Would you happily play a really cheap guitar?

All things guitar, Les Pauls, Strats, Teles, Tokai, Ibanez etc. etc. etc.

Moderators: Slowy, Capt. Black

User avatar
Olderama
Vintage Post Junkie
Vintage Post Junkie
Posts: 5861
meble-kuchenne.warszawa.pl
Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:04 pm
Has liked: 1094 times
Been liked: 878 times

Re: Would you happily play a really cheap guitar?

Post by Olderama »

Well you know me …..
:mental:

User avatar
Molly
Vintage Post Junkie
Vintage Post Junkie
Posts: 21171
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:17 pm
Has liked: 2399 times
Been liked: 2956 times

Re: Would you happily play a really cheap guitar?

Post by Molly »

Didn't mean for the thread to become judgmental.

Like it or not it is the case that factors beyond what something 'is' play a part in our desire to own it. Nobody's immune. Could be nostalgia, association with a favourite player, assumptions about quality. And marketing is clearly a powerful weapon or companies wouldn't spend millions exploiting it. And it can be double-edged. We all 'rationally' know that PRS make great guitars but lots of guys here wouldn't be seen dead with one because Nickelback.

As a phenomenon this stuff is interesting to me. But if you would or wouldn't play a cheap / posh / pointy / retro guitar for any reason I don't think that reason includes 'issues' or the size of your dick.

User avatar
Polar Bear
Burns BHM
Posts: 6158
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 12:53 am
Location: Wellington
Has liked: 392 times
Been liked: 385 times
Contact:

Re: Would you happily play a really cheap guitar?

Post by Polar Bear »

In short, yes. I’ve gigged a $100 Squier Tele, an Esquire I put together for less than $200 and currently have a $400
JM that sounds epic and plays perfectly.

That being said, I find value has no bearing for me on taking a guitar to a gig, the JM goes to the same dive bars as my Falcon, as they’re both designed to be played and enjoyed.
Zephyr - Wellington's Leading Covers Band

http://zephyrband.co.nz/
https://www.facebook.com/ZephyrBandNZ

User avatar
jeremyb
Chorus of Organs
Posts: 29652
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:03 am
Has liked: 5020 times
Been liked: 2700 times

Re: Would you happily play a really cheap guitar?

Post by jeremyb »

About $2k including upgrades seems to be where I need to be to get something that feels amazing to me, have had plenty of cheaper guitars and if I was only playing shred or metal then many of the secondhand ibanezes I've owned which were well under $1k were quite excellent...
The one about the fucking hairdresser, the space hairdresser and the cowboy. The guy, he's got a tin foil pal and a pedal bin. His father's a robot and he's fucking fucked his sister. Lego! They're all made of fucking Lego.

User avatar
jimi
Vintage Post Junkie
Vintage Post Junkie
Posts: 2825
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2004 2:23 pm
Location: Auckland
Has liked: 570 times
Been liked: 269 times

Re: Would you happily play a really cheap guitar?

Post by jimi »

Sure. If it plays well that’s most of what matters right? Back before I had other options I gigged squiers, partscasters and Epiphones.

I picked up a squier CV Tele earlier in the year, and It plays we’ll enough. I take it to work on Fridays for a jam, and don’t have to worry about having an expensive guitar sitting under my desk.

It’s not my first choice when I load the car for a gig, but have used it at a couple of practices.

Wairarapajack
Ashton
Ashton
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2020 6:59 pm
Has liked: 27 times
Been liked: 25 times

Re: Would you happily play a really cheap guitar?

Post by Wairarapajack »

One of my go-to guitars is a Baby Taylor I picked up second hand for $490. It's a genuinely playable, enjoyable guitar. And while it's not "cheap" it is definitely affordable. I would struggle to find a better acoustic at any price to fit my little Hobbit hands.

Similarly I have an Epiphone 339, bought for $500, which is great. I've fallen out of playing it much as I now have another more expensive guitar that does the same things slightly better. But it's a slight difference and for three times the price. You can get a lot of guitar for your money.

User avatar
Molly
Vintage Post Junkie
Vintage Post Junkie
Posts: 21171
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:17 pm
Has liked: 2399 times
Been liked: 2956 times

Re: Would you happily play a really cheap guitar?

Post by Molly »

Wairarapajack wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 9:53 pm ... I have an Epiphone 339, bought for $500, which is great. I've fallen out of playing it much as I now have another more expensive guitar that does the same things slightly better. But it's a slight difference and for three times the price. You can get a lot of guitar for your money.
There's an optimum point on the price / quality curve for sure. Once it gets up to 'Masterbuilt' or 'Paul's Private Reserve' blah blah the price is exponentially higher whilst the quality really isn't. It's another example of things becoming more about what they mean than what they are. But exclusivity is a thing some folk want. Even if they can't hear or feel the difference.

User avatar
Slowy
Vintage Post Junkie
Vintage Post Junkie
Posts: 16934
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 4:13 pm
Location: Orcland
Has liked: 707 times
Been liked: 1870 times

Re: Would you happily play a really cheap guitar?

Post by Slowy »

Molly wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:08 pm
Wairarapajack wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 9:53 pm ... I have an Epiphone 339, bought for $500, which is great. I've fallen out of playing it much as I now have another more expensive guitar that does the same things slightly better. But it's a slight difference and for three times the price. You can get a lot of guitar for your money.
There's an optimum point on the price / quality curve for sure. Once it gets up to 'Masterbuilt' or 'Paul's Private Reserve' blah blah the price is exponentially higher whilst the quality really isn't. It's another example of things becoming more about what they mean than what they are. But exclusivity is a thing some folk want. Even if they can't hear or feel the difference.
Playing is only one reason to own a guitar. As objects, artifacts and artworks they have valid worth and good reasons to be desirable.
All of us are constrained by our budget and we have to find ways of being content within our resources.

