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> Pricey Guitar Vs. Cheaper Guitar?
GuitarMonkey
post Apr 23 2009, 01:56 AM
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I am wondering why (most) of us feel we have to have an expensive guitar to play with. Some "pro" players use guitars that can be considered cheap, but they use them to recortd, and tour with. They will use these guitars more than most of us will, and can even afford about any make or model they choose. As long as the guitar stays in tune, and sounds good, why do we feel we have to pay so much $$$ for a "great" one? Just want some of your thoughts on this.


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iamblackmo
post Apr 23 2009, 02:17 AM
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QUOTE (GuitarMonkey @ Apr 22 2009, 08:56 PM) *
I am wondering why (most) of us feel we have to have an expensive guitar to play with. Some "pro" players use guitars that can be considered cheap, but they use them to recortd, and tour with. They will use these guitars more than most of us will, and can even afford about any make or model they choose. As long as the guitar stays in tune, and sounds good, why do we feel we have to pay so much $$$ for a "great" one? Just want some of your thoughts on this.


First off, there is a big difference between cheap and inexpensive. Cheap would imply that the guitar, through it's hardware, material and assembly, has some inherit characteristics that inhibit it's performance or reliability.

An inexpensive guitar would not necessarily be of an inferior quality; but, the difference may only be noticeable in it's price.

Guitars are one of the unique items where price does influence the quality of the product you are going to purchase.

Sure, someone who knows the fretboard and has good technique can make even the most inexpensive, cheap guitar sound wonderful. Then again, the same person will probably also prefer to use a guitar that has been made with some sense of quality and purpose.

So what do you consider cheap or inexpensive. To me, expensive would most guitars over 1500. The guitars are usually hand-made, come with a recognizable name, are composed of high-quality wood and hardware. You are able to take pride and confidence in your instrument because you purchased one that comes with inherited value. That is, every guitar that was made by the company, i.e Gibson, carries a value on to the next one that someone may purchase.

Why is Gibson, PRS, Prestige Ibanez, or Fender able to sell these high-priced guitars if the value you get out of your dollar did not equal the value of the instrument?


You can easily find an inexpensive guitar. I personally am not a fan of epiphones but my suggestion is to invest at-least 300-400 (sticker-price) and do you research before you buy.

Price matters. After a certain point, it does not anymore. I do not know how much different a '59 Les Paul, at a jaw-dropping 3,000 + , rates against a Les Paul that is $2000.

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Roadside
post Apr 23 2009, 07:33 AM
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Iamblack is pretty right imo. The example of the paula is probably caused by it´s curiosity and age, if it´s still in a good shape smile.gif
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berko
post Apr 23 2009, 08:11 AM
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Yeah, pretty much that's the case I think: up to a certain range of price you do get a better (more precisely assembled, featuring good tonewoods etc) guitar for the money. Since guitar market is a relatively "small" one, I guess there are many strict marketing rules and tendencies that form the price of a guitar.

Signature models, relic and reissue stuff are completely different. That's where you pay a lot of money for the brand.
Buying a more expensive guitar is an investment for a guitarist: paying for a tool for his/her job/life-long hobby etc.

This post has been edited by berko: Apr 23 2009, 08:11 AM


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Jesse
post Apr 23 2009, 08:16 AM
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Chris Evans
post Apr 23 2009, 09:51 AM
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agree with "Iamblackmo" here, imo there is a cut off point where your no longer paying for the actually quality of craftmanship, hardware etc, but more about name, prestige etc, again just my opinion but I`ve found that £500 (UK) is about the cut off point, after that you may be getting a couple of little extras, fancy binding, ebony fretboard, flashy graphic finish, those kind of things but not actually getting a "superior" guitar.

With cheap guitars theres usually the odd one or two that really stand out as players, I had a very cheap Squire fat strat (cost me approx £90) and I used it as my main guitar for a couple of years even though I had expensive guitars, it just played great, felt great, unfortunatly I dropped it and damaged the neck quite badly and the cost of repair was just not worth it for the price I had paid for the guitar.

Generally these days you can buy a pretty decent quality guitar for around £200 but I find in the main (theres always exceptions) with the lower end guitars that its the set up and action that is not acheivable like it is with the higher end guitars.

buying a really decent quality guitar will certainly save you money in the long run (unless you suffer with serious GAS ofc laugh.gif) as it should last you for many years.


