Page 1 of 2
#1
http://menga.net/anything-over-500-is-too-much-to-spend-on-a-guitar-for-most-people

Unofficially, $400 is the cutoff limit for what most players are willing to spend on a guitar, because you have to allow for a $100 buffer to keep it under $500.

American-made guitars are not made any better than ones made in Mexico, Japan, Korea, Indonesia or even China at this point.

Staying under $500 on the purchase of a new guitar is not being cheap. It's being smart.

Most guitar players eventually figure out that an American-made guitar is not an upgrade. It's just a more expensive guitar.

Is this guy right? Did I waste $1200 on my USA made Strat?
Last edited by mgsmekk at Mar 19, 2014,
#2
threw it right into the flames
WTLT 2014 GG&A

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youre just being a jerk man.



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#3
That guy must be ******ed.
Quote by luxeion
i keep asking my dad for wood. but he keeps getting annoyed (he's working on a house). and i'm too young to go outside.

#4
The writer of the article is an idiot. Don't give time to idiots.
Quote by Zeppelin71
Umm. . .uh. . .your mom touched sjones' dick. YOUR MOM TOUCHED OUR GUITARISTS GENITALS IN A CAMPER AT A BIKER FESTIVAL! truth.
#5
Another stupid thread
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#6
not true

anecdotal evidence:

I played mexi strats and american strats. Maybe it's pure coincidence, but the tonal balance and intonation was better on almost every american one I played. Sound not so much difference, but these expensive guitars are for people who pay to get those extra details.

Further more Epiphone les paul and gibson.
Played both many times, and have witnessed cheap epi's fail on electronics far too often,, pickups weak and muddy. Gibson's feel more raw and pure. Sound also quite a difference. Epi's to me tend to sound more plasticy and have less "chunk" in the low mid area. High's are more fizz then growling..bit like most Ibanezes.

Offcourse the lowest line. I played Epi Elites that were better then gibsons quite a few times.

I'll stop here, but the point is lower guitar's are in general less stable through the fretboard, less powerfull and/or clear pickup sounds. Electronics which induce hum, or fail after a few months or years.

Often less nice of a finish, and random things being (below) average like bad floyd rose/bridge bad fretwork, 1 or 2 tuners going out of tune every 2 hours etc.

There are exceptions, but there are exceptions with every product on this planet, and it's nowhere near the amount of exceptions to constitute such conclusion as is given in the OP.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

[font="Palatino Linotype
Who's Andy Timmons??
Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Mar 19, 2014,
#7
there is some truth to the original statements however it lacks a great deal of factual info. potentially guitars made anywhere in the world can be as good as a US made one provided the materials used and skill level for the build are equally good. a $179 squier strat won't match either when compared to a $1200 US made strat.

as for the up to $500 idea that has some merit. there are far more causal players than ones that will take it farther. in that case the limit makes perfect sense as you can certainly get a decent playing and sounding guitar for $500 or less that will serve the purpose just fine. any guitar store will tell you that they sell way more guitars at that price point and under than higher end ones.

a universal truth hardly though
#8
He also says order from amazon with free shipping. Its not like you need to try it first. I guess you can always just buy another one if you dont like it for that price.
#9
Horrible article / blog post / whatever this is. Obviously the writer hasn't done any research. The thing is filled with oversimplifications, generalizations and assumptions.

edit: apparently TS is the writer? Got banned today and this was his first post
Last edited by AmIEvil? at Mar 19, 2014,
#10
A part of me agrees with the article.

There is a strong diminishing return when you pass a certain amount of $$ for a guitar, for sure. 500$ seems right for a used price but may be a little low for new.

However, many options are simply not available in lower priced guitars. For example, I'd like to see the author of the article find me an electric guitar with a piezo for under 500 (or even 1000 new).

Also, as is the case in many other fields, (computers, microphones, cars etc.) a big reason for the inflated price of high end items is quality control. Yes it's possible to find a squier or epiphone that plays as well or better as its big brothers, but how many do you have to go through? What percentage of squiers and epiphones (corts, samicks etc.) have faulty electronics, badly installed frets, noisy pots etc. I don't have facts to back me up, but I would say there are many more of these guitars that present serious problems throughout their lifetime than ones that sound like a gibson or MIA strat.

On the other hand it's true that some gibsons will suck right out of the box. But what's the proportion, here? Let's be reasonable.


For the casual player, or even the money conscious gigger, 500$ on craigslist or kijiji can go a LONG way if you know what you're hunting for and have time to weed out the lemons
#11
It's seriously time that a ban be placed on threads like this one. In the past month, I can remember no fewer than three threads on this topic.