Remember those ridiculously expensive Fender recreations; Clapton's Blackie and Brownie, Andy Summers Tele, Jeff Beck Esquire, Gilmour Strat etc? There's a level of disposable income where I'd have every one of them; sitting in a glass case adorning my band room. And I doubt they'd get played unless I really liked them. They'd have their place as museum replicas of Rock icons. Cool.

But instead I have Black Benny, my delinquent problem child Tele that owes me about $150 for hardware. I gig it occasionally but it's the guitar leaning against the wall by my desk. The first one I reach for.
If a man says he's going to fix it, he will.
No need to remind him every 6 months.

candiman
Ashton
Ashton
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:52 pm
Has liked: 46 times
Been liked: 20 times

Re: Would you happily play a really cheap guitar?

Post by candiman »

In short yes. Don't know if I'd be happier playing a really expensive guitar... as I don't have one of those.

The good news is that as I get older my cheap guitars are getting more expensive.

hamo
Vintage Post Junkie
Vintage Post Junkie
Posts: 17031
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2005 12:08 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ
Has liked: 412 times
Been liked: 635 times

Re: Would you happily play a really cheap guitar?

Post by hamo »

It's hard to answer this. I've owned a few cheap guitars, and each one had issues that affected how it played or how it sounded. So maybe if I found one that didn't suffer from one of these issues, but I have no real frame of reference for it.
Aquila Rosso wrote:I don't a mind an iced tea rimjob one little bit :congrats:
Molly wrote:Trousers are no substitute for talent
druz wrote:I present to you, the whogivesafuckocaster

User avatar
calling card
Vintage Post Junkie
Vintage Post Junkie
Posts: 3525
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:56 am
Location: Hoodoo dump, BOP
Has liked: 612 times
Been liked: 225 times

Re: Would you happily play a really cheap guitar?

Post by calling card »

I wouldn't know what a high end guitar is like to live with. Mine are all sub $1000.
"Well the rain aint fussy 'bout where it lands..." - Rory Gallagher

User avatar
telefiend
Vintage Post Junkie
Vintage Post Junkie
Posts: 1283
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:41 am
Location: Wellington
Has liked: 267 times
Been liked: 141 times

Re: Would you happily play a really cheap guitar?

Post by telefiend »

Sure, but I think I've only encountered one really cheap guitar that didn't need a bunch of upgrades to make it worthwhile. An old USA Peavey Predator I got for $80 or something that I wish I'd kept. Otherwise they generally feel like what they cost.

User avatar
Danger Mouse
Vintage Post Junkie
Vintage Post Junkie
Posts: 8183
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 3:32 pm
Location: Jafa Land
Has liked: 224 times
Been liked: 514 times

Re: Would you happily play a really cheap guitar?

Post by Danger Mouse »

telefiend wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 8:11 am Sure, but I think I've only encountered one really cheap guitar that didn't need a bunch of upgrades to make it worthwhile. An old USA Peavey Predator I got for $80 or something that I wish I'd kept. Otherwise they generally feel like what they cost.
Yeah I guess it depends on how cheap is cheap. At the Mannix end of the spectrum, they are of a level I wouldn't even give to a learner, but an SX Strat or a Vintage (brand) LP with a decent set up would be something that would certainly play well enough to keep most people happy.

I have talked about this before but one of the best guitars I've played was an 80's Jap Squier, yes it was one of those "80's Jap Squiers" that people talk about in hushed tones, but really quite enjoyed the fact it looked like a budget learners guitar. Sadly there was no way I would ever prise it from the owner...
The older I get, the more disappointed in myself I become.

Wairarapajack
Ashton
Ashton
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2020 6:59 pm
Has liked: 27 times
Been liked: 25 times

Re: Would you happily play a really cheap guitar?

Post by Wairarapajack »

Molly wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:08 pm There's an optimum point on the price / quality curve for sure. Once it gets up to 'Masterbuilt' or 'Paul's Private Reserve' blah blah the price is exponentially higher whilst the quality really isn't. It's another example of things becoming more about what they mean than what they are. But exclusivity is a thing some folk want. Even if they can't hear or feel the difference.
The exponential nature of price increases after about $500-600 is the tricky part. Generally there is a fairly large difference in finish, hardware and playability between a $200 guitar and a $500-600 guitar. So it makes complete sense to get a midrange Epiphone, Squier (or second hand Mexican Fender) etc which will last a long time.

I've saved up my pennies and have been trying to find a good upgrade to a Mexican Fender Strat for about a year. Whenever I get to a decent sized music shop I'll try out an American Fender or two. Overall the things I would be looking for are playability and comfort, and even going up to the new American Professionals and Ultras doesn't yield a massive upgrade.

User avatar
olegmcnoleg
Vintage Post Junkie
Vintage Post Junkie
Posts: 3866
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:26 am
Location: Awkland
Has liked: 755 times
Been liked: 714 times

Re: Would you happily play a really cheap guitar?

Post by olegmcnoleg »

Absolutely, making music is what makes me happy. I can be happy banging a couple of pencils on a desk! If the only guitar in the room is an old beater classical with a monstrously high action, i would still want to play it.

There have been times in my life when I’ve only had cheap guitars, I still played a lot.

It is a huge luxury to have some good guitars, and to experiment with different tones and setups and how they can change what you hear and push you in a different direction.

Post Reply