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#2
$1000
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#3
Anything over about 1000$ is starting to get more into asthetics and stuff that dosent matter as far as playability and tone. I would say a good middle of the road price point woud be between 350-600$ for me anyway. And iv owned guitars as cheap as 90$ all the way to 3k and id say performance and functionality plateaus at around 1000-1500$.
#5
yeah from what? what are you playing now?. mid level is pretty subjective as well. personally i believe that you can find many excellent guitars in the $4-700 range that are a step up from the beginner models. many guitars in that price range (we're talking US) can easily be used in bands or for recording and yield decent results. when you get to the $700-1500 range you should get a very worthy guitar that can stay with you for years to come with no real need to upgrade unless you really want to.
#6
You're going to get some very, very subjective opinions on this question. Whether or not something is 'mid-range' depends on how rich that person is overall. The richer the person is, the more they're going to consider 'mid-range' higher up the scale of their budget.
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#8
Quote by Tony Done
The next level up from what, and for what? I got a fabulous guitar for Oz$65 a few months ago in the local hock shop, OTOH I've spent thousands on acoustics that turned out to be dogs. It is about suitability for purpose at least as much as price.


I have a B.C. Rich factory set Warlock I've had for five years, and I figured it was time for an upgrade. I like to play classic 70's mostly 80's metal, I worship Metallica and the stuff I've written is very Metallica like. I want a guitar that could be used to record and would be worth getting things like custom inlays done to it. I have $1000 in savings but I'd rather not spend all of it.
#9
Having inlay work done is stupidly expensive (i have dabbled). It can be done cheaply though if you have tge proper tools and skill set. And id say i nailed your budget in my first post. Im on a roll today for some reason?
#10
$350-$1000 depending on what you want. A lot of it comes down to how picky you are about pickups, vibrato models, and whether or not it’s a sig model. At $350 you can start to get some nice Epiphone SGs that have minor cosmetic flaws but play well and sound good. At $500 you’re looking at nice Indonesian guitars with Artec pickups. Once you hit $700 you move into excellent South Korean guitars that might have Duncan pickups.
Last edited by jpnyc at Aug 12, 2015,
#11
I understand pretty well how you feel, most of us like some kind of mojo in our guitars, but putting inlays in a mid-priced guitar doesn't seem like a good idea to me. It will be dead money, insofar as you wouldn't recover any of it on resale. My inclination would be to get something with a decent floating trem - if you use one - and change things like the pickups if you want to personalise it.
#12
But which Warlock? Warlocks start from $200. The NJ is mid-range for $500-$800 for the Deluxe. The all-maple KK sig model would be the upper range.

I would recommend looking at a Pro Jackson, like a KVMG (starting at $900) which is mid-upper level within Jackson. Custom inlays isn't much of a quality improvement.

So in general price depends on the brand and how they have their hierarchy set. For me, I consider mid range $500-$1000.
Last edited by dthmtl3 at Aug 12, 2015,
#13
Quote by xcamero360
I have a B.C. Rich factory set Warlock I've had for five years, and I figured it was time for an upgrade. I like to play classic 70's mostly 80's metal, I worship Metallica and the stuff I've written is very Metallica like. I want a guitar that could be used to record and would be worth getting things like custom inlays done to it. I have $1000 in savings but I'd rather not spend all of it.


seems like an ESP/LTD is what you want. they have both James and Kirk sig models as well as similar no sig guitars that will give you what you want.

pretty sure he meant starter pack Warlock
#14
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
You're going to get some very, very subjective opinions on this question. Whether or not something is 'mid-range' depends on how rich that person is overall. The richer the person is, the more they're going to consider 'mid-range' higher up the scale of their budget.


Actually, NAMM also offers an opinion about this. $800-3000 seems to be mid-level by their standards." Under $1000" is the bottom category, dominated by Asian import guitars. Those over $3000 generally fall into a premium category ("high end?"). You'll find Trussarts, Nik Hubers, Moonstones, 10-top PRS's, R-series Gibsons, high-end Taylors and Martins and a whole raft of custom-built instruments wandering around there. Sam Ash usually has these guitars stuffed in plexi cases. Depending on brand, I'd put the high-end beginning down closer to $2500, except for Gibson, which generally needs to be above $3K to get into the premium stuff.