This thread has been up for a few hours at the time I'm typing this. It won't be much longer until some half-wit amateur comes in claiming his $300 guitar plays and sounds just as good as a $1200 guitar. It's even likely that this half-wit will be joined by one or more know-nothings. Then, one of the forum regulars who actually knows what they're talking about will post in response to the stupidity, thus starting a pages long pointless flame war with no resolution in sight.

These threads all follow the same trend, and it's about time someone puts a stop to it.

I realize UG, out of the more populated guitar forums online, is one of the more popular forum destinations for beginners and non-gigging/casual guitarists because they're already on UG looking at tabs, articles, or reviews. However, it's become more apparent to me in the last few months that the overall population has decreased, and with that there seem to be more uninformed or completely outlandish posts made by novices who have little to no real insight or experience about what they're posting about. I blame the decreased activity on the board on this.

I don't know if the solution is a stickied "only" thread for this "price vs. quality" topic, but something needs to be done. It's getting tiresome and I know I can't be the only regular user of the forums who feels this way.
Quote by Zeppelin71
Umm. . .uh. . .your mom touched sjones' dick. YOUR MOM TOUCHED OUR GUITARISTS GENITALS IN A CAMPER AT A BIKER FESTIVAL! truth.
#12
Quote by flexiblemile


On the other hand it's true that some gibsons will suck right out of the box. But what's the proportion, here? Let's be reasonable.



Not too mention the bias on reviews.

If you pay 400 bucks for a guitar and it's not perfect almost noone is gonna complain all over the internet (write bad reviews, forum posts etc.)

However if u pay up to 2 - 3k for a guitar and something is wrong, almost every person would complain about that (and rightfully so).

bias, bias.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

[font="Palatino Linotype
Who's Andy Timmons??
#13
Quote by sjones
It's seriously time that a ban be placed on threads like this one. In the past month, I can remember no fewer than three threads on this topic.

This thread has been up for a few hours at the time I'm typing this. It won't be much longer until some half-wit amateur comes in claiming his $300 guitar plays and sounds just as good as a $1200 guitar. It's even likely that this half-wit will be joined by one or more know-nothings. Then, one of the forum regulars who actually knows what they're talking about will post in response to the stupidity, thus starting a pages long pointless flame war with no resolution in sight.

These threads all follow the same trend, and it's about time someone puts a stop to it.

I realize UG, out of the more populated guitar forums online, is one of the more popular forum destinations for beginners and non-gigging/casual guitarists because they're already on UG looking at tabs, articles, or reviews. However, it's become more apparent to me in the last few months that the overall population has decreased, and with that there seem to be more uninformed or completely outlandish posts made by novices who have little to no real insight or experience about what they're posting about. I blame the decreased activity on the board on this.

I don't know if the solution is a stickied "only" thread for this "price vs. quality" topic, but something needs to be done. It's getting tiresome and I know I can't be the only regular user of the forums who feels this way.


while I agree with most of what you are saying there is a place for this kind of thread sure there are tons of noobs but hey how are they supposed to learn. there is some merit to the idea that a fairly cheap guitar can indeed play or sound as good as a more expensive one. yes this can get silly but part of the fun and the learning experience. as long as it doesn't turn into a total flame war then let it be.
#14
Quote by monwobobbo
while I agree with most of what you are saying there is a place for this kind of thread sure there are tons of noobs but hey how are they supposed to learn. there is some merit to the idea that a fairly cheap guitar can indeed play or sound as good as a more expensive one. yes this can get silly but part of the fun and the learning experience. as long as it doesn't turn into a total flame war then let it be.

I'm not saying drag people to the streets and shoot them in the head, I'm saying make a single thread about this topic. It litters the forum and makes it look like a breeding ground of idiots.
Quote by Zeppelin71
Umm. . .uh. . .your mom touched sjones' dick. YOUR MOM TOUCHED OUR GUITARISTS GENITALS IN A CAMPER AT A BIKER FESTIVAL! truth.
#15
You can get a good, playable instrument - or 10 - for under $500. I have a number of them myself.

And you can get a perfectly good car for $20k. It won't be a ferrari or merecedes or monster truck, but it will provide reliable transportation, heat, a/c and music.

If you get SERIOUS in ANY hobby then you will spend more - for any number of reasons. and that's OK.
If you do it for a living you can opt for the best 'value' to earn a living or the best gear (for reliability, cred w fans, sponsorship goals, etc).

