#1
I was just at the guitar shop today and I seen a whole bunch of cheaper guitars that LOOKED awesome (Les Paul copies, Epiphones etc.) but I wouldn't think they'd sound that great (300 bucks about). I was wondering if it's worth it to buy guitars that you like and then mod them to your taste and have some extra money to buy maybe another one. Or just get a Gibson Les paul? And by the way I'm not only talking about Les Pauls so don't get on me for that, it was just my example haha
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#2
firstly it`s how they sound and feel then how cool they look. (that`s why looking at NGD threads and general guitar porn are big no- no`s for me, unless it`s something special).
#3
If looks and feels good, go for it. You can always swap pups, hardware, etc.
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#4
Quote by ibanezgod1973
firstly it`s how they sound and feel then how cool they look. (that`s why looking at NGD threads and general guitar porn are big no- no`s for me, unless it`s something special).

I totally agree! Thats why I said if I find one and the mod it to my taste you know. I do like having guitars that I love to look at though, cause I really love a good looking guitar. My point if you like the look and feel would it be better to go that way and then get the sound for less money?
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#6
I can't say I agree with anyone really. First thing I notice is the look of a guitar. It's not by any means the most important thing, just happens to be the first to look out for. If I don't like the look, I wont play it. Feel to me is the most important aspect, because you can't change it really. Then comes sound, which is extremely important. Just a few notes. You can't change the feel, so never settle. You can't change the shape, so don't settle there either. Sound on the other hand is a whole other ball game. Everything works together well, and most experienced guitarists need all 3. I have my Gibson Marauder which I find pieces all three together very well.
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#7
No, but it is a contributing factor.

Everyone says "Don't buy based solely on looks", which is true, but you pay more attention to looks than you might expect. Why are people prepared to pay money for gold hardware, highly figured maple tops, fancy inlays and custom colours?

And don't tell me figured maple tops make a tonal difference. In a blindfolded listening test, I doubt anyone would hear the difference between identical guitars with an AA and a AAAAA top.

Besides, a cool looking guitar will probably inspire you to play it.
Last edited by sashki at Nov 12, 2009,
#9
I walk into a store, look around, and pick up a guitar that i think looks cool. I then play it. I then decide whether it sounds good, and feels good. End of story.
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#10
No. I would buy an ugly guitar if it played and sounded great though. I like refinishing and even modifying body shapes to have something completely original. I prefer wood finishes to paint any day, so as long as the wood or veneer is nice under the finish almost anything but the ugliest body designs can be made to look amazing.
Last edited by Tempoe at Nov 14, 2009,
#11
No sound and details come first. Aesthetics let me choose among the guitars that fit my sound interests.
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#12
here is the order that things cross my mind when buying a guitar...


1) Is it fugly?
2) How does it play?
2) How does it sound
4) How does it look

To me, appearance is least important, as long as it isn't just a flat out, ugly ass guitar.
#13
Quote by sashki
And don't tell me figured maple tops make a tonal difference. In a blindfolded listening test, I doubt anyone would hear the difference between identical guitars with an AA and a AAAAA top.

I always thought the grade of quilts and flames are purely aesthetic. High quality maple is high quality regardless of the figure. Figured tops are more expensive because they're harder to come by.

But I think it's a combination of things. You can't really change the sound as much as people think. Mahogany will sound like mahogany and alder will sound like alder. No amount of mods will take the throatiness out of mahogany or the bite out of alder. If you buy a guitar made from low-quality wood, you're stuck with it. You're missing out on some nuances that make a guitar truly special and you'll never be able to get them. You have to go by sound, look, and feel since none of them are easily changed. Making exceptions and compromising is fine though because it's very rare to find you're dream guitar on a rack at the store.
#14
Quote by colt34
I was just at the guitar shop today and I seen a whole bunch of cheaper guitars that LOOKED awesome (Les Paul copies, Epiphones etc.) but I wouldn't think they'd sound that great (300 bucks about). I was wondering if it's worth it to buy guitars that you like and then mod them to your taste and have some extra money to buy maybe another one. Or just get a Gibson Les paul? And by the way I'm not only talking about Les Pauls so don't get on me for that, it was just my example haha

