FAQ updated 02/25/2024


Why Choose Zager?

Can a Zager outperform my $5000 Martin or Taylor?

When you barely have to dent the tips of your fingers to form chords and can move faster on the fret board with no pain it can make a world of difference to the pro player as well as the beginner. Most of our clients come from high level Martin, Taylor, Fender and Gibson. Zager is a small custom guitar shop that builds only a handful of guitars weekly, not a giant factory that churns out thousands of assembly-line guitars. 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 makes Zagers easier to play?

A custom bracing system that gives in the face slightly so you barely have to press form chords, which also gives you more power for a richer deeper sound. A custom neck design that’s taken over 50 years of feedback from artists and players around the world. Custom string spacing so you’re not accidentally leaning on adjacent strings causing buzzes and rattles. A custom soft metal fret design that’s softer on your fingers. Mr. Zager still works 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

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

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

How is a Zager 50% lower in the price?

Because you’re buying direct from the builder bypassing the retail store. When you buy from the store 50% of your money is going to the store and not your guitar. When you buy direct from the builder 100% of your money is going towards your guitar. https://youtu.be/UVw7sAxRvMk

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 customers read our customer reviews page: https://zagerguitar.com/reviews/

Why can’t I find Zagers in retail stores?

If you were to see Zager’s in retail stores prices would 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 buildings, 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 directly from the builder you get twice the guitar for your money and your guitar goes straight from Mr. Zager’s hands to your hands which ensures perfect quality control. https://youtu.be/UVw7sAxRvMk

Isn’t “Easy Play” just a good setup?

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 custom 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

Tap tuned bracing

Yes, we use a custom bracing system for each model that actually gives in the face for deeper sound and easier playability, 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 than assembly-line guitars. We talk about it a little bit in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRJvs-80vgM&t=9s

Current Sales & Promotions (New)

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

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

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/

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 on 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 directly 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/

Special Requests

Pickguards

Mr. Zager offers his guitars just like high-end custom builders, without pickguards installed. There are many players who feel putting anything on the soundboard 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 pickguard 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

Custom builds

Mr. Zager doesn’t get into custom builds as what you’re paying for when you buy a Zager is our 3 generations of 100-year recipes 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 that offers a 100% money-back guarantee who pays for everything if you don’t like it.  Custom builds usually start at $7000+ and can run well over $10,000 because custom work takes more time, more planning, and in turn more money to build. The problem is you never quite know what you’re going to get when it’s finished, 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.  The only way we can offer our money-back guarantee is because our return rate is under 1%, and our return rate is under 1% because our recipes have been refined over 100 years.  This video explains in greater detail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf9XPkiiUnk This video explains more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf9XPkiiUnk

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 string pressures so you barely have to press to form chords which increase 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

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 fretboard 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 “setups” 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.

Can I use nylon string on a Zager guitar?

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

Specifications

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 than 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

Nut size neck width

We have 2 sizes 1 11/16 and 1 3/4 but our string spacing, neck shape, taper fret size and shape, fretboard 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

Neck shape, size, and string spacing

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

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

Recommendations

What size do you recommend?

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

Should I buy a Parlor Size, Travel, or OM

I only recommend the Parlor and Travel for children and players with really small hands as the fret spaces are small because it’s a 2-inch shorter neck design. Because the box size is much smaller on them they put out a smaller and thinner sound compared to the OM and full size. Now if you have really small hands or want the absolute smallest guitar for travel I would recommend them, otherwise, if you want a smaller more comfortable guitar that still puts out a rich sound then I would recommend the OM.

Should I buy a full-size or OM-size guitar?

What it all comes down to is the OM body is 15% smaller and thinner which will make it easier to hold. The only bad part about the OM is a smaller thinner box will have a smaller thinner sound. If the sound is important to you I recommend full size. If you want a guitar easier to hold I recommend the OM. The neck size is identical so playability is the same. 80% of what our players buy is full-size. The video on this page might help you further. https://zagerguitar.com/compare-sizes/

Medical issues, arthritis, joint, muscle pain

We recently made a video about this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs8b4qLLmwQ We’ve had many players over the last 50 years who’ve tried our guitars because of muscle and joint pain, MS, arthritis, nerve damage, fibromyalgia, carpel tunnel, shoulder and back pain, damaged fingers, even missing fingers. If you look at our guitars closely you will notice some key characteristics you won’t find on other guitars. One of those is an extremely comfortable neck design that’s easy to get your hand around and much lower string heights and much lower string pressures so you barely have to press to form chords.   Another thing you’ll notice is the custom spacing between the strings which creates room for your fingers so when you’re forming chords you’re not accidentally touching strings that you don’t want to create buzzes and rattles. Over the last five decades, Mr. Zager’s also created a special fret design that takes away string “bite” and overall finger fatigue, along with a custom nut and saddle design and a custom bracing system that lowers string pressures.  You may want to check out this video we recently received from a player with Multiple Sclerosis http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76CqBYWUwGU&feature=player_embedded#t=61 You can see many other videos and stories like this on our reviews page http://guitarreview.org   One last thing to remember is we’re the only guitar company in the world who offers a true 100% money back guarantee that includes shipping fees both ways meaning you can try a guitar in your own home without risking a penny.