You can go enjoy golf with less than $500 in clubs, shoes, etc. But you can spend that on one driver if you so wish. Won't likely make you a better golfer but if it makes you FEEL better, and you got the coin, go for it. Won't bother me one way or the other.
#16
Quote by sjones
I'm not saying drag people to the streets and shoot them in the head, I'm saying make a single thread about this topic. It litters the forum and makes it look like a breeding ground of idiots.


I'm all for dragging people in the streets and shooting them....er ... I mean yeah I hear you. idiots breed anyway and don't pay attention to stickies either just sayin.
#17
This guy has a book and multiple articles on how to get the best sound for the smallest amount of money. He goes too far to the side of hyperbole with this article, but I understand the point he's raising.


No, you don't need to spend more than $500 to get a good guitar that will sound good. If you spend over that amount you will, however, get a guitar that is more than good. I like the car example that was used above. It'll get you a good Honda Civic, it'll get you to work and save you some gas, but some people simply just want the fun and exclusivity that comes with a Mercedes. There's nothing wrong with that.

The guy plays pretty well, and his tunes are well produced. He's got some good things to teach. This one article is definitely WAY overblown out of proportion. Ultimately, it is wrong, but you can definitely see where he's coming from.
Last edited by JustRooster at Mar 19, 2014,
#18
Quote by JustRooster
I thought this was going to be another Classic Vibe article.

Just give it time...
Quote by Zeppelin71
Umm. . .uh. . .your mom touched sjones' dick. YOUR MOM TOUCHED OUR GUITARISTS GENITALS IN A CAMPER AT A BIKER FESTIVAL! truth.
#20
Quote by sjones
It's seriously time that a ban be placed on threads like this one. In the past month, I can remember no fewer than three threads on this topic.

This thread has been up for a few hours at the time I'm typing this. It won't be much longer until some half-wit amateur comes in claiming his $300 guitar plays and sounds just as good as a $1200 guitar. It's even likely that this half-wit will be joined by one or more know-nothings. Then, one of the forum regulars who actually knows what they're talking about will post in response to the stupidity, thus starting a pages long pointless flame war with no resolution in sight.

These threads all follow the same trend, and it's about time someone puts a stop to it.

I realize UG, out of the more populated guitar forums online, is one of the more popular forum destinations for beginners and non-gigging/casual guitarists because they're already on UG looking at tabs, articles, or reviews. However, it's become more apparent to me in the last few months that the overall population has decreased, and with that there seem to be more uninformed or completely outlandish posts made by novices who have little to no real insight or experience about what they're posting about. I blame the decreased activity on the board on this.

I don't know if the solution is a stickied "only" thread for this "price vs. quality" topic, but something needs to be done. It's getting tiresome and I know I can't be the only regular user of the forums who feels this way.


I think the problem is that everything known has been written.

Everything that can be written about cost vs quality of guitars has actually been written, either here or on other for a. It is the same with threads about valve vs modelling or pedal placement, or any other nuance of a mature technology that you can name.

The same is probably true of any subject these days (except for leading edge science and technology) so all folk are doing on the internet is posting the same old question or the same old responses, and we go round and round. Nobody is stopping the ride.

In effect the Internet is full up! We’ve exhausted all human debate on the vast majority of mature technologies. Everyone needs to go away for a few decades until some new technologies are invented and mature then we’ll all meet back up and discuss them. Either that or just delete the internet so we can all start again.
#21
My take is that you get what u pay for especially with music equipment. Now im a huge fan of buying used gear,especially guitars because to me nothing sounds like a broken in guitar that has been played. I have a 92 MIM strat that sounds and feels amazing to me. As for the $500 mark, you can get many quality pieces,although used, that sound and work great. My only suggestion would be to not drop a ton of money on a new guitar if your still beginner. Hone and practice your skill then progressively get more high end gear.
#22
A little perspective is important.

First guitar? No reason to spend more than $500. Student or gigging guitarist at the local juke joint? No reason to spend more than $500 for a gig quality axe. Got a good day job, a place of your own, money in the bank, sold 100,000 records? Buy whatever you like and enjoy it.

I own 8 guitars including some very special vintage pieces but rarely paid more than $500 for them. My regular gig axes are Fender USA bought cheaply used in very good condition for close to $500. I sold one of my USA Les Pauls because we were not in love and it was too precious to take to a rowdy club downtown. Someday I may own a very nice hand made acoustic for up to $3K because I do like them but it will probably never see a rowdy gig. I also have a very good day job, nice cars, own my home, and gig regularly to audiences from 50-3000.

Remember that Jimi, SRV and EVH created amazing music on schite guitars bought cheaply for 5-10 years before being discovered for their amazingness.

