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#1
Assuming that it doesn't have any QC problems and is set-up properly.

For example is a Mexi-Strat professional quality, or do the electronics need to be upgraded?
Are there any professional quality Squiers or Epiphones?
Agiles are supposed to be pretty good, but are they just good bedroom players?

I'm interested in hearing people's opinions. I'm not as interested in the way they feel. I know that some people wouldn't be happy with the feel of a cheap guitar but that's not what I'm interested in hearing about today. I want to hear about sound quality, staying in tune, possibility of breakage, etc...

And if there's a difference between gigging and recording I'd love to hear about that too. Are there any 'border-line' guitars that you'd record with, but wouldn't play live? Or vice-versa?
#2
a lot of this is pretty subjective. also it depends on whether it needs to be professional quality out of the box, or whether a few easy upgrades (e.g. pickups) are allowed.

my own feeling is that the USA standard fender and gibson stuff is probably where it hits "professional quality". or ibanez prestige. that type of thing.

whether that's objective or my own personal prejudice, or a bit of both, I dunno.

i also haven't been out in guitar shops trying loads of stuff for a while so i'm probably a bit out of the loop too with everything that's currently available
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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#3
I think the main thing is you don't want to be playing a gig and have a cheap output jack fail or something like that fail on you when you need it most ..... the rest gear means a lot too ......

I would rather a MIM Strat with some good pick ups , good electronics and quality amp than a Fender Custom shop with a Line 6 spider 15 watt amp .... you kinda got a trick question , what some call professional gear , other might call it mediocre or junk .....
#4
Any guitar that plays well, sounds good and stays in tune is IMO professional quality. I guess it would be a guitar that needs no upgrades or improvements
I use everything from a $299 G-400 to a $2000 PRS and I have no issues.
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
#5
The line drawn between 'professional' and 'sub-professional' is a very subjective one.

Put very simply, a 'professional' guitar is one that suits the needs of the player well.

The only difference I see between a guitar good for gigging and a guitar good for bedrooms/studios is that with a gigging guitar, you don't mind the guitar potentially getting thrashed around a little. Whether you're prepared to gig with the guitar is not so much dependent on the guitar, but on the person playing it.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Jan 3, 2015,
#6
Almost any guitar can be made to play well. That being said a Floyd Rose on a $300 guitar is not the FR on a 2K guitar and it's doubtfull it would perform like one. The same with PUs and the majority of the HW. At a certain price point you get past crappy HW & electronics into something that's pretty reliable. The price for this will vary depending upon where you are but here in Canada it's probably close to $500 and up. IMO a "professional" grade guitar will hold up functioning as expected with only regular maintenance and shouldn't need parts replacement for years (except strings of course).
Moving on.....
#7
I do understand the point about subjectiveness.

The last time I saw a local band play in a local bar the lead guitar player was using an Epiphone and a Squier on stage. My friend was playing bass and he was alternating between his Sterling Musicman and his Rickenbacker.

But I figure that there's a level of sound quality that's probably not good enough for certain types of music.
I acknowledge that the amp is the most important thing.
My Epi Les Paul Std. doesn't sound as nice as a Gibson. My opinion. But does it sound nice enough that I'd be willing to play on a stage? Maybe if I replaced all the pots and switches first. My Epiphone at it's best never seems to be able to get rid of that "bad connection" sound. Even through a good amp there seems to be a significant difference in the quality of sound that comes from it and the quality of sound that comes from my PRS SE.

This seems to be more than just a question of subjectivity to me. It seems that the electronics on the Epiphone are objectively in need of an upgrade.
#9
Any guitar that plays well and stays in tune can be used as a "professional" guitar. I play gigs with a 90's Squier Strat, 85 or so Peavey Patriot, Cort CL 1500, no name telecaster copy ($4 yard sale guitar), Takamine acoustic and a 1966 Harmony Bobkat that was probably the cheapest thing you could get at the time except the Teisco stuff. Cheapest one 2 bucks at a yard sale, (the Harmony) most expensive the Takamine at $350 used. The Cort was around $1000 new, I got it way cheaper, the Squier probably under $250 new.

