#1
I mean in term of material cost. I can't imagine any electric guitar costing more than $2000 in material. Accoustic may be possible due to rare woods now being banned from trading. But electric? I just don't see it. Plus, the electronics on them should have already been so mass-produced that the cost per unit should be near zero. I don't know, but I just can't justify any guitar costing more than $3000 (gibson, PRS...I am looking at you).
#2
i agree with you, i think the fact that they charge so much for les paul customs for example is because they arent as mass produced as studios and more craftmanship goes into customs. I think of it as almost a mechanic type example, i timing belt may only cost $70 for parts but its a bitch to change so after labor it ends up costing you like $600
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#3
US Labor costs money bro.

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#5
Well were paying for quality not quantity. Still you can always buy a good used guitar and fix it up. Or a good new guitar and slowly upgrade it bit by bit. The wood used does make a difference ; alder and ash have slightly different tonal qualities. Rosewood feels different than maple on the neck...etc. Anyway, thats what I did with my Telecaster (made in Korea or Japan) by Fender. And by the time it's all done I'm happy with it- and it's really Amercian and Canadian now! For some unknown reason a graphite nut and bridge improved the tone. Only the wood and 2 pickups are original, and now it has a Seymour Duncan pickup too. It's OK to hot rod guitars. After all, you paid for it.

I love the Telecaster! Look here: http://web.me.com/james.walsh1/James_Walsh/Blog/Entries/2009/9/16_The_P-Rails_and_Coil_Tapping.html
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#6
Supply and demand. Gibson make an absolute mint selling their guitars at the prices they currently do, why change it. Also, some people feel comforted by the amount of money they spend on a guitar, it's like a bit of pride, knowing you've bought one of the best guitars on the market.
#7
Quote by Necrophagist777
US Labor costs money bro.

This

Quote by Baby Joel
Since when did electrics not use rare wood?

And this.

Labor cost is a HUGE factor in the price of American-made guitars. Brand recognition is another huge factor as well. And lest we forget, when you pay that much, you're more than likely getting a very high quality, well-made instrument made of high quality woods
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#8
^And of course I'm beaten to the punch. ><
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#9
not really when all the factors are taken into place,
lets say you bought all the materials, then you'd have to buy the machinery, then you'd have to have the skills, and then you'd have to have the time/labour

When you a really good guitar eg, PRS etc they also not only use the best types of wood, but the best pieces, quater sawn timber is not exactly cheap, and when they use a lot of by-hand technique to make the instruments, the price goes up very quickly.

Sometime it's just buying a brand name product. You pay more for the brand name, and how.
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#10
I like how the electronics on a guitar are now so mass-produced that their cost should be near $0

Money, have you ever had any?
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#11
Yes, the cost of producing one pickup for instance is so small, but the cost of rent of factories, to get the machinery running, all employees, taxes, etc. It all adds up.
#12
well i will say this. nobody NEEDS a guitar that costs over 2 or 3 thousand dollars. those types of guitars are sorta like a luxury. there are PLENTY of hard working guitars that sound amazing for $500 or less even more if you up the ceiling to $1000 or less.

but general you do get what you pay for, in most cases at least. theres a fender jazz i want really bad that costs like $1300 and i just have not found anything like that one so to me it would be worth the money. and that particular bass is a reissue so to purchase the original it would cost .. . . 3 4 5 6 grand .. idk all i know is i couldent afford the original anyhow and the reissue is good enough for me .. good enough for anyone in fact
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#13
I think the cost of labor is overrated when it comes to guitars. US and Japanese guitars cost almost the same. There's not really a difference in the prices of Fender, Gibson (minus Les Pauls), Ibanez, and ESP. Most fall between $1000 to $1500. But US and Japanese factories produce less than their Korean, Indonesian, and Chinese counterparts. The high-end factories have less workers and produce less guitars which means that each individual instrument gets a lot more personal attention (higher quality). It's a much more controlled environment (better quality control). In the other factories, they spend far less time on the individual instruments. I think you spend more on the time they put in the guitar rather than cost of labor.

Les Pauls and PRS are some of the most highly sought after guitars. They have to keep prices up in order to keep the quality they currently offer. If they reduced prices to reasonable prices, everyone and their mothers would buy one. There is no way that they could keep the quality while keeping up with demand.

Electric guitars are rather cheap when it comes to instruments. If anything, I think amps are overpriced.
Last edited by JELIFISH19 at Oct 20, 2009,
#14
I'm probably the odd one out in thinking that Les Paul Customs are not overpriced. Sure, they're a lot of money but when you compare with the price in the seventies, it stacks up pretty well against things like cars, houses, electricity and most other things. I bought a Custom for £416 in 1974. I was earning £28 a week.
A £3000 model now compares with a wage for the same job of about £600 a week. Do the sum.
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#15
Quote by JELIFISH19

Electric guitars are rather cheap when it comes to instruments.

