One volume, one tone control
  • Black speed knobs
  • 3-way selector switch
  • Tune-o-matic bridge
  • Stopbar tailpiece
  • Chrome tuning machines
  • Near Mint condition
  • Hardshell case included

Fender '72 Telecaster Thinline

Just traded in we have a very distinct Tele...The '72 Telecaster Thinline. This particular Tele is a pretty far departure from your standard variety. Featuring a semi-hollow ash body with f-hole, it really pops in the full gloss natural finish highlighting the wood grain. Nice to have a 1-piece maple neck and the vintage frets leave plenty of space for the fingers in between. Couple key features are the hardtail string-through Strat style bridge which makes for easy adjustments.

Another is the pair of Fender wide range humbucking pickups. These pickups have a very full and fat sound, much more so than a standard Tele single coil. Because of this it's a little less bright in the bridge position but will get a much thicker tone. Blues and jazz will sound great on this guitar. The 3-bolt neck, bullet-style truss rod, and the Schaller 'F' tuners keep the guitar true to it's early 70's form. Offered at $749.00 with hardshell case included.

The specs:

  • Made in Mexico in 2013
  • Semi-hollow ash body with F-hole
  • Natural gloss finish
  • 4-ply pearl pickguard
  • 1-piece maple neck and fretboard
  • U-shape neck profile
  • 21 vintage size frets
  • Black dot inlays
  • 7.25 inch radius
  • 25.5 inch scale
  • 3-bolt neck
  • Bullet-style truss rod
  • Schaller vintage 'F' chrome tuning machines
  • Two Fender 'wide range' humbuckers
  • One volume, one tone control
  • 3-way selector switch with blade tip
  • Vintage-style Strat string-through hardtail bridge
  • Excellent condition
  • Hardshell case included

Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb Reissue

Most electric guitar players in quick time learn of this Fender classic, the Deluxe Reverb. One of their all-time great tube amps, it hits on a lot of the right features. 22 watts is great for either quiet practice, or to crank up at the show to get a bit of grit at full volume. The single 12 inch speaker pushes plenty of sound, the spring reverb is lush and most certainly will be heard through the amp. The vibrato is nice to use as well from time to time.

Countless artists, studios, and guitar hobbyists alike have made this a go-to amp for decades. Extremely well-cared for by the original owner, it's in fantastic like-new condition. Offered at $1,049.00, the footswitch is not included.

The specs:

  • 22 Watts tube power
  • 1x 5AR4 rectifier, 2x 6V6's power tubes
  • 4x 12AX7's, 2x 12AT7's preamp tubes
  • Spring Reverb
  • Black tolex
  • Silver grille with Fender logo
  • 1x 12 inch Eminence U.S. made speaker
  • 2 channels - Normal, Vibrato
  • 4 total inputs
  • Normal channel controls: vol/treble/bass
  • Vibrato channel controls: vol/treble/bass/reverb/speed/intensity
  • Footswitch not included
  • Near mint condition

G&L Tribute Legacy

Arriving on trade, here we have an excellent condition and sold here originally Tribute Legacy in the gloss black finish. The tortoise pickguard and tinted gloss maple neck ensure it's a sharp looking guitar.

Straight-forward 'Strat-style' setup on this one with the three single coils and 5-way selector switch. The volume and PTB system is nice in that all five selector positions are affected by changes in the volume/bass/treble knobs. If you're in the market for an excellent condition used Strat, give this Legacy some consideration. Asking $450.00 with gig bag included.

The specs:

  • Basswood body in gloss black finish
  • Tortoise pickguard
  • Maple neck and fretboard
  • Black dot inlays
  • Tinted gloss neck
  • 25-1/2 inch scale
  • 1-5/8 inch nut width
  • 12 inch radius
  • Med/jumbo frets
  • 5-way selector switch
  • 3x CLF-100 Alnico V single coil pickups
  • Volume, PTB system
  • White knobs/pickup covers
  • Chrome tuning machines
  • Excellent condition
  • Gig bag included

Vintage 1978 Ovation Anniversary

Durability and the acoustic/electric are two things that made Ovation famous over the years. This model 1657 the Anniversary is a very nice example of what they're all about. Well-broken in at 43 years old now, it plays and sounds awesome! Nice low action and setup for lights, this guitar was well cared for by the two previous owners who are both friends of the store.