As long as it plays and sounds good, stays in tune, I'll bring it onstage. I can replace pots, jacks and pickups that go belly up, so far the Squier is the only one that did so far, and it was fortunately not at a gig when it failed. The Harmony still has the original 1966 hardware. except for tuners, I replaced them only because one was bent when I got it. Somebody didn't treat it well...

I've also played and later sold (and regretted it) a Lotus Les Paul copy, Washburn BT2, no name telecaster with upgraded neck pickup, Aria Pro II strat copy, Ibanez Strat copy...

Whatever plays and sounds good and stays in tune well will do the trick.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#10
the feel and tone is subjective. i would say its something of above average quality be it expensive or not. it could be a modded parts caster.

when i think professional quality i think:
solid build with no faulty parts or parts of lesser quality or easily breakable
holds tune

all components such as jacks, electronics etc are robust, not scratchy, hard to use, jam, or break
has additions like strap locks and locking tuners.

though its subjective, most general any quality guitar with have a great setup and a good neck with good intonation

generally any guitar that has these quality probably is of respectable value. probably 500+

i find internals to be skimped on the most. when you get into guitars like music man and PRS the electronics are perfect and robust. you dont get that on guitars less than 1000 bucks and it goes down in quality from there.

i also find guitars of lesser quality with have crappy metal parts, crappy pickups, etc.

i went from an epiphone les paul to a carvin. i do not consider the epi les paul to be professional quality. i suppose if you poured money into it, it may be on that level. i think some higher end epihpones like casinos are there. perhaps with some minor tweaks. im sure most pro players like gary clarke have done some work under the hood.

i consider my carvin pro quality with exception of the electronics which i upgraded....perhaps the pickups. but they are fairly solid stock .
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
#11
I think you want reliability mainly. As guitarists we love to chase after that perfect tone, or that instrument with all the perfect features for us and although guitarists seem to far outnumber any other type of popular musician, there are a lot more non-musicians out there and I feel like I can spend thousands of dollars chasing after a difference that at gig time, no one hears but me. What I mean to say is, if you can play the music, I don't think 80% or more of the audience is going to say your tone's off or your gear is weak or whatever. They care about whether they can get into the groove, or in the case of a cover song, if they can recognize and identify with it, not that every part is perfect.

A handful of years ago when I used to gig, we used to laugh because we both (the other guitar player and I) had this running joke that we could solve any problem if we threw enough money at it. After one set we had another band come up and ask if they could use my amplifier. I was running an AVT150 and my other guitarist was running a DSL100. They assumed I had the better amp because it had more knobs on it. This was a guitar player, not even a non musician. And they made their judgement based on what their preconceptions were, not how how the gear performed. Another example, I used to constantly get complimented on how I sounded after shows. That's nice, but I would get the ocmpliments whether I deserved them or not, because I was playing a Gibson and the other guitarist was playing an ESP and the average person in the bar didn't know what an esp was. So regardless of who played better that night, yeah. Prejudices.

So, I think professional in the sense that someone wants to make their living using it as a tool should be looked at in terms of functionality and reliability. Does it stay in tune/return to pitch well? Are the components fairly solid? Is it easily maintainable without needing an army of luthiers to keep it working? As long as the platform (body/neck) is stable, you can bring pretty much any guitar up to snuff. Then it becomes a matter of are you happy with the tone (largely irrelevant to the audience) and the looks (more relevant to the audience than you might think).

But as far as brands and such, there are a LOT more brands around than when I started to play and I have slowed WAY down in my purchases (I feel like I have plenty) so I'm not in position to say this brand or that brand cuts it or doesn't in any kind of definitive way. Competition is good, it offers consumers variety and keeps prices down. The two brands I'm most familiar with are Gibson and epiphone. I would say that although epiphone uses cheaper components and intentionally is built to occupy a lower market niche that either one of them would be acceptable "professionally" as examples.

