Faq…updated 8/8/22


Most asked:

How is Zager going to outperform my $5000 Martin or Taylor?

When you barely have to dent the tips of your fingers to form chords you can move faster on the fret board in a more fluid manner and play longer with less finger fatigue and soreness. Zager is a small custom guitar shop who builds only a handful of guitars weekly, not a giant factory who churns out thousands of assembly line guitars monthly. Buying direct from the builder allows you to bypass the retail store saving you 50%, meaning you’re getting a custom hand built guitar for half the price. Read our 53 years of reviews https://zagerguitar.com/reviews/

What’s included if I order today?

This week we’re including our $625 Luxury package free with all guitars to celebrate our 53rd anniversary. https://zagerguitar.com/package

Isn’t “Easy Play” just a good set up?

Mr. Zager sets up each guitar personally before they leave his shop, but Zager guitars are designed from the ground up for greater speed and easier playability with a different bracing system, neck design, string spacing and many other things unique to the Zager brand. This video goes into greater detail. https://youtu.be/fRJvs-80vgM

Does Zager really pay for everything if I choose to return?

Yes. Zager is the only guitar company in the USA who pays shipping both ways meaning you can try a guitar for free for 1 full month and pay nothing. https://zagerguitar.com/guarantee/

Where can I try one?

You can try a Zager in your home free for one full month. If you were to see Zager guitars in retail stores you’d be paying double. Mr. Zager only offers his hand built guitars to his students in his shop in Lincoln Nebraska, and his website. In this way quality control is perfect since he’s the last person to handle your guitar before it’s delivered to you, and our prices are 50% less since you’re buying direct from the builder bypassing the retail store. To remove all risk we’re the only guitar company with a true 100% money back guarantee that includes shipping fees both ways meaning you can try one without risking a penny. Our players and artists around the world say it all. https://zagerguitar.com/artists/

If I order now when will I receive it?

If we have the model you want built we ship in 24 hours with 3-4 day delivery. If you’re close to Nebraska some customers receive their guitars in 48 hours or less.

Pick guards

Mr. Zager offers his guitars just like high end custom builders, without pick guards installed. There are many players who feel putting anything on the sound board impairs sound quality so we leave them off.   Mr. Zager uses a special thin finish that resists scratches so most of our clients don’t use them.  Also, as Mr. Zager just laid down the finish on your guitar, installing a guard this soon can damage the finish so we leave them off, but we always include a pick guard with your package and we have a video on our help page that shows how to install it which takes only a minute. https://zagerguitar.com/help-new

Nut size neck width

We have 2 sizes 1 11/16 and 1 3/4 but our string spacing, neck shape and taper, fret size and shape, fret board radius, lower string heights and much lower string pressures make our guitars feel quite a bit different than other guitars with similar dimensions. We’ve had players come from entirely different sizes who actually prefer ours once they play one.I recently posted a video about measurements on our Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/zagerguitars/videos/347245432604781/ We ship the 1 3/4 as this is what the majority of our customers want but if you want the 1 11/16 just let us know when you place your order and we will forward that to Mr. Zager   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28_WXuW4gQI&t=23s

String spacing measurements

1.53 inches E to E at the nut. 2.25 inches E to E at the saddle. Do remember that 1/32nd of an inch can make the difference between a perfect clear chord and one that has buzzes, mutes and rattles. It’s the tiny differences in these measurements that will make a world of difference in your playing.

Neck shape, size and string spacing

This video explains in greater detail about our 50 year neck design https://youtu.be/28_WXuW4gQI

Acoustic versus acoustic electric

The acoustic electrics are nice in that they all have built in automatic tuners that tune your guitar in a fraction of the time compared to conventional methods.  For beginning players this is vital as it trains your ear so you develop a proper sense of pitch.  Our touring artists also like them because they’re accurate and fast.  The electronics also give you the option of plugging into an amplifier or PA system and playing your guitar like a full electric so it’s basically like having two guitars in one.  Mr. Zager braces the acoustic electrics differently so the sound on our electrics unplugged is the same as our acoustics so you give up nothing sound wise.  https://youtu.be/sEpcPxTtSW8

Neck shape

We have an unusual neck that’s hard to categorize, this video might help https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28_WXuW4gQI&t=2s I also have another video here that talks more about our neck https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRJvs-

Are cases included?

