How To Buy a Guitar Pack
Purchasing a guitar and the necessary accessories for a beginner can be difficult – especially if the buyer is not a player. The internet is filled with reviews for hundreds of beginner packs ranging in price from $99 to about $399, all claiming to have “all that you need to get started.”
So how do you know what to buy?
At Harry’s Guitar Shop, we can shed a little light on how to find the right pack for you.
What Can I Expect To Pay?
The goal of a beginner pack is to motivate someone to play.
First, you need to know the bare minimum that you should expect to pay for a beginner pack which includes:
- An electric guitar
- An amplifier
- A guitar cable
- A gig bag
- A strap
Electric guitar packs usually start at $200-$250. The base price for a truly playable electric guitar is about $150. This price covers the bare minimum that it costs to make and sell the instrument. So, a $200 pack that includes the amp and accessories is going to include a $25 amp, roughly. As you can probably guess, it’s not much of an amp.
An extra $50 gets you a much better amplifier, capable of achieving pleasing tones that will last for years.
That’s why at Harry’s, our beginner packs start at $259. After all, it’s supposed to be an enjoyable experience! Who would choose to learn electric guitar on bad equipment, no matter how well they play?
Ok, now that I know what it will cost….
Why Should I Buy From Harry’s?
Here’s the deal — beginner packs can be good or bad. The difference between the good and the bad is what is known as the “set-up.”
All packs are manufactured in Asia, packed into a shiny box, loaded onto pallets by the hundreds, then shipped by boat to the U.S. When they make their way to the manufacturer, they check the first few for quality control. If all appears good, then they are shipped to the brick-and-mortar stores and online-only warehouse stores.
Guitars require a set of precise adjustments, known as the set-up, to make them truly playable out of the box. If that does not occur before you make the purchase, then that means that no human has touched that guitar since it left Asia months ago. So even if the guitar was “set-up” before it left for the US, given the changes in climate and atmosphere that it’s been through, it will need a professional set-up.
A set-up is required for the guitar to be playable – it isn’t just a bonus. You can expect to add $50 to any beginner pack that needs a setup. Why not buy from someone that does that for you for no extra charge?
When we get our packs in at Harry’s, we inspect every guitar and do a full FREE set-up before it leaves with you. You can be assured that it is ready to be played from the moment you open the box.
That’s a big deal.
Hopefully, this will make your buying experience a little less confusing. Shopping – especially holiday shopping – should be a fun and rewarding experience. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We’ve been your local guitar store for 30 years, and we aim to please!