I have one of these. The ultimate garage sale guitar (this one's a reissue). From it's construction and components, I think most guys would probably say it's not professional quality if they just had the specs read off to them, but I can think of at least a couple famous guys that did indeed use it in what no one would argue is a professional setting, both in the studio and on the road.

(for crying out loud it's made out of the same wood mush they form clipboards out of and it's bound with vinyl tape, among other charming premium features. )
Last edited by Hydra26 at Jan 3, 2015,
#12
in order to answer the ? you'd have to give a definition of what constitutes a "pro". is it a guy that makes a few bucks playing in a bar band, a studio musician or perhaps the player that sells out arenas. this often is where the problem comes in when addressing this issue. by the loose definition of pro the guy that plays in a band that gets paid anything could be considered a pro (but not really if you ask me).

some have mentioned out the box the guitar being good all around. even guys that buy guitars in the $1000s often mod them just go over to the gear page to see many examples. so by itself that doesn't seem like a sure way to pick the point between amateur and "pro"

price while a reasonable indicator isn't fool proof either. that $500 MIM can work just as well as a custom shop costing 4-5 times that. I wouldn't have an issue getting on stage or recording with my Vintage SG copy which costs about $300 new. so by itself not the best way to define "pro"

I think that there can't be a definitive answer no matter how hard we try. how many big name guitar players have used axes that were considered junk by most (think jimmy page's danelectro or most of jack white's guitars)

if the guitar makes the music you want then it could be a "pro" guitar all you have to do is go make the money.
#13
A professional quality guitar is one that you can use to make money with.

I have two Agile AL-series guitars (An AL2000 Floyd and an AL3100 Floyd), each of which cost me about $200 (B Stock and used, respectively) that have been PLEK'd and set up and which are my bar guitars. Both have been used this way for a couple of years.

One job required me to have a "Gibson Les Paul -- not one of those cheap copies" as a condition of employment. I bought a Gibson Axcess Custom (about $4K) and an Agile AL Custom as a backup (about $1160 with case, shipped). Within a couple of months, the bandleader preferred the Agile, and the Gibson has become the backup.

I have a couple of cover band gigs that I use older (mostly late '80s, early '90's) Carvins for, along with one Samick Artist Edition neck-through.

And for one upcoming cover band, I'm using a Variax JTV-89F (I have a backup for it on order, due in sometime late January). Current price on that is around $1200. These are also used for recording.

The Agiles are the least-expensive guitars I use, but I think that they're every bit as professional in quality and sound as any of the far more expensive guitars.

I have a $110(used) Fender Squier Bass that I use occasionally that works just perfectly and sounds great. Price is absolutely no indicator of a professional level instrument.
#14
At the end of the day if the guitar sounds good, intonates properly and stays in tune you're fine. Don't stop with the guitar. Focus on everything down to what cables and what string material you use without getting into amps.

ok so im sure your questions have been answered but if not
Mexican Fenders.. ooh this is going to be fun, I've owned 3 of them
the pickups are weak and buzz in isolated positions- I hate them
in fact if I want a weak parallel tone for pickups I'll wire a humbucker to do so via a push pull pot
the tuners aren't the best - replace them asap
the electronics are ok. Not cheap chinese but not Bournes or CTS quality
a paper in oil capacitor I personally like in my guitars
the wiring of a strat is impractical - tone for the neck or middle ...whoop dee doo
the frets are too small. the radius of the frets I never liked. You can't bend as far as a Jackson.
now we see why we're getting such a hot deal on Mexican Fenders. So much can be changed but it's like a Honda Civic the most modified car on the road in North America.

Epiphone or squiers - epiphone has really stepped up in terms of quality. The classic vibe squiers I liked but I hate the tuners on with a passion. But honestly don't look at brand people tend to go with what they think are the "winners" understanding what makes a guitar sound a way it does is a gift. Epiphones though .. I havent played one in ages. So comparing the two isn't easy. See what better suits your need. I wouldn't mind a black and chrome Zakk Wylde bullseye les paul just for the sake of me growing up listening to Ozzy.

