Help me help my friend help his partner...!
September 23, 2008 7:31 PM   Subscribe

Southern Ontario Filter: Any good, inexpensive places to buy a guitar for a beginner?

Asking for a friend:

"I want to buy my partner a guitar but have no idea where to start. I don't even know a good range of prices for this sort of thing. He is a beginner, and hoping to teach himself.

I live in the Niagara region, but travel to Toronto frequently. Is there anywhere in Niagara, or Toronto, that I should look?

Any recommendations welcome, especially if they are in the Niagara region. As well, if you could inform me about price ranges for beginners (i.e. he doesn't need a fancy guitar), that would be great!"

Thanks in advance!
posted by gursky to Shopping (8 answers total)
posted by gman at 7:33 PM on September 23, 2008

You might try guitar shops in Buffalo. Yeah, crossing the border is a pain, but the dollar is pretty weak right now, and NY has lower taxes than Ontario. You can get a functional Ibanez, Yamaha, or Fender acoustic-electric in the USD$200-300 range. If he decides he really likes it, they aren't terrible guitars, and he can always spend more if he wants to. If he decides to drop it, it's not a huge loss.

There's a Guitar Center in Buffalo.

There's alsothe used option. Check Craigslist. And garage sales.
posted by valkyryn at 7:45 PM on September 23, 2008

Best answer: i just bought a beginner's guitar for 129 C$ including a vinyl bag for it from Long and McQuade.

It's great for someone just starting out. And while taking it travelling I don't have to worry about it so much because it was so cheap.

It's Chinese made. Manufacturer is Denver. I can't find a website for them though.
posted by dawdle at 8:18 PM on September 23, 2008

Best answer: Long and McQuade is the standard bigger store to go to. They have a location in Toronto as well as many other (which may be closer to Niagra region). Also in Toronto is Steve's which is a pretty good store too. As far as price ranges, you should be able to get a cheap starters guitar for under $200. If you ask the sales people for guitars in this price range they should be able to help.
posted by Midnight Rambler at 8:23 PM on September 23, 2008

If you want cheap, decent and used, go to Dave at Encore Music Exchange (Toronto; Danforth Ave and Danforth Rd). If you want cheap and new, and can make it up to Richmond Hill, Cosmo Music is a huge barn of a place with the some of the lowest prices I've seen at retail.

Nearer Niagara, The Music Depot in Port Colborne has a small range of usually semi-decent consignment instruments. There's a Long & McQuade in Burlington, too.

While you can pick up a new guitar for about $100, Art & Lutherie acoustics start at about $200, and are nicely (if plainly) made in Canada.
posted by scruss at 4:45 AM on September 24, 2008

The guitar shops of Hamilton seem to be innocent of websites, but Pongetti's (on Upper James) is good for the basics, and the Guitar Clinic (on McKinstry, near Burlington and Wentworth) has furnished me with a few good inexpensive used instruments over the years.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:45 AM on September 24, 2008

I wish you had asked this question 2 weeks ago, I was researching used guitars and could have pointed you to several that seemed like great deals.

I just picked up a guitar in niagara falls that I found at and there were several that I was interested in for $200 or less.

I would ignore craigslist, there were far more guitars for sale on kijiji, and I have a friend who also got a great deal on a guitar shopping there.

If you're buying new, and acoustic, I can recommend seagull guitars (made in Canada). They play great and I don't know if you can beat their value for the money. Or I would second Art and Lutherie also as a nice but inexpensive guitar. (I have heard that they are owned by the same company as seagull but I'm not sure.)
posted by skinnydipp at 9:10 AM on September 24, 2008

(yes, A&L are made by Godin, just like Seagull. Seagull have a premium finish, while A&L are very plain, but probably as well made, and feature a few more laminates in the back and sides so you don't have to baby them.)
posted by scruss at 3:52 PM on September 27, 2008

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