Do You Think That Some Guitars Are Way Over Priced?

Keith Theodosiou

Active Member
So, i am saying this because of what i experienced.

In my time i have had loads of guitars, Yamaha, Fender, Gibson, Ibanez and so on.

Quality, yes, playability, yes. Sound, yes.
But this is what i noticed a few years ago.

My situation was a bit hard but i needed a guitar as i didn't have one.
So i went to the music shop and bought an Epiphone Les Paul Plustop Pro at £350. I played it in the shop and i was impressed.
I played it at home and i was even more impressed.
The quality of the build, the sound it made, everything. Anyway, a year later, i came into a large sum of money.
Now, do i go and buy a high end guitar. I fought it and fought it and the thing that tipped it for me was, having just lost my sister who was only 55, she had gone through her life saving and saving but being to scared to buy the things she really wanted in life.

So , I made up my mind, live for the monment and enjoy it. I went to the shop and i bought a Gibson Les Paul Custom Shop 59 re issue at £5600.00.
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Yes, It is a gorgeous guitar and yes it sounded gorgeous and ok, its is hand built buy the craftsmen at Gibson but,
That Epiphone i had that i had just sold after getting the Gibson was actually very close in quality build and even sound.

Even a Standard Gibson Les Paul can be up to 4 times the amount of the Epiphone.


So, in this day and age, are we paying just for the 'name'. There are loads of guitar makers out there now that build quality guitars for a fraction of the price. It was different 30 years ago but now, there is quality everywhere.

What are your thoughts and experiences?

I did end up selling the Gibson and with that money, i bought a few more instruments.
 

TomislavEP

Active Member
I'm primarily a pianist and keyboardist but I also use all types of guitars in my work. I had had quite a few of them over the years, though I never could afford to buy something rather expensive. Instead, I always aimed to get the "best-buy" instruments, mostly from companies such as Ibanez, Peavey, Washburn, and Tanglewood. I can't say that I have a lot of experience with expensive guitars and the other instruments of this type, but the main difference I've noticed is that those tend to be much more comfortable to play than the cheaper ones. But the latter definitely serve their purpose too, so I would personally rather have a variety of different guitar types on hand (which I do) than a single instrument of stellar quality.

I wouldn't go as far as to say those expensive guitars are not worth it, but at the end of the day, the most important thing is the way you're using them. Also, in this day and age, the production processes have matured quite significantly, so the relatively low price doesn't necessarily have to mean poor quality as well.
 
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Keith Theodosiou

Keith Theodosiou

Active Member
I wouldn't go as far as to say those expensive guitars are not worth it, but at the end of the day, the most important thing is the way you're using them. Also, in this day and age, the production processes have matured quite significantly, so the relatively low price doesn't necessarily have to mean poor quality as well.
It is a funny subject though, that guitar shop that i bought the Gibson from told me a few weeks earlier, some guy managed to walk in, take a £10,000 PRS and walk out with it. I mean, 10 grand for a new guitar?
I can understand a vintage guitar selling for that if not more but some of these prices for new guitars are just a bit over the top lol
 

Nils Neumann

Senior Member
In my experience guitars don’t get better over the price point of 1600-2000€. They just get more expensive with nearly no added value.

The built quality today is stellar. Around 800€ I found to be the best sweet spot.

I think you paid a LOT for the brand in this case.

I just bought a a second hand banjo for 160€, originally sold for around 300€ and the build quality is out of this world. If I didn’t knew better I would guess this is a 1000€ plus instrument.

So yeah, just my 2 cents...
 
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Keith Theodosiou

Keith Theodosiou

Active Member
In my experience guitars don’t get better over the price point of 1600-2000€. They just get more expensive with nearly no added value.

The built quality today is stellar. Around 800€ I found to be the best sweet spot.

I think you paid a LOT for the brand in this case.

I just bought a a second hand banjo for 160€, originally sold for around 300€ and the build quality is out of this world. If I didn’t knew better I would guess this is a 1000€ plus instrument.

So yeah, just my 2 cents...
Yes totally agree, i knew i was paying well over its worth on the Gibson, but i can at least say i have owned one and i have videos of me playing it in some tracks so i am happy with that part. My Ibanez that i use now is gorgeous and lovely to play and only cost me £1200.00
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Sunny Schramm

Active Member
I´m very sorry for losing your sister - whish you all the power of the world to go through this hard time.

