Masterbuilt prices are insane!

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by DougM, Apr 1, 2019.

  1. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    I was browsing all the Fender guitars on SW's site, and the Masterbuilt relics are $7500! And I thought that PRS and Gibson CS prices were through the roof. Why would anyone pay that much for a slab body bolt-on guitar with all the electronics mounted to a plastic pickguard? At least Gibson, PRS, and others have carved tops (although done mostly by CNC machines), exotic woods, and set necks.
    Anyone else care to comment?
    pw309_lg9.jpg This Tele at Wildwood sold for $9500!
     
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  2. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

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    It's absurd for such a basic instrument.
     
  3. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Cool Tele, but WAY out of my league.
     
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  4. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I honestly can't imagine how it would be worth it, unless you have a Master Builder build you precisely what you always wanted that what you wanted is not available any other way. Easy to say when you've never played a Master Built guitar, of course. There's a fairly marginal difference between the regular Custom Shop instrument and a standard American Vintage Reissue with more time applied to the set-up.

    PS I don't know whether you chose that pic deliberately, but the headstock facia on the one pictured looks like it had an timing accident in a tanning shop.
     
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  5. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    You can find a nice vintage one for that price
     
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  6. Alex W

    Alex W Friend of Leo's

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    $9500 seems crazy for a non-vintage instrument that one would not expect to continue to appreciate. That it's a basic guitar like a Telecaster makes it even crazier. Seems much more sensible to spend more and get an actual 1950s guitar.

    I would be interested to know the demographics of the buyers of new guitars in this price range. Like, are these being purchased by young stockbrokers in NYC who have just made their first $10 million and they're buying a little something to celebrate? Or are they being purchased by someone who has been scrimping and saving for a while to buy a great guitar?
     
  7. scrapyardblue

    scrapyardblue Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    It's the Bigsby
     
  8. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    Tiny slice of the market, and they probably make it because a few well heeled customers call and ask.

    While I'm just as much for "I'm not seeing it" as anyone else, most of these things have a story behind them that starts with bunches of calls from well heeled customers who want custom guitars (amps, whatever) without having to go to a different brand.

    Kind of my feeling about collings or gibson custom shop, too. If the prices are too high, then you're not the market (that generally includes me).

    If someone is just looking to play a telecaster or strat, I can't think of a time that the mex and US standard level guitars have been better. They're really good.
     
  9. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Where to start?
    • It's called "marketing". Simply another business trying to drive profits by selling their products to as many of the potential customers out there as they can. (Ya gothca your $350 Squires all the way up to your $7500 or $10,000 Masterbuilts and everything in between.)
    • Who's buying them? Anyone who can pay the price: Young NYC stock brokers, the folks who absolutely must own the best of everything, the folks who make lots of money so that price isn't a big consideration, collectors, guitar traders, and on and on. (Same people who buy a top of the line Lexus for $93,000 from a company that also sells cars for $15,000-Toyota Yaris).
    • Don't forget "relicing". An experienced craftsman who makes good money has to spend lots of time scarring the thing, fading the finish, etc. All of that costs money too. Not $7500 but still...it's a genuine cost.
    • Fender is a big, international company with huge marketing expenses. Advertising and marketing is a big reason why people spend wads and wads of dough on stuff. The marketing gods/goddess seduce us. That advertising and the Fender logo cost a lot of money and we, the consumers, pay for it.
    • Are they worth it? That's up to you, the way you value your money, what your other money concerns are, and so on. I've tried a couple of Masterbuilts and more than a few Custom Shop guitars and hey, they is NICE! Like your favorite pair of old jeans or broken-in pair of boots. At the same time there are lots and lots of guitars available that are also NICE! for a lot less money...but no "F" logo.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
  10. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree. They can charge what they want, but never spend more than it is worth to you.
     
  11. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

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    If I had the kind of scratch that I could comfortably spend that on a guitar I might, but it'd be a one-off custom JUST FOR ME. I'd have someone like John Backlund design something unique.
     
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  12. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    Isn't one important aspect of marketing the way a company offers a "high end" product to actually sell a lower end item? In other words, having a $7500 guitar (whether it sells or not) will sell a bunch of $1500-2000 ones. Buyers, consciously or unconsciously want a "choice".....
    Forty-five years ago, when I worked in retail, a guiding principle was that the men's department always carried at least a blue suit and a brown suit, even though they knew 90% of suits sold would be blue. But if they only carried blue (only ONE choice) they sold fewer suits overall.
    As a player, I want the best "tool" I can find at the most reasonable price. If Harbor Freight offered Telecasters, I'd at least check them out. ;)
     
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  13. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Afflicted

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    The law of dimishing returns kicks in very early on a straight fender style bolt on guitar.

    As consumers we actually have the power to sway this sort of stuff, if only the cork sniffers would stop supporting these absurd prices.
     
  14. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Again w/ the whining about prices. Years ago I played a $5999 MB Nocaster Thinline. Ridiculous price until you played it,..
     
  15. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    - Masterbolt instruments

    - Fender Masterbuilt Guitars : It’s not the man who turns the screw, it’s the man who knows which...no, actually it is the man who turns the screw...

    - You know what Enrique from the Fender factory circa 1956 calls a MasterBuilt Strat ? 1/25th of a Tuesday.
     
  16. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Yes, exactly. Great point.
     
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  17. rich815

    rich815 Friend of Leo's

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    They’re put together VERY carefully. And another guy watches the first guy do it to make sure he does it right. Then another guy watches them both. You know, like highway workers...
     
  18. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    There's a video of some guy at fender somewhere on youtube...(i know, shocking)..

    ....anyway, showing folks putting together extremely expensive small amplifiers hand wired that most of us would say "??????? who buys those?"

    And the guy lets the cat out of the bag and sort of ruins our tinfoil hat about "they're just making overpriced stuff to rip us off", and says they're doing it because they just kept fielding constant requests for that type of thing. If you're in business and a bunch of corner office types want something unique, and you say "no thanks, too much profit for us"...well, not a good policy.

    I'm constantly shocked by things like $600 single coil pickups, but the people buying $600 pickups probably have more money relatively than I do for $30 pickups.

    One of my 8 figure relatives will barely spend money at aldi's, but if he did bother to buy something like this, I could never say in good faith that it would make a dent in his personal financial situation. he could buy 1 a month and still never figure out what to do with his money.
     
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  19. TC6969

    TC6969 Friend of Leo's

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    Lets think about this.

    At the end of the day, its really all about how it plays but there's only so much one can do to make a guitar play well.

    Did it REALLY play $3,000 better than a regular custom shop model?
     
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  20. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    It's about an hour drive (with no traffic) to the nearest custom shop dealer for me.

    I would love to try one some time just to see if you can easily discern the playability advantages.

    One thing I've noticed is that they are mostly stocking Relic Custom Shop guitars, and the Relic process seems to add $500-1000 to the price.

    Just like ornate inlays on an acoustic guitar, $500-1000 for a relic job is something I would have a very very very hard time justifying. All I would want to pay for is a perfect neck, build quality, wiring, and pickups.

    This helps keep the companies solvent... the guy buying a $7500 reliced brand new Tele would probably be buying a 2nd or 3rd Porsche anyway.
     
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