Here's To Cheap Guitars!!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by DrumBob, May 26, 2008.

  1. DrumBob

    DrumBob Gold Supporting Member

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    All my life, I have been inexplicably drawn to cheap guitars; Danelectros, Supros, 60's Japanese and Italian stuff, and most recently, the Korean guitars like Agiles, Italias, Eastwoods, Dillions and the like. Yes, I have Gibsons, Fenders, a Rickenbacker and a Gretsch in my collection too, but for some reason, I love the cheap guitars.

    Last week, I was in North Jersey Guitar in West Milford, NJ, and noticed a black single pickup (a P-90 nonetheless) SG knockoff (made in China, natch) that's been sitting in the store for well over two years. I suddenly felt what some people must feel when they go to the animal shelter. It was if the guitar was saying to me, "Take me home! I need someone to love and play me." It really seemed like I needed to give this poor guitar a good home. I may go back and buy it and set it up for slide. For $150, how can I go wrong? I played it. The neck was straight, the fretwork good, fit and finish good but not great, and the P-90 squawked. What's not to love?

    Anybody else have these strange GAS attacks for cheap guitars?
     
  2. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    I wish... I seem to get GAS for pricey ones. I like cheap guitars too but they always seem to take a lot of work before they will play and sound like I want them to. On the other hand, even with a new fret job and new pickups, you are still thousands ahead of the game if you by a cheap one...
     
  3. wildschwein

    wildschwein Member

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    I agree with the cheap guitar philosophy. I've bought 8 Korean guitars made by a company called Custom Guitar Workshop (Teles, Strats, Vs, LPs and other shapes) and they've come to less than the bill for a 92 or 93 Les Paul Standard I bought 15 years ago brand new. And, they're all really great playing and sounding guitars - some needed a little tweaking here and there but I'm happy with them all - they have decent hardware and electronics and play in tune. The company has an associated seller who liquidates them at really low prices on eBay Australia. But the main website is here and they sell to overseas I believe: http://www.customguitarworkshop.com
    The eBay store is here: [​IMG]http://stores.ebay.com.au/AUSTRALASIA-MUSIC-WORKSHOP_Guitars_W0QQcolZ4QQdirZQ2d1QQfsubZ2295368QQftidZ2QQtZkm
    I just noticed they sold off a Les Paul copy (that I already own) for $279 AU.
     
  4. Toneslinger

    Toneslinger Member

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    I like the cheap guitars to dink around and play on. I do have the high dollar ones that I keep in mint condition, but the cheap ones I bang around and hack on.

    Something that I have noticed lately is a guitar brand called SX. They are sold by rondomusic.com up in the North East somewhere. I had some amazon gift certs and I bought two of their tele models. Not bad for $100 each. Jay Turser has been the "rare bargain gem" in recent years, but i've noticed that Jay Turser has had to cut their prices drastically recently. I think some mfg's overseas are getting their game together and its taking its toll on Jay Turser maybe. Not sure though.
     
  5. 3th3r

    3th3r Member

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    I'm with playon. I would love cheap guitars, but it's too much effort to get them to where I want them. What I dislike the most, is that many have a thick, bullet proof coating of poly, which deadens the sound (IMO). If it wasn't for this, I think I'd like them more. I really want a cheap tele right now.
     
  6. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    Yeah I can deal with a thin coat of poly, but not that glassy thick stuff. Funny, teles are the guitar that I'm most picky about... most of the cheapo ones don't have the vintage style bridges that I like.
     
  7. wildschwein

    wildschwein Member

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    Can't speak for the paint but it's easy enough to get a Wilkinson or similar vintage ashtray Tele bridge and drop it in - usually not that expensive to do. I tend to think you get better intonation control from a 6 saddle bridge plate than the 3 saddle vintage design though.
     
  8. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    With some of the 6 way bridges you cannot retrofit the older style onto the guitar, probably especially true with the more off-brand stuff. I'll sacrifice a little bit of intonation for a whole lot of tone any day...
     
