3 Signs Of Damage To Look Out For When Buying Used Instruments

Shopping Blog

Are you thinking of buying a used instrument? Whether you're just beginning to learn the flute or purchasing a guitar for your child, a used instrument can be an excellent way to get value at a lower cost. Nevertheless, there are some telltale signs of damage that you should be looking for if you want to get the best bang for your buck. These signs of damage often indicate that the instrument itself may not be playable or may sound wrong when played.

1. Wet or Peeling Labels

Many instruments, such as guitars, may have small labels on the interior. These labels may cover the country of origin or information about the guitar itself. In general, if any label appears to have been water damaged or be peeling off, it's likely that the instrument itself has been damaged in some way. A peeling or moist label is indicative of either a high humidity storage environment or direct water damage. Water damage won't just mean that the instrument won't last as long -- it may also be warped and not sound correct.

2. Rust Along Metal Pieces

Rust doesn't just happen overnight. Not only is rust bad because it damages the structure of an instrument, but it's also bad because it indicates that the instrument itself has not been cared for or properly maintained in a long time -- in other words, the rust might be the least of your problems. Some minor spots of rust can usually be repaired, otherwise you might be looking at a rather extensive fixer project.

3. Dents or Deep Scratches

A car with a small dent will still run, but that's not necessarily true of musical instruments. Most musical instruments have a very specific sound and that sound is significantly altered if the body of the instrument has any form of dent or imperfection. While a deep scratch won't affect play, a deep scratch could also be a visible sign that the instrument has been through some physical trauma -- which could cause an imperceptible imperfection. As an example, a flute with a long scratch down the side could be bent inward on that side. 

There are always exceptions to every rule. A very rare, expensive guitar that has some rust may still be worth a low price -- you just need to replace the hardware. It's usually a good idea to do your research before you look so that you know the value of the items that you're looking at. From there, you can judge whether the damage you see is worth the price! Visit instrument providers, such as Wilmington Jewelry & Loan, to purchase new parts or to further educate yourself on good-quality material. 


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