Can a CHEAP guitar be a GOOD guitar

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by MikeyisB999, Jun 10, 2021 at 7:25 AM.

  1. PARCO

    PARCO Tele-Meister

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    Think about Les Paul Jrs. They were intended to be student guitars. Think about Dan Electros they were intended to be affordable. The Paul Reed Smith SE models are very good guitars IMHO. It is possible to make a good guitar inexpensively especially with today's manufacturing methods.
     
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  2. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Holic

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    Cheap guitars can be great. Low cost is be achieved with CNC. Cheaper gear cuts cost on the finish, setup/fretwork, and hardware. But if you enjoy doing setup on your own cheap guitars, and if you install better pickups, you are in business



    It is taking some people longer than others to realize that China is the new Japan. High skill, low cost labor. Some people bash Chinese guitars in a way that is very reminiscent of how people used to regard MIJ.
     
  3. teletail

    teletail Friend of Leo's

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    This assumes that the player gives an excrement about what other people think, which is often not true. I play Doc Fisher guitars. There aren't many people that know what they are or how much they cost. Most people don't know if they are boutique or ordered from the Sears catalogue.

    It's not the people with high end guitars that are insecure. ;)
     
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  4. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    Some cheap guitars are great.

    Some expensive guitars are crap.

    Some people love guitars that I detest.

    Some people detest the guitars that I love.

    The inverse of all those statements is true as well.

    Look for what works for you, and realize you can’t always quantify what works and what doesn’t.
     
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  5. D_Malone

    D_Malone Tele-Holic

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    Standard of living is irrelevant. The Chinese workers I deal with take great pride in their work DESPITE the fact that they are not compensated fairly.
     
  6. D_Malone

    D_Malone Tele-Holic

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    Yep. Like it or not, this is a fact.
     
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  7. blueruins

    blueruins Tele-Meister

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    I’ve owned $6,000 Stratocasters, I’ve owned $2,000 Stratocasters, I’ve owned $800 Stratocasters.
    The one that I love most cost me $325 and says Squier on the headstock. My next favorite cost me $245 and says Squier on the headstock.
    I bought Some nice Fender necks thinking I was going to “upgrade” them until I really thought about it and realized it was more about a lifetime of marketing bias.
    I sold my high end guitars and I’ll work to make my playing say the rest.
     
  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Well if you put yourself in the shoes of Chinese workers in a factory making top quality critical parts for a week, then put yourself in the shoes of a Chinese worker in a factory making bottom quality disposable parts for a week, do you presume both are the same working conditions, training, compensation, and living standards?

    Just like any maker of anything, the better workers can move to the better jobs making the better products and returning a better living standard.

    Overall conditions in China aside, making high end machinery requires training and skills, which is an investment for the contractor/ manufacturer. Most business owners that do well, end up spending more to raise worker and product standards, then make at least some effort to maintain those investments.
    Fair to guess that same as it ever was, workers with more pride do better work and get advanced or move on to better jobs with better pay and working conditions.

    Not saying all Chinese workers have pride to match pay and living conditions.
    Again, my comment about pride was specific to '80s Japanese Squier production that was better than Fender asked for.

    Having made all manner of stuff in the US when the concept of American worker pride still existed, I can state that only SOME US workers were proud.
    If you know for a fact that all Chinese workers are proud, I'm surprised to hear that but can't really say since I've never worked in Chinese manufacturing.
    Are you certain it's the workers that are proud?
    Might it be the production managers or sales reps?
    And can negotiators fake pride during negotiations?

    I'm just going on some reports of truly terrible worker conditions there, which make it hard to accept your suggestion that Chinese factory workers are generally full of pride.
    Of course the workers that are not taking great pride in their work will not be allowed to talk with US companies involved in contracts!
     
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  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    What I read on the internet is huge huge numbers of shoppers and buyers love love love Chinese guitars.

    I see very very few bash Chinese guitars on the internet, unless stating a preference for stuff like MIM and cheaper USA guitars is to you a form of bashing Chinese guitars.

    The other thing I see is lots and lots of bashing not only expensive CS and PRS guitars, but bashing the buyers of expensive guitars.

    Those who love Chinese guitars can stop claiming too many are bashing Chinese guitars!

    The CV Squier has been the most popular Fender among consumers for too damn long now, to keep complaining that we are bashing them for being Chinese!

