#1
Myth - Student-Level Brand Guitars (SE, LTD, Epi) are all the same

Agree or Disagree?

This topic came up in another thread, but really deserves it's own because I see far too many posts (everywhere) that indicate the laid out myth because they are comparing the whole lot to a collection of several $4000 guitars...

This really comes down to apples for apples comparisons. when you are comparing the entire lot of sub-$1000 guitars against the entire lot of $2000+ guitars... then yes, they can be considered equal... But this argument only applies to those who can afford the $2000+ guitars.

For those of us who really want the $800 axe, but are trying to be reasonable in purchasing the $650 axe because we know we have other bills to pay... this is a completely different gauge of value... And we want to spend our money on the best guitar possible... this includes personal preference for feel and sound, as well as the fit and finish as delivered to us from the manufacturer's Q-A department.

PRS USA, Gibson USA, ESP Japan - All hand crafted from beginning to end... worth the price, but not in-lieu of feeding your kids... get it?

PRE SE, Epiphine, and ESP LTD - All assembly line with only a few minor points and the Quality Assurance process requiring "hand crafted" levels of attention.

At this level of product comparison, there are still significant difference in overall quality and attention to detail. This shines through in the electronics installed, care for wiring, intonation setting, string action... etc etc. Every LTD I or a friend has ever purchased has been mint straight out of the box. Tuned it up and plugged it in. I hear the same from PRS SE as well (recently). But not so much the Epi Line...

I remember trying the PRE SE 245 about 5 years ago and the pups were lifeless... they reminded me of the Duncan "Designed" pups I had on my old LTD M-255... Decent, but certainly not "good". And I remember reading the posts on forums like this and thinking, "yeah, but they are fine for me... what's all the hype about the real Duncan Distortions, or the EMGs...??" Then you take your guitar to the local store and test it against a few guitars they have with the Real Versions, and you find out that the "Designed", and "SE", or "Custom" pickups (which really means NOT the name brand ones), they simply don't have the output, or the balance, or the tone of the Brand Name pickups... That's just the electronics...

Another comparison to create a parallel might be with cars...
If ESP, PRS and Gibson... are to LTD, PRE SE and Epiphone...
then
Lincoln, Infinity and Lexus... are to Ford, Nissan and Toyota.

With that in mind, would you say that the Ford Escort, Nissan Sentra, and toyota Corolla are all basically the same quality??? Only if you drive an Infinity, Lexus or Lincoln.... (BMW, Porche, Mercedes... etc etc)
For those who can't afford a $40,000 car, we need to assess the quality of the $16,000 cars... and the Escort can't hold a candle to the Sentra OR the Corolla. They are all lower end products made on a quick assembly line, but the Sentra and the Corolla are just built better, designed better.... This applies to Lower-End guitar manufacturing as well.

IN MY EXPERIENCE, Testing, playing, trying and buying guitars... ESP LTD and PRS SE are consistently better than Epiphone. Not saying Epiphone sucks, but they do not have the same level quality being applied as the other two. The others have better electronics, brand name pickups, better finishes and options, and much better fit... I ordered and Epi LP Custom.... CUSTOM!!! top of the line for 2008... strings buzzed all across the board, setup didn't help, ended up sending it back... The days of "expect a fret dressing on your new guitar" ARE GONE.... We should not have to do this... Automated Machines can measure fret height to the micrometer... I would have let it go as just getting "the bad one", except after talking with friends it seems that this is more common than not.

That being said... I am not trying to crap on Epiphone, I am very interested in their prophecy line, one model had the Gibson 490R/496T combo, another has EMGs... And they also have a tribute line with 57' Classic and Classic Plus pups installed... All with Mahogany Bodies and Maple Tops (could be simple veneer or cheap maple cap with a nice veneer on top of that). I might have to give them another shot to see if these are worth my money... I would love to have a Les Paul, but all the ones I actually want are $2500 or more, which is not an option for me. and in the past, and Epi LP with Gibby pups... was just that... and Epi LP with Gibby pups.... It still wasn't even close to a real Les Paul. Perhaps with their latest changes I will give them another shot.

My biggest point here is this.... If you think all student-level, or budget-level guitars are at the same level when compared to your $60,000 worth of equipment... then please don't try to give advise to the guy asking "which budget guitar is better?"... Just Don't answer... because you don't actually know anything about them except that they aren't as expensive as yours and therefore are unworthy of any kind of serious praise.

Let us experienced poor guys advise our brethren... the workers, the beginners, the hobbyists, the parents... and so on... If you're guitar equipment is worth more than your car and/or your home, please don't belittle the $600 that somebody has saved up to get his/her first "decent" guitar... and say some bullshit like "just save a little more"... you don;t know how long it too him to get $600... that could have been an entire year of saving... and then what constitutes "a little more"...??? The lowest level Gibson available, still not as good as a mid-level LTD Eclipse (imho)... Or does the guy need to wait, and save for an additional 2 years so he can finally afford something over $2000 that "YOU" deem as worthy....??

Basically, If you've never "had" to own a budget guitar because you simply COULD NOT AFFORD the top of the line model you really wanted.... If you've never been in that situation, please don't give advise to guys who are looking for budget or student-level guitars, because talking them down, does not make the more expensive guitars any more affordable.
Last edited by RedJamaX at Apr 29, 2013,
#2
Honestly I couldn't disagree more. (I'm a fender guy so that's all I know sorry that's gonna be my comparison.)

First Look at the standard squire strat. It's crap.

Then look at the vintage modified strat. It's a hell of a lot better and I would consider it a student level. Same with the classic vibe

Then go to the Mexican fenders.
I wouldn't consider these student level at all. To me these are famous fender quality on a blank slate. The perfect mod guitars, on a bad day. On a good day they can punch any american strat right in its overpriced face.

The you have the famous american stratocaster. The crem De la crem. On my opinion the 1000 waste because outside of the fact that I made something made in the USA I couldn't find anything I liked about it more than my Mexican.
#4
this is likely going to turn into a shitstorm and will be closed.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

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alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



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#5
I feel a shitstorm coming.


Fender American Special HSS Stratocaster
Ibanez 1987 Roadstar II Deluxe
Yamaha THR10X
Marshall JCM900 SL-X
Ibanez WD-7 Weeping Demon Wah
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#6
Quote by JesusCrisp
I feel a shitstorm coming.




its getting closer...





and where the hell are the Ibanez J-Craft Prestiges? you can find one for $500 used and blow anything in the range out of the water as far as quality and workmanship.

they also have the standard lines as well.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#7
I own guitars ranging from $500 to $3500. And I didn't buy them in ascending (or descending) price order.

My take on it: there is a HUGE variety in sub-$1000 guitars.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Apr 29, 2013,