Anyone else have trouble owning/playing a $2k guitar?

Jay4321

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Man I feel like a long post today

So I don't have an issue with $2k+ guitars but only have a couple left. Have owned probably 10 or 12 in that range and several times that for ones costing less over 35 years of play.

The problem (these days) is I assemble and sometimes build them and am very good with fretwork. Factoring that important part in, there are just so many potentially great guitars readily available at a fraction of the cost. Just picked up another new-headstock era Epiphone (that's 6 now), an SG, for $379. Pretty much fine out of the box with a setup, but needed a partial level to satisfy my more perfectionistic side. I'm also replacing the okay-ish bridge with a 36th anniversary PAF.

Of course if your standard for great is a nitro finish and replication of a spec from some particular year, binding over frets and so on this isn't that. But for me if it sounds good and plays well then it's a good guitar.

Also I have a lot of guitars. If I were one of those people with like 1 or 2 electrics then I'd probably get all the bells and whistles on those. Instead I basically have a few for every tuning I use, and a range of short and long scale with lower and higher output pickups. If I'm jamming to some Anthrax or Metallica in E I'm ready to grab and go, and the next minute I can grab a LP or SG type with a '57 or something similar for a GNR thing in Eb. It might take a bit to sort out a new guitar to see what it does best and in some cases it may wind up replacing an existing one.

But over the years of buying and selling I've got a number of survivors that have proven themselves, and most were relatively cheap even after a couple upgrades:

-Ibanez 450m $299, added Tone Zone/Air Norton/B Velvet. The pickups and new electronics cost what the guitar did!. I'm not really a floyd guy but like having one from my younger days for the EVH, Vai stuff. I've tried to do better and had my hands on one of those blue floral jems I loved when I was a kid, but just wasn't any better.

-Schecter Damien Elite - has these goth inlays I'm not into but was $300 on sale and came with EMG 85 and 81, and I needed and EMG guitar. Very rare I don't mod a guitar in some way but this one didn't need more than a set up and minor fretwork + the ends were borderline.

-Used Epi 2020 SG '61 - $365 with hardshell case on ebay. REd one, the veneer doesn't really work for met on the SG shape but can't complain for what I paid. The truss was over-tightened and the bridge out of whack but nothing I couldn't immediately fix. It wound up my Ghost guitar, aka D standard lower output thing, working on an old Alice Cooper cover tuned down also. I've been telling myself maybe swap the bridge but on recording there's no reason to if I'm being honest with myself. Might do it anyway but as is, other than the aesthetics, it's an SG through and through. If you've played a lot of Gibson SGs you know while the necks vary a little and the pickups and so on its' hard to get away from the SG-ness the way you might with a Strat or something.

-There's a totally modified worn Epi 2020 LP, resprayed top with Lacquer and took the rough finish off the neck and re-sealed that, added JB-Jazz. It's exactly what you think and I play it about as much as anything. And I've had my hands on more JB-equipped Les Pauls than I can count, and I'm talking from bolt-on imports up to Gibby Customs (a wine red 70s was my #1 for a good stretch). To look at it I wouldn't sniff $350 for it on eBay but it's exactly perfect at doing what I hoped it would do.

-Yamaha FG-something (730?) acoustic for $300. Everyone knows these, but I made a new nut and saddle and it plays really well and does the job, recorded with it many times. The tuners have held up great but I know them to be a very cheap manufacture. My oldest guitar and been scouting to find a great replacement but all of the contenders I've been hands on with are very expensive, I'm okay with spending a lot on the right one, but if I'm dropping $2,500-type money on it it will have to play and sound like it. This one I know really well and have learned how to work with it which affects how I mic it up and so on and it's really added up to a solid B+ instrument all told. I'm not spending a mortgage payments on an A-.

All that's not suggesting an issue with higher-priced guitars, I could certainly still buy one but I've become extremely selective. Dropping $4k on one from an online retailer, no way. A lot of people do that and that's fine, but there's just no substitute for handling and hearing the thing in person. Guitars aren't created equally, I don't care who makes it or what custom shop it came out of. Some shops today are doing extremely fine work and building them about as well as an electric guitar can be built, I've seen it firsthand, but even among that class some are just better than others.

