Why I can never buy a Gibson or Fender

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by lamenlovinit, Jun 20, 2006.


  1. lamenlovinit

    lamenlovinit Member

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    Not because they suck, or "suk", or "sux" as I have seen it written. I'm old enough to have owned and have fond feelings for both! It's because it's all so very very confusing! What happened to "Standard" and "Deluxe"? How am I supposed to keep up? I went to the Fender site, opened up "stratocaster" and was confronted by a page full of strats and in the header the terrifying "page one of nine" heading :eek:

    Now I'm all for variety, but DANG! As someone who mostly buys used, I simply can't look at a guitar on the wall, and say "Hmm... A '98 Les Paul "tone spanker", mint condition, $600 is a fair price..." Because it could be a "historic" tone spanker, or an R42 tone spanker, and not being a historian, I just don't know!

    What's my solution? For strat work, I have a G&L S500, and for Paul work I just picked up an old P90 equiped double cut Hamer Special in trans red... They both rock, play ten times better than I can, and the selection process was straight forward and I knew what I was looking at and talking about the WHOLE TIME!!!! :BEER
     
  2. Monkey23

    Monkey23 Member

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    Especially with Fenders!! But the reality is they are all slight variations on the same theme. Some have alder bodies while others have ash. Some have the S-1 switching system, while others do not. Some have the regular pickup configuration while others have a H/S/S setup etc. At the end of the day they all play and feel like strats.
     
  3. Luke V

    Luke V Member

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    I would go to a local dealer and play everything they have on the wall. Ask questions about the one's you like and the ones you don't.

    There are so many models of Strats, as you know, just see which ones you like the feel and tone of.

    I always try a guitar acoustically to see if I like it, before plugging it in.

    Hopefully you'll find a trend in certain models. Then just focus in on THE ONE for you. And hopefully it won't take forerver, we're not getting any younger.
     
  4. jpage

    jpage Silver Supporting Member

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    I agree that the different models and such can be confusing--esp for Fender, who has 13,672 different model numbers for a black/maple strat. But since what it comes down to is what feels/sounds good to YOU, why not simply ignore all the gearhead BS and just pick 'em up and play? When you find one that does it for you--that's the model you want. Don't worry if it's "custom shop" or "standard" or "made in the USA".

    I've owned G&L's and Hamers and they are fine instruments. But substitutes for strats and Les Pauls they are not. Don't let the plethora of different choices deter you from experiencing the greatest guitars ever built.
     
  5. Pedro58

    Pedro58 Supporting Member

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    Marketing is to blame. Big companies build to a "price point." You can get "x" guitar for $250, for $300, for $350, and so on... There is little or no difference between one and the next. The $250 Strat looks like the $500 Strat and you pay more for what the companies sells you as the difference. What is the actual difference, you might ask? Maybe electronics and hardware, maybe the wood or the fretwork. I can't figure it out, either. I could, actually, but I don't want to spend the time!
     
  6. jpage

    jpage Silver Supporting Member

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    It's actually pretty cool that a kid with $300 can walk into a music store and still be able to walk out with a strat. Nothing wrong with multiple price points, unless you are a stocking dealer that is...
    Myself, since I know that I want and can afford quality, there are really only 3 or 4 choices if I want a strat. I'm not looking at the $250, $350 or $450 models so I really don't let them confuse me.
     
  7. gururyan

    gururyan Member

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    jpage hits a good point. It seems the higher you go in quality/price the fewer you have to wade through. I am a middle budget player so my strat choices were basically US Dlx to used Custom, I got a US Dlx V-Neck Strat...absolutely love it, granted I had to play well over a dozen before finding "the one". I would start with what's important to you and go from there. I had to have a soft v neck, so that limited me to only about 6 in my price range. My choices went from a Custom Classic V-Neck to the US Dlx V-Neck to a 50's Std. or J. Vaughn artist...and so forth. From there it went to pups and price. I narrowed it down from the masses and was glad I had so many options in the end...but in the beginning, I was frustrated like you.
     
  8. Thwap

    Thwap Member

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    Hell, get an R8 and an EJ and call it a day.:BEER
     
  9. stratzrus

    stratzrus Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B Supporting Member

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    I agree with lamenlovinit, the Fender name game has gotten out of control, but guitar variety is the spice of life (next to garlic, curry and crushed red pepper).

    My new #1 for stage is an American Deluxe Stratocaster QMT HSS, and while I love it for its ebony fingerboard, medium jumbo frets, quilt top, locking Schallers and other differences from the original Stratocaster, I'm ashamed when anyone asks me what it is. It's hard for me to even begin to say the model name it's so embarrassing. Fender had to abbreviate six of the words so that it didn't end up being a nine word model name!

    It's a great guitar though, and I'm glad that people are not buying them due to the name or whatever other reasons (only three reviews posted on Harmony Central). Hopefully they will be discontinued soon and will begin to appreciate in value.

    stratzrus
     
  10. Staceydude

    Staceydude Member

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    It is also baffling to me as well. I look and wonder which one is which...

    I am lucky I guess since alot of them are out of my price range.... hahaha

    I also can not tell a reissue gibson from adam...

    I guess if I ever get into that market I will fire up the laptop and do some reading.

    Regards,
     
  11. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    Just make sure it's a Fender Custom Shop Reissue, not a Custom without "shop", and it can be a reissue either way, and if it says "deluxe" beware, but just "custom" can be deceiving, as can just "reissue", and if it says "American" it can be a "reissue" or a "custom" or both, as it can if it is "CIJ" or "MIM", but then it's not a true "CS", but can be "custom" or "deluxe" or "reissue", but only "custom" and "reissue" if it IS a "CS" and then certainly not "deluxe"...and then there's "closet classic" and "relic" and "super relic", but only from the CS, and that excludes "vintage" which can be "American" or not... Sheesh, I personally don't understand how it could be any clearer!! Now for Gibson...
     
  12. BadAssBill

    BadAssBill southofnash.com Silver Supporting Member

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    If they only made 3 models of Fender Strat....Good, Better, Best....can you imagine what we would be missing on? Robert Cray, Blackie, Closet Classics, Fat Strat, Deluxe's, EJ's, Mayers, and yes the HSS. Personally I'm glad I have so many options and prices.
    Is it daunting...maybe at first. Once you learn what's what...it's really not that bad.
     
  13. stratzrus

    stratzrus Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B Supporting Member

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    AC -lol!x2

    Stratzrus
     
  14. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Worse, they have about a hundred different models and variations, and not one of them is the exact combination of materials, parts and finish you actually want, unless you pay a stupid amount of money for the "Custom Shop" to hand-assemble (ie put together with a screwdriver in the case of Fender, Gibsons are maybe a little more involved) the guitar from basically the same parts as are in all the standard models anyway.

    Why would it be so hard to even offer all the models in all the colors without a stupid upcharge? It doesn't cost them any more to paint one body as another. The car industry has got very good at offering options - which certainly do cost you a little more, but not anywhere near as much, proportionally - ie standard sets of components which can be put together in almost any combination, why can't the guitar industry?

    If I want a '62-style Strat body with a 6-screw bridge in LPB and pearl guard, a US Deluxe-style 22-fret maple neck with big frets and abalone dots, locking machineheads and an HSS pickup setup - all of which are perfectly standard features on various different models - I can't have it unless I want to pay several times as much as for any of those models. It would probably be cheaper to buy all the separate guitars and put the bits together myself, even assuming I didn't then sell off the other stuff on ebay...
     
  15. suhr_rodney

    suhr_rodney Supporting Member

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    Well said John!
     

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