Are you interested in purchasing a secondhand musical instrument? You can get a good deal on quality used instruments from a place like Wilmington Jewelry & Loan. Perhaps your child is just starting to play the guitar--or maybe you've always wanted to learn the violin. Whatever the reason, there are some things that you should always look at before you make the purchase. A musical instrument is usually fairly delicate and may not sound right if it is damaged.
1. Look for Signs of Rust or Corrosion
Most musical instruments have some metal parts. A guitar has metal pins, for instance. Look at the metal parts for any signs of dirt, rust or corrosion. This would indicate that the musical instrument was not kept in good condition but instead cleaned up for the sale. This could have consequences beyond the rust, such as humidity damage in the instrument itself.
2. Examine the Paint and Finish
Almost anything can look clean. It's not difficult for an instrument to be cleaned. But you'll be able to see any damage to the instrument in the paint. If there are visible chips or scratches in the finish, there could be internal problems, too. Dents will almost always alter the sound of an instrument, so any dents--no matter how small--should be a huge warning sign.
3. Smell the Instrument
This may seem (and look) strange, but smelling a wood instrument is almost always a good idea. If there is a moldy, musky smell, it's more than likely that the instrument hasn't been cared for and may have been in a damp basement or attic. An instrument that has any sort of "moist" smell probably has other moisture issues, such as swollen wood.
4. Tune It Up
Many instruments are sold out of tune. Now, for a piano, you probably won't be able to tune it right there and then. But other instruments should be tuned while you're there and played to make sure that there aren't any issues that aren't obvious upon inspection. For pianos, most pianos will be somewhat out of tune if they're being sold secondhand. But you can still play it, feel the weight of the keys and make sure that each string is ringing out properly.
Apart from the above issues, there are also some problems that really don't make that big of a difference. For instance, when choosing a guitar, you shouldn't fuss too much about the strings--you'll be replacing them anyway. Most cosmetic issues won't affect the actual sound of the instrument, though you may be able to get some money off of the sales price!