Agile I find are cater towards the metal crowd. The 700$ ones are great guitars. They are made in the same plant as PRS, LTD, Schecter and a bunch of other companies. The neckthrough ones with seymour duncan blackouts and a mahogany body with grover tuners are my personal favorites. Not big on Ebony fretboards but comparing the 3 brands again is not easy.

wasn't it Paul Reed Smith who said there is like 24 plants making guitars for like 200-ish brands? so if this is true brand means about as much as what color socks we gig with. Understanding the woods and how everything comes together is everything.

other brands to check out
Schecter - they are just like Agiles
PRS - they take the good from fender and gibson
Dean guitars from Korea
BC Rich guitars from Korea
Washburn, I'm no expert yet but they are very under rated
LTD / ESP - the 350 or higher series for LTD
and pro series jacksons are great guitars
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Jan 3, 2015,
#15
Most electric guitars on the market today would suit a professional. Sure most of the lower end stuff doesn’t have the best electronics, but I think the majority of professionals replace electronics to suit their taste anyway.

Now if you get into acoustic guitars the differences are a lot more notable between mainstream guitars and $2000+ guitars. But that’s a different forum.
#16
There's certainly stuff like fret buzz, bad tuners, bad trems, bad pickups etc.

But a big name and price tag doesn't guarantee it's well made. There are shocking examples of so-called premium guitars.

My Framus is in a league of its own compared to my other guitars and most I ever had in my hands, yet from the four I currently own it's the one I like least, because it's the opposite of what I want construction/style-wise. I'm going to sell it, and for playing live I'd prefer even my Epiphone despite its so-so quality.

Aside from the whole style, near-perfect quality doesn't protect it from being the one with the least character sound-wise.
Last edited by Knarrenheino at Jan 3, 2015,
#17
Quote by Tallwood13


Agile I find are cater towards the metal crowd. .


Probably a bit broad a brush -- the original Agiles include semi-hollows, jazz guitars, LP-style guitars, SG-style guitars, strats and teles. Over the last few years, Kurt has listened carefully to the extended-range guitarists who have been looking for NON custom reasonably priced sources for 7, 8, 9, and 10-string guitars with scales ranging from 25.5" to 30" and even multi-scale (fan fret) guitars, most well under $1000. Because his business model eliminates the layer of cost tacked on by brick and mortar stores, the value levels of those guitars are higher than the same-price guitars from the brands carried by, for example, GC.
#18
I'd say the quality of components and the effort gone into ensuring a final quality product is what separates 'professional quality' guitars from others.
However it depends on what you call 'professional quality'. Is a professional guitar a category for high-end, custom shop instruments or is it simply a guitar that a proper touring musician would deem acceptable?
To me personally, I'd say a professional quality guitar would have high-quality components (switches, pots, jacks, pickups - although more subjective, tuners), stays in tune, and plays well. It really doesn't matter where a guitar, or any instrument for that matter, is made. It's the time and effort put into the instrument and the care taken in the process, as well of course as the QC measures.
#19
I think there's two things that need to be brought up for this thread. In my opinion the term "professional grade" refers to the level that a "professional guitarist" would use. [the term isn't exclusive to guitars, but sports equipment for example as well]The definition of a "professional guitarist" for most people would be someone who exclusively earns their living playing guitar for money. I think that would rule many of us out as I suspect most here earn their primary dough doing other work. Most pros don't have the time nor are they home enough to frequent a forum judging from the industry people I've met over the years.
Secondly "professional Grade" should be limited to off the shelf condition (barring personal setup of course). Not talking about boutique mods like replacing high end PUs with other PUs due to preference but replacing stuff that will likely be unreliable or simply function poorly. Making a less than professional guitar a professional guitar is certainly possible but you can't credit that to the manufacturer or the basic guitar but the new owner. So do we want to include guitars that can be upgraded because if we do the sky's the limit and most if not all but the worst guitars can be called up.
Moving on.....
#20
Well.I don't think you need to spend alot to get a reliable guitar.I've had two Gibsons that would let me down constantly and one Gibson that did'nt.I'd happily gig my MIM Tele(with a pickup upgrade) because it's solid and reliable which i think is the most important thing.
#21
Quote by Tallwood13
ok so im sure your questions have been answered but if not
Mexican Fenders.. ooh this is going to be fun, I've owned 3 of them
the pickups are weak and buzz in isolated positions- I hate them
in fact if I want a weak parallel tone for pickups I'll wire a humbucker to do so via a push pull pot
the tuners aren't the best - replace them asap
the electronics are ok. Not cheap chinese but not Bournes or CTS quality
a paper in oil capacitor I personally like in my guitars
the wiring of a strat is impractical - tone for the neck or middle ...whoop dee doo
the frets are too small. the radius of the frets I never liked. You can't bend as far as a Jackson.
now we see why we're getting such a hot deal on Mexican Fenders. So much can be changed but it's like a Honda Civic the most modified car on the road in North America


