The cheapest and the most expensive; an honest comparison.

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Corvus, Mar 12, 2020.

  1. Cesspit

    Cesspit Tele-Holic

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    I think that CS guitars can allow a good player to access that elusive final 10 percent, what ever that is, that standard guitars don't give us. Diminishing returns is the phrase whereby a larger effort, or cost is needed for the tiniest gain.
    Same old question, yes it is a better guitar but is it worth it?
     
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  2. Coyoteaz

    Coyoteaz TDPRI Member

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    I have 6 Telecasters. CV 60's, Partscaster, Baja 50's, Road Worn, 50's Original, and a Custom Shop Nocaster. I have to say the Nocaster is by far the best playing and sounding guitar. To me its worth the extra money. The Partscaster is second. Its a MIM body, Musikraft neck, Fralin in the bridge and a Seth Lovers in the neck. Damn near custom shop playability. Most everything else is pretty close in quality. The 50's Original is super nice. The CV is meh at best. Looks good. Don't like the neck at all. Sounds just ok. Just my 2 cents worth!
     
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  3. arlum

    arlum Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    Your target is all you need to hit. I've spent a fortune to reach mine and sometimes wish my level of satisfaction would have been a few bars lower. I'm a diagnosed example of OCD. When I set my sights on a guitar model or tonal goal even small improvements are worth foolish amounts of bread. I don't believe a $300 guitar could ever deliver the goods of a $2400 guitar. That said .... the 8X price increase could never be justified by a healthy mind. The $2400 guitar might be 2X, 3X or 4X better than the $300 guitar. 8X is totally unjustified, and yet, folks like me pay the price. I'm looking into better meds.
     
  4. Vermoulian

    Vermoulian Tele-Meister

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    I’ve tried a couple low-level Squiers (Strats, an Affinity and an SE) and they were generally way better than I expected, although obviously corners get cut at that price point. Personally I think that pickups are their weakest point; with a basic setup they can be excellent players.

    But I find comparisons with “real” Strats (and I’m sure Teles would be the same) to be apples to oranges based on one factor: the neck width. If Fender ever made a Strat or Tele with a neck that narrow, it certainly wasn’t one of the dozens (hundreds?) that I’ve played. I can understand it since I suppose those bottom-line Squiers are aimed at kids, but the result is a guitar that looks like a regular Strat or Tele, but the playing experience is (to me) fundamentally different.

    It goes both ways: I have a parts caster with an extra-wide neck, and it also feels like a different guitar, compared to my regular Teles. One of the main things I’ve learned in recent years is how significant neck width is. I don’t find length as big a deal—switching from a Strat or Tele to a Gibson to a Mustang/Jaguar scale doesn’t throw me, but a very slight variation in width can be a huge difference in the playing experience.
     
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  5. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I found cheap guitars seem as good as expensive ones until you get an expensive one. Then you see, feel and hear a lot of small differences... And that’s the thing - lots of small differences leading to a discernible increase in overall quality. Not all those differences matter to everyone.

    Because the cost cutting is made over lots of areas, it means the cheap guitars don’t fail drastically in any one area. And quality has been driven higher over the last few years anyway with more and more decent budget eastern guitars. But spec, weight, neck profile, and even colour are all big things that make people bond to an instrument. They aren’t necessarily linked to price.

    So if you like a neck and a sound to a cheap guitar, you could like it more than an expensive one. My lowest-end MiJ Tele gets the most love at the moment.
     
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  6. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Indonesian made CVC60s I bought recently was near perfect out of the box. The pickups, probably are better than my vintera 60s mod. The neck is perfect, the frets all level, all dressed perfectly. The general fit and finish is amazingly good. The only real beef I had was with the pickguard, which was very poorly cut, and a horrible creamy colour. Not a problem, I bought a Vanson 8 hole guard in mint green, perfect fit, and a great replacement for the 5 hole piece of crap that adorned it originally. The wiring is fine, no need to replace it yet, but if I should need to in the future, it's not an issue. Also, the weight is very light, iirc 6.6lbs, way below any of my 4 Fender guitars. For a cheap guitar, it is certainly a keeper.
     
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  7. ponce

    ponce Tele-Afflicted

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    80 years of wood ageing could be taken into account too. Time is money.
     
  8. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    I always respect and appreciate these kinds of comparison threads. But in many circles they are irrelevant. To me they are irrelevant. I don't make purchases based on a comparison. And please don't try to persuade me to.

    If I decide I want a nice USA built Gibson or Fender, from a USA Factory , thats what I am acquiring. I've passed on many $300 off shore or whatever guitars that looked good, played good etc, but when I picked them up " I " didn't feel good.


    I really don't want to hear anymore " My Affinity or Squire is just as good as your USA". GOOD ! But I didn't ask for an opinion . This is MY guitar, that ones YOURS.

    Why not just enjoy it and let me enjoy mine without the A vs B thing. ?

    I understand the ops message of comparison, but I think many already know that the Under $400 guitars play well and look good. Even I know this.

    At some point many end up being Pawn Shop guitars. We all know this because we ALL scan the Pawn Shops looking for a good USA Tele deal !