Left-handed Player

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/

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 want 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

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 the main guitar whereas 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 recommends it for players wanting the smallest guitar for travel. This page may help https://zagerguitar.com/compare-sizes/

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

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 the 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 recommends it for players wanting the smallest guitar for travel. This page may help https://zagerguitar.com/compare-sizes/

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/

Fingerstyle player

If you’ve ever watched Mr. Zager play you will see that all he does is fingerstyle, 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 fingerstyle play meaning there’s a little more space between the strings for easier chording, the strings are lower on the fretboard 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 in 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

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 that 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

Small hands or 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 their 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 by 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

Comparisons

What’s the difference between Parlor & Travel?

I only recommend the Parlor and Travel for children and players with really small hands as the fret spaces are small because it’s a 2-inch shorter neck design. Because the box size is much smaller on them they put out a smaller and thinner sound compared to the OM and full size. Now if you have really small hands or want the absolute smallest guitar for travel I would recommend them, otherwise, if you want a smaller more comfortable guitar that still puts out a rich sound then I would recommend the OM.

What’s the difference between ZAD20 & ZAD50?

The main difference between the 20 and 50 is the bracing system and the electronics. The 50 gives more in the face so when you form chords you don’t have to press as hard and because of this it also gives you a richer and deeper sound. This page may help you further. https://zagerguitar.com/compare-models/

What’s the difference between ZAD50 & ZAD80?

The main difference between these two is the 80 is rosewood versus the 50 which is mahogany. Mahogany is very popular in guitars as it’s very robust in sound and more affordable to build with. If you look at the flagship models of the top 10 brands though you’ll notice they all have one thing in common. They’re all rosewood. Rosewood gives a guitar a much richer deeper sound that continues to sound better as it ages. The 80 also has a custom bracing system which makes them play a little easier. This video might help https://zagerguitar.com/compare/ I also have a video on the 50 series here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oio1L0gKmVQ&t=3s And I have a video on the 80 series here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcYMtXR_wKw

What’s the difference between ZAD80 & ZAD900?

If I have a player coming from a $5000 Taylor, Martin, or a higher level Santa Cruz I’ll usually recommend our 900 because if you’re used to that kind of quality, our 900 will match those models except we usually outperform them in playability. Our ZAD80CE on the other hand has been one of our best-selling guitars for 23 years now. We’ve had customers coming from Taylor 8, 7 Series, and high-level Martin who absolutely love the 80. The ZAD900s are more ornate, with a little more detail with the hand-bent curly maple binding. Playability on the 900 will be slightly easier due to its custom bracing system. Sound I give a 15% advantage to the 900. It’s slightly deeper and cleaner due to the spruce top where the 80 is more mellow. It has power that will run with virtually any guitar on the market today regardless of price. Cost is no object I recommend the 900. Bang for the buck the 80 is hard to beat as we have artists coming from guitars over $5k who prefer it. Here’s a video we made comparing the 2 http://www.zagerguitar.com/watchvideo.php?videoID=UqiKklIGN9E

What’s the difference between Acoustic & Acoustic-Electric?

The acoustic/electrics are nice in the way that they have built-in electronic tuners which help advanced players because they tune your guitar so quickly dead on every time, and for beginning players, they help in the way that they actually train your ear for a perfect tune so you develop a proper sense of pitch. The electronics also give you the option of plugging into an amplifier and playing your acoustic like a full electric so depending on where you go with your skills the option is always available. If you don’t see yourself ever going in this direction save yourself the $$$ and buy the acoustic. If it makes any difference our customers seem to be equally happy with both models.

What’s the difference between Fishman Aura & Fishman Presys?

The Aura is special in that it has its patented sound imaging system. We send Fishman whichever model we want them to make sound images for and they take our guitar to their multi-million dollar studios and create sound images that make that guitar with those woods and structure sound it’s very best. You as a Zager owner can then get online and download these sound images exclusively for your guitar. If you want you can download images from other brands and models but you will always have those images available designed exclusively for your guitar. The system holds the 6 images you use most. If you don’t like those go back and download more…it’s entirely up to you. There’s really no other system on the market that comes close to it. If you follow this link it will take you to a customer of ours who owns our 900CE with the Aura system and he put up several videos about how it works….this might help. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USpMBTrCNZ4 Our Fishman Presys is a top-of-the-line system that we have pro recording artists using nightly on stage but if you want the imaging system no other manufacturer has but Fishman with their Aura.
I also recently made this video on the Aura  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEiIQ8rr4ck&t=53s

Is there a sound difference between Acoustic & Acoustic electric?

Sound on the acoustic electrics unplugged is so close to our full acoustics that they’re literally impossible to tell apart. Denny braces the cutaways slightly differently than the full box guitars because of the cutaway box design so they have that full box sound. We’ve done extensive testing for many years and you can’t tell them apart. If you look through our testimonials and reviews you will see many customers’ comment about this.

Ordering/Payments/Financing

Payment options

We accept all credit cards, debit cards, Paypal, cashier’s checks, traveler’s 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 a 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 the sale price and make payments. You’ll see that option on each model page. https://zagerguitar.com/guitars/zad900ce/

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/

I need help with Affirm financing

You can get pre-approved for financing from Affirm on our website. The order process is also done through the website. We can’t process that on our end cause we don’t have control over their methods of accepting or rejecting customers as this is a contract between you and them If you are still having issues with checkout, or have other questions, you can visit Affirm’s help page at https://helpcenter.affirm.com or call their toll-free number at (855) 423-3729. I have copied a video link below which might help you with the ordering process. https://youtu.be/wMQ2_VVCQVs