Which model are you talking about? There's a boatload of Mexican Fenders and not one of your points apply to all of them. Furthermore, many of the points apply to American production and Customshop instruments, as in the wiring of the tone controls, single-coil buzz, radius, and frets. No, you pretty much missed the whole point of why MIM Fenders are cheaper.
"Your signature can not be longer than 250 characters."

How you know you have too many guitars...

Apparently once also known as PonyFan #834553.
#22
Quote by Tallwood13
At the end of the day if the guitar sounds good, intonates properly and stays in tune you're fine. Don't stop with the guitar. Focus on everything down to what cables and what string material you use without getting into amps.

ok so im sure your questions have been answered but if not
Mexican Fenders.. ooh this is going to be fun, I've owned 3 of them
the pickups are weak and buzz in isolated positions- I hate them
in fact if I want a weak parallel tone for pickups I'll wire a humbucker to do so via a push pull pot
the tuners aren't the best - replace them asap
the electronics are ok. Not cheap chinese but not Bournes or CTS quality
a paper in oil capacitor I personally like in my guitars
the wiring of a strat is impractical - tone for the neck or middle ...whoop dee doo
the frets are too small. the radius of the frets I never liked. You can't bend as far as a Jackson.
now we see why we're getting such a hot deal on Mexican Fenders. So much can be changed but it's like a Honda Civic the most modified car on the road in North America.

Epiphone or squiers - epiphone has really stepped up in terms of quality. The classic vibe squiers I liked but I hate the tuners on with a passion. But honestly don't look at brand people tend to go with what they think are the "winners" understanding what makes a guitar sound a way it does is a gift. Epiphones though .. I havent played one in ages. So comparing the two isn't easy. See what better suits your need. I wouldn't mind a black and chrome Zakk Wylde bullseye les paul just for the sake of me growing up listening to Ozzy.

Agile I find are cater towards the metal crowd. The 700$ ones are great guitars. They are made in the same plant as PRS, LTD, Schecter and a bunch of other companies. The neckthrough ones with seymour duncan blackouts and a mahogany body with grover tuners are my personal favorites. Not big on Ebony fretboards but comparing the 3 brands again is not easy.

wasn't it Paul Reed Smith who said there is like 24 plants making guitars for like 200-ish brands? so if this is true brand means about as much as what color socks we gig with. Understanding the woods and how everything comes together is everything.

other brands to check out
Schecter - they are just like Agiles
PRS - they take the good from fender and gibson
Dean guitars from Korea
BC Rich guitars from Korea
Washburn, I'm no expert yet but they are very under rated
LTD / ESP - the 350 or higher series for LTD
and pro series jacksons are great guitars


another overly opinionated response brought to you by talwwod.

ok we get it you don't like single coil pickups but many of us do. don't like smaller frets again many do. radius not to your liking, nothing to do with whether a guitar is "pro quality or not, I'll cut you some slack on the tuners. could you try to at least stick to the topic without having such a bias answer?
#23
A pro quality guitar must:

1) be made with quality parts. I'm not talking brand names (because anyone can make good stuff or bad stuff) & fancy woods, I'm saying that the individual pieces must be free of defects that affect performance and can do the job as required.