The composite bowl back is not prone to humidity issues so the guitar is more rugged than a typical acoustic. The abalone snowflake inlays really pop against the ebony fingerboard. The carved pin-less walnut bridge is a nice touch as well. A great deal for a vintage instrument, asking $699.00 in the original Ovation brown hardshell case.

The specs:

  • Model 1657, made in 1978
  • 10 year anniversary of Ovation
  • Solid Sitka spruce top
  • Deep bowl back
  • M.O.P leaf and herringbone rosette
  • Cream binding
  • Herringbone purfling
  • 5-piece neck with rounded heel
  • Ebony fingerboard
  • Abalone snowflake inlays
  • Carved walnut pin-less bridge
  • 6 individual saddles
  • 25-1/2 inch scale
  • 1-3/4 inch nut width
  • Gold tuning machines
  • 2 gold strap buttons
  • Built in pickup
  • Concentric volume and bass/treble controls
  • Very good condition
  • Original Ovation brown hardshell case included

Vintage 1980 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Goldtop

Just as we were thinking it's been a little while since our last vintage Les Paul has graced the Attic...Bam! it walks through the door. This is exactly what we like to see, a guitar that has been lovingly played so it gains mojo, but well-cared for, stored properly, and kept in original condition. Matching volume and tone pots all date to 1979, this guitar has had the same owner for most of it's life since 1982.

Part of the reason it sounds so good is it's hefty weight (10.6 lbs), and it's pair of Gibson mini humbuckers. Undeniable Les Paul fat tone but the mini hums are a bit brighter/sparkly and cut more than a standard humbucker. Throughout the 70's Gibson got weird with their necks and often they were way too slim. This neck is a nice combo of the wider 1-11/16 inch nut width, and a slimmer carve. All in all it plays and sounds fantastic!

People tend to hold on to these for long periods of time, there weren't many comparable sold on the market in the last year. A solid investment piece for sure as it's original, the Goldtop is a classic finish, and will only go up as the years progress. Very good to excellent condition, couple fingernail size finish dings on the back of the neck and back of the body. Small normal play-wear marks throughout the guitar but it cleaned up beautifully. Low action and the low profile frets make it a dream to play. Setup for .010-.046 strings, asking $3,399.00 in the original Gibson hardshell case.

The specs:

  • Made in U.S.A. in 1980
  • Solidbody with single cutaway
  • 1-piece mahogany body
  • Carved maple top in Goldtop finish
  • Cream binding
  • Raised cream pickguard
  • 3-piece maple neck with volute
  • Bound 22 fret rosewood fretboard
  • Abalone trapezoid inlays
  • 24.75 inch scale
  • 1-11/16 inch nut width
  • Slim neck carve
  • Low profile frets
  • Ebony headstock veneer
  • Gibson pearl logo
  • 'Deluxe' truss rod cover
  • Two Gibson mini humbuckers
  • Cream mounting rings
  • Nickel Gibson engraved tulip-style tuners
  • Two volume, two tone controls
  • Pots all dated to 1979
  • 3-way selector switch
  • Stopbar tailpiece
  • Tune-o-matic bridge
  • Very good-excellent condition
  • Original Gibson hardshell case included

1994 Fender Limited Edition 40th Anniversary 1954 Stratocaster

Attention Stratocaster collectors and fans! Just in and sure not to last is this very collectible 40th Anniversary 1954 Strat, built in the U.S. in 1994. Featuring a gorgeous figured ash body in what's called a 2-tone, but really a 1-tone sunburst nitro finish. These finishes are prone to finish checking, this particular Strat is overall in excellent plus condition. The one-piece maple neck is a chunkier large C profile, sitting very nicely in the hand from first position to above the 12th fret. The neck also features a 7.25 vintage radius and vintage size frets.

There are some very cool limited edition features on this guitar. And along with that the limited production numbers ensures that this is a solid investment that will keep increasing in value. We sold it back in 2013, and it has gone up in value quite a bit since then. The previous owner wanted to make it more playable so he changed out the vintage style 3-way switch with a 5-way. Also the single coils were changed out for a set of Fender Vintage Noiseless which keeps hum and noise down while plugged in. The original Fender '54 pickups are included. The original 1-ply white pickguards on these were prone to warping so he also replaced that with the same official Fender 1-ply white which isn't warped on the guitar. Original pickguard is also included.

