#1
The thing that gets on my nerves the most is when someone brags about how expensive their guitar is, but does NOT know to play anything!! Like this one time, I went to Pasadena Guitars with my guitar teacher, and we started jamming with some pretty high end guitars. A guy there owned a $4000 Gibson (i think it was a J-45) and started bragging to everyone how his guitar is one of the most expensive in the shop. My teacher and I got pretty fed up, so we dropped the high end guitars, my teacher got a $130 Yamaha classical guitar and started shredding on it (and i mean, KILLING THE FRETBOARD !!). Then he asked the guy, "Show me what you got". The reaction on his face was HILARIOUS! We sure shut him up.

So my question is....
Is it really worth having a really expensive guitar when you can do basically everything on a little cheapy guitar?
Last edited by GorillaBreath at Jul 16, 2011,
#2
Worth it? Maybe not. But if you like guitars and can afford them, skill or no skill, why the hell not?

Also I wouldn't really care if someone with expensive gear could play or not.
#3
If you like good tone, yes.

It won't apply as much to electric guitars but for classical guitars, it's definitely worth upgrading to better instruments as you progress. The instruments simply project more, sound better and can accommodate the skills of a more proficient player.


Would you like to hear a classical guitar recital on a Yamaha C-40?

You wouldn't be able to hear the player very well, the notes wouldn't separate well, the dynamic range would be absolutely lousy and the tone wouldn't be good.

Not to say that you can't sound good on a cheap instrument, you definitely can, but why limit how good you sound by your instrument? If you reach the limits of your instrument, you should consider upgrading, it'll only make you a better player because a better instrument will be less forgiving than a lesser one.

P.S. Your teacher sounds like an ass for doing that, even if the dude was an arrogant ****.
#4
Quote by XianXiuHong
P.S. Your teacher sounds like an ass for doing that, even if the dude was an arrogant ****.
+1

It's ok to quietly laugh at these people, but that's no reason for showing off your g-peen
Quote by GorillaBreath
Is it really worth having a really expensive guitar when you can do basically everything on a little cheapy guitar?
Yes, in most cases because when you're that good you WILL notice the difference. It's 1 thing to pick up a random guitar and play some saucy licks on it, but if you plan on playing your instrument for many, many years to come you'll probably want to search for something slightly more solid. It's not about money (selecting guitars by their price tag alone won't get you anywhere) but about quality (better tonewoods and electronics, tremolos that don't break down, decent tuners, etc.), and quality costs money

There's a reason why most renowned guitarists don't play a starters pack Dean (besides the fact that they can afford high end gear), but of course you and I know that money isn't everything and that you can't replace good musicianship with expensive gear. When you pay 4000 bucks for a guitar you just know (unless you're a total idiot) that at least half of its value has to do with brand name and prestige (like, it's from a popular year or some renowned luthiers spent tons of hours making this thing in the custom shop), but that doesn't mean it's also a great guitar. Because 99 out of 100 times it is

Whether you're stupid enough to buy it is an entirely different matter, but I for one can't be bothered to show off my skills (If I have any) to these guys because deep down inside I want their guitar too, so...

/] 三方 [\
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Last edited by shwilly at Jul 16, 2011,
#5
An expensive guitar is nothing compared to skills,though an expensive guitar does look and most do play better.

It's worthless buying an expensive guitar and not enough motivation,or buying a cheap guitar and not enough comfort and playability to get motivated.
#7
First of all, I don't think bragging is cool. It's nothing more than one person having a larger credit card bill than someone else.

Second of all, I'm not big on shredding. Playing guitar is a lot like carrying on a conversation, much like singing. When a vocalist sings, they don't constantly carry on - they occasionally take a breath and allow the other instruments to fill in, which sounds balanced. When someone shreds, it's nothing more than trying to dominate the conversation - it's bragging. Listen to a well-trained jazz singer, or guitarist. They know how and when to use their instruments to draw interest to the piece.

Third, is having an expensive instrument worth it when you can't play all that well? I think so. Try playing on a cheapie guitar that's poorly made. You probably won't be motivated to play it. It's often been said that the way instruments are purchased is backwards - that is, usually new players buy the cheapies, while the better players buy the more expensive stuff. The way I've often heard it said is that the new guy really needs the better guitar, while the more advanced player can make the cheap instrument sing - it's all in the player's technique. A few well-placed phrases are 100 times better than a string of 1000 notes shot off like a machine gun. Not impressed.

