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Unread 01-06-2010, 08:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Budget US made guitars.

Are there any decent quality US made guitars that retail under a grand? I'm thinking the $500-700 range, especially a single-cutaway LP style body, or maybe a double-cutaway PRS style body.
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Unread 01-06-2010, 09:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

Gibson Melody Makers. Faded Les Paul Special. Les Paul Vintage Mahogany.
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Unread 01-06-2010, 09:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

and a junior!
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Unread 01-06-2010, 09:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

In my area, CList has had a few gib studios for sale at some decent prices. Have seen VM's fro 500-600, painted studios for 600-800. Some good fender deals as well, Strat deluxes 800-1000. Should I be buying these up and hoarding them until the economy turns around?
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Unread 01-06-2010, 10:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

no.
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Unread 01-06-2010, 10:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

Wouldn't a budget USA guitar be quite shit, though? Expensive labour would have to be offset by cheap parts to retain the same price as the Korean equivelent, which basically means a hideous slab of black and white boredom as depicted below, compared to something quite exquisitly shaggable, as depicted below that -



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Unread 01-06-2010, 10:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

Highway 1 Strats and Teles...
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Unread 01-06-2010, 10:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dennistruckdriver View Post
no.


Like my wife would agree to many more gits anyway.
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Unread 01-06-2010, 10:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by !Dv View Post
Wouldn't a budget USA guitar be quite shit, though? Expensive labour would have to be offset by cheap parts to retain the same price as the Korean equivelent, which basically means a hideous slab of black and white boredom as depicted below, compared to something quite exquisitly shaggable, as depicted below that -
Some people prefer their guitars to be simple and straightforward. Not everyone wants a guitar that looks like an alligator skin purse.
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Unread 01-06-2010, 10:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

I believe Godin is a USA made guitar that are pretty affordable. Just because a guitar is made in the USA doesn't necessarily mean it has superior quality. I have a Schecter Hell raiser made in Korea that exudes quality. There are many quality guitars out there that are affordable.
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Unread 01-06-2010, 10:24 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

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I believe Godin is a USA made guitar that are pretty affordable. Just because a guitar is made in the USA doesn't necessarily mean it has superior quality. I have a Schecter Hell raiser made in Korea that exudes quality. There are many quality guitars out there that are affordable.
Godins are made in Canada. Great value and great guitars.
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Unread 01-06-2010, 10:33 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cynic79 View Post
Some people prefer their guitars to be simple and straightforward. Not everyone wants a guitar that looks like an alligator skin purse.
Well, there's that. To be honest, I only went for that particular guitar because it was the closest to the Melody Maker's £350 pricetag. There were soem proper shaggable guitars around the £250 mark, but that one just seemed to serve neatly as one that had stuff to it, and wasn't as basic as basic could be.

Incidentally, I did see a white Melody Maker on Gumtree not so long ago, for £200. Not one to trouble my bank balance, there.
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Unread 01-06-2010, 10:41 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

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Originally Posted by !Dv View Post
Well, there's that. To be honest, I only went for that particular guitar because it was the closest to the Melody Maker's £350 pricetag. There were soem proper shaggable guitars around the £250 mark, but that one just seemed to serve neatly as one that had stuff to it, and wasn't as basic as basic could be.

Incidentally, I did see a white Melody Maker on Gumtree not so long ago, for £200. Not one to trouble my bank balance, there.
The Melody Makers are nice if you value simplicity. Actually, those Ibanezes are quite nice guitars as well, funky finish notwithstanding.

You do have a point about relative quality for the price. The cheaper USA made Gibsons are nice, but they do have to cut costs. The biggest cost cutting measure is the satin nitro finish, although some people might prefer that over a thick poly finish. The other, bigger issue is the finishing details. I love my SG Faded, but it could have used some additional attention to its frets. Meanwhile, a lot of the guitars coming out of Korea have absolutely stellar frets: mirror finished and no prickly ends.

It comes down to what you want. A lot of people in the US would rather buy a US made guitar because they want to support workers at home. Others might want the Gibson brand name. Some may feel that the quality of the US made instruments trumps foreign made guitars at the same price point. Meanwhile, those looking for maximum value might be more willing to pick up a Korean, Chinese, or Indonesian made instrument.

To me, it comes down to the actual guitar. I've got three Gibsons that I bought based on how they played and sounded. I've also got guitars made in Indonesia, Korea, Japan, and Mexico, all of which I bought based on the qualities of the individual guitars, rather than focusing on where they were made.
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Unread 01-06-2010, 10:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

look into US MASTERS and carvin guitars. or even dean Hartail. used, these guitars can be bought fairly cheap.
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Unread 01-06-2010, 10:02 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

Godin's are made in Canada and assembled in Maine, which makes them pretty close.. Reverend used to make a USA line that was originally sold under 1000 and can still occasionally be found under a thousand. Nothing at all wrong with wanting to buy American, though sadly its gotton harder and harder thru the years to find affordable and American at the same time..
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Unread 01-06-2010, 10:05 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

SG Classic, just like a standard but with P90's, sick guitar. Buy Gibson SG Classic Electric Guitar with P-90 Pickups | Solid Body Electric Guitars | Musician's Friend
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Unread 01-06-2010, 11:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

Older Peaveys, sometimes as low as 200. But judging by the ones that I have tried, I think they are in their price range for a reason.
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Unread 01-06-2010, 11:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