People often sell the two original cases for these separately to make money so it's nice when you find the guitar with both it's vintage style '54 brown poodle case and the black molded hardcase with 40th anniversary emblem. Original strap, whammy, and most of the original case candy are included as well. Overall a fantastic feeling, looking, and sounding reissue of the legendary 1954 Stratocaster! Asking $2,199.00

The specs:

  • Made in U.S.A. in 1994 to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Stratocaster
  • #1443 of 1954 total produced
  • Figured ash body in 1-tone sunburst nitrocellulose finish
  • 1-ply white vintage style pickguard (Fender official replacement, original included)
  • Special 1954 stamped 1-ply white tremolo cover with round string holes
  • Special 40th anniversary neck plate
  • 1-piece maple neck
  • Black dot inlays
  • 21 vintage size frets
  • Full-V/Large C profile neck shape
  • Bone nut
  • 1.67 inch nut width
  • 25-1/2 inch scale
  • 7.25 inch radius
  • Vintage style round string tree
  • No name vintage style tuners
  • Synchronized tremolo bridge with whammy
  • 3x Fender '54 Strat single coil pickups (included)
  • 3x Fender Vintage Noiseless single coil pickups (replaced)
  • 3-way selector switch (included)
  • 5-way selector switch (replaced)
  • Two original cases included
  • '54 style brown poodle case
  • Black molded hardcase with 40th anniversary emblem
  • Excellent plus condition

Fender American Series Stratocaster

Quality used Fender guitars have been arriving lately here in the Attic. Just in we have another Fender workhorse instrument: The American Strat. This particular one dates to 2003 when they were called 'American Series' Strats. Classic combo of 3-tone sunburst with the maple neck, the white pickguard has aged nicely over time to more of a cream color.

These era Fenders are sometimes prone to finish issues, this guitar has some finish wear on the back of the body by the neck heel but was professionally touched up by the previous owner. The finish on the neck is slightly worn in a few spots but overall the guitar looks great and is in very good condition. Fresh setup for .010's, treat yourself to a great value used Strat! Asking $899.00 in the Fender hardshell case.

The specs:

  • Made in U.S.A. in 2003
  • Alder body in 3-tone sunburst finish
  • 3-ply white pickguard (aged to cream)
  • Maple neck and fingerboard
  • Black dot inlays
  • 25.5 inch scale
  • 22 med/jumbo frets
  • Synchronized tremolo bridge
  • 3 Fender single coil pickups
  • 5-way selector switch
  • One volume, two tone controls
  • Chrome tuning machines
  • Very good condition
  • Fender hardshell case included

Blueridge BR-163A

Blueridge's Historic Series guitars go for that 'pre-war' styling at an affordable price point. This model is an upgrade from the standard BR-163, what sets it apart is the solid Adirondack spruce top. This particular one has a very nice wide-grain pattern. Similar to a Martin 'OM' with it's 000 body size, longer scale, and 1-3/4 inch nut width.

A versatile guitar if you want one instrument to do a lot of things. Well cared for by the previous owner it's in excellent condition with minimal play wear. Also a plus to have the hardshell case included. Asking $849.00.

The specs:

  • Historic Series
  • 000 Body shape
  • Solid Adirondack spruce top
  • Hand scalloped X-bracing
  • Solid Indian rosewood back and sides
  • Gloss finish
  • White binding
  • Vintage style pickguard
  • Herringbone purfling
  • Mahogany neck
  • Rosewood bridge and fretboard
  • Abalone snowflake/diamond/oval inlays
  • 25.5 inch scale
  • 1-3/4 inch nut width
  • Vintage style open gear tuning machines
  • Excellent condition
  • Hardshell case included

Sadowsky Semi-Hollow

Hollow-body enthusiasts check out our latest find...this excellent condition Sadowsky Semi-Hollow built in Brooklyn NYC in 2010. Roger Sadowsky has built a rock solid reputation over the decades as a top repairman and excellent builder. He describes his Semi-Hollow model as "an instrument that could produce a tradition jazz tone, yet have the ability to function at much higher volume levels without feedback."

