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expensive vs cheap


fatboy
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within the subject of buying cheaper made guitars thread that john w started,

Do you think a well made instrument makes you better player? A cheaper one would require more effort to sound good, does that make you a better player by making the cheapo sound good (im not talking about the tone of the guitar or the amp or anything just the person playing)

buying a cheap guitar to learn on would obviously inhibit the users progress compared to buying a well made one, which i think puts alot of learners off when playing these cheap guitars as it takes more work to make it sound good.

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Unless a guitar is made out of a combination of hollowed out polystyrene and sawdust, a playable budget guitar with a good set up, a good replacement bridge, nut and set of tuners (if stock peripherals are bad), and high end pick ups - all through a decent amp - will sound very usable, if you can actually play the thing.

Intonation can often be a bit of an unavoidable factor with cheap guitars, especially on cheap bolt-on neck copies of high end models, like Epiphones for example. But if you find a guitar that feels nice to play unplugged, stays in tune and frets comfortably up and down the board, then a few upgrades will have it completely gig worthy.

I'm certainly no guitar expert, but I get a very adequate tone out of my Squier Custom Tele after months of fiddling about with it, as it came in poor shape (Factory set up was horrendous). I feel a little more comfortable playing a 200 Tele. I know if I drop it, or chipped it or scratched it, I wouldn't really care, where as if I bought a 1000 guitar, I'd be treating it like an ornament, and that's no fun for me

Besides. If Squiers are good enough for Prince. They're good enough for me.

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Unless a guitar is made out of a combination of hollowed out polystyrene and sawdust, a playable budget guitar with a good set up, a good replacement bridge, nut and set of tuners (if stock peripherals are bad), and high end pick ups - all through a decent amp - will sound very usable, if you can actually play the thing.

I see what your saying. the cheaper guitars can be fixed to sound better like changing the hardware and pups etc.

but without having to modding it, are you better player if you use all your skill to make that cheap shite thing wail! rather than easier to play well made robust guitar

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but could you make a 50 guitar sound as good as a 500 guitar?

It's not going to sound the same, but whether or not it sounds as good is entirely subjective. Depends what you are going for. I mean, look at Jimmy Page, he was playing the most evpensive guitars (1959 Gibson Les Pauls) along with some of the cheapest (Danelectros), both sounded awesome because they were both doing different things.

Gary Moore playing a 50 guitar would sound better than me playing a 500 guitar. Does that answer your question?

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Tone starts in your fingers. If your technique is shite it's not going to improve because you spent 800 on a guitar instead of 300.

But that's not to say you shouldn't buy an expensive guitar. Better build quality and components certainly wouldn't hurt, but it's all down to personal preference reallly and the individual guitar in question.

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I have a Mexican/US hybrid Telecaster that I bought for around 200 about 10 years ago. It is a great guitar, tone wise and playability. I also own a US 52' reissue Telecaster which beats it in every single department. You really get what you pay for in my opinion. A better guitar wont make you a better player, but it will help you a little bit along the way in improving yr tone. Obviously playing through a nice amp will help too.

Upgrading a cheapo guitar by modding may be a good idea in theory, but I just don't think you will get the same end result as spending that little bit extra on a high quality instrument.

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I am an irreverent tinkerer. I only really have cheap basses which I've since meddled with. Apart from my Gibson G-3 (which it would be sacrilegious to modify, not to mention the effect on resale value should I ever need to sell it), none of my basses are original!

Fecker Imprecision - Squier body and neck, Fender Mex tuners, Fender neckplate/knobs, Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder, Badass II.

Epiphone Les Paul Standard - EMG HB pickups and EMG BQC 3 band EQ

DeArmond Starfire - Schaller tuners

Modding is fun and teaches you a lot about what goes on with guitars. As long as you don't expect to get your money back, you'll be fine.

As far as basic build quality goes, I do have a cutoff point. Basically, anything cheaper than a Squier or an Epiphone will have me seriously doubting the build quality. Everything will be compromised (i.e. shit) - the fretwork, the hardware, the pickups, the electrics. It will be made of whatever driftwood they could find.

