Nick Torres

London born, Washington DC area native Nick Torres has been involved in music for more than 20 years. From singing with the Paul Hill Chorale at the Kennedy Center, to Regional Chorus, soloist at Trinity UMC in Alexandria VA, bell ringing, amateur and professional musical theater, and a band or two along the way. Currently Nick is focused on spending as much time as possible with his lovely wife and two children. When he's not doing that he's practicing his acoustic guitar and hanging out in the Songwriters Forum here on Guitar Noise. And writing articles and reviews, let's not forget that...

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  1. Tod
    March 15th, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

    Nick, There is only anecdotal evidence to support many of your statements here, you write as though they are fact. I don’t believe that is a good idea.


    • Nick
      April 9th, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

      I know this is an old comment, but puh-lease, it’s an article not a scientific treatise. I stand by used guitars are cheaper than their new counterparts,(unless they are collectibles), wood sounds better, or at least stabilizes as it ages and once wood settles it’s much less likely to have problems with humidity. The brands I picked as good to look out for are purely subjective, however they were built well and have stood the test of time.

      However, I have changed my mind on Ovations. I love them and think they can be quite the bargain used.

  2. Kevin
    June 9th, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

    I’m looking to talk to a couple people who’ve actually bought or plan to buy a used guitar online or through ebay, craigslist, etc. I really think that there are merits to initially shopping for a guitar online, but it seems like most people who are in the market would tend to go to guitar center. Anyway, I started a new site to help people find used instruments and guitars online but so far it’s still too new to know if the concept is a good one.

    • David Hodge
      June 10th, 2012 @ 8:53 am

      Hi Kevin

      Being left-handed, I’ve had to buy most of my instruments online. I think many people do because they think they might get a good bargain. The trouble is that every instrument is very much a matter of feel and comfort and it’s obviously impossible to do that online. You can even go out and check out instruments at a store and then go and order the very same make and model online and end up having a totally different instrument in regard to how it feels and plays. That’s the true gamble with buing online.

      I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been incredibly lucky with my purchases. That may not always be the case in the future.

      Hope this helps with your research.


  3. Mario Velazco
    January 22nd, 2013 @ 12:28 am

    thanks for all the tips, I would like to ask you a question a have a Martin dx1ae is natural finish I would like to spray a glossy top coat are this will affect the sound?

    • Nick
      April 9th, 2013 @ 4:13 pm

      Probably not much as long as you keep the coat thin.

  4. James Smith
    April 7th, 2013 @ 7:24 pm

    I had a Fender Palomino and played t for over 20 years until t was stolen. It was an excellent guitar with a beautiful tone. True, it needed a set up when I first bought it, slightly used. That’s why I got it cheaply, the seller didn’t know to do that. After I had the same problems with playability, I took it to a good shop. They only charged me about $30 for the set up (it was 1967) and it was perfect after that and I never did a thing but change the strings.

    I now have a new fender and, after not laying for over 20 years, my CD 60 CE is beautiful. Yes, it needed a set up, too. Oddly enough, it was also about $30 but I live in Brazil now and the luthier likes me. :)

  5. Nick
    June 26th, 2014 @ 3:18 pm

    Just FYI, Number, subsection 3B isn’t true. This is all about truss rod and neck bow. I think I cut and pasted two sections together originally, but it has nothing to do with needing a neck reset. It might have to do with needing a new neck altogether if the truss rod can’t be adjusted to compensate.

    • Nick
      June 26th, 2014 @ 3:21 pm

      Number 8 that should say.

  6. Kathy
    August 4th, 2014 @ 8:15 pm

    Hi Nick, I’m looking at a 1949 Goya G20 classic guitar. It appears to be in very good condition and has a very nice tone. The guy says it needs $150 worth of work on the fret board and bridge to make it perfect. I don’t think I could look at the neck or bridge and know if there were any serious problems. The only thing I noticed was that the bridge was well attached but appears to have been reglued as there was visible white glue in the seam. It’s not cheap, the guy wants $350— with a trade-in — a new acoustic bass that I don’t ever play. Are there key things I should check on a guitar like this? I’m trying to decide if I should take a chance or move on.
    Thanks for your time. Kathy

  7. John
    December 6th, 2014 @ 1:34 pm

    I’m looking at a Sea Gull S6 plus spruce. Looks brand new. I’m a beginner and don’t really know what it should sound like yet. He wants $300. Do you think that’s a deal?