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Marek Rojewski
post Apr 23 2009, 10:15 AM
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I heard that Samick guitars are great quality instruments, and they are very cheap. I had one Samick guitar in my hands yesterday, and it felt and played great. On the contrary the luthier that also works in that music shop said that Ibanez (excluding prestige models) and Epiphone are worse and worse with each order they make. So it isn't so hard to buy a very good and cheap instrument, and it is also possible to buy not so cheap and not so good one.

This post has been edited by Marek Rojewski: Apr 23 2009, 10:17 AM


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Keilnoth
post Apr 23 2009, 11:38 AM
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Why buying a big expensive sport car when you could travel from A to B with a small rusty cheap car ? Why buying a Rolex when a Swatch gives the same hour at the same moment of the day ? smile.gif

It's a personal pleasure to buy expensive stuff. This is related to luxury. Now, if you do not feel in the mood of luxury, as stated before, I think you can buy a mid-quality model which will sound very good.

But, I had a very cheap guitar (<200$) before but it was absolute crap. I couldn't even tune it correctly. tongue.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Apr 23 2009, 11:44 AM
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QUOTE (GuitarMonkey @ Apr 23 2009, 02:56 AM) *
I am wondering why (most) of us feel we have to have an expensive guitar to play with. Some "pro" players use guitars that can be considered cheap, but they use them to recortd, and tour with. They will use these guitars more than most of us will, and can even afford about any make or model they choose. As long as the guitar stays in tune, and sounds good, why do we feel we have to pay so much $$$ for a "great" one? Just want some of your thoughts on this.

I think we have to first see what do you mean by inexpensive guitar, pro player and cheap guitar, so we can see what exactly are you referring to.


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Trond Vold
post Apr 23 2009, 12:29 PM
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My SLSMG is considered "cheap" by Jackson soloist standards, but i absolutely love it. The whole feel of it fits me better than Jacksons/ESP's with a much higher pricetag.


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Scott Gentzen
post Apr 23 2009, 12:35 PM
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I don't have any expensive guitars right now, at least from the PoV of how much money I spent on them. But one of my guitars is an ESP Custom Shop model. While I didn't pay a huge amount of money on it (~$400), I am a little afraid of it. I worry about dropping it, I worry about banging it into things.

The guitar I play the most is an 80's Ibanez that I paid $200 for. It sounds good, feels good (well, the finish on the back of the neck's a little sticky and I don't like the bridge) and it's built like a tank (weighs like 10 lbs too). It was already a bit banged up when I got it so I'm not worried about putting another ding in it.

I don't know if this would change if I didn't have any financial limitations. I'm not so sure that a much more expensive guitar is that much worth it. What would put me in the high-end range is having something custom built. The specs and materials I want, built to fit my hands and playing style. That'd be expensive and worth it. I don't think I'd ever buy a $2000 guitar off the wall at GC.


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Gus
post Apr 23 2009, 02:23 PM
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Well, I pretty much agree with all others that say that there is a cutoff price, and if you want the most of your money it is probably a good idea avoiding signature models.

If you check this topic, I tested 8 Les Pauls. The actual order I tested these guitars were in increasing order of price.
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...amp;hl=Les+Paul

My idea was exactly to have a taste of where there is a big improvement from a cheaper model to a more expensive one and where the price increases, but you cannot notice a significant improvement.
To my taste and impressions, the ones where there was a large improvement from the extra money were the standard faded and the 08' standard. For that reason, even though the LP custom is the most amazing guitar of all, I'd rather invest money on the standard 08'.

The worst guitar in terms of cost/benefit was the Slash signature. Not that was a bad guitar. It was simply overpriced, because of being a signature.

This post has been edited by Gus: Apr 23 2009, 02:24 PM


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steve25
post Apr 23 2009, 03:13 PM
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Cheapy guitar = pricey in the long run, most likely
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sted
post Apr 23 2009, 03:39 PM
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I beleive a good guitar is where you find it, regardless of make or money. Ive played some expensive guitars and hated them. I have LP Std 08 which I love but I always find myself reaching for my MIM strat (Albeit with custom shop pups), I've tried some expensive Ibanez stuff and hated the whole thing, its pureley down to taste and preference!
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post Apr 23 2009, 03:46 PM
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QUOTE (Chris Evans @ Apr 23 2009, 09:51 AM) *
agree with "Iamblackmo" here, imo there is a cut off point where your no longer paying for the actually quality of craftmanship, hardware etc, but more about name, prestige etc, again just my opinion but I`ve found that £500 (UK) is about the cut off point, after that you may be getting a couple of little extras, fancy binding, ebony fretboard, flashy graphic finish, those kind of things but not actually getting a "superior" guitar.