However, my underdog championing stance has taken a bit of a hit since acquiring my Gibson G-3. It's my first US made bass and I have to say that I just love playing it. I don't know what it is about it - it's not the most versatile bass, it's a bit battered round the edges, but it almost has me believing that it has a soul.

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You really get what you pay for in my opinion. A better guitar wont make you a better player, but it will help you a little bit along the way in improving yr tone. Obviously playing through a nice amp will help too.

Upgrading a cheapo guitar by modding may be a good idea in theory, but I just don't think you will get the same end result as spending that little bit extra on a high quality instrument.

Quoted for truth.

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Unless he plays Squiers now.... I think you'll find that Prince was known for playing the Hohner TE Prinz Tele.... not Squiers :)

I think YOU'LL find he was known for playing big fuck off weird guitars in the shape of his "AFKAP" symbol. ;)

Jeff Healy and, um, Crispin Mills out of Kula Shaker used to play Squiers however.

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In my experience you can get a very playable, decent sounding guitar for cheap, but the problem lies in build quality. The cheap guitars I've owned gave me problems with fret buzz, noisy pick-ups or the signal cutting out (crappy wiring) before eventually falling apart. I think it's pretty immaterial whether or not you have a high or poor quality instrument (assuming it's at least in working order) in terms of improving your technique.

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I have a Gibson Les Paul and an Orville Les Paul. The Orville definitely plays and sounds better to my hands and ears. The Orville cost me 400 and the Gibson cost me 1250. The Gibson is the most expensive guitar I've bought, I can feel the quality in places compared to the Orville(this guitar is a beast to play though)

It's down to personal preference.

As far as I'm concerned, a shite guitar through a good amp will still sound decent, but a decent guitar through a shite amp is still gonna sound shite. I don't play guitars... I play amps!

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I would heartily recommend that anyone about to take up the guitar gets the worst piece of shit imaginable.

If you can get good on that, then when you move onto a good piece of gear you will really notice the difference.

Agreed, with the caveat that the action is OK. If the strings are an inch of the fretboard and it's virtually unplayable, it could put a beginner off.

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I remember when I got my first valve amp. My solid state before it sounded so muddy in comparison, therefore the woolly tones sort of covered up my imperfections and mistakes. The valve amp was so clear and picked up everything. I could hear everything that was wrong with my technique. The ever so slight gaps between chords sounded gaping in comparison, and I really had to sharpen up my playing.

So yeah. Forking out for a decent amp certainly taught me a lesson: Don't be shit.

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Surely for the type of music you guys play it would impossible to right a well structured songs with all the different accents and licks etc and know it sounds good especially through all the background noise? If you know what I mean. And how did playing without an amp help your technique?

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Surely for the type of music you guys play it would impossible to right a well structured songs with all the different accents and licks etc and know it sounds good especially through all the background noise? If you know what I mean.

No i don't, unless you mean we are all shite guitarist that doesnt warrant recognition.

And how did playing without an amp help your technique?

because it requires you to play with more accuracy that relying on an amp to cover your sloppyness (when practising)

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I have a Mexican/US hybrid Telecaster that I bought for around 200 about 10 years ago. It is a great guitar, tone wise and playability. I also own a US 52' reissue Telecaster which beats it in every single department. You really get what you pay for in my opinion. A better guitar wont make you a better player, but it will help you a little bit along the way in improving yr tone. Obviously playing through a nice amp will help too.

Upgrading a cheapo guitar by modding may be a good idea in theory, but I just don't think you will get the same end result as spending that little bit extra on a high quality instrument.

I'd agree with this up to a certain point. Maybe 500 or even 1000, but I think the difference between a 4000 and 2000 guitar will probably only feel different to people who have more money than sense.

I'd still maintain that after 500 what your getting in return for every quid you spend decreases.

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No i don't, unless you mean we are all shite guitarist that doesnt warrant recognition.

I meant Saikano directly who play technical metal.

because it requires you to play with more accuracy that relying on an amp to cover your sloppyness (when practising)

Surely you would notice the mistakes whilst playing just by looking at your fingerwork/strumming and wouldn't need an amp to tell you you're playing wrong?

And if you dismissing mistakes which you hear through your amp, then surely it can just as easily be correct by sharpening up and not being so lazy?

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