Do most guitarists really care how big a guitar builder is?

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by Church2224, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. Church2224

    Church2224 Guitar Whore

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    This time last year I was taking guitar lessons at guitar and amp dealer at college and they carried guitars from smaller, high-end builders such as Suhr, Melancon, Gadow, G&L, PRS, Lull, Roscoe and Tuttle, PRS and G&L being the exptions. I managed to play quite a few of them, mainly either a Suhrs and G&Ls. I bought into the idea that you need to buy from a smaller company or builder because it will ultimately be better then anything out there in all aspects.

    In reality I never could truly connect with many of the guitars they carried. They just did not seem like the best I ever played. For a while I thought it was just me and I needed a custom guitar with my specs. Then again I bonded with my Carvins, which some people considered as "crap", and they were pretty basic. I just though if I had my own spec'd out guitar these guys then I could understand.

    Fast forward to January 2011. I went to visit my Grandparents in Richmond and my Grandfather took me to a few places around there to see, one being a fairly good sized guitar store in town. I got to talk to the owner of the store and he let me play some of his higher end stuff. What stood out were his two ESP M-IIs, three USA Select Jackson Soloists, and a Dean USA Hardtail. Maybe it was my low expectations or I connected with them, but to me they were the best guitars I ever played. I also went to a Guitar Center in Alexandria VA, a week later and played a few Music Man guitars and felt the same way. Since then have bought two USA Jacksons, and hope to get more Jacksons, some ESPs and an EBMM.

    Now I notice on here and on other forums that people often praise small companies and builders the most, and for good reason I know. I can understand that most smaller builders appeal to the ERG and Seven string market, which I can completely understand. But often enough it seems people tend to hate on companies simply because of the size of them or the name, and people often call some one else a "tool", "ignorant", or "stupid" for liking what they do (I have experienced this first hand a few times on other forums)

    My question is it the fact that guitarists tend to care care about the companies size and make an opinion based on that, or is quality overall number one?

    In other areas of interest besides guitar playing I see the opposite thing. People like what is good and personal preference, rather than size of the builder. In the guitar playing business it seems to be all over the place.

    Do not get me wrong I have respect for all guitar builders who make quality instruments. For me a good guitar is a good guitar.

    So... any thoughts? Sorry for the long post, just trying to make my point.
     
  2. oremus91

    oremus91 Melodeth-er

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    Talking to another guitarist is a lot like politics. You can both argue until you're blue in the face but at the end of the day it's generally a battle of preference in which there is not a correct answer.

    Custom builders appeal more to 7 string/ERG players like you said and that's because the "big" companies aren't willing to make those sorts of instruments and if they have them but you don't like it.. too bad!

    Then you have hipsters who need to have the most obscure brand to be cool.
     
  3. Stealthdjentstic

    Stealthdjentstic Banned

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    Imo the only reason to go custom is if no production guitars meets your criteria.
     
  4. MFB

    MFB ExBendable

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    Both of my electrics are by brands that are no longer what they used to be, with Steinberger only doing the Spirit/Trans-Scale guitars and Parker now doing the Radial Joints and being owned by Washburn, etc... I'd say that constitutes as a no since they should be considered "dead" and that makes ME a hipster guitarist or something :scratch: (Either way, carbon fiber guitars > *)
     
  5. Blitzie

    Blitzie SS.org Regular

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    I've never understood the whole "expensive = good" thing. I mean, obviously some companies make some really cheap guitars that aren't worth the money but most of them don't.

    Honestly, I've played a bunch of Les Paul's that cost $1200+ and they were pretty nice but for my money, my LTD EC-1000 has a better neck and better pick ups for half the price. Obviously some companies make high priced but amazing instruments. Any of the JP models are the best guitars you'll ever play. Same with PRS and Ibanez.

