What screams "cheap" to you?

dreamspace

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- Black vintage style Stratocaster hardware.
- No binding on fretboard with sharkfin, trapezoid, etc. inlays
- "faded" finishes, like Gibson uses (i.e no clear coat)
- Active pickups with (guitar) brand name on them
- Truss rod cover on Strats/Teles
 

Wolfhorsky

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Given this list, what do you think doesnt look cheap/have you bought? I think most production guitars have at least 1 thing on this list lol.
Recently Ibanez Genesis with maple boards.
And above list is the reason that I heavily modify my production guitars and also I have few custom ones.
 

CanserDYI

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Given this list, what do you think doesnt look cheap/have you bought? I think most production guitars have at least 1 thing on this list lol.
Yeah he said chrome hardware, black hardware, and golden hardware so I'm convinced this dude is a bongo drummer in disguise and thinks all guitars look cheap.
 

TheBolivianSniper

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Yeah he said chrome hardware, black hardware, and golden hardware so I'm convinced this dude is a bongo drummer in disguise and thinks all guitars look cheap.

I have black chrome hardware (minus tuners since they didn't have black chrome in stock, I just gotta change the buttons sometime) on my Avenger and that guitar literally looks like a custom. It has a lot of steel floyd parts too so with that, the unique hardware, and the insane sparkle finish, I personally think it looks like a >2k guitar rather than a <1k one.
 

Wolfhorsky

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Yeah he said chrome hardware, black hardware, and golden hardware so I'm convinced this dude is a bongo drummer in disguise and thinks all guitars look cheap.
Please read carefully. I wrote: cosmo black hardware. Black hardware is the way to go imho.
Cosmo black looks meh (to me) and wears off pretty quickly.
3JaIqmh--tJgkEZs6SDr7ZYdkTSZYe6v_R0FssB420c.jpg

This is black hardware:
thumb_d_gallery_base_75373e13.jpg
 

dreamspace

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El-cheapo, POV:

You walk into a guitar store, grab this black/red/sunburst Stratocaster knock-off from the wall, and sit down to play a few licks.

Instantly, you feel some fret-sprout when gliding your hand down the neck. The backside of the neck is neither smooth glossy, or raw feeling, but somewhere in-between - a rough and hard feeling protective coat.

The strings feel hard and stiff, like a set of 0.11s that came with the guitar straight out of the factory - but somehow the guitar is actually stringed with a set of 0.09-42s. Action is ok for playing cowboy chords, but gradually increases as you move up the fretboard. Even basic blues licks in the 12-15th fret sweetspot feels like a hassle - the skinny and low frets aren't helping, either.

You strum a G cord - it's out of tune. You tune each string, and hear the occasional pings and pops. Certain times the tuning doesn't seem to do jack sh!t, until the string suddenly gives in, and moves a semi-tone; the nut looks like a white rectangular, with slots cut way too small. After 2 mins the guitar is somewhat in tune.

The saddles are somehow already adjusted all the way down, despite the horrendous action - and the screws are chafing your hand.

After plugging into some 15w modeler on the floor, you're met with some good ol' hum and static noise. Oh well - time to hit that G again. Bridge pickup sounds shrill, mid is forgettable, and the neck is kind of thin yet wooly and undefined.

You switch over to distortion, which results in whining feedback. Lead playing sounds like shit - notes are fretting out all over the place, and no mater how much gain you use, the sound is just weak - with with notes eventually fizzling out. After 3 mins of noodling, the guitar is yet again out of tune. One of the strings seem to get stuck to the nut.

The whammy bar is either loose and wiggly - or fully tightened at a rather useless angle. But that doesn't really mater, because even the lightest usage will result in all strings going out of tune.

You hang the back up on the wall, and snuggle back the $149.99 price tag between the strings.
 

High Plains Drifter

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For me, the whole package just needs to fit together in an aesthetically pleasing way. A lot of things don't go together regarding hardware finish, body color, overall shape of the instrument, too many alternating wood grains either in species or stains, etc. Typically, if the wood grains and paint colors and hardware finishes all fit together and the instrument doesn't have any glaring flaws, and it's a pleasing shape... then it's all good to me. It's hard for me to nit pick on a couple little things so long as the guitar flows together well and appears to be well constructed. I try to keep an open mind when looking a guitar like "does it look cheap or is it just something that I don't really like?".

Lotta stuff I don't care for but I'd be hard-pressed to delineate those things as cheap-looking. To be completely honest, the guitars that I see that look really cheap... are actually cheap lol. They're usually new guitars that fall below the $400 mark and generally have a glaring cheap-factor like a dry ugly fret-board, cookie-cutter colors/ designs, cheap looking pickups/ bridges/ etc or a lackluster spec-sheet ( although even within those, there are exceptions... for me at least).
 
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Side note. I've become fascinated with the Les Paul aesthetic because it just looks high end as fuck. The body binding, the colors, the hardware, it all just screams high end even if Gibson's QC has been shady at times and that particular guitar might be one of those situations.

Something about them just personifies a premium axe and guitars with the same specs just don't hit the same notes (pardon pun) and I don't know why.

Any of you guys have that specific guitar that is the embodiment of "high end" to you and you don't even know why?
 

