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Is a higher end Strat worth it?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by TelT, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Mr Dunlop

    Mr Dunlop Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 30, 2014
    These always end the same. Cheap guitars play and sound better regardless and the partscasters guys can put together a better guitar than fenders master builders :).
    Davey77, jjudas, jofish and 8 others like this.

  2. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier-a-holic Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 19, 2014
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    Hey, I don't know much about values on Custom Shop stuff used....but Squier resale value doesn't stink....You see Classic Vibes routinely sell for 65-75% of original value like 260-300 US used when they are 400 new....
    T Guitar Floyd likes this.

  3. ido1957

    ido1957 Strat-O-Master

    Oct 13, 2014
    This topic is too subjective. No one will ever win this argument.

  4. Matt_D

    Matt_D Strat-O-Master

    Aug 2, 2015
    Southern California
    My take:
    If you want it and you don't have to go into debt for it, it's worth it.

    If you don't want it and/or it puts you into debt it's not worth it.
    8T_BoCO, Lone Woof and Electgumbo like this.

  5. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Captain Crapocaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 21, 2010
    In t'grim North
    If you sound good playing a Squier, you don't need to spend £2,000 + on a guitar. If you don't sound good playing a Squier, no amount of money spent on a guitar will help you. :whistling:

  6. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier-a-holic Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 19, 2014
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    Here, here! I love my Squiers - my entire gigging rig of 2 guitars, 25 watt 2 channel solid state class D amp with reverb, tremolo, and delay and boost pedal and 2X10 cabinet cost me about $575 US....

    It's all I need....

    I actually look forward to somebody trying to knock on my guitars for having Squier on the headstock - it helps me identify the buffoons in the joint so I can avoid talking to them lol

  7. Otisblove

    Otisblove Strat-O-Master

    May 20, 2016
    These days you can get an excellent guitar for under $500. You COULD pay more, but why?
    Tafmutt and Ronnie12460 like this.

  8. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Captain Crapocaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 21, 2010
    In t'grim North
    I know two pro players here, one has been gigging with his Squier since 1983, the other since 1989 They got rid of their original 50s and 60s Strats years ago (that they'd had since new), as they were scared to death of taking them out of the house.
    Fendereedo and Guitarmageddon like this.

  9. CalicoSkies

    CalicoSkies Senior Stratmaster

    Jun 10, 2013
    Hillsboro, OR, USA
    I think it all depends on your tastes. I had an American Deluxe Strat, and I think it was one of the most comfortable guitars I had played. I particularly liked the neck - It had a smooth finish that let my hand glide across it easily, and it just felt comfortable. The tones I got from it were not my favorite though.

  10. garyhoos1

    garyhoos1 Huffing n Puffing. Silver Member

    Jan 28, 2012
    North Wales and Somerset.
    lol..A man of my own heart I think Mrs Hoos has been looking at guitar colours the funny coloured brown ones she now calls sunburnt..o_O
    s5tuart, Thrup'ny Bit and felis like this.

  11. DeadCircuits

    DeadCircuits Strat-Talker

    Aug 25, 2016
    I spent just over £1000 on my 2015 Am Standard. It felt worth it to me, it still does.

    I think they are worth it, but you might disagree, which is awesome. Buy what you feel is worth it.
    NOSLover likes this.

  12. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Most Honored Senior Member

    May 7, 2014
    It's all subjective to me. If you have the money and want the higher end, then buy it. If you don't then go for the very best quality guitar, that feels right for you that fits your!!!
    jjudas, Chief101 and newplayeroldguy like this.

  13. Cerb

    Cerb Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 22, 2016
    I've sometimes played with the idea of going into a music store, put a blindfold on myself and say "Give me everything you have from your cheapest Squier to your most expensive CS. Whichever one I like best goes home with me today. Do you accept cash?". Admit it would be fun!
    Lone Woof, s5tuart, Rockape and 3 others like this.

  14. echoes71

    echoes71 Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 15, 2013
    It isnt a matter of if you have the money or not, does a specific guitar have the feel, sound, look you want. Does it work well for you?

    Is a CS better than an MIA and Squier, yes, they are and they should be, is it the guitar for you? That depends. As many have said, it is very subjective. Cost is also subjective. You might only make 30k a year and still find that a CS is what you need. Or you might make 200k and are happy with your Squier.

    The only facts are the price, the materials, and the craftsmanship. If a CS wasn't better than a regular MIA or Squier, they wouldnt sell many. There are only so many who buy them, just for bragging rights. On the same note, there are duds and amazing ones across the board, but overall? They are what they are.
    brians, jjudas and Fendereedo like this.

  15. Miotch

    Miotch Senior Stratmaster

    Jun 28, 2011
    There is no argument to win either way here, in my opinion. To me, it is up to the individual guitar, what I think of it and what it is worth to me. As a general rule, you get more quality up to a certain point. But not always.

    I've paid as much as $2,000 for a guitar, and as little as $130 into a partscaster (from parts laying around mostly, so if you include the price of some of those parts 30 years ago, it would be higher). As they are now set up, I pretty much like them all equally well.

