Who Else Actually Prefers Their Cheap Guitars?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by flats750, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. scottatgc

    scottatgc Member

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    I tell ya, Epiphone has really stepped up quality the past few years. I have a G400, I got on a trade for a Jackson. The the previous owner upgraded the G400 with Gibson pickups and 50's style wiring, and it blows my 2017 Gibson SG standard away as far as tone, which sort of makes me sick, well because SG's are not cheap. I am in the process of pulling the PCB out of the Gibson and doing the same set up in it. I bought my son a Epiphone Les Paul Standard plustop pro. After a few minor setup adjustments, it plays and sounds just as good as my Gibsons.
     
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  2. rocksmoot

    rocksmoot Member

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  3. jds4

    jds4 Junior Member

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    Found myself in a similar boat. After having accumulated 15 nice guitars, I needed some beaters I could leave out of the case and not fret over (sorry, couldn't stop myself). The best playing and sounding electrics I own are a 2013 LP Trad and an '87 '62 RI Strat I bought in 1988, and my best acoustic is an '81 Martin MC-28 I bought new in 1981. I try to take reasonable care of them, so I wipe 'em down after playing, and store 'em in their cases to protect them (I live in the South, humidity here is high). While I play all my guitars, it's mostly when I record, or when I occasionally perform, that I use my better guitars. So almost a decade ago I went looking and spent ~$220 bucks total on two beaters: a pawn shop 2007 Epiphone LP Special II and a dealer's 'used-rack,' 1980's D-28 looking (lawsuit model?) Alvarez 5214 acoustic. They stay on stands, I grab 'em when I want to just pick a little, or when I get a song idea, and then I often use them to work up tunes before grabbing a better guitar to get the sound. But I do enjoy playing my beaters because while they were very inexpensive and pretty worry free, I was surprised by how good they were (set up nicely, played nicely, sounded pretty good, and didn't feel cheap). They're pretty cool, and playing them has caused me to add a few more lower end, yet playable, guitars to the mix: Epiphone (all mahogany LP Trad), a MIM Fender Strat I dropped humbuckers in, and even a Squier (yes, guilty of some cork sniffing along my guitar journey). So my more desirable guitars don't get played as often as they might otherwise, although now with 18 to choose from, that was happening anyway, but for me it's a win-win situation because I have been fortunate to have the kinds of guitars I want and each one has a place in my music. As for the original question: Do I prefer my beaters? No, but when they have a lot of bang for the buck, they have proven their place and, sometimes, impressively so.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  4. fred-paris

    fred-paris Junior Member

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    I also had up to 50 guitars in the rack at some point and purchased / traded / sold over a hundred guitars last ten years. I feel exactly the same, I have started with cheap guitars (Epiphone, Squier...) and eventually got my hands on the real things (Gibson, PRS, Musicman, Fender...). I try as much as possible to play and carefully select the guitars I buy so there is no "bad guitar" in my collection. However, I have to admit there are guitars that I feel comfortable to bring to rehearsals or gigs and others that I rarely get off their cases. For instance, my RI '68 Les Paul Custom has never seen any rehearsal studio since I bought it in NYC back in 2007. I would hate myself if it got knocked on the (small) stages I play. That doesn't mean I don't bring expensive guitars to gigs (player grade and relic guitars are very convenient as they won't see their value drop if they get knocked) but you don't need $4000 instruments to sound good onstage. Sometimes though, there is no cheap alternative and you need to take the real thing (for instance my ES 330 or Gretsch Falcon) but I can't say I'm relaxed when I need to watch out my babies to make sure they're not hit or stolen by some stupid dude. Nowadays, I'm drastically thinning the herd and went from 50+ to 37 guitars.
     
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  5. thatF-INGflyingVguy

    thatF-INGflyingVguy Senior Member

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    I LOVE cheep guitar & cheep women TOO!!!
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. fett

    fett Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member

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    Many moons ago, I bought an SG copy. Probably, MIJ. You know me as to "Cheap". Bolt on neck. The body may be plywood. The neck has real inlays. What blows my mind are the Pups and the Pots. It sounds fantastic. It's worth about a $1.385. It's a "Keeper".
     
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  7. Campbell

    Campbell Senior Member

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    Nice score! Just put a black washer on the toggle switch and you got a "poor man's" Lennon Revolution.
    I got to say, the Casino (even the "cheap" China version) lives up to her reputation. A real joy to play.
     
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  8. Campbell

    Campbell Senior Member

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    That's why you gotta judge a guitar with your hands and your ears.
    Remember: You don't play the price tag or the label, kids!
     
