1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Most Positively Surprising Cheap Guitar

Discussion in 'Guitar Owners Clubs' started by glenlivet, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,310
    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Location:
    Iowa
    I had a $160 Hamer double cut that was a good guitar. Played great, comfortable neck, good fretwork, pickups were decent.

    Also had a $150 Jay Turser Tele that was quite nice for the price, too.
     
    Fendereedo likes this.
  2. regularslinky

    regularslinky Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,367
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    NEPA USA
    I've got two:
    1. G&L Tribute Fallout, $300 "used" with plastic still on the pickguard. Fit and finish are USA quality, very versatile and not a bad sound in it. It is completely stock and I have no desire to change a thing.

    2. Epiphone '57 Reissue Les Paul Junior, also $300 used. I had to replace the (awful) P-100 with a SD Antiquity, but it is a great guitar. The equal of any Gibson I've ever played.

    When I started in the late '70s, "cheap" guitars were hopelessly bad. You had to drop $400 (around $1,600 in today's money) to get something that would stay in tune. It's amazing how much guitar you can get for your money these days.
    IMG_1533.jpg IMG_1934.jpg
     
  3. glenlivet

    glenlivet Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,309
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2018
    Location:
    Marco.......Polo......
    Truth.
     
    Fendereedo, Ted Keane and Lockback like this.
  4. 39martind18

    39martind18 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    2,484
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Location:
    Spring TX
    As I was informed, this one is not one of the Korean models. Think John Lee Hooker model from a few years earlier.
     
    Fendereedo and schmee like this.
  5. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    21,358
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    The North Coast
    I’m going with this one-

    990A5A94-60EF-4970-97C4-D309E404EC53.jpeg

    It’s a Yamaha LS6 A.R.E.

    I’ve had it almost two years now as my main gig guitar for solo stuff. I didn’t expect a lot out of it, to be honest. I bought it brand new from Sweetwater for $350. I needed a new “stunt guitar”. Meaning one I drag to island gigs, crappy bars, outdoor shows, fly dates, road dates, etc. Basically a rented mule I can beat the stuffings out of til it decides its had enough and implodes, then you just chuck it and go buy another one. Saves the nice stuff for recording and such. I always keep a stunt guitar on hand. Doesn’t matter if it gets broken by an airline, or knocked over, or stolen. Or rained on. Or whatever.

    This little guy has exceeded all expectations. I figured it would be serviceable, because Yamaha makes quality stuff in every price point. For what they charge, whether it’s $100, or $2k, most of the time you really can’t do better. They don’t have the sexiness or cool factor of Gibson, Martin, Taylor, and the like, but there is no arguing with the quality.

    That said, I expected to get a very serviceable $350 guitar. I didn’t expect this.

    If somebody told me it was $800-$1k and I didn’t know better, I’d believe them. Excellent fretwork. Perfectly cut nut. Set up beautifully. Gorgeous finish. I had my doubts about the A.R.E. top treatment. Figured it was just a sales gimmick. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t, but this guitar doesn’t sound like any $350 acoustic I’ve ever heard before. I used to have a super sweet Martin 000. I used to miss it a lot. I don’t anymore. This is not that sound, but it’s a very, very good sound. Plenty fine for what I need.

    It’s the most stable acoustic guitar I’ve ever had. The five piece neck design is bullet proof so far. Two full winter/summer cycles in Cleveland. From sub-zero, bone dry forced air heat winter to 90 degrees at over 80% humidity. I haven’t had to touch the truss rod or anything else. All I do is beat on it. And the simple passive pickup sounds killer. I have to use a pre with it to get enough signal to the board, but there’s no arguing with the tonality once it’s boosted.

    It’s so good I’m considering buying one of the really high end Yammies. If this is this good, the high end models have gotta be outrageous.

    I love it. It’s a little profit machine. So cheap it paid for itself in 1.5 gigs the first two days I had it. Since then it’s cost me nothing but strings and just rakes in the cash. That’s the best kind of guitar there is!
     