    Personally, if I connect with an instrument and it inspires me, it's worth whatever the price tag is. I'm just lucky that my taste isn't very expensive...except for a PRS CU24...need me one of those :)
     
  6. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Holy crap, I totally agree with every post in this thread. :yesway:
     
  7. sovereignsoviet

    sovereignsoviet mike patton fanatic

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    There are always going to be gear snobs, but it's impossible to really generalize something that's so tied to preference. My drummer friend thinks that Dean and BC Rich are the greatest guitar builders on the planet and spending over $500 on a non-signature guitar is a waste of money, and a guitarist I know thinks that EMG 81-85s are the best pick-ups on the market and won't use anything but spikey guitars, but different strokes are for different folks.

    Company size goes both ways, unfortunately, and even if you get a guitar that you truly bond with that happens to appeal to the people who worship boutique custom guitars, you'll have people who judge you for being a hipster or not playing a "real brand" because you're not good enough to be sponsored or something! Egotism really is an unfortunate thing in the world of professional performance, but you'll see less and less of it when you start to exceed the local club scene and start associating with people who have been around the block a few times.

    Overall, the most important thing is how it feels, how it sounds, and how it looks to you. If you love it in every aspect and it achieves sufficient means to an end, who cares what the price tag, brand name, luthier, woods, whatever are used?
     
  8. -42-

    -42- Nothing to see here

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    There is no accounting for taste.

    /thread
     
  9. Stealthdjentstic

    Stealthdjentstic Banned

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    Wait till you guys see my custom I ordered in bright pink with skittles inlays :hbang:
     
  10. Grand Moff Tim

    Grand Moff Tim Some call me... Tim

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    I think an important thing to consider is that there are people who seek out guitars that fit a preconceived role, and people who find guitars they like and then create roles for them. The former would be much more predisposed towards seeking out customs or highly specialized small builders, whereas the latter might just go to a store, play a guitar they like, and then find a use for it.

    Iono. I'm drunk and that all made sense in my head.

    EDIT: To elaborate, considering the type of guitarist that generally finds himself on SSO, I'd think we might expect there to be more of the former here than the latter. That might have something to do with the mindset 'round these parts.
     
  11. AwakenNoMore

    AwakenNoMore Lefty Derp

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    It's getting to a point for me where I have to either build or buy custom, or customize something existing, that due to being lefty and extremely picky.
     
  12. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    I think that guitarists are like all other people. You get some who feel that the name is the important thing about a product, and some find things which just call out to them, or jeans which don't have a fancy label but are the most comfortable things on the planet, or they want everyone to hear them order a bottle of fine Cristal in a fancy restaurant.
     
  13. snowblind56

    snowblind56 SS.org Regular

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    It really all just snobbery, but not only for the high priced guitars. Some people only play boutique. Some only play Gibsons. Some will only play 60's pawn shop garbage guitars.

    Right or wrong, it all comes down to the fact that people bond with their guitars for many different reasons.

    I had a Bernie Rico Jr 7 string that I never really bonded with. It was the best playing guitar that I have ever played, but i just didn't feel right playing it. Ibanez 7's fit me better, so I traded it off. Same with a PRS Singlecut that I had, amazing guitar, but it just didn't feel right. That got traded for a Les Paul, which got traded for an American Standard Strat, an ESP LTD EC1000t, and a Fernandes Tele. Of all of them, I have bonded with the Strat the most. Just a simple sunburst Strat with an H-S-H pickup setup. Weird, but I just go with it and keep searching for guitars that I bond with better.
     
  14. astm

    astm SS.org Regular

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    THIS!!! I'll only go custom if I can't find something that I want in ther market (except for pickups, that's an easy mod)
     
  15. engage757

    engage757 Banned

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    Kev,

    75% of guitarists are following the popular bandwagon. They play a name, not a guitar. It is a just in keeping with the popular crowd. I have picked up my buddy's guitars that are your standard Fenders/Gibsons etc, and been apalled at how shitty and unplayable it is. However, they have a Gibson! So they must be cool.

