Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the the best price I can get?

The Podium will match or beat any published price from our competitors. We encourage our customers to call or email us for more information about pricing on any guitar. 

How is the guitar set up? Is the action low?

The Podium verifies that the action of the guitar meets factory specifications (and that the guitar plays and sounds the way we have come to expect the guitars we sell to play and sound) prior to shipping. This set of specifications serves many playing styles but not all of them. Many players find they can have the action lowered without encountering string buzz. Other players find they need a higher action to avoid string buzz due to a more aggressive style of playing. Final action adjustment must be done by a competent luthier who can assess your playing style in person prior to adjusting the guitar. This assures that the action will be set appropriately for your style and any further adjustments can be done easily as the technician is near your home.

Does The Podium do Repair and Maintenance?

Yes we do. We are happy to assess and estimate needed repair work if you bring your guitar to us. For a list of common services and their costs, go to:

Which guitar should I buy?

Guitar playing is an emotional and subjective exercise that takes place in the middle of a storm of information, opinions, and advice. Decades of string instrument experience has taught us the ultimate secret of selecting the right guitar…… The secret is there is no secret and every person is an expert. A guitar only need do one thing; compel the owner to play it. Whether someone is drawn to the beautiful tone, ease of playing, the visual beauty of the woods, the allure of the trim and appointments, or the comfort of the guitar playing ritual, spending time with the guitar is the goal. Find a guitar that you like and start playing it. As people learn more and more about what they like or need in an instrument, they refine their criteria and this knowledge helps guide their next purchase. The critical piece is to just say yes and get started. 

What guitar body size is best for me?

Your personal size is not necessarily going to mean you should by a larger or smaller bodied guitar. Guitar body size determines what the guitar will sound like. Smaller guitars produce quieter and more subtle tones. These small body guitars lend themselves to finger style playing, but they can be strummed if necessary. The player will find smaller guitars tend to "compress" or "clip" when they are pushed too hard for their size. Remember, the face (top) of the guitar is your speaker, and the speaker can only be expected to perfom to a reasonable level when it is smaller... Larger body guitars are excellent for strumming, but they can easily be played finger style. All guitars can be played in any style, but they tend to "lend" themselves better to one use or another. As you journey through life playing guitar, you will learn more and more about what suits your personal tastes and needs. Just remember: if your guitar makes you want to play it, it is the right guitar for you. At least for now...

What is the best tone wood?

There is no correct answer for this question. There are people who search their entire lives for the elusive best tone wood. There are people who are totally satisfied with the tone wood they have, as long as it is Brazilian Rosewood harvested in the first half of the twentieth century and has straight grain. There are people who will play whatever guitar is thrust into their hands and be happy doing so. Some players must be playing a totally custom axe. Everybody is right on this subject. If they like the guitar, that's the answer. No matter what you have, you will find opinions about why it is not the right wood. And opinions about why it is the right wood. Me? I like Mahogany and Spruce. Just do. One of the things I learned early on is that the eyes account for a lot of what you hear. If the player likes exotic grain types, rich colors, wild grain patterns, then the total aesthetic will make their guitar sound better to them. There is nothing wrong with this. Guitars offer an infinite range of variation. Therefore, there is no "right" tone wood. Just lots of choices that tend to suit one application or the other. If you are concerned about getting more information, drop by or cxall us. We are always happy to be asked about differences in tone. I always try to find out what the player's style and technique is, and this can help. Generally, people have played enough guitars to establish some likes and dislikes. Bring your questions to us and we can start to tease out what may be worth considering for your next choice of tone woods.

Which top wood sounds best?

This is a slightly easier question than the previous one. The Spruce family of top woods are by far the most widely used. They are flexible and produce great tone for all styles and techniques. They have a high initial response and fast decay. They "punch" to the ear. You get a strong first tone, and the sustain dies quickly. This makes Spruce best for strumming. Oh wait, they are great for finger styles too. Well, if you only play finger style, you may really like Cedar or Redwood. These woods have a lower initial response and slower decay, so they don't "punch" quite as much as the Spruce woods do. Instead, they sound "warm" and they sustain better. Still, you can strum them and many players like the sound of strummed Cedar. The only drawback here is they can lose tone when they are strummed vigorously, especially the smaller body cedar topped guitars. There are subtle differences in the various types of Spruce, and these difference fuel endless debate. If you can decide between Spruce and Cedar, based on your typical style of playing, then the finer points of the other options can be pursued.

Short scale or standard scale?

The difference is only 5/8". This small dimension can be felt. The short scale feels looser to the left hand. Because the strings are stretched to the correct pitch over a shorter distance, they are not as tight. A potential drawback to the short scale may be string buzz if the player plays hard, or too vigorously in an open (dropped) tuning, such as DADGAD or C tuning.