    C'mon guys, we know already...
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021 at 3:00 PM
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  10. D_Malone

    D_Malone Tele-Holic

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    The problem is, you're approaching this from an American perspective. There are huge cultural differences that most Americans (myself included) don't understand. The average American has a sense of entitlement, a feeling that they deserve a level of compensation proportionate to what they think they are worth. If given anything less than that level of compensation they don't feel obligated to give 100%.
     
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  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    (I actually do a good amount of studying various cultures, but regardless...)

    I suppose that may be a fair generalization about American workers.
    It's certainly stated often enough in certain arguments against demands for better compensation.
    Generalizations like that move into stuff we stay out of on the TDPRI.

    This Spring my hot water tank blew and all the local plumbers are six months behind with summer tourist rental clients and city exodus construction.
    I got a low paid maintenance worker to help me install a new tank.
    He does plumbing, electrical and carpentry quite well for 1/4 the rate a plumber charges.
    I gave him $400 for six hours.

    I am somewhat in agreement though about SOME, US workers demanding kind of too much for what they do, while far too many get way less than they are worth. I don't think all fall into that US-worker cliche.
    Notably, many US workers who demanded big money lost big time when US execs decided to shut down high pay US manufacturing!

    As far as my perspective, I've studied some Chinese cultural history which had some variations.
    When the Olympics were slated for China, and the Chinese just bulldozed vast communities of poor workers dwellings (to create a faux happy town), leaving them homeless, that seems like a soul crushing place to be proud of.
    Other more recent reports of workers making stuff i buy and use, jumping out windows to their deaths, seems similarly inconsistent with happiness and pride.

    Again though, demand skills to meet higher standards, provide training, pay better after investing in worker training, and you will create some worker pride. Regardless of country.
    Lets not forget the lack of environmental and worker protections in China.
    Some of us include that stuff in our spending choices.
     
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  12. D_Malone

    D_Malone Tele-Holic

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    Absolutely agree with you on these points. I'm not arguing that the Chinese are necessarily doing things better than we (Americans) are. But, they're beating us, and we should understand why. ;)
     
  13. Vognell

    Vognell Tele-Meister

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    Some inexpensive guitars have surprised me. I recently picked up an acoustic, an Ibanez AW54OPN Dreadnaught (mahogany top) for about $150 on Craigslist. They sell for about $230 new. The guitar wasn't just "good for the money", it was GOOD. I did an A/B with a D15... and while the D15 got some points for feel and a slight edge in tone... the difference was less than what I would have expected.

    I've had good experiences with Squier and Epiphone, and I've had bad ones. 1998 Epi Les Paul Custom? Awesome! 2008 Epi Wildkat Royale, Meh. Squier VM Jazzmaster... one of my favorites... Squier VM Jaguar.... blech.
     
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  14. jays0n

    jays0n Tele-Holic

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    I took a Squier mini strat (3/4 size, hard tail) that my son is not interested in. I did a setup on it, and new strings and now keep it around upstairs (my gear is all down in my man dungeon). That inexpensive Squier has been great. It sounds great unplugged even, plays fine, and man, I never have to tune it. It's laying/knocked all over the place and is just rock solid. It looks a little ... inexpensive, but ... it's also pretty great.
     
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  15. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    I think of it this way; not that long ago there's no way you could walk into a music store, buy a sub $200 guitar, and gig with it later that day with no real issues.

    So the whole game has changed and largely because of the use of CNC machinery in the manufacturing process. There is still a very noticeable difference between a well made expensive guitar and an inexpensive guitar but the gap that once existed in terms of playability between the two has narrowed immensely.
     
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  16. Yonatan

    Yonatan Tele-Holic

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    I tried out a new low end Squier in a local shop a while back and was super impressed with the feel of it. If I needed a guitar, I would have been totally happy with it. But, as it turns out, I don't need a guitar, and so I avoid going into that store :)
     
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  17. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    I bought a new Squier Std. Tele in 2007 for $166.00. Great setup right off the wall. Put in a used set of Fender OVs, $50.00, and now it sounds great, too. Nice looking guitar, plays and sounds as good as anybody could want, why spend more?
     
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  18. Festofish

    Festofish Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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  19. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    If I dig playing it, it sounds good, and it stays in tune — it's good!
     
  20. Ebidis

    Ebidis Tele-Afflicted

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    How cheap are we talking here? Like $100 Amazon guitars?

    To some people an $800 MIM Fender is a cheap guitar. To others that is a grail guitar.

    A lot depends on your perspective.
     
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