Yes today we’re including our $200 Pro ABS case with digital humidity system free with all guitar purchases. https://zagerguitar.com/package

Custom builds

Mr. Zager doesn’t get into custom builds as what you’re paying for when you buy a Zager is our 3 generation 100 year recipes for each of our models that have been refined and tested by thousands of players globally for the best possible sound and playability.  This is why our guitars rate in the top 2% of guitars in the USA. This is also why we’re the only guitar company who offers a 100% money back guarantee who pays for everything if you don’t like it.  Custom guitars usually start at $7000 and run well over $10,000+ because custom work takes more time, planning and money to build. The problem is you never quite know what you’re going to get and if you don’t like it you can’t return it. Mr. Zager likes to offer a 100% money back guarantee as it takes all the stress out of buying a guitar unseen and unplayed.  This video explains more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf9XPkiiUnk

I read something bad about Zager in a forum

Zager is one of the few guitar brands that rates in the top 2% of guitars of all guitars made in the USA, and we’re the only guitar company who pays for everything if a customer decides to return. If what you’re reading were true there’s no way we’d be here after 53 years in business with our free return policy, and there’s no way our guitars would be rated in the top 2% in the USA. When researching our brand we recommend legitimate resources like the National Better Business Bureau, Ebay feedback, and the top 5 guitar websites where you can see thousands of documented reviews, customer testimonials, and video reviews. You’ll also notice the biggest artists in the world performing with Zager guitars. These players can play any brand they like, but they choose Zager year after year. Internet guitar sites and forums are sponsored and funded by conglomerates of guitar dealers (look for their logos) who are in direct competition for your business. If this means slandering the reputation of a small family owned company so be it. Attacking your competitors online is a big business these days, but that doesn’t bother us as our 53 years of service is well documented by millions of players and artists globally. https://zagerguitar.com/reviews/ This is why we’re sold out and back ordered year after year.

Choosing the right size

This page will guide you https://zagerguitar.com/compare-sizes/

Payment options

We accept all credit cards, debit cards, Paypal, cashiers checks, travelers checks and personal checks. If you’re sending payment our office address is Zager Guitars, 705 South 33rd, Lincoln, Nebraska 68510 https://zagerguitar.com/cart/

Free financing

For $100 down we’ll hold your guitar at the current sale price with free case and free shipping for as long as you need. We also have free financing through Paypal which allows you to get your guitar today and pay nothing for 6 months interest free. https://zagerguitar.com/cart/ If you’d like to do that just let me know and I can email you a special invoice you can complete online. We also have Affirm payment plans for up to 36 months which will allow you to get your guitar today at sale price and make payments. You’ll see that option on each model page. https://zagerguitar.com/guitars/zad900ce/

International, Alaska, Hawaii, APO orders

We’ve been shipping guitars around the world for 53 years, but sending our large protective boxes long distances is expensive. Prices range from $200-600 depending on your location. To celebrate our anniversary this week we’re offering $99 shipping to anywhere in the world and including our $625 Luxury package for free with all guitar orders https://zagerguitar.com/package We also pay all customs and taxes

What makes Zagers easier to play?

A custom bracing sytem that gives so you barely have to press form chords, which also provides more power so you get a richer deeper sound. A custom neck design that’s taken over 50 years of feedback and artists and players around the world. Custom string spacing so you’re not accidentally leaning on strings causing buzzes and rattles. A custom fret design that’s actually softer on your fingers. It might also have to do with that Mr. Zager Sr. and Mr. Zager Jr.  still work on each guitar personally one at a time in our shop unlike larger companies who produce 500 guitars a day where the owners could never have one on one time with each instrument. These 2 videos explain in greater detail. https://youtu.be/wQMaPG7iH7Y https://youtu.be/fRJvs-80vgM

How are Zagers 50% lower in price?

Simple answer:  We don’t sell in retail stores.   Many players don’t realize that when you buy a guitar in a store, almost half your money is going to the store, not your guitar.   Retail stores need to pay for their bricks and mortar buildings, their salesmen and all the expenditures that go into operating a retail location.  This is why if you were to see Zager guitars in stores prices would be double.   By buying direct from the builder you get twice the guitar for your money and your guitar goes from straight from Mr Zager’s hands to your hands which ensures perfect quality control. https://youtu.be/UVw7sAxRvMk

Why can’t I find Zagers in retail stores?