    Then you have 10% Fanboys. People that just jump on a smaller companies bandwagon. SHit or not, it must be the greatest thing in the world, or people on a forum that have never even considered being able to afford or come close to owning one would not be talking about it so much. These people hype a brand into existence and may have never even seen one in person. Then they may purchase one and play it for awhile, then learn that God's gift to the guitar world isn't perfect for them, as it was for the people who made the intelligent decision to actually see what they like and not follow popular trends.


    Then you have the extra 5% that actually care. That play every guitar they can to find out what they like and what sounds good where. Often times, these people move to smaller, more boutique, handbuilt custom shops, often times for the simple fact that they like little things about different guitars, and this is the best way to get a tailored or semi-tailored guitar for them. Craftsmanship matters, or they would go to a CNC machined Fender.

    and the other 10%? just random. THink about it. People randomly stumble across something that just works for them.
     
  16. K4RM4

    K4RM4 ss.org Lurker

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    I think i fit more into your "Random" category engage757. If it feels right and speaks to me in the moment, it's likely coming home with me if i've got the money for it, :p
     
  17. SirMyghin

    SirMyghin The Dirt Guy Contributor

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    Sorry but all I got out of posts was WHY YOU NO LIKE G&L!?

    In all seriousness, there is no accounting for it. Most folks like to really justify to themselves where they put their money, which leads to some snobbery. If you shelled out a tonne on customs, you are going to want to believe they are the best. Where as as Stealth said (probably the only useful thing he has ever said at that :lol:), if you can find what you need in a production guitar, get that.
     
  18. Jack Secret

    Jack Secret Carvin Afficianado

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    The times are no longer "Well, I don't agree with you about ______ but I respect your opinion and I hope you'll be happy". It's "YOU PIECE OF DOGSHIT HOW DARE YOU NOT LIKE WHAT I LIKE!!!!".

    When I told the Jemsite cats I was done with Ibby and moving on to Carvin, it felt like they thought I turned traitor. Not everyone mind you but some gave me that stinkeye that happens through forum posts. Just let it roll, brothers. I'm the happiest I've been with my collection (albeit waiting on the three new Carvins). I was a willing victim over quality. I'm not going to go over what I called the "guitar mid-life crisis" again but things are better with 20 guitars from 4 different companies than 55 with one company the majority over the rest and most just bought to say I have one.

    Sometimes, you have to learn the hard way.

    Play what you like. If someone says you're wrong, flip 'em the bird.
     
  19. SnowfaLL

    SnowfaLL SS.org Regular

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    I think a lot of what makes a guitar "perfect" for you is the specs; regardless of who makes it.. So from your post, where you say you loved the ESPs, Jacksons and Dean, but dont like the Suhr/Anderson/G&L/etc, I think its safe to assume you clearly prefer the superstrat flat-radius style over the Fender-based stratocaster style (bolt ons, rounder radius, thicker neck profile, etc)

    I know when I tried JJ's KxK's, which he thinks are amazing, I found them to be "eh".. Id take a new Carvin over his KxK's anyday (unless I could sell the kxk and buy two carvins with the profit haha) - POint is, it was his specs so I didnt like it. If it was my specs, maybe I would like it more. (I also find them quite ugly, eh)

    I think the only way you can really find out if the "boutique" customshops are worth it for you, is to order one with your EXACT specs and then give it a proper A/B.. If you like Jacksons and ESPs chances are you like neckthru and 16" or 20" radius, thin shredder profiles and humbuckers with floyds; you wouldnt find a Suhr, PRS or G&L with those specs in any store lol You'd have to order it with your specs.

    Then theres the appearance; Each company has their own "style" in looks, and I personally think a guitar I love the look at, I'll want to pick it up and play a lot more than if I found a guitar ugly as fuck even if it played great. If you prefer the looks of Jackson/ESP/etc along with the price and playability.. Just get it and be happy with it. Theres no "absolute best guitar company ever made", just different specs/looks.

    So in other words.. Just buy a Carvin. jk hahah
     
  20. oremus91

    oremus91 Melodeth-er

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    Relevant

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