Why are Fenders so much less expensive than Gibsons?

Discussion in 'Fender' started by Jim, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. jtees4

    jtees4 Senior Member

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    That is true, and it is also the true answer to the original OP's question. Most Fenders were made specifically to be easier to make, and easier to repair. They are made in a cheaper manner. That's what LEO wanted, that's what LEO's goal was....Leo succeeded. And he ended up making some great guitars. It has nothing to do with which are better guitars...these are facts that some Fender players don't like to admit as if it means Gibsons are better. One has nothing to do with the other.
     
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  2. Riku

    Riku Senior Member

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    Some people are throwing around the notion that you buy the guitar for the musical style. Well I disagree. Chuck a humbucker-equipped wired pickguard in a Strat or Tele, and you've got a rock machine. I play pop-punk, but I play humbucker-equipped Squiers, and they are so much mroe playable than a hefty Les Paul, especially cause I hate where the pickup switching is located, it is always in the way.

    For me, I'll always be a Fender guy at heart. I may want a LP sometimes, but in the end I'll always go back to my faithful Stratocaster. It hasn't let me down yet and I sure as hell doubt it'll let me down in the future. I couldn't be happier with the guitar and it cost me $200 with mods (scored the base guitar on the bay for $50). Chuck some $10 ebay buckers in a Les Paul Standard and its gonna sound pretty rotten. So I disagree in the fact that you buy a guitar for a certain style. If you're clever enough, you can make any guitar work for any playing style, even if you gotta mod it ;)

    PS. Fender rules :D
     
  3. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Senior Member

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    Leo Fender intentionally designed his guitars as working man's guitars. He wanted them to be reasonably priced, durable, and easy to repair.
     
  4. User100

    User100 Senior Member

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    Don't know............
    Don't care..............

    I like 'em both....................:dude:
     
  5. AngryHatter

    AngryHatter Senior Member

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    I dunno; the custom shop strat I want to get would cost about $7,500 with a four year wait.
     
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  6. Kalamazuu

    Kalamazuu Senior Member

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    I bought a new, made in the USA Gibson Les Paul for under 600 bucks last year.
     
  7. Xpensive Wino

    Xpensive Wino Premium Member

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    Depends on the Fender. Custom Shop and vintage Fenders ain't cheap.
     
  8. crossroadsnyc

    crossroadsnyc Senior Member

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    It's a magnificent accomplishment that Gibson has managed to stay in business selling guitars to people who don't work for a living.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. jtees4

    jtees4 Senior Member

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    I think the original premise of this thread is just wrong. If you are just comparing American made Fenders vs: Gibson then it really depends. Lately there have been a lot of cheaper Gibsons around near the bottom end or even cheaper than some American Fenders. Generally I would agree there are many more expensive Gibsons than Fenders overall...but they both cover the full price range. Now if you want to talk about MIM and Epis...then that may be a different story...although I'm not so sure it wouldn't lead to the same conclusion. Now if you want to talk about Squiers...well now you've got something Gibson can't really counter although there are some Epi's in the price range.:thumb:
     
  10. John Ucol

    John Ucol Senior Member

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    Because life is hard.
     
  11. rockstar232007

    rockstar232007 Senior Member

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    Leo Fender had stated in a few interviews that he designed all of his guitars to be relatively inexpensive/easy to repair, in order for them to be more affordable to the average ("working") guitarist.

    Gibsons were always considered "higher-end" guitars, that were only affordable to people with well-paying jobs, and/or "professional" musicians.

    That continues to this day. Hell, I could have bought 2 American Standard Strats for what I paid for my LP Classic. And, it was used.
     
  12. crossroadsnyc

    crossroadsnyc Senior Member

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    I was just being a bit of a smart ass :eek:
     
  13. PNB92

    PNB92 Senior Member

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    The "holy grail of teles" custom shop reissue will run around $4500, several running up to the $6000 mark. an R9 will run about $5200, only some of which run up anywhere near $8500. The difference isn't that significant.
     