As noted, it's subjective and depends on a lot of factors, but Guitar Center is NOT where you'd want to base your cutoff points. They don't stock high end (for the most part).

There are some who parse the "Under $1000" category into several ranges, as well.
#16
Definitely arguable, but basically I question the sanity of anyone saying it begins at a higher price than $700. A lot of professional, touring guitarists use models or even have signature models around that price.
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#17
ibanez prestige barely starts around $1k, the switch from epiphone to gibson/squier to fender starts around that level, etc.

you might be entering what someone might consider the "professional tier", but they don't actually get decent till around the $1700-$2000 mark, at which case you begin entering high tier, which is in the realm of custom instruments

anything under $500 i consider in the realm of starter level or unplayable. then the schecters, LTDs, what-have-you which are pretty hit-and-miss

this is all MSRP, USD, obviously. i haven't played anything that wasn't custom or worth less than $1800 since i was like 18, and since then i've had 2 customs and a semicustom, and i'm a college student that actually has been in the workforce, but i'm certainly not anywhere near rich

it's important to have standards

that's not to say you can't get OK tones out of lower-end gear, but i think it's silly to act like $1000 is gonna get you an instrument you're never gonna wanna upgrade from (which is the realm i'd call the high/professional end - where they're not better and worse, but different)
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Last edited by Hail at Aug 13, 2015,
#18
My personal take on it is that you can EASILY find a professional-level electric guitar between $700-1500.

There are certain ergonomic and quality options that might drive prices higher, but beyond $1500, you start to see more of a guitar's price boosted by visual aesthetics as opposed to practical, functional concerns.

Acoustics are a different thing. While you can still get a pro-level instrument under $2000, the upper limits on the connection between price and tone seems to be much higher. I've heard acoustics over $30,000 that had unearthly tone and projection.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

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#19
Quote by xcamero360
I have a B.C. Rich factory set Warlock I've had for five years, and I figured it was time for an upgrade. I like to play classic 70's mostly 80's metal, I worship Metallica and the stuff I've written is very Metallica like. I want a guitar that could be used to record and would be worth getting things like custom inlays done to it. I have $1000 in savings but I'd rather not spend all of it.

You should be able to find a decent guitar meeting your standards within your price range from BC Rich, Schecter, Dean, DBZ, Fernandes, Ibanez, LTD, etc., especially if you're willing to shop for a used instrument.
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!
#20
Midrange is more or less $700-$1200. After that you start getting almost exclusively American/Japanese/European built instruments that are a higher quality point.

Also, speaking from experience: No way in hell do most Korean/Chinese/Indonesian guitars compare to Japanese or most American or European instruments, acoustic or otherwise.

And yes, acoustics are a little more immune to the diminishing returns increase because the design and wood choices, never mind the attention to detail, matter so, SO much more.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#21
Quote by dannyalcatraz
My personal take on it is that you can EASILY find a professional-level electric guitar between $700-1500.

There are certain ergonomic and quality options that might drive prices higher, but beyond $1500, you start to see more of a guitar's price boosted by visual aesthetics and perception as opposed to practical, functional concerns.



I agree with this, with the added caveat.
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#22
Quote by Arby911
I agree with this, with the added caveat.

What I'm getting at is that- besides certain ergonomic & quality issues- the more expensive a guitar, the likelier it is that a higher percentage of that guitar's price is due to factors that don't appreciably affect tone or feel.

In some product lines, you can see that very clearly, like the various Gibson LPs. Some of the more expensive ones are clearly just gussied-up versions of cheaper models, sharing electronics and pickups, etc., but with fancier inlay and prettier finishes.
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!
#23
depends on the brand.
fender for example puts a lot of quality in the guitars they produce in mexico wich price varies from 700-1000 (new). if you buy it used you can get some very good quality with this price range
#24
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
You're going to get some very, very subjective opinions on this question. Whether or not something is 'mid-range' depends on how rich that person is overall. The richer the person is, the more they're going to consider 'mid-range' higher up the scale of their budget.

Yep, to me mid range is $700-$1500

But I will play any guitar that is good, and good does not follow prices all the time. I play a $299 epi G400 right beside a $2000 PRS and both play very nice
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Last edited by Robbgnarly at Aug 13, 2015,
#25
I will throw a +1 on the $750-$1500 range as mid-level.

