Cheap guitar that you always go back to...

StrangerNY

Poster Extraordinaire
Gold Supporter
Joined
Sep 6, 2010
Posts
5,522
Location
Somewhere out on that horizon
I've spent the last couple of years trying to upgrade the 'quality' of my guitar collection, and I've done pretty well with it. But there are a couple of cheap guitars that I'll always hang on to, and this might be the best of my low-end stuff.

epiphone-lp-custom.jpg


1989 Epiphone LP Custom, made in Korea. I found it on Craig's List about 13 years ago, forked over a whopping $250 for it. I've since switched out the pickups and wiring, and it's one of the most flat-out dependable guitars I own. 1989 was the last year that Epi built guitars with their modified 'open-book' headstock, and I had been looking for one for years before this one turned up. It's every bit as solid as any of the Gibson LPs I own.

I've been playing P-90 guitars for most of the past year, but I pulled this one out to test my pedal board last night, and like I always do, I wondered why I've let it sit for so long.

What's your cheap go-to guitar?

- D
 

mfguitar

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Posts
2,005
Age
61
Location
Buffalo
I have a Penco 00 copy acoustic that I often play. Actually I have several acoustics around and my Gibson usually sits in the case. For Electric I have a tele with a MIM neck that is very cool and my main home player with a couple of custom shop models that I play live.
 

CK Dexter Haven

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 7, 2017
Posts
3,435
Age
60
Location
GCDB
I have three nylon strings that I use for a variety of things; writing, travel, keeping at friends, porch sitting etc. One is a '70s MIJ" Decca", that was given to me years ago, apparently it was part of a kit that was mailed out to those taking a OTA music course on the local PBS station.The second is a minty '60s Silvertone "Classical Guitar" (probably a Kay) that was a thrift store find for $50 this I have actually use in a public classical performance. The third is a odd little thing that simply says "Guitar" on the label and matching un padded gig bag. $15 at a yard sale. It actually sounds pretty good, and gets a fair amount of use.

I also have a $100 Affinity P-Bass that I keep meaning to "upgrade" I even bought a MIM Jazz Bass neck and PU for it..never installed either. It does what I need a bass to do, so it goes..
 
Last edited:

tfarny

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Sep 4, 2008
Posts
5,674
Location
Hudson Valley, NY

I haven't owned either of these for very long (6 months for the acoustic, a year or so for the electric), but I sure do play them a lot. Total cost for BOTH guitars was $450. The acoustic really needs a fret job - it will be my first - and the nut and bridge could probably stand an upgrade, but dangit all, it has a really great dry woody sound that you just don't get out of every acoustic. The electric is, I have to say, my best sounding and playing guitar overall. If I had to pick just one electric for all my needs, this would be the one. If I ever was a guitar cork-sniffer, I'm not anymore.
 

nojazzhere

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Posts
17,180
Age
70
Location
Foat Wuth, Texas
I've spent the last couple of years trying to upgrade the 'quality' of my guitar collection, and I've done pretty well with it. But there are a couple of cheap guitars that I'll always hang on to, and this might be the best of my low-end stuff.

epiphone-lp-custom.jpg


1989 Epiphone LP Custom, made in Korea. I found it on Craig's List about 13 years ago, forked over a whopping $250 for it. I've since switched out the pickups and wiring, and it's one of the most flat-out dependable guitars I own. 1989 was the last year that Epi built guitars with their modified 'open-book' headstock, and I had been looking for one for years before this one turned up. It's every bit as solid as any of the Gibson LPs I own.

I've been playing P-90 guitars for most of the past year, but I pulled this one out to test my pedal board last night, and like I always do, I wondered why I've let it sit for so long.

What's your cheap go-to guitar?

