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Sounding good with a cheap guitar

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by kelnet, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

    Jan 17, 2010
    Decatur, GA
    If you hadn't said the guitar was cheap, I wouldn't have noticed. Nice work.
     

  2. Lacking Talent

    Lacking Talent Tele-Holic

    560
    Oct 22, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Always liked Samick's "Greg Bennett" body shapes, but sorry, that headstock -- which was on the entire electric line for a good long while -- has got to go.
     

  3. philosofriend

    philosofriend Tele-Holic

    781
    Oct 28, 2015
    Kalamazoo
    Crappy guitar into great amp = great sound.

    Great guitar into crappy amp = bad sound.
     
    Fiesta Red, David Barnett and Undone like this.

  4. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

    Aug 14, 2009
    innsmouth, MA
    isn't samick made in the same factory as a lot of 'fancier' guitars?
     

  5. Tonetele

    Tonetele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2009
    South Australia
    I don't think it's in the guitar moreso the plyer. The late, great JJ Cale played a single pickup double cut with soundhole ( ebay for $450) Danelectro and played some great pieces on a Tacoma ( Asian Guild) acoustic and HE was worshipped by Clapton and many millions worldwide. He didn't show off but that Oaky Shuffle (in The Breeze and more) is testimony to his playing.
    It's sometimes where you don't play, the backbeat, that can turn a whole song and rhythm around.
     

  6. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    I should start a thread called "Sounding Bad With An Expensive Guitar" because I've done this plenty of times (and truth be know, I know a bunch of guys locally who do this all the time).
     
    Grateful Ape likes this.

  7. Linkslover

    Linkslover Tele-Meister

    106
    Mar 16, 2017
    Chicago
    True. I paid $150 for it with a cheap cardboard case. That's about 43 years ago. At 3% compounded inflation, that $150 would be about $535 in today's money.

    My Yamaha FG160 sounds better than any $500-$600 guitar you can find today.

    Admittedly, i did spend about $170 a few years back for a new saddle, nut and set up to make it play much better. It doesn't play quite as good as my Taylor 314, but it sounds better.
     

  8. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 10, 2003
    Near Milwaukee
    That sounded very nice. The whole thing is great. She has a beautiful soulful voice and a nice guitar tone. Thanks for sharing.
     
    kelnet likes this.

  9. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    I've never heard a bad thing about Yamaha acoustic guitars.
     

  10. Grateful Ape

    Grateful Ape Tele-Meister

    397
    Mar 16, 2013
    UK
    To my ears (and those of a guitar buddy), my 90's strat with Suhr pickups sounds better than a comparable Suhr guitar. More even and detailed, but still with plenty of cut.
     

  11. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 8, 2007
    Norfolk UK
    My bass player friend says I sound the same what ever guitar or amp I play .I play fleshy finger style .
     

  12. TC6969

    TC6969 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Dec 28, 2007
    Wimauma Florida
    I have a friend who plays nothing but sub $200 Deans, and whatever amp he can scrounge up from a pawnshop.

    The guy will blow your mind!
     

  13. Brian J.

    Brian J. Tele-Holic

    670
    Nov 12, 2012
    pennsylvania
    i have witnessed many good guitar players take a cheap guitar and make it sound great, it ain't the guitar it's the player
     

  14. chemobrain

    chemobrain Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Nov 5, 2016
    oakland ca.
    cheapness does not cancel out goodness, as we all know. How I work with the guitar/amp, how the guitar fits in to the sound of the band. a lot of things are dependant on how good your teisco, airline, eastwood gemini sounds. CONTEXT.....what works in some settings is horrid in others. this also goes for the conspicuous consumption highly appointed sunburst monstrosities.
    look at david lindley or ry cooder with his coodercaster.

    I play slide and I have far more freedom to choose , a two by four with tuner, a bridge and a pickup can sound go-go-licious, bad necks are never an issue, fret jobs needn't apply. my last guitar project started of as a Squier mini strat, yes it did get new tuners and pick ups, it sounds great. per dollar invested it is a steal a deal.
     

  15. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

    Dec 8, 2010
    Up North
    I'm all about Cheep Guitars!
    Love my Gibson's and Fenders .... But when an inexpensive Guitar comes along and brings a smile to my face, that's a cool thing in my book.
     

  16. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

    Nov 15, 2010
    Texas
    Cheap and good aren't mutually exclusive...expensive doesn't automatically mean good, either.

    There are good cheap guitars and crappy expensive ones, and vice-versa.

    As mentioned elsewhere here, it usually depends on the (1) player and (2) the setup of the guitar.

    My criteria is:
    Does the instrument have a good feel? Does it sound good?
    Do I like (or can I tolerate) the way it looks?

    If those three questions are answered yes, then it's a good instrument, no matter what the price, pedigree or brand.
     

  17. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

    Nov 15, 2010
    Texas
    :cool::cool::cool:
    I love RL Burnside and Junior Kimbrough...totally playing by feel, vibe and groove on cheap and "cruddy" instruments.
     

  18. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    Bakersfield
    I used to search for cheap guitars, and let my better guitars sit. One day, I decided that my approach was lacking something. I don't do that anymore. I have played many, many cheap guitars, but as far as acoustic guitars go, I don't believe I ever played one that made me want it more than I would want a Martin D-28 V. Same with cheap electric guitars, I probably would just as soon have an AV 52 or something similar. I wouldn't necessarily buy one, but I'd prefer that.

    I have a good friend who has bought some nice guitars, he never could deal with having the paid the price he did for them. He always bought from GC, and had the option of returning them, which he did. He now owns about a dozen guitars in the price range of a MIM Tele. I could never understand why he would rather have more money tied up in cheap guitars than he could have bought a good guitar for, probably even two or three. It doesn't make any difference what I think though, it somehow makes sense to him.
     

  19. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Tele-Holic

    869
    Aug 10, 2018
    In space with Ziggy
    I've got a sigma d35 copy that I prefer the sound of than that of a real martin dred I also own. It's made in china and has a thin neck and veneer back and sides whereas my Martin has a performance series neck and solid woods throughout bar the fretboard. The Sigma cost one fifth the price and on paper should not sound better than the Martin but it does. I ordered a Sigma online and it arrived damaged with the neck separated from the body. The store set me up with a replacement from a local wholesaler and I got the guy to unbox 6 dr35's while I played them all and picked the standout. Out of the six 2 sounded good, the one I picked was capable of a lower action. The other 4 sounded dead. Buying a good guitar depends on pot luck imo.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018

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