I dont think expensive stuff is always better - even when the overall quality of the build, wood and components is better. Well - better is also relativ. Some wood is much more expansive because they are more rare than others. AND as a company you have to have products for all belongings. Its a fact that really rich people like to buy expensive stuff just because its expensive 😉 I dont meant you and your special case here of course ❤ And I dont wanna critizise rich people also by that. Its just like that and its ok 🤷‍♂️
 
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Keith Theodosiou

Keith Theodosiou

Active Member
I´m very sorry for losing your sister - whish you all the power of the world to go through this hard time.

I dont think expensive stuff is always better - even when the overall quality of the build, wood and components is better. Well - better is also relativ. Some wood is much more expansive because they are more rare than others. AND as a company you have to have products for all belongings. Its a fact that really rich people like to buy expensive stuff just because its expensive 😉 I dont meant you and your special case here of course ❤ And I dont wanna critizise rich people also by that. Its just like that and its ok 🤷‍♂️
Yes that is very understandable, after all, if you are rich, you will buy a Ferrari because you can afford to and you are defiantely paying for the name too. I bought a brand new Honda Fireblade around 2005 for £7000 and the equivalent Ducati at the time was £14000 so double just for the name. To me the Fireblade looked just as nice as the Ducati.

Thanks about my sister, you go through life then one day you collapse and that's it. We should always try to make the most of life cos we never know what's around the corner :)
 

Saxer

Senior Member
There happened a lot in instrument manufacturing (or better robofacturing) in the last decades. I personally don't want to have instruments on stage that are not replaceable. I don't know guitars but for woodwinds I don't see a reason to buy vintage instruments or the few top brands any more. It's more for the Rolex-feel than for the music. There are Asian companies I never heard before but they have tons of really good instruments.
 
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Keith Theodosiou

Keith Theodosiou

Active Member
There happened a lot in instrument manufacturing (or better robofacturing) in the last decades. I personally don't want to have instruments on stage that are not replaceable. I don't know guitars but for woodwinds I don't see a reason to buy vintage instruments or the few top brands any more. It's more for the Rolex-feel than for the music. There are Asian companies I never heard before but they have tons of really good instruments.
Yes this is my point too. Just because the name doesn't mean anything doesn't mean the quality is bad.

If you want to pay over the top, that's up to you but there is really no need to nowdays :)
 

SupremeFist

Senior Member
A Les Paul Standard is worth the money. Beyond that, you're just paying for prettier wood and so forth. A Custom Shop is nice to have if you're a blues lawyer. Probably the best-value guitars I have are the lowest-priced Gibson USA models (an SG "naked" and a Les Paul "faded").
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
My condolences!


I was impressed how good the lowest end of the price-range has gotten compared to when I started playing. I started out on a used Fender Squier strat-copy with single coil pickups that were so bad that I got pickup feedback all the time when playing at higher volumes. It costed either 300 DM or 300 € at the time. It had sharp edges at the bridge that would almost make your hand bleed. The next guitar I bought was a Jackson Kelly KE-7R (7 string with reversed headstock), which I got for 555 € (instead of the 50-100% higher list price) because they were discontinuing the model. Later I upgraded the pickups for another 200 to 300 €.
Last December I bought a Harley Benton 8 string fanned fret for 139,- that I got for 119,- in the end because it arrived with slight shipping damage. And I have to say in all the aspects that count - except pickups, which are meh - I think it's very very close to the quality of my Jackson. Starting out to play today is sooo much cheaper, it's crazy.
Now I can't decide if I want to upgrade the bridge Pickup to an EMG or not...
 
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Keith Theodosiou

Keith Theodosiou

Active Member
A Les Paul Standard is worth the money. Beyond that, you're just paying for prettier wood and so forth. A Custom Shop is nice to have if you're a blues lawyer. Probably the best-value guitars I have are the lowest-priced Gibson USA models (an SG "naked" and a Les Paul "faded").
Nice. Paying over the top for a Custom Shop is like you say, just for a slightly better 'look' and maybe the fact that it's 'hand built' but there is plenty of nice out there that is reasonably priced.
 
