Reason to Buy More Expensive Fender

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by RoCkstAr256, Feb 4, 2020.

  1. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Holic

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    My feeling is the MIA Fenders are superior guitars, but are they 2x as superior to a nice MIM? In my estimation, no. My Deluxe Roadhouse Strat I'd say is 80% as "nice" as an Am Pro, but it was 50% the cost.

    That said, it didn't stop me jonesing for a MIA Strat. So I played a ton of guitars and settled on a fantastic '99 Am Std that I paid $900 for. A little bit more than I bought the Roadhouse for. Not saying the new MIA Fenders are overpriced, they're probably not... But once you get a taste of a fantastic guitar at used prices it becomes hard to justify the higher cost of a new MIA. In my experience.

    Lastly, one of my favorite guitars is my Chinese Epiphone ES-339, that I bought used for $350. The playability/versatility of that guitar, coupled with its build/finish quality, blew my mind wide open. That guitar, when I'm not playing it, I'm thinking about playing it... It's that nice. The fact I paid $350 for it just makes me love it more.
     
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  2. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    Well that's a nicely rounded patronising post. :D I choose not to buy over priced guitars. Having played, indoors and out, for 50 years I can tell for myself where the laws of diminishing returns kick in.
     
  3. Mike SS

    Mike SS Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Through good speakers, the B guitar kicked A's proverbial A. It was cleaner, crisper, and had a better overall tone. Without having any previous knowledge of the results, I picked the Fender. Not that the HB sounded awful, just not quite as good. If I had to gig it, I could make do with the cheapy.
     
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  4. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

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    I have a really hard time breaking the $2k barrier on a bolt on mass mass produced guitar based on a design that's 70 years old. I've done it but it's been a more torturous decision than it's been on other more labor intensive guitars. One of the best sounding and playing teles I've owned was a 2012 50s Roadworn. Made me sell a much "nicer" and more expensive Tele.
     
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  5. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

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    This is simply not true.
     
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  6. teletail

    teletail Tele-Meister

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    +1

    You nailed it. It’s not enough that the Squier, or whatever, is a good guitar; it has to be better than a guitar that costs XX times more. Sorry, they just aren’t.

    Except this one I had. I bought a Squier VM, it was fantastic, so I put in MIA pickups, then I swapped the hardware and electronics off of a MIA, finally I swapped the neck and body. Now that guitar plays and sounds as good as any MIA I’ve ever owned!
     
  7. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    These videos could easily be sponsored/bought/paid for.

    Most of the Youtube guys are NOT honest about this. It's not even that they're getting the gear for free, sometimes they are getting the gear for free *and* getting $500-1000 to make the video.

    In the last year or so I have started to see some of the channels disclosing this.

    I don't think I've seen anything about this from In the Blues or 60 cycle hum. Those seem to be two of the channels that are constantly making noise about Harley Benton.

    I tend to agree the actual tone of a lot of the cheap instruments is usually fine. But the feel & setup differences are usually hugely apparent to me. Necks, bridge, fretwork, etc.. you get what you paid for, and unless you know how to do a lot of that work it's not always cost effective to get the cheaper guitar and then pay someone who is good to fix up the cheaper guitar.

    Around here if you buy a MIM Fender and pay someone who is actually really skilled to work over the neck to bring it up to a USA/CS level it could easily cost you enough that your total out of pocket cost is enough to have bought a USA guitar. (At least in Fender land, in Gibson land it's not true at all since Gibsons are so expensive.)
     
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  8. KT89

    KT89 Tele-Meister

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    My MIM is my life guitar. I've had nicer and more expensive guitars, but I just use their resale value to trade around. That said, with all the money I've put into making the rest of the guitar as nice as the neck I could have gotten a used American standard. Does it sound every bit as good as an American? You bet. Does the neck fit my hand like it was fitted and tailored for me? Absolutely. I've never even played a custom shop I like as much as this particular guitar.

    HOWEVER, if I go into a guitar store to play a random instrument, I always pick up American teles. With off-the-shelf components and such, there's a definite difference in quality. Go to a store and compare a Mexican to an American side by side and it's instantly obvious which is nicer. Definitely not twice as nice, but nicer for sure.

    I don't even know where I'm going with all this but I don't like when people say there's no difference, because there definitely is. I also don't like snobbery, because you can absolutely run an imported guitar made in 2003 as your main instrument and be happier than if you had its domestic equivalent. I think the sweet spot for guitars is in the 600-800 range, but I also wholeheartedly believe that spending more gets you more guitar, even if its less bang for buck.
     
  9. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Holic

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    The sound a guitar makes has little to do with the cost of the guitar, the 'reason' to me would be things like reliable machine heads, bridges and other hardware, which is what people often replace on cheaper guitars. Even things like screws will be the cheapest of the cheap that are plated badly, made of Chinese pot metal and can rust and strip out easily. I've never owned a Fender guitar so I can't really comment with any authority on the quality of the ranges but I've played many and the quality of the hardware is the first thing I notice compared to the cheapest guitars.

    If I was a professional session musician and my guitar was earning my wage every month, then I'd want the best quality and most reliable hardware I could buy on my guitar. I'd want switches and pots to be the highest quality possible that wouldn't fail or start crackling during a recording session.... and if I was that, I'd be earning good money from my guitar and have no problem paying for it. I'm not in that position though, so Alpha pots, £20 wilkinson machine heads etc do the job for me perfectly fine.
     
