Enyidah
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2012
122 IQ
#1
I was thinking $400 would get me a solid "Intermediate" guitar, but some reviews I've read on mine classify it as a beginners. I thought I upgraded enough from my cheap Ibanez Gio.
This also segues into another question, to what extend would quality pick ups improve my guitar, as in, would it bring it up to an "intermediate" level guitar?

I bought a (brand new) $400 Schecter Omen extreme 6
Huge Guy
My muscles sure are mean!
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#2
I don't think a guitar goes up a level by upgrading it. It has to do with what it's built as.
zenbone
King of two things...
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#3
i think the different categories of beginner, intermediate, etc all boils down to what you can afford. To be sure the higher up the monetary food chain you go generally the nicer the guitar but more often than not the gear is better than the player (often times even at the entry level). i usually classify Intermediate at the $700 range with upper level starting around $1500 but again these are very blurry lines. Sometimes a $300 guitar smokes and will be one of the best players out there. I would say that play what you can afford and play the living hell out of it.

Chasing a sound and modding your guitar is nice but i don't usually consider it an upgrade in level. When ever i buy used guitars (i kinda buy and sell a lot keeping only the ones i love in the stable) i look for bone stock. Modding will for the most part degrade the value of a guitar. I usually suggest that if you are looking for a higher grade guitar save the money that you would put toward mods and buy a more expensive guitar in the future. But again, this is ONLY my opinion... everyone you talk to will have much different takes on the matter.
Quote by BlackVoid
Every guitar and bass forum I've visited has some people chasing some magical tone that will shoot jizzing unicorns riding on a rainbow out of their amp.
Enyidah
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2012
122 IQ
#4
Oh okay, makes sense. I feel like I'm wasting money but I will adopt your advice of playing the crap out of a cheaper guitar, in this case my $400 one, and be happy with what I've got. There will always be something better. Anything is an upgrade from my Ibanez gio grx 20.

As for the pickups, say in a year or two, would you personally bother upgrading them?
T00DEEPBLUE
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#5
There isn't really such a thing, it's purely subjective.
Regarding the furry fandom from the man himself:
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Auriemma
Still Strummin'
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#6
beginner / intermediate / high end ... it doesn't matter. Your budget is your level.

Go to a guitar store with a budget in mind. Then play EVERY guitarthat catches your eye, in your budget range + 15% over (negotiate it down later). Ignore the name on the headstock. Go by feel and sound.

It takes time... but you will find a guitar that speaks to you.
--- Joe ---
07 PRS CE22
11 PRS MC58
77 Bradley LPC
04 Ltd EC-1000FM ASB
95/02 Fender Strat
00 Parker P-38
-
12 Martin GPCPA4
06 Ovation Elite-T
-
12 Boss GT100
88 Peavey Stereo Chorus 400
89 Peavey Bandit 75
Tech21 Trademark 10
Last edited by Auriemma at Dec 18, 2012,
phank
Registered User
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33 IQ
#7
Under $1000 - beginner
$1000-$2000 - intermediate
over $2000 - advanced.

(Over $3000 - you're probably into serious jazz)
MegadethFan18
Judge Shredd
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#8
Give an advanced guitarist a beginners guitar and they will play like an advanced guitarist.
Give a beginner guitarist an advanced guitar and they will play like a beginner guitarist.

For example the guitar Jeff Loomis plays costs $999.99. Going by phank's list Jeff plays a beginners guitar but he sure doesn't sound like a beginner.
samuraigoomba
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2012
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#9
Anything above $300 new in price= who knows? Once you get out of the absolute bottom end, it seems like there's a lot of variation. Some guitarists play cheaper instruments because the one they have is particularly good, or it has a tone they can't replicate with a different guitar.
Dave_Mc
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#10
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
There isn't really such a thing, it's purely subjective.


i wouldn't say it's purely subjective. hardware, quality of the wood, electronics, etc. etc. are all pretty objective. whether you like the guitar is another thing, but something like a suhr is clearly a pro level guitar whereas (to me, anyway) something like a schecter is clearly intermediate level.
Quote by classicrocker01
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SteveHOC
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#11
Quote by phank
Under $1000 - beginner
$1000-$2000 - intermediate
over $2000 - advanced.

