So I'm about to buy my first guitar, and I had pretty much decided to get an Epiphone Les Paul Standard (about $450 USD). But I went to a guitar shop today and they showed me a used Japan-made 1987 Squier strat for $350, which has been tested/refurbished at the shop. I prefer the feel and sound of the Epiphone and I don't mind paying a bit more for it, unless the Squier is a really exceptionnal deal like the salesman tried to convince me. Is it?

I don't know if it's a good deal, but if the Epiphone feels and sounds better to you, that's what you should get. Also think of it this way: if it's such a good deal, why hasn't anyone else bought it and why are they steering you towards it.
If you prefer the Les Paul and don't plan on reselling, the answer is pretty obvious to me.
+ IMO The Les Paul Standard is an awesome choice.
I've played this one
and I love it. It may be my next guitar.
Is that the guitar the guitar shop tried to sell ?
Last edited by juvion at Jul 13, 2016,
Your talking about two different beasts here. Humbuckers vs. single coils. After having owned one I am not that big on Squier strats MIJ or otherwise. IMO the Fender MIM's are an overall better buy. Of the two the Epi LP would be my personal choice, but for $450 better deals are out there. I bought an Epi LP Tribute used in NM / unplayed condition in it's case w/ candy intact for $500 USD and couldn't be happier. End of the day it comes down to which one is a better fit for YOU....both in your hands and in your ears.
Quote by bsadowsky3031
After having owned one I am not that big on Squier strats MIJ or otherwise.
...have you owned an MIJ one? If you haven't, I'm impressed you're so sure of your opinion on them. Personally, I think the Classic Vibe models are a solid competitor to the MIM Standards, but putting that point entirely aside, the MIJs are an altogether different thing that can't really be related to present-day Squiers for judgement

That said, for a first guitar, I wouldn't recommend getting something 30 years old, as there could be all sorts of things wrong with it that you might not notice at first.
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10+ years ago I went through the same thing. What I learned is that A) If you are not super particular about mint condition, you can save a ton by buying a used guitar. And B) Only you will know what feels right to YOU. Personally, I hated the Epi LP guitars, but I love my ESP EC-401 that I got for $450 because it was a demo model. Now, obviously the active pickups are a lot different from the passive in the Epi, but the guitar itself just felt a lot better to me. I dont know what it is, but I just can't stand Epi necks.

I am not too familiar with MIJ Squier strats, but to me, $350 sounds like too much. You can get a MIM Fender used for that. But again, don't let someone sell YOU something that YOU don't like. Plug them both in, listen to their tone. Does the neck and balance of the guitar feel good to you? I know it's your first one and you most likely wont have anything to play, but you can always ask someone to play something for you on both so that you can listen.

With a budget of $450 there are just so many options out there. I always highly recommend Shecter. I have owned 2 of them and loved them both. This is all just personal taste, though. If the Epi is what feels good in your hands, then I say that's the one to get.
For $450 maybe a bit less you should be able to get a used guitar in great condition that was originally in the $900-$1000 range when new, that said $350 does sound pricey for a nearly 30 year old Squier MIJ or not.

I paid $350 for my 1987 Charvel Fusion Custom in close to mint condition and completly stock.
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350 seems alot for a Squier but MIJ ones these days are going for stupid money online.Depending on serial number.
Last edited by EyeballPaul at Jul 13, 2016,
IMO, since you are new, I wouldn't buy the Squier. Even the better quality Squiers have a cheap floating bridge, which means they will have tuning stability issues. I've owned USA made Fenders with the same issues, the tremolo design is that prone to them. The only Strat-style guitar I have ever owned which hasn't had issues with holding tune has been so far my G&L Legacy (US Made)that I just bought. I haven't had to touch the tuning pegs yet, despite taking it back and forth to church. All others, I've had to block the tremolo. And in the case of a Fender Blacktop Stratocaster I had, I had to replace tuners because they broke. That guitar turned me off of Fender quality due to all the issues I had.

Once you've played awhile, I would say get a Strat if that's the sound you're going for. I recommend a G&L Legacy though.

That said, you can probably find a decent used hard tail guitar for less than that new Epiphone. Quite possibly that same model actually. But if that's the guitar you like, go for it. My only advice would be to get someone you know who plays and that you trust to take a look at any guitars before purchasing, and to budget for a setup as well.