Interesting Article - Are Expensive Guitars Worth It?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by gjohnson441496lpjr, Apr 13, 2019 at 2:25 PM.

  1. mscjr

    mscjr Member

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    This discussion reminds of discussions around owning any kind of fine equipment, from cars to houses to firearms. Spending more on something that was more time consuming or complex to create, or uses costlier materials, is fine. I buy high-quality equipment because high-quality equipment is more enjoyable for me to use, and tends to hold its value longer.

    I enjoy playing the guitar. I enjoy it a little more knowing that I'm paying a high-quality instrument that makes pleasing sounds. I enjoy it a little more knowing that it's something my children will treasure when I pass. And I enjoy it a little more thinking (hoping?) that it was made by craftsman tasked with making something to a consistent level of quality and finish.

    But playing the instruments I've built myself gives me the greatest joy.
     
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  2. Pongo

    Pongo Member

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    That's a fair critique on the Hwy 1. I wasn't playing guitar during most of the time period the Hwy 1 was out and it's never been on my radar, but it appears that they ran around 70-80% the cost of an American Standard. The author writes about that specific guitar quite often and says he bought it new then upgraded pickups, which would make "half" impossible.

    I'm sticking to my view that the main point re: price/quality is reasonable, but if you're trying to make a persuasive argument, exaggeration and mythologizing your experiences destroys your case.
     
  3. s2y

    s2y Member

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    Correct. I'm not a catalog expert, but I think I was limited to Sitka at the time and couldn't get the neck I want without going custom. Martin, Fender, Gibson, etc. all make fine guitars. My problem is that custom shop price tags usually skyrocket when certain things are tweaked. I mostly deal with small builders because it's less effort and cost to adjust the little things. I don't know how much a Martin OM41 with torrified Englemann and Brazilian Rosewood cost, but I'd imagine I paid about 1/2 to 1/3rd of that projected price tag.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 7:05 PM
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  4. Jack Frost

    Jack Frost Member

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    1. I bought locking tuners for about $40 for my strat

    2. Why is a hand-wound pickup better? Because the hand-winding people say it is? They hold a bit of wire while a bobbin rotates. Not really something a machine can't do.

    3. Lots of expensive guitars don't have a compound radius, compound neck, custom heel joint or a one-piece body

    4. All cheap strats have contours

    5. What is a 'better' wood?

    One thing you did miss out on your list is electronics, and it's certainly true that more expensive guitars will have better electronics. But ultimately, it's whatever feels good to you. There could be a $10,000 guitar, but if I don't like the fret wire on it, then who cares how much it cost? I won't buy it.

    A guitar is some bits of wood glued/bolted together, with some strings and electronics. It's really not that difficult of an instrument to make. So once you get to the stage where the neck isn't warped, the frets are nicely done and don't cut your hands, and the pickups work, everything else is just preference.

    On two ends of the spectrum I own a Squier CV strat and a Suhr classic pro strat. I prefer the satin neck on the Suhr to the glossy CV, but I prefer the fret wire on the CV. The CV has a sexy tinted flamed maple neck, while the Suhr is boring plain maple. The tuners and bridge on the Suhr are better than the CV. But when both are plugged in, they sound like..... strats!
     
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  5. ivandolz

    ivandolz Member

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    I meant many, obviously... I read the content, and I stand on my afirmations.
     
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  6. Kennybeeinfl

    Kennybeeinfl Member

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    I think it's all about finding the best guitar for you. I'm particular to Grosh guitars. I have a couple that l've owned for almost 20 years. I' ve also had a few lower end guitars during that time. MiM Strat, a few Teles( American Special, MiM,) and an Ibanez semi hollow body. They were all decent guitars and had l not owned the Grosh's l would probably still have them. I now have 5 Grosh's. Yes l think they are superior to the less high end models that l had and l won't even bother shopping for anything else buts that's my choice.
     
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  7. Heinz W

    Heinz W Genuine '66 Relic Gold Supporting Member

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    Interesting typo. :D
     
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  8. gjohnson441496lpjr

    gjohnson441496lpjr Member

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    :agree
     
  9. toomanyamps

    toomanyamps Member

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    Yes, it destroys the writers credibility.
     
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  10. toomanyamps

    toomanyamps Member

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    No it isn't. When you either flat out lie, or don't check your facts that is not well written from a journalistic standpoint.
     
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  11. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    Unfortunately for me, my ears almost always gravitate to the higher priced guitars. They also seem to feel better too. The New Fender AO series is a really nice exception.
     
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  12. Jack Frost

    Jack Frost Member

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    Is that your ears when you are playing the guitar, so can see and feel it as well? Or do you mean like a blindfold ears only comparison?

    I yawned the other day and everything suddenly went loud and clear. Don't know how long I'd been living in a quiet muffled world for. I'm not sure my ears are much use for anything!
     