  6. Danb541

    Danb541 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,421
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2019
    Location:
    Oregon
    About 16 years ago I bought an Oscar Schmidt by Washburn Delta King semi hollow body for $150 online. It's a very impressive guitar stock and was a great player. I have since modded it with a 1970s Ibanez neck and Humbucker sized P90's. Great guitar. Oscar-Schmidt-by-Washburn-Delta-King-Semi-Hollow-Guitar.jpg IMG_0746.JPEG
     
  7. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,945
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    The only guitar under $500 that I've ever found interesting is my Epi ES-339 P90 Pro.
     
    Fendereedo and M2roadwarrior like this.
  8. 39martind18

    39martind18 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    2,484
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Location:
    Spring TX
    Does the $425 I paid for my 1939 Martin 47 years ago count? See avatar.
     
    Fendereedo, elihu, stevemc and 2 others like this.
  9. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    1,434
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2019
    Location:
    Van Zandt Co, Texas
    Did you place that album on purpose for this picture? :D
    78160F38-45F1-440C-8B59-C8BD612DE49F.jpeg
     
    Fendereedo likes this.
  10. Danb541

    Danb541 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,421
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2019
    Location:
    Oregon
    Funny you should ask. My buddy took that picture. I let him borrow the guitar right before current affairs made socially interacting nonexistent. He texted me that picture to let me know the guitar was doing fine...I'm pretty sure he put that album there on purpose. I really like the picture.
     
  11. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    12,638
    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    Maybe someone can explain to me how this "surprisingly best bang for your buck guitar deal" discussion falls within the parameters set for the Guitar Owners Clubs forum. This is a perfectly legitimate subject for discussion, but it seems to be a topic better suited for the Bad Dog Cafe.
     
  12. glenlivet

    glenlivet Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,309
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2018
    Location:
    Marco.......Polo......
    Seemed like a good idea at the time.....not really "Tele" stuff....but not really "off topic" as far as guitars go...(which is wht I kind of thought the BD Cafe was for.)
    My bad.....sorry.
    I'll try and make better choices.
     
  13. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    52
    Posts:
    1,079
    Joined:
    May 9, 2019
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    $350 for a used but mint Epi ES-339. Walked past it on the used wall of my local shop many times without stopping (even though it was pretty) because I thought it'd be a crappy Chinese piece of junk. The second I took it down it felt right, and plugged in I was delighted.

    Without a doubt my most versatile guitar and a joy to play. Totally changed my perception of what "Chinese guitar" could mean.
     
    M2roadwarrior and glenlivet like this.
  14. tidalcast

    tidalcast Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    243
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2015
    Location:
    Haverhill, MA
    I've got one in red that I just modded with humbucker sized P90s as well, it's one of my favorite guitars.
     
    Danb541 likes this.
  15. Gclef

    Gclef TDPRI Member

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    59
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2019
    Location:
    Tampa
    15951680469424505009913477342051-1.jpg
    2018 as73g 300 bucks brand new. I got it during a local stores's anniversary sale.

    Add $120 for the HBP90s and call this one done.

    The fretwork is great.
    The fit and finish was great.
    The nut was ok, and the only weak point.

    It became my 2nd favorite guitar, even though it is my cheapest guitar.
     
    glenlivet and drmordo like this.
  16. widefault

    widefault Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    118
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Location:
    Green Bay, WI
    [​IMG]

    Jay Turser "Serpent" LP copy. $85 at a pawn shop, spent another $12 on a set of Kmise humbuckers from Amazon. After leveling one fret and giving it a proper setup it might be the best import LP copy I've every played.
     
