I've been playing nearly five years now, but I'm just a broke college kid. All I've ever had are cheap guitars...whatever I could bum off anyone or get for free or cheap. So I know a lot about playing, but when it comes to guitar maintenance or gear...sometimes I'm a little shoddy.

First question:

When I read reviews for guitars, why are people disappointed with a guitar when it has plastic, rather than mother of pearl inlays? Does it actually affect the sound or playability of the guitar, or do they just want them for authenticity and value sake?

Second question:

Since right now I'm still playing and gigging with a darn Squier Strat, I'm looking into a new guitar, but I'm on a low budget. I've got an offer for $200 for a Les Paul copy Kansas guitar, with a hard shell case included. I'm going to look at it soon, so I don't know specifics. From what I've read online, it seems like this would be a step up from Squier at least, but there is NOT alot of information. Does anyone own or have you heard of these Kansas brand guitars? Especially the LP knock off version?

Where is Dirk Lance?
Dont buy it. Save until you have enough for a decent guitar.
You wont notice much difference between a $100 and a $200.
yea save up at least 500

haveing 5 cheap guitars is NOT better then having 1 good guitar
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I've played one. It's ok, but I would suggest saving up to get a nicer guitar if you have been playing a while.
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take it from someone who's blown alot on "cheap" guitars. the difference between a 100 dollar guitar and a 200 one is very small, if any. if you can't save up that much tho (i'm in the same boat), do what alot of us do: go to Agile and SX. rondomusic.com will get you a great guitar for under 300 bucks. i have 4 guitars from there, and i've never paid more than 300, and the quality is outstanding. check them out, the quality is guaranteed, the shipping is lightning fast, and the customer service can't be beat.
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Well I haven't actually put out any money for a guitar yet. Ever. Which is impressive, in a way. My mom got me a cheap acoustic at first. I got a free acoustic from Sam Ashe when my band went in together for sound equipment. The Squier is my friend's, right now he's my college roommate. I've actually been using it for a couple years. So he doesn't mind that I use it, I just don't even have an electric that is technically mine yet anyway.

So yes, I know I shouldn't just buy cheap guitars just because I can afford them. But technically, I don't have ANY electric guitars, so the 5 to 1 scenario doesn't apply...yet.

That's why I want to know if anyone knows about the brand...Kansas guitars. Because I'm in college right now, gigging isn't my life, and I have other expenses to take care of right now. I don't know if I'll be able to hang on to 500 bucks right now, so while I have a little leeway because of my tax return, maybe I want to buy something. Plus, it's guitar AND nice case for 200...the guitar is going for 200 online by itself.

And can anyone answer my question about the MOP inlays? That's why I started the thread, really, anyway. Thanks.
Where is Dirk Lance?
Thanks Sonis and cthuludawn, I hadn't read your post yet before I posted above. I'll check out those sites to see what I can find. BTW, the Squier I'm working with is getting pickup buzz, that's why I'm interested in moving to humbuckers and also something with better sustain, which the Kansas is supposed to have. At least if I'm just comparing the Squir to the LP Kansas.
Where is Dirk Lance?
the inlays are pureley cosmetic and as long as theyre flush with the wood and you cant feel em theyre doing there job right. i wouldnt mess with a no name brand. even the big brands ship lemons sometimes so i definitely wouldnt trust a small time manufacturer. if you want an upgrade mexican strats are a huge step up from squire and if you get lucky and get a very good one they can be as nice as an american except for the electronics and tuning stability when tremoloing moderately to severly. if you want a strat type guitar you might as well go with a real strat. if you want a les paul style check out midrange epiphones. as a rule of thumb with epiphones anything with a bolt on neck is crap but once you get up into the 400-600 range theyre actually pretty nice guitars. ibanez also makes a lot of very nice guitars for that price range. i would HIGHLY recommend getting at least 400 (maybe 300 if you get a used one thats not been worn away at or a lemon to begin with) and getting something thats as good as you need and not try to skimp on the money. besides even at that price guitars are kind of an investment and not just blowing money. if you spend 500 on a guitar and decide you dont like it you can still sell it for 350-400 a year later so its not like youre risking wasting all the money you spend even if the worst case scenario happens. if youre actually taking it out and gigging you NEED a decent quality instrument. your fingers and ears will thank you every day.
Thanks for your insight Michael, I'll take that into consideration.
Where is Dirk Lance?