(Over $3000 - you're probably into serious jazz)


I've been playing guitar for over a decade and have never had to drop a grand on a guitar.
I'm pretty sure I'm not categorized as a beginner

It is definitely a subjective thing.
monwobobbo
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
608 IQ
#12
Quote by Dave_Mc
i wouldn't say it's purely subjective. hardware, quality of the wood, electronics, etc. etc. are all pretty objective. whether you like the guitar is another thing, but something like a suhr is clearly a pro level guitar whereas (to me, anyway) something like a schecter is clearly intermediate level.


eh... i dunno dave it is pretty subjective and more about what works for you. for instance jimmy page used a danelectro for some zep songs. that was a cheapie guitar back in the day and yet jimmy certainly got "pro" results. by the same token a $1000 Les Paul is kinda low end for a Gibson. it really can't be quantified just by $ alone. youca get som "high end" guitars that in theory have good wood, hardware etc that still are crap and cheaper guitarsthat are stellar.
Mephaphil
No empty frets.
Join date: Apr 2012
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#13
Some people may like Plywood more than alder. If you present a guitar made out of plywood and another made of alder they could sneer at the alder and cuddle the plywood, proclaiming it the king.

While there is a common consensus about quality, it is still a subjective consensus.
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


Dave_Mc
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#14
Quote by monwobobbo
eh... i dunno dave it is pretty subjective and more about what works for you. for instance jimmy page used a danelectro for some zep songs. that was a cheapie guitar back in the day and yet jimmy certainly got "pro" results. by the same token a $1000 Les Paul is kinda low end for a Gibson. it really can't be quantified just by $ alone. youca get som "high end" guitars that in theory have good wood, hardware etc that still are crap and cheaper guitarsthat are stellar.


i dunno. I know what you mean, but at the same time i sorta disagree.

I mean... looking at guitars with floyds, for example, since that's what i know. the cheapo no-name floyds are the beginner instruments, the ones with floyd rose specials and frt-x000s are intermediate, and the pro guitars have the schaller-made OFRs. There's probably a little overlap in there and the odd exception, but more often than not that's pretty much the way it goes. Name me a guitar with a schaller-made OFR on it and I can almost guarantee* it'll be what most people consider a pro level guitar.

Same thing goes for vintage style trems, or other hardware. the name-brand, precision engineered and hardened stuff is normally on the pro level instruments.

it's more a mixed bag when you look at pickups, though that's quite a modern thing too- when i started out playing (which wasn't that long ago, like 12 years or something like that) almost all guitars with name-brand pickups were pro level. Plus even with the pickups, if you broaden your criteria out to include the electronics, the intermediate level guitars with the name brand pickups nearly always use mediocre electronics (pots, switches, caps and the like) whereas the pro level stuff also uses good quality electronics.

Again, looking at the wood. alder is found on most things, but again most guitars with south american mahogany or swamp ash, or solid figured maple tops (not veneers) will be pro level.


Now... you can argue till the cows come home if any of those things make it a better guitar, but there's definitely correlation.


* this is not a guarantee.
Quote by classicrocker01
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Last edited by Dave_Mc at Dec 18, 2012,
SteveHOC
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#15
The whole thing comes down to perception. As an example: you could have a Gibson Les Paul Studio, a perfectly respectable guitar, alongside a guitar built to the same specs (perhaps built in China) and the Les Paul would be perceived as a "higher quality" thus more for "advanced" players brand because of the history. The Chinese guitar, built by whomever, may not have the company history but have the same specs, and be viewed as a "beginner" guitar because it wasn't produced in the Gibson factory. I would say that some cheap, no name brands, play as well as better known brands. The better known brands may be quality, but that quality comes with a price tag, usually higher than the no name brand.

Again, this is a subjective discussion. As a personal "for instance", I have an Epiphone 339 Pro that I think "feels" better and sounds better to me than semi-hollows that cost twice as much, so I feel my Epiphone is an intermediate guitar. Someone else may see it as a beginners guitar, we could argue our views and neither one of us is going to concede the others point. Pure subjectivity.
Last edited by SteveHOC at Dec 18, 2012,
T00DEEPBLUE
Boba FRETT
Join date: Oct 2010
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#16
Quote by Dave_Mc
i wouldn't say it's purely subjective. hardware, quality of the wood, electronics, etc. etc. are all pretty objective. whether you like the guitar is another thing, but something like a suhr is clearly a pro level guitar whereas (to me, anyway) something like a schecter is clearly intermediate level.