The chambered lightweight spruce center block is part of the magic, it keeps the guitar super lightweight while preventing unwanted feedback. In the neck position with the tone rolled back, nice jazzy sounds are easy to achieve. Crank up the tone knob, flip to the bridge or middle position for some nice brighter sounds. In our research it seems these are pretty rare to find with a factory installed Bigsby. The Bigsby is nice to have to dial in more of your "Gretsch-style" tones with subtle whammy dips.

These are not cheap guitars, the current price tag new is $5,600.00. Here's a great chance to grab a hard-to-find top not quality semi-hollow, offered at $3,499.00 in the original hardshell case.

The specs:

  • Made in Brooklyn, N.Y.C. in 2010
  • Chambered body with dual f-holes
  • 5-ply laminate maple back and sides
  • Translucent black finish
  • Chambered lightweight spruce center block
  • 15 inch lower bout
  • 1-3/4 inch body depth
  • Rosewood pickguard included (not installed)
  • Ivoroid binding
  • Black/white purfling
  • Mahogany neck
  • Bound rosewood fingerboard
  • Pearl dot inlays
  • 24.75 inch scale
  • 1-11/16 inch nut width
  • Bound headstock
  • Wood truss rod cover
  • Factory installed Bigsby Vibrato
  • Tune-o-matic bridge
  • Two custom wound PAF style humbuckers
  • 3-way selector switch
  • One volume, one tone control
  • Gotoh tuners with ebony buttons
  • Chrome hardware
  • Excellent condition
  • Hardshell case included

Taylor 552-ce

Sometimes it can be frustrating if you're searching for a 12-string acoustic that most choices are bigger shapes: Dreadnaughts, Jumbos, etc. Here we have a super comfortable Taylor Grand Concert model, the 552-ce. With the shorter scale and 12-fret to body shape, it's about as petite for a 12-string as you're likely to find.

While most 12's are better for strumming away, this particular model excels for fingerstyle playing. Nice even balance of volume between the lows through highs. Taylor's are known for their brighter, cut-through tone and on a 12-string it comes through even more. Plug in with the Expression 2 system and emphasize a bit more of the bass and warmth with the touch of a knob. Overall in excellent condition with very minimal play wear. Asking $2,299.00 in the Taylor hardshell case.

The specs:

  • Made in El Cajon, CA
  • Grand Concert 12-fret body shape with cutaway
  • Solid cedar top
  • Solid tropical mahogany back and sides
  • V-Class bracing
  • Tortoise pickguard/li>
  • Tortoise binding
  • Gloss body
  • Mahogany neck
  • Ebony bridge and fingerboard
  • Century inlays
  • Satin neck finish
  • 24.8 inch scale
  • 1-7/8 inch nut width
  • Taylor ES-2 pickup system
  • Vol/bass/treble controls
  • Excellent condition
  • Original Taylor hardshell case included

Vintage 1969 M.G. Contreras Classical

Manuel Contreras Sr. was a Madrid native who excelled in guitar building both at the Ramirez workshop and his own. This particular example has an unsigned label, so it was likely made by one of his staff luthiers under his guidance.

The guitar is in fantastic condition. It was well-loved and cared for by a local resident who adored it and even made some reel-to-reel recordings with it. Now that the tone woods are well-seasoned, it projects beautifully. Anyone in the market for a vintage Spanish-made classical guitar needs to come check this one out.

This is a consignment instrument, and the seller has recently reduced the asking price to $3,499.00 including the original case - an exceptional value.

The specs:

  • Label reads: Constructor de Guitarras Calle Mayor, 80 Madrid, 1969
  • Indian rosewood back and sides
  • Spruce top
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Rosewood bridge
  • 656 mm scale
  • 52 mm nut width
  • Lacquer finish
  • Photo of original owner meeting Mr. Contreras with guitar
  • Original hardshell case included
  • Excellent condition

Gibson SG Modern

    Price Drop: $1,599!

Sometimes a customer buys a new instrument, then realizes shortly afterwards that it wasn't what they were looking for. Here's an example and a great opportunity to get a brand new, harder-to-find Gibson model. The SG Modern is certainly a head-turner featuring its AA figured maple top in the Blueberry Fade finish. The ebony fingerboard is a nice extra feature making for even smoother playing than the legendary SG already is.