    • Paul Hackett
      December 6th, 2014 @ 5:53 pm

      Understand, it’s really hard to give an opinion on a specific guitar. Whether or not it’s a good deal will depend on how the buyer feels. Whenever possible a beginner should get someone to go with them to look at a new guitar. I think a Seagull is a nice guitar for a beginner to have. A quick search online shows you can get a new one for under $400.

      Buying from a local music shop is generally a safer move for someone who doesn’t know what they’re getting. I know this article is about buying a used guitar, but it’s not easy for someone who doesn’t play guitar to examine one. If you’re just starting on guitar, there are several options for new guitars in the same price range. Unless there is a big savings compared to what this guitar costs brand new, I’d go with a new one. At least buying from a small local store you can always go back with questions.

  8. John
    December 6th, 2014 @ 9:05 pm

    Thanks for the quick reply! I think I will go with new, especially at my beginer level.

  9. Broderick Joens
    June 9th, 2015 @ 12:24 pm

    I have never owned a guitar in my life, but I have always wanted to. Growing up in the south, my family had the blues playing on almost every radio. I know B.B. King had a few old guitars he played with, and his sound was amazing. Your comment about the age of the guitar makes me wonder if that was what I enjoyed so much about his sound as a kid.

  10. Trevor
    November 24th, 2015 @ 3:26 pm

    Full disclosure, I am the Business Development Manager for a new startup, an online social musical gear exchange site, NinthBeat at We specialize in affordable used gear and telling a story to go along with your equipment.

    I agree with most of what Nick says in this article. Buying used takes away the price depreciation that a new one will experience, and there are much better used guitars out there than not. However, Nick said that it is difficult to get a new guitar to be broken in, and that is why he prefers used, but he doesn’t know how/if the used one was properly broken in either.

    Lots of really good advice here. Never be shy to bring in a professional luthier or tech to inspect and give his opinion.

  11. William
    December 6th, 2015 @ 10:51 pm

    I just bought a used Goya 12 string it’s old bout 8 years
    It a g410
    I’m proud of it but the rosewood on the fretboard shows years of use any tips for getting this beauty back to former glory

  12. Gin
    December 8th, 2015 @ 8:36 pm

    Nice post Nick, I own two second handed guitars and I love how “worn-out” they look and sound. Thanks for the advice!

  13. Quora
    May 22nd, 2016 @ 2:31 am

    What all things are required to check while buying a second hand guitar?

    First of all I would suggest you to not buy any second hand guitar. If you still required then go with professionals if you know them check the sound maturity. Check the neck it Is bend or okay.check the bridge. And read this articalhttp://www.guitarno…

  14. eric crayon
    May 27th, 2016 @ 2:25 am

    Thanks for this great post and comments . I am new so I decided to buy a used guitars . I found some good options but one of my friend adviced me to buy a new guitar for beginners . When I check the price on the net , I realized that new one is more economic for me Because it is for beginners . So I bought new acouistic guitars . If I will be a profession maybe I can choose used one but for my situation it wasn’t logical .

  15. lanton
    July 9th, 2016 @ 11:51 am

    Great. Thanks for sharing onfo

  16. Samuel T. Cummins
    July 9th, 2016 @ 12:02 pm

    Buying used is the cheapest way to get a high quality guitar, but many people don’t know how to buy a used guitar safely and effectively. This tips are helpful to us in many ways to understand which we can acquire used gear, and give us all the information to start bargain hunting

  17. Samuel T. Cummins
    October 17th, 2016 @ 1:13 pm

    Great, actually, I want to buy a guitar for me in this article will come in handy. Buying used is the cheapest way to get a high quality guitar, but many people don’t know how to buy a used guitar safely and effectively. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Teddy
    December 7th, 2016 @ 12:24 pm

    Thank you for your suggestion on how to buy a Used Acoustic Guitar. I agree that we should begin using an used guitar.
    I’ll be back soon to your nice blog.
    Cheers Teddy

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