I don't think there should be such clear cut definition of beginner/intermediate/pro. The aspects that make a guitar great really depends far too much on the player, making the area too gray and subjective for such 'categories' to really exist.

You could consider a certain computer, for example, to be a 'pro' computer because it's capabilities can be accurately measured against other computers, but you can't do that at all with guitars, that's why i don't think it should exist.

You could argue that the flame on a guitar's top is a more heavily figured flame, but i personally don't like overly-flamed tops; They just look gaudy, kinda like a tie that's got diamonds encrusted all over it. But that's my personal preference. To try to give defined sanctions between guitars implies how much you will enjoy the guitar, and sometimes that's not always true. It might be true with computers, but it isn't necessarily true with guitars.
Regarding the furry fandom from the man himself:
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Dec 18, 2012,
JAHellraiser
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2009
2,405 IQ
#17
There's a point where there's really no set "intermediate" or "pro" it's just how much of a quality instrument you want, and what you can do with it.

I'm sure there are or have been professionals playing with $400 guitars, just like I'm sure there's beginner and intermediate bedroom players playing on a $2000+ guitar.
ibrahimasood
Is cooler than you
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#19
Quote by DancesWithSheep
The person playing it...


this
JUST ANOTHER ANNOYING BIG STATUS
Axe Murderer
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#20
Ok guys. Take the player out of the equation.

Theres a pricing heirarchy that usually points to the level of quality/craftsmanship on a guitar.

What Phank wrote is pretty close when you JUST consider the instrument.

Originally Posted by phank
Under $1000 - beginner
$1000-$2000 - intermediate
over $2000 - advanced.
Huge Guy
My muscles sure are mean!
Join date: Sep 2012
792 IQ
#21
Quote by Axe Murderer
Ok guys. Take the player out of the equation.

Theres a pricing heirarchy that usually points to the level of quality/craftsmanship on a guitar.

What Phank wrote is pretty close when you JUST consider the instrument.

Originally Posted by phank
Under $1000 - beginner
$1000-$2000 - intermediate
over $2000 - advanced.


Yeah but even with this you are gonna find vast differences between a starter pack guitar and something that costs close to $1000.

I own a Lyon by Washburn and an Epi Prophesy Futura...both were well under $1000 I would not lump these together in the same category.
Roc8995
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Join date: Nov 2005
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#22
The pricing thing doesn't make any sense. $1000 gets you a super nice telecaster, but if you play jazz a decent 'intermediate' jazzbox is a couple grand and an "advanced" one often costs five figures. In the middle, if you need a floyd and some EMGs it's going to be more expensive than a Tele for a decent instrument but less than a jazzbox.

Basically, with similar instruments you could probably have a general range for each level of playability. But for the most part, a beginner instrument is one that makes sound and covers the basic necessities, an advanced guitar has enough function and comfort for any reasonably demanding person, and an intermediate guitar falls somewhere in between. Putting an arbitrary dollar amount on it doesn't make any sense.
Huge Guy
My muscles sure are mean!
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#23
I always thought "beginner" meant "first guitar" type instruents, you know the Squiers, LP Special II, that sort of thing.
Dave_Mc
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#24
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
I don't think there should be such clear cut definition of beginner/intermediate/pro. The aspects that make a guitar great really depends far too much on the player, making the area too gray and subjective for such 'categories' to really exist.

You could consider a certain computer, for example, to be a 'pro' computer because it's capabilities can be accurately measured against other computers, but you can't do that at all with guitars, that's why i don't think it should exist.

You could argue that the flame on a guitar's top is a more heavily figured flame, but i personally don't like overly-flamed tops; They just look gaudy, kinda like a tie that's got diamonds encrusted all over it. But that's my personal preference. To try to give defined sanctions between guitars implies how much you will enjoy the guitar, and sometimes that's not always true. It might be true with computers, but it isn't necessarily true with guitars.


oh i agree that it doesn't say whether or not you'll like the guitar (and i'd agree the figured top doesn't make it a better guitar- but that's tops, not just overall wood). But i still think that there are clear distinctions between instruments which are pretty clear. You only have to look at brands' model lineups to see this. it's pretty clear their marketing departments know how to sell guitars to different demographics. To suggest that's not happening... is silly, frankly. It suggests you don't understand how business, economics and marketing work.