  14. TKOjams

    TKOjams Senior Member

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    Because, basicly all you need is a couple of screwdrivers and you can almost totally dissassemble most fenders. They're designed that way, so it's a lot less work to build one.
     
  15. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Senior Member

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    It's definitely become "more wrong" over time. The price of "real" Gibsons has definitely expanded more into the "under $1,000" range. In August, I got my first Les Paul, but opted for a used Smart Wood (in basically perfect condition) over a Gibson Les Paul Studio, which I believe was on sale for $699.99. I picked the used Smart Wood for its rarity and because I just really connected with it, but the Studio had BurstBuckers and was a nice sounding instrument. Just a few things about it felt a bit "off" to me, however, and I'm not a fan of the faded brown or faded cherry finishes. It felt like a cheap effort to make the guitar feel more expensive.

    But I was a Strat player first and still am, in a lot of ways. And the key draw for me in the 90's was obviously the price point of the Squier Strats and, more importantly, the fact that they look like exact replicas of real Stratocasters to the naked eye. Epiphone does offer decent entry-level guitars in the sub-$200 range (most notably the Special II), but to get something that looks like a real Les Paul the way a Squier looks and plays like a real Strat, you more or less have to spend $500...at which point you could afford a MIM Fender Strat!

    I love them both for totally different reasons. The Gibson's overall quality (especially the neck) is outstanding, but Strats are also beautiful, and there's something very utilitarian and practical about this creation of screwed-together components. 15 years in and I've still never owned a "real" Fender - but my modded Squiers can take a run at most MIM Strats any day of the week. Plus, I had the freedom to change them the way I wanted to, which is awesome.
     
  16. gl3nnium

    gl3nnium Senior Member

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    I think it depends alot on certain models and current fashion.
    From what I've seen the Fender Mustangs and jaguars are pretty expensive (they used to be the cheapest but it's 20 years later and everyone still wants to be Kurt Cobain)...I found that the Tele thinlines were still expensive (i love the semi solid 'f' holes on the thinlines) I ended up getting a replica of a 72 thinline.

    Also as far as the Strats are concerned have you considered that the 'strat' shape is pretty much ubiquitous. It's the most common guitar shape and copied the most (still)...Gibsons retain that cool 'rare' vibe.

    Ive always though about it like this. If guitars were rifles then the Fender strat would be an M16....but a Gibson Les paul would be an AK-47 (hell a Les Paul even reminds me of an AK-47...try it sometime..compare a pic of a Les Paul and an AK-47 and you'll start to see similar lines in certain places.
     
  17. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Senior Member

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    I think you have it backwards. AK-47's can be had cheap, they are built like tanks, can be totally disassembled with a few simple tools, you can drag it through mud, clean it with an oily shoelace, and it will outlast you. M16's are more of a precision rifle, more finicky than an AK, and more expensive.
     
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  18. gl3nnium

    gl3nnium Senior Member

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    Ha ha..nice!
    No I'm not talking about price or ease of making. I was talking visually, and also just the idea of it.
    An M16 is a precision piece of hardware...clean...accurate...refined even.
    But..to quote Samuel L Jackson "AK47..When you absolutely have to kill every last mother-****er in the room accept no substitute"

    To sum up...If you want to be refined and accurate play a strat, but when you absolutely have to kill every last mother-****er in the room...you pick up a Les Paul. (When you want to get down and dirty, accept no substitute)
     
  19. BigDipper15

    BigDipper15 Hack Guitarist Premium Member

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    My solution is just to own custom shop instruments from both Gibson and Fender! I love Les Paul's but for some reason my #1 is always a Strat. Just gravitate to the feel and tone a tad more. Nothing wrong with either.
     
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  20. josebcn

    josebcn Senior Member

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    A change of pickups is more difficult in a Strat than in a LP, isn't it?:hmm:
     

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