#1
Hello, Ive played guitar for more than 10 years now, and Ive owned and played alot of them, in all price ranges. I play mostly rock/metal

I always wondered about what it is that makes a guitar good, when the price differential of the different materials and parts is minimal and the guitars beeing made by cnc machines that makes them all more or less identical, why should i pay the extra 3000 USD ++ for a high end guitar? is it all for the look of the guitar and some good marketing?

Every time i play a low end guitar e.a a cheap Ibanez, it always makes me wonder what the guitar would sound and feel like with a pair of decent pickups and a professional set up.
Have anyone ever tryed?
#2
not all cnc machines ares the same.

somebody actually has to program them and watch them work.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#3
Good Guitar to me...Proper wiring, Setup, and Guitar Weight for sustain.

Honestly a setup and cleaning up some wiring can make the cheapest guitar sound beautifully! Have a pawn shop LP that apparently had the pickups all wired backwards, the LP cost me about 150$ now it sounds like a 700$ Guitar...
#4
What makes a guitar "good" is Quality Control. Good fretwork without sharp edges and consistent leveling, high quality body woods (just because it is the same wood doesn't mean it is of the same quality), good hardware that will last and stay in tune it heavy use, good pickups...

Just because a guitar isn't expensive doesn't mean that it's not good. Just because it is not made in Japan or the US doesn't mean it's not good either. Every guitar is different.

However, the high price usually means that the guitar is of better quality and has better components. It means someone spent more time working on it at the factory making sure everything is perfect.

And yes, a good setup and good pickups make all the difference. I don't care if it is a $6,000 custom made guitar - if it isn't setup right, its not playable.
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#5
Build quality. Would you rather a lifelong luthier build your guitar or some chinese kid that will fix his ****ups with wood filler?
Also material prices can vary greatly, especially in high end woods.

I've upgraded many a cheap guitar, including my rg370dx which in essence is the same as my rg1570. Bridge stability aside the 1570 sounds far better (acoustically even) and feels so much better to play. With identical setups and identical pickups I would take the 1570. Better quality parts, more care put into the build (tighter tolerences, better finish, less defects, better wood, better fretwork, etc)

Its like anything really. You get what you pay for.
#6
its all about what feels and sounds good to you man, a good guitar is the one that feels organic to your hand whether its a $99 squier bullet or a $4000 firebirdX with a total on-board effects board. what feels good to you is whats good.
#7
Great woods that are very stable, lightweight and resonant. Excellent construction, made from as few pieces of wood as possible. Flawless fretwork. Flawless finish. Hardware that lasts for years. Pickups and wiring are of the utmost quality. Excellent craftsmanship that ensure it all comes together right.

Edit: Guy above makes a good point. A great guitar gets the most out of the player.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Feb 12, 2012,
#8
Quote by Viban
its all about what feels and sounds good to you man, a good guitar is the one that feels organic to your hand whether its a $99 squier bullet or a $4000 firebirdX with a total on-board effects board. what feels good to you is whats good.


agree .

Keep in mind that you get les bang for the buck the more expensive you pay . Most guitar doesnt have 3000 $ of hardware /craftmanship on them .

so i.e if you pay for an LTD ec-1000 ( deluxe ) 799 $ over the "real" Esp Eclipse 1600 $ . they both have similar spec , same pickup and will sound 95 % the same .

maybe the mahogany/maple etc.. is more "dry " and guitar has overall a better construction and attention to detail and finish and craftmanship .. but their isnt a 800 $ difference in quality between both . they put more attention to detail .


a 2000 $ guitar is not twice as good as a 1000 $ guitar .


so you can get a guitar with in the 600-700 range build in korea by machine that will play flawlessly for 1/2 the money of guitar in that range .

check out the pickup , the fretjob .

IMO , a good guitar is a guitar that the action can be set very low without any fretbuzz and play like a breeze effortless with a good set of pickups this can be a korean made 600 $ guitar or a handmade in usa 5000 $ guitar .


if it plays well . perosnally i always stay in the 700-800 for my guitars .. at this price .. i have great enough for my need without breaking the bank . so we can say mid-end/high end used .
Bedroom rock star :

- Gibson Les paul Standard 2001 Honeyburst .
- Agile 3200 Slim
Last edited by Skysc at Feb 12, 2012,
#10
The most important thing is good tonewoods. That's ultimately the bottom line when it comes to a guitar.

Have shitty hardware? You can buy the best hardware and put it in.
Shitty fretwork? You can pay to have the frets completely replaced.
Shitty pickups? Get ones that aren't.
Shitty set up? Ditto.

