Theory: "Cheap" versus Expensive: the real worth of guitars.

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by TKOA-Dex, May 27, 2014.

  1. Given To Fly

    Given To Fly SS.org Regular

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    - Its not a group of collectors who are against mods, its simply "collectors."

    - Hundreds and hundreds of thousands :eek:
     
  2. Grand Moff Tim

    Grand Moff Tim Some call me... Tim

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    Nope. Once you buy a guitar, its value decreases. When you modify it, regardless of the modification, its value decreases further still. If for some reason you put enough parts in that their combined cost adds up to enough to counterbalance the value lost by modifying it and by it merely being secondhand, then maybe you can say the value is more, but that's a big maybe.

    Keep in mind, the parts you add decrease in value as soon as you take them out of the package, too. A $300 guitar plus a $100 pickup doesn't equal a $400 guitar. That $300 guitar was knocked down to (and I'm being generous here) a $225 guitar the second you walked out the door with it, and that $100 pickup became a $75 pickup (generously) as soon as you took it out of the box.

    That means that, not taking into account that modifying it will decreased its value as well, you're AT MOST going to break even on the price of the guitar if you sell it with the pickup included, but you'll still be out the price of the guitar, and you definitely won't be raising the value.
     
  3. stevexc

    stevexc SS.org Regular

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    ^+1 And no, Gibsons and Fenders are not the "Exception to the rule". Your 2008 Les Paul is not going to be worth a fortune in 2058 just because a 1964 is worth a fortune now.

    Although in counterpoint to what Tim's saying, an upgrade will sorta increase the value - given two identical guitars, one with high end pickups, the one with the high end pickups will sell for more. Either way, however, that sell price will be less than new.
     
  4. Grand Moff Tim

    Grand Moff Tim Some call me... Tim

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    Yeah, you could probably sell a used guitar with nice aftermarket pickups for more than the same used guitar with stock pickups, but like you said, either one would still likely be less than the new price of the guitar.
     
  5. 7stg

    7stg SS.org Regular

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    My theory is at about 1,000 - 1,500 most guitars are pretty much as good as anything, see Carvin. At this point a guitar will come with good quality components, woods, and attention to detail. Paying much less and some love and upgrades can make a decent guitar. Paying much more than that requires exponentially more money for minimal returns in quality.

    :agreed:
     
  6. pushpull7

    pushpull7 Banned

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    I don't agree. I did that. I bought lower priced instruments and changed the pups/etc and frankly, I sold them off because they never sounded as good to me.

    I have 3 left. An ibanez 1520 prestige, a Carvin, and a fender strat HSS/murican deluxe. They sound, play and feel terrific. Far better than the premiums I went on a binge buying and changed the pups. These 3 are all stock.

    So, I'm psyched for those that buy cheaper instruments and change them to be treasured, but it's not been my experience.
     
  7. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    I have a couple of cheap (one was considered medium range when new) a couple of expensive guitars and had one intermediate and one medium range that I sold. As people said there are hidden gems in cheaper guitars and it is possible to play them after having expensive guitars. It you identify the good one and not having a lot of expectations they can pleasantly surprise you. I still enjoy playing my MIJ Squier a lot but when I get my hands on the Carvin it's just another level.
     
  8. JmCastor

    JmCastor SS.org Regular

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    I honestly can say the only reason i bought lower end guitars to begin with was because i didn't have the budget at the time to get what i wanted and was not going to for the foreseeable future. i agree with the above sentiment that once a guitar hits the 1,100 mark or so, there should be a certain standard of quality attained that makes a guitar of much higher price attractive only due to personal preference

    eg. A mexican strat vs a Prestige Ibanez vs a JEM

    is the difference between the prestige and the JEM even close to the difference between the strat and the prestige...i'd doubt it. The only thing really making that JEM more desirable is personal preference (considering both guitars are setup perfectly).

    with all that being said, i now own a Carvin and have decided to get a RG655 from Rich in the next month or so (i re watched tender Surrender a couple of days ago :) ) and i can't say if i'll ever feel inclined to get a squire just to upgrade the hell out of it.
     
  9. MikeyLawless

    MikeyLawless SS.org Regular

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    I have a few cheap guitars that ive modded and done full setups on. They will play and sounds as good as any high end production guitar. They will never have the build quality and beauty of a higg end guitar though. Thats the biggest difference ive seen.
     
