#1
So many people on here post stuff like 'I have *insert random guitar here* and it's AWESOME, you should get one!' which obviously means absolutely nothing.

So to you, what makes a guitar good quality? And I don't mean sound or playability/setup as those are all subjective...


Here's what I favor:

Timber quality
Build construction (in particular fretting, neck pocket and the lack of glue around nut and fret slots, as well as binding if there is)
To a much lesser extent, hardware.


Timber can't be replaced, hardware can. So if you have great timbers and not great hardware, you can always upgrade successfully. If your guitar has bland woods and great hardware, you're screwed. Companies like Schecter and LTDs go the second way. In my experience, Squier and say, Jacksons go the other way. Fender tends to be well balanced.

I NEVER play guitars amped in when I'm seriously trying it. At least not until I'm familar with her unamplified sound.

After that, setup, fret size, nut height/slots etc...and stuff people will disagree on and each have their preference so to me, it doesn't make a guitar good or bad.

What do YOU, people who say your guitars are awesome, think makes them so good?
#2
I think you hit it right on the head there.

I would probably look at quality of finish too.
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#3
I think that everything can be good, except crappy guitars like my first one, listed at 160$. This sucks, whatever you change on it. But it all depends on what you search for. More sustain will be great in some situation, but in other situations, it could be THE thing that you don't want, and it's the same for pretty much everything.
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#4
pretty much what the TS said, except the neck has to be really comfortable for me. if i play a guitar with the best hardware/wood and construction, but the neck isnt comfortable than **** it
#5
Yeah, good quality pickups are cheaper than good quality wood in most cases.
#6
Get out of mind and leave my brain alone! In all seriousness, I totally agree, and think it's sad pretty finishes and gimmicks are what sell today, not the build quality.
#7
In order of most important to least:
- Build quality. You can get great parts and still end up with a **** guitar if it wasn't built right. Every join has to have full contact and will hold, everything has to be sanded, filed, cut and pressed in properly.
- Wood grade. If anything, this is more important than wood species; I'd rather have good-grade basswood than low-grade mahogany, for example.
- Good 'basic' hardware. Things like the input, the pickup mounting rings, the bridge (not counting FR bridges). Yes, these things can be changed anyway, but usually by the time you've replaced the tuners, nut, input, pots, mounting rings, pickguard, etc, you could have just bought 'the next model up'. So getting these basic parts down is pretty important to me.
#8
Quote by bokuho
In order of most important to least:
- Build quality. You can get great parts and still end up with a **** guitar if it wasn't built right. Every join has to have full contact and will hold, everything has to be sanded, filed, cut and pressed in properly.
- Wood grade. If anything, this is more important than wood species; I'd rather have good-grade basswood than low-grade mahogany, for example.
- Good 'basic' hardware. Things like the input, the pickup mounting rings, the bridge (not counting FR bridges). Yes, these things can be changed anyway, but usually by the time you've replaced the tuners, nut, input, pots, mounting rings, pickguard, etc, you could have just bought 'the next model up'. So getting these basic parts down is pretty important to me.


I completely agree with you, but I also disagree a little. That makes no sense, so let me explain...

~Build quality is important and I would never purchase a guitar that I didn't think was constructed well. On the other hand, to contradict myself, my favorite electric is a 70's Les Paul knockoff with terrible joints and bad finish. It is far from a well constructed guitar, but it plays well and sounds cool, so I would call it a good guitar.

~Wood grade is another thing that I generally look for, but some of the (in my opinion, of course) best guitars in the world are made from truly awful materials (see Danelectros). Bad wood can still breed good character.

~Good basic hardware is key. Nothing worse than popping and scratching. No disagreement here.

So, seeing as I can't come up with a firm definition of "nice guitar" characteristics, I would just assume that a truly nice instrument just holds itself together and plays what the guitarist wants. A little charm does hurt either.
Last edited by GC Shred Off at Apr 21, 2008,
#9
I think ibanez, esp, and jackson, are companies that really give good guitars. The RGs are amazing guitars, but everybody always complains for their edge III, however, the admit their neck is one of the best at any price range. Schecter is kinda balanced, but they seem to be working more in "looking" expensive than quality. Fender i like. Gibson I love, for even though they are expensive as hell you can always count in their quality, although then again, you can get the same quality for less.
#10
Quote by GC Shred Off
I completely agree with you, but I also disagree a little. That makes no sense, so let me explain...

~Build quality is important and I would never purchase a guitar that I didn't think was constructed well. On the other hand, to contradict myself, my favorite electric is a 70's Les Paul knockoff with terrible joints and bad finish. It is far from a well constructed guitar, but it plays well and sounds cool, so I would call it a good guitar.

~Wood grade is another thing that I generally look for, but some of the (in my opinion, of course) best guitars in the world are made from truly awful materials (see Danelectros). Bad wood can still breed good character.

~Good basic hardware is key. Nothing worse than popping and scratching. No disagreement here.

So, seeing as I can't come up with a firm definition of "nice guitar" characteristics, I would just assume that a truly nice instrument just holds itself together and plays what the guitarist wants. A little charm does hurt either.


I agree mainly with this. ^

My biggest gripe comes with quality control. You can use some of the best wood and hardware in the world, but if the quality control isn't there, that stuff can fall apart just as readily as any other piece of poop. Gibson uses top notch stuff, but even their QC lets stuff through that has to make me wonder sometimes. I've found Epiphones that I'd easily take over a Gibson that was twice as expensive. It's also part of the reason why I like Schecter so much. I know I sound like a Schecter fanboi, but they do use top grade stuff (I don't care if it's made in Korea, they know their stuff, and they pump out some of the best guitars next to US and Japan). I also like the Greg Bennett line because he's a great designer, and always listens to players for input. He's also got top notch customer support and they've been willing to practically bend over backwards to fix any issues or answer any questions.

So all that great wood and hardware is nice to have, but without good qc or customer service, that can be a very big red flag for me.
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#11
first off, ill decide what it is i want from this guitar.
then ill examine the hell out of her. check fit, finish, the nut and all the areas glue may be bubbled. pretty much everything the TS stated.
then ill make sure shes in tune, and unplugged, play a few standard chords. if they ring out to my liking, ill plug her in. now the fun begins. playing just about anything (say some sort of pentatonic foolery) ill start with the guitars volume/tone all the way down and work my way up with each. once ive gotten a good sound, ill play with natural and artificial harmonics. and last but not least, ill start bending like crazy and then checking the tuning. then if it has a whammy bar ill do the same to it.
i like scuffed finish, so a tough finish isnt really a GOTTA have sorta thing.
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#12
Quality of wood, shape of neck, build quality, etc.
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#13
Build quality, and comfort. That's all I look for, as pick ups, hardware, tuners, nuts, electronics and what not can be replaced easily.