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  10. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I can't believe you guys don't understand why they sound the same?

    Of course they sound the same through a tonemaster solid state computer amplifier.

    All the tone has already been sucked out, before it reaches the microphone.

    Only if he would have recorded them both through an original, handwired blackface Fender Twin from the 60s and preferably a Pre-CBS model (if such a thing exists I think it does, if it does it's certainly worth more and is certainly a better tone-machine!!) could you tell the difference.

    It would be subtle but obviously more 3D, nuanced, rich and... uh ..quickly running out of adjectives here.. um... yeah... mojo-laden.

    The majestic, brilliant tone of the American Original guitar and it's $2K price-tag, buffed to a high gloss by the extra expensive of being shipped to OZ, not having not been sucked out by the solid state amp before it reached our ears would blow us all away.

    You definitely get better tone for more money...If you don't spend at least $2K for a Vintage style guitar, you might as well just not play at all.

    C'mon man, guitars ain't stereos.

    Playing Jimi Hendrix through a better stereo, doesn't make Jimi Hendrix a better player, and buying an expensive guitar won't make you a better player.

    Cheap guitars nowadays are very playable and adjustable for the most part, and if you can't enjoy one of those, you really won't enjoy an expensive one much.

    An expensive guitar won't really make you sound much better in any case, particularly when we are talking about vintage style teles through vintage style amps, there is no place to hide in that rig.

    I like expensive, cool guitars as much as the next guy, but...let's be realistic tone is hands not guitars.

    /me shuts up and gets back to practicing.
     
  11. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    BTW I think we sometimes don't give Fender enough of a hard time.

    I played (or tried to play) a MIM Meteora HH last weekend at GC. I'd never seen a Meteora so I was super psyched to try it. It was a total POS, so disappointing at $999 supposedly brand new.

    The neck pickup wasn't even working at all. The action was so bad the guitar was pretty much unplayable. GC set it aside to get it fixed. Maybe those are tough cause the Mexico factory isn't used to making that style of guitar?

    This was at least as bad as the stuff we rip Gibson for here.
     
  12. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Expensive guitars can be wonderful. But these days you can get real instruments on a budget. Win-win.
     
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  13. RoCkstAr256

    RoCkstAr256 Friend of Leo's

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    I like this point sir, i known it also about personal feel. We cannot tell from a video how we feel exactly about product. It needs to be in our hands

    I will always pick Squier.

    Seen many complaings about harley benton. Used market here in Europe is floated with these crap
     
  14. RoCkstAr256

    RoCkstAr256 Friend of Leo's

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    So we can Agree that Mexican ones are still lovely piece of wood, right?

    I have played my friend Epiphone, i think it was Indonesian one or Maybe Korean? Not sure. He paid like 375 $ for it, it is Cherry Red, dark shade of red Les paul and plays like a dream
     
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  15. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    There is a difference, but the law of diminishing returns applies.
     
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  16. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    Indeed they can, but being expensive doesn't guarantee that they will be. If you look for guarantees in this life, you're going to be disappointed. :)
     
  17. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    A lot of these posts pretend MIMs are cheaper than they are and MIAs are more expensive than they are AFAICT. MIM has been creeping up in price.

    MIM Players are $750
    MIM Vintera $999
    MIA Performer $1150
    MIA Pro $1550

    If you're comparing Player vs Am. Pro yah the American Pro is 2x as expensive but you can feel the difference IME.

    I haven't really played the Performers vs Vintera but the Vintera better be way better than the Player if it's only $150 cheaper than the Performer.
     
  18. Wildcard_35

    Wildcard_35 Tele-Meister

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    I would pay to see your gig if you dress like a wizard, get drunk and try to sound like Jimmy Page. This sounds like my kind of entertainment!
     
  19. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    There are plenty of reasons to buy a better guitar. Switches, grounding, pickups, poor fret finishing, cheap soft screws, soft wood that strips, tuners, gummy nylon like nuts, soft bad output jacks.....
    It's all about finding the right price point though. A Custom Shop Fender is often a bad deal. A HB or SX is playable, Somewhere in between can be a workhorse and great guitar....
     
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  20. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Holic

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    Because I have the skills to work on my own gear, I tend to view any guitar I pick up in terms of potential. As the price point goes up, there are fewer and fewer things I'll need to replace and/or tweak to get an instrument to where it needs to be to perform well.

    In the end, a straight neck attached firmly to a well seasoned, reasonably light piece of wood is really all that's needed to make a decent electric guitar..the rest is just a matter of what you're willing to accept. Are you cool with frets that haven't had the best leveling job and maybe haven't been polished well? Are you ok with pickups that might be a tad microphonic? How about noise from unshielded control cavities? Or hardware that sets up well when new, but will probably degrade into uselessness quickly? These are the realities of most sub $300 dollar instruments. ..and out of all the countless budget guitars I've worked on, I've never once had someone tell me "Hey, I really preferred that cheap bridge this guitar came with originally, can you put it back?" or "Man, this guitar played so much better before you did all that fret work." It's like the difference between a Bic lighter and a Zippo. Both will light a campfire, but one is made from better materials, will last for decades, and maybe looks just a bit cooler doing it.

    Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but the overall differences do add up to more than just decals or headstock shapes.
     
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