If you were to see Zager’s in retail stores prices would be double.  Many players don’t realize that when you buy a guitar in a retail store, almost half your money is going to the retail store, not your guitar.   Retail stores need to pay for their bricks and mortar buildings, their salesmen and all the expenditures that go into operating a retail location.  This is why if you were to see Zager guitars in stores prices would be double.   By buying direct from the builder you get twice the guitar for your money and your guitar goes from straight from Mr Zager’s hands to your hands which ensures perfect quality control. https://youtu.be/UVw7sAxRvMk

How long are your sales?

Mr. Zager runs sales on and off sporadically throughout the year so there are no definite sale times but we can hold any guitar at the current sale price for as long as you need with $100 down. https://zagerguitar.com/guitars/zad900ce-sunburst/

Layaway

We can hold any guitar at the sale price for as long as you need with a $100 down. https://zagerguitar.com/guitars/zad900ce-sunburst/

Lifetime Warranty

We have a lifetime warranty on all of our guitars. If you pass your guitar to your children they’re covered for life as well. Our warranty on our Fishman electronics is 2 years just like $10,000 Martin, Taylor, Fender, Gibson but we’ll cover customers for life on electronics too as long as we have the parts available to fix them. We also replace nuts, saddles, tuners and other parts free for life. No other guitar company offers this. Almost all of our business comes from friends referring friends and family so it’s very important to us that our customers are happy. This video explains in greater detail https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObDSHFb6x24&t=5s If you’re concerned about how we take care of our customer read our customer reviews page: https://zagerguitar.com/reviews/

Strings

Mr. Zager sets up all of his guitars with our own Zager Pillow Touch custom coated 11-50 gauge (11 14 23 31 41 50) hand wound in our shop in Nebraska, but we have customers using all brands and gauges with excellent results. If you like them we offer them on our site: https://zagerguitar.com/accessories/

Nylon strings

Yes we have many players who use nylon strings on our guitars.

Classical models

Mr. Zager doesn’t build classical nylon strung guitars because their necks are so wide (usually over 2 inches) and non arched like steel string guitars making them really hard to play, especially for players with medium or small hands. Many players also use the thumb of their left hand to form chords and that wide flat neck on classical guitars makes it impossible to do this. This is why 90% of guitars made today are steel strung like our own. Many large handed players think a classical guitar will help them, but their string spacing is narrow so you’re still bumping strings missing chords like on smaller necked guitars. Zager guitars have a low oval arched neck that’s easy to get your hand around with custom string spacing so you’re no longer bumping adjacent strings. They also have lower string heights and lower strings pressures so you barely have to press to form chords which increases playability exponentially. If you’re looking for that nylon classical sound I would recommend using Martin silk and steel strings as they feel and sound like nylon

Left hand models

Mr. Zager only builds a few left handed guitars annually in our most popular models. You can see them all on this page: https://zagerguitar.com/lefty-vault/

Fret material size and shape

Mr. Zager uses a soft nickel fret that’s a medium design but lower in height that allows you to form chords with less pressure, yet is easy on the fingers. A few companies are using stainless frets today, but to the dedicated ear stainless frets put off a tinnier sound then nickel which sounds warmer and richer. Many players are concerned that a softer material won’t last as long, but it’s actually the opposite as our fret life is one of the longest in the industry. We have players with 20 and 30 year old guitars with original frets. This video goes into greater detail https://youtu.be/28_WXuW4gQI?t=181

Can you Zagerize my guitar?

Mr. Zager used to work on other brands of guitars years ago and discovered if a guitar’s not designed for easier playability, there’s not a lot he can do to remedy that. He can adjust string heights to a point, but as an example if a guitar has a giant neck that’s hard to get your hand around or poor bracing that doesn’t flex, it will always be hard to play. If you look at a Zager you’ll see it’s built from the ground up for easy playability. You’ll see a custom neck that’s taken 50 years of refinement to get just right so it’s easy to get your hand around and feels like an extension of your body. You’ll notice a custom arched fret board that’s easier to form chords, a custom nut and saddle design with custom spacing so you’re not leaning on adjacent strings, a custom soft metal fret design and a special bracing system that lowers string pressures dramatically so you barely have to press to form chords. It’s all these things combined that make a Zager guitar. If you look through our customer reviews and testimonials you’ll find many of our players who’ve spent a lot on “set ups” to make their guitars play easier, but this is why those guitars don’t play anything like their Zagers. This video explains in greater detail https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRJvs-80vgM&t=25s

Shipping…can I have shipping delayed or ship to another address?

