why is it that high end guitars are so heavily discounted new, but amps are not?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by pedalcr8z, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. pedalcr8z

    pedalcr8z Member

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    Why is it that most high end guitars can in some cases be bought at 50% off new and amps cannot? It would be my opinion that a guitar would actually take more man hours than even a boutique amp yet amps new discounts are never as deep.
     
  2. FloridaSam

    FloridaSam Member

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    I think many amp builders would beg to differ with you.

    There are a lot of factors at work here. I think for one the actual margin on guitars is higher than amps. A master builder can turn $100 of wood into a $5000.00 guitar. Add some tuning pegs, bridge, p'ups and a case and there you have it.

    Most boutique bulders (amp) have to buy 90% of the parts from outside sources.... then build the cabinet (or have it built). I just think there's more play in the price of a guitar than an amp.
     
  3. JStizz

    JStizz Member

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    i agree with FLSam. the cost, not including labor, in building an amp can be far greater in parts than building a guitar.

    in the large scheme of things, it seems amp builders have more monetary value in what they produce because of the components they are built with. whereas, many times with guitars, the monetary value of each individual part involved in much less. the value of labor and workmanship is typically much more negotiable.
     
  4. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Silver Supporting Member

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    I think it's just a function of how the various mfrs set the list price versus dealer cost. Whatever a dealer may say about discounting OFF of list price, it's their cost that determines what they will mark it UP to. Dealers vary on what they try to get, of course.
     
  5. Mudder

    Mudder Member

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    I would agree that there is more material investment in an amp. Part of any guitar price has to do with actual craftsmanship, rather than just assembly. Amp guys calm down, I'm not suggesting your circuit design time or layout and soldering skills are any less valuable than the ability to carve wood. But the guitar turns into a piece of art as well as an instrument.
     
  6. pipedwho

    pipedwho Member

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    Retail discounts have nothing to do with how much it costs a builder/luthier to make an amp or guitar. The retailer buys the amp or guitar at a set price from the manufacturer (or distributor) and tries to sell it for as much as they can.

    It seems that the industry has a much larger mark-up on guitars than on amps. This is probably because the majority of customers that are spend-crazy tend to buy pretty guitars that they probably can't really play anyway. People that know what they want, already have a good guitar that they can play will go and buy a quality amp. (This is of course a generalisation, but idiots with fat wallets are easier to sell guitars to, so the default mark-up on a guitar will be quite large.)

    You can see the above mentality in the amount of times you see gear lists that look like:

    $1500 guitar --> $1200 worth of boutique pedals --> $300 solid state amp

    As for labour vs parts. If I buy $500 in parts, that costs me exactly the same amount as if I paid someone $500 to do some work for me.

    None of this applies to boutique one-off builders, as they don't mark-up and discount in the same way the retail outlets do.
     
  7. usc96

    usc96 Member

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    The better question is why the BS retail price on guitars? No one actually pays that price and if someone pulled out cash to pay the retail price the store clerk would look at them like they were a moron. Everyone knows the $3299 price tag on a Les Paul Standard doesn't mean anything. You let the seller/dealer start at $2199 and you negotiate down from there. That's true of every national brand of guitar.
     
  8. Zelmo

    Zelmo Member

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    The reason is so that we can have ridiculous, inflated prices for used guitars on the Emporium (in many cases...). :crazy
     
  9. English Jim

    English Jim Member

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    You're comparing the price of gtrs built by giant corporations (Fender, Gibson etc) with boutique amps. You won't find a 40% discount on a Suhr or a Tyler. You will find a 40% discount on a Marshall or a Peavey. Pretty much works out the same. Big companies over inflate then discount. Small companies (boutiques) set the price and stick to it. Guitars or amps are the same.
     
  10. webe123

    webe123 Member

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    The only thing I do not like about some of these botique amps, is you can only get them through a dealer. Paying $1,900.00 for a new Mesa Boogie Lonestar 2x12 is kind of a crazy price, but I like the sound.

    I will probably end up with one, but I HATE the way that you have to order it from a dealer....you cannot order them online.

    Same with DW drums....you can only get them new through a dealer. And you have to live within a 200 mile radius of that dealer! Again, that is just stupid in my opinion. Because it is not exactly like the dealers are exclusive to high end gear....we have a guitar center that is the dealer for DW drums for crying out loud!

    A lot of other high end equipment can be purchased online with no problem at all. So what gives? Are some of these companies just trying to be different?

    I thought it was 2008, not 1978.

    I could see it before the net was ever around, but now? Seems to make people go out of their way, just to be able to buy a piece of gear!

    And in this day and age,that may or may NOT be a good thing. It all depends. Sometimes people can be searching for a particular piece of gear, but be turned off by the wait times to make it or the dealership in question and purchase something else readily available online. Just my opinion.
     
  11. FloridaSam

    FloridaSam Member

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    Hell, until recently you couldn't even advertise the fact that you CARRIED Taylor guitars let alone flash a logo or model #'s and prices. Remeber those ads "We carry "That" line of guitars. You know, the one we can't mention, the really good ones....."
     
  12. lostcause

    lostcause Member

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    Im not an amp builder, just another dumb guitar player.
    Ive never really thought of a guitar as a piece of art but I do think of an amp as an instrument and a far more complex one than a guitar.
    An electric guitar is useless with out an amplifier. They kind of need each other.
    I think amps and guitars have the same mark up depending on the brand.
     
  13. stratzrus

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

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    ...well maybe some guitars...:rotflmao

    Used prices are set by what the buyer is willing to pay, and I doubt any buyer of used amps is calculating manufacturing costs or labor when deciding how much to spend.

    There is someting special about being the first person to own/play an instrument...its an intimate personal experience. I don't think people feel the same about amps.

    As a result, if an amp is in mint condition, to the average buyer, the fact that it's not new doesn't matter all that much. Whereas with a guitar there's always a slight fear of an unnoticed flaw (a small barely noticible break, pickup swap, fret wear, slipping tuners) that could end up making the guitar less desirable or actually worth less.

    I think it's more perception than cost analysis.
     
  14. ScottR

    ScottR Silver Supporting Member

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    Amp builders can discount they're amps as well, all they have to do is create an artificially large List price like (Insert Guitar Co Here) do. If I want to build and sell an amp at $3000 I'll just create the "List Price at $5000 and discount it 40%
     
  15. webe123

    webe123 Member

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    LOL! Yeah I remember when Taylor did that. That is the kind of nonsense that I am talking about!

    But Taylor finally "saw the light"when it came to distribution....Peavey was the exact same way for a long time....no advertisment or selling online....all of that has changed.

    It just irk's me that some of these companies act like they are selling pure gold or something.
     
  16. BrownDog

    BrownDog Member

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    Margin - more to "play" with on the guitar than amp side.

    For myself alone and with tone and oneness, Mike.
     

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