With cheap guitars theres usually the odd one or two that really stand out as players, I had a very cheap Squire fat strat (cost me approx £90) and I used it as my main guitar for a couple of years even though I had expensive guitars, it just played great, felt great, unfortunatly I dropped it and damaged the neck quite badly and the cost of repair was just not worth it for the price I had paid for the guitar.

Generally these days you can buy a pretty decent quality guitar for around £200 but I find in the main (theres always exceptions) with the lower end guitars that its the set up and action that is not acheivable like it is with the higher end guitars.

buying a really decent quality guitar will certainly save you money in the long run (unless you suffer with serious GAS ofc laugh.gif) as it should last you for many years.

I have clock inlays in my guitar for fret markers showing 1 o'clock for fret 1 and 3 o'clock for fret 3 etc tongue.gif

Haha. Totally not needed but it looks uber cool biggrin.gif The cheapest guitar I've tried that I've liked is a Mexican Strat which was about £500. That was a very good guitar that I would have been happy owning. I have also hated £2000+ guitars. My favourite guitar that I pay constantly is a Parker Nitefly M which cost £900 which in my opinion is fairly cheap for a guitar with the options that is has with it.


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GrannyKiller
post Apr 27 2009, 11:31 PM
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I agree with Chris, somewhere after 700$ the price/quality ratio increases dramatically dry.gif nothing I tried from beyond that price tag felt so much better as to justify the price...ok, the gibson custom shop models, parker fly, and similar are probably worth it, havent had a chance to try those...I'd pay for a Parker without a second thought. biggrin.gif

But, it's nice to play a good guitar that really lets you focus on technique and expression, instead of making you wrestle with the guitar itself. My starter was a 40$, 30 year old, Czechoslovakian guitar from behind the iron curtain. Junkyard waste of a guitar. It had a nice, usable tone, but it just felt awful in my hands, totally unplayable. Felt like a plank strung with razors. Buying a 600$ BC Rich was renaissance for me...oh the joy! I don't have to fight the stupid guitar anymore, I can just focus on actually playing it...


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jdriver
post Apr 28 2009, 09:43 AM
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I bought a relatively expensive guitar when I started out playing, so that I would be happy with it and not blame my bad playing on a cheap guitar. But once you get a sense of what's what, you can appreciate the merits of other guitars regardless of price. I have an Ebay special I paid $165 for and I really like it a lot. I definately agree with the "tipping point" idea that has been expressed, and I'd place most signature models in that category, for collectors, not players. My personal number would be around $2500USD, beyond that would have to be a total custom one of a kind.

And as Keilnoth expressed above, there is the "pride in your ride" factor.. if you can afford something nice, why not? smile.gif


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Marcus Lavendell
post Apr 28 2009, 11:53 AM
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Just want to add to this discussion that, in my opinion, there’s no real value in buying a brand new guitar. I’ve done it a couple of times but I’ll probably never do it again, because I think a guitar only get better when it’s been played for a few years. Of course we have to watch out for worn frets and stuff like that, but I think second hand is an option everyone should consider. Not just because you’ll get a better price…

Well, just my 2 cents… feel free to disagree smile.gif


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David Wallimann
post Apr 28 2009, 02:14 PM
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Also, having a super expensive guitar means that you have to be super careful with it and might result in you being super nervous not to hurt it in a gig...


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Pedja Simovic
post Apr 28 2009, 02:23 PM
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QUOTE (Marcus Lavendell @ Apr 28 2009, 12:53 PM) *
Just want to add to this discussion that, in my opinion, there’s no real value in buying a brand new guitar. I’ve done it a couple of times but I’ll probably never do it again, because I think a guitar only get better when it’s been played for a few years. Of course we have to watch out for worn frets and stuff like that, but I think second hand is an option everyone should consider. Not just because you’ll get a better price…

Well, just my 2 cents… feel free to disagree smile.gif


This is something I would agree with !

Well said Marcus smile.gif

Even if the frets need to be redone, you can still save money on it.
Depends what price we are talking about. When I pick guitar its all about playability, then sound and design at the very end. After all these things price comes o 4th place.
Many times I have tested guitars in shops without knowing the price, and many times I liked the sound of cheaper models for some strange reason.
I guess for everybody is different. If I was making 100.000$ a year, I could afford some 5000$ guitar , but thats not the case now smile.gif


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