Who is number 1

Malapp

Member
Messages
177
Knaggs, Huber, McIlroy, Kauer from the boutique builders

I've recently been hunting down strats to trial and i've been lucky to play some tasty ones (LSL, Mario Martin, K-Line, Paoletti & Suhr). All amazing...not all for me with regard to neck preferences. but great off the shelf quality (esp for axes travelling hemispheres and half the planet to Australia)

ESP (esp the Navigator stuff) is one that doesn't get enough credit. i'd have zero qualms buying one of their guitars without playing them.

Collings make great stuff across electric and acoustics. flawless stuff
Tight group for sure
 

Malapp

Member
Messages
177
I own a LP built this year and it came flawless…Have a Charvel manufactured last year and it is also perfect.
Gibson has had issues in the past but it seems to me they are getting it together. But bad QC issues in the past are a legitimate concern and really hurt reputations. I think overall Fender has done better in the past than Gibson. Lots of competition from overseas now.
Yes sir, I do think it’s good that a person can buy a quality guitar for under $500
 

GulfportBound

Member
Messages
9,753
Numbers 1 through 6 . . .

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NSDQRKR

Member
Messages
1,346
Yes sir, I do think it’s good that a person can buy a quality guitar for under $500
I have an Epiphone thats the new inspired line…paid $400 after some discounts. After I bought my ESP EC1000 a few months ago I was like don’t need three single cuts…but it plays so good have not been able to bring myself to sell it. Epiphone has really been most improved in the budget sub $500 group IMO. Squire has always been good but now Epiphone is finally there.
 

yargnad

Member
Messages
50
While I do agree that PRS guitars are well built, I've yet to find one I actually like. So are we talking about number one purely in the build quality department or in the well built and makes you want to play department?

From my experience, every Knaggs I've ever laid hands on beats every PRS at any price. Never played a Collings or Huber. The others are nice, just not for me. I'm a plain Jane guitar player and my favorite guitar I've ever played is a LsL, so I bought it. Now I don't even look at other guitars anymore because I can't see how I could possibly enjoy anything else more.
 

Teleplayer

Moder8er
Staff member
Messages
20,508
With their obvious manufacturing deficiencies, how in the heck does Gibson and Fender manage to sell tens of thousands of guitars every year? Weird.
I’ll ask a long time friend of mine. He has about $2.5M in vintage guitars, including three Bursts, two Vs, a bushel basket of ‘50s and early 60s Gibson Hollowbodies, about a dozen original LP and SG Juniors, original Reverse Firebirds, a dead mint ‘57 Gold Top, one of only 12 3-pickup ‘59 Les Paul Customs to ever leave the factory with a cherry body and black neck, early 60s Teles, 50s, etc.

He’s a pro and gigs them all. Seems to be pretty happy with the Gibsons and Fenders he has.
 

BaliGod

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
728
I’ll ask a long time friend of mine. He has about $2.5M in vintage guitars, including three Bursts, two Vs, a bushel basket of ‘50s and early 60s Gibson Hollowbodies, about a dozen original LP and SG Juniors, original Reverse Firebirds, a dead mint ‘57 Gold Top, one of only 12 3-pickup ‘59 Les Paul Customs to ever leave the factory with a cherry body and black neck, early 60s Teles, 50s, etc.

He’s a pro and gigs them all. Seems to be pretty happy with the Gibsons and Fenders he has.

Sounds as if he is big on the old stuff, but not on the new stuff which is what is relevant to most on here that only has access to the new stuff. A rich guy dropping big money on and playing old gear does not help me believe the new gear is great.

I have been fortunate enough to play some pretty well known historics including Greeny and etc. and these just aren't for me although I get the allure. For playing purposes, give me a modern hand built Custom Shop, ESP works fine, and truthfully, most any new high end custom shop models, and I would be just as happy as I was when picking up some of the older stuff. For sure I get the historic vibe that goes along with the old stuff when picking it up, but my first and foremost consideration is how well does it play, can I thrash it live and sound to some degree, but I can get pretty much any sound I want these days with my rack/setup.
 
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Teleplayer

Moder8er
Staff member
Messages
20,508
Sounds as if he is big on the old stuff, but not on the new stuff which is what is relevant to most on here that only has access to the new stuff. A rich guy dropping big money on and playing old gear does not help me believe the new gear is great which, IMO, it ain't that great.

I have been fortunate enough to play some pretty well known historics including Greeny and etc. and these just aren't for me although I get the allure. For playing purposes, give me a modern hand built Custom Shop, ESP works fine, and truthfully, most any new high end custom shop models, and I would be just as happy as I was when picking up some of the older stuff. For sure I get the historic vibe that goes along with the old stuff when picking it up, but my first and foremost consideration is how well does it play, can I thrash it live and sound to some degree, but I can get pretty much any sound I want these days with my rack/setup.
If you’ve had your hands on many vintage pieces then you also know there were tons of inconsistencies with guitars made in the 50s, 60s, etc. Some were great. Many weren’t.

The GCS and FCS are turning out plenty of great guitars. And this is coming from a guy that has boutiques only.

As I said, my friend gigs his vintage gear. He’s not simply some rich guy. He’s achieved his wealth in the music industry - on both sides of the mixing board. They (his vintage pieces) are not for show, though they’ve been written up in various music publications. First thing he did when he got his ‘59 V? He gigged it the same night.

The only reason he doesn’t buy new, is he has the original “real deal” guitars. He speaks very highly of current GCS and FCS pieces.

BTW - most of the builders named in this thread’s first post don’t remotely approach 1,000 guitars/year.

I’ve got some great boutiques; and I’m now ready to actually get a few pieces by the OG builders. Gibby Custom Shop and Fender Custom Shop … here I come!!
 




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