You don't need to get a Gibson, I imagine you were looking at the Les Paul Special II's, you were correct in assuming they arent very good, they are probably the worst Epiphones available. They are not wirthy of extensive moddng. However, the Standards, which are one step up at around the 400-600 dollar range, are of much better quality. They not only look better, but feel and sound much more like a Les Paul. They are much more worthy of mods, especially the pick ups. Replace them and you've got a damn good Les Paul.
#16
My favorite guitar I own is my EB Musicman. IMO Musicmans are one of the top 10 ugliest guitars on the market. But it plays, sounds and feels so great that the looks don't even matter to me.
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#18
If it catches your eye, then see how it plays. Who knows? You may end up being surprised by how good a cheaper guitar is. That's always been my theory.

Looks are way more important to me on electrics than acoustics though. Acoustics on their own in a natural finish are just fine to me. A bit of tasteful inlay, binding, and purfling work and I'm a happy man. However, with electrics, the flashier (or perhaps more car-like?) the better. Strats, Firebirds, LP Customs.......ahhh...the sexy.....
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#20
No. I can modify just about anything on the guitar to make it looks better. Hardware, finish, veneers. Only thing I can't change is body shape, but I'm pretty conservative in the bodies I like anyways.

EDIT: Actually by that logic, I should be buying guitars because the look cool, because I can always change the sound, but never the body.
Last edited by Baby Joel at Nov 14, 2009,
#21
lately i've noticead lots of lespauls out there... all the kids go for the shape IMO... i even know this guy who is full of money and he bought an expensive LP.. but i am sure he picked up LP just because it looks cool or because slash has one... come on..

i've always been into strats but lately i started to feel like i need a change... so i look towards lespauls.. but the first thing that comes to my mind is this; oh no, not a LP i'm gonna look like those kids out there that got one because of the shape..

it's kinda frustrating...
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#23
I wouldn't buy a guitar that looked like complete shit, no matter how good it was. But no, I wouldn't just buy a guitar because it looked cool.
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#24
Loads of people do - Look at Les Pauls. I don't mean to offend anyone but in my opinion they are possible one of, if not the most poorly designed guitars available on the mass market, for the following reasons:

They don't balance properly

They are unpractically heavy

They have very poor upper fret access

For these three reaons and probably other small factors they also feel incredibly clumsy.

So why do people still buy them? The tone? Or the looks?
A superior yet simlar tone can be heard in well built guitars of the same wood, yet without the impracticialities of this design.
#25
Quote by Notmewtwoguitar
Loads of people do - Look at Les Pauls. I don't mean to offend anyone but in my opinion they are possible one of, if not the most poorly designed guitars available on the mass market, for the following reasons:

They don't balance properly

They are unpractically heavy

They have very poor upper fret access

For these three reaons and probably other small factors they also feel incredibly clumsy.

So why do people still buy them? The tone? Or the looks?
A superior yet simlar tone can be heard in well built guitars of the same wood, yet without the impracticialities of this design.

If your name is Ed Roman, I will kick you in the head. If it isn't then I'm still slightly peeved. The thing is, even if they are 'poorly designed', they still have a really nice feel to them and they sound great.

Well the thing is about modding and all that, you might have a really cheap guitar that you love the feel of and all that, but it doesn't sound too great or whatever. Then I suppose it would be worth modding it.
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#26
I think the weight gives it that FAT tone people talk about but I cant stand LP necks not sure about gibbys though I only played a few epis and I couldn't stand it I guess the set up didnt help I could fit my hand under the strings without touching them
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#27
I only buy guitars I can see myself playing.
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#28
Looks don't always indicate sound and feel, but sometimes they give a rough idea of it.
Let's just say that when a guitar looks like it was made out of crap materials, it probably is.
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#29
I always buy guitars that look cool...if I don't like the look of it I'm never going to even touch it, let alone find out how well it plays because if it looks ugly i don't want it, end of story.