- D
My #1, a 1993 Korean Fender Squier Telecaster was originally bought for $100 at a guitar show.....although the only original parts remaining are the (refinished) body, the control plate, and the strap buttons. Literally everything else has been changed, sometimes three or four times. I've had it about eighteen years, and my "preferences" have evolved as this guitar has.
And while I have a Hofner Club bass on its way, my "go to" bass for over twenty years has been a (coincidentally) 1993 Korean Fender Squier P-Bass I got for $120. The only things changed on it is upgraded tuners and a tortoise pickguard.
 

beyer160

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 11, 2010
Posts
4,978
Location
On Location
My Squier VM Jazzmaster (shown after Jazzblaster conversion):

IMG_4293.jpg


I have other, more expensive Jazzmasters, but the Squier totally hangs with them.


I also have a $100 Affinity P-Bass that I keep meaning to "upgrade" I even bought a MIM Jazz Bass neck and PU for it..never installed either. It does what I need a bass to do, so it goes..

I just picked up one of those, too. I bought a set of used MIM bass tuners 'cause the ones on it are really bad (I'm not a tuner snob, but these are terrible), and $10 worth of alnico V magnets to see what happens if I replace the ceramic magnets in the stock pickup. It don't need that, it's just an experiment for the hell of it. Other than the tuners, after a quick setup it's as good as any MIM Standard I've ever seen. I got it off Craigslist for about the price of a used pedal.
 

skunqesh

Tele-Holic
Joined
May 17, 2008
Posts
881
Location
West Coast
about ten years ago I overhauled a "very economical" MIJ Crestline LP Jr. Just for fun.
In it's original state, it was a basket case, so I reset the intonation, upgraded tuners, and installed a super distortion knock-off with push pull switches (ala tri sound).
It turned out to be a sweet little hot rod. Great for Green Day / Ramones kinda stuff.

gave it to an old friend of mine, who was begining to teach himself how to play.


crestline.jpg
 

Beachbum

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Posts
5,017
Location
Sand Land
I traded an old beater stand up piano for this one back in the 80's. Since then I've bought and sold a high end Martin and Taylor but this one has stood the test of time. It's currently my only acoustic and without a doubt the best I've ever had.

1980 made in Japan Sigma D10 Anniversary Edition.
iWxKkhPb8n1w-Kr0YZJcKNj-A9wJ1dQWGW1wmkx8Cv54SBzFoBZFnQjj7Szf32jTEOh41RA87JaKFLaKL5eEQJL_WaDYK1-1HyFrRAKswZsfiez4iJmAL7AIt8nWIEKHowiNnwgZt_UW6swJ4FXAnnU3HstDDv1ME4K__EC5nf_qi35Ki9hq5zKufWJ0y6h_mWQAjYv_cUB8j5F9igDppdUTTijrR7QEwcYVv7hK9jgZwQSDc5oAfVsez1TVFB348i_jYl07V1Tw98YvyucXJugh4d-x0FFfii_T9kno5h7qr6QrgKECjuS6wlHoFQIERV5peWYWGoCYZeETLh1alTmrRqZj3CbolQPNK587OB30wa93kSnFpJvF3lYEB-0nj07khwsYEl2Nbobn3ChaTDv-DmxL-zebd7rlgaD-d49woFdgapdpMkiX0ciulz7-YwzsBu2q5ByMk4nqO7-wbnufKLqey9WBVv2XeujINAVAmkktsdtEy4AyMV8__Epcr5t2ktumwmm-Fw5TbhWwbNpqq1Oopn3G0zaxy48fiAPDdzwsTyAIVOaUaiQ3cR9ikOGZnunTQFM3vgsTUrRLP6MsPMuWOZAaAbH9rt0nfZbsCcOW-Vg0siavZutTbWzI44nUz_xpOlVlWBIeIOfTQ033=w448-h640-no