    glenlivet likes this.
  17. Jeri

    Jeri Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    264
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Location:
    brighton UK
    I recently bought a MIJ Squire Strat for £350.
    Its a stand in for my 80s MIJ Tele which is needing new frets
    and a replacement for my 94 mim strat that I stupidly sold 10 years ago
    It is probably not the most bargainous strat except it has the nicest neck I have ever owned
    [​IMG]
     
    Fendereedo and glenlivet like this.
  18. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    73
    Posts:
    3,604
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Louisiana around Many
    I use to be on the hunt for cheap guitar deals that I thought worthy of setting up and modding if needed.
    I finally got to many guitars and quit. I'll start with #1 my $20 ION with a maple body, neck and rosewood fingerboard. It's got American Highway 1 strat pickups. Set up floating trem. Got two DynaGuide string trees from the Netherlands. Works and sounds great.
    ION Upgrade 005.jpg
    #2 is my $36.59 Behrigner iAxe 393. I love white strats, so this got my attention. They ask $40, I offered them something less, they settled on $40 including tax. So after you back the tax out is $36.59.
    I did my setup floating strat, American stat wiring kit, Artec Classic Strat Alnico 5 pickup set. Roller string trees. All my strat projects play great or I got rid of them if they didn't.
    DSC03844.JPG
    #3 Fender Affinity Squire Strat $40.00. This one I actually liked the Ceramic pickups in it and kept them which is unusual for me. I did install some staggerd hight Gotto Classic Fender open shaft tuners for it.
    Other than my set up, and a lot of neck adjusting, that's all it needed. It did had a treble bleed cap in it that I didn't like that I cut out.
    AS Full Front View.jpg
    #4-Jay Turser DLPH PRS Copy $100. The pawn shop owner call this one to my attention. Because it would make no sound when plugged into an amp, they would sell it for $100. I took a look at it and was impressed by the build quality. No doubt, one of Jay Tursers higher grade builds. Everything top notch.
    Didn't take long for me to lay down my cash. Being a half way decent guitar tech, I figured I could fix whatever it was. It turned out to be the main volume pot was bad, about $15 cost including shipping.
    I played it for several years with the ceramic humbuckers on it and latter installed Stu Mac Parson Street Humbuckers. It plays great and sings like a bird, or a Dolphine I mean.
    Jay Turser JT-DLPH 004.jpg

    I still have these axes because they play and sound so good. This is not all of them, but I didn't want to overdo it. Platefire
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
    Fendereedo, billy logan and glenlivet like this.
  19. Sofaplayer

    Sofaplayer Tele-Meister

    Age:
    52
    Posts:
    178
    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    This cheap made in China Guild Jetstar blows my mind in every way. Guild electrics rarely have the 25.5" Fender scale, this one does. It's an SG for Fender players. Custom Shop built quality, super resonant mahogany, a very dense grown pau ferro fretboard that looks like rosewood and feels like ebony. Lightweight but also amazingly comfortable for playing seated, super fat sounding humbuckers with a hair of single coil shimmer. Great neck profile, not very fat but slightly wider than most Fender necks which makes it very easy to play. Highly recommended.

    [​IMG]
     
    M2roadwarrior and glenlivet like this.
  20. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,911
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    There are many guitars coming out of Asia these days that I can't even comprehend how they can build them at the prices they sell for, let alone make any money. It seems the cost of parts and labor alone would be more than their retail price. I bought an Oscar Schmidt OS-300 Strat on Amazon for $140, with free shipping, and after putting in some better pickups, it's as good or better than any Squier. And, many of these guitars still have rosewood boards, unlike the big companies, which have all turned to alternatives.
    DSCN1066.JPG
    This guitar has a tinted glossy neck with nice dark rosewood fretboard, like older CVs, and I like it nearly as much as my American Strats.
    I also bought 3 new Squier Teles, 2 Bullets, and a Metallic Orange Affinity, and like the Oscar Schmidt, after putting in better pickups, I like them as much as any Tele I've ever had.
    DSCN1128-2.JPG
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
    Fendereedo and glenlivet like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.