Worst guitar you've had the misfortune of playing?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by cam.man67, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. cam.man67

    cam.man67 Member

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    We all love our great guitars! Heck, I think we love our good guitars because sometimes they have a character all their own. But our truly bad guitars? I want to hear about them! Tell me you stories about the worst guitar you've played or owned.

    I have 2:
    1. First Act Strat copy: this guitar was so bad, it was given to me! The neck was practically unfinished, the lone pup was at the same time thin and muddy, and the tuners were positively atrocious. The bridge was incredibly inconsistent, and intonation was sort of a suggestion at best. Fortunately, a neck and pickup swap rendered it actually pretty good, and a new bridge meant I could actually get the thing to stay in tune!

    2. Luna Neo (LP copy): this one takes the cake...this is the worst ever for me. The neck was this terribly uncomfortable triangular shape and frets were very uneven. Somehow it was warped as well. Both pickups failed, and the pickup selector was at the worst possible position for anyone who stands when they play. To top it all off, it was HEAVY. I've never had a guitar that actually stressed me out to play it until I had that Luna.

    Whatcha got???
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  2. stratzrus

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

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    Ovation Breadwinner.

    Composite body, active pickups. The most sterile tone I've ever experienced.

    I'll never know why I liked it in the store and brought it home. :(


    [​IMG]
     
  3. lespaulnmarshall

    lespaulnmarshall Member

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    Since I've gotten serious with guitars I've never picked up a really really bad one. I mean sure there is the occasional disappointment, as an example a 1957 (original) strat I played not too long ago, I was expecting the best possible tone, it wasn't so great, not really bad or terrible just a mediocre guitar. A CS reissue did better IMO. Those vintage examples really are quite different from guitar to guitar... Anyway I am getting off topic, I think with reasonable guitars (trusted brands that use ok materials etc... think epiphone, gibson, fender, etc...) there aren't really super bad guitars these days. Sure if you pick up a first act or qtx or whatever cheap brand etc... you will likely be very disappointed, but within trusted brands it will be quite unlikely to really really find a bad guitar. Sure there might be some epiphones or whatever that were shipped out in unacceptable condition (horrible frets for example) but they could always be returned by the dealer. So what I am trying to say is these days you likely won't find a truly horrible guitar anymore within the common brands and all. Most of today's 'bad'guitars can be made a whole lot better with just a good setup. Back in the day however.....
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  4. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Member

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    The worst I ever owned was a Sears catalog acoustic that I had as a kid in 1970. High action, poor sound, the whole bad deal. Eventually, the neck warped over sideways.

    So far as playing but not owning, there was this local music store back in the 90's where the main new guitar brand they sold was Cort and they were usually very overpriced. I'd typically see things like misaligned bridges, bad fret work, bad nuts, poor finish jobs and so forth on them. It gave me a bad impression of the brand although I hear they're much improved these days.
     
  5. oldgtarz

    oldgtarz Member

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    2015 Gibson LP Deluxe, wouldn't play a single chord in tune, while the gfarce was sure the guitar was tuned. And the wide neck was useless...

    I've played $50 guitars that were better or at least play in tune.
     
  6. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    What's a "wort" guitar?
     
  7. c_mac

    c_mac Member

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    1975 Gibson L6-S. I shutter to even go into my crawl space where it is stored.
     
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  8. s2y

    s2y Member

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    Probably my old Squier and GTX bolt-on Les Paul copy. Both had bad fret jobs and high action. The Squier had absolutely no sustain. I also briefly had an ESP M-II that played better, but was sonically dead.

    I think part of my love of luthier made instruments was inspired by playing my bottom-of-the-barrel guitars for many years.
     
  9. axe4me

    axe4me Member

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    Back in the 80's I had an Aria Explorer ZZ guitar.
    The frets/neck was like bad railroad tracks.
    I think you could shoot an arrow from the neck.
     
  10. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    Barring actual defects, a guitar that's not set up well will play badly. I have found that when I go to GC many of their guitars play like crap mainly due to needing a setup.
     
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  11. BKL71

    BKL71 Member

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    Many years ago, I played a Vester in a local music store. Back in the early '90s, a lot of music stores in this area carried the Vester brand because they were distributed my MidCo International (also home to Gorilla amps) down in Effingham, Illinois. The one I played was a superstrat shredder type guitar, and it was the absolute worst sounding guitar I have ever played. If ever a guitar could be dubbed "The Sultan Of Sonic Stinkieness," this would be it. The fit and finish were lousy as well. It's no wonder the brand didn't last very long.
     
  12. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    The worst guitar is the one just good enough to find its way into ownership with you.

    Truly atrocious non-playable guitars are harmless. The ones that are handsome and a little less money so your parents don't take as big of a hit; the ones that play OK at first and gradually become weapons, are the real "worst". The ones that sound kind of interesting at first then really get on your nerves after 6 months.

    The guitar which can't be set up at all is "properly badged" with all those warning labels - only a true idiot still buys them. No, the guitar which sets up for 5 weeks the first time, 3 weeks the next time, 8 days the third time and by 6 months won't stay intonated or in tune for more than 30 minutes - these are your true adversary as a guitar buyer.
     
  13. s2y

    s2y Member

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    One would think they'd sell more if stuff played well. I rarely go to GC. The last time I went, I walked into their acoustic room. The humidifier was set on tropical rainforest and I walked right out.
     
  14. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    I've tweaked the setup on a few First Acts. I haven't run into any that were truly terrible. I even bought one for $20 or $25 to give away. Gave it the full treatment and it was actually quite a player though the LED and the built in distortion were beyond cheesy.

    I actually traded into a Faded SG the same day and after I worked on them both, I preferred playing the the feel of the First Act.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Worst I've ever owned was a Palmer strat. Pretty, but absolutely awful in every other way. As I recently mentioned in another thread, I had about $10 in it and I feel I was ripped off.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. NorCal_Val

    NorCal_Val Member

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    The Ibanez RGA8 I bought a couple of years ago.
    I like how the neck feels and how resonant it is.
    But it has THE WORST stock pickups to ever come stock in a guitar.
    (Cort Bass pickups btw...)
    Fortunately, 8 string replacement p-ups are available.
    But, it makes me wonder what jackass at Ibanez said "F_ck it!! Slap those
    sh_tty left over bass pickups in there and get it to market!".
     
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  16. RJLII

    RJLII Member

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    A 2015 Les Paul Standard. It made me sad. It was so not a Les Paul in so many ways. Wide neck that was shredder thin. Bulky auto tuners that are a solution desperately seeking a problem. Thick chrome plating that looks like something on an import. Head stock inlay that will go down in infamy. They had the recipe figured out 50 years ago. I'm glad I was able to acquire a couple decent specimens prior to them jumping the shark.
     
  17. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    I agree! I think it has to do with the volume of the guitars in the shop versus the lack of qualified employees to do setups. I'm not sure that all GCs even have a luthier/tech on staff.
     
  18. Jay Ralston

    Jay Ralston Member

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    My very first guitar was a red Gremlin guitar that I bought used for $50.00 at a guitar store in 1986. Total piece of crap. It would never stay in tune or play right. But I guess you get what you pay for. Here is what it looked like.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Axeaholic

    Axeaholic Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]

    I played three because guy in my band had a Thundervird reverse bass of sirts ... all sucked
     
  20. Bossanova

    Bossanova Member

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    +1, my Gibsons are amazing guitars.
     

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