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  13. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Member

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    That article was about as worthwhile as the countless threads of the same topic that pop up on TGP and other guitar forums about every week.
     
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  14. DrumBob

    DrumBob Gold Supporting Member

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    Your opinion. You're entitled. So am I.
     
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  15. JosephZdyrski

    JosephZdyrski Member

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    I simply don’t have that option.... I definitely think expensive acoustic guitars are amazing and I’d buy one in a sec if I could afford it. The only budget acoustics I’ve played recently that were really nice were Recording Kings even the very affordable Dirty 37s have a certain thing about em... I may pick one up eventually but I’m busy acquiring electrics and since I don’t have a huge budget ... pretty small actually my MO is to hunt down the best sounding guitar at the lowest possible price :D I’ve already acquired a better Squire Affinity Strat than I thought was ever possible and an amazing Epiphone Dot, and a budget NOS RG from back before Ibanez had the GIO range.

    But I just found a new budget GEM of a guitar I never expected to find. I actually found a very nice Epiphone Les Paul Special.... I think it’s a limited edition... as in that’s the the name of the model I don’t think it’s even a Special ii technically it’s just a Special le .... same as the ii only difference is the stop tail instead of the TOM bridge. Faded Black, perfect intonation, low action (it’s not a LP without low action imo) great sustain, no buzz, sounds like a LP. 2nd best bolt on neck LP I’ve ever played. 1st being a Made in Japan Lyle with built in effects that was amazing but actually a bit pricey.

    But the Epiphone is being held at the shop near my house I’ll grab it in the morning when I get paid and post a NGD post after work so look foreword to low quality Facebook pics, clips of me mindlessly wanking on my new guitar, bad grammar.. all that.
    :aok

    But overall I think it’s a great time to be a guitarist on a budget because there are a lot of really good affordable options out there. Most I’ve seen in my 25 years of guitaring lol.
     
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  16. romo

    romo Supporting Member

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    I didn’t really think the article was very good. I also don’t think I am really the target audience, and neither is the average TGP member. So maybe the point is a little lost on me. It seems like most of this guys articles are geared toward people just getting into guitar or folks who aren’t active musicians.

    Currently, I can afford some expensive guitars (see the Collings in my profile pic), but I couldnt always. I used to say the same sort of things the author is saying and I modded the guitars I had at the time to make them perform better. Play what you have/can. Who cares if it was modestly priced or expensive. Last weekend I gigged with a Japanese Gretsch and a Mexican Strat while the Collings stayed home. I love playing those guitars but I’m not going to kid myself into thinking they are anything close to the instrument my I-35 is. The author would have you believe my Collings is only marginally better than my old Epiphone but that’s simply false. The Collings cost 10x more than the epiphone and it’s easily 10x the guitar. No question in my mind about that. Both guitars can make good music but the difference is more than just better wood and hardware.
     
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  17. toomanyamps

    toomanyamps Member

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    You can call it an opinion. But I would think if a journalist misstated the facts at best it could be called sloppy journalism, at worst blatantly dishonest to make his case seem stronger.
     
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  18. gunslinger

    gunslinger Member

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    Inexpensive guitars are better than they used to be. I bought a Platinum B.C. Rich warlock years ago and it was terrible. I paid $500 for it new. I didn't know much about guitars then. It was around 1988. It was like a cheap knockoff that B.C. Rich made of their own guitar. It was make in Korea. But to say that expensive guitars aren't worth it isn't really true. Sure you can pay half or a quarter as much money as an expensive one may cost and still get a good instrument. But sometimes they may lack craftsmanship or quality parts. There's an old saying. You get what you pay for. I love American made guitars. I love high quality parts. I don't like knockoff parts. I don't like Floyd Rose copies. I don't like plastic nuts. I don't like warped necks. I don't like my guitars to be made of mystery woods.
     
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  19. Dr. Tinnitus

    Dr. Tinnitus Member

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    I try to keep the $$$ to quality ratio pretty simple. $1000 can easily get you a great guitar. For that cash it should include guitars from all the major brands, styles and options. Some models may be harder to find without dings or other little issues, but usually you can sort it out cheap. If you're patient, you should be able to get what you want for around a grand.

    $2000 can get you nice playing, player grade vintage guitars. I have 2 great playing 60's guitars (a Fender and a Gibson) that I bought for less than $1500.

    Use your resources and you might need to take a risk. I haven't bought a guitar from a shop in years, because my online purchases have worked out.

    If I limited myself to the shops in my area, I wouldn't have several of the great guitars I have now, because they wouldn't be found there or would be too expensive for me to be interested...
     
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  20. Jonny G

    Jonny G Member

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    Probably the best summary of guitar buying Ive seen

    Approved :aok
     

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