2) be assembled well. Good parts don't mean jack if the King of klutzes made your axe.

3) feel & sound good. Even a well-made guitar with top-notch parts can be a piece of crap if the end result is uncomfortable or awkward to play and doesn't sound good.

4) be durable. What good is all the above if the headstock snaps off if you look at it funny, the binding dissolves if a drunk douses you with beer or it otherwise can't handle the rigors of a professional guitarists work schedule?
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 Jan 4, 2015,
#24
Quote by monwobobbo
another overly opinionated response brought to you by talwwod.

ok we get it you don't like single coil pickups but many of us do. don't like smaller frets again many do. radius not to your liking, nothing to do with whether a guitar is "pro quality or not, I'll cut you some slack on the tuners. could you try to at least stick to the topic without having such a bias answer?

He is one of those know it all types that is horribly wrong a lot. And if you call him out he just vanishes from the 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
#25
A few here have confused personal preferences with quality. Single PUS can be top notch quality even if you personally don't like pickups. Comfort is a personal judgement as well, many people don't like Les Pauls for example but they are professional grade guitars regardless. We should try to leave these types of things that are personal out of the responses.
Many guitars need an initial setup to bring out the best qualities, if someone doesn't know how or never bothers to get it done then they are the problem not the instrument. In other words all the elements are there and there's no need to change out components.
Again weekend warriors and amateur gig'ers probably don't put their instruments through the rigor a real professional does travelling all over the place and playing nite after nite for hours. That's when the reliability of an instrument is really going to show itself. So your basic $200 guitar works fine for months playing live an hour or two eery other Saturday nite but would fail within weeks playing professionally. Would some think that is professional grade?
Moving on.....
Last edited by KenG at Jan 4, 2015,
#26
What dannyalcatraz said covers it for me.
@Talwood - MIM standard Fenders don't have weak pickups,Infact they tend to be slightly louder than MIA standard Fender pickups.I do find them to lack the clarity that US Fender pickups have though.
#27
Quote by EyeballPaul
What dannyalcatraz said covers it for me.
@Talwood - MIM standard Fenders don't have weak pickups,Infact they tend to be slightly louder than MIA standard Fender pickups.I do find them to lack the clarity that US Fender pickups have though.


Except Item 3 which is really a personal judgement call. What sounds good to one doesn't thrill someone else, same with comfort. You can tell me you like the way your guitar sounds better than mine or feels better than mine or vice versa but there's no winner in that argument.
Moving on.....
#28
Quote by dannyalcatraz
A pro quality guitar must:

1) be made with quality parts. I'm not talking brand names (because anyone can make good stuff or bad stuff) & fancy woods, I'm saying that the individual pieces must be free of defects that affect performance and can do the job as required.

2) be assembled well. Good parts don't mean jack if the King of klutzes made your axe.

3) feel & sound good. Even a well-made guitar with top-notch parts can be a piece of crap if the end result is uncomfortable or awkward to play and doesn't sound good.

4) be durable. What good is all the above if the headstock snaps off if you look at it funny, the binding dissolves if a drunk douses you with beer or it otherwise can't handle the rigors of a professional guitarists work schedule?


Durability is questionable as a factor. Many expensive instruments are really fragile due to design and nitrocellulose laquer on Gibsons is far less durable than the thick poly-finish on Epiphones. It's a safe bet that a MIM Standard Tele, construction wise, would hold up to more beating than a Gibson SG that costs 4 times as much.

Still, you see more $2000 Gibson SG's in the hands of professional musicians than you see MIM Teles.
"Your signature can not be longer than 250 characters."

How you know you have too many guitars...