Perspective is important. Nice $2k guitars are very nice. So are Porsche and Ferrari. You certainly don't need to spend $2k on a guitar to find "your tone" though.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#23
The article itself is eighth-grade writing,with nothing to back up the original premise. It's just an assertion that $400 (plus shipping, tax and handling) is as much as you really need to spend.

After that, it's off-topic drivel. The author says you shouldn't buy used gear because 1. Some idiot might have set it up badly and 2. It might not still be original. He assumes the original setup was appropriate (or even a good one) in the first place and that you can't reverse or improve the setup if it's a bad one. And some used guitars are original, some aren't. I prefer guitars as original, and I usually know what to look for. But some folks get all geeked out over brand-name non-original parts and LOVE that stuff. All good.

The article title is probably correct. MOST people don't need to spend over $500 for a guitar (this guy is a stratocaster owner and apparently completely unaware of any other kind of guitar, so that's what he's aiming this at, BTW). There's some really good stuff on the market, and the quality is high enough that you can run it at the highest professional levels with no apologies. Take it in for a PLEK job, fret superglue and a good pro initial setup and your $500 guitar will play with anything on the planet.

Most people aren't going to afford the maintenance bills on that third-of-a-million-dollar Ferrari F12, much less the purchase price. Of those who can, a tiny fraction will ever see anything close to its 218 mph top speed. But someone's going to buy it, just because.
#24
Completely disagree I have an ash body strat and it sounds completely different than an alder of the same year, I also like the 2 point USA trem over the mexi 6 point trem which if he knew anything is not the same as a USA 6 point trem.

Mind you I like the mim line but electronics, tuners and trems are different... I don't know wouldn't you consider that an upgrade? I would.
song stuck in my head today


#25
My first electric is a PRS custom 24 with a 10 top.....so, no I don't agree with that article. I picked up a Jackson the other day that the fret work would leave me with stitches.

No, you don't need to drop $3k on a guitar but there is no limit either.
#27
Ive always gone by "You get what you pay for"

So far in my life its stayed pretty true.
Just another Sheep in the design of the Almighty Machine.


-GEAR-
Gibson 60s Les Paul Tribute (Sunburst)
1999 Ibanez RG470 (TitaniumIce-MIJ)
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#28
Quote by Fallenoath
Ive always gone by "You get what you pay for"

So far in my life its stayed pretty true.


I usually don't go by old sayings or rules of thumb.
#29
Now that i'm not a total noob anymore - i think that the advice that people receive should be about like this:

If you're a total noob, don't spend more than 200 to 300 at most on your first guitar. Look for epi standard les paul, mexi-strat or classic vibe or something like that. Get it with the expectation that you'll outgrow it, sell it and then later get what you really like. I think it's important that you don't jump straight into an expensive guitar because there's no way a noob is going to appreciate the subtleties of guitar construction and tone. It took me a while before i started to develop preferences.

If you're just looking for a working guitar then you ought to be able to get a LP studio, prs se, used strat etc... for 700 or less. If you want a piece of art or a specialty guitar (piezo) then be prepared to spend more.

And i think that's about it for the simple version. My best friend's rickenbacker is clearly on another level above any of his others, and you can't get that kind of level of niceness unless you're willing to spend some money. A 500 dollar guitar will never be as nice as that rickenbacker.
#30
No... in my experience its sort of like night and day. $400/500 vs even a $700 guitar can make a substantial difference.
#31
I have a Mexican ash Telecaster and an American ash strat. The difference is night and day. Everything about the strat is better than the Telecaster. That doesn't mean that the Telecaster isn't fun to play, but the American strat is obviously a much better guitar.

and remember that what is old for some people is new for others. No matter how many times they show The Godfather on TV there will always be somebody out there who hasn't seen it before.
Last edited by Spud Spudly at Mar 19, 2014,
#32
In my little quest for a new guitar, I noticed that guitars have SERIOUSLY diminishing returns when you start paying more money.

I'm in Australia, I think that cut off is probably closer to $1000. There's a huge difference between the $500 guitars I've played and the $1000~ guitars I've played.
There's not much difference between the $1000~ I've played and anything higher really.

You can absolutely get the perfect guitar for you, for $1000 here. Might require a little haggling, but it's definitely doable.

So I don't agree nor disagree with this article - I disagree that all countries make the same quality guitars, it's not true, Chinese made guitars are definitely below everything else, asides from the odd gem.
I agree that there is a cut off point where the returns do not match the money, at all.
I disagree that the cut off point is as low as $500 - but that's probably because I'm in Australia and we get RIPPED OFF HARD on EVERYTHING. But we keep paying it and supporting this bullshit because we're idiots.
#33
Quote by sjones
It's seriously time that a ban be placed on threads like this one. In the past month, I can remember no fewer than three threads on this topic.