However if it plays like a dog i'm never going to buy it no matter how cool it looks.
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#30
I wouldn't buy an ugly guitar, and I am drawn to good looking guitars, so I suppose the answer is yes.
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#32
Quote by Notmewtwoguitar
Loads of people do - Look at Les Pauls. I don't mean to offend anyone but in my opinion they are possible one of, if not the most poorly designed guitars available on the mass market, for the following reasons:

They don't balance properly

They are unpractically heavy

They have very poor upper fret access

For these three reaons and probably other small factors they also feel incredibly clumsy.

So why do people still buy them? The tone? Or the looks?
A superior yet simlar tone can be heard in well built guitars of the same wood, yet without the impracticialities of this design.

i shouldn't really need to point it out, but the balance/weight/upper fret access issues are not as big a problem as people tend to say they are. on top of that, you won't get a sound very similar to a les paul out of a guitar with a contoured heel/cutaway or something with a double cutaway, even if it is made out of the same species of wood, because that chunky heel and blocky single cutaway contributes more to the rounded tone and the sustain than a lot of people realise - that's why the single cutaway les paul specials and double cutaway versions sound so different.
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#33
Quote by Lil Macker
If your name is Ed Roman, I will kick you in the head. If it isn't then I'm still slightly peeved. The thing is, even if they are 'poorly designed', they still have a really nice feel to them and they sound great.


Nah don't take offence, this is just my own reaction the their design. I appreciate there are people that will like the feel, however I don't think it's an unfair generaltisation to say a large amount of people buying them are kids who want a Gibson - not because they like the feel first and foremost.
If I met Ed Roman, I'd kick him in the head too. He sells his guitars based on unfair comparisons and outright lies about his own products.
#34
I like odd shaped guitars I try and get away from the traditional shapes like LPs and Strats. Actually I dislike Strat and Tele shapes period. When I shop for a guitar I have to try it out first no matter what the shape or how cool I might think it is if the guitar sounds and plays like crap I do not buy it and I have played some very expensive high end guitar that fit that category on the other hand I have played some low and mid range really wild shaped guitars that shined.


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#35
I only buy basses and guitars that I think look cool and have two that I bought ONLY because they look cool (one because it looked hilariously awesome and I couldn´t resist). They both turned out to be nice guitars anyways buy I definitely bought them for the looks.
#36
Quote by Notmewtwoguitar
Nah don't take offence, this is just my own reaction the their design. I appreciate there are people that will like the feel, however I don't think it's an unfair generaltisation to say a large amount of people buying them are kids who want a Gibson - not because they like the feel first and foremost.
If I met Ed Roman, I'd kick him in the head too. He sells his guitars based on unfair comparisons and outright lies about his own products.

Ahh fair enough man, I kinda have to agree with the kids getting a Gibson thing. They should look into more things I suppose. Although more power to Gisbon, they're getting loads for it.
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#37
I would do this if it was an obscure guitar that I can't get templates for, Then I'd trace it and build one like it only with improvements. For example, A while back I liked how Kay Vanguards looked. (Don't Google it, There are a lot of models out there and you won't find a K326 model easily) However, You couldn't intonate the doggone thing. Then I saw another one on eBay that had a misaligned neck. I almost bought it but it went for over $100. If it was $50 or less (OK, Maybe $80 with shipping) I'd have bought it.
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#38
Looks play a factor for sure, but for me playability is the biggest part. Tone can be affected from many places and a great deal of the tone from a guitar can be altered. Altering how well a guitar plays on the other hand can be more challenging. Also, I'd say that if I have an up close look at a guitar I can generally say whether or not I'd like how it plays. Looks do play a factor for sure though, I'd say I'm willing to shell out an extra $200 or so to get a finish I prefer.
#39
Looks are important, tone and playability are important, sound is important, price is important, build quality is important.

There's a whole list of things that have to be there. I wouldn't buy a guitar that was majorly deficient in any area. And I wouldn't buy an 'ugly' guitar either.

There is certainly no reason to buy an 'ugly' guitar. (a) unless there is something incredibly unique about the ugly guitar you're looking at you could probably recreate that on a better looking guitar, (b) secondly, guitar companies try to make aesthetically appealing guitars, (c) it is a matter of preference/opinion.

To summarise, for me looks play an important part, but on the whole I look to the fundamentals of the guitar to see if it's good in that sense; looks being of primary important among other things.