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Keith Theodosiou

Keith Theodosiou

Active Member
My condolences!


I was impressed how good the lowest end of the price-range has gotten compared to when I started playing. I started out on a used Fender Squier strat-copy with single coil pickups that were so bad that I got pickup feedback all the time when playing at higher volumes. It costed either 300 DM or 300 € at the time. It had sharp edges at the bridge that would almost make your hand bleed. The next guitar I bought was a Jackson Kelly KE-7R (7 string with reversed headstock), which I got for 555 € (instead of the 50-100% higher list price) because they were discontinuing the model. Later I upgraded the pickups for another 200 to 300 €.
Last December I bought a Harley Benton 8 string fanned fret for 139,- that I got for 119,- in the end because it arrived with slight shipping damage. And I have to say in all the aspects that count - except pickups, which are meh - I think it's very very close to the quality of my Jackson. Starting out to play today is sooo much cheaper, it's crazy.
Now I can't decide if I want to upgrade the bridge Pickup to an EMG or not...
Yeah, when i started, my first electric guitar was £15 from a Kays Catalogue back in the 70's lol, my god was it hard to play though, I have had Squires that where pretty good specially the Classic Vibe 50's models at the 300 quid range. Learning on one of them for youngesters now days is ideal.
 

SupremeFist

Senior Member
Yeah, when i started, my first electric guitar was £15 from a Kays Catalogue back in the 70's lol, my god was it hard to play though, I have had Squires that where pretty good specially the Classic Vibe 50's models at the 300 quid range. Learning on one of them for youngesters now days is ideal.
Ha yes, I learned on a horrible cheapo Encore strat copy with action a mile high. The modern Squiers are awesome by comparison.
 

chimuelo

Star Of Stage & Screen
I work with a guy who has 14 guitars in his inventory. I grew up as a guitarist who played classical piano. Bought an SG Standard and the double cut away was easier to play than the Les Pauls, although I loved their smooth action, the damn weight of the guitar became a problem Live.
But in this studio I reminisced on each guitar, Gretsch 12 String, Jimmy Page double neck SG, Standard, Telecaster, Strat, Mustang, all great playing guitars.

The guitar that allowed me much more in terms of tone though was one unavailable to me as a kid, the Jackson Tie Die.
It has the action of the SG, but has a Fender Pick, and a Humbucking.

I could do Jimmy Page solos, Higher up on the neck Hendrix style (Castles Made Of Sand) Steve Howe (Yours Is No Disgrace) and even the Thumb on low E string MahaVishnu parts.

It was the cheapest, prettiest and most full of tone out of a dozen greats.
It felt a little unbalanced from the Wood used, but I’ve played many piano recitals where you don’t get warm ups, you just play. So you don’t get a chance to complain or critique, just Sink or swim.
 
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Keith Theodosiou

Keith Theodosiou

Active Member
It was the cheapest, prettiest and most full of tone out of a dozen greats.
It felt a little unbalanced from the Wood used, but I’ve played many piano recitals where you don’t get warm ups, you just play. So you don’t get a chance to complain or critique, just Sink or swim.
Yeah that can be a bit narrow from som of the high end guitars, the tone. A Les Paul generally sounds like a Les Paul and a Strat sounds like a Strat.Then you get HH, HSS, HSH that start to sound different. I really do believe the market now days is not dominated like it was years ago by Fender and Gibson.

That's better for us really.
 

patrick76

Senior Member
Some guitars are definitely overpriced! I think after around $2k for an electric, the return on investment is relatively weak in terms of quality in general. However, for an acoustic instrument like a steel string guitar or a classical guitar, the cost is much higher, especially for classical guitars. There can be a world of difference between a classical guitar costing 2k vs. an instrument costing 6k.
 
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Keith Theodosiou

Keith Theodosiou

Active Member
Some guitars are definitely overpriced! I think after around $2k for an electric, the return on investment is relatively weak in terms of quality in general. However, for an acoustic instrument like a steel string guitar or a classical guitar, the cost is much higher, especially for classical guitars. There can be a world of difference between a classical guitar costing 2k vs. an instrument costing 6k.
Yeah accoustic guitars seem to be a different ball game. I think the more you pay for an accoustic, the better you defiantely get.