With all that said, if you're going to buy a $2k plus guitar with the intention of playing it (versus collecting or using as a showpiece), play it! If you've come home with a brand new instrument you've spent good money on and you're worried about nicks and scratches and things like resale value, just return it now and hold out for one you're ready to go all in with.
 
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Mini Forklift Ⓥ

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FWIW I have issues owning cheaper guitars (sub $1k). I don't think I'm particularly a gear snob, I'd just rather own a small selection of high quality more expensive guitars than a bunch of cheaper models

Never got into Epiphone because I know it would annoy me that it's sub-par compared to a Gibson. Now I've had experience with Gibson's I don't tend to worry too much about the Standard's or Classic's because I'm more drawn to LP's from the Custom Shop. If not a Custom Shop then it is going to be one that is special or significant in some way eg a limited run, rare or unusual colour etc

I have a 2014 Custom Shop Les Paul Custom on the way to me, not particularly rare but I know it's a great guitar at a great price (I'm lucky enough to know the seller)

1625710312053.png


To me it's the Les Paul version of my Dad's 1977 ES355; Ive always had a thing for wine red Gibson's, probably because I grew up around my Dad's guitar and saw it leaning against our chairs every day

1625710265525.png


So to sum up yeah, I could have bought a much cheaper wine red LP or LP copy, but I wouldn't have been happy with it and it would have got zero play time. On second thoughts, maybe I am actually a gear snob :shock:
 

Jay4321

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One of the few non-work things I might know more about than guitars would be restaurants. Wife a nut for fine dining, it's her thing. and we've been to maybe 60 or 70 different upscale/known places not counting return trips. Versus the field no question this range has better food and overall experiences. I think blowing good amp cabinet money to have say Mark Vetri cook your 15th anniversary dinner is a questionable financial decision personally, even with both of us fairly well along in our careers and doing ok, but I sure as hell remember that dinner. For example I made an offhand Silence of the Lambs reference joking with the sommelier and the next course they served me was fois gras (liver) with fava beans and a glass of chianti. And they didn't spoil it by annoucing it and just let me figure it out. And, it was incredibly good despite being an off the cuff joke by Mark cooked up in 10 minutes.

Of course given a large enough sample there are also places that put on a great show with mediocre food, or vice versa, or were just completely unremarkable, and some just bad. But on the whole well above whatever par is. Of course we eat at or take out from "normal" places a ton too (she's not a good cook and I work a lot).

That said if you're just hungry there's a corner Mexican place in South Philly called Los Gallos, I have in my all-time top 5. It's a small place with maybe 10 crammed tables and hard to park near, and there's a typo on their sign that says "we delivery." It's pretty cheap, their burritos are all $8.50, and zero folks on Facebook will care about your food photos. And if Mexican's not your thing I could draw up a pretty sick list of inexpensive places with awesome food and no frills for a number of cuisines.
 

DrBGood

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The first equation to a good sounding string instrument is the wood. Old growth (stable) tone wood. Next is craftsmanship , next if electric is electronics. Once you identify an instrument with these qualities and the sound and playability demonstrate this, how much are you willing to pay? Or can you even find this instrument? I know for sale right now 2 Gibsons for sale each $2700, one is good to keep a door open and the other is amazing. You have to know what to look for. Many luthiers do, many don’t , just good at gluing and painting. Please and a million pleases don’t tell me a $300 paper pulp glue epiphone sounds just as good as $5500 R9 from the custom shop. That is what is called the dead cat syndrome. You have a dead cat but it’s the best cat because it’s your cat, but it’s a dead cat, yea but it’s the best, but it’s a dead cat , it’s dead, no matter what you do to it, it’s still a dead cat.
Ah yes .... tonewood.

Such disdain for something you don't seem to have a clue about. When did you last play an Epiphone ? Paper pulp glue epiphone ... LOL ! How do you guys come up with such beliefs ? Apart from a short beginner LP series that were made of plywood 30 so years ago, all of Epiphones are made of solid wood ... or tonewood if you prefer.