Shitty tone woods? That is what the guitar *is*. you can't change that.

Quote by uncle_sprinter
The person who plays it. Being quality built helps too.


That has nothing to do with the question. A good player playing a crappy guitar is not going to make that guitar "good". The question was pretty objective in that regard.
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Last edited by Offworld92 at Feb 13, 2012,
#11
Quote by uncle_sprinter
The person who plays it. Being quality built helps too.

+1

I was going to say lots of factors go into making a good guitar, but mostly it's your fingers.
#12
you guys rly belive that the wood makes a big difference? when playing with distortion?
To me, my gibson lp black beauty sounds identical to my Greco lp custom wich is half the weight..
#13
Good quality wood, treated and used in the right way, and generally precise construction. To me a guitar is ''good'' when the routing, shaping and drilling is done by CNC but the fitting, finishing and wiring is done by hand by someone with a couple of decades' building experience.
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#14
Quote by SteffenLand
you guys rly belive that the wood makes a big difference? when playing with distortion?
To me, my gibson lp black beauty sounds identical to my Greco lp custom wich is half the weight..

Depends on what kind of amp you're playing it through.
If it's a 99$ modelling amp or an oversized version of one, you most likely won't hear much difference.

Quality wood, hardware, pickups and craftsmanship make a big difference in feel and tone.
You can give a guitar better pickups and a good setup, which still won't make up for poor resonance and sustain, uncomfortable neck profiles etc.
Most of the time you can feel and hear if a guitar is good quality without even plugging it into an amp.

But if you can't justify buying a 3000$ guitar, you don't have to buy one.
Only get whatever is worth the money to you.
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#15
Good quality/playability or good tone?

Quality and playability is an easier question to answer. Taking the time to do things right, such as getting all the moisture out of the wood, creates a better made instrument... but that attention to detail also costs money.

Tone is usually thought of as a more abstract concept, but Paul Smith has been talking a lot recently about the guitar being subtractive to tone. A string vibrates and everything that string is attached to in some way subtracts energy from that strings' vibration. Every single part of the guitar plays a role in that and every part, though it may seem minor, adds to the greater whole of the guitar. Little things like the material and coatings on the shaft of a tuner to big things like a thin, shatter hard finish.

It's a good question. I think Paul wants to talk more about it the near future. Here's a bit of what he's thinking:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPFfZoy9-GI&feature=plcp&context=C32970eeUDOEgsToPDskKFtYeoL6RjbLagCnoNOoV3


All that said, I think these things contribute to a GOOD guitar, but we all know guitars are like crayons. A cheap Danelectro sounds pretty cool. I don't think I could argue it's as good a guitar as a Custom, though.
#16
Quote by jamesatprs
All that said, I think these things contribute to a GOOD guitar, but we all know guitars are like crayons.


What do you mean?
#17
what makes a guitar good is if it works for you. quality parts etc are are all fine and dandy but ultimately what makes a guitar good is whether it can make the music you want. how much it costs really doesn't have much to do with that really. some of rocks finest moments were done on guitars or amps that were considered beginer cheapies. if it works for you and the music you make with it is cool then the guitar is good.
#18
Quote by Jehannum
What do you mean?


I mean, the shrill metallic clanging of Steve Albini's aluminum neck Travis Bean is a totally different color than Duane Allmans, round, woody tone.
#19
Quote by SteffenLand
you guys rly belive that the wood makes a big difference? when playing with distortion?
To me, my gibson lp black beauty sounds identical to my Greco lp custom wich is half the weight..



so agree with you on that .. IMO the Amp is 70 % of the sound .. after the pickup 25 % and leave another 5 % for string/wood etc.. .


i have the same pickup "duncan sh-6 distortion " in my Hsss strat and my Agile les paul .. and they sound 99 % the same i would say in the same amp . i couldnt difference blindfold on high gain distortion .

IMO if someone play metal , punk rock , hard rock .. anything on high gain distortion .. the choice of wood is less important than the pick ups /amp .

Thats why i spend 700-800 on my guitars and not 1500 .. cause i couldnt care less if an ltd 1000 deluxe is build by machine with maybe slightly less choice of mahogany over the real ESP thats 2x the price built by hand . With EMG 81 on both .. theyll sound the same . and the action on the Ltd deluxe is perfect and can be set low without buzzing .
Bedroom rock star :

- Gibson Les paul Standard 2001 Honeyburst .
- Agile 3200 Slim
Last edited by Skysc at Feb 14, 2012,
#20
I'm going to continue the tradition of closing a thread the minute someone decides that tone happens in percents.
Well done.