    Some people just want a PRE War D28 , they know all about the HD28's, thats not what they want. You can really piss someone off by telling them "Dude my HD28 is just as good as your D28". Really ? But that HD28 is NOT a D28 is it. "Go away please"

    Just enjoy what you have and let others enjoy what they have, they don't need an economics lesson on how much it cost to build one guitar vs the other and certainly don't need to hear the "SOUND percentage comparisons".

    Is it worth 5x more to get 10% better sound ? What does that even mean ? Are some of you guys carrying around "sound percentage" meters ?
     
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  9. gridlock

    gridlock Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Cheapest -Gibson Les Paul Studio T (Sunburst)
    My cheapest guitar, my 2016 Gibson Les Paul Studio T (Sunburst). I bought it used with with a Gibson case for less than $600 ($1000 new).

    The Studio is near mint, the finishes are just okay (is a nice sunburst), but lack of a nice clear gloss overcoat and no binding makes it look like a cheaper guitar. Pickups are good, a little hotter, and less vintage sounding than my R7.

    My biggest issue with the Studuo is the lack of effort by Gibson in finishing the top edges of the fretboard. Kind of sharp. I really don’t notice the edges much while playing the guitar as I do just handling the guitar.

    Other than the non-rolled edges on the Fretboard of the Studio, the guitar is great value for an American made guitar. Still, I’ll probably trade in my Studio soon for another Gibson Les Paul Traditional (my 2nd favorite Gibson Les Paul next to a Custom Shop guitar).

    Most Expensive -Gibson Les Paul Custom Shop R7 (Goldtop)
    My most expensive guitar, is my mint 1999 Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul 1957 Reissue, R7 (Goldtop). I bought it used for around $2500 ($5000 new).

    The R7 is mint, with beautiful finishes, a great neck, hand-wired (old school), and great sounding pickups. Just a great sounding, great playing, a high-quality built guitar with top of the line hardware. Just a dream guitar to play and own.

    Summary
    The Studio is my everyday player Les Paul, while the R7 stays in the case way-too often. The R7 Is such a nice-mint guitar that I hardly play it for fear that I’ll damage it. Pretty sad.

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    Last edited: Mar 14, 2020
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  10. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I agree, it's all about what makes the individual player happy at the end of the day. If a $100 Squier isn't for you, then it never will be, no matter what comparisons are made.
     
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  11. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Human brings do a variety of things, and with the deed already done, then they try to rationalize or reconstruct a decision making process which might be more about having felt great on a certain Thursday evening in March, 2015. Than it had to do with indelible differences between a half dozen guitars they had considered buying.

    Guys buy a certain model truck in a certain color, mostly because of a fun conversation they had just had at the grocery store with a young, fair complected young lady - and not because this truck was actually better. But now, they have to justify why they bought this truck and they basically start inventing things to explain it - they may not even realize it was that redhead at all.

    I still like the challenge of making real decent sounding music with a Indonesian Squier 51 I paid $ 69 for, even if there's a Fender Custom Shop No-Caster with fresh strings right there in the same room and ready to be plugged in. The real metric, I think, is, which guitar inspires you to play with a little more passion or write something a little more different than your other efforts. And it may help for the guitar to be closer to "perfect" but also, it may not.
     
  12. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Joe is just comparing recently completed High End guitars with guitars considered even better than that.

    I've never seen him on the bandstand with a Squier, and I don't think we ever will see that. Not a Classic Vibe or Pro Tone and most certainly not an Affinity or Bullet.

    Probably not too far off the track to say his "Low" guitar is equal to my "High" guitar.
     
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  13. 39martind18

    39martind18 Tele-Afflicted

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    Ya got that right!
     
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  14. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    This ^^^
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2020
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  15. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    Any conclusion a person comes to regarding guitar price vs. overall value applies to that person only.

    Judging others based on one's own financial situation, personal biases and logic is a waste of energy. People are going to do what they want whether or not it makes any sense to others, and there's nothing another person can do about it.

    The bottom line is we all hopefully make the right choices for ourselves when it comes to guitars--choices that motivate us to play and inspire us to make music. As soon as you think it's a contest, you're the first loser.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2020
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  16. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    i just plays em all...the real mojo of a guitar comes from the time put into playing them.
     
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  17. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Poster Extraordinaire

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    +1
     
  18. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    In theory,

    you might score a primo Squier Bullet ... or an expensive turd (it happens)
     
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  19. Stratguy70

    Stratguy70 TDPRI Member

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    I appreciate this thread, and enjoy inexpensive guitars (if they are setup properly).
    In fact, all my guitars are inexpensive.

    It really comes down to loving what you have, finding joy, creativity and contentment in your situation.
    Bullets can be huge fun, you can record and jam with a terrific dopamine high!
    Not bad for the price of the 2 of you going out for fancy dinner!

    In my opinion though, a high quality guitar almost always feels so much different, you can just tell the difference.

    Do I sound better? No. Johan on his Affinity vs. me on a custom shop? I haven't a chance!

    If I had the means though, the higher end model would be my choice.
     
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  20. skitched

    skitched Tele-Meister

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    The biggest reason I want an “expensive” tele is because I want a baseball bat neck, which seems impossible to find new for less than a $2k...unless I buy a cheap one and an aftermarket neck.
     
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