5jND6dbg2UZlo6qB66kAnjWZmYQ2xxTKRnxpyn5n3-MgDrl-jbXGllvt-ejfgNH3O_ZhPxiKCuh2pd4vrHWv6Ihx9S4-ITBZHv_TLjYq88lIb0kB_sXzaQS8HkXks1cU2nlyOdy-r1OY-iCOEHzSAPYS47rMv1YqEubM1DsI-VQA2UEwpjkc3HVWbIN6UHei5H8GVP_B3DpeooYqYcuYe1WB6jSY5OeCNGcsyRa9-0mmS4_cQarJiSKuilvKZm5hN9LrtoYKqV-tObJEAj42KFzK6vm3QPp_2eT6gmTk9rFDb2Xe-MEyVHRQguz3rORFiQ3CBszOTBTAAXlcKTS_28yY1AnpshfSZ8yt6rZR0-d206NEbl60wF-UV71Ald9YmtHFpYHihr-ezdOCUhPRL4i77UocIzbxk8xwvFCsDGGt3hvVKkhN5BLWOtD5JkYo5G_7wpY5nboX-LPOwiaFCA7jgBp5-LZbJbPFsihhzU4BpcnZoe9Z3mfiI-NuFQXczlIs-yDHkwn9b_F3qz1vGQhxoT9PnS0QAxlG2gBBCP2zOdesE2uMPLzmlljSibFIFYWTye1-Wn33CqpTR50ndpJyKZlyThsGY4SC01_AgfFMg1UWTT2sZRhzuLIQPDGvtak0SaGgXJsmzA1Vs79mS66H=w599-h640-no
 

Platefire

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Nov 3, 2003
Posts
3,618
Age
74
Location
North Louisiana around Many
"Ol Yellor" $40.00 from a Pawn shop. 1998 Affinity Squier Strat. Think the shop had marked it off as hopeless. The neck had a big bow, electronics was in disarray and the guitar in general was pretty filthy. Me being somewhat of a guitar tech could see through the neglect and abuse. After some TLC it has become a strat that I highly favor out of my 6 strats. Platefire
DSC03453.JPG
 

Sollipsist

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Aug 25, 2016
Posts
1,166
Location
89108
I've always spent the most time with the most expensive guitar that I owned at the time. For 20 years it was the same $250 Strat.

It doesn't get brought out much these days, and when it does, it mostly reminds me of 20 years of desperate doomed attempts to make it sound decent at anything other than SRV and Hendrix.
 

SolidSteak

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Apr 27, 2016
Posts
2,932
Location
USA
This one was like $90 brand new:
Hohner-HW03-Three-Quarter-Size-Child-Guitar.jpg

It's a kid's guitar, 3/4 scale. Not much sustain or volume, but easy to play and very bendable. Also I don't have a heart attack if someone knocks it over.
 

jvin248

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Apr 18, 2014
Posts
10,952
Location
Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
.

They have their quirks but they get played. The Strat less so due to a skinny neck. The 1970 Global I got as a body and neck and had to replace everything else, including the frets. It's a MIJ Ibanez ghost-build. Chassis is pretty much identical to a modern Epiphone Special II. It has a real plywood body (so I know it's not the wood creating fancy tones).

stratandglobal_img_4737c.jpg
 

Peregrino69

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Dec 12, 2016
Posts
1,355
Age
52
Location
Amsterdam
Well I only have cheap guitars :D

Currently the one most often on my lap is the Slick SL51 Tele, after that Shengze strat. Old girl's getting moody again, guess I'll have to start cuddling her a bit more often...
 

Bella

Tele-Meister
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Posts
478
Location
PDX
My Slick SL59: Jr. Style, brutal and beautiful grain, and double cutaway.


I added a tone control, daringly drilling a new hole (stock only had one volume pot hole), put on amber speed knobs, and lastly, I replaced the P90 with the one from my Epi LPJ. The Epi P90 was dog ear, so i had to swap the plates for the soapbar.


I love this guitar.
b1d5bfde681c9bd7f99abd6c31c69c34.jpg


Sent from my SM-J727P using Tapatalk
 




Top