THIS
Compare the price of a private stock PRS, and that of a Stratavarius violin. Heck, compare a '59 Gibson LP to that of a Stratavarius.
#16
Quote by Baby Joel
THIS
Compare the price of a private stock PRS, and that of a Stratavarius violin. Heck, compare a '59 Gibson LP to that of a Stratavarius.


A stratovarius is over 200 years old, a '59 les paul is only 50, give it time :P

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#17
THIS
Compare the price of a private stock PRS, and that of a Stratavarius violin. Heck, compare a '59 Gibson LP to that of a Stratavarius.


A stratovarius is over 200 years old, a '59 les paul is only 50, give it time :P



Oh my god...stratovarius?? electric violin??? STRADIVARIUS!! being the plural Stradivari, and they have more than 300-400 years, plus The Famili Stradivari were an are the MOST talented luthiers in the world, Prs is just a very good guitar brand, but not the greatest luthier. so asking 5000 USD for a guitar is a steal
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#18
Quote by Baby Joel
THIS
Compare the price of a private stock PRS, and that of a Stratavarius violin. Heck, compare a '59 Gibson LP to that of a Stratavarius.


Or just many other instruments. A high end guitar goes for about the same as a low end grand piano. A new Steinway & Sons goes for about $70000 and you think a high end guitar is expensive?
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#19
Quote by Gabel
Or just many other instruments. A high end guitar goes for about the same as a low end grand piano. A new Steinway & Sons goes for about $70000 and you think a high end guitar is expensive?

But a Steinway that much is going to be a full size grand. When you compare the size of a grand to an electric... :p
My point was that a smaller instrument like a Stradivarius violin would cost so much more than a the most valued electric guitar in the world.
#20
Quote by Baby Joel
Since when did electrics not use rare wood?

when they are cheaper

electric guitars are actually quite cheap compared to other instruments. I mean, an entry level mandolin will cost you about £50, but a high end model can cost as much as £15k brand new. and i haven't even mentioned grand pianos yet...
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#21
There are a thousand things that go into the price of an American-made guitar that most of us never consider. Consider the air quality laws and regulations that interfere with spray finishing the instrument. Consider the toxic waste and heavy metals processing costs that go along with plating the bridges, tuners and other metal parts. Consider the national and international environmental restrictions on harvesting woods such as mahogany, ebony, rosewood or spruce. Believe me, that stuff adds up quickly, and the costs are all passed on to us.

The biggest consideration when the guitar companies set their prices is their calculation of what the market will bear. In other words, if their market speculators conclude that they can make a profit by charging $3000.00 for thier "XYZ" model guitar, and that the instrument will sell enough copies to make it worthwhile, then that's what they'll charge for it. Skilled labor and union scale aside, the reason that top of the line American-made guitars cost what they do is because enough people are able and willing to pay those prices.

Economics is a truly bleak and depressing thing to consider sometimes.
#22
the reason that top of the line American-made guitars cost what they do is because enough people are able and willing to pay those prices.



that's the main point, If for example, On November, no one buy a 1000+ USD guitar, December will be ( magicly) the -500 Dollars rebate on all the stores
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#23
Quote by Blompcube
when they are cheaper

electric guitars are actually quite cheap compared to other instruments.

Exactly.

A professional quality flute would cost you $1,500-2,000.
Want a pro-level saxophone? Plan on dropping $5,000.
A decent violin will run over $1,500, with prices exceeding $5,000 not uncommon.

Guitars are certainly NOT overpriced; just because you're a broke ass teenager and can't afford a great instrument just means they're too expensive for you.
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#24
Quote by whohasaquestion
I mean in term of material cost. I can't imagine any electric guitar costing more than $2000 in material. Accoustic may be possible due to rare woods now being banned from trading. But electric? I just don't see it. Plus, the electronics on them should have already been so mass-produced that the cost per unit should be near zero. I don't know, but I just can't justify any guitar costing more than $3000 (gibson, PRS...I am looking at you).


idiot.

it's not just the cost of materials, the people who make the guitars have to be paid, they have to work in a factory that needs heat, power and lighting. transportation to the retail outlets aint free, plus the cost of retail in terms of wages and overheads etc.

finally, the ugly word profit. the company that makes them aint in it just for the love of it. that's how the economy works, stupid.

welcome to the real world.
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#26
Quote by Baby Joel
But a Steinway that much is going to be a full size grand. When you compare the size of a grand to an electric... :p
My point was that a smaller instrument like a Stradivarius violin would cost so much more than a the most valued electric guitar in the world.


You've got a point
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#27
I've seen Electrics made of Koa. If Koa isn't an exotic and expensive wood, I have no idea what is.

Where is the only play you can get Koa? Hawaii. I've heard that Koa is slowly becoming illegal to cut down. So eventually, what's gonna cost more? 1959 Les Paul or a Tayler Koa?

How much does a typical REAL Koa electric guitar cost? $2,200+. Of course, Koa is really a cosmetic wood. It looks gorgeous. But unless you're buying a Carvin custom made of Koa, you'll probably end up spending $2,500 on a Koa guitar.

