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Unread 06-18-2014, 08:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by BillSPrestonEsq View Post
I have one, an MIJ Artist from the early 80s I think and it is about as fine a guitar as there is. Some of those MIJ Ibanez guitars are as good as anything out there.
Yeah, I think it is genuinely on par with guitars worth ten times as much. Unfortunately, people have cottoned on that 70's MIJ guitars are awesome, so I'm unlikely to score another one as cheaply any time soon.

One of the curious things though is that although it's strat style, it has some key differences that change the sound a lot compared to a strat. It's mahogany with a maple top and back, which I gather is how les pauls are made. It's pickups are also ridiculously overwound, giving it more output than most humbucker based guitars I've played. The sound is a lot more mid heavy than your usual strat, I think. Now that I'm used to them, most other pickups sound disappointing.

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Unread 06-18-2014, 10:08 PM   #17
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A good guitar is a good guitar regardless of how much it costs or what name is on the headstock.
That said, the definition of a "good guitar" is not set in stone and varies from person to person and from situation to situation.
I'm one of those guys who happens to love Gibson Les Pauls. Maybe it's the fact that I was blessed with getting one when I was 15 years old and the experience of playing such a nice instrument at such a relatively young age has influenced how I've perceive every guitar I have encountered since.
Granted, I've played and owned a lot of nice playing and sounding guitars that cost substantially less than the average Les Paul Standard. Almost every Godin Performance Series guitar I've come across has been a low-dollar diamond in the not-so-rough. They're amazing guitars for the money!
I've also bought several Strats and Teles that cost around $600 or less and they were wonderful guitars.
Other cheapies I've owned...Ibanez and Yamaha and Peavey...great guitars for the money.

Still, there's something about playing a genuine Gibson that just makes me feel very at home and confident that the instrument will do exactly what I want it to do on the stage or in the studio.
Same goes for Martin. Yes, a D-28 is an industry standard for a reason. It is history, legacy and quality in the form of an acoustic guitar. If you can't tell why a D-28 is such a great instrument when you pick one up and play one, it's my opinion that you just don't quite (yet) possess the touch sensitivity and the ears to be able to discern these things...or maybe it's just not doing what you're expecting it to do for whatever reason.
Having just helped a friend acquire a slightly used HD-28 for a killer price, I can attest to the fact that those guitars are worth whatever the asking price is. Compared to a Olson, they're a bargain.

But then I'm also a guy who prefers the lower-end 2xx and 3xx series Taylors over the more pricey models. I can't tell you why, but I seem to bond with the 314 model more than an 814 or similar.
Go figure. I also think that Seagull acoustics are, like their electric Godin cousins, the best deal going in acoustic guitars.

And as beautiful as I think most genuine PRS guitars are, I've never played one yet that has blown me away. I trust that those people who love to play them do so because they can feel and hear the difference, just like I can with most Gibsons.

To me, playing what you want to play because you like it and can afford it is not snobbery. It's just personal preference.
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Unread 06-19-2014, 01:03 AM   #18
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I guess I'm somewhat of a guitar snob - I've been teaching/working in guitar shops for the past 20+ years and have played just about every guitar that's come out during that time (and then some.) American made electric guitars are for the most part superior to all the cheaper made foreign guitars in just about every way. The wood used, the electronics, hardware, fret work, are just better than what you're going to get on a guitar made in China, Mexico, Indonesia, etc.
Suhr, Tom Anderson, PRS, Ernie Ball, and Fender in particular are crafted so much better than anything made overseas or across the border - they're more expensive because they're worth it. Jackson's higher end USA stuff is pretty high quality as is Gibson (Gibson's quality control is not what it used to be and occasionally a piece gets through that shouldn't have), but I don't think they're equal to the first five companies I mentioned.

Years ago, a friend of mine was raving about his MIM Strat, he brought it over and in the process, played one of my USA Strats - he commented, "I see why these are more expensive."
I have a PRS Custom 24, that plays so easy that it practically plays itself -compare it to a PRS SE and I guarantee that you'd feel and hear the difference.