  9. stratotonedude

    stratotonedude Senior Member

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    I still seem to find pretty good deals on early sixties Danelectros. I have eight of them.
     
  10. bilbal

    bilbal Member

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    I bought a Godin Freeway Floyd awhile ago for $549.00 I believe (??) and it is one of the best guitars I have ever owned - highly overlooked piece IMO.
     
  11. rotren

    rotren Member

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    I have plenty of cheap guitars. SX guitars are dirt cheap and quite decent from time to time. My Fullerton was $44 and it's a decent strat copy too, at least for a beginner.
     
  12. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm in love with MIJ stuff, but it's kind of pricey. I just grabbed a MIJ mid-90's Fernandes (totally stock) and I had a tech do a basic setup. It's great -- really, the finish might even be nitro; if not, it's a killer old school sunburst with some deep red hints, single ply 50's type pickguard, fat maple neck that is aging nicely, lightly reliced with some rust on the bridge saddles and a few small dings. It really rings like a bell and the electronics and original pups are surprisingly very nice. I am going to replace the bridge pup and I might replace the bridge and tuners, but I will keep the originals in house. Total cost was $325 including the great setup (which included nut work).
    By far the best cheap guitars that still amaze me are the old USA built Peavey's - they are awesome for the price.
     
  13. E Baxter Put

    E Baxter Put Member

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    Oh yeah... I always get GAS for the cheapies. I like the ones with P90s. Dillion, SX, Squier, Weird japanese guitars, unwanted harmonys.
     
  14. otherstar

    otherstar Member

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    I love my cheapies! I have several sub $600 guitars and I love them all!!
     
  15. Toneslinger

    Toneslinger Member

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    Ok everyone. What exactly do you consider a "cheapie" guitar? Under what dollar amount? $1000, $500, $200, $100?

    I tend to think under the $200 range is a cheapie guitar.
     
  16. DrumBob

    DrumBob Gold Supporting Member

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    I think $300 and below is a cheapie.
     
  17. mike80

    mike80 Member

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    I have a Samick that's a great guitar. I think I paid around $300 for it brand new about 8 years ago. The fretwork and neck are pretty good, but the pickup didn't have enough output for my liking. I swapped it out with a DiMarzio Super Distortion, and it's now my psuedo-baritone guitar.

    I also have a Yamaha copy of an Ibanez, that was my first guitar. I paid around $200 for it, and it's been beat to hell, thrown around, basically abused. Still works fine and plays nice.
     
  18. DrumBob

    DrumBob Gold Supporting Member

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    Rondo Music is now Internet only. They were a brick & mortar store on Rt.22 in Hillside, NJ since 1959, but they were basically forced out by Guitar Center and Sam Ash a few miles away. I know the family. The son of the founder/owner runs the business from his home in New Hampshire. The father retired last year. Their Agile, Douglas, and SX guitars are surprisingly good value. The Agiles are the best quality. I've owned several Les Paul knockoffs and they were all good players. They have a sunburst Les Paul copy with P-90s that's a killer for about $300. I still have a white mother of toilet seat Agile LP copy that plays fine. Needs a setup, but that's all. I paid $199 for it. I know a couple of guitarists who own 25+ Agiles! They're so cheap, you can afford to have many.
     
  19. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    I have a thing for them too - it's like sport if you will. Agile P-90 LP Gold Top for $120, Epi '57 reissue LP Jr. P-90 - $170, New Epi 335 Dot Studio - $189, New Squier Strat HSS rear routed, matching headstock - $149 w/gig-bag, They all get a fret dressing, new nut if needed, new electronics and a killer setup. They play as well as any higher end guitars I build.
     
  20. soulohio

    soulohio Member

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    I got a SX GG Junior with two P90's...the guitar may be built on the same line as the Santan SE and it is a keeper. Plays really well and is quite acoustic considering it has a bulletproof poly coat. those cheap china pickups got the mojo man!
     

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