  10. Given To Fly

    Given To Fly SS.org Regular

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    I have a cheap guitar: an Ibanez SCR220BP. Here are the specs:
    SCR220 - Ibanez Wiki
    If you combine the link above and the 1999 Ibanez catalog you have all the information available on the guitar. It was produced in 1999 and discontinued in 1999. Bad sign right?

    Fast forward 15 years and most people still think its a cheap Ibanez. The thing is, Ibanez has changed. MIJ means something now. In fact, I guessed this guitar was MIJ before I checked the back of the headstock based off playability alone. The V1/V2 pickups are great pickups and the 5 way switch gives you 5 distinct, usable tones. The design and specs are unique to this guitar which has made it nearly impossible to find a proper hard shell case for it. :noplease:

    A good guitar is a good guitar, how its priced is where it gets confusing. :scratch:

    :2c:
     
  11. MikeyLawless

    MikeyLawless SS.org Regular

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    I agrree. Thats a.classy axe btw!
     
  12. TheDraeg

    TheDraeg SS.org Regular

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    My $950 Hammett sig feels better in my hands than my $1700 Horizon.
    Go figure. :nuts:
     
  13. TKOA-Dex

    TKOA-Dex Master of Thall

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    All valid points here. I guess I cannot really relate though, as I have never owned a high end guitar. Sure, I have played some (and absolutely hated playing a Gibson LP), but not owned or played for an extended period. I assume I will just have to wait and save up for a really decent guitar. Probably will end up being an Ibanez JEM, Ibanez EGEN, or a Halo customs guitar... That's going to take awhile. Especially while I am out of work right now and pawning off belongings for gas money and other guitar items like Pickups.
     
  14. stevexc

    stevexc SS.org Regular

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    I'll throw it out there, unless you're 100% sure exactly what specs you want and WHY you want them - and what specifically they do for you - don't go for a full custom. Carvin maybe, but not custom shop. I've also heard not-so-wonderful things about Halo but I may be wrong and I'm probably not going to remember to substantiate that.
     
  15. TKOA-Dex

    TKOA-Dex Master of Thall

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    Okay. Well could I get a decent Carvin for the price of a current productions Ibanez JEM or Ibanez EGEN?
     
  16. ferret

    ferret Not worthy

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    In that price range you can basically get anything you want from Carvin, completely decked out. You could even shoot for a Kiesel Edition.
     
  17. noUser01

    noUser01 Still can't play.

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    Oh, we're doing this thread again?

    If you like it, play it. Prices and quality differ all over the spectrum. If you think it's worth the money then buy it. Bottom line.
     
  18. Lain

    Lain SS.org Regular

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    People forget that some guitars are just not fixable unless you swap EVERYTHING out.... but in that case it's not a cheap guitar anymore. You could have bought all the parts in the first place and built yourself a guitar.
    If you find a sub 500$ guitar that is good you are either REALLY lucky or you don't care about strings rattling, tuning instability and dead frets.
     
  19. Jake

    Jake GAS Master

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    Being that guy who buys pretty much every guitar I've ever owned used I see prices of guitars differently. I wait for the deals to show up for higher end gear at low end gear prices to make it feel more worth it to me. Sure I may have some pretty expensive guitars but I didn't pay nearly as much as I should have for them (minus the PRS) which was still a good deal though.

    The way I see it is if it plays good, then play it. Don't worry about where it was made, what name is on the headstock, the model number or any of that shit. :yesway:
     
  20. stevexc

    stevexc SS.org Regular

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    +1. A $2,500 guitar can wind up playing line a $500 guitar... and in some cases a $500 guitar can play like a $2,500 guitar. Below a certain price point you're paying more for better quality hardware (someone here once said "never buy a guitar with a Floyd for less than the cost of a Floyd alone") but past that you're paying mostly for high quality control.

    I've played Squiers that feel and sound better than American Fenders. I've played ESPs that play worse than equally specced LTDs. But I've also played Gibsons that blow some Epiphones out of the water and Prestige Ibbies that way outplay Standards.

    All other things considered equal, if you take 100 high-end (production) guitars and 100 low-end guitars, the high-end ones will ON AVERAGE perform better... but there's a very real chance that some of the low-end ones will outplay all the high-end ones.

    Pick up any guitar. Play it. THEN look at the price tag. If that price tag reflects how that guitar feels - or better yet, seems way too low - then it's a good deal. If that pricetag makes you say "What the balls" then put it back. You'll only have issues by looking at the price first. Which is why I'll never (okay, rarely) buy a guitar I can't play first.
     

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