Dumple Stilzkin

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Okay I’mma take my shot.
Gold hardware, about the only time I like it is with Les Paul customs.
Kiesels specced put by people with bad taste (the sum of the options needs some sort of flow).
Anemic looking rosewood, my 7620 has beautiful rosewood with rich browns and reds going on.
Too much abalone, those recent BC Rich, or Schecter, and LTD models just look cheap as fawk! Does anyone actually like these?
 

Dumple Stilzkin

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Side note. I've become fascinated with the Les Paul aesthetic because it just looks high end as fuck. The body binding, the colors, the hardware, it all just screams high end even if Gibson's QC has been shady at times and that particular guitar might be one of those situations.

Something about them just personifies a premium axe and guitars with the same specs just don't hit the same notes (pardon pun) and I don't know why.

Any of you guys have that specific guitar that is the embodiment of "high end" to you and you don't even know why?
I’ve always equated neck binding on metal guitars as being the icing on the cake. There’s something about an ebony board with mother of pearl inlays and binding that just does it for me. I’ve felt this was since before I actually got my first guitar— and still feel that way.

I mentioned it above, but, the only guitar I like gold hardware on is a LP custom. Possibly for the same reasons you’ve mentioned.
 

budda

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Side note. I've become fascinated with the Les Paul aesthetic because it just looks high end as fuck. The body binding, the colors, the hardware, it all just screams high end even if Gibson's QC has been shady at times and that particular guitar might be one of those situations.

Something about them just personifies a premium axe and guitars with the same specs just don't hit the same notes (pardon pun) and I don't know why.

Any of you guys have that specific guitar that is the embodiment of "high end" to you and you don't even know why?

Flame-top PRS with bird inlays. Probably partially because they were $4k CAD the first time I ever saw one in person and just screamed "high end luxury instrument". Now that I've owned a few, I can confirm that :lol:.
 

Nag

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It's probably been mentioned a hundred times here already, but, the combination of centered dot inlays (especially white plastic ones) and solid color finishes. Fender loves to do that. Find me a custom shop strat worth like 4, 5 or 6 grand, if it's solid color and has the dots it'll look exactly like the starter kit strat to me.

Also dot inlays of any kind on a guitar by a brand that is/has been recognizable by using different inlays. Jackson sharkies, Ibanez sharkies, most notably. Ibanez puts dots on all their prestige guitars now, it's super sad and boring.
 

Captain Shoggoth

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one from the 2000s import Jackson catalogue days: chrome/gold hardware without black accenting; eg a shitty licensed chrome floyd with chrome fine tuners. Black hardware in general is kind of bleh for me for the same reason

Side note. I've become fascinated with the Les Paul aesthetic because it just looks high end as fuck. The body binding, the colors, the hardware, it all just screams high end even if Gibson's QC has been shady at times and that particular guitar might be one of those situations.

Something about them just personifies a premium axe and guitars with the same specs just don't hit the same notes (pardon pun) and I don't know why.

Any of you guys have that specific guitar that is the embodiment of "high end" to you and you don't even know why?

ditto, but specifically for all the black/gold Gibson Customs, LP, Explorer, Flying V... yum

6 strings, short scale, all mahogany, hardtail, 22 frets, 12" radius, fat necks; don't care. They're too cool to be denied
 

mastapimp

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Side note. I've become fascinated with the Les Paul aesthetic because it just looks high end as fuck. The body binding, the colors, the hardware, it all just screams high end even if Gibson's QC has been shady at times and that particular guitar might be one of those situations.

Something about them just personifies a premium axe and guitars with the same specs just don't hit the same notes (pardon pun) and I don't know why.

Any of you guys have that specific guitar that is the embodiment of "high end" to you and you don't even know why?

You can toss in the weight of a les paul as something that makes it feel "high end" to me. It just feels like it's a more solid instrument in many regards when it weighs twice as much as your other gear.
 

MASS DEFECT

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Side note. I've become fascinated with the Les Paul aesthetic because it just looks high end as fuck. The body binding, the colors, the hardware, it all just screams high end even if Gibson's QC has been shady at times and that particular guitar might be one of those situations.

Something about them just personifies a premium axe and guitars with the same specs just don't hit the same notes (pardon pun) and I don't know why.

Any of you guys have that specific guitar that is the embodiment of "high end" to you and you don't even know why?

Same for those early "Les Paul" 1961 SG Customs. Those white, 3 pickup, gold hardware with a Vibrola that wont stay in tune. It just looks sharp and classy even though the construction is basically cheap and the sideways vibrola is flimsy. Saw one being played in a big band jazz setting. Sure looks expensive when you are decked out in a tux.
 

/wrists

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My opinion,

Not made in Korea, Japan, US. (Made in China, Indonesia, Mexico) - Yes, it does matter who sits behind the C&C machine and who is doing the quality assurance regardless of streamlined processes and procedures. I am extremely glad I returned my Indonesian variant of a mid range LTD (M1 Custom) and switched it for the Korean model. There is a notable difference.

Made in Korea is a coin flip.
Rosewood
Bolt On
Gibson
Replica Floyd Rose
Uneven neck/fretboard job


Just know that $1000-$1500 guitar is most likely going to net you a mid-range guitar. Anything under that is most likely going to be garbage. (But people who've never played a $3000 Caparison or Jackson for example will never know what the difference between a $400 Dean guitar and a proper instrument plays/sounds like.)
 
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