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Playability of cheaper guitars

 
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MASTER VOLUME
Guitar God


Joined: 21 Apr 2006
Posts: 75
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:11 am    Post subject: Playability of cheaper guitars Reply with quote

over the years i have tried out many guitars from cheap ?100 strat copies up to les pauls / prs over ?2000.
As expected the cheaper guitars dont play or sound as good as the expensive ones.
what i am trying to understand is the resons why and the factors included .
most cheaper guitars sound better after a pickup upgrade , but playability is something different. would a proper set up and fret dress make a squier strat play like a jap fender ? or are u wasting your time and money as cheaper guitars will never play like an expesive one cause of the way they are put together ?
has anyone bought a cheap guitar and spent money on it and got it playing like an expensive one ?
i am of the opinion that some guitars will never play well no matter how much work is done on them , where as others will.
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Cali Girl
Guitar God


Joined: 08 Apr 2009
Posts: 545
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Playing comfort is so subjective that it is hard to generalize. Two different examples of the same expensive model could play very differently, so it's hard to say that an expensive guitar should always be comfortable!

Any guitar can be made to play well depending on what you like. You need a properly cut nut, with some lubricant applied. Good fretwork and a proper set up with intonation, action, and relief to your taste. If you can learn to do these things yourself, even better.
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MASTER VOLUME
Guitar God


Joined: 21 Apr 2006
Posts: 75
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have found that the action , intonation and tuning on cheaper guitars to be the main problem. esp the action , never played a cheap guitar that has had a nice low action .
Prehaps its that they are never set up properly in the shop ?
I had a yamaha pacifica that i got as a spare / dropped tuning . nice guitar but could not get the action down to how I wanted it.
My main guitar is a Tokai LS105F , beautiful to play and the benchmark that every other guitar i play gets compared to.
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marcusnieman
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Joined: 22 May 2003
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Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's all relative....

At one time, the Tokais, Burnys and Grecos were considered the "cheap guitars"
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MASTER VOLUME
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Joined: 21 Apr 2006
Posts: 75
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maybe cheap isn't the right word.
Budget or low end maybe a better way to descibe them.
Guitars like fender squier , epiphone , chinese made tokai .
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marcusnieman
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Joined: 22 May 2003
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Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MASTER VOLUME wrote:
maybe cheap isn't the right word.
Budget or low end maybe a better way to descibe them.
Guitars like fender squier , epiphone , chinese made tokai .


I'm finding that even the budget guitars are far better than the budget guitars of earlier days like Harmony, Danelectro, National, etc.

You can buy a throwaway guitar like a MIC Squire for $150 and it plays and sounds just like a strat. Sure it might be a little rough compared to the higher spec guitars but right out of the box, they do real well.

Set it up with heavier strings, adjust the pickups and neck, plug it into a good amp and you'll be surprised.
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MASTER VOLUME
Guitar God


Joined: 21 Apr 2006
Posts: 75
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

definately , some of those old budget guitars were barely playable and did not stay in tune for more than 1 song. Things have moved on a lot and quality is getting better.
been looking into getting a 2nd guitar like an sg or es60 as the love rock starts to hurt my shoulder after an hour or so. Cant afford an expensive one so been looking into the cheaper models , hence the post and questions.
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blunty
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Joined: 26 Aug 2009
Posts: 43
Location: Singapore

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

check out this cheap guitar for how it sounds. it was setup with tex special pus.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gh2ESU9ZSaI
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blunty
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Joined: 26 Aug 2009
Posts: 43
Location: Singapore

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

this one better play.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_G6CewhrtA
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DaveB7
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Joined: 10 Feb 2011
Posts: 7
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely "budget" guitars have gotten way better over the years, I remember the crap I started out on & a Squire was definately an upgrade! These days there's way more choice for a beginner out there. I was recently looking for a decent guitar for my kid, and found a 90's MIJ Fernandes Tele on Ebay for $225.00! It's a really nice/well made guitar & way better than what I've seen come out of Fender Mexico. He's also got a ESP ltd Viper 301, Again another fantastic guitar for the money (I think I paid $350.00 for that one) So yeah I definately think there's quality out there at lower prices if you know what you're looking for.
IMHO the Esp Ltd range are the best value guitars on the market today, even if they are geared more towards the Metal/hard rock scene.
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