I also think that the country of manufacture plays a role. MIA, MIJ and European builders are generally starting in that range.
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#26
Quote by trashedlostfdup
I will throw a +1 on the $750-$1500 range as mid-level.

I also think that the country of manufacture plays a role. MIA, MIJ and European builders are generally starting in that range.

I agree
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#27
Quote by trashedlostfdup
I will throw a +1 on the $750-$1500 range as mid-level.

I also think that the country of manufacture plays a role. MIA, MIJ and European builders are generally starting in that range.

I agree.

As for diminshing returns after $1500, in my experience it's a lot of the time less noticeable things that are improved. Things like fretwork, finish quality, tightness of neck joint (very important, by the way).
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#28
Quote by oneblackened

Also, speaking from experience: No way in hell do most Korean/Chinese/Indonesian guitars compare to Japanese or most American or European instruments, acoustic or otherwise.


My experience differs from yours.

For example, I have a pair of Line 6 Variax JTV-89F guitars. These are available in a Korean version for $1200, and an American version for $3600 or so. The electronics (Variax components), pickups and most hardware are identical. Construction is identical. Difference include a different set of tuners, an extra battery and a G&G hard case (rather than the gig bag that comes with the Korean version). The bodies are solid mahogany, the necks are maple, the fretboards rosewood. Frets, radius, etc. are identical. Other differences: the availability of a few slightly different finishes on the American versions and...well, that's it. I played both, long and hard. In the end, I bought two of the Korean guitars because there simply wasn't much difference.

Another case:

I was told by a band leader that I needed to own a *Gibson* Les Paul for the upcoming project. "None of that asian crap!" Since the project needed a guitar with a Floyd and a sustainer, I bought a Gibson Axcess Custom (ebony fretboard, real MOP inlays, extra fancy binding, etc.) with the sculpted neck heel and the tummy cut (the body is also thinner and is chambered, thus much lighter). I also needed a backup and a "trial horse" that was originally intended to get the $1500 worth of modifications needed before the same mods were inflicted on the Gibson. My original plan was to buy a Carvin (about $2000 for the same spec, but with far better woods, compared to the Gibson). I'd just discovered Agile AL-series guitars and that they could be purchased on a semi-custom basis. I ordered up. That guitar cost me $1160, delivered, with case -- probably the most expensive Agile to that date.

Quick feature comparison:

The Gibson is a shaved neck heel set neck with multi-layer binding on the headstock and body, single binding on the fretboard. Medium jumbo frets (jumbo frets not available), 12" radius (no other radius, no alternate neck profile available), standard neck width, ebony fretboard, real MOP inlays, Original Floyd Rose (Korean made). No maple cap (it's a black guitar) -- a 4AAAA top with a CSB finish would have added $1760.

The Agile is a contoured neck NECK THROUGH guitar with multi-layer binding on headstock and body, single binding on the fretboard. Jumbo frets, 16" radius with a wide/thin neck (1 3/4" width at the nut), ebony fretboard, real abalone inlays, a Floyd Rose produced on exactly the same Korean production line as the OFR (I can show you the tooling marks). It has a 3/4" flamed maple cap.

Both were routed for Fernandes Sustainers and a kill switch, both had controls moved, both had identical pickups substituted for the originals, both received Schaller OFR style Floyds with large brass aftermarket sustain blocks, both had the same electronics changes, both had their frets superglued and both were given a PLEK run (the Gibson had a Gibson Hump that needed correcting, the Agile just because). And more... In all, $1500 worth of changes.

The Gibson plays very well, and it's lightweight. The Agile plays very well and it's heavy. In the end, the project organizer decided he liked the Agile better (I told him it was an expensive custom-built guiltar), and it's become the #1 with the Gibson as backup.

One more example.

I was looking at a Gibson Studio Shred, which is a non-bound set neck guitar (black) with a rosewood fretboard, plastic inlays and a Korean Floyd. $1200-1800 (there were some Christmas sales that offered the lower figure) with Gibson pickups. 12 radius, rosewood f/b, plastic inlays, medium jumbo frets, baseball bat neck profile. Gig bag.

I was offered (and bought) an Agile AL-3100 Floyd, which has multi-layer binding on body and headstock, single binding on the fretboard, 14" radius, jumbo frets, ebony fretboard, real MOP trap inlays, Korean Floyd, slimmer neck profile, gig bag. $200.

