We're all being suckered......

jrblue

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I read the OP, was shocked to learn that I am a sucker who has been duped by marketing BS, and immediately sold my nice old CS Strat and used that cash to buy 50 Affinity Strats because, you know, they're just as good... and now I have 50!!! Honestly, I'm glad when anyone gets a guitar that's great for them and their preferences and circumstances, and I've never been fussy myself since I never had any money until I hit 35 or 40... fairly late in the game. But I don't appreciate being told that people who like and play more expensive guitars are elitists or posers, or that a whole range of guitars are somehow the same. I have a handful of excellent guitars, two of them fairly expensive and the other a great old one I lucked into for a way low price. I don't look at them as having to be the best dollar-for-perfomance purchases ever -- they feel great and sound great to me, and I've worked my whole life, and I'm willing to pay somewhat more for these things I use every single day to do what I love: making music. I don't want to impress anyone -- I don't get that at all -- and no one cares anyway. People say they like what I play, not that my guitars impress them! It's no longer true that people disparage good offshore-made guitars; quite the reverse. I never hear people bagging on them, I just read owners expressing their own insecurities by arguing as though something everyone sees as a genuine manufacturing success is somehow looked down upon.
 

telemnemonics

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Chinese factories can make anything US corporate execs spec out and dictate a price point on.
Tried Squiers since the ‘80s and might have bought three of them?
If they didn’t always have skinny necks and/ or small frets plus a bunch of other parts & features I don’t like, I’d buy more.
The JMJM has tempted me but has that skinny flex neck and the frets aren’t big enough. Vintage Modified too, almost.
 

Jimclarke100

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With electrics, I’m a firm believer that once you are past round a thousand bucks you are on the flat part of the diminishing returns curve and paying for names and kudos rather than any real increase in quality, and actually the curve is flattening off well below that point.
Certainly there are many sub 500 guitars (US dollars or UK pounds) that given a good set up are great instruments that bat well above where you might expect.
 

northernguitar

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Jan 18, 2009
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‘Suckered’ implies ripped off. Measuring utility is subjective. I do not feel ripped off with my Fender Japan Tele because it cost more than a Squier. On the contrary, it’s holding its value, whereas a Squier would lose value immediately.
 

old soul

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terra firma
I love my '14 Chinese cv tele. I wanted to pick up a thinline a couple years ago for my 50th bday, so I tried a few out and was disappointed with the Indonesian made ones. Different wood, different build quality, etc. And they nearly doubled in price from when I got the '14. I felt disappointed about it.
I'm sure there are some indo made cvs that are great, but I know I'm not interested based on my personal experiences.
 

telemnemonics

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With electrics, I’m a firm believer that once you are past round a thousand bucks you are on the flat part of the diminishing returns curve and paying for names and kudos rather than any real increase in quality, and actually the curve is flattening off well below that point.
Certainly there are many sub 500 guitars (US dollars or UK pounds) that given a good set up are great instruments that bat well above where you might expect.
Or more specifically with bolt on neck Fender style solid body electrics I know I CAN easily get one up to my minimum quality for around $1000, so consider by $1200 or so any additional money is for decorations.

Because cheap labor countries have no OSHA, no worker protections, no human rights, etc, Squier SHOULD be able to sell us all $2000 guitars for $500.
But FMIC has boardrooms full of smart execs planning what to scrimp on and what to withhold so most serious players will end up spending more.

When a serious player chooses Squier, it’s not because all Squiers are pro quality.
For the serious or pro player to make that choice, a few more factors need to be in play.

First, there has to be a Squier model that suits that experienced player. If you like skinny necks and low frets you have a better chance.

Then they choose a good sample from the widely variable batches that may all look smooth and shiny but not all be the same quality.

We can claim that they are all the same level of great or adequate or whatever we claim they are, but that’s just claims.
Its a fact that neck wood quality dictates whole guitar reliability.
And its a fact that not only has wood availability diminished, factory grading of wood used in budget products has lower standards than it used to.