You can dare to argue with me about this, saying "Well Martin makes acoustics under $1,000 out of Koa! And there's a B.C. Rich with a Koa top!" PM me if you really want to argue with me about this.

SO anyway, back to the point, depending on what kind of wood is being used, the hardware (I'm not sure what materials TOM bridges are made of, but there's a difference in color between Chrome/Nickel and Gold and Black...), the pickups, who's name is on the headstock, where it's made, what kind of paint is used, what the fretwire is, what the nut is made of and how its cut, what sort of wiring is used, the pots used, type of inlays (sharkfin, flags, dots, trapezoids, in mother or pearl or abalone or black), the kind of tuners used (die cast, gearless, grover 16:1/18:1, locking), the neck joint, how many different pieces of wood the neck is made of, how many frets the fretboard has, what the fretboard is made of, the "kind" of neck (set, bolt on, neck-thru, or whatever the hell else there is) and I could probably keep going for a bit longer but I don't really want to.

I've made a point and then some.

While some people will say, electric guitar's are over priced, they are right to an extent. My guitar teacher doesn't really believe in spending over $700 on a guitar. In fact, his main guitar for a little while was an Epiphone Telecaster, which he bought at pawn shop for $75. It plays and sounds great! Recently he bought a Dinky... the one with EMG HZ's, it's like $530 now. It plays and sounds great, too! I've inspected the thing from hell and back for imperfections, and I have to say, there's not a fret filed wrong.

SOO that says that cheap guitars can be just as good as the $1,000 guitars, without a doubt. I mean, after looking at Craig's List for guitars, I can't see myself buying a guitar new anymore. If you wanna buy an "overpriced" guitar for cheap, go to CL.
#28
Koa, Brazilian Rosewood, mahogany, Ebony, and many other species are very rare because of their biology.

on the other hand alder, ash, basswood, and maple can be harvested in abundance.
#29
Quote by dark Mass
Koa, Brazilian Rosewood, mahogany, Ebony, and many other species are very rare because of their biology.

on the other hand alder, ash, basswood, and maple can be harvested in abundance.


Which is generally why BASSWOOD guitars with MAPLE necks are pretty cheap.

Well and usually they have ROSEWOOD fingerboards. But God only knows what kind of Rosewood it is.
#30
Are you kidding?

Guitars are one of the cheapest instruments.

Try walking into a piano store some time.

Top of the line piano: $100,000

Top of the line guitar: $2000
#31
^As has been said before, pianos have more basic material to be made with. Also, pianos are a more complex instrument to make than an electric guitar.

Quote by r0ckth3d34n
Epiphone Telecaster

Post loses all relevance with this.
Quote by necrosis1193
As usual Natrone's mouth spouts general win.

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#32
Quote by Natrone
Post loses all relevance with this.


Actually, a local shop, Bills Music, has one of those. I think they were sued over them, but they made them earlier in the decade. T-310 telecaster copy.
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#33
^Holy crap, that blade headstock looks awful on the Tele body....

Probly woulda made a bit more sense if he said Telecaster copy, but I digress. My apologies r0ckth3d34n
Quote by necrosis1193
As usual Natrone's mouth spouts general win.

Quote by Silverstein14
man, Natrone you're some kind of ninja I swear


Quote by gregs1020
plexi


i realize the longshot that is. little giant to humongous one.


Rest In Peace Stevie Ray
#34
Quote by r0ckth3d34n
Which is generally why BASSWOOD guitars with MAPLE necks are pretty cheap.

Well and usually they have ROSEWOOD fingerboards. But God only knows what kind of Rosewood it is.

Basswood isn't cheap. There are just 2 very different types of basswood, good and bad. Basswood is abundant and cheap, but good pieces aren't very common. It's much harder to find good basswood than good mahogany or alder. That's why there aren't many high end basswood guitars on the market . Good basswood guitars cost at least $1000. You'll pretty much only find them in Ibanez RGs, JEMs, JSs, PGMs, and JPMs or Music Man Axises and Petruccis.
#35
Quote by JELIFISH19
Basswood isn't cheap. There are just 2 very different types of basswood, good and bad. Basswood is abundant and cheap, but good pieces aren't very common. It's much harder to find good basswood than good mahogany or alder. That's why there aren't many high end basswood guitars on the market . Good basswood guitars cost at least $1000. You'll pretty much only find them in Ibanez RGs, JEMs, JSs, PGMs, and JPMs or Music Man Axises and Petruccis.


I forgot about Guerrilla guitars. After I posted that, I thought "Dammit, I forgot that some basswood is really nice!"

And yeah, what you said is completely relevant, my apologies.

To person who questioned my Epiphone Telecaster reference, it's fine. I bet you hadn't heard about the Fender Les Paul... (I think there's such thing. I'm not positive, though)

And I think there's a Gibson Strat, too...