Apparently once also known as PonyFan #834553.
#29
Quote by KenG
Except Item 3 which is really a personal judgement call. What sounds good to one doesn't thrill someone else, same with comfort. You can tell me you like the way your guitar sounds better than mine or feels better than mine or vice versa but there's no winner in that argument.
To me 'sounds good' covers alot of things though.I like single coils and humbuckers and mini humbuckers etc for different reasons but they can all 'sound good' if they are decent quality I.E not muddy with no clarity.You can tell a bad pickup when you hear it that pretty much anyone would think sounds bad.
#30
I like the argument that a professional quality guitar is one that doesn't NEED an upgrade. I don't think that you could argue that any pickups are bad enough to need replacing but a scratchy pot or any piece of hardware that's too flimsy to withstand reasonably spirited play seems like a deal-breaker.

What about plastic nuts and cheap tremolos? I love my PRS SE but I can't help thinking that it could use a better nut. I've talked to plenty of people who think that the SE PRS tremolos cause tuning instability if you use them too much.
Is the guitar professional quality if it goes out of tune every time you use the tremolo?
#31
Quote by HomerSGR
Durability is questionable as a factor. Many expensive instruments are really fragile due to design and nitrocellulose laquer on Gibsons is far less durable than the thick poly-finish on Epiphones. It's a safe bet that a MIM Standard Tele, construction wise, would hold up to more beating than a Gibson SG that costs 4 times as much.

Still, you see more $2000 Gibson SG's in the hands of professional musicians than you see MIM Teles.

I think it depends on how you define durability really.

If you're defining durability as how well the instrument withstands the type of use it was meant for, not taking the possibility of accidental damage into consideration, then it's definitely an important factor.

On the other hand, if you consider durability to refer to how well a guitar withstands use AND abuse/accidents/etc. then you're right.

When playing in smaller venues where there's less space and more chance of people spilling stuff on my guitar or things falling on it/getting thrown at it/bumping it into things, I use a tele specifically for that type of durability

Quote by paul.housley.7
Is the guitar professional quality if it goes out of tune every time you use the tremolo?

I guess that would depend on whether it's a setup or maintenance issue or just a sloppy quality or poorly designed tremolo system that wouldn't stay in tune too well even if the guitar was properly set up/maintained.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#32
To me, the definition of a professional quality instrument is a combination of high quality hardware with selected woods, put together by people (or someone) who know what they're doing and doing that with passion and with care for detail. Any instrument that has those things, I look to as a professional quality guitar.
Hufschmid
Blackat
Washburn USA Custom Shop
PRS
Mayones
Orange
Diezel
Engl
#33
Quote by paul.housley.7
I like the argument that a professional quality guitar is one that doesn't NEED an upgrade. I don't think that you could argue that any pickups are bad enough to need replacing but a scratchy pot or any piece of hardware that's too flimsy to withstand reasonably spirited play seems like a deal-breaker.

What about plastic nuts and cheap tremolos? I love my PRS SE but I can't help thinking that it could use a better nut. I've talked to plenty of people who think that the SE PRS tremolos cause tuning instability if you use them too much.
Is the guitar professional quality if it goes out of tune every time you use the tremolo?


sorry but since sound is subjective it could be said that no guitar "needs" to have the pickups upgraded. it might be that the sound that any given pickup is exactly the tone the guitar player wants. whether you think it sounds good or bad is once again subjective so no right or wrong. upgrades are in the eye of the beholder. what I might consider to be "better" someone else may think you were nuts for doing and ruined the guitar.

a good quality well slotted nut can be plastic so once again not necessarily worse than another material. as for trems that can be just as much if not more a setup issue. in those cases it's you who isn't being the "pro" not the guitar.

I think something that hasn't really been mentioned here much is the idea that you have to be the "pro" just as much if not more than the gear. a pro takes care of his gear. while having durable gear is a great idea I think that say a Epiphone LP might actually take a beating a little better than a 59 LP, after all the thick poly finish on the epi is more durable than the nitro. a pro maintains his gear as well which includes setups etc. the best guitar in the world will sound like crap if not properly maintained. a pro can get the most out of pretty much any gear that is at least equel to the task and that kinda defines being a pro as much if not more than just money.
#34
Quote by HomerSGR
Durability is questionable as a factor. Many expensive instruments are really fragile due to design and nitrocellulose laquer on Gibsons is far less durable than the thick poly-finish on Epiphones. It's a safe bet that a MIM Standard Tele, construction wise, would hold up to more beating than a Gibson SG that costs 4 times as much.