Ive worked in both wood manufacturing (boats furniture cabinets and guitars) as well as worked as a guitar tech over 40 years.
Cheaper neck wood means adjustments need to be more frequent so your nice looking playing guitar changes it’s spots with the weather.
Depending on how much your guitar travels and how critical you are of the action range moving or staying dead on, ten witnesses may have ten different stories about how great the same exact guitar is.

Hence we argue on the internet and insist our personal opinions are facts!
 

sloppychops

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wisconsin
Recently purchased a 2014 Squier (YES Squier) Classic Vibe 1970's 3 Sunburst Telecaster and I already know what you are thinking because I too was conditioned to dismiss Non US Fenders long ago. I have a 1992 USA Strat (standard) so I am already familiar with the quality of USA builds. The truth is that the Chinese Squier 2014 is FABULOUS. Yes FABULOUS, great looks, nice quality, straight neck, super playable and good tone. I doubted my own judgement initially so I went to the music shop and tested three Player and Player Plus Telecaster (900 euro) models and they were far worse. The 2014 Telecaster was made in China, in particular the "Grand Reward" factory outside of Hong Kong. Still doubting the conventional wisdom, I asked the advice of my brother in law who plays (very well) a 2002 Eric Clapton Series Deluxe Stratocaster. "What do you think?" I asked him. "The Squier is better than my EC Deluxe Strat," he said.

So what's going on? We live in a time when you can buy a 50 inch flat screen TV for 450 euro/dollars, so is there any justification for charging over two thousand bucks for 1950's technology? I think the Chinese builders were out to prove the same point by building the best Classic Vibe models they possibly good, perhaps to show up the Corona factory, who knows. I have heard more than once on this forum that the Classic Vibe is good value and good quality. I realise that few people who have spent over 2000 will agree that they have overpaid but there is something very strange going on if I can pay 300 for a guitar worthy of seven times the price. PS I have been playing for 40 years. We can rave about the Sprague Orange drops and the noiseless pick-ups but at the end of the day an electric guitar works through a vibrating conductor inside a magnetic field (Faraday's Law). Granted a Custom Model is hand made but Computer Numerical Control still governs many of the factory parts. Can we agree, the top prices are affected by elements other than playability and sound. Are we fashion victims who crave a name brand like Louis Vuitton bags and Italian sports cars?
"...there is something very strange going on if I can pay 300 for a guitar worthy of seven times the price"

Classic Vibes are great guitars for the money, but c'mon. You don't really think a $300 CV is the equivalent of a $2100 Fender, do you?

I've owned a CV 50s Tele. I don't know what year it was, but I bought it used around 2011. This one here:

P1020688.JPG


It's the guitar that really turned me on to Telecasters. I liked it when I owned it, but have long since sold it. Here's why:

- Heavy...about 8 lbs
- The thick poly finish on body and neck had that "coated in plastic" feel
- The neck was really thin (once I tried a thicker necked Tele, it was all over for the CV)
- The frets show wear quickly
- My preference is to avoid buying/owning things Made in China as much as possible
 

Tall-Fir

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My preference also is to avoid buying/owning things (of all kinds) made in China.

I don’t buy cheap guitars. I don’t buy guitars made in Mexico or made overseas. I like to keep my guitar buying prowess with reputable telecaster manufacturers that are able to function within the economies of scale available to them here in the good ol’ USA. The finish, neck specs, pickups, overall accesories provided by American companies who employ skilled craftspeople are usually fine enough guitars by me, and their guitars are generally of good quality in my mind for me to enjoy over long periods of time.

I like real nice telecasters. I guess I might be a snob, but I’m fine with the happiness and enjoyment these guitars give me.

