Entry Level Guitars that played shockingly well for price and build source.

Rafterman

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
973
This year I picked up two "Entry" level guitars that I was floored by for their price and quality.

I bought an ESP LTD George Lynch Tiger made in Indonesia with a basswood body that sounded great and really had no issues. (Especially with the frets.) Priced at $500.

The second one was a Fender Stratocaster American Professional Series with a Rosewood neck.
I have to admit this one stood out a little more in the store to some other identical ones they had.
They also had that series in Telecasters that did not play very well at all.

Some of these guitars played as well as their $3400-$3800 counterparts.

Anyone have a similar experience recently?
 

IIIBOOMERIII

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,542
I don't know if I agree with all that. However, I can tell you I am shocked at how good some of the entry level guitar being made today really are. Back in the 80's entry level guitar were complete CRAP! Guitar players starting up today have a much higher quality of entry level guitars then I remember having back in the day.
 

Boeing bloke

Member
Messages
279
Sire guitars have impressed me with their basses. The neck and fretwork on mine feels really good.


I’m looking forward to see what their collaboration with Larry Carlton looks like.
 

Dr. Tweedbucket

Deluxe model available !!!11
Messages
47,933
Well, the Mexican Fenders aren't too shabby. The nit is they have cheaper hardware and pickups... and who knows how pieces the body is made out of? Every now and then you find one that sounds great, so they are out there.

In the end, it's what you can play on the thing, not so much how much the guitar costs.
 

Borealis

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
866
I had this B. C. Rich Mockingbird MIK. It was well built and played great. I put a pair of Häussel pickups in it, and then it sounded great too!
The original pickups went back in when I sold it. These photos are from my listing.
It looked way better with a pair of nickel covered 'buckers.
 

spaceman_spiff

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
745
I got a MIC Gretsch Jet 5220 in trade a month ago and I’ve been playing the heck out of that guitar. The neck is straight, the fretwork is clean and I like the black walnut fretboard much more than I thought I would. The Broadtron pickups sound decent and I have no strong desire to replace them, yet.

I think the quality of offshore guitars is really impressive due to the quality of the CNC machines. The QC is where you’ll find good ones from mediocre ones.
 
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Guitarworks

Member
Messages
10,407
Some of these guitars played as well as their $3400-$3800 counterparts.
Yup. Not shocked by this at all. Anyone can be trained to perform great setups, regardless of the price point or market placement of the guitar on which they work. Craftsmanship and quality are not exclusive to North American-based custom shops, but the prices falsely affirm this notion.
 

Snoopydogg

Member
Messages
237
Last summer, I got a Squier Deluxe Jazzmaster (same as the J. Mascis model, but candy-apple red with black pickups). Fit and finish are flawless. Plays great; sounds great. If the headstock said Fender instead of Squier, I don’t think anyone would be suspicious. I paid $315 for a like-new used one; new ones are $450.
 

shupe13

Member
Messages
1,130
Last summer, I got a Squier Deluxe Jazzmaster (same as the J. Mascis model, but candy-apple red with black pickups). Fit and finish are flawless. Plays great; sounds great. If the headstock said Fender instead of Squier, I don’t think anyone would be suspicious. I paid $315 for a like-new used one; new ones are $450.
The J. Mascis models are absolutely killer. Looks, sound, playability AND price.
 

magilla

michaelggguitar (IG)
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
990
The PRS SE guitars tend to provide a lot of bang for the buck. Way better than what most of us started on. Usually the best guitar in reach at Guitar Center without having to get the ladder or a manger with keys to unlock the good stuff.

*Some* of the newer Squier and Fender stuff is getting better in the starter price points.
 

IIIBOOMERIII

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,542
I bought this for my daughter this past Christmas form MF. They had them on sale for $579 IIRC.

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/fender-player-stratocaster-maple-fingerboard-limited-edition-electric-guitar/l46830?rNtt=Players stratocaster&index=1

Players Strat Surf Pearl. All I can say is WOW! I play it side by side with my USA strats and it is every bit as good. Great guitar when you figure in inflation, 1980 dollars would have been less and the guitar would have been a screwed together collection of poo. Imported guitars have come a very long way.

I have even bought a few Firefly 335 copies and LP Jr copies and for less $150 bucks they are just crazy good. At that price I gave a gold P90s LP Jr to my nephew. My first electric guitars were no where near this good.

Don't get me wrong....I am still looking for a used Gibson 335. :D
 

Rafterman

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
973
LMAO at calling a special edition $1600 American Professional an “entry level guitar”.

If that’s not stereotypical TGP, I don’t know what is.
Well when your Fender Custom Shop starts at $4400 average and up I tend to think of $1600 as entry for an American fender.

Actually your condescending response is more typical TGP.
 
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