richbal wrote:Would anyone recommend buying untested guitars on e - b a y ?
i can't say for guitars, but we have purchased several brass instruments on e - b a y and have always been delighted. we checked the seller's history and always chose vintage instruments asking questions about the compression etc. in other words, we got to 'know' the seller before we bid. we also learned a fair bit about the instrument we were bidding on so i think ameede's advice is very good.
however, guitars may be a very different story. i know violins are to some extent. for instance, a vintage conn trumpet is a conn (pretty well no 2 ways about it). but a vintage stainer violin is very unlikely a stainer (apparently back in the old days luthiers would make copies but not label them as such - or so i was told).
i also think that string instruments are subject to personalization to a greater extent than brass - the feel and sound on a guitar or violin is more 'variable' depending upon who is playing it and how (assuming a reasonable threshold of competence of course). there is also a good deal more 'variability' to making guitars and violins than brass so the personalization is greater on that side as well.
so in summary, our approach is something like this. if we want to do e - b a y, we will look for vintage instruments because even on the rare chance we luck out on playability there is a certain amount of nostalgic value there. however, if we were looking for the perfect playing instrument, then the try before you buy would make more sense in all likelihood (you can often do this on e - b a y too with the really good sellers because they will give you moneyback trial period since they are very confident about what they are selling).