Live solves the age-old debate: are used guitars haunted?

Our expert panel says yes. Live was a first-of-its-kind virtual event, partly because of the wealth of incredible talent and guitar expertise on display from across the world. And there was no better collection of expertise than on the panel of the ultimate guitar debate, which happened over the weekend: podcast host and YouTuber Ryan Burke, Jazzmaster expert Mike Adams, genre-defying musician VAVÁ AKA Vanessa Wheeler, Funk Wizard Jay Leanord Jay and shred expert/cat lover Mrs Smith.

The world of guitars is undeniably focused on ‘vintage’ instruments – whether you love a ‘59 Burst or not, it’s hard to ignore the influence of the old-school aesthetic on guitar. Not to mention the ever contentious topic of relics.

In discussing this very topic, vintage vs new, Jay Leanord Jay said “The thing about new guitars is … the whole process is so streamlined, and all the little kinks that annoy us about guitars from the past, it’s all been worked out, and everything is so generic.

“Back in the vintage era, it was so inconsistent that each guitar had its own little thing.”

To that end, Jay also said he “likes a story” in his guitar, something far easier to get with a vintage instrument. Hard to argue with – we here at are no strangers to the value of a storied instrument, or one from an era of luthiery gone by.

But that story comes at a cost, as Mrs Smith chimed in: “Raise your hand if you like to wear used underwear. Raise your hand if you like to pick up a blanket or a comforter that’s got bed bugs in it and bring it into your bed with you! Raise your hand if you like to put false eyelashes on that someone else has been wearing. With conjunctivitis. I’m saying public health. We’re in a pandemic! That guitar you pick up could be a vector for the next god damn COVID!

Do not buy used guitars, used guitars are filled with disease, they’re filled with poltergeists, they’re filled with imps, spirits that cannot be managed. Believe me, I bought a very nice Telecaster, before I knew it – all the curtains in my room were on fire. Screams. The doors were slamming. I had to bring ten shamans in here to get rid of that thing. You kids can’t afford it – I can afford shamans. Know what you’re bringing in.”

It’s probably not the end to the ‘vintage vs new’ debate we were expecting, but it has indeed been settled. You can watch the full panel above, and rest easy in the knowledge that every guitar debate, ever, has been solved.

Any tips for ghost-proofing out Vintage Test Bench should be sent to

For more from Live, head on over to


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