American guitars also have a better resale/trade-in value. You may love your Epiphone Les Paul, but when it comes time to trade it, you'll be lucky to get 1/3 of what you paid for it (no matter how good of are you took of it.) On the flip side, a 10+ year old Gibson Les Paul might have a few dings in it, but unless it's beat up really badly, it'll still retain it's value.
The only foreign made electrics that are comparable to the American stuff is the higher end Ibanez and ESP (although ESP imo are just over-priced Ibanez.) Both of those companies use high quality materials and are manufactured with excellent craftsmanship.

Acoustic guitars are another matter - the US doesn't have that market cornered the same way it does the electric spectrum. Taylor and Martin are about as good as anything you can buy (although, I think Martin's are over-priced.) But Canada and Germany make amazing instruments. Larrivee in particular are exceptional and I would rather own one of them than a Taylor or Martin anyday.

Anyway, just my opinion.
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Unread 06-20-2014, 05:27 PM   #19
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I am a guitar snob. I prefer Les Paul type guitars, Gibsons, Hamers, PRS, Epiphone, etc, but I ahve admit that when I first got into guitar 40 years ago, I always thought Les Paul was the best because the players I admired the most, played, LPs and 335s. And with acoustics, it was Martin, Alvarez, and Guild. It's hard to not be traditional when I love these and they suit my playing well. God bless the others brands, I dislike Nike and wear Addias exclusively. I am loyal to GM and Lotus. (never had a Lotus, but it would be cool). Guitarists are traditionalists and stick with what impresses them first and foremost for the most part.
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Unread 06-20-2014, 06:18 PM   #20
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I don't have a whole lot to add to this thread, but today I borrowed my friend's Squier Jazzmaster that I guess had been setup insanely well, because after the first minute or two I was shocked. The pickups sounded very, very good and the setup was impeccable. I would put that guitar up against my tele (which I consider my "home base" guitar, the instrument that I want every other guitar to play like). I now know if I ever seriously consider getting a jazzmaster-style guitar, I don't think I'll be able to find a reason to get anything else.
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Unread 06-20-2014, 08:18 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by BillSPrestonEsq View Post
I have played a lot of tricked out epiphones and such that with their upgrades cost far more than a Gibson and didn't play as nice. Personally I see a lot of anti-nice guitar snobbery, where relatively new guitarists think that by tricking out a squier or an epi they can have a better guitar than a MIA Fender or Gibson. Usually, that is very wrong.
When I started shopping for an upgrade to my entry levelish ibanez GAX70 a couple of years ago, I looked at epiphones for a while. As well as not feeling like as much of an improvement over my ibanez as I had initially expected when trying them, one thing that put me off their standard line was the number of “upgraded” Epi Les Pauls for sale used… Seemed to me that a lot of people thought they could improve them with a pickup change, but still weren’t satisfied with them afterwards and were trying to sell them to fund something else.

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Oh and another thing - sometimes it's hard to pinpoint what we like about an instrument, but somehow there's a "wow" factor that encompasses how much you like an instrument. I tend to go on the wow factor more than a detailed analysis of features between guitars.
I had the “wow” factor with an American tele when trying out teles at different price points. I realised that if I got anything else I’d still want to upgrade to one eventually. It was interesting to then go and read about what was actually different between the squier, mexi and US made models at the time, having heard and felt the difference in overall impression first.
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Unread 06-20-2014, 10:49 PM   #22
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I've always looked at guitars as tools. I don't really care what name is on it, or how much it cost, as long as it can get the job done. I've had expensive guitars and cheap guitars and I've kept what works and discarded the rest, which has often included ditching expensive guitars in favor of cheap ones.