Les Paul Vintage Mahogany is the best bang for your buck right now I think

here's mine with a few upgrades

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Unread 01-06-2010, 11:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by !Dv View Post
Wouldn't a budget USA guitar be quite shit, though? Expensive labour would have to be offset by cheap parts to retain the same price as the Korean equivelent, which basically means a hideous slab of black and white boredom as depicted below, compared to something quite exquisitly shaggable, as depicted below that -

http://www.dv247.com/assets/products/50869_l.jpg

http://www.dv247.com/assets/products/60830_l.jpg
Sorry but I want the 'white hideous boredom,' that wrinkled one below is meh, to me.
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Unread 01-07-2010, 12:24 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

Used Kramers, bought a Baretta for 415$ US. They're out there, just look for them; they end up with the cheaper guitars quite often too.
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Unread 01-07-2010, 12:48 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

Fender Standards are 999 again, and can be had used for around 6-700 if you look. I just got a CS partsocaster for 889 out the door.
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Unread 01-07-2010, 02:50 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

Until recent years, i would have said "get a Carvin". I have two of them bought years ago for under $1K that are great and like new. But in looking at the most recent Carvin catalog, I noticed that guitars under this price are getting rather scarce. I did notice a few with bolted necks for under $1K, but I hate bolted necks, and neither of my Carvins have them.

So I would have to say that there are no budget US made guitars that I know of anymore, or at least none that are any good.

But, I have to say that my favorite guitar I own is an Epi '56 LP goldtop P90 made in China. Some of these are good and some are not. Quality control seems to be lacking here. But mine just sings after a few low cost trips to my luthier.

It is a damn shame that US made guitars (and even Japanese guitars that are any good) have pretty much passed the $1K price range for anything with any features. And when we get into guitars from China, Korea, and other countries, we get into quality control issues. One of a make and model may be good, but another of the same make and model may by lousy. You have to play before you buy.
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Unread 01-07-2010, 01:10 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

plus 8 billion on the peavey!!!

some of their Peavey HP USA guitars have been sold under 400 on ebay. they are great guitars that also look sort of like PRS double cut guitars. play great, and the attention to detail is top notch!
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Unread 01-07-2010, 06:24 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

if i got a black melody maker, i would make it look like Kirk hammets KH3....

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Unread 01-10-2010, 01:36 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Talking Re: Budget US made guitars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by !Dv View Post
Wouldn't a budget USA guitar be quite shit, though? Expensive labour would have to be offset by cheap parts to retain the same price as the Korean equivelent, which basically means a hideous slab of black and white boredom as depicted below, compared to something quite exquisitly shaggable, as depicted below that -

http://www.dv247.com/assets/products/50869_l.jpg

http://www.dv247.com/assets/products/60830_l.jpg
I'll take the black and white boredom over that hideous thing below it, thanks.
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Unread 01-10-2010, 02:10 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

used USA Hamers go really really cheap, especially stuidos / specials from the 90s. These are as good or better than top of the line USA Gibson and PRS.
You can find them for $500

don't try their imports though.....not the same thing.
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Unread 01-10-2010, 02:13 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Krashpad View Post
I'll take the black and white boredom over that hideous thing below it, thanks.
i played that ibanez after seeing it and thinking the whole idea was cool. it did not play well or sound well and hurt my fretting hand after short playing. i would rather a no frills guitar that plays nice than bad sounding and feeling stuff.
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Unread 01-10-2010, 08:27 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

Surely there are some smaller guitar makers in the US producing mid-priced product.

Here in the UK we have Gordon Smith guitars. They make various models. Many of the GS (Junior-ish) guitars come in under the OP's $1000 limit, which would be £624. The LP copes is the "Graduate" range, which start considerably over that limit.

I've played one of the GS range guitars. I thought it felt quite nice, but didn't feel a sudden need, that I "must have" this guitar.

Gordon-Smith Guitars

A company called Adam Black has been selling guitars made in Korea, and perhaps other countries, under their own label. They've just released a UK made model for £399, which is not expensive here, a not atypical price for a Chinese made Burny, a Michael Kelly Patriot, or one of the mid range Hagstroms. The body and the bolt-on neck are said to be made using automation, presumably CNC.



http://www.guitar.co.uk/guitars/elec...lectric_guitar

The (I guess Korean) other Libras are much cheaper, and have a set neck. I don't know how the hardware compares, but they seem to be very different guitars. I've not played one, but have heard that the Libra UK is very good, while I've heard less complimentary things about the imports. An apples and oranges comparison I think, and not an indication of how much more expensive it is to make a guitar in the UK.

Surely there are similar companies in the US? The only small US maker I've heard of is Ed Roman guitars, but there must be others.

PS: I like both the white and black LP junior and the snakeskin. But IMHO the LP Junior just shades it.
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Unread 01-10-2010, 06:55 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

Thanks for the info guys. I guess what I was getting at in the OP is that most US guitar companies have there top of the line US made $2000+ model for each series, with everything else being made over seas, which is kind of a drag. Incidentally, I've found a local luthier called Lowel Guitars that supposedly does good work and his prices are very reasonable.
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Unread 01-31-2010, 10:44 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Budget US made guitars.

<can't stop snickering over the "alligator purse guitar"
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