Because of the wood scheme on this guitar, the tone is a bit brighter than a standard mahogany model. Plenty of volume with the dual Burstbucker Pro humbuckers, they both can be coil-tapped with the push/pull volume knobs for an even brighter and more snappy sound. This would be a great choice for a lead guitar player in a band, easy and quick access up to the 24th fret. Barely a mark on it, in excellent/near mint condition. $1,799.00 in the Gibson case with all original paperwork and case goodies included.

The specs:

  • Made in U.S.A. 2021
  • Thin dual cutaway SG body style
  • Mahogany body
  • AA figured maple top
  • Blueberry Fade finish
  • Nitrocellulose gloss body
  • Mahogany set neck
  • 24-fret bound ebony fingerboard
  • M.O.P. trapezoid inlays
  • Chrome Grover tuners
  • Ebony headstock veneer with pearl Gibson logo and crown
  • 24.75 inch scale
  • 1.695 inch nut width
  • Stop tailpiece
  • Nashville Tune-o-matic bridge
  • Gibson Burstbucker Pro Rhythm pickup
  • Gibson Burstbucker Pro + Lead pickup
  • Push/pull coil tapping (on volume controls)
  • Two volume, two tone controls
  • Clear top hat knobs
  • Excellent/Near Mint condition
  • Gibson hardshell case w/paperwork and accessories included

Vintage 1977 Ampeg B-15N Portaflex     Price Drop: $1,299!

It has been a while since our last Ampeg Portaflex model was in the Attic. We are very pleased to offer to our bass customers this very nice 1977 B-15N. Featuring 30 watts of all tube power, accept no substitute for the real deal tone.

The previous owner really went the extra mile to make this particular amp rock solid. The speaker was replaced with a 15 inch premium Altec 421-8H which was what Ampeg offered as the official upgrade at the time. The fiberglass insulation was upgraded to a modern polyester fill, the gasket was replaced and improved, and the latches are genuine replacements as well. The previous owner even made a bag to house the power cord so when the amp is flipped and put away, the cord doesn't damage the back of the speaker.

Many famous bass players have used this exact model amp, and countless legendary tracks have been recorded with it. Motown legend James Jamerson and the Band's Rick Danko are just a couple that quickly come to mind. Overall in very good condition, rock solid, fully functional and ready for it's next bass journey! $1,499.00.

The specs:

  • Ampeg's Portaflex flip-top line
  • 30 Watts tube power
  • Tubes: 5AR4, 6L6GC, 6L6GC, 6SL7, 6SL7, 6SL7
  • Upgraded premium Altec 421-8H 15 inch speaker
  • Two channels: Bright and Normal
  • 4 inputs
  • Ultra Hi and Ultra Lo switches for each channel
  • Volume, bass, treble controls each channel
  • Genuine replacement gasket and latches from fliptops.net.
  • Cabinet has wheels
  • Very Good condition

Fender Custom Shop Custom Classic Strat

Fans of the Fender Strat check out this new arrival to the Attic...a stand-out Custom Classic Strat with ash body in Sunset Orange Transparent finish. Not a common finish to find, the transparent orange nicely highlights the grain of the ash wood.

Beautiful flamed maple neck with a large 'C' profile. Not super-duper chunky but certainly larger than your typical modern 'C' profile. Really sits nicely in the hand in first position and plays great all the way up the neck, freshly setup for .010-.046 strings. The Custom Shop single coil pickups sound bright, snappy, and clear as a Strat should. The guitar market is very hot right now, it's not too often we get Fender Custom Shop models coming through. If you've been thinking of a sweet unique Stratocaster, don't hesitate on this one! Excellent condition just a few small marks, C.O.A. and original spec sheet included.

Offered at $2,199.00 in original Fender Custom Shop hardshell case.

The specs:

  • Made in Corona, CA in 2008
  • New Old Stock
  • Ash body
  • Sunset Orange Transparent finish
  • 3-Ply white pickguard
  • Flamed maple neck
  • Abalone dot inlays
  • Large 'C' profile neck shape
  • 9.5 radius
  • Med/Jumbo frets
  • Bone nut
  • Schaller chrome tuning machines
  • Straplocks
  • Custom Classic neck/middle/bridge single coil pickups
  • 5-way selector switch
  • One volume, two tone controls
  • Custom Classic Strat bridge
  • Ultra snap-in tremolo arm
  • C.O.A. included
  • Fender Custom Shop hardcase included
  • Excellent condition

Almansa 401-1/2 Half Size Classical

It can be difficult to find a good step-up classical guitar for the young player. Most small classical guitars in this country are starter instruments with laminated tops. The improving young classical player requires a guitar with a solid top for better tone and a higher level of workmanship for responsiveness.