Still, you see more $2000 Gibson SG's in the hands of professional musicians than you see MIM Teles.



Yet there are 50+ year old Gibsons with the original finish still being gigged today (See Joe Banamassa and his Principal Skinner). A damaged or severely worn finish from years of use did not stop Gary Moore, Rory Gallagher or SRV either.
Moving on.....
#35
If you're defining durability as how well the instrument withstands the type of use it was meant for, not taking the possibility of accidental damage into consideration, then it's definitely an important factor.


Exactly.

I've had the good fortune to play a 400+ year old cello and it had all kinds of damage from its passage through the ages. And despite being made of unbelievably thin wood, its still around, being played and sounding incredible.
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!
#36
Any guitar that plays well, stays reasonably in tune, has decent quality electronics, and you can find "your" tone in there is professional quality. Jimi, SRV, and EVH often gigged with a lot less.
"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
#37
Quote by KenG
Yet there are 50+ year old Gibsons with the original finish still being gigged today (See Joe Banamassa and his Principal Skinner). A damaged or severely worn finish from years of use did not stop Gary Moore, Rory Gallagher or SRV either.


you are right that the guitars are still playable but the finish didn't hold up which is part of the debate and kinda proves that "durability" needs to be better defined. the finish really doesn't impact the guitars playability so perhaps doesn't count when referencing that issue. many of the guitars you mentioned aren't all original either but that is a separate thing.
#38
Quote by monwobobbo
you are right that the guitars are still playable but the finish didn't hold up which is part of the debate and kinda proves that "durability" needs to be better defined. the finish really doesn't impact the guitars playability so perhaps doesn't count when referencing that issue. many of the guitars you mentioned aren't all original either but that is a separate thing.


Finishes that age well, as opposed to just being durable might be part of the general desirability equation - as in my case. It could also relate to "professional" quality, if image was important in the professional context, which I guess almost always the case in one way or another. So apart from functionality, I think you would have to include "looks right" in professional quality, which, alas, might include the name on the headstock.
#39
They are all junk because they all use cheap wood and have fret sprout from hanging on retail hooks (or packed away in central warehouses) for years and years.

And the main brands (strat, tele, Les Paul) are so diluted that nobody knows whats what.

And I mean nothing sells but metal, right? Somebody tell the Les Paul koolaid drinkers that Led Zeppelin has been inactive for the past 30 years. 6 Les Pauls hanging in the den aren't cool.

Professional guitars? Ha, its all hit and miss. Roll the dice partner. Maybe your guitar hasn't been sitting on a boat exposed to the environment for the past 3 years.

Heck, there are no professional guitarists any more. Just instructors (eg. Satriani) pretending not to be one.

$3000 for a signature from some hack with piezo capability that nobody uses and then the idiot naturally swaps out the pickups? C'mon, didn't Lindsey Buckingham prove with 'Rumours' that even the mighty Les Paul tone is bleeping useless and a complex mix of real acoustic and strat tones was necessary.

Of course the luthiers around here love those korean guitars. Steady work setting those buzz boxes up.

I've never even owned an electric guitar. See, how many opinions I have!
#40
Quote by monwobobbo
sorry but since sound is subjective it could be said that no guitar "needs" to have the pickups upgraded.


We're on the same side about pickups. I guess I worded mine improperly. I meant what you meant.

But a bad potentiometer is worse than a bad pickup from my perspective. If the potentiometer isn't working properly it could prevent or restrict the signal that gets passed along to the amp.

The other paragraphs are interesting.
It seems that you're suggesting that a professional instrument is an instrument that is owned by a professional.
If that's your argument, then you also seem to be suggesting that you're not a professional musician unless you're able to keep your own tremolo stable.
I don't know if you mean a pro has to be able to do his own set-ups, or if it's okay to have someone perform the set-ups for him.

I'm not trying to argue a point here. I think I'd be inclined to agree with what you're saying. Just wanted to clarify.
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