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tips for buying used

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MCBTunes, Nov 24, 2005.


  1. Ok i seached, mostly found that buying used was a good thing, made me happy.

    But what should I look for when buying a used amp to make sure i dont get that one dud(like i did with my dang car).

    What are some signs an amp has been abused other than asthetics. How do I tell eveything is still the way it is supposed to be? Assuming I can play it or ask questions.

    What paces do you put an amp through before you buy it? And what questions do you ask the owener about it?

    Thanks
     
  2. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    You plug in and turn it up LOUD. If it sounds good, then it is good.
     
  3. When you try the amp out DEFINITELY check the output transformer (the big one :D ) inside for any signs or burning/overheating etc..
     
  4. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Try the amp out at both high and low volume levels.

    I played through half a dozen amps last night and there was only one of the bunch I played through which I liked regardless of volume level.

    Particularly if you're buying used you really want to push the whole unit a bit to see if any cold solder joint, bad tube or speaker problems rear their ugly heads.

    No matter what the seller does with the knobs, first turn everything to flat and see if you like it. Then work every control and see if you like the ranges all the tone controls are centered at and if you like them. This is also where you get to confirm that there is no scratchiness in any of the pots.

    Do a visual inspection too and it wouldn't hurt to inquire about tube age in the case that it's a tube amp you're looking at.

    I'm a huge fan of buying used and the only equipment I ever buy new is when my pickiness makes me want an item that isn't readily available on the used market.
     
  5. protoz

    protoz

    Nov 30, 2000
    Iowa
    I've always just pulled the trigger and waited to see what happens. Worked out for me so far :)
     
  6. Amp in question is an Eden WT-400... it is a few years old atleast... havnt gotten a def. age... the owner is an active musician so I'm assuming it has been gigged quite a bit though.
     
  7. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    All of the above stated, I actually have done a lot of buying sight unseen and in 20 years have never been taken by a working musician, but have definitely had trouble with a larger percentage of the non-working musicians I've dealt with.
     
  8. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    the main thing in buying anything used is to check out the seller and insure as much as possible that you're dealing with someone who is honest, reputeable, and will stand behind their description of what they're selling you AND that you build as much leverage as possible into the sale.

    Once it soaks in that the focus is not what your buying but who you're buying from and to buy in a way that stacks the deck in your favor if anything goes wrong, then what you're buying really becomes irrelevant. The same approach works for everything. When you minimize the risk, about the worse you can end up with is something that is as described but turned out not to be quite what you wanted or maybe paid a little more than you'd have liked - not something that's smoke first fire and worth little if anything - but yours like it or not.

    Also, if you really don't know what you're buying, take someone with you who does. Always a good idea to take a second party anyway cuase then you have a witness of the transaction and there's always small claims court locally. If the seller doesn't have someone accompanying him and you do, that's leverage. Not a good idea to buy from someone moving out of the area or who is broke.

    100% credit is the best leverage I know of. Buying from a business also provides some leverage - especially if they accept credit cards. Make sure it's spelled out what the agreement is - as is, 24 hr. return, whatever, and have it in writing on the receipt. Saved emails are also a great record.

    If you don't feel comfortable, don't buy. There's always more stuff.
     
  9. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    Only buy from a reputable seller. I've bought basses, amps, preamps, cabinets, etc. from here on talkbass and have yet to come across a bad piece of gear. The key is to ask lots of questions up front so you know EXACTLY what you are getting. Some sellers will not tell you problems with the piece of gear if you don't ask.
     
  10. protoz

    protoz

    Nov 30, 2000
    Iowa
    Yea I've only bought used from working musicians so far and each amp has been in great working order.
     
  11. right now there is a volume pot on order to be completely replaced... is there a need to be concered once the repair is done?
     
  12. ok i'm kinda concerned because this "volume pot" has been getting repaired since august... I think they are trying to pull a fast one on me.. but used edens are really rare around here.
     
  13. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    And why do they say it's taking 3 months to replace a volume pot?
     
  14. they said it was sitting there and it was on order... they dont seem to know much about it.. its on consignment from an old employee who is gigging out of province.... they offered to let me use it for a few days that gave me a little confidence... but I dont have any cabs :).... i guess i could taker to the store and mess around
     
  15. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    personally, I would have called Eden a month after the amp wasn't repaired regarding availablility of the part. I don't know amps but how particular can a volume pot be. I would also call around locally and start making inquiries about repair. It may be they only made one of those volume controls but I'm guessing that amp will be sitting another 3 months. I'd be getting informed and assessing my options. If nothing else it will give you a better idea of the outfit you're dealing with. You may find out your business is better taken elsewhere.

    Don't know about Canada but in the U.S. it would be good news you're dealing with a music store cause they're accountable. If nothing else, here there would unlikely be a problem getting whatever you've invested back and letting them keep it.
     
  16. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Do not go searching for good deals; let the good deals come to you.


    Everytime I went searching for a good deal, I ended up getting screwed. However, my two Sunns I didn't persue, I just happened to find out about them, and they're the best amps I've ever owned.
     

  17. Too true - there's a shload of true in that mate.
    There's a lot of eBay arseholes who rip you off just before they move house, and its all very hard to prove. :scowl:
    One thing too, when Ebay is concerned - the good sellers will usually be obvious, quick replies, transparency and honest opinion's. Unfortunately, the lowest prices are usually too good to be true.