Difference between 1500-3000 guitar?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by horax, Mar 24, 2018.

  1. horax

    horax Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I’ve been trying to figure this out by playing as many as possible.

    When you get to a certain level of build quality can you REALLY tell the difference?

    Maybe I’m just not savvy enough, but I played an 8000.00 les paul last night and it felt no better quality wise than any av or ao that I played as well.

    What are you buying with the money invested at that level?
     
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  2. TimothyC

    TimothyC Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd argue the amount of hours that go into making a custom shop Les Paul outnumber what it takes to make a production fender by a significant margin. Whether or not it makes a "better" guitar is subjective.
     
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  3. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    To get that last 10% jump in quality , the price goes up by about 50%..this seems to be true for lots of things not just guitars
     
  4. McGlamRock

    McGlamRock Friend of Leo's

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    Every guitar is a snowflake. Sometimes it’s the $8000 les Paul that just feels right. If you’re lucky, the $300 used classic vibe feels better ;)
     
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  5. Staggerlee666

    Staggerlee666 Tele-Meister

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    At this point it's more about the artistry and the owners ability to spend this kind of money.

    Technically a plastic fork does the exact same job as solid gold silverware, but one will cost a fortune while the other is pretty dispensable.
     
  6. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    I have one of each -- a Les Paul Studio and a Custom Shop R8.

    Both guitars are perfectly serviceable, professional quality instruments, capable of making great music with excellent tone.

    There is, however a difference. A difference in the wood, the glue, the precision of assembly and feel. There is a difference in the way the notes "bloom".

    Is it worth it? Personal choice.

    I do feel it is worth the extra cost.
     
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  7. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

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    To me there is a difference both in feel and sound, but if you can't tell ... then for you there isn't one.

    Use the money on something else then come again in 5 years time and see if your ears/hands have a different opinion .. and if your opinion still haven't changed then it is so much better :)

    For gigging purposes you really don't need a cs guitar .. or even a mia tbh.

    I've bought a tele, a P90s sg, an archtop and an Ibanez JEM at that level ... But I'm old so money come easier.

    To be honest .. I'd be happy with a SG standard, but I guitars have been my midlife crisis thing the last couple of years
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018
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  8. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    Bragging rights, same as buying an expensive sports car. The problem is that this can backfire when the exclusive product has problems, such as Gibson's often discussed quality issues. Or it becomes seen as being excessive, for example, the guitar equivalent of driving this Hummer.

     
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  9. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    True on the forks, BUT!!!!....I would bet most of us can tell the difference between a plastic fork (even the "good" ones) and a good quality metal fork. I question whether the same would be true between a "good" guitar, (say for arguments sake $1500) and an $8000 one. This disregards the fact that I can do MANY things to a "cheaper" instrument, (pick-ups, frets, tuners,etc) to improve it, where I can't improve a plastic fork. I have a (mild-ish) opinion that once you go over a couple of thousand on a guitar, we're into "fairy dust" territory. If you have the money and want to spend it, please go right ahead. But I promise you, "birds" won't make you a better musician. ;)
     
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  10. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    In hollow-bodies and acoustics I think there are some big differences. In solids, outside of the pickups used and maybe colors, I haven't felt, heard, or seen a whole lot of difference. I can't say that I have played a lot of them, but I have always been expecting some sort of magical difference when I try out a custom shop Fender and always end up asking myself why it cost so much over the Standard?
     
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  11. baiff

    baiff Tele-Holic

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    $1500? I checked my math and I believe it is right.
     
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  12. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

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    I see this thing about being a better musician and musical ability thrown around a lot in gear discussions, but it is utter non-sense.

    Birds inspire to look at your guitar, birds make you want to pick it up .. birds give you greater pleasure when you fret a note and in the end birds inspire you to play more .. even if that doesn't make me a better musician, it gives me a lot more joy and that is why we dabble in guitars.
     
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  13. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I really like this comment. It rings true to me too. Any solidbody over $1000 is going to be a marginal improvement compared to acoustics and semi hollow/hollow body electrics. Just my experience though. A $4k solid body still sounds like me on a $400 MIM solid body, but once you make this comparison with acoustics and semi-hollows, an additional sweetness occurs that to me takes money to buy.
     
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  14. Guitaryellow

    Guitaryellow Tele-Meister

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    If you play the PRS range from SE to Custom USA models you'll see the difference.
     
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  15. Guitaryellow

    Guitaryellow Tele-Meister

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    If you play the PRS range from SE to Custom USA models you'll see the difference.
     
  16. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but if you can't discern a difference, then for you there is no difference. Get the cheaper thing.

    Not being able to appreciate the nuances of a finer build doesn't make one an idiot, and neither does liking the nicer builds make one a beard-oil-hipster with a bumched shrit.

    Partly it's about budget. If you can barely stretch for a $2k guitar, a $4k guitar seems ridiculous, and dammit, I'd better be able to see that it's literally TWICE as good. The reality might be slightly better wood selection, slightly better design, slightly better craftsmanship, etc. An accumulation of details. I think it's a truism that the further up you go, the less obvious the differences.

    Sometimes it's demand, like the price difference between a Gibson R8 and R9. Identical guitars, but one has a prettier top. Sure, flamed wood is more expensive, but probably not $1k more. But if you get the R8 to save money, it's also got the honkin' big neck you might not like. So, it's an overall package thing, and you either care or you don't. Or you shop used :twisted:.

    Comparing a Gibson to a Fender is apples to oranges. Take a look at some of the Les Paul build threads on this site. OMG the amount of work involved is incredible. Yes, it's easier if you make them all day long, but Fender can claim similar efficiencies. It's relative, and a Les Paul, or an archtop, is simply a more complex build, with pricier parts, than your typical Fender.
     
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  17. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    So.... Right now the "high end" guitars I own include 2 PRS core models and a Kiesel vader. I've owned others in the past. And I have access to a variety of other "high end" instruments.

    In my personal experience the simple answer is this: Quality is not linearly correlated with price.

    After a certain price point things get fuzzy. And the price is lower than most people like to think.

    It varies by brand but it's these days it's around $1500 to $2000. After that the "quality" of a guitar ceases to rise.

    Now for the exceptions... Fancy woods don't increase "quality" in my opinion. And "art" is not the same as function. Also, I personally believe that the collectible prices applied to vintage instruments are in no way are related to their "quality."

    So... that's what I've learned. A guitar made entirely by one person that costs $$$$ is priced more as "art" than as a functional instrument (not to say they're any less functional).

    As with everything in life, there are edge cases.

    Rick Toone is an example. He's doing things that almost no one else does. His guitars are on the leading edge of art AND function. But he's an edge case. And as a result his instruments, I believe, are fairly priced at 16-30k.

    So there... now you have my thoughts.

    Best,
    -Vic

     
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  18. WriteNoob

    WriteNoob Tele-Meister

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    Name, Time, and Hand-Work. For some, like me, the difference matters. For others, it doesn’t. If you can’t see, feel, and hear the difference, then it doesn’t.
     
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  19. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    all 3 of my Gibson's...$ 1,500 for all of them...with the pups i want...i prefer sound and play ability first, looks-binding,all the extras never made them play better.....key is knowing your sound requirements and fitting the guitar to your job...also...SET UP...means all the dif in the world...
     
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  20. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    This.

    That said, I like to think my pretty instruments make me a better player :p
     
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