Quote by Roc8995
The pricing thing doesn't make any sense. $1000 gets you a super nice telecaster, but if you play jazz a decent 'intermediate' jazzbox is a couple grand and an "advanced" one often costs five figures. In the middle, if you need a floyd and some EMGs it's going to be more expensive than a Tele for a decent instrument but less than a jazzbox.

Basically, with similar instruments you could probably have a general range for each level of playability. But for the most part, a beginner instrument is one that makes sound and covers the basic necessities, an advanced guitar has enough function and comfort for any reasonably demanding person, and an intermediate guitar falls somewhere in between. Putting an arbitrary dollar amount on it doesn't make any sense.


oh i agree wholeheartedly that you can't put a specific dollar amount on it. I'm talking more in terms of spec and how good the guitar is, basically.
Quote by classicrocker01
Only on UG would I say I got engaged and bought a jet city and get congratulated on the amp


monwobobbo
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
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#25
Quote by Axe Murderer
Ok guys. Take the player out of the equation.

Theres a pricing heirarchy that usually points to the level of quality/craftsmanship on a guitar.

What Phank wrote is pretty close when you JUST consider the instrument.

Originally Posted by phank
Under $1000 - beginner
$1000-$2000 - intermediate
over $2000 - advanced.


so a Gibson SG Standard is just an intermediate guitar. i'm thinking there a a fair amount of pros that would diagree with that ascertion. my Strat Plus is pro quality in every way and cost way less than 2 grand new. those #s just don't work.
T00DEEPBLUE
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#26
Quote by Dave_Mc
oh i agree that it doesn't say whether or not you'll like the guitar (and i'd agree the figured top doesn't make it a better guitar- but that's tops, not just overall wood). But i still think that there are clear distinctions between instruments which are pretty clear. You only have to look at brands' model lineups to see this. it's pretty clear their marketing departments know how to sell guitars to different demographics. To suggest that's not happening... is silly, frankly. It suggests you don't understand how business, economics and marketing work.

It does work, i'm just not convinced by the marketing until i pick the guitar up for myself, play it and make my own decisions.
Regarding the furry fandom from the man himself:
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Tom 1.0
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#27
You are all wrong.

Its Abalone.
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1977 Burny FLG70
Dave_Mc
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#28
^ lol

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
It does work, i'm just not convinced by the marketing until i pick the guitar up for myself, play it and make my own decisions.


oh of course. and i'd agree that often they may spec something up to con you it's high end when it's not. but they tend to do that more to lower end models as well.
Quote by classicrocker01
Only on UG would I say I got engaged and bought a jet city and get congratulated on the amp


T00DEEPBLUE
Boba FRETT
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#29
Quote by Tom 1.0
You are all wrong.

Its Abalone.

and coil tapz.
Quote by Dave_Mc

oh of course. and i'd agree that often they may spec something up to con you it's high end when it's not. but they tend to do that more to lower end models as well.

I still think the area is too gray to really be a useful scale.
Regarding the furry fandom from the man himself:
Quote by Axelfox
Please understand how little we as a community care
Tom 1.0
Hot For Teacher
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#30
Any guitar intentionally built intentionally to be 2nd best to flagship model or those of the brand or just generally aimed at a certain affordable price point intermediate by definition. Certain exemptions exist such as various variants of a similar guitar i.e Gibson Standards and RI guitars.


if anybody tries to me expensive Agiles or Chapman guitars are high end I will find you and I will kill you.
Quote by Lemoninfluence
I'm not familiar with police procedures.




1977 Burny FLG70
T00DEEPBLUE
Boba FRETT
Join date: Oct 2010
2,246 IQ
#31
I'm not saying a correlation doesn't exist, its just that the spectrum is so clouded with subjective opinion that such a scale wouldn't be too useful.
Regarding the furry fandom from the man himself:
Quote by Axelfox
Please understand how little we as a community care
Offworld92
One among the fence.
Join date: Nov 2009
7,563 IQ
#32
I skimmed after the first few posts, but it looks like people are confusing skill level with quality level. That's a big mistake, as quality is objective, while skill can't be universally measured.

