I just bought an electric acoustic guitar and found out that the sound was not bright on a few notes only.

I first noticed the difference on F# on D string. Then checking carefully showed that F F# and G notes on D string had the same problem. Other notes lower than F and higher than G sounded normal or less dull. F# was the worst.

I also tried the same notes on A and low E strings, and these notes also sounded less bright than the others. G string was better, the sound was also different from other notes.

Overall, the body looks fine to my eyes, but I’m not an expert. Should I return the guitar? Or does it need a proper work by a luthier?

Please help! Thanks so much!

  • 2
    Since you just bought it, surely it's better to return it to its seller, rather than ask random folk on the 'net, who cannot see/hear/look at it. Of course it needs to go back. May simply be a need for new strings, which the seller can remedy.
    – Tim
    Dec 15, 2022 at 7:29

1 Answer 1


When you go back to your luthier to have your guitar checked, consider the following issues:

  • Neck tension: the curvature of the neck may make some notes harder to play or sound dull, suffer from fret buzz. This seems most likely without more information.
  • Fret quality: frets of second-hands guitars may be worn out, cheap new guitars may have unprecise frets that make notes sound off.
  • Pick-ups: if the same problem appears on certain frequencies, maybe the pick-up does not take them well.
  • Resonance: the wood of the guitar resonates with the strings, adding to the sustain. There may be an impact on certain frequencies.
  • String type: strings that are too thin or thick may mess up your sound and playing style.
  • Buyer's remorse: shortly after buying, you may be unnecessarily doubting your purchase and finding issues that are minor or not really there. It doesn't hurt to ask for confirmation from someone else that it's actually an ok guitar.

From my personal experience (28 years of playing, four guitars), guitars sometimes have notes or strings that just don't feel right. For me it's often on the B or the high E string, upper frets. That's probably entirely irrational or a matter of skills, but if you feel it, it's real. Next questions is whether it's holding you back, in which case it's certainly worth looking into it.

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