Pickups on the two were very comparable -- those on the Agile are good AlnicoV pickups. I've since had the Agile PLEK'd and the frets superglued (something I would have done with the Gibson as well) and I've added a large brass sustain block (I like 'em). The body is solid mahogany. I've also stuffed a Suhr Aldrich bridge pickup onto the Agile (something I would have done with the Gibson as well).





Both have what I call clunky neck heels (compared to the Axcess and the Custom Agile, above).

I'd have to say that in all cases, the Korean guitars have been every bit as good (and, honestly, better in terms of fit, finish, options and appearance) as the US-built alternatives.
#29
I would just like to say that lot of pros guiatrs with names like Fender or Gibson are generally "ghost built" which means tgey are hand made by a naster luthier and they would fetch astronomical amounts of money.
#30
Quote by Dick Savage
I would just like to say that lot of pros guiatrs with names like Fender or Gibson are generally "ghost built" which means tgey are hand made by a naster luthier and they would fetch astronomical amounts of money.


maybe with some companies but the two you mentioned have Custom shops with big names working for them. pretty sure that at least in the case of fender someone like Jeff Beck or Eric Clapton will get master built guitars from say John Cruz and not have to wait. obviously they don't play off the line guitars and the best materials available are reserved for them.
#31
ZZ Top is infamous for having ghost built Gibsons...and Gretsches...and...
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!
#32
Interesting to hear about ghost-build guitars. Not surprising. Tennis pros also use rather crude racquets that are painted to look like something high tech the major companies actually sell.
Last edited by dthmtl3 at Aug 13, 2015,
#33
Quote by dspellman
My experience differs from yours.

*lots of stuff*


Yes, there isn't that much difference - but when I compare my ESP to my (far better than average) LTD there are quite a few things that the LTD just doesn't have in comparison.

Among other things:
The routs are cleaner. The wiring is neater. the nut is cut much, much better. The neck is more stable. The fretwork is considerably better. The finish is considerably more cleanly done. The binding is more cleanly done. It's the little things that really set them apart.

I've compared USA Jacksons with the highest end Indonesian ones and the US ones are on a completely different level. That's not to say they're bad - they're quite good, in fact. The USA ones are just excellent.

And Gibson is kind of a "known bad' at this point, and they don't represent the rest of the USA guitar industry particularly well.

And Agile? Dude, Agile is known for being hilariously inconsistent because they don't have any quality control of their own.
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Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#34
Quote by Random3
This is subjective but as a general rule for me:

£0-£100 - Don't even bother

£100-£300 - Low end beginner practice instrument

£300 - £700 - Midrange

£700-£1500 - High end

£1500+ - Signature models/custom builds.
I would generally agree with this, although I'm not sure how this translates into other currencies. That said, there are still going to be diamonds in the dust and gold plated turds to watch out for.
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#35
Yup the good Reverend also has his fenders ghost built. He has them done i think because he has the bodys chambered to the MAX!! His guiatrs weigh nothing!!!
#36
Quote by oneblackened


And Agile? Dude, Agile is known for being hilariously inconsistent because they don't have any quality control of their own.


I've been pretty lucky with the four I have, then.

When I was first considering them (2008-ish, I believe), I happened across about half a dozen in a row, and the consistent thing was, "This cost you HOW much?"

I'm assuming you don't have one of your own and that you're simply repeating something you read somewhere. The reason Agile "took off" is two-fold (IMHO); the quality and spec of the guitars for the money spent was extremely high and the customer service has been quite good.

Now there is this: I'm pretty sure that Kurt, who owns the brand name, is largely a one-man (might be a couple of helpers) operation in Vermont or New Hampshire (I've forgotten which) and that the guitars come out of containers shipped from Korea and mostly go into the mail. They don't open each box to see how it's set up, etc. So any "quality control" would have to have been done at the factory, 6500 miles away. To make up for this, Kurt's return policy and customer service has been excellent and generous.

Given the number of guitars he's shipped out and the number he's had returned, I'd say the "quality control" ain't bad. Most of the returns go onto the site as "B" stock guitars at a reduced price, with the offending glitch clearly stated. People watch for these things, and I've seen B Stock guitars snagged just minutes after they went up on the site.