I personally have a quality category system that a lot of people have agreed with, I think it's pretty accurate:

$0-300 - Beginner/Entry level (starter packs, Gios, Epi Specials, etc.)
$300-450 - low end (Ibanez & LTD standard, Epi Studio)
$450-700 - mid end (Epi std, LTD std, Fender MIM)
$700-1000 - upper mid end (LTD Deluxe, Schecter Blackjack/Hellraiser, Gibson Studio)
$1000 - 3000 - high end (Ibanez Prestige, Gibson Std, ESP Std, Fender/Jackson/PRS MIA)
$3000+ - upper high end (Ibanez J Custom, Gibson Custom, ESP Original/Custom, Suhr, Caparison, PRS Private)
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

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MegadethFan18
Judge Shredd
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#33
Quote by Offworld92
I skimmed after the first few posts, but it looks like people are confusing skill level with quality level. That's a big mistake, as quality is objective, while skill can't be universally measured.

I personally have a quality category system that a lot of people have agreed with, I think it's pretty accurate:

$0-300 - Beginner/Entry level (starter packs, Gios, Epi Specials, etc.)
$300-450 - low end (Ibanez & LTD standard, Epi Studio)
$450-700 - mid end (Epi std, LTD std, Fender MIM)
$700-1000 - upper mid end (LTD Deluxe, Schecter Blackjack/Hellraiser, Gibson Studio)
$1000 - 3000 - high end (Ibanez Prestige, Gibson Std, ESP Std, Fender/Jackson/PRS MIA)
$3000+ - upper high end (Ibanez J Custom, Gibson Custom, ESP Original/Custom, Suhr, Caparison, PRS Private)


It looks like you are confusing price with quality level. That list does do a decent job of illustrating the various price points though.
ghobby
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2011
158 IQ
#34
I don't think you can classify guitars the same way you classify guitarists. There are entry level(sometimes called beginner) guitars. Generally these have lower quality parts and are for people who don't want to shell out a bunch of money for a hobby they just started and might drop. After that its what people figure they want for sound, comfort, quality versus what they can afford.
Wesbanez
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#35
Quote by SteveHOC
I've been playing guitar for over a decade and have never had to drop a grand on a guitar.
I'm pretty sure I'm not categorized as a beginner


I think the point was more about the gear. You may not be a beginner, but playing anything that cost under $1000 (unless you've scored a really nice used buy) will probably be aimed at beginners/amatuers.
cdhowell
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2012
23 IQ
#36
JUST considering the instrument like a piece of art I'd say the more $$$ the better quality materials.
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
Join date: Mar 2005
2,967 IQ
#37
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE

I still think the area is too gray to really be a useful scale.


i don't think it is. I wouldn't say i'm totally unbiased (lol) but i'm perfectly capable of determining if something is a good guitar even if, personally, i don't really like it. how well it's made, how well the frets are dressed, how good the wood/hardware/electronics are, etc. etc. etc. are all pretty much objective.

Quote by Offworld92
I skimmed after the first few posts, but it looks like people are confusing skill level with quality level. That's a big mistake, as quality is objective, while skill can't be universally measured.

I personally have a quality category system that a lot of people have agreed with, I think it's pretty accurate:

$0-300 - Beginner/Entry level (starter packs, Gios, Epi Specials, etc.)
$300-450 - low end (Ibanez & LTD standard, Epi Studio)
$450-700 - mid end (Epi std, LTD std, Fender MIM)
$700-1000 - upper mid end (LTD Deluxe, Schecter Blackjack/Hellraiser, Gibson Studio)
$1000 - 3000 - high end (Ibanez Prestige, Gibson Std, ESP Std, Fender/Jackson/PRS MIA)
$3000+ - upper high end (Ibanez J Custom, Gibson Custom, ESP Original/Custom, Suhr, Caparison, PRS Private)


agreed. I might not agree with all the brands you put there (i'd put caparison in with the high end, not upper high end, stuff) and the exact price brands might be slightly different here in europe. But as a broad generalisation, I agree. I'd even agree broadly with pretty much all the brands you put there aside from caparison.

yes, there are exception, and yes, some things are better value than others. But as a rule of thumb, it's pretty sound. The other thing is, once you've tried the obvious guitars which obviously fit into certain brackets, that makes you better able to place guitars which you're unsure about.
Quote by classicrocker01
Only on UG would I say I got engaged and bought a jet city and get congratulated on the amp