Yes we do this all the time. Just email us after your order and let us know what you need and we’ll make it happen.

Recommendation brand new player

I usually recommend our 20 or 50 Series as they outperform many brands at the several thousand dollar price points. If you wanted  even easier playability with a richer deeper sound then you might consider our rosewood 80 or 900 Series guitars but they are a bit more expensive.  Don’t feel that you have to buy our best though as they are all lifetime instruments with lifetime warranties that you can pass down to your children. I have a video comparing our 4 main series here: https://zagerguitar.com/compare-models/ We did a sound comparison to a $15,000 Martin here https://zagerguitar.com/guitar-shootout-martin-vs-zager/ Here’s some newer customer reviews with contact info that may also help you: https://www.productreview.com.au/p/zager-zad80ce.html
https://www.bbb.org/us/ne/lincoln/profile/music-instrument-store/zager-guitar-international-0714-224000043/customer-reviews https://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/zagerguitar.com

Recommendation child

I recommend the OM size or Parlor size for children as they’re smaller and thinner than our full size guitars making them much easier to hold. These 2 sizes the child can grow with and use forever as a main guitar where the Travel size would be considered a second guitar. I don’t recommend the Travel size as it has a very small sound and only recommend it for players wanting the smallest guitar for travel. This page may help https://zagerguitar.com/compare-sizes/

Recommendation bluegrass

We have many bluegrass players.  Most of them go with our 80 and 900 Series guitars as they’re rosewood.  Rosewood produces that deep rich mellow sound that Bluegrass players like.  The top 5 Blues player in the world recently bought one of our rosewood 80’s and did a nice sound demo you might enjoy  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVTlRVQTuO4

Recommendation small petite

I recommend the OM size or Parlor size for smaller players as the box size is smaller and thinner than our full size guitars making them much easier to hold. These 2 sizes you can grow with and use forever as a main guitar where the Travel size would be considered a second guitar. I don’t recommend the Travel size as it has a very small sound and only recommend it for players wanting the smallest guitar for travel. This page may help https://zagerguitar.com/compare-sizes/

Recommendation pro player

Most of our pros and artists buy our 80 and 900 Pro Series guitars because they’re rosewood. If you look at the flagship models of the top 10 guitar producers in the world you’ll notice they all have one thing in common. They’re all rosewood and it’s for a reason. Rosewood puts out a deep rich warm sound that you just can’t get in any other wood. Unfortunately it’s a bit more expensive to grow but if it’s your last guitar it might be worth considering. Our artists talk about it here https://zagerguitar.com/artists/

Recommendation finger style player

If you’ve ever watched Mr. Zager play you will see that all he does is finger style, in fact he invented his own finger style system over 40 years ago: https://zagerguitar.com/zager-guitar-lesson-library/ It’s for this reason he builds his guitars for finger style play meaning there’s a little more space between the strings for easier chording, the strings are lower on the fret board for your left hand and slightly higher over the sound hole which makes right hand finger movements easier as well. All of his models are designed this manner so as far as a recommendation it comes down to more sound and size. We made a new video about this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqCuhRPs22s&t=3s

Recommendation big hands fingers

Big hands and big fingers have been our specialty for over 50 years. Our guitars are designed so there’s more space between the strings so when you’re forming chords you’re not leaning on adjacent strings causing buzzes and rattles. This video talks more about our neck and string spacing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28_WXuW4gQI&t=71s Another older video about big hands and fingers https://youtu.be/Td9mEozuQog

Recommendation for small hands fingers

If you look at our guitars closely you will notice some key characteristics that you will not find on others. One is a very slim front to back neck design. What this means is people with smaller hands and or short fingers are able to put their hand around our neck and form chords with ease. This allows you to come down on the strings from a more perpendicular angle so you’re no longer having to reach over strings muting them out causing buzzes and rattles. Combined with a custom bracing system that lowers string pressure 50% so you barely have to press to form chords, lower string heights and a multitude of other features Mr. Zager builds into his guitars it makes a world of difference for our small handed players.  This video explains in greater detail https://youtu.be/jGjmQ2Ksb0Y

Tap tuned bracing

Yes we use a custom bracing system for each model that actually gives in the face for deeper sound and easier playbility, then Mr. Zager adjusts each one to bring out the best in sound for that particular guitar.  This is part of what makes our guitars slightly different then assembly line guitars.   We talk about it a little bit on this video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRJvs-80vgM&t=9s