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  9. dsmcl77

    dsmcl77 Senior Member

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    The answer is not that simple.

    I had a cheap (around 80 €$£ used) unknowned '70 brand MIJ SG bolt on that felt cheap. You didn't need a vibrato, you could just wobble the neck to get the effect... Cheap humbucking style pup that was a single coil... Sold it to a guy that had this guitar (well, not this particular one) as a first guitar and wanted to have one again.

    I have some MIJ Westone guitars, and other Matsumoku product, I bought for 150/250 used, and they are joy to play.

    My Epi ES 339 was cheap (under 250 new...bargain), but doesn't feel or sound cheap.
    All my Chinese guitars are flawless and sound good btw.

    My middle range priced guitars, MIJ, MIC, MIM (around 500/700 used or new) sound and feel real good, probably the best bang for the buck in relation to feel, sound and reliability (and not to care to much if an "accident" happen).

    From my expensive guitars (1000/2000 used), the ones with cosmetic flaws are proudly made in USA, but they sound good and certainly doesn't feel cheap.
    My MIJ are just perfect.

    I tried and do no care for instruments over the 2000 price point.


    I think that, cheap or expensive, as long as the geetar is set up properly, and to your liking, then, you'll get a blast playing them.

    The answer is that simple afterall.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
  10. dsmcl77

    dsmcl77 Senior Member

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    She doesn't look that cheap... more like high maintenance :naughty:

    Who? you might ask.
    I leave that to you.
     
  11. Pop1655

    Pop1655 Premium Member

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    I'm only three years into the acquisition journey after a 35 year break. I'd try an Epi or a MIM just to get a feel for whether or not I liked the style of guitar. Several times I loved the MIM or Epi and convinced myself that if it was this good, selling and trading up could only be way better. I've disproved that theory several times.
     
  12. Zarg

    Zarg Senior Member

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    I actually got a RGA32 (made in Indonesia, got a pro setup), which over here you can get for under 200€ used. It blows several guitars with pricetags that a 3-4 times as much out of the water. Some cheap guitars are outstanding, theres just some that are not always perfect but as long as you can play them before buying, getting cheaper instruments is better if you don't care about what the headstock says or where its made.
     
  13. Telechamp

    Telechamp Senior Member

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    Yes, I was amazed at how much I really like the MIC version.

    Yeah, I could definitely put a black washer on the toggle switch to make it more Lennon-esque!.. I think he also stuck a bead or something similar in the hole where the pickguard was.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Campbell

    Campbell Senior Member

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    It's not a bead, it's a black-eyed pea. He liked giving peas a chance.
     
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  15. edouglaspratt

    edouglaspratt Junior Member

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    Similar experience, Flats ...I have two wonderful Gibson BluesHawks. IMHO, the best guitar Gibson's made. And a vintage collection including a 1963 Epiphone Casino; '65 Fender Mustang; and a 1959 Harmony Stratotone Jupiter. For some reason I keep reachin for my smashed and rebuilt 1998 Gibson Les Paul Special with P90s...maybe it's the TV Yellow ? ;)
     
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  16. Gold_topped

    Gold_topped Senior Member

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  17. edouglaspratt

    edouglaspratt Junior Member

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    Yeah, I've seen it over & over, Freddy...many decent guitars, cheap or pricey, are put up on the shelf due to what could easily, cheaply be corrected with a good set-up. But...Bah, humbug, friend Freddy about hearing the wood of a modern electric guitar...

    There's plenty of scientific evidence that the sound we hear is overwhelmingly the electronics...pups, tone controls, amp settings, and then there's the magic of pedals. Electric guitars and amps have gotten just too sophisticated. Any contribution by body wood to what we hear, can be completely eliminated from the range and acuity of human hearing.

    Now acoustic guitars, yer talkin bout the sound of vibrating wood.
     
  18. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

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    When I went PRS shopping a couple of years ago, I happened on a shop that actually had a good stock of core and SE models, new and used. I played them all, and actually liked the SEs with the "wide thin" necks the best. The shop didn't have the exact model and color I wanted, so I ordered an SE and it has been a "go to" since then.
     
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  19. flats750

    flats750 Senior Member

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    Sooo, I guess I'm not alone!? Lol
     
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  20. NJDevil

    NJDevil Senior Member

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    Well, any guitar I have I have bought for a purpose regardless of what the price was. I have to say my Edwards LP-92 gets a lot of play (but my '14 LP Traditional kills it) and will say I actually play my Gretsch Electromatic 5126 more than I play my pro-line Gretsch Setzer Black Phoenix. But.....I love all my guitars although I wish I could reduce the obnoxious buzz on my MIM Fender Strat.
     

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