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Are Most New Guitars Good? Or Bad? Or In Between?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by sax4blues, Sep 4, 2011.

Do New Mass Produced Guitars Meet Acceptable Standards For Their Price Range?

  1. Yes, Current Process' And Quality Standards Produce Instruments Of Consistent Quality/Playability.

    47 vote(s)
    92.2%
  2. No, Modern Guitar Production Is Very Inconsistent With Wide Variation In Quality/Playability.

    4 vote(s)
    7.8%
  1. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

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    I just purchased a PRS Santana SE from MF. Of course that means I did not play this guitar before I bought it, but I have played that model in a store.

    I feel comfortable buying online without playing because 1) I can return it, 2) my experience is new guitars selling in the $700 range are mass produced to a standard which will be the same, with the rare bad one, what ever that means.

    But I also read here regularly the opinion of several people who would never buy a guitar without playing it because they wouldn't want to buy a dud. Which would make me believe a high percentage of guitars are duds, and it is best to be patient to find the good ones.

    So what is your general feeling about new guitars? Are there a lot of duds and you need to play many to find a good one? Or do modern manufacturing processes and standards produce the majority of guitars in an acceptable condition with the rare dud?

    Also a side question for "the one" group; Where do all the duds go? Is it one of those things where if you go to the jam session and you look to the person on the left and the person on the right, at least one of them must be playing a dud?
     
  2. jjkrause84

    jjkrause84 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think modern (a much better word than "new"!) guitars are of a very high standard. I've never ONCE bought a guitar online and felt that I got a "dud". Now, that doesn't mean that every one has been perfect, and some have been better than others...but a "dud" is FAR too strong a word.

    In the end, there are differences within models and some individual guitars will better suit someone's taste than others within the same range. That, to me, doesn't say better or worse...just different.
     
  3. 68thinline

    68thinline Tele-Afflicted

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    IMO the biggest problem with new guitars is in the setup, not the manufacturing. Not sure there is such a thing as a "dud" - if so, I've never owned one. But I do think that most factory fenders (not counting CS - I have no experience there) are rushed through the final setup and more care could and be taken (filing the nut slots for instance). Just my 2c and based on my own experience.
     
  4. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    This is the golden age of guitars. Best ever are being made right now.
     
  5. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I agree with the set-up aspect to a degree, but most stores do not have the guitars setup properly any way. So, you either need to learn how to set up your guitars or learn to live with the fact that either way, you are going to be paying and waiting for your new guitar to be set up.

    Certain things like neck feel and weight can also be an issue when ordering online. The only "dud" I ever got online was a $2000.00 Gibson Acoustic. The neck was totally unstable and defied any and all adjustments.
     
  6. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

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    I grew up in the 70's. Back then it was very hard to find a decent, even playable, guitar for an affordable price. Compared to incomes, guitars and amps were much more expensive. The acoustic I learned to play on was an absolute piece of junk. The cheap guitars now are very good as a whole.
     
  7. Robert H.

    Robert H. Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Most guitars, new or old, are as good as the hands holding them.
     
  8. jrbloise

    jrbloise TDPRI Member

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    About one month ago I visited a Guitar Center in Nashville wanting to buy a Ash Telecaster (MIM) that was advertised online. They didn't have it in stock so I didn't get to play it, but wound up ordering one the next day via phone order and was a little nervous about how it would look, feel etc. But it was every thing I wanted including color, grain, radius, saddles, "C" style neck etc. The guitar was fantastic! Even checked out the action and intonation which were both right on. Very satisfied considering years ago I would never have bought any guitar unless I actually played it first.
     
  9. Yoni

    Yoni Friend of Leo's

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    I would say electrics yes. Acoustics I've played at GC and Sam Ash all feel dead.
     
  10. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    All of my guitars are far better than that.
     
  11. hekawi

    hekawi Poster Extraordinaire

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    at work we call it ESTU

    Equipment Superior To User
     
  12. Jonny_Quest

    Jonny_Quest Tele-Afflicted

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    2011 guitars are superior compared to 1980's guitars to a similiar extent as....

    2030 guitars will be to guitars today.
     
  13. Dawg

    Dawg Tele-Holic

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    Just go back to the '60's and 70's and look what was available as the cheaper option - terrible sounding, terrible playing, bad looking instruments; now probably deemed kitschy and cool and selling on ebay for inflated prices when all they are fit for is firewood - I certainly have no rose tinted glasses for cheap instruments of that era.
     
  14. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I agree so far that even the cheap junk is at least playable. The first guitar I got as a Christmas present in the 60's wasn't playable at all. It couldn't be fretted and if you tried to play it for 5 minutes your hands were a bloody mess.

    Still, even though the cheap junk is playable, it's still cheap junk.
    Even on the top of the line models, you have to look at alot of them to find one that is anything special.
     
  15. jimbach

    jimbach Tele-Holic

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    I don't think I've played a $250 and up guitar built in the past several years that was bad. Every single one of them was at least acceptable, even most of them costing less than $250.
     
  16. JackStraw

    JackStraw Friend of Leo's

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    Wha?
     
  17. beep.click

    beep.click Poster Extraordinaire

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    Compared to 30 years ago, the general overall level of quality has risen -- based on what you pull off the wall, as a retail purchaser.

    BUT I still voted for "Very Inconsistent With Wide Variation In Quality/Playability." Because you still can't buy blind, really. I played a lot of Jazzmasters and Jaguars before I found any worth taking home. Same with AVRI 52 Teles and same with Gibsons: when you find one of the good ones, you have to snatch it up, because there aren't a lot of good ones.

    Setups can only take you so far, and I've yet to see the magical setup that turns a dud into a superstar.
     
  18. Tommy Biggs

    Tommy Biggs Friend of Leo's

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    totally agree.
     
  19. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

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    This is what I'm really wondering about. Does this mean that as I look far and wide at the guitars people own, including "top of the line", that a lot of them are not special? And if this is the case, I wonder how many people here have a special one, because it can't be many, and the rest of us have just so/so?
     
  20. gtrpkr

    gtrpkr TDPRI Member

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    I think that the custom shop guitars and higher end guitars that are( 3-$4000.oo and up) are pretty good. Especially when they have the setup that you might desire.
     
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