Gear Buyer’s Tip: Search For Common Problems Before You Buy

lCD.jpgBefore I even purchased the used Alesis Quadraverb effects unit I bought recently, I already knew that the LCD displays had issues.  Sure enough not an hour into using mine it started acting up.  I bought the unit on Craigs List and naturally, the seller wouldn’t take it back (even though I was pretty confident he knew it was defective).  Luckily, I had already found a forum that talked about the issues, and quickly bought a replacement LCD from a helpful Quadraverb enthusiast and put the new one in.  Unfortunately, not all gear buying experiences turn out that pretty.  Before you go and buy a piece of gear (especially a used one that is perhaps vintage), be sure you Google search some terms like “gear name common problems” or “gear name issues”.  By doing this I felt comfortable taking a risk on the possibly faulty LCD because I liked the sound of the unit a great deal and knew I could fix the problem if need be.  It also helps to look for common problems users are reporting in reviews at spots like Harmony Central.  While the reviews aren’t really screened so you can’t get a reliable judgment on something like sound quality, if everyone reports that the power supply goes bad quickly and is difficult to replace, you may want to reconsider your purchase.  You don’t want to be part of the bad karma cycle and put the same piece of faulty gear back up on eBay or Craig’s List anyway.  A little research and skepticism can save you a lot of time and cash.