I'm not really much of a traditionalist; I've worked with traditional style guitars, and I've worked with very modern guitars. What works, works. I'm constantly trying something new and making sure I don't get stuck in any ruts with my gear. Sometimes you can miss something really great if you only stick to your comfort zone.
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Unread 06-20-2014, 10:51 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by jamforchrist123 View Post
I don't have a whole lot to add to this thread, but today I borrowed my friend's Squier Jazzmaster that I guess had been setup insanely well, because after the first minute or two I was shocked. The pickups sounded very, very good and the setup was impeccable. I would put that guitar up against my tele (which I consider my "home base" guitar, the instrument that I want every other guitar to play like). I now know if I ever seriously consider getting a jazzmaster-style guitar, I don't think I'll be able to find a reason to get anything else.
Was it a MIJ? Those are awesome. Seriously, the MIJ Squiers from the mid/late 90s, outside of the pickups they were as good as the MIJ Fenders and those were pretty awesome too.
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Unread 06-21-2014, 02:45 AM   #24
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Was it a MIJ? Those are awesome. Seriously, the MIJ Squiers from the mid/late 90s, outside of the pickups they were as good as the MIJ Fenders and those were pretty awesome too.
I'm not sure. It was the J Mascis model with the gold pickguard. Seriously rad instrument.
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Unread 06-21-2014, 05:49 AM   #25
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I've always looked at guitars as tools. I don't really care what name is on it, or how much it cost, as long as it can get the job done.
This.

The most I've ever paid for a guitar was about $600 for my Ovation. Am I happy with my Epiphone Les Paul or SX Tele? Yes. Do they achieve what I need them to? Yes.

Do I think they'd sound as good next to their better brand equivalent? Unlikely.

If I was making the sort of money where I could justify buying a more expensive guitar (or was playing professionally) I would look into replacing them where/when appropriate. But for now, they do just fine.
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Unread 06-21-2014, 09:28 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by jamforchrist123 View Post
I'm not sure. It was the J Mascis model with the gold pickguard. Seriously rad instrument.
The J Mascis Squiers are fairly recent, 2011 according to wiki.
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Unread 06-21-2014, 09:37 AM   #27
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I'm drooling over this guitar right now.

And it's reasonably priced.

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Unread 06-21-2014, 10:41 AM   #28
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The J Mascis Squiers are fairly recent, 2011 according to wiki.
Righteous. Just watched his Premier Guitar rig rundown and he seems like a super strange dude (aren't we all), but if my friend and I didn't already have a ton of overlapping gear, I would own one of these guitars. I've always loved jazzmasters.
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Unread 06-28-2014, 07:26 AM   #29
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My brother is a huge snob. He only plays '90s MIA Jacksons and CIJ Charvels, I think he owns 4 or 5 of these. He always puts down my gear, a PRS SE Tremonte (gone now), and Fender Highway One Strat. I bought an Affinity Strat for modding purposes. Put a Mighty Mite neck on it with a fake MIA Fender decal and showed it to him. He did his little shred stuff on it and told me its the best guitar I've owned so far. When I told him what it really was, he called me a liar so I told him to get a closer look at the decal. He was duped but won't admit it.
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Unread 06-28-2014, 12:10 PM   #30
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Funny!!! Nice to have amazing toys. Even more awesome is to be able to assemble moderate gear with amazing results. I look at the gear I have as a gift from God. Kind of annoying when people minimize it. I had a martin D35 for years. Tone was great... intonation sucked.. sunk some money into it to fix it... no luck... Converted to a Taylor. Tone not as good, but incredible intonation... Spent a pile of cash to buy it.. . Nice guitar... It went by the wayside...
Funny thing is, I found a Hohner acoustic /Electric at a pawn shop recently that is amazing!!!! Massive tone.. balanced... intonation perfect... action just right.
Don't feel like I'll ever need to upgrade.
My take on it... why spend a truck load of cash when you can find a great alternate.
If your brother wants to tie up his money in top of the line gear .. good for him... it is unfortunate that he needs to put you down for making other choices. Kinda sad actually... does he have an ego problem?
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