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Fender, Gibson, Epiphone, or PRS??? Which is the best value at $500-$1000?

fridgit

Senior Member
Messages
552
I can probably push $1000 at the very most.

So I'd like to know what would be a good quality electric guitar at these prices.

I'm looking at a couple of models:

Gibson Les Paul Studio Faded (Cherry)
Epiphone Les Paul Goldtop
Fender Tex Mex (Jimmie Vaughan)
Fender Highway One (HSS)
PRS SE models

The Epi LP Goldtop I can get for $300 with a used HSC. I've heard that American Strats and Gibsons are kind of a rip off (cheap pots and bad wiring)? Is this true?

I currently have a MIM Strat with upgraded pickups that I absolutely :love:. I got it new in '03 before the MIM line went up in price (about $300). Being that I have a Strat, I'd rather look to an LP or PRS.

Please help a TGP brotha out!!! :beer
 
Last edited:
Messages
1,853
I'd say it's worth creeping around used and seeing what you can find. I suspect you could get a LP Studio that isn't faded for around the $1000 mark used.
 

farkas

Member
Messages
231
Drop $500 to $600 on a G&L Legacy, S-500, or ASAT on eBay. I've done it four times. I'm one happy camper. Solid axes. The big complaint I see here about G&L's is that they're "over engineered." I don't really understand the complaint. They are solid as a rock, sound great, and if you don't like the pickups, put something else in and enjoy guitar heaven. My mid 90's S-500 with Bardens is the best playing, sounding axe I've ever played, and I've played thousands.

Good luck.
 

iamspartacus

Member
Messages
494
Epiphone Elite/Elitist on ebay.

I haven't played a standard-line Gibson better than the Japanese made Elitist line
 

fridgit

Senior Member
Messages
552
I just got an old Gibson LP Studio for $400.
Nice! Where??? :huh

I've been looking on eGay, CL and the forums and everyone wants at least $850 for a Studio!!! And the Standards.........forget it! :jo I figure that at that price point, it would be cheaper for me to buy the Gibson Faded brand new!!!

The PRS CEs on eGay & such are way out of my price range, and from the feel of things, the Gibson felt better and had better sounding pickups (to my ears) than any of the PRS SEs that I played. Still, I won't buy anything until I've played/tried everything. I want to make it worth my $$$!
 

mesa/kramer

Member
Messages
3,056
I see PRS "CE's" going for under $1,000 from time to time.
Saw a Mira for $800 on Craigslist a few days ago (seattle).

I have also seen a few Heritage Les Pauls on Craiglist for under a grand this past year.

Your easy bet is to get a Studio.
Great guitars, you can't go wrong. ($600 - $800)
 

Slackerprince

Member
Messages
5,728
I would go to GC and try all the guitars that you are interested in, to make sure you like the way they feel. The way a neck feels is a deal-breaker for me, and Gibson necks are way different from Fender.
As an example, I got an Epi Les Paul Plus Top marked $349 from GC and got them to throw in a SKB hardshell case and knock-off the tax. After some computer magic I walked out with the guitar and case for $352 and change! They may have no-haggle for new equipment but they will still work with you to get rid of used gear. It was lighter than a Plaintop and the neck was slimmer than other LP's I'd tried. LP Plus's retail for $549, so with the case, I feel like I got a killler deal.
CL is really the way to go, right now. Everyone is dumping their stuff to pay rent, and although that's a ****** situation, it's a good opportunity to buy gear for cheap.
I don't think e-bay is the way to go if you like to play before you buy.
Good luck.

Slackerprince
 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
11,306
The gibson is your best bet. Call places like sweetwater and M123 and try to haggle. You can probably get one for under 700.00
 

ducatisteve

Member
Messages
1,389
Out of the ones on your list I'd go for either the PRS SE line, or a Fender. I played a MIM Lone Star Strat the other day that really blew me away!
 

bluegrif

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,100
Lots of used Hamers under $1,000. That would be my recommendation.
+1 here. Just make sure you're looking at Hamer USA and you can get WAY more guitar for under a grand than you would with a Gibson. For what you'd pay for a stripped down Gibson you'll need to take in for fretwork, you can get a high class, beautifully built and set up guitar that'll be more on par with Gibson Custom Shop.

That's if you want a Gibson style guitar. A Fender really is a whole different thing. There are quite a few Fenders well within that budget, even new ones. The MIM Classic Player series are really nice, well specced guitars but if MIM bugs you there're a gazillion used American Fenders for well under a grand.
 

goesto11

Member
Messages
8
Those are all good options. I just picked up a PRS SE about a week ago, and for the money, I think its a fantastic guitar. Its really your personal preference though...
 

Gibson 1964

Member
Messages
1,283
Nice! Where??? :huh

I've been looking on eGay, CL and the forums and everyone wants at least $850 for a Studio!!! And the Standards.........forget it! :jo I figure that at that price point, it would be cheaper for me to buy the Gibson Faded brand new!!!

The PRS CEs on eGay & such are way out of my price range, and from the feel of things, the Gibson felt better and had better sounding pickups (to my ears) than any of the PRS SEs that I played. Still, I won't buy anything until I've played/tried everything. I want to make it worth my $$$!
Private seller. Don't get me wrong, it needed some TLC. But in my opinion, the deals come to the patient. (By TLC, I mean new tuners, and some solder joints fixed) and the hardware was just about reliced to death by use. (it cost around $150 to get it in fighting shape)

I would just watch craigslist patiently near the end of the month when people are scraping together rent money.
 

James M

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,664
Does it have to be name brand? You could buy a Squier/Epiphone body and put in new electronics/hardware....I've done that with a Squeir Tele and it sounds incredible, and was made to my specs.
 




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