    So, if you have the money for either, it comes down to what you think of it and how much you are willing to part with.

    And no matter how much we pretend to ignore the snob factor, it does exist to a certain degree (either for a really nice guitar or for a really beat-to-hell guitar--goes both ways, hence the relic fad).

    I prefer MIA in most cases, just because of that snob factor I pretend I don't have.

  16. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 18, 2014
    Victoria TX
    I don't mean to talk mess about Squiers cause I think they are fine guitars. I just get sick of people talking mess about my precious Custom Shops.
    BlueCajun and garyhoos1 like this.

  17. garyhoos1

    garyhoos1 Huffing n Puffing. Silver Member

    Jan 28, 2012
    North Wales and Somerset.
    Around about 11 years ago I played a 62 Time Machine it blew me away there was a lot of money involved around the 2 grand mark if I remember it was out of my reach.

    That was an up market guitar one I still think about more than the original 62 I had as a teenager, if you are talented enough and can play without effects and volume then quality in my mind does count..?

    But if not turn it up get an 808 and rock on..:whistling:

  18. k701

    k701 Strat-Talker

    Aug 25, 2016
    On the crooked shelf
    I believe there are 'amazing' guitars from every run/price point. The higher the price, the higher your chances of getting one of the 'amazing' ones. Less hunting to do.

    I've owned a Squire, a MIM, a CIJ, a US AV65, a Team Built CS and a Masterbuilt CS- so all the price points. Are there differences- definitely. Do the higher end ones spoil enjoyment of the cheaper ones- for me yes, as I began to notice things I didn't before. Especially fret work, comfort of playing and standard of workmanship.

    What did I keep from the above list- the last 3. The frets on the AV65 were not finished anyway near the standard of the CS Strats. (I refer to the fret ends- as the levelling job was fine). Was there a difference between Team Built and Masterbuilt- hell yeah! Quite a difference- but work I've had done on the Teambuilt and AV65 have brought them up to the same ball park as the Masterbuilt.

    Guitars I've bought (out of 40ish guitars over 25 year period) that have needed no work (other than basic set up tweaks) from new (I'm fussy about good setup/fretwork):

    1) Gibson SG Standard x2 (1998; 2016)
    2) Epiphone Crestwood Custom (£240!)
    3) Fender CS Cruz Masterbuilt 63 Strat
    4) Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul Special
    (all of these keepers except 98 SG which had a neck that was too thin)
    5) Squire Strat Candy apple red bought for daughter- as these were more readily available I picked out of 3 in the shop and so chose a cracker. Other than action/intonation it was good to go. I didn't need to touch truss rod, nut, or frets! (Other 2 of same model in shop were pretty ropey and buzzed horribly)

    New guitars that needed the most work (in order of problems/cost to fix):

    1) Fender Telecaster Teambuilt 63
    2) Gibson Les Paul Standard 2003 (still own)
    3) Fender USA Highway One Strat (sold)
    4) Fender CS Teambuilt 62 Strat (still own)
    5) Martin 000-15 (sold)
    6) Fender CIJ Mustang (still own)
    7) MIM 50s style Strat (sold)
    8) white Squire Strat (sold)

    I prefer thicker necks and have found this preference better catered for by the higher end models.

  19. stevierayfan91

    stevierayfan91 Dog Whisperer. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 20, 2011
    I am happy that you have nice models of Custom Shops, buddy.

  20. Guitarmaan

    Guitarmaan Strat-Talk Member

    Jan 9, 2016
    I've been playing and buying guitars and trying out guitars in guitar shops for 40 years and this is my favourite topic.
    I agree totally with k701 above that there are amazing guitars to be found at all price points. What he doesn't really say is that there are pieces of garbage at all price points too, including Custom Shop.
    I've played amazing Mexican 60's Strats, amazing Japanese Strats, and Amazing AVRI strats and amazing Custom Shop strats. The worst, most boring Strats with zero character have always been the American Standards. Way overpriced and nowhere near as good as Mexican Reissue or Japanese Reissue.
    I bought a Custom Shop relic Strat after trying loads over a period of six months or more, some of which were unplayable garbage, some were average, and some were totally killer.
    The reason it was worth the money to me was that I love the vintage relic look, and could not afford a real vintage strat at that time although hope to get one later this year if all goes well.
    I also own a 62 AVRI and a 60's Road worn. All my guitars are nitro and I personally wouldnt buy a non nitro guitar, but that's just me.
    All three sound amazing but different and I had to hunt around and try out loads if each model before I found these amazing ones.
    High price or high-end does not necessarily equal amazing in any way, shape or form, in my experience and the more 'hand built' an instrument is, the wider the differences in quality control.
    So high-end guitars can be worth it if you find an amazing one that has features you can't find on cheaper models.
    My last purchase was a Custom Shop Strat because I wanted a Fender, wanted Nitro and clay dots and wanted a relic. So then it was all about finding the one.
    Boognish and k701 like this.