Oh, my daughter, who is 11 years old, has a '91 Gibson LP. If anyone ever walked up to her and asked her to "show them she can do," her protective Dad would definitely step in and take care of them.

Edit: Speaking of bragging... Everyone who puts their gear list at the bottom of every post. Yeah... No.
Last edited by KG6_Steven at Jul 16, 2011,
#8
There really is a difference between a 200 dollar guitar and a 1000 one though, both in playability, sound etc., atleast there was to me.

When I got my 1000 euro strat I felt my skill increase quite a bit, because it turned out (as I was thinking all along) that my previous guitar was holding me back a bit because of it not fitting me at all and the playability being low for my fingers etc.
#9
There's an even bigger difference between a $500 and $3000 guitar. Better materials, better workmanship and it all translates to better playing and tone.
#10
it's easier to learn on a guitar that sounds and feels great. it's just not a good idea to brag about your guitar if you can't play well since you'll be irritating everyone, and you're almost sure to be challenged.

better not to brag at people anyway, since it just makes a person sound like a total jerk. and one of my hobbies is outplaying the arrogant guys who play super loud but not well in stores. once they're so very over-matched, they generally slink away - very satisfying

btw, KG6_Steven - i suspect it's highly unlikely your 11 year old daughter would be strutting around guitar center bragging about how expensive her guitar is.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#11
Quote by patticake

btw, KG6_Steven - i suspect it's highly unlikely your 11 year old daughter would be strutting around guitar center bragging about how expensive her guitar is.



You're right. Been in there several times and she's never done it once. Guess I taught her right.

#12
I can't answer that question, but my guitar continues to be an inspiration for me and during my realllllly busy worklife, it's usually the only reason I play guitar a handful of times within a 6 month period
My God, it's full of stars!
#13
KG6 sez;
"There's an even bigger difference between a $500 and $3000 guitar. Better materials, better workmanship and it all translates to better playing and tone."

Ohhh Kaaaaay!? SO... at what [price] point does it become moot? Really? How much more 'spendy is due to fancy-schmancy, gold accoutraments? Plated or solid? I mean; a great, hand-constructed guitar by the best builders is worth it compared to a top-of-the line commercial? Let's say, Gibson? And speaking of them....What do you really get in quality for a $4000 Gibby vs. a plain Jane $2500 in the same model?
I believe it all comes down to the guy at the factory picking/sorting and grading parts. The best of a run get sent over to the special/custom area. The better grade stuff gets sent to the regular hi-end and all the rest trickle down till the off-name brand is reached
Then it becomes a question of who is working on the pieces, what kind of week they had and how many years experience.

At some point it becomes "My wallet/schwanz is bigger that yers"
#14
Quote by deltaten
KG6 sez;
"There's an even bigger difference between a $500 and $3000 guitar. Better materials, better workmanship and it all translates to better playing and tone."

Ohhh Kaaaaay!? SO... at what [price] point does it become moot? Really? How much more 'spendy is due to fancy-schmancy, gold accoutraments? Plated or solid? I mean; a great, hand-constructed guitar by the best builders is worth it compared to a top-of-the line commercial? Let's say, Gibson? And speaking of them....What do you really get in quality for a $4000 Gibby vs. a plain Jane $2500 in the same model?
I believe it all comes down to the guy at the factory picking/sorting and grading parts. The best of a run get sent over to the special/custom area. The better grade stuff gets sent to the regular hi-end and all the rest trickle down till the off-name brand is reached
Then it becomes a question of who is working on the pieces, what kind of week they had and how many years experience.

At some point it becomes "My wallet/schwanz is bigger that yers"



You can definitely hear the difference between a $10k guitar and a $15k guitar if the player is good enough to bring out the nuances the instrument holds.

Of course, you'll get some diminishing returns as you go up in price but if someone wants a career in performing or something, they're going to want to invest in the best instrument possible.
#15
The difference in quality between steel string guitars of $500 to $1000 are immense. From about $1500-$3000, difference is slight and not very noticeable. Once you get to about $4000+ and custom guitars, it's all just the individual features and nuances.


Let's make something clear though. A guitar is nothing more than an ENABLER. The person brings out the beauty.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#16
Quote by captivate
The difference in quality between steel string guitars of $500 to $1000 are immense. From about $1500-$3000, difference is slight and not very noticeable. Once you get to about $4000+ and custom guitars, it's all just the individual features and nuances.


Let's make something clear though. A guitar is nothing more than an ENABLER. The person brings out the beauty.



