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I want to buy an electric guitar and amp. I found that there is a good buying guide in this question.

But in terms of budget, seems that there is not much discount / deal for musical instruments comparing to other stuff. Any advice about cutting the price?


Update: Thanks guys. I got myself a Jackson DK2 and a Peavey Vypyr 30W. Happily playing now :)

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BUY USED. Used gear (unless it was very badly obused, but would be obvious on inspection) sounds just as good, better than compromising for a brand-new but cheap guitar. AVOID "Gig-Packs" and Guitar-Amp "starter packs" like the plague. –  crasic May 13 '11 at 10:07
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@crasic : This should be an answer rather than a comment. –  Anonymous May 20 '11 at 21:46
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4 Answers

Probably the best way to get decent equipment for a good price is to buy used. eBay is an option but I often shy away from them for my local community. Sites like The Gear Page offer people the ability to buy and sell gear on their forum for a small membership fee that simply supports the community. I have purchased every major piece of equipment I own, including a 2006 Historic 1959 Les Paul re-issue for a really good deal and in pristine condition. Of course, just like craigslist, everyone can have a bad experience--but I have found that it's often not the community's fault. If you're street smart, know when to spot a bad deal when you see one, and very thorough you can snag some awesome deals for below MSRP.

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I agree wholeheartedly. When on a budget, check out used gear. One thing I'd like to add is that it's best to check it out personally before purchasing, whenever practical. This is less important with amps and electronic gear, but might save you a lot of heartache with guitars (especially if an otherwise fine instrument turns out simply "wrong" for you, for whatever reason). If you don't have a lot of experience with testing guitars, try to get a friend who does to come along. –  Faza May 7 '11 at 1:23
    
I tried craigslist actually. The problem is, I live in a small town and there not too many choices in the used market. –  Ivan Z. Xiao May 8 '11 at 4:01
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Faza has a point there, just because a guitar looks cool and is recommended by a bunch of people, doesn't mean that it'll work out for you. Some people like the feel of a Strat, some don't. Plain and simple. When in doubt, go try the gear out. That having been said, try it new somewhere and but it on ebay :) –  Anonymous May 12 '11 at 0:04
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Perfectly Good Guitar

I picked up a Fender Squier (made in Indoesia) electric a couple of years ago for $99 (included shipping). I play it as much as I play my strat and PRS. If they are still available I would suggest you check it out in a local store and see if you like it. Just because a guitar is inexpensive doesn't mean it's not good. It doesn't come with a case so you can expect to spend about $40 or so for a decent hard case.

Amps

All my guitar playing friends swear by tube amps but they are expensive and I personally think a beginner is much better served by a solid state amp.

Money for Nothing and Amps for Free

HOWEVER, if you own a computer, you don't even need an amp for practicing. Buy a USB adapter for your guitar and plug it into your computer and start up Garage Band. GB has modeling for a bunch of amps and stomp boxes you can play with. You can connect some external speakers (or headphones) and have a blast (I know from experience) at reasonably low volumes. It will also teach you about amps and effect pedals. You'll probably find you won't need an amp until you want to jam with friends. The volume from your mac won't keep up with those Marshall stacks they own. Also GB works on the iOS but I haven't tried that yet, but if you have an iTouch, iPhone etc you might see if it has the same features for guitar.

There is similar software for PCs and even Linux.

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Tube amps do sound better, but yes, they are much more expensive than solid state. There are however some hybrids out there that are not that much more expensive than solid state amps and still give you the warm sound of a tube amp. –  MaQleod May 22 '11 at 18:10
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Try to keep up to date on upcoming New Releases from whatever manufacturer's gear you are interested in. When you see a new/upgraded model "coming soon" use that as leverage when negotiating the price.

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Also check gumtree, another good classifieds site for finding used gear. If you want a starter amp check out modelling amps such as the Peavey Vypyr 15 as it includes loads of effects and amp types. You can check out a demo here: Peavey Vypyr 15

Also look into Blackstar amps, the HT-1 is an incredible cheap and great sounding little tube amp Blackstar HT-1

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