This thread has been up for a few hours at the time I'm typing this. It won't be much longer until some half-wit amateur comes in claiming his $300 guitar plays and sounds just as good as a $1200 guitar. It's even likely that this half-wit will be joined by one or more know-nothings. Then, one of the forum regulars who actually knows what they're talking about will post in response to the stupidity, thus starting a pages long pointless flame war with no resolution in sight.

Where's your crown king nothing. You sound like an elitist asshole... "my regular forum friends and I know it all and you halfwit bastards know jack shit nothing" People are going to debate fact and fiction as well as exchange ideas and their thoughts, that's what a forum is for, I see nothing wrong with you chiming in and offering what knowledge you may have but that elitist thinking you have like you're forum king **** that! Your idea sounds like this to me... lets limit the threads/speech/thoughts of the people my friends and I think don't know what they are talking about because I don't want to see it. Sealed with a FIST! Don't worry your "regulars" will come running in and and make you feel all powerful and mighty again.
My newest addition,
2007 Dean Cadi-KILL (Cannibal Corpse) Rob Barrett Signature model to see more of my gear visit my profile.
#35
What a complete ****ing moron. Aside from all the other bullshit, is he even aware that there are more than two guitar companies out there?
#36
Quote by Dysprosium
What a complete ****ing moron. Aside from all the other bullshit, is he even aware that there are more than two guitar companies out there?

right.

agile and squier.
#37
Quote by Ikillintel
Where's your crown king nothing. You sound like an elitist asshole... "my regular forum friends and I know it all and you halfwit bastards know jack shit nothing" People are going to debate fact and fiction as well as exchange ideas and their thoughts, that's what a forum is for, I see nothing wrong with you chiming in and offering what knowledge you may have but that elitist thinking you have like you're forum king **** that! Your idea sounds like this to me... lets limit the threads/speech/thoughts of the people my friends and I think don't know what they are talking about because I don't want to see it. Sealed with a FIST! Don't worry your "regulars" will come running in and and make you feel all powerful and mighty again.

Lol badass Metallica quote, brah...

If acknowledging that 99.9 percent of the time a $1200 guitar is far superior to a $300 one makes me an elitist, then sure, I'm an elitist. I'd simply say I'm not a moron, but to each his own.

For the record, since you want to talk "facts and fiction", it's a fact that threads on essentially this same topic have been popping up weekly, sometimes more, and they always lead to the spread of stupidity and flame wars. I suggested that perhaps a sticky thread on the topic, or an "ONLY" thread, both of which would designate a single thread so all of those who want to argue that their $379 Classic Vibe is as good of an instrument as a Fender Custom Shop can do so to their misinformed heart's content. At no point did I say "round up the naysayers...to the gas chambers!", as you're basically implying.

There's a difference between being an "elitist" and "knowing what you're talking about". There are also these things called "gear bias" and "misinformed opinions", and they are precisely why a thread that stirs up so much vitriol deserves it's own little warzone.

And while we're talking about how much of an "elitist" I am, it bears pointing out that my typical gigging rig in total has a combined cost of around $2750. That encompasses 2 guitars (1 USA Strat, 1 MIM), 2 amps, 1 1x12 custom built cab, the 6 pedals on my board, and any cables/cases/accessories. There are many folks who trump my rig's entire cost with a single guitar. But please, onward with how much of an "elitist" I am.
Quote by Zeppelin71
Umm. . .uh. . .your mom touched sjones' dick. YOUR MOM TOUCHED OUR GUITARISTS GENITALS IN A CAMPER AT A BIKER FESTIVAL! truth.
#38
"Many players living in countries outside the USA would do almost anything even to touch a USA-made Fender or Gibson guitar, let alone play one."

Nope.
404: Sig not found.
#39
So my PRS is no better than my Epiphone..? WTF why was I not told that before I spent all that money on it. I love the "knowledgable" people on these forums.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#40
You get what you pay for up to a point. To me about $2,500 is the cut off; anything more than that and you're paying for aesthetic things or exclusivity. To say $500 is the max is just silly. Can a $500 guitar sound good, sure, but you can't tell me it's going to be the same quality construction as a $1,000-$2,000 guitar.
2002 Gibson Les Paul Studio
2014 Fender Strat (American Nitro Honeyburst)
2003 Ibanez Acoustic
Digitech RP500
Blackstar HT5R
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