I tend to agree with you on the $4000+ guitars. Once you get in that area and above, the quality of the instrument doesn't improve as much as the ornate features do. Now, the only exception to that is vintage instruments. How about a 1958 Gibson ES-335 for $50,000?
#17
Quote by KG6_Steven
I tend to agree with you on the $4000+ guitars. Once you get in that area and above, the quality of the instrument doesn't improve as much as the ornate features do. Now, the only exception to that is vintage instruments. How about a 1958 Gibson ES-335 for $50,000?



More of a collector's item if you ask me, vintage instruments can be very nice to play but definitely not worth the $50,000 price tag.


It depends on what kind of guitars you're looking at too.


Guitars are cheap compared to other instruments anyway...a concert harp costs $17k and that's just the lower end of the range.


A good concert cello will cost upwards of $30k

A good concert flute will cost upwards of $20k

You can hear the difference in quality much more clearly on classical instruments.

We're really the cheapasses of the musical world
#18
wow, i so disagree. a few of THE best guitars i've played had so much more to offer tonally. recently played a gibson jackson browne - it's over $4000, and i can't even begin to explain just how amazing it sounded. i've never heard presence like it, and the hint of almost chorus-y goodness blew me out of the water. goodall jumbos and concert jumbos don't sound like any other guitar i've ever played - they start well over 4 grand, and their lush overtones just blow me away.

a couple years ago when i had done a lot less guitar comparing than i have now, i was in west l.a. music in the san fernando valley. in with their medium priced guitars (right under a taylor 210) was a guitar from huss & dalton, a brand i'd never yet heard of. i was able to guess in about a minute that this guitar was in the wrong room, and wayyy over my $1200 price tag. it was lighter, the finish was finer and the tone was--wow - head and shoulders above the guitars around it. and it sure was $4800, and well worth it.

i could go on and on - and often do

my experience is that you can often easily hear the difference between a $2000 and under guitar when compared with many $3000 and over guitars. not all of them, for sure, but a fair amount.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#20
Quote by Dpullam
There honestly isn't but you can learn to shred either way.



Anyone can play fast but most of the people who can play fast have shit tone anyways. If you go to Europe and watch the classical guitarists there, most of them are Malmsteen fast but sound like flies on crack because they have no tone.
#21
Quote by patticake
wow, i so disagree. a few of THE best guitars i've played had so much more to offer tonally. recently played a gibson jackson browne - it's over $4000, and i can't even begin to explain just how amazing it sounded. i've never heard presence like it, and the hint of almost chorus-y goodness blew me out of the water. goodall jumbos and concert jumbos don't sound like any other guitar i've ever played - they start well over 4 grand, and their lush overtones just blow me away.

a couple years ago when i had done a lot less guitar comparing than i have now, i was in west l.a. music in the san fernando valley. in with their medium priced guitars (right under a taylor 210) was a guitar from huss & dalton, a brand i'd never yet heard of. i was able to guess in about a minute that this guitar was in the wrong room, and wayyy over my $1200 price tag. it was lighter, the finish was finer and the tone was--wow - head and shoulders above the guitars around it. and it sure was $4800, and well worth it.

i could go on and on - and often do

my experience is that you can often easily hear the difference between a $2000 and under guitar when compared with many $3000 and over guitars. not all of them, for sure, but a fair amount.


The more you pay, generally what you're paying for is the extra refinement. The precision. The exactness.

When I had my friend's Lowden O-35($4000+), it was the most well built guitar I had ever played. Everything was nearing perfection, in my eyes, as to what a guitar should be. Especially in build quality. Tonally, however, it didn't have that much depth as it was a maple side/back guitar and my own 16 Series Martin had a lot more depth to its sound.

That's how I see it, anyway.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#22
Quote by KG6_Steven
First of all, I don't think bragging is cool. It's nothing more than one person having a larger credit card bill than someone else.

Second of all, I'm not big on shredding. Playing guitar is a lot like carrying on a conversation, much like singing. When a vocalist sings, they don't constantly carry on - they occasionally take a breath and allow the other instruments to fill in, which sounds balanced. When someone shreds, it's nothing more than trying to dominate the conversation - it's bragging. Listen to a well-trained jazz singer, or guitarist. They know how and when to use their instruments to draw interest to the piece.