The Almansa 401-1/2 is just such an instrument. Crafted in Spain with a solid red cedar top, this guitar has a short 544mm scale and slightly narrower 48mm nut width. That means it will fit the younger player comfortably but still deliver satisfying tone.

This guitar was originally purchased at The Minor Chord and has had one local owner. That player later graduated to an Almansa 'Senorita' (7/8 size) guitar and traded their 1/2 size model. It's in excellent condition. Offered at $399 with a padded gig bag.

The specs:

  • Made in Spain
  • 544mm (21.4 inch) scale
  • 48mm (1.88 inch) nut width
  • Solid red cedar top
  • Layered mahogany back and sides
  • Open-pore (satin) finish
  • Indian rosewood fingerboard
  • Binding around top
  • Gig bag included

Vintage Squire by Fender 80's Telecaster Japan

It's been a little while since our last made in Japan vintage Fender has come through. This mid 80's telecaster is in great shape and should make someone looking for a tele very happy. Only a couple very minor marks, it looks almost new. The black finish with the maple neck and fingerboard is a solid visual look. Twang away with the two single coils, slimmer neck profile on this one. All original $699.00 including a hardshell case.

The specs:

  • Made in Japan ca. 1984-87
  • Alder body in black finish
  • 1-Ply white pickguard
  • 1-Piece maple neck and fretboard
  • 21 frets
  • Black dot inlays
  • Slim C neck profile
  • 25.5 inch scale
  • 1-5/8 inch nut width
  • Two single coil pickups
  • Six individual bridge saddles
  • One volume, one tone control
  • 3-way selector switch
  • Gotoh chrome tuning machines
  • Excellent condition
  • hardshell case included

Common problems with used instruments

We see a lot of used instruments at The Minor Chord and a few common issues seem to show up in many of them. If you are thinking of buying an instrument on the private market, make sure you can spot these common flaws.

Lifting bridges

Most bridges on acoustic guitars are simply glued to the guitar top. If the glue joint starts to separate you are looking at a dangerous guitar. Six steel strings exert a huge tension on the bridge, and if it suddenly comes loose it can seriously injure anyone nearby. The staff at The Minor Chord has seen this happen - so we always inspect the bridge of an acoustic guitar before restringing it.

Piece of paper under a lifting bridge

Piece of paper under a lifting bridge

If you can slip a sheet of paper under the bridge of your guitar (see picture) you should relax the string tension immediately and bring the instrument to us for inspection.

An experienced luthier can remove a bridge and reglue it, but the time and labor involved makes the process too expensive for beginner and intermediate guitars.

High action

The distance between the strings and the fingerboard is called the action height. If the action is too high the guitar becomes hard (or even impossible) to play because it takes too much effort to press a string against the fingerboard. In addition, the guitar will probably not play in tune because each string has to be stretched so much (which raises its pitch) as it is pressed down.

Proper action height depends on two factors: The alignment of the neck and the height of the saddle (the point at which the strings rest on the bridge).

Electric and steel-string acoustic guitars usually have a truss rod running down the neck that can be used to adjust neck alignment. Classical-style guitars with nylon strings typically do not have a truss rod, and the only way to realign the neck is for a luthier to remove, shim and reinstall the neck - a major operation. The same operation is required on electrics or steel-string acoustics if the truss rod doesn't have enough available play to achieve the needed adjustment.

Saddle height is easily adjusted on electric guitars using a very small allen-head wrench. The saddles on acoustics and classical nylon strings may simply lift out of the bridge and can be shaved or shimmed to achieve the correct height. If these adjustments cannot bring the action height to a playable level, an expensive neck reset is required.

A low action height is desirable for easy playing but the action cannot be lowered so much that the strings start buzzing against the frets. Inexpensive guitars tend to have uneven frets, which means that the action height cannot be brought very low at all. Resetting or dressing the frets can even them up but it is a time consuming and expensive process, worthwhile only for valuable guitars.

All of these adjustments related to action height are fussy and interrelated. It's best to leave them to an experienced luthier, which means it is usually not economical to rescue an inexpensive guitar having these problems.