In fact, one of mine is/was a B stock (finish issues) -- an AL2000 Floyd in black that has some waviness in the finish on the top, almost like a bad bondo job on a car. From five feet it's invisible, and that guitar was over $400 (with case) but arrived at my house for under $200. Given the price, it seemed to be a no-brainer, and I could always return it. I'd been doing a lot of work with a certain SF tech, and got a deal on a fret superglue and a PLEK job and setup for it, and that guitar has been working its butt off as one of my "bar guitars."

I think there would be a lot more hilarity out there (particularly on sevenstring.org) if Agiles were wildly inconsistent. They're not. Kurt's hottest sellers seem to be the ERG guitars, including those with 7, 8, 9 and 10 strings, those with longer scales (up to 30") and those with multi-scale (fan fret) necks. I haven't purchased any of those yet, but I can point to at least 10 of those that have fallen into friends' hands. And they're ecstatic.

It's easy to toss a comment like yours out there as if it were accurate, but I'm just not seeing it in the real world.
Last edited by dspellman at Aug 13, 2015,
#37
Quote by monwobobbo
maybe with some companies but the two you mentioned have Custom shops with big names working for them. pretty sure that at least in the case of fender someone like Jeff Beck or Eric Clapton will get master built guitars from say John Cruz and not have to wait. obviously they don't play off the line guitars and the best materials available are reserved for them.


True enough. But Clapton's Blackie was pieced together from three guitars he picked up in a used bin (he resold three more that he'd purchased to friends). Beck has been using that same hackneyed strat for years. Now Blackie has been retired and Clapton has near-exact replicas that were done for him by Fender, and I'm sure Beck can have whatever he likes. . But by and large, both have large collections of guitars they can pick and choose from (Clapton has over 250 and brought 50 of them into a recording stint a couple of years ago), but for the most part they are more comfortable with guitars they've used since the dawn of time.

Ibanez is probably the best known for having guitar shops here and there building Ibanez replicas for their artists. There are a couple here in LA. Ibanez actually ships hardware and decals (and dimensions) to these guys, but the guitars themselves might be neck-through (where the originals are bolt necks), might have completely different balance and fretboard radii and frets and all that. I'm not sure that the artists themselves make great decisions on some of these guitars (I've been able to handle more than a few), but it's what THEY want as opposed to what goes on the racks.
#38
mid level would be anywhere in the $300-700, it also depend on the manufacturer you get it from, I would be confident in saying that a Schecter costing $700 would be far better than a $700 Epiphone. For brands like Epiphone I think they bump up the price simply because of the name. Get your self a decent used mid level guitar for used, and replace the pickups and set it up well and you got yourself a super nice guitar
#39
Quote by dspellman
True enough. But Clapton's Blackie was pieced together from three guitars he picked up in a used bin (he resold three more that he'd purchased to friends). Beck has been using that same hackneyed strat for years. Now Blackie has been retired and Clapton has near-exact replicas that were done for him by Fender, and I'm sure Beck can have whatever he likes. . But by and large, both have large collections of guitars they can pick and choose from (Clapton has over 250 and brought 50 of them into a recording stint a couple of years ago), but for the most part they are more comfortable with guitars they've used since the dawn of time.

Ibanez is probably the best known for having guitar shops here and there building Ibanez replicas for their artists. There are a couple here in LA. Ibanez actually ships hardware and decals (and dimensions) to these guys, but the guitars themselves might be neck-through (where the originals are bolt necks), might have completely different balance and fretboard radii and frets and all that. I'm not sure that the artists themselves make great decisions on some of these guitars (I've been able to handle more than a few), but it's what THEY want as opposed to what goes on the racks.


didn't mean to imply that ghost builds don't happen we all know they do. just meant that fender and gibson are fully capable of building guitars for famous clients. sure some have the guitars built for them with no imput from the supposed maker (like billy gibbons).

as for eric and jeff wel yeah they have tons of guitars. back in the day eric did piece together blackie but now a days i'm sure fender delivers whatever he wants for touring. although it may look like Jeff uses the same ratty guitar he doesn't.
#40
Quote by CrippleBastards
mid level would be anywhere in the $300-700, it also depend on the manufacturer you get it from, I would be confident in saying that a Schecter costing $700 would be far better than a $700 Epiphone. For brands like Epiphone I think they bump up the price simply because of the name. Get your self a decent used mid level guitar for used, and replace the pickups and set it up well and you got yourself a super nice guitar

No, not at all
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
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