Third, is having an expensive instrument worth it when you can't play all that well? I think so. Try playing on a cheapie guitar that's poorly made. You probably won't be motivated to play it. It's often been said that the way instruments are purchased is backwards - that is, usually new players buy the cheapies, while the better players buy the more expensive stuff. The way I've often heard it said is that the new guy really needs the better guitar, while the more advanced player can make the cheap instrument sing - it's all in the player's technique. A few well-placed phrases are 100 times better than a string of 1000 notes shot off like a machine gun. Not impressed.

Oh, my daughter, who is 11 years old, has a '91 Gibson LP. If anyone ever walked up to her and asked her to "show them she can do," her protective Dad would definitely step in and take care of them.

Edit: Speaking of bragging... Everyone who puts their gear list at the bottom of every post. Yeah... No.

I don't think there's a word I disagree with in there

I personally have very expensive gear, and if you totalize everything, it's worth almost as much as everything else in the house (and I live in a family of 5).
However, I'm not a great guitarist. I play expensive stuff because I can afford it as I have many jobs, and I want to have a good sound.
To me, skills =/= quality of gear deserved. You get what you want, and if you can justify it for yourself, it's all good.
#23
Quote by captivate
The more you pay, generally what you're paying for is the extra refinement. The precision. The exactness.

When I had my friend's Lowden O-35($4000+), it was the most well built guitar I had ever played. Everything was nearing perfection, in my eyes, as to what a guitar should be. Especially in build quality. Tonally, however, it didn't have that much depth as it was a maple side/back guitar and my own 16 Series Martin had a lot more depth to its sound.

That's how I see it, anyway.


I dunno, I disagree. I think that if you're paying for "refinemengt, precision, and exactness" alone when you're in that upper price-range then you're not doing it right... because at that price range what you should really be paying for is a piece of art created by someone else.
My God, it's full of stars!
#24
That kind of art is usually an exact specification that you wanted though. Ordering a custom guitar, you're paying for the things you want and not for things that you don't. No?
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#25
Quote by captivate
That kind of art is usually an exact specification that you wanted though. Ordering a custom guitar, you're paying for the things you want and not for things that you don't. No?


To me, not necessarily. Basically you are "commissioning" an artist to produce something that you would like, with whatever specifications you would indeed want of course, but I would not want the artist to hold back from infusing his own artistry, craftsmanship, knowledge, etc.

Does Picasso differ from lesser artists simply because of specifications, refinement, and exactness? I suppose you could argue that way, but to me it is different and I view guitars the same way
My God, it's full of stars!
#26
lowdens don't do it for me like goodalls, although they're often compared. lowdens sound good, but not amazing to me. i haven't found they sound as their price might indicate. same with charis guitars - nothing wrong with them, but they don't sound more response than other guitars, nor do i hear anything extra in the tone.

other brands deliver more for the buck - the ones i listed earlier are good examples of guitars where i had no problem guessing that they cost more, and realizing how much more they delivered for that price.

Quote by captivate
The more you pay, generally what you're paying for is the extra refinement. The precision. The exactness.

When I had my friend's Lowden O-35($4000+), it was the most well built guitar I had ever played. Everything was nearing perfection, in my eyes, as to what a guitar should be. Especially in build quality. Tonally, however, it didn't have that much depth as it was a maple side/back guitar and my own 16 Series Martin had a lot more depth to its sound.

That's how I see it, anyway.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#27
So let me see if i got this....if i have a $500 guitar, i will always be limited to what I can do with it, that is why I should keep upgrading so that my limit is further pushed?
#28
Not necessarily so. I have a $500 guitar and it plays quite nice. Mind you it's not a high end PRS or Gibson, but I can play that electric all day long and feel comfortable doing it. Its tone is also decent, especially when played through a high end amp.

Here's what we're saying... The more you spend on a guitar, the better the workmanship, quality and build. Compare the $500 guitar to one costing $3000 and you can see, feel and hear a difference. Is the $500 guitar bad? Not always. Is the $3000 guitar always good? Not always.

Now, the more you spend on a guitar, the better quality is supposed to get. At some point, you reach a point of diminishing returns. That is, the build quality begins to taper off and you begin to fancy inlays and other design work on the guitar. All of this extra stuff doesn't make it play or sound any better, but it sure makes it pretty. At one time, my two cutoff points were no less than $500 and no more than $3000. I've relaxed those limits a little bit, however you do have to be more careful as the price drops off - the odds of getting a crap guitar increase.
#29
Quote by patticake
it's easier to learn on a guitar that sounds and feels great. it's just not a good idea to brag about your guitar if you can't play well since you'll be irritating everyone, and you're almost sure to be challenged.


Ditto! Bragging is annoying and usually only impresses the bragger.