I'd bet anything that on a blind test challenge, you couldn't tell the difference.

Does it make you feel superior coming on an Epiphone sub forum to shit on Epiphone owners ? Simply pathetic ...
 
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Spooky88

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My partscasters blow your 2k$+ $ Les Pauls away. Let's do a video challenge! No effects. Tube amps and your 2k $ guitars vs me and my homemade 900$ partscaster.....
So, less than 2 minute video with a brief rundown of the guitar (make model alterations pickups so forth front and back shot) plus quick look at the amp, I'll post mine up after a few videos.
 
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InTheEvening

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No issues for me, I’ve happily played $3500 Custom Shop LPs and enjoyed them just as much or more than my $500 guitars. I’m equally careful with all my guitars and try to take care of them. I do baby the rarer or pricier ones a bit more but enjoy playing them and using them.
But hey, if you’re happier with the epi, more power to you! You’ll have more money in your pocket than the rest of us.
 

axetogrind59

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Ah yes .... tonewood.

Such disdain for something you don't seem to have a clue about. When did you last play an Epiphone ? Paper pulp glue epiphone ... LOL ! How do you guys come up with such beliefs ? Apart from a short beginner LP series that were made of plywood 30 so years ago, all of Epiphones are made of solid wood ... or tonewood if you prefer.

I'd bet anything that on a blind test challenge, you couldn't tell the difference.

Does it make you feel superior coming on an Epiphone sub forum to shit on Epiphone owners ? Simply pathetic ...
Exactly as I described you have the dead cat syndrome are poor and can’t afford a $5000 R9 or R8. In this galaxy or the galaxies beyond a $300 epiphone sounds like two cats in a burlap bag fighting with tin cans rolling around compared to a Gibson custom shop R9. Stop already. It’s ok not to be able to afford a high end Gibson but STOP! saying they sound and play the same and sound just as good as an epiphone that is wacky nutso land
 

axetogrind59

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My partscasters blow your 2k$+ $ Les Pauls away. Let's do a video challenge! No effects. Tube amps and your 2k $ guitars vs me and my homemade 900$ partscaster.....
So, less than 2 minute video with a brief rundown of the guitar (make model alterations pickups so forth front and back shot) plus quick look at the amp, I'll post mine up after a few videos.
You have Dead cat syndrome. A fender custom shop strat makes your parts caster sound like two cats in a burlap bag fighting with tin cans rolling around.
 

axetogrind59

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Ah yes .... tonewood.

Such disdain for something you don't seem to have a clue about. When did you last play an Epiphone ? Paper pulp glue epiphone ... LOL ! How do you guys come up with such beliefs ? Apart from a short beginner LP series that were made of plywood 30 so years ago, all of Epiphones are made of solid wood ... or tonewood if you prefer.

I'd bet anything that on a blind test challenge, you couldn't tell the difference.

Does it make you feel superior coming on an Epiphone sub forum to shit on Epiphone owners ? Simply pathetic ...
In your delusion Epiphone magically makes a guitar that sells for $300 that is just as good as a $5000 R9. People like me with money know quality and will pay for it. People who are broke like you or parents for junior just learning how to play guitar get the epiphone. Then you with dead cat syndrome try to justify you are broke and can’t afford a higher quality guitar insanely wack nutso land say a $300 epiphone plays and sounds as good as a $5000 custom shop Gibson.
 

Spooky88

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I see alot of guys talking smack and nothing to actually prove it.
 

voided76

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2020 Epiphone Les Paul Modern
Marshall Origin 50 Combo w/2x12 ext cab.
3 celestion V30's 16ohm.
I'll bite. I've got more too.
 

ucsteve

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You have Dead cat syndrome. A fender custom shop strat makes your parts caster sound like two cats in a burlap bag fighting with tin cans rolling around.
and you have the beating a dead horse syndrome.
besides sounding like a toadie
who nobody prob wants to jam with anyway no matter how many CS guitars you have
cause yer a toadie
 


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