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In the UK the average wage in the 1950's was £10 per week (£339 in todays money) so that Telecaster was much more expensive, more so than a house which could be bought for under £2000.

In 1975 I started work on £50 per month, I bought a Peugeot 10 speed racing bike, it cost me just over £100 or 2 months salary, the equivalent type of bike would cost me at least £1500 today.
Guitars where very expensive here, even Spanish & German imports, my father bought my first guitar a double f hole arch top acoustic more commonly known as a "Cello" guitar second hand in 1965 for £10 which was the best part of a weeks wages for my dad who only earned £11 per week at the time. My first electric guitar an Audition that a mate sold to me with its matching amp for £14 in 1972, a heap of crap by todays standards and it cost what to me was a fortune.
I would have loved a Tele & decent amp but the cost was horrendous to me back then and only really good/semi pro/pro players had them.

So whilst I really do understand where your coming from, I think its good that a beginner can go out and get a half decent guitar for under £300


I'm personally amazed at what we all have available to us today....not just in guitars, but in everything else around the guitar.
I bought brand new set up for recording including instruments: A 24 track recorder, an American Professional Strat, a Fender Bass and a Helix LT all for just under $3,000.

When I started getting into recording, an 8 track ADAT was $4,000 by itself....so yeah, not complaining at all about where we are today.


Now all is about options. Welcome to capitalism... And there were many things impossible to achieve back then that now are easy. For example recording...


Guitars cost a lot of money back in the day. That standard Tele would cost around $1500+ in today's dollar. Also, there are several price points making them more accessible to the person wanting to pick up the guitar and learn.

I like options. This has gotta be a troll, or uninformed post.
Price was not the issue discussed. What was discussed is getting your money's worth. Of course things cost more nowadays...DUH......The issue is that a Tele or any guitar should be ALL THAT IT CAN BE AT ANY COST. Having Tele 1's and Tele sub minus 1, 2, 3, 4...is not a good thing. A specific guitar should be "near perfect" without the need for cheaper versions of the same guitar. If $2000 today is equal to the $150 I paid way back when so be it. If you need to make cheaper versions of a Tele (or any model) just don't call it a Tele.


GuitarMax and SteveFromBoston did a great video on this and I agree with them. This really is a golden age for guitars. You have more options than ever, and all the budget friendly options are better quality and more consistent than before.

Back in the day if you couldn’t afford that Gibson LP or Fender tele you were SOL. Cause the budget options were crap, just had to save for months or years before you could get the nice guitar. Now, if you can’t afford the Gibson or Fender custom shop. Epiphone and Squier are producing solid guitars etc. They’re not all equal but they’re all playable and solid instruments if set up well. There’s a decent guitar at almost every price point and that’s made it more accessible. And there’s more choices in each price point too. And if you’re set on getting the best made top of the line guitar and don’t mind spending the money, the custom ship guitars are still being built. There’s something for everyone.

Making just one high quality guitar with no other budget options is gonna push a lot of people out of the market. When I was a kid starting out on guitar, getting a $2000 strat would be out of the question but I had a nice solid Squier that I still love to play to this day over a decade later. In the 70’s I would have have had a cruddy acoustic or very unplayable electric.

And I don’t think the brand value is being diluted. I have a Squier, MIM Charvel, and a US made Fender, all three play and sound great but I don’t think my US Fender is any less valuable due to the other tiers. When I had my Squier I still dreamt of one day owning a Fender and was thrilled when I finally got one. But I was glad I had the Squier to play.

P.s. Here’s the video for anyone interested. Link
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Pedal Art: CIOKS/Vboutique/Providence Dealer
I have a time machine.

Lets have some fun.

$289.50 1962 price on a Sunburst Strat

How much is that in todays money?

That same 1962 strat actually cost $2,489.42 in 2020 for the same 289.50 dollars when adjusted and you take those 1962 dollars to 2020.

How much is a MIA Pro ll Strat Today?

An MIA Pro ll in 2020 cost $1500, much less than what that 1962 Strat cost when we sent it to the future coming in at $2,489.42.

So guitars today are more affordable than ever when you do the math.

Now lets take that $1500 the MIA Pro ll cost and take it back to the past in 62. Those $1500 are worth $174.44 for an MIA Pro ll in 1962 compared to the 62 Strat costing $289.50. Again, significantly less money.

Guitars really have never been more affordable. The quality and tiers and ranges.

Its almost never been better or so accessible or affordable with many great quality instruments all across the board IMO. Just hard for it to get any better really.
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If you had a time machine and could hand a pro guitarist in 1959 a Fender Masterbuilt Tele or Lentz HSL (as an example) from today, they would be absolutely stunned at how amazing the modern guitars are.


man as soon as I read this post I felt immediate compassion for a guy who was gonna get ratioed. ouch. Don't let it get you down OP I can sort of feel what you were trying to say. Have a good weekend.


Silver Supporting Member
Might I recommend picking up knitting as a hobby. It's cheaper and therapeutic. Great for anger management.

Blanket Jackson

is Tio's favorite
Gold Supporting Member
There's never been a better time to buy a guitar. You get a good quality product for a low price, and if you want more options or more individual attention you can get that for a premium (mirroring many other manufactured items).

No complaint here.


I think now is the best time to be a guitar player with all of the options we have available to us. I remember when I started playing in 66 that the cost of a Fender or Gibson was beyond my reach. Back in the 60's we didn't have the number of used guitars that float around now. Yes, I agree with the OP that there are too many options for the same guitar but at least it provides an opportunity for all of us to have the same type of guitar.


Platinum Supporting Member
How TF do you guys remember exactly how much you paid for a guitar 50 years ago?
Right from the horses mouth.

"Finally, the Stratocaster was introduced in spring 1954 as Fender’s new top-line guitar, in tremolo and non-tremolo versions. The first known ad for it appeared in that April’s issue of International Musician magazine, and a small pre-production run began that month. It was a sleekly beautiful instrument bursting with great features and producing full, clear and sparkling tones. The first full-scale production run began in October 1954, with the vibrato model priced at $249.50 and the non-vibrato model at $229.50."

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