An example of a company whose MIA guitars I really like is G&L.
 

teletail

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West By God Virginia
I read the OP, was shocked to learn that I am a sucker who has been duped by marketing BS, and immediately sold my nice old CS Strat and used that cash to buy 50 Affinity Strats because, you know, they're just as good... and now I have 50!!! Honestly, I'm glad when anyone gets a guitar that's great for them and their preferences and circumstances, and I've never been fussy myself since I never had any money until I hit 35 or 40... fairly late in the game. But I don't appreciate being told that people who like and play more expensive guitars are elitists or posers, or that a whole range of guitars are somehow the same. I have a handful of excellent guitars, two of them fairly expensive and the other a great old one I lucked into for a way low price. I don't look at them as having to be the best dollar-for-perfomance purchases ever -- they feel great and sound great to me, and I've worked my whole life, and I'm willing to pay somewhat more for these things I use every single day to do what I love: making music. I don't want to impress anyone -- I don't get that at all -- and no one cares anyway. People say they like what I play, not that my guitars impress them! It's no longer true that people disparage good offshore-made guitars; quite the reverse. I never hear people bagging on them, I just read owners expressing their own insecurities by arguing as though something everyone sees as a genuine manufacturing success is somehow looked down upon.
Preach it brother!

F9E10C6C-CFB7-44FE-BCD9-7818FA058563.jpeg
 

Maguchi

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 16, 2019
Posts
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Location
Lalaland
Recently purchased a 2014 Squier (YES Squier) Classic Vibe 1970's 3 Sunburst Telecaster and I already know what you are thinking because I too was conditioned to dismiss Non US Fenders long ago. I have a 1992 USA Strat (standard) so I am already familiar with the quality of USA builds. The truth is that the Chinese Squier 2014 is FABULOUS. Yes FABULOUS, great looks, nice quality, straight neck, super playable and good tone. I doubted my own judgement initially so I went to the music shop and tested three Player and Player Plus Telecaster (900 euro) models and they were far worse. The 2014 Telecaster was made in China, in particular the "Grand Reward" factory outside of Hong Kong. Still doubting the conventional wisdom, I asked the advice of my brother in law who plays (very well) a 2002 Eric Clapton Series Deluxe Stratocaster. "What do you think?" I asked him. "The Squier is better than my EC Deluxe Strat," he said.

So what's going on? We live in a time when you can buy a 50 inch flat screen TV for 450 euro/dollars, so is there any justification for charging over two thousand bucks for 1950's technology? I think the Chinese builders were out to prove the same point by building the best Classic Vibe models they possibly good, perhaps to show up the Corona factory, who knows. I have heard more than once on this forum that the Classic Vibe is good value and good quality. I realise that few people who have spent over 2000 will agree that they have overpaid but there is something very strange going on if I can pay 300 for a guitar worthy of seven times the price. PS I have been playing for 40 years. We can rave about the Sprague Orange drops and the noiseless pick-ups but at the end of the day an electric guitar works through a vibrating conductor inside a magnetic field (Faraday's Law). Granted a Custom Model is hand made but Computer Numerical Control still governs many of the factory parts. Can we agree, the top prices are affected by elements other than playability and sound. Are we fashion victims who crave a name brand like Louis Vuitton bags and Italian sports cars?
🥱
 

msalama

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Joined
Jul 16, 2021
Posts
860
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EUnistan
Stuff I've noticed about Squiers:

1) Fretwire quality varies a lot between batches - some have soft frets, others like my MIC '18 just as tough as on any MIA Fender I've had
2) Hardware and electronics are flimsy on some, so if possible buy a well kept used guitar with upgraded parts instead of brand new & stock
3) Seems that late 2010's MIC guitars are best in terms of overall quality

Just my $0.002 though, but this is how it seems to be.
 

franblanc

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Joined
Jul 17, 2020
Posts
35
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121
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Ireland
I read the post title and thought "finally! Some truth..."

Oh.
It's about guitars.

If you're going to make this statement about a cheap guitar being better than whatever, I think it puts the spotlight on you, and your ability.
Why should I believe you? I don't even believe good players when they say a guitar sounds good, because half the time it doesn't. And I have no idea if you can even play well enough to pull anything out of a guitar.

In every endeavor that requires investing in equipment, there are always hobbyists who won't really benefit from the expensive stuff, and there are always a few who make the jump to believing the expensive stuff is a scam.
Okay. Have a listen then.
 

NoTeleBob

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Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Posts
3,162
Location
Southwestern, USA
I played a new CV tele recently. Fabulous guitar. Comparable to its American cousins. Likewise with Player Strats. But I've played some of both that we're not up to par.

You don't know until you try them... and maybe not until they've been setup properly.
 




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